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THURSDAY      December 23, 1999     SECTION TWO      vol 10, no. 244

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

Crying out loud for love

    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".

"The effect of want of love is the martyrdom complex, which is a morbid attempt to get pity or sympathy when real love is gone. Feigning sickness is one of the tricks. Because good health does not win the affection of others, one pretends to be wounded in the firm hope that someone else will bind the wounds. The 'pain' which is in the mind is the loss of love. That 'pain' is translated into the body and becomes sickness. If one could put into words what goes on inside of such a person it might be this: 'I really want to be well. But if I become sick, then others must love me.'"

"Stuart Little" makes cheese of competition by going just that extra length to beat out The Green Mile" and put "Toy Story 2" in third place.

Top Ten Films for second week of December

    A little mouse named "Stuart Little" knocked Mickey Mouse and his company's "Toy Story 2" off its top perch into third place this past week. By just decimals Sony's "Stuart Little" squeaked out a narrow victory over Tom Hanks and the huge, gentle giant Michael Clarke Duncan in "The Green Mile" which finished a strong second picking up steam from word-of-mouth reviews. Finally, the top three movies are worth seeing and the American public is responding. The best news of the week is that the dog "Dogma" dropped out of sight and into the garbage bin where it belongs. If only "Deuce Bigalow" would do the same! Two other newcomers "Bicentennial Man" and "Anna and the King" finished a disappointing fifth and sixth while "The World is Not Enough" continued its strong showing in number 7th, followed by "End of Days" and "Sleepy Hollow". "The Bone Collector" collected the last spot for the week. This week a plethora of new movies for the holidays is expected to drastically alter this list. We are bringing you this feature today since tomorrow will be our special Christmas-New Year's issue. For the Top Ten reviews for the second week of December prepared by the NCCB, click on MOVIES AND MORALS




  • 3.  TOY STORY 2




  • 8.  END OF DAYS


    WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant



    Door Presented to Pope Pius XII by Swiss Catholics in 1949

        VATICAN CITY (ZENIT).- With only a day left before the Great Jubilee opens, all eyes turn toward the Holy Door that John Paul II will open to inaugurate the Holy Year.

        The Holy Door represents Christ, because "whoever enters through me will be saved" (Jn 10:9). It also represents the heart of the believer, which must be opened to Christ. The tradition of the Holy Door goes back to the Jubilee of 1500, convoked by Pope Alexander VI.

        The current Holy Door was an offering of thanksgiving Swiss Catholics in 1949, thanking God that Switzerland had been spared the atrocities of World War II, and was installed and opened in the Holy Year of 1950. It is decorated with 16 biblical scenes of redemption and forgiveness, with a special focus on the Mercy parables of the Gospels.

        The first two scenes represent Adam and Eve and the expulsion from the Garden of Eden. This "closing of the door" is overcome, however, in the next two scenes, which depict the Annunciation of the birth of Christ. Next come a series of scenes from Jesus' public life: his Baptism, the parables of the Lost Sheep and the Prodigal Son, the curing of a paralytic, and the pardon of a sinner. The next two scenes are of St. Peter: "How many times must I forgive my brother?" and his denial of Christ and Jesus' pardon of him. The 12th scene represents the Good Thief, symbolizing that salvation is open to all who ask for it. This is followed by St. Thomas, healed of his lack of faith, and an image of the sacrament of Reconciliation. The conversion of St. Paul occupied the second-to-last image, while the final scene is that of Pope Pius XII opening the Holy Door in 1950.

        In "Tertio Millennio Adveniente," John Paul II also addressed the symbolism of the Holy Door. "The Holy Door of the Jubilee of the Year 2000 should be symbolically wider than those of previous Jubilees, because humanity, upon reaching this goal, will leave behind not just a century but a millennium. The Church should make this passage with a clear awareness of what has happened to her during the last ten centuries. She cannot cross the threshold of the new millennium without encouraging her children to purify themselves, through repentance of past errors and instances of infidelity, inconsistency, and slowness to act."

        When John Paul II opens the Holy Door on Christmas Eve, the ceremony will be watched by an unprecedented audience: 1.6 billion people from over 100 countries among which, for the first time, is Japan. In Europe alone, 26 countries have requested the signal, with an audience that will come close to 500 million spectators.

