WEDNESDAY     March 15, 2000    vol. 11, no. 53    SECTION TWO

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SECTION TWO Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • Monthly Medjugorje Message for February 25th
  • Be an angel! Whatever you can send will go far in helping the DailyCATHOLIC reach many more souls!
    WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant:
  • New document further exonerates Pope Pius XII
  • Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem reemphasizes spirituality of Pope's pilgrimage
  • Jordan's King looks to Pope as key to peace

  • Our Lord's question: What have you done lately?

       They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the words of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen have been known to launch a thousand images in one's mind, one of the ways this late luminary did so much to evangelize the faith. Because of the urgency of the times and because few there are today who possess the wisdom, simplicity and insight than the late Archbishop who touched millions, we are bringing you daily gems from his writings. The good bishop makes it so simple that we have dubbed this daily series: "SIMPLY SHEEN".

    "No man is living who is resting on his own lauresl, as no one is happy who says that he lives on his memories. Past laurels must be put aside as man must press forward to that supernal vocation to which he is called, forgetting the things that are behind. The bird must forget its nest, the seed its husk, the flower its bud, and unless these are forgotten we can never reach the goal. Both brooding and boasting are alike to be discouraged, for the happiness of life is in the prospect of the best and the holiest."

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    February 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message

    NOTE: We respectfully recognize and accept the final authority regarding apparitions, locutions and prophecies presently being reported around the world rests with the Holy See of Rome and the Magisterium of Holy Mother Church to whose judjment we humbly and obediently submit.

      "Dear children! Wake up from the sleep of unbelief and sin, because this is a time of grace which God gives you. Use this time and seek the grace of healing of your heart from God, so that you may see God and man with the heart. Pray in a special way for those who have not come to know God's love, and witness with your life so that they also can come to know God and His immeasurable love. Thank you for having responded to my call."

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    Be an angel!

        Through the stewardship of Catholic Journalism you can help us reach more souls by sending whatever you can to help keep the DailyCATHOLIC going strong since it is the only daily publication of its kind for Catholics anywhere in the world in daily promoting the truths of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

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    WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant:

        EDITOR'S NOTE: This week will see a decrease in News regarding events from the Vatican since the majority of the Papal Staff and Roman Curia are on retreat. News announcements are expected to be brief during this time, so we join our prayers and hearts with those on retreat, and take this time to reflect upon the state of our own souls as we share together this season of preparation and reconciliation.

    Revelations of Russian Historian Evghenija Tokareva

        ROME, MAR 14 ( Following the Pope's Universal Prayer for Forgiveness (March 12), the media has given space to the opinion of persons who criticize the Church's role during the Holocaust of the Jews, carried out during the Second World War. Specifically, critics point to Pius XII, and his alleged silence on the tragedy. However, every day new proofs appear of the impressive action organized by this Pope to rescue the greatest number of Jews persecuted by the Third Reich.

        In this regard, one of the latest historical testimonies is that of Russian historian Evghenija Tokareva. In a book entitled "Fascism, the Church, and the Catholic Movement in Italy: 1922-1943," published by the Institute of World History of the Russian Academy for Sciences, the author states that Pius XII's attitude toward Nazism "was dictated by prudence" and assures that "the Vatican was not subject to an anti-Jewish policy."

        This is the first Russian monograph dedicated to the topic. The author is a young historian who is already famous for other studies, outstanding among which is a recent essay on Christian Churches and Totalitarianism, which appeared in a volume including several collaborators and entitled, "Totalitarianism in 20th Century Europe," also published by the Russian Academy of Sciences.

        Tokareva, who is very familiar with the tragic experience of the Russian Orthodox Church, which was subjected to another type of totalitarianism, analyzes the actions of the Catholic Church in Italy during the fascist era with a critical spirit and extensive documentation. He pays special attention to the "Catholic subculture" and the role it played in the fall of that dictatorship.

        In his conclusion, Tokareva writes: "It must be acknowledged that fascism did not succeed in subjecting the Church, nor was it able to integrate it in its political system." This is due to the establishment, independence and strength of the Church and its organizations and to the limitations "at the juridical and ideological levels that the totalitarianism of the fascist State was experiencing."

        Tokareva thoroughly analyzes the Church's opposition to anti-Semitism, and reveals that fascism attempted to sow confusion by stating that its origins were in Christianity itself. In regard to Pius XII's attitude, who chose to stimulate effective aid to the Jews rather than make verbal pronouncements, Tokareva believes that it was a prudent decision, because by so doing he avoided vengeance that could have affected Catholics and the Jews themselves, which is exactly what happened in the Netherlands. When the Dutch Bishops criticized the Nazis, the persecution extended to include Jewish converts. Edith Stein was martyred as a direct result of that decision.

        The Russian historian refers to the Pope's prudence not only as characterizing his relations with Nazism, but also with the Soviet Union, another regime responsible for horrific massacres. When Goebbels silenced Vatican Radio transmissions in 1941, he said they were "more dangerous for us than those of the communists themselves," Tokareva added, to emphasize her thesis. ZE00031406

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    Israel Confirms Trip Will Promote Jewish-Christian Relations

        ROME/JERUSALEM, MAR 14 ( The imminent Papal visit to the Holy Land is important to Israel, even though its motives are entirely spritual, according to an adviser to the Israeli Embassy to the Vatican. Even as politicians speak of the benefits to the peace process or to relations between Christians and Jews, Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah is working to move attention back to the real meaning of the visit.

