TUESDAY     May 2, 2000    vol. 11, no. 85    SECTION THREE

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WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a CATHOLIC slant continued:
  • Attendance bound to break all records in May at Vatican
  • Trepidatious Filipino soldiers search for hostages in booby-trapped tunnels in mountains of Basilan
  • Book on Holocaust blames group of American Orthodox Jews for not coming to the aid of European Jews
  • Did Archbishop of Westminster put his foot in his mouth with comments about changing celibacy laws?
  • Latest ShipLogs of visitors sailing on the DailyCATHOLIC

  • WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a CATHOLIC slant continued:


        VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- The city of Rome is expecting 2.7 million visitors during May 2000-- making that month the busiest month of the Jubilee year.

        May is regarded as an ideal month for visits to Rome from the standpoint of the favorable weather. But the special events of the Jubilee year have added considerably to the city's appeal. May 1 marks the special Jubilee for workers; May 18 will be the Jubilee for priests (as well as the Pope's 80th birthday); the Jubilee of the Rome diocese itself will be celebrated on May 28.

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        ZAMBOANGA, Philippines (CWNews.com) - Philippine soldiers on Monday searched a mountainous region in the south of the country for 27 Catholic hostages after they overran a Muslim rebel camp and did not find them there.

        The Abu Sayyaf rebel group has been holding the hostages, most of them children, for more than a month as they demanded the release of terrorists jailed in the US and the Philippines. After they beheaded two of their captives -- two male teachers -- two weeks ago, the army launched a major offensive against the rebels' mountain stronghold.

        "At present, we are scouring the area inch-by-inch but there is no more exchange of fire," Colonel Hajma Hailil, an army spokesman, told Reuters. "They have found three tunnels ... that's the problem, we don't know where the hostages are," he said, adding troops were being very careful because "there may still be landmines there."

        Hailil said the soldiers had not yet searched the main tunnel at the base, high up on the mountain.

        Meanwhile, the same Muslim rebel group has separately kidnapped 21 people from the nearby Malaysian tourist island of Jolo. The group includes 10 foreign tourists, including three Germans, two Frenchmen, two South Africans, two Finns, one Lebanese, and a Filipina. Hostage negotiators report that many of the captives are ill and in need of medical attention.

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      Book Released on the Feast of Shoah that points finger at Orthodox American Jews for ignoring plight of European Jews during Holocaust

         For once a book on the Holocaust has come out that does not lambast poor Pope Pius XII. This time the book "The Response of Orthodox Jewry in the U.S. Holocaust" contends that ultra-Orthodox elements of the Jewish Community in America were more interested in saving a few Talmudic scholars, thus ignoring the cries for help from millions of Jews being persecuted. The author, himself a Jew, evidences in his book how these Orthodox Jews channeled scarce funds to these Talmudic scholars weven when they were safe, thus hindering further efforts to rescue Jews under the Nazi regime. The author does not blame Jews per se, but points directly to Nazism as the sole cause of the Holocaust with no finger pointing at Piux XII. continued inside.

    To Save a Few Hundred Scholars, Sacrificed Millions

        NEW YORK, APR 30 (ZENIT).- A new book, "The Response of Orthodox Jewry in the United States to the Holocaust," contends that the ultra-Orthodox elements of the Jewish community in the U.S. were so concerned with saving the lives of a small group of Talmudic scholars that they ignored the cries for help of millions of other Jews.

        The rabbis of the Rescue Committee feared that if this tiny group of Polish scholars were lost, the Jewish religion would have vanished with them. Holocaust historian Efraim Zuroff claims in the book that the rabbis worked at cross purposes to other Jewish groups, which sought to influence American politicians to save as many Jews as possible.

        Members of the Orthodox branch of Judaism, like Rabbi Menahem Porush, defend the actions of their predecessors, who were only trying to rescue those close to them. "No one has to teach us, who live according to the Torah, the meaning of 'Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,' " he said.

        Zuroff shows in his book how the rabbis funneled scarce funds to the scholars even after they were safely in exile. The funds were used to support their full-time studies, even as other Jews were being executed in the camps. The author claims that these funds were extorted from mainstream groups and transfered to Europe by shady means.

        The author does not, however, blame the Rescue Committee for the deaths of Jews. "What actually cost the lives of Jews was that Nazis and their collaborators murdered them," he explained to the Associated Press. However, he contended that their "tunnel vision" had hindered rescue efforts.

        The book will be officially released this Tuesday to coincide with Israel's Holocaust Memorial Day. ZE00043021

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      New Bishop of Westminster at eye of storm over priestly celibacy

        The secular media in Britain and the U.S. are having a field day over remarks made by the new Archbishop of Westminster Archbishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor. Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, he said that celibacy within the priesthood is a solid teaching of the Church, but is also open to change, considering that many married Anglican priests have been accepted into the Roman Catholic priesthood. His remarks have, as usual, been taken out of context.continued inside.


        LONDON (CWNews.com) - Secular media in Britain and the US highlighted the newly-installed Archbishop of Westminster's comments on celibacy on the priesthood as controversial on Monday although he did not deviate from constant Church teaching.

        Archbishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, who succeeded the late Cardinal Basil Hume as the leader of Catholics in England and Wales, told the Guardian newspaper that celibacy for priests is a discipline that could be changed. Pointing out that the Church has already accepted married Anglican clergy who have left the Church of England, Archbishop Murphy-O'Connor said: "Disciplines can change. When a priest accepts celibacy when he is ordained that rule should be kept. But is it (marriage) incompatible with priesthood? The answer is obviously no. I would not rule it out."

        Asked about the controversy over the repeal of a law prohibiting the promotion of homosexuality in schools, the archbishop said Catholics should concentrate on teaching chastity to their children, in marriage and outside of it. "People should try to understand what the Church is saying," he said. "Society can't divorce sex from marriage and children. I am not going to make a judgment about a couple, that is not my job and ... I would encourage tolerance, but if people are in a relationship outside marriage, heterosexual or homosexual, that is not right."

        "If you want happiness and a stable society you must provide real encouragement to marriage. Stability for children is crucial," he added. "It is unfair to put all the responsibility of the law on teachers and tell them they have to do all the work. They should be backed up by parents and the culture."

        Archbishop Murphy-O'Connor also said he did not believe traditional Christian faiths had become irrelevant to people today. "I don't think these are particularly bad times for the Church in this country. People are going to be Christians these days because they really believe, not because their parents were," he said.

        He said the Church and her clergy must adapt to changing cultural conditions and look at them as opportunities. "The Church must always reform and there is always room for development but there is a heritage handed down which the Church must always be sensitive to. It has to relate its faith to changing conditions, times and cultures. It cannot be static or fundamentalist, nor liberal, but must be faithful as it marches on its pilgrim way. It has to teach truths in different circumstances."

         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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    May 2, 2000     volume 11, no. 85
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