DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     November 6-8, 1998     vol. 9, no. 218

from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO


          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- President Carlos Saul Menem of Argentina has been awarded the 1999 prize of the Path to Peace Foundation. The organization explained that the award was a recognition for Menem's "defense of human life and the family, as well as his action as leader of Argentina in favor of world peace."

          The prize will be presented to Menem in June 1999 by Archbishop Renato Martino, the Vatican's permanent representative at the United Nations and the founder and president of the Path to Peace Foundation. The foundation-- a non-profit organization which is independent of the Holy See-- was set up in 1991 to help finance the Vatican mission at the UN and the Pope's efforts to promote peace throughout the world. Previous recipients of the annual award have been Boutros Boutros-Ghail, the former UN secretary general (1993); the late King Baudouin of Belgium (1994); former Philippine President Corazon Aquino (1995); former Polish President Lech Walesa (1996); former Nicaraguan President Violetta Chamorro (1997); and Venezuelan President Rafael Caldera (1998).

          Confirming an earlier statement by the Chilean government, Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran today said that the Holy See will not play a mediating role in the case of General Augusto Pinochet "at this time."

          Rumors of Vatican intervention in the case of the former Chilean dictator began to circulate in the Italian press last week when a top Chilean government official, vice-chancellor Mariano Fernandez, met privately with the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano. Reporters persistently questioned Archbishop Tauran about those rumors today when he appeared at a press conference on an unrelated issue.

          The archbishop pointed out that Cardinal Sodano had once been the apostolic nuncio in Chile, and recently took the time to visit that country again. The visit by Fernandez, he said, had merely offered the prelate a change to "talk about the situation in that country," he concluded.

          Finally, as he accepted the diplomatic credentials of the new Guatemalan ambassador to the Holy See, Pope John Paul II today called on the Central American nation to "overcome the interests of party and class" and to uphold "the Christian conception of life."

          The Pope told the new ambassador, Sergio Ivan Bucaro Hurtate, that a just society should offer every citizen an active role in the social and political process. He said that children should have access to educational and health- care services, the poor should be given an opportunity to share in the bounty of the earth, and the many different ethnic groups that make up the population of Guatemala should live "in harmony and mutual respect."

          In a reference to the ongoing investigation of human-rights abuses committed under the country's former military regime, the Pope also said that the people of Guatemala need to know the truth about the regime's crimes-- a need which is part of the people's "aspiration that they might no longer live with oppression, insecurity, and fear."

Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

Nov 6-8, 1998       volume 9, no. 218


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