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THURSDAY      August 5, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 146

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


      Today is Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome as well as the Eighteenth Thursday in Ordinary Time while tomorrow we celebrate the glorious TRANSFIGURATION OF THE LORD on the First Friday of August. For the readings, liturgies, meditations and vignettes for these feasts, click on DAILY LITURGY.

Thursday, August 5, 1999


Friday, August 6, 1999



      In honor of today's Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome, we present the Opening Prayer for today's Mass:

Lord, pardon the sins of Your people. May the prayers of Mary, the Mother of Your Son, help to save us, for by ourselves we cannot please You.

Events that happened this day in Church History

      On this date 496 years ago, the notorious pontiff Pope Alexander IV was invited to dine with his treacherous cousin and cohort of many transgressions Cesare Borgia. Joining them was Cardinal Adriano Castellesi. Legend has it a jealous family member of the Borgias poisoned the three of them but some historians point to the evidence that Alexander's bitter enemy Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere orchestrated the dastardly deed. Rovere and Alexander fueded for years and after Alexander's death, which would occur two weeks later on August 18, 1503 as a direct result of the poison, Rovere would reap the spoils, becoming Pope Julius II that same year after a one-month reign by Alexander's immediate successor Pope Pius III. 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 5:

SIMPLY SHEEN: The cure that soothes!

      They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the words of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen have been known to launch a thousand images in one's mind, one of the ways this late luminary did so much to evangelize the faith. Because of the urgency of the times and because few there are today who possess the wisdom, simplicity and insight than the late Archbishop who touched millions, we are bringing you daily gems from his writings. The good bishop makes it so simple that we have dubbed this daily series: "SIMPLY SHEEN".

"In the strains of life, nothing is as soothing and as strengthening as the comforting power of prayer."

with a Catholic slant

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



Emotional Private Meeting with Pope in Castelgandolfo

      CASTEL GANDOLFO, AUG 3 (ZENIT).- Not only has famous blind Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli conquered the international record market, he has also won John Paul II's affection and admiration. Last Friday, Bocelli performed the official Jubilee hymn for the Holy Father at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.

      The Jubilee hymn, composed by Jean-Paul Lécot, responsible for music at the Lourdes Shrine, will be translated and recorded in at least five languages. In addition to the CD version, there will be a video. Persons who accompanied Bocelli said the Pope was very pleased with the tenor's interpretation of the hymn, and expressed his affection by patting his head.

      "There are things one cannot get used to ... a meeting with the Pope is always intensely moving," Andrea Bocelli said after his visit with the Pontiff.

      The singer said their meeting "was in a small chapel in the Castel Gandolfo residence. It was at 7:30 a.m. We left my home at 3 a.m.; I had just returned from Tel Aviv, but I am used to this kind of exhaustion. The Pope, a few nuns, and perhaps a Cardinal were in the chapel; unfortunately, I could not see the colors. I went with Caterina Caselli and my pianist. I was immediately asked to sing during the Pope's Mass. I sang the 'Panis Angelicus' a cappella."

      Although this was a real surprise for those attending Mass, the tenor said simply: "They had something more important to attend. With the Pope celebrating, I was in the background."

      "As we left Mass, we gave him the CD, and he said a few words to me," the tenor explained. Bocelli had already met the Pope on three previous occasions. One of them was the Paris World Youth Day. "Every time, he has given me the same impression; it is as if he lives in another dimension, oriented more toward heaven than earth."

      "In his presence, I always feel a sense of abstraction, as if I was not totally present physically. I do not know how to explain it," Bocelli said, who describes himself as a "believer of conviction" although not very practicing. ZE99080303


      VATICAN ( - Pope John Paul II told his Wednesday general audience that purgatory is the state we enter after we die to be purged of every trace of sin before entering Heaven.

