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December 16, 1998
SECTION TWO vol 9, no. 243
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE
Events Today in Church History
For events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES
Historical Events in Church Annals for December 16:
Death of Pope John VIII, 107th successor of Peter. Assisted only by the inhabitants of Rome he defeated the Saracens at Terracina. After his coronation Charles the Gross failed to maintain his promise to John of help and the Pope was defeated by the Arabs, thus being forced to pay a large tribute to the infidels. John's pontificate lasted ten years and three days.
Election of Pope Marinus I on the same day his predecessor died. Marinus becomes the 108th successor of Peter. His pontificate would only last two years and he would exercise great pressure on the Eastern Emperor Basil to act against schismatics. He would die on May 15, 884 with a strong suspicion of poisoning surrounding his death which would occur while he was trying to solve the quarrels of Italian factions.
PRAYER & DEVOTIONS
For the special Novena Prayer for this day during this time of preparation during Advent, click on ADVENT
ADVENT NOVENA PRAYER
O Triune Divinity, we come to you through the intercession of Blessed Mary, ever-Virgin, and St. Joseph, her chaste, holy spouse. In this season of Advent we desire to obtain the grace of purity of intention, that through our obedience to Your Heavenly Will, we, too, can transform our poor, miserable lives into the resplendent stable at Bethlehem where You Only-begotten Son was born.
Through the intercession of Mary, and all the hosts of Heaven, we beseech You, through the merits gained for us by Jesus Christ, Your Only-begotten Son, to help us convert our hearts, to live the messages of Your Mother, and to ardently beseech You to bring about the Triumph of Mary's Immaculate Heart now, that the Reign of the Sacred Heart might be upon the world.
Heavenly Father, we trust in Your goodness and beseech You to hear us, not because of our worthiness, but because of our willingness to be Your little children who kneel in adoration to their God. Come, let us adore Him!
PRAYER for December 16: Third Wednesday of Advent
Heavenly angels and saints, you look down upon us in our earthly journey, this place of sorrow, and recognize what we are still striving to see - the Divinity of Jesus Christ, our God and Savior. We beseech you to help us to raise our hearts to Heaven, where they might be touched by Divine Love. Then, aflame with love, may we work ceaselessly to prepare not only our own hearts, but our whole world to proclaim Jesus as King and Messiah.
NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant
Respecting human rights at the root of world peace Pope proclaims as he releases annual message for World Day of Peace ahead of time
In a somewhat surprising move, the Holy Father's annual message for January 1st's World Day of Peace was released to the media two weeks ahead of time so that all could savor what the Pope is saying and do some soul-searching in an effort to achieve true world peace. He reiterated that the culture of death is not the avenue towards this, emphasizing the importance of the culture of life and the fair treatment of all in respect to living conditions, economic conditions and the freedom to worship. He tied his message in with the 50th Anniversary of the Human Rights Declaration by the UN and called for all countries and peoples to examine their consciences and for governments to establish new laws that protect the sanctity of life as well as living conditions for all God's children. For more, click on World Day of Peace Papal Message.
POPE RELEASES WORLD DAY OF PEACE MESSAGE
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- "The secret of real peace resides in
respect for human rights." That is the principal theme of the message
prepared for the World Day of Peace by Pope John Paul II. Although
the World Day of Peace is observed on January 1, the papal message
was released at the Vatican today.
In presenting the message to the media, Archbishop Francois Xavier
Nguyen Van Thuan-- the president of the Pontifical Council for
Justice and Peace-- observed that this would be the last such papal
message of the current millennium, since the next annual message
will be dated in the year 2000.
In the message, the Holy Father makes reference to the recent
celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on
Human Rights. He alludes to a number of fundamental rights which
are routinely violated today. First among these is the "sacred and
inviolable" right to life, from conception to natural death, which is
violated by abortion, euthanasia, and suicide, and endangered by
modern attitudes toward the handicapped and the aged. The Pontiff
called for the development of new laws and new policies to protect
the right to life under all circumstances.
Next the Pope mentioned religious freedom, which he said is at the
heart of human rights. He observed that there are still places in the
world where freedom of worship is not respected, and he insisted
that the use of violence can never be justified by religious
The Pope also condemned political corruption, discrimination against
ethnic groups, and various forms of economic exploitation.
