WEDNESDAY     March 22, 2000    vol. 11, no. 58    SECTION THREE

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SECTION THREE Contents: Go immediately to the article:
WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant:
  • Reminder: EWTN and MSNBC providing coverage of Pope's "Jubilee Journey"
  • Ancient artifacts and soil from Abraham's home presented to Pope
  • Will Moslims disrupt flow of traffic for Pope's Mass at Mount of Beatitudes on Friday?
  • Prime Minister's Catholic wife sticking foot in her mouth and may not be able to extract it as far as the Church is concerned
  • Cardinal Winning continues fight to save sanctity of marriage throughout Britain and Europe
  • Taiwanese bishops cautiously optimistic after elections
  • Latest ShipLogs of visitors sailing on the DailyCATHOLIC

  • WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant:

      Today in the Holy Land:

          Today the Holy Father travels to Bethlehem now occupied by Palestine where the people enthusiastically await him and, after a brief visit to Jericho, he will celebrate a Papal Mass in Manger Square outside the Basilica of the Nativity then visit a medieval like refugee camp before meeting with Yasser Arafat. He will return in the early evening to Jerusalem. For more coverage of Day Three, see tomorrow's issue.


        VATICAN ( -- The Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) is providing live broadcast coverage of Pope John Paul's trip to the Holy Land.

        The EWTN coverage, available in both English and Spanish, will be broadcast across America's largest religious cable network, which now reaches into 58 million homes, and is available in Europe, Latin America, and the Pacific Rim. Much of the same coverage will also be available through the EWTN's worldwide short-wave radio service, and on the EWTN web site:

        Beginning on Monday, March 10, with live coverage of the Pope's arrival in Jordan beginning at 6:30 AM, the EWTN coverage will also include live coverage and daily reprises according to the following schedule:

      Monday, March 20: 6:30AM 9:00AM (live); 1PM and 8PM (repeat)
      Tuesday, March 21: 2:00AM-11:30AM (live); 1PM 11PM (repeat)
      Wednesday, March 22: 1:00AM 11:30AM (live); 1PM 11PM (repeat)
      Thursday, March 23: 1:30AM 11:30AM (live); 1PM 11PM (repeat)
      Friday, March 24: 2:30AM 11:00AM (live); 1PM-9:30PM (repeat)
      Saturday, March 25: 2:30AM 11:30AM (live); 1:30PM-10PM (repeat)
      Sunday, March 26: 2:30AM-5:30AM (live); 12:30PM-1:30PM (live); 1:30PM and 8:PM (repeat)

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        AMMAN, Jordan (FIDES/ -- Although he was unable to make the pilgrimage he had hoped to make to Ur of the Chaldeans, Pope John Paul II was finally able to touch the soil of that land, in modern-day Iraq, on March 21.

        During his stay in Amman, Jordan, the Holy Father met with two Chaldean Catholic bishops from Iraq, who presented him with a handful of soil from Ur, and a few brick fragments that were said to be taken from the home of Abraham.

        The Iraqi delegation, which traveled to Jordan especially for the presentation, consisted of Bishops Djibrail Kassab of Bassora (the diocese in which Ur is situated) and Emmanuel Karim Dally, an auxiliary to the Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon, Raphael I Bidawid.

        The Patriarch-- who could not make the trip to Jordan, because he was in Rome with a delegation of Chaldean Catholics celebrating their Jubilee there- - asked the Iraqi bishops to assure the Holy Father of the affection of all Iraqi Catholics. Patriarch Bidawid told Fides: "The bishops will offer the soil and bricks to the Pope, reminding him that the Church in Iraq deeply desires the Pope to visit Ur". Insisting that such a visit is still possible for some time in the future, the Patriarch recalled: "John Paul II has not renounced his pilgrimage to Ur of the Chaldeans, and we will do our utmost to make it possible."

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        TEL AVIV ( - A dispute over a mosque in the Israeli town of Tiberias will receive international attention on Friday when Pope John Paul II celebrates Mass nearby at the Mount of the Beatitudes.

        Israeli Arabs have recently begun returning to Tiberias on Fridays to pray in the mosque there, abandoned since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. Last Friday, fighting broke out between Muslims and Jewish residents seeking to prevent them from returning. On Tuesday, police asked the Muslims not to pray at the mosque Friday, but the group refused.

        "We asked (the Muslims) not to come, and we spoke to them to make sure the pope's visit will not be disturbed," police spokesman Boaz Goldberg said. He would not say what police planned to do if the Muslims insist on praying.

        A spokesman for the town said no Arabs lived in Tiberias and the prayers at the mosque are a pure provocation. He said residents will continue to prevent Muslims from praying there.

