THURSDAY
March 23, 2000
volume 11, no. 59
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at 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.

ARREST FOR CURSE ON POPE; YOUTHS THROW ROCKS AT PALESTINIAN POLICE

    JERUSALEM (CWNews.com) - Israeli police on Wednesday arrested an ultra-Orthodox Jew for placing a death curse on Pope John Paul II, similar to a curse placed on slain Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin before his assassination in 1995.

    The suspect, Meir Baranes, has a criminal record, according to police who said he will be held under a court order until the end of the papal visit on Sunday. Baranes, and a fringe group of ultra-Orthodox Jews placed the curse on the Pope at a midnight rite at a cemetery in northern Israel, the official said.

    Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinian youths threw stones at Palestinian Authority police after the Holy Father visited a refugee camp today. Witnesses said police tried to push back curious onlookers and beat several of them with batons. In response, the crowd threw stones at the police, highlighting increasing discontent with PLO leader Yasser Arafat's rule.

    After the initial clash died down, others tried to smash the police barricades set up for the papal visit. Hundreds of protesters marched in the streets as demonstrators and police alike fired shots in the air.

    Earlier, in Bethlehem's Manger Square, the papal Mass was briefly interrupted by the Muslim call to prayer. As the Holy Father finished his homily, the muezzin at the Omar Mosque on the side of the square began his noon-time call of "Allahu Akbar" or "Glory to God." The Pope and thousands of worshippers waited for several minutes in prayerful silence until the prayer call ended.

    Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the brief interruption of the Mass underscored religious coexistence. "It was just something that happened in a very mutual and respectful way," Navarro-Valls said, noting that the starting time of the Mass had been delayed.

    Latin-rite Patriarch Michel Sabbah spoke of the unifying symbolism of the Muslim call to prayer in the middle of a Catholic liturgy. "We spoke of love and the muezzin said Allah Akbar and both are an assertion of Muslim and Christian unity within this city," said the patriarch.

          

March 23, 2000
volume 11, no. 59
NEWS & VIEWS

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