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TUESDAY      August 3, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 144

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with a Catholic slant

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



Suggests rest in "Places of the Spirit" while backing Colombian Bishop's reconciliation program

      CASTEL GANDOLFO, AUG 1 (ZENIT).- Several thousand pilgrims crowded into the courtyard of the Pope's summer residence in Castel Gandolfo today to join the Holy Father in the traditional "Angelus" prayer. Summer holidays were the main topic of the Pope's address to the faithful.

      John Paul II hoped that those who are enjoying these days of rest "will be able to spend some time to regain their energies far from their usual environment and be able to rediscover themselves and others, in a more balanced and serene dimension of life."

Fill Void of Humanity

      The Pontiff mentioned that at this time of year, especially in Europe, many families come together again in their place of origin, having been kept far apart because of work during the year. "How often they are stressed because of the work pace, especially in large cities! How difficult it is to find a quiet place and relaxing atmosphere to enjoy intimacy, to talk and express the needs and plans that each one has! This is why vacations are a good time to fill this void, which we could call of 'humanity,' with peace and life together," the Holy Father said.

      "Also, it is interesting to note that increasingly, more and more persons and families are using their holidays to spend some days in so-called 'places of the spirit' -- monasteries, shrines, hermitages, retreat houses. In general, these places combine the beauty of the natural setting with the opportunity to access the spiritual riches of spending time with God in reflection and silence, in prayer and contemplation. This is a healthy tendency that should not be restricted to vacation time, but must find an adequate way to be combined with daily activity at other times of the year."

      John Paul II said that "the real challenge is to safeguard interior harmony so that the rhythm of daily life will always have the supernatural dimension that each one of us needs."

      This afternoon, the Holy Father attended a concert of the Music Academy "Pro Mundo Uno." The "Camerata Lysy" of the International Music Academy of Gstaad interpreted works by Telemann, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Bruckner, Grieg and Smetana.

Supports National Reconciliation Process Promoted by Bishops

      At the end of his midday meeting with thousands of faithful in the apostolic residence of Castel Gandolfo, John Paul II called world attention to the internal struggle in Colombia, which for years has pitted the guerrillas against the Bogota government. Tension has grown over the last few months, and peace negotiations are stagnant.

      "Over recent weeks I have followed with sorrow incidents of armed conflict taking place in Colombia, with hundreds of kidnappings, destruction of settlements and even of places of worship, and the murder of defenseless people," the Pope continued. "Also worrying are the difficulties encountered for progress in the ... peace process, the only road open to reach reconciliation among Colombians."

      "The Holy See, which energetically promotes every effort for peace among peoples and within nations, encourages and supports the reconciliation endeavor undertaken by the Colombian Episcopate and by so many men of good will. I ask you to pray for this noble objective," the Holy Father said.

      The Pope spoke these words only hours after Caracas authorities confirmed the kidnapping of 14 passengers on a Venezuelan flight, an action claimed by the National Liberation Army. ZE99080104 and ZE99080105


      NEW DELHI ( - "Pope John Paul II is anxious that Mother Teresa be canonized soon," said the Vatican's new ambassador to India, Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, on his arrival in New Delhi on Saturday.

      "The Pope would like to accelerate the process of canonization of Mother Teresa," said a press release issued by Father Dominic Immanuel, public relations secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI), on Monday quoting the new nuncio to India. The press release further quoted Archbishop Baldisseri as saying he was happy to know that Archbishop Henry D'Souza of Calcutta has started the formal process of inquiry mandatory for canonization.

      Archbishop Baldisseri, who has served in Vatican embassies in Guatemala, Japan, Brazil, Paraguay, France, Zimbabwe and Haiti, was received at the Indira Gandhi airport by Archbishop Alan Basil de Lastic of Delhi, CBCI president, and other church officials. The new Vatican ambassador said he was excited by his new assignment to a country he had always wanted to visit. "India is held in great esteem by the Vatican," he said.


      ROME, AUG 1 (ZENIT).- Italian Cardinal Angelo Felici, president of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei," who turned 80 on July 26, can no longer be an elector during a conclave. At present there are 154 Cardinals, of whom 107 are eligible to participate in the election of a new Pope. There are also two Cardinals "in pectore," who were named by John Paul II during the last consistory for the creation of Cardinals in February 1998, but whose names have not yet been made public by the Pontiff.

      There is only one Cardinal in the College created by Pope John XXIII -- Austrian Cardinal Franz Koenig, who will be 94 years old on August 3. Twenty-six of the Cardinals were named by Paul VI, and the remaining 128 by John Paul II. There are a total of 81 Europeans, 24 Latin Americans, 16 North Americans, 15 Asians, 14 Africans, and 4 from Oceania. Italy, with 39 Cardinals, and the United States, with 11, are the two countries with the largest number of Cardinals, followed by Brazil and Spain with 6 each. Of the 107 electors, 47 are European, 19 Latin American, 13 North American, 13 Asian, 12 African, and 4 from Oceania. Italy has 18 Cardinal electors, followed by the United States and Brazil, with 11 and 6 respectively. ZE99080110


      ROME ( - Rome's authorities on Sunday urged Roman citizens to leave the city during the month for the traditional August vacations as the city enters the most disruptive phase of construction preparations for Jubilee Year celebrations.

      "Romans, if you can, go on vacation," urged Guido Bertolaso, director of the nearly 1,000 projects designed to prepare the city for up to 30 million pilgrims next year. The tradition of leaving during August as the sweltering weather reaches its peak has declined in recent years, but Bertolaso urged a revival of the custom. "We can open two or three projects in the next days if the reduction of traffic through the departure of Romans allows it," he said.

      Among the major disruptions this month will be the closing of Via della Conciliazione to the Vatican; Via del Corso, near Piazza Venezia; and Appia Antica, a main artery; and many others.

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 3, 1999 volume 10, no. 144   DAILY CATHOLIC