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        LONDON ( - British Prime Minister Tony Blair's wife, Cherie Booth, last night called for legal rights given to unmarried heterosexual unions to be extended to same-sex couples.

        Speaking to fellow lawyers at King's College, London, Booth, a Catholic and a top-ranking employment lawyer, said: "The courts for some time have been indicating that legislators need to revisit this area. I do not think this issue is going to go away."

        She told the seminar homosexual people are not protected under the Rent Act of 1977 which recognizes unmarried heterosexual couples as "spouses" but not homosexual couples. She also asked if such discrimination was socially desirable.

        Booth also called for changes in the law to improve the burden on women in the workplace, and called on employers to find ways of implementing family-friendly practices, such as flexible working hours, job-share schemes, term-time working for parents, and improved child-care.

        "Women are not on an equal footing with men," she said. "This is confounded by the legal system which has not developed quickly enough to deal effectively with this type of discrimination. That is the situation now but one I believe will change in the future, because of necessity."

        Booth said she believes homosexuals will have greater job security when the Human Rights Act comes into effect later this year.

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        GLASGOW ( - Cardinal Thomas Winning of Glasgow Monday stressed the importance of marriage to society after the European Parliament resolved to give same-sex partnerships the same rights as married couples.

        A Vatican communique, published on Friday, said that recognizing same-sex unions in this way would be "a serious error" and that "legislators and especially Catholic parliamentarians must not favor with their vote this type of legislation since it runs contrary to the common good."

        Nora Radcliffe, an influential Member of the Scottish Parliament has already voiced her backing for the legislation. But Cardinal Winning yesterday warned the Scottish Parliament against following the example of their European colleagues.

        "We know attempts are being made to redefine the family to include same sex relationships and that the ultimate aim is to have these arrangements recognized by law," he said. "This alarms all families in Scotland. The marriage-based family is the foundation stone on which this nation has been built."

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      Taiwan at crossroads and her bishops are keeping a watchful eye on their flocks

         In the aftermath of the euphoria of the elections last week, reality is setting back in in Taiwan as riot squads have been called out and mainland China casts a dark, forboding shadow over this small island nation that yearns for independence. While this is the wish of her Catholic bishops there, they hope the ouster of the corrupt previous regime and the unanimous vote against communism will not weaken Taiwan and their new, open president Chen Shui-Bian. continued inside.

    Victory against Communist China and Corruption

        TAIPEI, MAR 19 ( The people of Taiwan have voted for an honest government that will support their great economic development and independent character, regardless of China, their elder sister and continental colossus that claims the island's annexation, threatening the use of canons on this island where nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek sought refuge after his defeat by Mao Tse Tung's revolutionary army.

        Taiwan's Bishops have spoken about the electoral process that gave victory to Chen Shui-Bian, a young lawyer from Taiwan, who is the leader of the Progressive Democratic Party, promoting independence from China. Because of his charisma, the 49-year-old was very successful as mayor of Taipei.

        The elections took place yesterday. Prior to that, Cardinal Paul Shan Kuoshi, Bishop of Kaohsiung and president of the Taiwan Regional Episcopal Conference, said to the international agency "Fides": "We hope that the future president will be an honest man, who will know how to improve Taiwan's internal affairs, not only at the material level, but also the spiritual, promoting ethical, moral and spiritual values in society. He must be a man with a broad mind, who establishes contact with Beijing, uses dialogue and finds a peaceful solution for relations with China, without thinking of war. We need a leader of good will for the good of the Chinese populations of both sides."

        In addition, the Episcopal Conference published a letter before the elections entitled, "Great Elections, Great Directions," emphasizing the importance of this convocation. In the title, the message summarized the position of the Taiwanese Church: to encourage Catholics to participate in the elections, to choose a president who will work for the good of society and to promote dialogue and peace with China.

        The candidate chosen was the most feared by the neighboring giant, which immediately showed signs of force against the small island. In his campaign Chen said that his country and China must "have special international relations," a statement that choked the Beijing authorities. After 50 years of separation, they continue to call Taiwan "the rebel province." Nonetheless, the newly elected president has stated that he wants to improve relations with China. Beijing said he is lying and, as it did 4 years ago, when the reelection of outgoing President Lee Teng-hui was being planned, has not stopped threatening an invasion.

        The Cardinal's petition for an honest man was not without meaning. With Lee Teng-hui, a member of the old guard, 50 years of power and corruption of the Kuomintang (the nationalist government created by Chiang Kai-shek) will disappear.

        Chen, who won the elections with barely 39% of the vote, needs alliances with all the parties to implement his program to clean up political and economic life. ZE00031902

         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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    March 22, 2000     volume 11, no. 58
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