Monday thru Friday on the

See why so many consider the
Daily CATHOLIC as the
"USA Today for CATHOLICS!"

THURSDAY      December 10, 1998      SECTION TWO       vol 9, no. 239

To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE

Events Today in Church History

     On this date in 1979, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, the epitome of what a bishop should be and a friend to every American, died in New York City at the age of 84. Through out the fifties and early sixties this charismatic prelate came into American homes at prime time on network television with his popular "Life is Worth Living" series, armed only with the truth, a wisdom for explaining it simply, and a chalkboard. Ever since he retired, the Church in America just hasn't been the same nor has there been a single American authority with the same kind of stature and respect. For other events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

Historical Events in Church Annals for December 10:

NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World News Service



      HAVANA ( - Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston on Tuesday praised changes in Communist Cuba since an historic visit by Pope John Paul II earlier this year and called for diplomatic compromises from both Havana and Washington.

      The cardinal said he spoke with Cuban President Fidel Castro and other Cuban leaders for three hours over dinner on Monday night. "It was a dinner of friendship, of respect," he said. The cardinal has made several trips to the Caribbean nation in recent years, and is currently making a four-day visit at the invitation of Cardinal Jaime Ortega of Havana.

      Among the changes praised by the cardinal are a recent decision to make Christmas a legal holiday and to allow 40 more foreign priest and religious workers to enter the country. "These are steps. What is essential is the institutionalization of change, like with the Christmas holiday .... It's not enough to grant concessions," Cardinal Law said. But he called for even more religious freedom and human rights.

      The cardinal also called for an end to the 36-year-old embargo of Cuba by the United States. "[The embargo] achieves nothing for Cuban society, and lifting the embargo could have a very positive effect ... for young and old, men and women on this island," he said.


      DETROIT ( - A Michigan judge on Wednesday ordered assisted suicide activist Jack Kevorkian to stand trial in the death of a Michigan man broadcast on national television.

      District Court Judge Phyllis McMillen said there is sufficient evidence for Kevorkian to stand trial. Prosecutors had asked for him to be tried on charges of murder, assisting a suicide, and delivery of a controlled substance in the death of Thomas Youk, who suffered from Lou Gehrig's disease. The 52-year-old man died on September 17, but a videotape of Kevorkian administering a lethal injection to Youk was broadcast of the CBS news show "60 Minutes" on November 22.

      Kevorkian dared prosecutors to charge him after the show and prosecutors used the tape in the pre-trial hearing as evidence. "I think the main evidence is the one he provided to the whole country," assistant Oakland County prosecutor John Skrzynski said. If convicted of murder, Kevorkian could face a mandatory life sentence. The assisted suicide charge carries up to a five-year sentence; the controlled substance charge carries up to seven years in prison. He has acknowledged participating in the deaths of more than 130 people since 1990.


      VATICAN ( -- At his regular weekly public audience today, Pope John Paul II spoke of the "docility" of the Virgin Mary in her response to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

      In his catechetical talk on the day after the feast of the Immaculate Conception, the Holy Father said that the Blessed Virgin's willingness to follow the will of the Spirit makes Mary is "a model for parents," especially as they fulfill "the difficult duty of educating their children."

      Before the audience, the Pope took time to send a telegram of condolence to Archbishop Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa of Santiago, Chile, in response to news of the death of the city's former archbishop, Cardinal Carlos Oviedo Cavada.

      Cardinal Ovieda died on December 7, at the age of 70, after a long struggle with a degenerative disease. He had resigned his post as archbishop in January, recognizing his inability to fulfill his episcopal duties. Pope John Paul II praised the deceased prelate for the "great serenity and energy" with which he faced his illness and the approach of death.

      The cardinal's death leaves 156 members of the college of cardinals, of whom 117 are under the age of 80, and therefore eligible to vote in a papal conclave.


      ROCHESTER, New York ( - The bishop of Rochester, New York announced on Monday that he had suspended a controversial priest who had performed same-sex weddings, distributed Eucharist to non-Catholics, and allowed a woman to concelebrate Masses during his 22 years at Corpus Christi Parish.

      Father James Callan, who was reassigned from the parish in August, may no longer celebrate Mass or administer the sacraments, although he may regain his priestly faculties if Father Callan assures the bishop he will amend his ways. Diocesan chancellor Father Kevin McKenna said part of the reason for the suspension is Father Callan's failure to follow orders.

      Father Callan had been ordered not to have contact with members of his old parish, but was present at several Masses. "It puts the pastor who is attempting to lead the congregation in a very awkward situation," said Father McKenna.

For more headlines and articles, we suggest you go to the Catholic World News site. CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

Click here to return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.

December 10, 1998 volume 9, no. 239   DAILY CATHOLIC