MONDAY     March 13, 2000    vol. 11, no. 51    SECTION THREE

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SECTION THREE Contents: Go immediately to the article:
WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant:
  • 150 is the number to be canonized in this Jubilee Year
  • Both pro-lifers and pro-aborts dig in in UN battle
  • Switzerland joins pentitential crusade in saying sorry
  • Germans are all ears during Lent
  • Loyal Chinese cardinal dead at 98
  • Casting the net on the worldwide web for E-vangelization
  • Latest ShipLogs of visitors sailing on the DailyCATHOLIC

  • WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant continued:

    List Includes Katharine Drexel and Faustina Kowalska

        VATICAN CITY, MAR 10 ( A great number of Chinese and Mexican martyrs, a Mexican priest, and 3 women religious will be all proclaimed saints during the Jubilee of the Year 2000. This was announced by John Paul II this morning at a public ordinary Consistory held in the Vatican Apostolic Palace at 11:30 a.m.

        Archbishop Jose Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, described the figures of the new saints, requesting the Holy Father's assent to their canonization. The Pontiff made his decision immediately after hearing the opinion of the Cardinals, establishing the dates for the respective ceremonies.

        Chinese Martyrs Augustine Tchao, priest, and 119 other martyrs (among whom are bishops, priests, religious and laymen), martyrs of Chinese communism, and of persecutions of past centuries (who died between the 17th and 20th centuries) will be canonized on October 1. They are not the first saints of the Church in China, however. On June 2, 1996, John Paul II proclaimed the sanctity of Jean-Gabriel Perboyre, who took on Chinese nationality and the name Tong Weng Siao, and was tortured and killed in 1840. On that occasion, the Holy Father said he hoped to be able to canonize other Chinese Blessed.

    Mexican Martyrs

        Next on the list is Fr. Cristobal Magallanes, Mexican parish priest who, together with 21 other priests and 3 laymen, was martyred in Mexico between 1915 and 1937. They will be canonized on May 21, a time of great rejoicing for Mexicans, as they will be celebrating their Jubilee in Rome that day.

        Along with the above, another Mexican will be canonized: Fr. Jose Maria de Yermo y Parres, founder of the Servants of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Poor, who rescued prostitutes. He died in 1904.

    Three Exceptional Women

        On October 1, Spaniard Maria Josefa del Corazón de Jesús Sancho Guerra, who died in 1912 and founded the Congregation of the Servants of Jesus to assist abandoned patients, and Katharine Drexel, who dedicated her life (1858-1955) to the spiritual and human development of Indian and colored people in the United States (see article ZE00022301), will be canonized.

        The most immediate canonization, however, will be that of Sister Faustina Kowalska, whom the Pope will proclaim a saint on April 30. (See full article below.)

        With their canonization, the cult of the new saints is extended worldwide. In this solemn act, the papal charism of infallibility is exercized. This is not the case with beatifications, which only allow local cult, within the country, region, or religious order in which the Blessed lived and worked. ZE000310

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      Catholics and Muslims team up to fight pro-aborts at the UN's Beijing+5 Women's Conference

         In New York the UN's Biejing+5 Women's Conference is heating up as Catholic Pro-Life groups and many Arab nations continue to demonstrate together and debate with pro-aborts the hotly disputed issues of abortion vs. a woman's "right to choose," as well as debate on the subject of sexuality, with implications of recognizing the rights of gay marriages. The mood is tense, even hostile, as the liberals are being forced to back down and dig in as a wounded rat due to the strong front being waged by the pro-life solidarity of Catholic and Muslim. continued inside.


        NEW YORK ( - Pro-family groups at the UN's Beijing+5 Women's Conference this week are causing a large impact among the delegations, as feminist groups seek to rein in their influence.

        The five-year review of the 1995 women's conference began with feminist groups connected to the European Parliament complaining that "fundamentalist" youth have taken over the the conference's "youth caucus," according the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-fam). The pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Law and Policy said in a report that pro-family groups intend to "undermine the Beijing Platform’s consensus regarding (women's rights)."

        Work at the meeting has ground to a halt as delegations from industrialized countries have added numerous amendments to the draft statement which were objectionable to Arab and Catholic countries.