Northern Ireland bracing for retaliation by Orange Protestants who oppose Good Friday peace pact
Northern Ireland authorities and Roman Catholics are bracing for possible violence from the radical Protestant Orange Order which has made no secret they are out to unsettle the peace in Northern Ireland, especially around the neighborhoods of greater Belfast. The latest alarm comes on the heels of the Parade Commission's decision to ban any marching by the Orange Order through a Catholic vicinity where violence broke out before and three Catholic boys were murdered by members of this Order which has been a vocal opponent of the Catholic-Protestant peace accord agreed to last April. For more, click on Uprising in Northern Ireland
NORTHERN IRELAND COMMISSION BANS PARADE, PREPARES FOR WORST
BELFAST (CWNews.com) - The Northern Ireland Parades
Commission on Monday decided to ban a planned march by the
Protestant Orange Order through a Portadown neighborhood,
the site of previous conflicts between Protestants and
About 10,000 Orange Order members had planned to march down
Garvaghy Road -- a Catholic neighborhood -- on Saturday, the
same spot where British authorities stopped the group's
annual march in July. The commission said the parade could
not process through "that highly contentious area, because
no accommodation has been reached with local people." They
also noted that since the Orange Order hoped to gather as
many as four times as many marchers as before and "showed
little capacity to discipline the participants and their
supporters, we must conclude that there is a very real
prospect of major disorder."
During the confrontation in July, the marchers gathered at
the start of the parade route, around the clock, for a
week, but relented after rioting resulted in the deaths of
three young Catholic boys. The Orange Order is opposed to
the Good Friday peace accords reached last year between the
largest Protestant and Catholic parties in the region.
Guatamala's Archbishop confirms that hospitalized priest, framed for the murder of Bishop Juan Gerardi Conendra last April, is in grave condition.
The scapegoat priest, being framed for the brutal murder of human rights leader Auxiliary Bishop Juan Gerardi Conendra last April, "is deteriorating fast" according to Guatamala's ranking Archbishop Prospero Penados del Barrio who has been visiting Father Manuel Orantes in his hospital room. The Archbishop, along with most Catholics in Guatamala and around the world, believes Fr. Orantes is being framed for the Bishop's murder and that it is all a coverup by the military to prevent the real culprits being brought to justice. , who has been unfairly held, came down with pneumonia and was whisked from his jail cell to a hospital to be treated. Many are also suspicious that his jailers were going to be content to just let Fr. Manuel waste away for he had contracted a lung disease which turned into pneumonia and which has debilitated this once robust cleric. As we said last week, unfair imprisonment by a corrupt government will do that to you! For more, click on ailing victim priest
HEALTH CONCERNS FOR PRIEST CHARGED WITH BISHOP MURDER
GUATEMALA CITY (CWNews.com) -- Archbishop Prospero Penados
del Barrio of Guatemala City has expressed concern about
the health of Father Mario Orantes, the priest who has been
jailed as a suspect in the April death of Bishop Juan
Father Orantes, who remains the only official suspect in
the case -- despite persistent complaints by Church
officials -- is "deteriorating very fast," Archbishop
Penados reported, after visiting the ailing priest in a
hospital where he is being treated for an ulcer. The
archbishop met this weekend with the physicians assigned to
the case, and concluded that the priest should have been
transferred from his prison cell to a hospital room much
earlier than was actually the case. "I think the
authorities did not realize how bad Father Orantes' health
is, and that contributed to his problems," he said.
Archbishop Penados also told reporters that he and the
other Catholic bishops of Guatemala remain convinced that
Father Orantes is innocent of any involvement in the
killing of Bishop Gerardi, and that government
investigators have failed to pursue the more obvious leads
in the case. Referring to a report on human-rights
violations which Bishop Gerardi released just two days
before his death -- a report which found the Guatemalan
army responsible for 55,000 human-rights violations -- the
archbishop said: "Those most directly affected by Bishop
Gerardi's report killed him."
Croatian government agrees to reinstate Church property and privileges in aftermath of communist confiscation
Church property siezed by the former communist regime in Croatia is being returned to the Church under a pact agreed to by the Vatican and current Croatian government. The Holy Father met Tuesday with some of the bishops from the Croatian Bishops' Conference who played a key role in the agreement with Rome. Under the current accord, the Church will be allowed to flourish and is free to minister to the Croatian flocks which assures a long-standing pastoral process in this country which has so long raised the banner of Catholicism. In comments at the Vatican, Pope John Paul II lauded the agreement as the Croatian government affirming "the importance of the Church to society." For more, click on Croatia.
NEW VATICAN ACCORD WITH CROATIA
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- The Holy See yesterday formally ratified
a new accord with Croatia, which makes economic provisions for
"reparation for the injustices to the Catholic Church caused in the
past by the confiscation of ecclesiastical properties."
The formal announcement of the new accord explained that the
agreement gives the Church "the necessary means to pursue her
pastoral activities" in Croatia today. The reparations were offered by
the Croatian government in light of the moves by the former
Communist government of Yugoslavia to seize property from the
Pope John Paul II today received the representatives of the Croatian
bishops' conference who had helped to negotiate the new
arrangement, which was signed in Zagreb in October. The Pope noted
that in signing the pact the Croatian government had recognized "the
importance of the Church to society."
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.
PROVERB OF THE DAY
"He who loves wisdom makes his Father glad, but he who consorts with harlots squanders his wealth."
Proverbs 29: 3
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December 16, 1998 volume 9, no. 243 DAILY CATHOLIC