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WEDNESDAY      August 11, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 150

To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE


      Today is the Feast of the virgin and religious foundress Saint Clare of Assisi who, with Saint Francis established the Franciscan Order of nuns. Tomorrow we return to Ordinary Time for Thursday. For the readings, liturgies, meditations and vignette for St. Clare, click on DAILY LITURGY.

Wednesday, August 11, 1999


Thursday, August 12, 1999


 l;    Today, in honor of Saint Clare, we bring you the Preface from the Franciscan Missal for the Mass in her honor:

You wondrously inflamed Your servant Clare to follow like Francis in the footsteps of Your Son. To him You espoused her mystically through perpetual fidelity and love. Raising her to the summit of seraphic perfection through the highest poverty, You made her the mother of countless virgins.

Events Today in Church History

      On this date 507 years ago the political powerhouse prelate Cardinal Rodrigo de Borja y Borgia bribed his way into being elected the 214th successor of Peter, taking the name Pope Alexander IV. The high honor did not transform him into a saint, but rather an even more devious Pontiff who used his authority to wield power and curry favors while punishing his enemies. For other pertinent events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

Historical Events in Church Annals for August 11:

with a Catholic slant

provided by
Catholic World News Service
and Noticias Eclesiales Church News and ZENIT International News Agency



      HONG KONG ( - Newspaper in Hong Kong reported on Tuesday that China and Portugal have disagreed over Portugal's plan to invite a papal envoy to attend ceremonies marking the handover of the Portugese colony of Macau to Communist China on December 20.

      The controversy followed reports on Monday that China had refused permission for Pope John Paul II to visit Hong Kong during his visit to Asia later this year. While Chinese sources said the Vatican's diplomatic recognition of Taiwan was at the center of dispute, Church sources said the decision revolved around China's ban of the Church on the mainland while setting up a Communist-controlled Catholic organization.

      The South China Morning Post newspaper said China told Portugal that it doesn't want a papal envoy on the guest list when Macau is returned to China after 442 years of Portugese rule. "The Taiwan issue is hindering the finalization of talks," the Post quoted a European diplomat as saying. In Beijing, a Chinese Foreign Ministry official who spoke on customary condition of anonymity said China and Portugal agreed they would not invite guests from any countries with which they did not have diplomatic relations.


      NEW YORK, AUG 9 (ZENIT).- On July 29, Cardinal John O'Connor added his voice in support of Lt. Ryan Berry, who was reprimanded by the Air Force for seeking to follow his Catholic conscience, in his weekly "Viewpoint" column. In this week's column he reports the reaction. The diocesan office is receiving numerous calls from feminist groups accusing him of chauvinism and discrimination. Cardinal O'Connor denies this analysis. He states that the real issue behind Berry's case is that of integrity of conscience.

      Citing his experiences in the Vietnam War, Cardinal O'Connor assures that integrity of conscience is necessary for military discipline. He quotes Vatican II to explain the Church's position. "Deep within his conscience man discovers a law that he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey."

      "I can no more determine Lt. Berry's conscience than can his commanding general. Nor can I determine whether this woman or that man is an occasion of temptation or sin in a given set of circumstances. Nor am I interested in trying to do either. My interest is in respect for the human conscience. When I took an oath of office as a military officer, I pledged, 'I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States, against all enemies foreign and domestic . . . so help me God.' Every military officer takes that same oath. What guarantees fidelity to his or her oath but conscience?" the Cardinal asked. ZE99080920


      WORCESTER, Massachusetts ( - Up to 5,000 people came to a church in Worcester, Massachusetts, on Monday to visit a 15-year-old girl on the 12th anniversary of the accident that left her in a coma and began her life as an alleged conduit of miraculous healings.

      Long lines of people, many of them with chronic or terminal illnesses, walked by the bed of Audrey Santo at Christ the King Church, asking her to pray for them in an annual event that has come to mark the swimming pool accident that left the girl in a coma at age 3. Since then, mysterious oils oozing from paintings and statues, as well as numerous unexplained healings has spread the girl's story across the country.

      The bishop of Worcester has ordered an investigation in to the phenomena surrounding the little girl, although no conclusion has yet been reached.


      EDINBURGH ( - A leading Scottish composer said at the Edinburgh International Arts Festival that Scotland's hidden shame is rampant anti-Catholic bigotry.

      "In many walks of life -- in the workplace, in the professions, in academia, in the media, in politics and in sport -- anti-Catholicism, even when it is not particularly malign, is as endemic as it is second nature," said James MacMillan, a Catholic from Glasgow. "Many of us are either happy to live with or deny completely the existence of anti-Catholicism, which is still a significant element of Scottish culture," added MacMillan, who composed the fanfare for the opening in July of the first Scottish parliament in 300 years.

      MacMillan's composition, the Seven Last Words from the Cross, is a finalist for the festival's Mercury prize. After citing the Protestant Orange marches that are still held every year, similar to those held in Northern Ireland, commemorating historic victories over Catholics, and the sometimes violent soccer rivalry between the mainly Catholic Celtics and mainly Protestant Rangers.

      "I have been spat on for being Catholic. And when my daughter attended her first Easter vigil at the age of six, she came into her first contact with sectarian abuse from a few drunks who noticed the candles burning outside," MacMillan said.

      Last week, a magazine run by the Free Presbyterian Church condemned the influence of the late English Cardinal Basil Hume, and members of the Church of Scotland launched a campaign to make members of the new Scottish parliament use Presbyterian prayers instead of planned prayers that embrace all faiths.

      Meanwhile in Belfast, the Northern Ireland Parades Commission on Monday gave permission to the Protestant Apprentice Boys group to hold a controversial march through a Catholic neighborhood in Belfast, prompting fears of a clash.

      The Apprentice Boys will be allowed to march along Lower Ormeau Road on Saturday as part of the annual marches which historic victories over Catholics. The commission said it gave permission because there had been progress in dialogue between the Apprentice Boys and the Lower Ormeau Concerned Community (LOCC) group.

      But LOCC representatives protested the decision calling it "unfair." "We are very angry at this decision," said LOCC spokesman John Gormley, vowing that residents would demonstrate against the march when it passed through their neighborhood.

For more headlines and articles, we suggest you go to the Catholic World News site at the CWN home page and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and the features, dossiers and Daily Dispatches at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

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August 11, 1999 volume 10, no. 150   DAILY CATHOLIC