MONDAY     March 20, 2000    vol. 11, no. 56    SECTION THREE

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WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant: continued:
  • Once again CBS guilty of "yellow journalism" in slurs against Church, Pius XII and his realtor Father Gumpel
  • Vermont sinks to all time low with gay agenda legislature
  • Cardinal Lopez Trujillo bemoans how homosexual agenda is eating away at the foundation of family
  • The Silence is deafening in Montreal as apathy sets in with media and police over desecration of cathedral
  • Mel Gibson's company producing animated film on Life of Christ for Easter
  • Latest ShipLogs of visitors sailing on the DailyCATHOLIC

  • WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant: continued:

      CBS' 60 Minutes does hatchet job on Pius XII and Vatican priest

         Once again the secular media is out to discredit the Church. This time 60 Minutes aired an atrocious piece last night that demeans not only Pope Pius XII, but his realtor for the pontiff's canonization process Father Peter Gumpel. The latter was accused of anti-Semitism with, of course, no proof! Does CBS' timing seem just a bit left-handed on the eve of John Paul II's historic trip to Israel? Catholic bashing is alive and as vicious as ever! continued inside.

    Accuses Relator of Pius XII's Beatification Cause of Anti-Semitism

        VATICAN CITY, MAR 19 ( News agencies around the world are reporting the supposed anti-Semitic comments of Fr. Peter Gumpel, relator of the cause for Pius XII's beatification. According to the reports, he told CBS television that "it is a fact that the Jews have killed Christ."

        As expected, the news has caused quite a stir, and was picked up by several press agencies in the United States. Before verifying the news, these sources accused Fr. Gumpel of anti-Semitism, to the extent that Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel said: "I am amazed. I'm shocked and outraged. After all, this countryman, this priest who speaks on behalf of the Vatican, is coming up with accusations that are old, and he forgets that we all now live in the 21st century."

        The network has done nothing more than distort Fr. Gumpel's words, quoting them out of context for the purpose of launching a campaign against the Catholic Church on the eve of the Pope's trip to Israel.

        In a press statement yesterday, Fr. Gumpel explained that "In the presentation of the '60 Minutes' program, (which was broadcast last night on Sunday, March 19) the following phrase is attributed to me: 'It is a fact that the Jews have killed Christ. It is an undeniable fact.' This phrase was taken out of context and significantly distorts my position on this important question. In my interview with CBS, I sought to present the teaching of the Second Vatican Council on this matter. In its document 'Nostra Aetate' (n. 4) that Council stated: 'Although the Jewish authorities and their followers pressed for the death of Christ, what was done in His passion, however, cannot be indistinctly imputed to all Jews then living, nor to the Jews of today.' This is the position to which I fully and unreservedly adhere. I firmly reject and disassociate myself from any other interpretation of my words."

        "I also reject the attempt to portray me as being in opposition to the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and the Catholic Church on this whole question," Fr. Gumpel stressed.

        Fr. Gumpel said he spent two hours with the Canadian crew and "they take one sentence, leaving out the context," he said. "I don't think this is honest journalism."

        "We feel very strongly that quote was not taken out of context and we stand by our story," said CBS spokeswoman Sandy Genelius, who added that CBS News officials had read the full transcript.

        In addition to publishing this press statement, Fr. Gumpel wrote a letter to the Editor-in-Chief of CBS in New York, with a copy to the Canadian editorial board, which prepared the service in question, in which he requests an immediate denial and consequent rectification.

        In statements to ZENIT, Fr. Gumpel said, "This accusation of anti-Semitism that they make not only is absurd, but gravely wounds my honor. Such an accusation is totally out of place, as my family was harshly persecuted by the Nazis and, as a result, I myself had to spend the years of my youth outside my country to avoid being killed." ZE00031905

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      Vermont bishop decries narrow passage of legislature that kowtows to gay agenda

         The State House of Representatives in Vermont narrowly passed a bill giving all benefits to same-sex unions and only needs the Senate's approval to become law. It's biggest opponent, Bishop Kenneth Angell of Burlington along with pro-family groups, have cried out against the bill, stating that it represents a mindset that "anything that looks like a marriage and smells like a marriage, is a marriage," even if it goes against all the God-given principles of every culture. Have we learned nothing from history? Didn't Greece and Rome fall because of immorality and not upholding the sanctity of marriage between man and woman? continued inside.


        MONTPELIER ( - The Vermont House of Representatives on Thursday narrowly voted to allow same-sex civil unions, granting all the benefits of marriage without using the name.

