DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     April 23-25, 1999     vol. 10, no. 80

from a CATHOLIC perspective


  • Pope Calls on Canadian Church to Support Youth
  • JPII Meets Nobel Peace Prize Winners
  • Papal Letter to Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow
  • Pope & World Meeting of Catholic Charitable Organizations
  • Scroll down for the stories of your choice courtesty of ZENIT


Church to Respond to Violence, Drugs and Suicide

          VATICAN CITY, APR 22 (ZENIT).- This morning, at the end of the 'ad limina' visit of the French Canadian bishops, John Paul II appealed to all Quebec communities to mobilize in the promotion of the human and Christian formation of youth.

          The Pontiff concelebrated Mass with the Canadian bishops and gave an address which was almost exclusively dedicated to youth. He began by inviting young Canadians to the World Youth Day which will be held in Rome in August of the year 2000. "The Jubilee is an incomparable occasion to give new impulse to the pastoral care of youth," the Pope said.

          "In present day society, which does not give the meaning of life, young people ask questions and turn to personal forms of behavior which can be disconcerting to those near them, including the phenomena of violence, drugs, and suicidal attitudes."

          The education of youth "requires infinite patience and affection," as well as proper "spiritual, human and psychological formation," the Holy Father said.

    Emotional and Sexual Formation

          John Paul II encouraged the initiatives taken by the Quebec diocese "to help youth reflect on the emotional dimension of life and on the vocation to matrimony, thus helping them to discover the real meaning and value of human sexuality."

          In a world in which "youth suffers deep wounds, resulting especially from the separation of parents and the creation of new families," the Pope stressed that "the Church has the duty to educate them in their emotional life, based on healthy human and moral values so that in the future they will be able to commit themselves to conjugal life, and be aware of the responsibilities and mission it implies, both for the couple as well as their children."

    Priestly Vocation and Celibacy

          Finally, the Pope encouraged the Canadian bishops to expose young people to the beauty of the vacation to the priesthood, in all its richness and integrity. He believes it is necessary to help them "discover the radical commitment entailed in giving oneself to Christ in celibacy and in the service of one's brothers." And he warned, "Any confusing of the issues in an attempt to attenuate the relation between the priesthood and celibacy would be detrimental to the healthy response of youth to a future priestly commitment." ZE99042204


Pontiff Reiterates Call for Peace

          VATICAN CITY, APR 22 (ZENIT).- At noon today, John Paul II, the herald of reconciliation among peoples, received in audience a group of Nobel Peace Prize winners who, since yesterday, have been participating in a meeting in Rome organized by the Foundation for Social, Economic and Political Research. Among those present were Betty Williams, Frederik de Klerk, Rigoberta Menchú, Simon Peres, David Trimble and Joseph Rotblat.

          After am initial greeting by Mikhail Gorbachov, President of the Foundation, the Pope focused on the topic of peace; not only because of the personalities participating, but in view of the tragedy of war currently at the heart of Europe.

          The Holy Father affirmed: "We cannot fail to renew a vigorous appeal for an end to the ethnic conflict in the Balkans and the clash of arms so that there will be a return to dialogue and to respect for the dignity of persons and of all communities, in the name of fundamental human rights!"

          John Paul II then referred to "the human tragedies occurring in so many other areas of the world, especially in Africa and Asia."

          According to the Pope, this first summit of Nobel Peace Prize winners, "Coming together ... from different cultures and nations ... is a sign that peace can only come about when we move beyond visions of man and society based on race, religion, nationalism or, more generally, ... on the exclusion of others."

          Referring to the phenomenon which characterizes cultural and economic life in the world today, the Pontiff said, "Rather than feeding new antagonisms, globalization must lead to a rejection of armed conflict, narrow nationalism and all forms of violence."