        "The western states are attempting to include 'sexual orientation' in the document," said C-fam in a report. "This attempt has caused a near riot within the G-77, pitting several new liberal governments of Latin America against the Arab states. One of the problems for pro-family lobbyists is the recent electoral changes in Latin America that have seen pro-life presidents in Argentina and Guatemala replaced by those who are more liberal."

        The group also said that the document is also replete with references to "reproductive rights," always the most divisive issue at UN conferences. Pro-life lobbyists are most alarmed by the attempt of the Canadian government to equate reproductive "rights" with human rights. This could have the effect of forcing governments to change their laws on abortion. The Canadians are also calling for abortion "rights" for girls.

        "The atmosphere of the meeting is tense, sometimes hostile," C-fam said. "Pro-life lobbyists have been turned out of NGO meetings that are supposed to be open. Pro-lifers have not been allowed to speak in numerous meetings."

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      Swiss Bishops join Pope in making apologies for failure to do more for the Jews during World War II

         Bishop Kurt Koch of Basel, Switzerland, who heads the Swiss Episcopal Conference, announced the release of a document drawn up by the Hebrew-Catholic Dialogue Commission, with the intention of apologizing on behalf of the the country for its failture to do more at the time of the Holocaust, claiming that Church officials in this country of the Alps did not speak out strongly against Hitler nor did the Swiss do enough for refugees who fled to this neutral land. continued inside.

    Preview of Swiss Episcopal Declaration

        BERN, MAR 10 ( Yesterday, Bishop Kurt Koch of Basel, vice-president of the Swiss Episcopal Conference, announced to the press that on April 14 an episcopal document will be published, stating that the Catholic Church in Switzerland did not do all that was possible to confront the tragedy of Nazi anti-Semitism both before and during the Second World War.

        "More could have been done. The criminal tyranny of National Socialism was not denounced with sufficient clarity," the episcopal text states. The document was written by Catholic members of the Swiss Hebrew-Catholic Dialogue Commission.

        According to Bishop Koch, the entire Swiss Episcopal Conference agrees with the text, which addresses a very painful and delicate chapter in history. The press announcement was made 3 days before John Paul II pronounces a petition for forgiveness in the Vatican Basilica for faults committed in the past by the Church's children.

        At this moment in time, an analysis of the Swiss document, entitled "Declaration of the Swiss Episcopal Conference on the Attitude of the Catholic Church in Switzerland to the Jewish People during the Second World War and Today," would be premature, as the final version is still in progress. But some paragraphs have been published, giving an idea of the general tenor of the document.

        There is an acknowledgment that too little was done to protect the refugees. In addition, there was passivity and fear that halted theological research, preaching and press activity, as there were very few voices heard in protest against the anti-Judaism and racism that grew from the very beginning of the century. In particular, the document states that the Catholic Church never expressed itself officially on the topic.

        Bishop Koch was candid in admitting that the Declaration reflects continued that "racism and anti-Semitism sadly continue even today." The combating of such phenomena, therefore, is an "urgent" concern of Swiss bishops.

        This is not the first time the Church in Switzerland has condemned anti-Semitism. It did so in 1972, on the occasion of the Synod of Swiss Catholics, and in 1992, with a joint declaration of the Swiss Episcopal Conference and the Federation of Jewish Communities of Switzerland, which defined anti-Semitism as a sin against God and humanity.

        The document also reveals that there were Christians and ecclesiastical institutions that carried out great endeavors to shelter Jews during the Second World War, saving an impressive number of lives, as well as enlightening public opinion on the racial persecutions. Figures of the stature of Bishop Alois Scheiwiler of Saint Gallo, and Cardinal Journet denounced the Nazi barbarism from the start.

        Sigi Feigel, honorary president of the Community of Jewish Worship in Zurich, expressed satisfaction over the imminent publication of the Declaration, because to acknowledge faults committed against Jews is "an important and beautiful gesture," he said. ZE00031005

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      Germans to keep their cellphones on alert during Lent

         While cellphones have become more of a nuisance in America, German bishops are hoping it will have a more calming, positive effect for as the world of high tech surges ahead, the Church in the Deutchland is making full use of wireless technology. Several dioceses are offering to send to all cellular phone users a Lenten message each day which includes the daily readings from the Gospel and signifies a "call" to deeper understanding of the meaning of Lent. continued inside.