      Following up on his last two general audiences in which dealt with heaven and hell, the Holy Father said that anyone who had led a less than perfect life but was still destined for Heaven would spend time in Purgatory. "Before we enter into God's Kingdom, every trace of sin within us must be eliminated, every imperfection in our soul must be corrected. This is exactly what takes place in Purgatory," he said.

      Repeating his theme in the two previous talks, the Pope said Purgatory was a not a physical place either. He said, "(Purgatory) does not indicate a place, but a condition of life. Those who, after death, live in this state of purification are already immersed in the love of Christ, which lifts them out of the residue of imperfection." He then encouraged Christians to pray and do good works on behalf of those in Purgatory.


      WASHINGTON, AUG 3 (ZENIT).- Catholic radio station WEWN, radio branch of Mother Angelica's EWTN television network, is preparing a special live program from Miami, to be broadcast August 6-8, when hundred of Catholic media groups will be present at an exposition sponsored by the Archdiocese of that city.

      WEWN will offer several live programs from the Exposition of Catholic Communications in Miami, with special reports and interviews with participants. The Exposition of Catholic Communications (ECC) 1999 will bring together information services and products of Catholic communications from the entire American continent to make them known in the U.S. market.

      The event will take place in Radisson Mart Plaza Hotel in Miami. Together with demonstrations, there will be a series of conferences on the role of communications at the service of evangelization. The broadcasts will also be available on the Internet in streaming audio: . ZE99080309


Birth Control Campaigns Among Kosovo Inhabitants

      WASHINGTON, AUG 3 (ZENIT).- Today the Population Research Institute (PRI) released additional evidence confirming the partnership between the UNFPA and the Yugoslavian government to target and reduce the Kosovar population. Officials in the Serbian government, including Milosevic himself, have openly admitted their intent to reduce the Kosovar ethnic population.

      "The state must find a way ... to limit or forbid the enormous birthrate in Kosovo," Rada Trajkovic, Serbian Minister for Family Affairs, said in a recent report on Yugoslavian demographics.

      At the same time, Stirling Scruggs, head of UNFPA's external communications, confirmed that UNFPA was invited by Milosevic's regime to specifically target the Kosovar population. "We were invited into Kosovo by the Yugoslavian government to conduct a needs assessment and follow up later with regular programs," Scruggs stated in the July-August 1999 edition of "PRI Review."

      Steven Mosher, president of PRI, said, "The UNFPA is in complicity with Milosevic's 'stealth' ethnic cleansing campaign against the Kosovar population. The UNFPA has admitted that it is working hand-in-glove with the Milosevic regime, which the world knows has recently attempted the forceful extermination of its Kosovar minority. Thanks to the UNFPA, Milosevic will now achieve his aim of reducing the ethnic Albanian population of Kosovo by other means. The targeting of Kosovar women and families will continue, aided by U.S. tax dollars, as the UNFPA engages in what might be called 'silent ethnic cleansing.' "

      The UNFPA, on the other hand, has denied any involvement with Milosevic's campaign to reduce the numbers of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. In a press release dated July 29, 1999, it attacked the PRI for providing information it described as "false," and spoke of its commitment to "reproductive health."

      Steve Mosher was quick to reply. "Anyone who thinks the UNFPA is concerned with 'reproductive health' should think again. The UNFPA is not interested in healthy reproductive systems, but in ones that have been disabled by abortion, sterilization, and contraception. The organization's very name betrays its purpose. We are talking about the U.N. Population Fund here, not the U.N. Reproductive Health Fund."

      The UNFPA's "regular programs" include abortion-inducing "morning after" pills, originally shipped into the region for alleged rape victims, along with shipments of crude manual vacuum aspirators, which PRI has confirmed will be used for abortions by trained NGOs. ZE99080306

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 Daily Dispatches, Dossiers and Features from 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.


"And I say to thee, thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of Heaven; and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven."

Matthew 16: 18-19

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August 5, 1999 volume 10, no. 146   DAILY CATHOLIC