          John Paul II ended his address to the participants of the Nobel summit saying, "Peace is not a vague idea or a dream; it is reality which must be painstakingly constructed day after day through the efforts of all. To seek peace is one of the most noble goals for which an individual can strive within his or her nation and within the international community. Those who seek to be peacemakers should be strongly supported, since their efforts are aimed at creating a better life for everyone, a society in which each person has his or her place and in which all can live in peace and harmony, developing the gifts received from the Creator for their own personal growth and for the common good." ZE99042205


Supports Alexy II's Peace Visit to Belgrade

          VATICAN CITY, APR 22 (ZENIT).- In his letter to Alexy II, Patriarch of Moscow, dated April 18, on the occasion of the Orthodox Patriarch's visit of peace to Belgrade, John Paul II wrote, "All too frequently, violence seems to be the easiest formula to resolve difficult situations."

          "It is the duty of all those who profess the Gospel of peace to proclaim with a single, unanimous voice, that any form of violence, ethnic cleansing, deportation of people and exclusion of nations from social life, cannot be considered as a means to arrive at civil solutions to problems which, on the contrary, can only be resolved with procedures that respect the law," the Pontiff wrote in the letter published today by the Holy See's Press Office.

          Acknowledging that the evidence he has received on the situation in Yugoslavia has caused him "profound distress," the Pope is "comforted" to know that Patriarch Alexy II has gone to visit Patriarch Pvle of Belgrade, and the Serbian Church, a visit whose objective was to "announce the Easter message of peace and express Christian solidarity to all the victims of the persecutions and violence, which unfortunately have characterized this region for so long."

          The Pontiff expressed his hope that the Easter message carried by Alexy II be welcomed as "the only way to reestablish tranquility and stability, so that every person, independent of ethnic, religious or political background, be able to live in harmony with the rest."

          John Paul II concluded by invoking a prayer to the Resurrected Christ for all those who "today are deprived of their fundamental rights, so that peace will reign in that beloved land which has been suffering for such a long time." ZE99042109


Important Witnesses to Charity Will Meet in Saint Peter's Square

          VATICAN CITY, APR 22 (ZENIT).- The Pontifical Council 'Cor Unum,' the Vatican Office that coordinates the Pope's worldwide charitable initiatives, announced to the press yesterday that a meeting would be held in Rome on May 16 during which John Paul II will meet with representatives from Catholic charitable organizations from around the world.

          The theme of the meeting is "The Witnesses to Charity with the Pope." It is a way of emphasizing one of the important themes of 1999, the year that the Pope dedicated to the virtue of charity, in his letter of preparation for the Great Jubilee, 'Tertio Millennio Adveniente,' n. 50.

          The meeting with the Holy Father will be dedicated, in the first place, to the testimonies of those who offer their life in dangerous areas of the world, such as Rwanda, Northern Ireland, the Holy Land. Sister Nirmala, Mother Teresa's successor as superior of the Missionaries of Charity, will welcome all those present. Finally, the Holy Father will offer Mass.

          The event will be preceded by a world congress, which will meet for three days in Rome, and bring together persons committed to works of evangelical charity. During the congress, special attention will be given to the challenges the charities face at present. Bishop Francisco Azcona, under-secretary of the Pontifical Council 'Cor Unum,' said that "a sign of the times is the necessity to face and understand the present needs better."

          During the meeting, the witnesses to charity from past times will also be remembered, and attention will be given to the biblical and theological foundations of charity, as well as to the social doctrine of the Church. About 250 persons from all over the world will participate in this marathon of sessions.

          A preparatory document entitled "Many Poverties, One Announcement: Reasons for Reflection on Charity, Charitable Organizations and the Service of People," was presented at the press conference today, written by representatives of the principal charitable associations. It will be sent to all the voluntary groups working in the world, especially those in the social-charitable realm. It is offered as a reflection on the virtue of charity and the mission of the Church. Moreover, it is an opportunity to be better prepared for the meeting with the Pope in Rome. ZE99042111

Articles above provided through ZENIT International News Agency ZENIT is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

April 23-25, 1999       volume 10, no. 80


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