        Following his "spiritual" pilgrimage to Ur of the Chaldeans, Abraham's birthplace, and after walking in Moses' footsteps in Mount Sinai, Egypt, John Paul II will journey once again, this time to the Promised Land, from March 20-26.

        Perhaps this is the most significant trip of the 90 the Holy Father has undertaken since the beginning of his pontificate. Nazareth, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem are places where the Church's roots sink deeply. From here Peter, the Galilean fisherman, left with the Gospel on his lips and in his heart. After 2000 years of Christianity, his successor, John Paul II, returns to this land to announce to the world the perennial presence of Christ in his Church.

        The Papal pilgrimage is also very important for Israel, as Zvi Tal confirmed over Vatican Radio. Zvi Tal is an adviser at the Israeli Embassy to the Vatican. "Clearly, it is a very significant trip, also for the State of Israel. We are facing a very important stage of the inter-religious dialogue, and we are certain that this trip can contribute to promote this dialogue. We are also facing a decisive moment in the framework of the peace process, and the Holy Father has always encouraged and blessed this process."

        As regards Israelis' expectations, the diplomat said that "the majority of the Israeli people have great respect for this Pope, who has always made an important contribution in opposing anti-Semitism, which he defined as 'a sin against religion.' For this reason, I think a very important moment of this pilgrimage will be the visit to Yad-Vashem, the museum built in Jerusalem in memory of the Holocaust."

        The apostolic pilgrimage includes some of the principal stages of the history of salvation: Mount Nebo, from which, according to tradition, Moses contemplated the Promised Land before his death; the River Jordan, which is the step to the Promised Land of the people of the Covenant and a symbol of the step to a new life on the part of those baptized. Here is where Jesus began his public life, which took him to Galilee and Jerusalem. Christian tradition has called these stages "Holy Places," as they are connected to the history of God's Revelation to all men. Just like the early Christian pilgrims, the Pope is going to these places during the Jubilee Year, to celebrate the coming of Christ among men, and his Resurrection.

        This was, in fact, the main topic at the press conference held today in Jerusalem by Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah of the Holy City. "Within a few days, we will welcome the Holy Father and, together with the community of believers, which has lived uninterruptedly from the beginning of Christianity around the Holy Places and maintains in them the memory of the divine mystery of salvation, he will carry out his pilgrimage, pray and confirm the local and universal Church in its spiritual renewal on the occasion of the Great Jubilee," he said.

        There were a great many reporters at the press conference from all over the world. Disappointing those who asked questions of a political order about the Pope's meetings with the heads of State of Israel and the Palestine Authority, the Patriarch insisted on the spiritual nature of the pilgrimage. "The Pope will bring everyone an up-to-date message of love and peace. We hope the political leaders will hear him and, with greater courage, establish justice and peace in this land and in the whole region."

        The hope of His Beatitude Michel Sabbah is that this pontifical trip "will be the beginning of new times in which Jerusalem will become what God wills, a city of prayer and peace in which all believers meet to construct peace in this region and the world." ZE00031407

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    Monarch Wants Jerusalem as Capital of Both Israel and Palestine

        ROME, MAR 14 ( John Paul II's presence in the Holy Land "will give us the hope and courage we need to conclude this process that will bring a stable peace," stated King Abdala II of Jordan. He holds that a Palestinian State "not only is necessary but inevitable" for obtaining that peace.

        On Monday, the King will receive the Pope on the first stage of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The King gave his views on the burning issues of the Middle East peace process, including the question of Jerusalem, to the Italian weekly magazine "Famiglia Cristiana."

        "The city [Jerusalem] must continue to be a symbol of peace and hope for the whole region, and it should not be the exclusive capital of one people at the expense of another. We believe that in Jerusalem there is room for two capitals and two independent nations," the King said.

        The creation of a Palestinian State in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to King Abdala II, is "inevitable," as it allows for the self-determination of the Palestinians and "is the only way to put an end to many decades of conflict between Israel and the Arab world."

        As regards the peace process, the King believes that "we are on the verge of resolving our problems once and for all. The negotiations between Syria and Israel have many possibilities of ending successfully in a short period of time."

        However, he believes that "the international community must continue to exert pressure on Israel and Syria to encourage them: peace and tranquility are within our reach," the King said enthusiastically.

        According to the Jordanian King, the enemies of peace are "the forces of darkness." "This is a minority that is found in all this region. One cannot say that there is a single country against peace; all the countries of the region want peace. I hope the majority will impose its will on the minority that does not want peace. I am convinced we will have peace, but we must know that there will be those who want to destabilize and place obstacles."

        Finally, the King added, "Beyond the religious and spiritual significance of the visit, there will be something that will allow for much discussion. Something that could be truly political: for us the visit will also be a symbol of the understanding that exists between the followers of Islam and those of Christianity." ZE00031411

    For more NEWS & VIEWS, see SECTION THREE

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    March 15, 2000     volume 11, no. 53
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