THURSDAY     March 23, 2000    vol. 11, no. 59    SECTION FOUR

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WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant: continued:
  • Pope makes quiet visit to west bank Baptism site
  • Archbishop Cormac officially installed in Westminster
  • Ugandan bishop makes clear priest involved in terrible suicide tragedy had been excommunicated
  • Latest ShipLogs of visitors sailing on the DailyCATHOLIC

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


        JERUSALEM ( -- Before reaching Bethlehem on March 22 to celebrate Mass at the Basilica of the Nativity, Pope John Paul II made a short, quiet trip to the place near Jericho that is traditionally believed to be the site of Christ's baptism.

        The Pope's visit-- which was deliberately downplayed, because of the intense emotions surrounding the ancient town of Jericho-- allowed just enough time for the Holy Father to comment on the significance of Baptism. Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the apostolic nuncio in the Holy Land and one of the few people to accompany the Pontiff on his visit, described a "very simple, but powerfully moving" ceremony, which was an important part of the Pope's personal pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

        In his prayers and remarks at the Jordan River site, the Pope also spoke of Jericho, referring to the ancient city as "a flourishing oasis in the desert." He prayed that "that city, so rich in memories, will also be rich in promise for the future."

        One day earlier, the Pontiff had visited another site, on the Jordanian side of the river, which is also claimed to be the spot where Jesus was baptized. The Pope declined to become involved in the argument over which site has a stronger claim.

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        LONDON ( - Archbishop Cormac Murphy O'Connor was installed as the tenth Archbishop of Westminster at 11 am this morning in an historic ceremony.

        The actual moment of installation was movingly simple. He was shown to the throne which has stood in the Westminster Cathedral for just over 100 years and he was handed his crozier by Bishop Vincent Nichols who has administered the diocese since Cardinal Hume's death and will next week be installed as Archbishop of Birmingham.

        Attending the two-hour Mass were priests and people from the archbishop's old and new dioceses and well as the Prime Minister's wife, Cherie Booth, and the Duchess of Kent, a convert to Catholicism.

        In his inaugural homily, Archbishop Cormac -- as he is already popularly known -- said: "I have no time for prophets of gloom. I do not believe these are gloomy times for the Catholic Church in our country. When the skies are dark the light shines more brightly. For those who follow Jesus Christ there is the assurance that in Him, God has visited his people."

        Welcoming the many representatives of other Christian denominations, the archbishop said that while there were "obstacles and the difficulties," the path to Christian unity "is like a road with no exit, a pilgrimage of grace we make together. More and more it seems to me that all of us who profess Jesus Christ must speak with one voice to give witness to him in this strange and wonderful new world in which we live."

        As he left the cathedral, Archbishop Cormac spent a few moments speaking to Mrs. Blair before setting off on an impromptu walk-about, shaking hands with members of the crowd and being congratulated by passers-by.

        Last night, the new archbishop was welcomed by the priests and people of his new diocese. At both occasions he spoke informally and created ripples of laughter. He thanked the congregation for welcoming him "to your archdiocese -- I mean, our archdiocese. I mustn't make that mistake again." He also began today's homily by pointing out that the bookmakers had only given him odds of 25-1 of being named archbishop.

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      Priest who led suicide mission in Uganda had been excommunicated by retired bishop

         After the shocking news of the mass suicide in Uganda, retired Bishop John Baptist Kakube of Mbarara said he had earlier excommunicated the former priest who was the leader of the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments who committed mass suicide similar to the Jim Jones tradgedy in Guyana several decades ago. There were two other priests who followed leader Joseph Kibwetere but they had not been excommunicated. A deep grief hangs over the people of Uganda and that sadness is magnified in knowing that the Church, by law, cannot hold Masses for the diseased members who took their own lives. continued inside.


        KAMPALA, Uganda ( - A retired Ugandan bishop said on Tuesday he had excommunicated the former priest who apparently led more than 500 people in a mass murder-suicide last weekend.

        Retired Bishop John Baptist Kakubi of Mbarara said he excommunicated Joseph Kibwetere, founder of the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments, after the former priest claimed to be able to talk to God and refused to submit to the bishop's authority. Kibwetere is presumed to have died with his followers after they barricaded themselves in a church and set it afire after their doomsday prophecy's did not come true.

        Kakubi said he never suspended the two priests, Fathers Dominic Kataribabo and Joseph Kasapuraru, who were Kibwetere's colleagues in the cult. He said he only suspended them for being disobedient to him when he was bishop. "I did not excommunicate the two priests but only suspended them because they were disobedient and refused to recognize me as the bishop of their diocese," he said.

        "I was grossly disappointed to hear that Dominic Kataribabo, a man with a Doctorate in Theology, had decided to follow Kibwetere's teachings," he said.

        Meanwhile, the current bishop of Mbarara said the victims of the fire should not receive funeral Masses. "No Mass will be celebrated in the affected families and churches until further communication," a three-line statement signed by Father Sebastian Tumusiime, the archbishop's personal secretary, said.

        Bishop Bakyenga also endorsed a March 18 statement by Bishop Robert Gay of Kabale to all priests in the diocese that routine prayers may be said for the departed. "The normal burial should take place and where possible, a priest or a catechist should attend prayers for the departed and for his family and friends," Bishop Gay said.

         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 23, 2000     volume 11, no. 59
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