DAILY CATHOLIC MONDAY November 9, 1998 vol. 9, no. 219
NEWS & VIEWS
POPE SEEKS MORATORIUM ON EXECUTIONS, DEBTS AT THE SAME TIME A POLISH MISSIONARY IS KILLED IN CONGO
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Speaking on the occasion of a concert organized to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his election to the papacy, Pope John Paul II renewed his calls for two special measures to celebrate the Jubilee Year 2000: a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, and the forgiveness of debts owed by impoverished countries.
The Pope made his pleas last night at a festive evening sponsored by "Parliamentarians for the Jubilee." The evening features performances of the works of Haydn, Mozart, Verdi, and Handel by an impressive corps of musicians including soprano Chang Wang, violinist Uto Ughi, the orchestra and choir of the Rome Opera, and the Poznan philharmonic choir. The evening was specially dedicated to recognition of the Pope's work in defense of human rights, and during the concert a video display alternated between pictures of the Pontiff's meetings with various world leaders and texts of his statements on human-rights questions.
Pope John Paul, in turn, praised the organizing group, Parliamentarians for the Jubilee, for their commitment to human-rights measures; he specifically mentioned the efforts to stop executions and the relieve Third World debt. The Pope said that the evening's festivities constituted "a particular manifestation of [the organizers'] closeness to the person of the Pope" and a "significant witness to the unity around the fundamental spiritual and ethical values that guide the human person and the human community."
The Holy Father made his statements while the official Vatican newspaper was announcing the death of a Polish missionary priest in Congo.
Father Jan Czuba was killed this past weekend by a group of unidentified armed men, at a site west of Brazzaville.
Ordained in 1984 in the diocese of Tarnow, Father Czuba began his
missionary work in Congo in 1988. He had been serving as the pastor of a
parish in Loulombo, in the Pool region. L'Osservatore Romano pointed out
that he was the fourth Polish missionary to die in that region, where armed
groups have taken refuge after being defeated in the 1997 civil war.
Confrontations between these groups and the troops of the new Congo
government have created "a climate of violence and extreme insecurity" in
the region, the Vatican newspaper noted.
Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
NEWS & VIEWS