THURSDAY     March 9, 2000    vol. 11, no. 49    SECTION THREE

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  • Taiwan feeling pressure, expresses fears Vatican will turn away in favor of Beijing but we don't think so
  • Colorado Buffalo basketball coach silenced from praying with players as ACLU goes to ridiculous lengths
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    • Will the Vatican turn their back on Taiwan in order to court Red China? We say no!

         Taiwan's Vice Foreign Minister told reporters that the Vatican may soon open communications with mainland China, but senior Taiwan officials denied it vehemently. While all parties are denying the possibility of any diplomat ties between Beijing and Rome because of the vast philosophical void, the active mood in government circles is fearful it could be made in the future, but the Vatican would never accept shutting out Taiwan or the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Church if it were not in union with Rome. continued inside.


        TAIPEI ( - Senior Taiwanese officials on Wednesday denied reports that their ambassador to the Vatican said the Holy See planned to switch diplomatic relations to Communist China soon.

        Vice Foreign Minister David Lee said Ambassador Raymond Tai denies telling the United Daily News that "very soon both sides would establish diplomatic relations." The Vatican, Taiwain, and China have denied rumors of such a change since last year.

        China regards Taiwan as a breakaway province and will not maintain full diplomatic relations with countries that also have those relationships with Taiwan. In addition, the Communist Chinese government requires Christians to worship only in state-controlled associations, including the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, which eschews any connections to the Vatican or the Pope. Many Catholics worship in illegal, underground churches, following only bishops appointed by the Pope.

        Lee said Tai had been misquoted by the newspaper, but Lee conceded that the situation has become very active and said Taiwan has "to step up efforts to cement ties with the Holy See."

        "It is still not clear who is going to win the diplomatic battle," Lee said. "Religious freedom and the Holy See's right to ordain Catholic bishops in the mainland remained major barriers ... and these problems are not expected to be resolved easily."

        Beijing has said the Vatican must sever its diplomatic relations with Taiwan, and stop interfering in what it said was China's internal affairs through ministering to Chinese Catholics if the links are to be normalized.

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      Colorado head cage coach on hot seat for praying with his players and for teammate's fallen sister at Columbine

         The ACLU is at it again, this time in Boulder, Colorado where Bill McCartney founded the Christian "Promisekeepers" movement. Presently under the gun is Ricardo Patton, the head basketball coach of the Colorado Buffalo varsity cage team who has been ordered not to pray with his players prior to games. They don't take into consideration what he and the team are praying for: the slain sister of one of the player's who was a victim of the Columbine shootings. Coming to Patton's defense - the Rutherford Institute out of Virginia. Our question to the ACLU: Would they rather have prayer or guns and violence? We pray justice will be served and God honored. continued inside.


        DENVER ( - The head basketball coach of the University of Colorado in Boulder has received an order from the Colorado ACLU to stop praying with his players or face a lawsuit.

        Ricardo Patton received the letter from the state branch of the left-wing American Civil Liberties Union on February 22, but the Rutherford Institute, a Virginia-based civil liberties organization, has come to his defense. Members of the team have reportedly gathered in a circle for prayer after practices with and without the presence of Patton.

        On at least one occasion, the players reportedly prayed for teammate Josh Townsend and his family after the loss of his sister, Lauren, one of students killed in the Columbine High School shootings.

        "Free exercise of religion was one of the most important factors in the founding of this country," said John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute. "That the ACLU would attack Coach Patton for supporting his players in doing something they feel is right, which in this case happens to be praying, is unfortunate. The First Amendment clearly protects the rights of adults who want to pray together voluntarily on a public university campus."

         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 9, 2000     volume 11, no. 49
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