        ROME, 11 (NE) As part of a program to encourage the spirit of Lent among faithful, the Catholic Church in Germany has decided to use one of man's latest and widely used inventions: cellular telephones. During the Lenten season, which started this week with Ash Wednesday, a team of Catholics will be sending daily messages referring to Lent to the cellular phones of those who have previously inscribed to receive them.

        The messages include daily readings from the Gospel which will help faithful to reflect over the meaning of Lent and encourage meditation, charity, penance and fasting. Messages will be transmitted over the forty days of Lent, and are available upon request, which can easily be done through a site in the Internet.

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      Cardinal Kung dead at 98, served 30 years in communinst prisons in staunch loyalty to Rome

         One of the Sacred Conclave's oldest cardinals passed away early Sunday morning in Stamford, Connecticut where he was in exile, overseeing the Cardinal Kung Foundation. He was named the Roman Catholic Bishop of Shanghai in 1950 but was imprisoned by the Chinese communists after five years in that post and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1960. After 25 more years of incarceration, he was released in 1985 and three years later pardoned and his political rights restored but he was not allowed to serve as Bishop in China. Therefore he moved to the United States in 1988. He had been named by John Paul II a cardinal "in pectore" during the Holy Father's first Consistory in 1979 and formally acknowledged in 1991.continued inside.

    Served Thirty Years in Prison for his Fidelity to Pope

        STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT, MAR 12 ( Cardinal Ignatius Kung (Gong) Pinmei died at 3:05 a.m. Sunday. He was 98 years of age.

        Cardinal Kung was the Roman Catholic Bishop of Shanghai, and Apostolic Administrator of Souchou and Nanking since 1950. Despite his advanced age, he retained these posts until his death. He was ordained priest on May 28, 1930, and ordained Bishop on October 7, 1949. He was the first native Chinese Bishop of Shanghai. He was created a Cardinal by Pope John Paul II in 1979, while serving a life sentence in isolation in China. This nomination was made "in pectore," meaning that only the Pope, and no other, not even Cardinal Kung, was aware of it. The nomination was made public after Cardinal Kung was freed from prison, on June 28, 1991.

        Cardinal Kung's story is that of a faithful shepherd and a heroic witness to the faith. He refused to renounce God and the Church despite the consequences of imprisonment by communist authorities. In the months leading up to his arrest in 1955, Cardinal Kung refused offers of safe passage out of China to stay by his flock. His example of fidelity has been one of the lynchpins in the underground Catholic community in China. He has become a symbol of the fight for religious freedom.

        Bishop Kung had only served 5 years as Bishop of Shanghai before his arrest. In that time, he had already become notorious to the authorities for the respect and devotion he received from Catholics. In defiance of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, Bishop Kung personally supervised the Legion of Mary, a lay group that promotes the veneration of the Blessed Virgin. Hundreds of Legion of Mary members, including many students, were arrested and sentenced to 10 or more years of hard labor.

        Despite these persecutions, Bishop Kung declared 1952 a Marian Year in Shanghai. For that entire year, there was a round-the-clock rosary held before a stature of Our Lady of Fatima, which was carried to all the parishes of the diocese. At the end of the "pilgrimage," Bishop Kung led the rosary at Christ the King Church, as armed policemen looked on. After the rosary, the Bishop prayed, "Holy Mother, we do not ask you for a miracle. We do not beg you to stop the persecutions. But we beg you to support us who are very weak."

        Knowing his arrest was imminent, Bishop Kung trained hundreds of catechists to pass on the faith to future generations. The arrest finally came on September 8, 1955, when the Bishop and more than 200 priests and Church leaders were taken overnight.

        Months after his arrest, he was taken to the dog racing stadium of Shanghai to publicly confess his "crimes." Thousands were present in the stadium as he was pushed to a microphone, hands bound behind his back, and wearing only Chinese pijamas. Instead of a confession, though, the authorities heard, "Long live Christ the King! Long live the Pope!"

        The assembled croud responded, "Long live Christ the King! Long live Bishop Kung!" The authorities quickly removed the Bishop from the scene.

        In 1960, he was sentenced to life imprisonment. The night before his trial, the Chief Prosecutor offered him his freedom in exchange for his cooperation in setting up the Chinese Catholics' Patriotic Association. He responded resolutely, "I am a Roman Catholic Bishop. If I denounce the Holy Father, not only would I not be a Bishop, I would not even be a Catholic. You can cut off my head, but you can never take away my duties."