        The House voted 76-69 to pass the widest-reaching law on same-sex unions of any state in the US. The state Senate is prepared to pass a similar bill, and Gov. Howard Dean has said he will sign it. The Legislature was ordered to consider the issue by the state Supreme Court in December that same-sex couples were being unconstitutionally denied the benefits of marriage.

        Although the bill contained an amendment specifically stating that marriage is between a man and woman -- a measure to protect other states from having to recognize the unions -- pro-family groups said the new law will effectively set up same-sex marriage. "If it looks like marriage and smells like marriage, then it is marriage -- regardless of how much syrupy language is used," said Janet Parshall of the Family Research Council.

        "This bill is not about the civil rights of a minority," Bishop Kenneth Angell of Burlington said. "This bill is about a minority imposing their concept of morality upon the morality of the majority."

        Same-sex couples will be able to apply for a license from town clerks and have their unions certified by a justice of the peace, judge, or member of the clergy. They would then be entitled to all the same state benefits as married couples, including inheritance, insurance, medical decisions, and taxes. However, the federal government would not recognize the unions and would thus exclude them from such benefits as joint federal tax filings.

      Head of Pontifical Council for the Family decries gay agendas as eating away at the foundation of family

         The President of the Pontifical Council for the Family Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo stated on Vatican Radio that, "to present the union of homosexuals as a kind of value, at the same level as matrimony is an atrocity against the truth of union between man and woman." This comes at a time when many European nations and even some states in America, most prominently Vermont, are trying to decide whether gay unions should be granted the same rights and privileges as heterosexual unions. The gays spiel that this doesn't mean gay marriage but only equal benefits is merely a smokescreen and their ultimate agenda is to make the abnormal normal. continued inside.

    Statements by Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo

        VATICAN CITY, MAR 17 ( "To present the union of homosexuals as a kind of value, at the same level as matrimony, is an attack against the truth of man and woman," Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo stated on Vatican Radio. The Cardinal is president of the Pontifical Council for the Family. He was commenting on the resolution of the European Parliament recommending that its member countries adjust their legislation to give juridical recognition to irregular couples, including persons of the same sex.

        The Cardinal explained that "this is the second time that the European deputies have attempted to offer recommendations with devious interpretations, as it they were talking about rights that must be recognized. In the past, a resolution was already approved that in a certain sense was an attempt to impose it on national Parliaments. Now this is about taking another step, requesting Parliaments to legislate in this direction. The truth is that the family is a necessary good for society -- the family based on matrimony, conceived as the union of love between a man and a woman, a union open to life and integral procreation. The one they call the 'traditional' family."

        "This is the model of the family that is the foundation of society. Otherwise, society will lose its fundamental fabric. It is not something that only relates to religious truth; it is a truth that belongs to the heritage of humanity, to man's profound heart, to natural law. Therefore, to present these unions as a kind of value at the same level as matrimony is an attack against the truth of man and woman," the Colombian Cardinal said emphatically.

        The gravity of the resolution is even greater, because the majority of the countries of the European Union have Constitutions that guarantee total respect for the value of the family according to nature, explained the Cardinal, whose responsibility is to follow closely all issues related to the family. "To ask the Parliaments to make laws that go against the Constitution is a risk, a threat, an attack. Legislators and politicians must listen and talk to families, to the grassroots of society, to all citizens. It is known that the great majority would never support this erroneous interpretation of the family model," Cardinal Lopez Trujillo said.

        Although the Colombian Cardinal did not mention it, his point was born out by a March 7 California referendum. In the U.S. State many would deem most likely to permit homosexual unions, 61% of the voters rejected such an arrangement.

        The Church's opposition to the juridical recognition of irregular or homosexual couples is in no way discriminatory. The issue here is about "respect for the truth," the Cardinal clarified.

        Today, Cardinal Lopez Trujillo published an official statement requesting all European legislators, especially those who are Catholic, "not to favorthis type of legislation that is contrary to the common good and the truth of human beings with their vote ." ZE00031709

      Media and police strangely silent about desecration of Montreal cathedral

         After a vicious attack last week by liberal feminists at Montreal's magnificent Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral, the media remains strangely silent about the incident. Even the authorities have made the atrocity a mere misdemeanor, failing to file charges on the seven women arrested which would result in a "hate crime." While Church officials have asked for prayers and reconciliation in the name of Christ, one has to wonder about the intrinsic display of callousness and apathy expressed in words and deed by both the media and law enforcement. They look the other way when there is Catholic bashing, but If this were Catholics attacking a non-Catholic church would it have been kept so silent? We think not! continued inside.

