TUESDAY     March 28, 2000    vol. 11, no. 62    SECTION THREE

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SECTION THREE Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • Priests to celebrate Jubilee in Rome on Pope's 80th birthday
  • Congress set to try again to ban partial-birth abortions
  • Filipino Muslims muscling Vatican to negotiate release of hostages
  • Collision course on curriculum if Islam taught in Indonesian Catholic schools bishops assert
  • Oh say can you see students want to pray at high school sporting events!
  • Bean town counting the days till youth come together in Fenway for Pilgrimage 2000
  • Latest ShipLogs of visitors sailing on the DailyCATHOLIC

  • WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant:


        VATICAN CITY, 29 (NE) Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, informed in a recent interview published by the Italian daily Avvenire about the preparations for the Jubilee of priests. The Cardinal recalled that this Jubilee will begin on May 14 and will finish on May 18, day of the 80th birthday of Pope John Paul II.

        Cardinal Castrillon stated that preparations for this Jubilee began 4 years ago with the international encounter of priests in Fatima (1996). After this event, this "Marian pilgrimage" has continued, in Yamassoukro (1997), Guadalupe (1998) and last year in the Holy Land. "On this occasion the pilgrimage reaches its final goal in Rome, to cross the Holy Door."

        The Cardinal also stated that this Jubilee will be a very special occasion for its participants to recall and deepen in the truth that "all priests act in the name and in the persons of Christ." This is also an occasion to "renew the joyful conscience of the marvelous gift God has granted us in priesthood," Cardinal Castrillon remarked.

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      Will the third time be the charm for finally banning partial birth abortion?

         While many pro-abort groups are hopefully gasping their last breath, pro-life groups are praying that on April 4, the United States House of Representatives will, on their third attempt, try to pass a law that will be veto-proof a law that bans partial-birth abortions. Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey from Texas hopes this time that if it doesn't garner the necessary majority to override the veto that Bill Clinton will search his heart and not veto this merciful measure, as he has done twice before. continued inside.


        WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - The House of Representatives will vote on a proposed ban on partial-birth abortions on April 5, the third time Congress will attempt to ban the gruesome procedure.

        President Clinton has twice vetoed a ban and the Senate was unable to muster enough votes for a two-thirds majority to override.

        House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, said today that the House will return to the issue because "this barbaric procedure has no place in a civilized society." Armey said he hoped "the president will search his heart and do the right thing this time."

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      Filipino Muslims make demands of the Vatican over hostage situation

         Muslim rebels in the Philippines, who are holding a number of Catholic School children hostage, have demanded that the Vatican act as mediator in this horrendous affair. While Claretian Father Carlos Rivas has stated that the Vatican cannot engage in talks directly, it is more than willing to act for the good of the people. The situation is tense, and the Holy Father addressed this issue after his general audience Wednesday in Rome. continued inside.


        BASILAN, Philippines (CWNews.com/Fides) - Muslim rebels in the southern Philippines have demanded the Vatican act as mediators in negotiations to release Catholic students, teachers, and a priest kidnapped last week.

        "The rebels want to talk with a representative of the Vatican," said Father Carlos Rivas, provincial superior of the Claretian missionaries in the Philippines, who for eight days has been negotiating with a band of separatist kidnappers.

        A Muslim group calling itself Al Harukatul, led by rebel leader Abu Sayyaf, is holding 33 hostages, including Filipino Father Rhoel Gallardo, 34, also a Claretian. The kidnapping took place on March 20 on Basilan island.

        The guerillas forced their way into the Claret School in Tumahubong village and then three other schools in the area, taking more than 50 hostages, including headmaster Father Rhoel Gallardo, who is also a parish priest. The separatists are part of Muslim guerilla groups fighting for independence in the southern Philippines.

        Father Angelo Calvo, confrere and close co-worker of Father Gallardo, said: "We must make it clear to the kidnappers that the Vatican cannot engage in talks directly. The local Church can and has the necessary autonomy and can act for the good of the people." Immediately after the kidnapping, Bishop Romulo De la Cruz of Isabela on Basilan and Father Carlos Rivas went to express solidarity with the families of the hostages and try to negotiate.

        "When we reached Tumahubong," Father Rivas said, "we found many in the little church praying for the hostages. Our presence gave them new courage. They need moral support in this tragic situation."

        "I spoke to some of the teachers and students," Father Rivas said. "A group of Muslim children told me they saved a Christian teacher by giving him a school uniform to wear and mixing him up with the students, so the rebels didn't notice he was a teacher."

        During his General Wednesday Audience Pope John Paul II launched an appeal for an end to fighting in Mindanao, voicing "closeness and solidarity with the families who are suffering in this situation."

