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WEDNESDAY      August 25, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 160

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


Events Today in Church History

      On this date in 1532 King Henry VIII broke completely with the Roman Catholic Church by annexing the famed Abbey of of Glastonbury. By turning this cradle for English Saints over to the Church of England he cut off all ties with Rome and the schism still continues today. 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 25:


WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant

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

HEADLINES:

JOHN PAUL II INSTITUTE HOLDS SEMINAR IN ROME

Professors' Summit Focuses on Family

      VATICAN CITY, AUG 23 (ZENIT).- From August 22-27, some 100 University professors are meeting in the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, to study God's plan on marriage and the family.

      The meeting was organized by the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family. It is the last phase of a study that began a year and a half ago in the Lateran University, as well as in other branches of the Institute in the United States, Mexico, Spain, and in Centers in West Africa, Brazil, India and Australia.

      The John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family was founded by the present Pope in 1981, to offer the Church the contribution resulting from theological and pastoral reflection on marriage and the family, necessary in the exercise of her evangelizing mission. In the light of faith, and with the help of human sciences, the Institute attempts to seriously address the truth of matrimony and the family, as well as to prepare priests, religious and laymen in the exercise of their apostolate.

      The Institute' s main headquarters were opened in the Lateran University in 1992 with subsequent branches in Washington, D.C., Mexico City and Guadalajara, Mexico, and Valencia, Spain. ZE99082306


BRITAIN TO INVESTIGATE IRAQ BOMB ATTACK ON ST. MATTHEW'S TOMB

      LONDON (CWNews.com) - The British government on Monday said it is investigating reports that air attacks on Iraq military positions damaged the burial site of St. Matthew the Evangelist.

      The Defense Ministry said British and American aircraft patrolling the no-fly zone over northern Iraq on August 10 fired in self-defense on Iraqi anti-aircraft emplacements in the Ba'ashiqa area. A spokesman for the ministry said current information indicates that all of the bombs dropped landed safely away from civilian sites.

      Iraq claims that the planes attacked a fourth century Christian monastery, killing and wounding a number of people gathered at the site to view the solar eclipse the next day. US and British planes have launched more than 110 strikes against Iraqi targets this year. No-fly zones were imposed on Baghdad after the 1991 Gulf War over Kuwait with the aim of protecting opponents of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in the north and south of the country.


CARITAS IN FRONT LINE OF AID TO VICTIMS OF TURKISH EARTHQUAKE

Catastrophe Unites Christians of All Denominations

      ISTANBUL, AUG 23 (ZENIT).- At present, Caritas-Turkey is one of the most active humanitarian organizations assisting victims of the earthquake that devastated the northwest of the country on August 17. It serves 2,000 hot meals daily, distributes food and medicine to thousands of people, and has erected a camp-city where those affected will be able to spend the winter.

      Official estimates say there are 40,000 dead, and 130,000 homes destroyed. Capuchin friar Adriano Franchini, director of Caritas-Turkey, gave the international agency "Fides," details of the commitment to aid promoted by the Catholic Church in the country. "Caritas moved quickly and well. We have organized groups who, from the first day, have personally controlled the needs of the area. In this way, we have been able to organize the aid, avoid dispersion and respond to real needs. We buy products in local factories, but at present we especially need camping tents --- difficult to find, at this point in time, and portable toilets."

Joint Action with International Caritas

      The aid is being given in cooperation with European Caritas and Caritas International. "Initially, customs formalities blocked the flow of aid; after a sea of discussions, everything seems to be resolved. There will be time later on for bureaucracy. We have not wanted to delegate the organization and distribution of aid to Turkish [governmental] organizations; we go directly to the affected areas and work there ourselves. We have created a 'crisis unit' that distributes 2,000 hot meals a day, as well as bread, water, fruit juices, and hygienic and health services, to thousands of people who have suffered losses," the Capuchin said.

"Ecumenical" Charity

      Fr. Lorenzo Piretto, Dominican delegate of the Apostolic Vicariate of Istanbul, explained that Christians have succeeded in working together, to help the victims. He told "Fides," that the "Christian Churches have started joint aid projects: Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestants of the Latin, Greek, Armenian and Syrian rites have joined to carry out common acts of solidarity."

      "The most beautiful aspect of this painful event has been to see how it has united the different Christian communities in Turkey, and become an opportunity to undertake concrete ecumenical cooperation. I hope that, in addition to times of prayer together, which are already taking place, in the future there will be collaboration in helping the poor and in other initiatives. All of a sudden the divisions -- which at times are truly incomprehensible -- have disappeared: there have been signs of fraternity between the Christian leaders [reflected[ in immediate understanding."

      According to Duncan MacGregor MacLaren, secretary general of Caritas International, Caritas-Turkey, which has few resources, has been reinforced by the regional office of that institution, which has its headquarters in Beirut. In fact, the authorities themselves of the city of Istanbul were the first to appeal to this institution for help. ZE99082304


COLOMBIAN BISHOP KIDNAPPED BY SPLINTER GROUP

      BOGOTA (CWNews.com) - According to news reports broadcast by radio and television stations in Colombia, the bishop who was kidnapped last week is being held by a small splinter group, rather than one of the country's major guerrilla forces. Church officials fear that if the report is accurate, the process of negotiating the bishop's release could be complicated.

      Bishop Jose de Jesus Quintero of Tibu was taken captive on Sunday, August 15. The original reports of the kidnapping -- based on eyewitness testimony from a priest who was captured alongside the bishop, and then released -- indicated that his captors were members of the National Liberation Army (ELN).

      However, the ELN denied any involvement in the kidnapping. And sources within the Colombian bishops' conference indicated that they had not dismissed the possibility that the bishop might have been kidnapped by another group, masquerading as the ELN.

      The latest reports suggest that the bishop might be in the hands of the Jose Libardo Toro Front, a small group which split off from other rebel forces in 1991. Until these reports surfaced, officials in Colombia had thought the Jose Libardo Toro Front had disbanded.


SCHOOL DISTRICT REVERSES DECISION ON STAR OF DAVID

      GULFPORT, Mississippi (CWNews.com) - The school board in Gulfport, Mississippi, on Monday reversed a previous decision that said a Jewish boy could not openly wear a Star of David necklace because it was sometimes used as a gang symbol.

      The Harrison County School Board changed its previous decision after national attention including criticism from such diverse groups as local religious leaders and the American Civil Liberties Union. Ryan Green, 15, is the son of a Christian mother and a Jewish father and his paternal grandfather gave him the pendant over the summer.

      When Ryan and his father went to sign up for fall semester classes at Harrison Central High School two weeks ago, a teacher told him to wear the pendant inside his shirt "for his own good." The following day the boy returned to school for the start of the semester, still wearing the Star of David. A teacher ordered him to remove it.

      The boy's father took the matter up with the school board at its meeting last week, and the board ruled that the Star of David could be mistaken for a gang emblem, which district policy forbids from schools. The board said law enforcement officials had advised them that a coastal Mississippi group known as the Black Gangster Disciples used a nearly identical six-pointed star as its symbol.


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 25, 1999 volume 10, no. 160   DAILY CATHOLIC