    Hate Crime Charges Ruled Out

        MONTREAL, MAR 16 (ZENIT).- It has been a little over a week since a group of feminists came into Montreal's Mary Queen of the World Cathedral shouting anti-Catholic slogans and littering it with sanitary napkins, condoms, and women's underwear. Nonetheless, the media in Montreal has been oddly silent about the matter.

        On March 13, Mark Steyn wrote in Toronto's "National Post" about his quest to find the event in the local Montreal paper. The attack was, in fact, reported, but not on the front page, nor in section A at all. A small one-paragraph article was placed on page C9 among the classified ads, the adults-only classified ads, according to Steyn. Apparently the other English-language Montreal paper, "The Globe and Mail," didn't even print that much about it.

    Hate Crime?

        Montreal police charged the seven persons they apprehended with "unlawful assembly," declining to apply such laws in the criminal code as "disrupting a clergyman in the performance of his duties," "interrupting persons assembled for religious worship," "nuisance," "mischief to property," and "theft." Testimony of witnesses would indicate that all of these took place, and all carry a stiffer penalty than unlawful assembly. (Two were charged with assaulting a police officer, however, and another with obstruction.)

        Police ruled out applying Montreal's "hate crimes" law from the start. A spokesman pointed out that the statute exempts discourses made "in good faith, attempting to establish by argument an opinion on a religious subject."

        These vandals burnt crosses on the steps of the cathedral, shouted slogans, and painted the altar with the phrase "Neither God Nor Master" and a pillar outside the cathedral with "Religion, a Trap for Fools." This was, however, judged to be simply an "argument about religion."

        Another "National Post" editorial on March 9 concluded that "Anti-Christian hostility is one of the last acceptable bigotries in Canada. It is observable not only in the bigots and thugs who attacked the cathedral, but also in the federal bureaucrats who instructed mourners at the Swissair crash site to make no mention of Jesus Christ, and in the Ottawa tax department's decertification of Christian charities while secular charities retained their tax-free status."

        Meanwhile, workers at the cathedral have cleaned up the mess. Father Jean-Pierre Couturier, vicar of the Cathedral, thanked Catholics around the world for their prayers, and continued his ministry.

        Dr. Ian Hunter, professor emeritus of law at the University of Western Ontario, summed up his March 12 editorial saying, "There is one reaction to all this that is not understandable -- at least not rationally -- and that is the one that the Church will exemplify, forgiveness. Why? Because even greater indignities were heaped upon Him whom the Church glorifies, and His response was 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.' " ZE00031620

      Mel Gibson producing animated feature on the Life of Christ set for Easter

         Backed by Mel Gibson, who was featured in the last issue in Michael Vincent Boyer's column, and Gibson's company Icon, efforts are underway to complete an animated Life of Christ on Easter Sunday. In a joint effort by Gibson, a Bible Society, Russian puppeteers and the BBC, reverence and authenticity is being stressed in bringing the Word to young people through the wonders of animation and claymation. In a unique twist, the story is being told through the eyes of the daughter of a man whom Jesus raised from the dead. Through an ecumenical international effort with several faiths including Jews and Orthodox experts and a Benedictine priest, Gibson was able to lure name actors at cost to do the voices. continued inside.

    Ecumenical Venture with Russian Puppets

        NEW YORK, MAR 17 ( A Bible Society, Russian puppeteers, Welsh 2D graphics, the BBC, and Mel Gibson's "Icon" film company have joined forces to produce a feature-length animated life of Christ. "The Miracle Maker" will appear on U.S. television on Easter Sunday, but will open in theaters in much of the rest of the world.

        The new film has a number of stars providing the voices of the lead roles: Ralph Fiennes as Jesus, Julie Christie as Rachel, Richard E. Grant as John the Baptist, Miranda Richardson as Mary Magdalene, Ian Holm as Pilate, and William Hurt as Jairus. The actors and screenwriters worked for very low salaries to keep production costs down. "We practically bankrupt ourselves every other year. I don't see any serious revenue for me", declared screenwriter Murray Watts. "What matters is seeing the powerful reactions in people".

        The project is both international and ecumenical. Several Christian denominations, including the Russian Orthodox, contributed their talents, not to mention the Jews. The script editor, Penelope Middleboe, a Catholic, consulted with Fr. Dominic Milroy, O.S.B., to ensure that the text and images are faithful to the spirit of the story of Jesus.

        Murray Watts puts a new spin on the greatest story ever told by telling the tale through the eyes of Tamar, the daughter of Jairus, who was raised from dead by Jesus. "I had to go through a radical unlearning to become that little child Tamar", he says. "What is required is that you bring all that you are, the truth of your own response, the feeling-life of yourself as author." ZE00031721

         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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