DAILY CATHOLIC     MONDAY     November 30, 1998     vol. 9, no. 232

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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PAPAL BULL PROCLAIMS JUBILEE YEAR WHILE SPECIAL MASS TO BE SAID AT VATICAN FOR MITCH VICTIMS

          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- The Vatican Friday released the papal bull Incarnationis Mysterium, signed by Pope John Paul II, formally announcing the Grand Jubilee of 2000.

          "I decree that the Grand Jubilee of the Year 2000 will begin on Christmas Night of 1999," the Holy Father says at the outset of the document. The Jubilee will begin with the opening of the Holy Door in St. Peter's Basilica, and several hours of ceremonial activity in Bethlehem and Jerusalem. The Pope explains that the Jubilee will have "two centers"-- in Rome and in the Holy Land, "where the Son of God became man."

          Saying that the Jubilee marks "a new step forward in reciprocal dialogue," the Holy Father invites "even those who are far from faith in God," to "share our joy" in the celebration. He added that the Holy Door of another Roman basilica, St. Paul's, would be opened on January 18, 2000, the first day of the annual week of prayer for Christian unity, to underline "the particular ecumenical character that marks this Jubilee."

          Recalling the first Jubilee pronounced by a Roman Pontiff-- that of the year 1300, proclaimed by Pope Boniface VIII-- the Pope said that such a year, specially dedicated to the actions of grace, can produce enormous spiritual benefits. He also noted the tradition of granting plenary indulgences to pilgrims who participate in the Jubilee, provided that they make an individual confession and receive the Eucharist during their pilgrimage.

          Meanwhile, the Vatican announced that a special Mass in memory of the victims of Hurricane Mitch will be celebrated at the Vatican on December 3, with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican Secretary of State, as the principal celebrant. All citizens of the affected countries who are now living in Rome have been invited to participate.

          The Italian bishops' conference has issued a statement indicating that, after the first rush of organization to send emergency aid to the devastated countries of Latin America, they now feel the urgency of organizing prayers for the victim and for the survivors now living in deplorable conditions in Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Mexico.


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Nov 30, 1998       volume 9, no. 232
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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