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      More clashes could be looming in Indonesia over Muslim being taught in Catholic Schools as Bishops put brakes to such a project

         Government pressure in Jakarta, Indonesia to have the Islam religion taught in Catholic schools received a vehement veto yesterday from the Catholic Bishops of the region. It is surprising that government officials are pushing such a curriculum and hounding Catholic schools into such a defensive position considering the amiable meeting President Wahid had with the Holy Father a few months ago. Yet the government is threatening to remove any and all government-funded teachers from the Catholic Schools if they don't comply. Maybe that's a blessing in disguise. After all it's not the first time the Catholic Faith has been violated and persecuted. But what is doubly frustrating is that the Church built these schools and the Muslims are trying to take over. continued inside.


        JAKARTA (CWNews.com/Fides) - The curriculum in Catholic schools in Indonesia will not include Islamic instruction, the Indonesian Catholic Bishops Conference said this week, rejecting government pressure in the most populous Muslim nation in the world.

        In October 1999, the Ministers of Education and Religious Affairs sent a joint letter to Catholic schools requesting that instruction in the Muslim faith be added to the school program. The proposal was motivated by the fact that 40 percent of the pupils at Catholic schools are Muslim.

        Jesuit Father Sumaryo, head of the Bishops Conference's Education Commission, said: "Islamic instruction is practically unfeasible in Catholic schools. The controversy of possibly teaching Islamic instruction for the Muslims students, who frequented Catholic schools, has been the concern of Catholic headmasters, particularly in Yogyakarta, one of the cradles of the Catholic community in Indonesia, but all attempts failed."

        Sister Antoni Hari Surwidiyanti, PIJ, the principal of the Sang Timur high school in Yogyakarta, said government officials have strongly urged her, along with dozens of colleagues from other Catholic schools, to teach Islam. "I refused because this pressure stems from a unilateral decision," she said. Sister Margaretha Surani CB, added that government officials have threatened to remove some government-subsidized teachers from the Christian schools, and put bureaucratic pressure on diverse services for these schools.

        Father Pujasumarta, vicar general of Semarang diocese, said that in keeping with the teaching of Vatican II, the local Church seeks to enhance relations with and understanding of other religions. "However," he said, "if Islamic instruction is eventually taught in Catholic schools, the private schools must be guaranteed the right to appoint who teaches this religious instruction."

        "What we object to is that such pressure against the Catholic schools has been politically motivated as sectarian tendency emerged among the people in the country," he added. "The Bishop's call to enhance religious harmony has also been twisted into demanding Islamic instruction in Catholic schools," he said referring to the content of unsigned leaflets widespread among the people in Central Java.

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      How close are we to prayer in schools and at football games? It's in Supreme Courts' court!

         The United States Supreme Court today heard testimony in the case of the Santa Fe Independent School District in Texas where a school district allows prayers to be said before gridiron games on Friday nights. After all, high school football is a religion unto itself in the lone star state. The school district's defense is "neutral" regarding what words are said and by whom, thus not violating the First Amendment of the Constitution. continued inside.


        WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - The US Supreme Court on Wednesday heard arguments in case involving a Texas public school district and its policy allowing a student to lead prayers before football games.

        The Santa Fe Independent School District policy officially allows the student body to elect a representatives to deliver any "message or invocation" before games. Three families challenged the policy because it compels their children to listen to and engage in religious speech they consider offensive.

        Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice, representing the school district, told the court that the policy was "neutral as to whether the speech was religious or secular" and as such does not violate the establishment clause of the Constitution.

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        BOSTON, 29 (NE) "Pilgrimage 2000" is the name of an ambitious program to culminate on April in Boston, gathering youth from all over the Archdiocese for an encounter with the Lord Jesus. It will be "a remarkable spiritual renewal effort for all Catholic teenagers, college-age students, and young adults," recently said Cardinal Bernard Law, Archbishop of Boston, commenting on Pilgrimage 2000.

        As the Cardinal himself explained, on Saturday, April 29, 2000, there will be a culminating celebration of Pilgrimage 2000. The event will begin with the morning gathering of participants in a Welcome Area on the Boston Common. This area will include musical and other performances, games, displays for various Catholic organizations, areas for Eucharistic adoration, confession, and vocation information, food, and other activities.

        After mid-day, there will be a great march by all the participants from the Boston Common to Fenway Park. At Fenway Park, the afternoon program will include inspirational speakers, musical performances, witness talks by young people, and a interaction with all the participants. The celebration will climax with a Mass, at which a representative group of teenagers, college students and young adults will be baptized, confirmed, and will receive their First Holy Communion.

        "It is my hope and prayer," said the Archbishop of Boston, "that the thousands of young people who will be gathered with me at Fenway Park on April 29 will commit themselves to a life of ongoing formation and education." "It is essential for all of us to recognize more clearly our responsibility to grow in our knowledge of the faith and to deepen our participation in the life of grace," he further emphasized. On September last year, 22.000 young people gathered with the Cardinal at Foxboro Stadium, in a event of preparation for Pilgrimage 2000.

         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. 57
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