        Bishop Kung spent thirty years behind bars, much of it in solitary confinement. He was not permitted to receive visitors, letters, or money to buy essentials. In 1985, he was released from prison to serve another ten years under house arrest. After two and a half years of house arrest, he was officially relased, though he was never fully exonerated. In 1988, his nephew, Joseph Kung (president of the Cardinal Kung Foundation), obtained permission to escort him to the U.S. for medical care.

        Shortly before his release from prison, the Bishop was permitted to participate in a banquet in honor of Cardinal Jaime Sin of Manila. The authorities carefully separated the two so that Bishop Kung would not have direct contact with the Cardinal. However, during the dinner, Cardinal Sin invited each attendee to sing a song of celebration. Bishop Kung chose "Tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo Ecclesiam meam" [You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church] as a sign that he remained faithful to Rome.

        When Pope John Paul II presented Cardinal Kung with his red hat in the Consistory on June 29, 1991 in the Vatican, the 90 year old Bishop Kung raised himself up from the wheelchair, put aside his cane and walked up the steps to kneel at the foot of the Pontiff. Visibly touched, the Holy Father lifted him up, gave him his cardinal's hat, then stood patiently as Cardinal Kung returned to his wheelchair to the sounds of a seven-minute standing ovation from 9000 guests in the Audience Hall in the Vatican.

        Cardinal Kung has spent the last twelve years giving interviews and homilies to call attention to the conditions in the Catholic Church in China. As a result, in March 1998, the Chinese government officially cancelled his passport, making him an exile from his homeland.

        In his "Mission" magazine in 1957, Bishop Fulton Sheen wrote: "The West has its Mindszenty, but the East has its Kung. God is glorified in his saints." ZE00031221

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    Conclusions of Assisi Congress

        ASSISI, MAR 12 ( "Gospel and Cyberspace; Internet and proclamation of the Christian message": these were the binomials that focused the attention of a study seminar, organized by the Media Commission of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), held in Assisi from March 8-11. The purpose of the meeting was to understand the new communications scene and its impact on the Church. There were over 400 participants from various dioceses and Catholic associations involved in presenting the Church's message on the 'Net.


        During the opening session, Bishop Ennio Antonelli, CEI secretary general, used the image of the fishing net, evangelical metaphor par excellence, to remind his audience that the new media can serve to "catch" men for God. In addition to "e-commerce" and "e-business," there are new possibilities for "e-vangelization."

        Sister Angela Ann Zukowski, director of the University of Dayton's Institute for Pastoral Initiatives, was among the participants. She addressed the present concern of many Bishops: "Can we control the use of the word 'Catholic' on Internet?" Her answer was a categorical no. "Cyberspace has no confines or authorities to whom one can appeal."

        "In the past, the Church always carried out a role of primary importance in the formation of culture in all parts of the world. Today, however, as opposed to the past, the new virtual culture is expanding more rapidly than the Church's reaction." Therefore, "we can choose between being guardians of the Word in the battle against the devils of cyberspace or transform ourselves into architects and sculptors of the new culture coming into being," Sister Zukowski explained.

        Derrick de Kerckhove, successor of Marshall McLuhan at the University of Toronto, gave a video-conference to the congress. Like his predecessor, he cultivates a passion for spirituality. According to this professor, arrival on the Internet is "an extraordinary occasion for the one who works with souls. It is important to know how to create virtual communities, support and welcome groups for those entering the 'Net. With Internet, the proclamation and pastoral communication can be rejuvenated, especially in virtue of the great capacity of interaction proper to the means. But let us not forget that once a new media is introduced in the Church, together with obvious advantages, negative effects are felt. Suffice it to think of the relation between diffusion by the press and the Reformation. These are physiological consequences; what is important, however, is not to be frightened," Kerchhove concluded.

        According to Kerckhove, the presence of Christians on Internet is decisive. "If the Christian message was missing on the net, an apocalyptic future would open, a scene like 'Blade Runner.' But this is not the only aspect in question. Just as the Jesuits took the Gospel together with the alphabet to the Indians, through its institutions the Church could instruct the marginalized in the language and use of the new media." ZE00031204

         For more headlines and articles, we suggest you go to the Catholic World News site at the CWN home page and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and the Dossiers, features and Daily Dispatches from ZENIT International News Agency CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC, but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

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