        These figures do not overwhelm Ermanno Olmi, director of the Jubilee opening program for the Italian RAI network. He presented the RAI-Jubilee programs during a press conference in his new ad hoc headquarters in the former Castello cinema, not far from the Vatican. "I will do my work with great simplicity," Director Olmi said, recalling his own background. "I am a highlander, used to the uphill climb."

        Roberto Zaccaria, president of RAI, explained that Olmi was his personal choice because of his sober but distinctive style. "The great adventure is about to begin. We needed a method to narrate the Jubilee that would be gentle, delicate and not intent on overdoing the great event." ZE99122222 and ZE99122104

      Archbishop of Caracas calls for prayer and fasting in atonement for the travails visited on Venezuela where fatality rate is over 40,000 and climbing.

          With over 300,000 left homeless and a count that could surpass 50,000 dead from the devastating floods of biblical proportion in northern Venezuela in and around Caracas and other coastal areas, the country was at the mercy of the world for help. The head of the see of Caracas Archbishop Ignacio Velasco said in his homily that, like in the Old Testament, this could be a sign that God is not happy with His people in this northernmost country of South America and has sent this terrible disaster to wake the people up and bring them back to Him. He urged all to fast and pray. For more, click on Venezuela .


    Archbishop of Caracas Calls for Conversion

        CARACAS, DEC 22 (ZENIT).- The search continues in Caracas for people who have disappeared, and the state of Vargas has had to be militarized because of violent robberies that placed the Army on alert and resulted in arrests.

        Many countries continue to send aid and volunteers specialized in required emergency work. Venezuela has also announced its most urgent needs: doctors and health personnel, priests, psychotherapists and social workers. Diocesan Caritas, NGOs and Venezuelan embassies around the world are receiving material aid, and several bank accounts have been established to facilitate expressions of solidarity. The number of dead could rise to 50,000, and of homeless to 300,000.

        Archbishop Ignacio Velasco of Caracas said during a Mass in the Basilica of St. Teresa, that the only answer for Christians "when nature goes wild, is to humble oneself before God, the only One who can control it." The Archbishop presided over a prayer service for the victims. Hundreds of people from the capital expressed their suffering to the popular and venerated image of the Nazarene of St. Paul.

        "We should look within ourselves and ask ourselves if we haven't caused this to a degree, because we do not do things well and then we all pay the price. We have sins of pride, we think we can do everything, and nature takes care to show us we do not have all the power," the Archbishop said,, exhorting the faithful to practice solidarity at this time of need, and to begin again with a converted heart. ZE99122202

      Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem expresses hope that men of good will will shine forth as leading lights in the peace process with Israel and the Arab kingdom

         On the advent of Jubilee Year 2000 and the new millennium Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah of Jerusalem disclosed in his annual Christmas message the hopes of all Christian Palestinians that the peace processes underway between Israel and Syria and Palestine will develop into lasting peace where all - Christian, Jew and Arab can share and prosper equally in harmony, allowing all to worship freely with no restrictions. He cited the vast importance of this area due to its heritage as God's chosen land and called on politicians to take that into account in protecting human dignity for all. For more, click on Peace on earth to men of good will.


    Christmas Message of Peace and Hope for the World; Bethlehem Midnight Mass live on webcast

        JERUSALEM, DEC 22 (ZENIT).- Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah of Jerusalem has written a Christmas message of peace and hope, founded on the presence of God with us in his Incarnation and Birth. The message was addressed to the faithful, citizens, governments of the countries of his diocese, and the whole world and was made public today.

        The Patriarch's message expresses love and fraternity toward the Arab world -- both Christian and Muslim, and peace for the Hebrew people, a peace that as "the fruit of justice, will produce tranquility and joy in all of us."

        He continued by affirming that only the Spirit can renew the face of the earth, the heart of humanity, and reestablish justice in relations among peoples and persons. "In this way, different religious extremisms will disappear among many believers and each one will come to understand that faith in God consists in love of him and of all his creatures."

        In light of the Jubilee, the Patriarch reviewed the situation in the region, beginning with the peace process, which has extended in the peace negotiations between Israel and Syria. With the birth of the State of Palestine, Patriarch Sabbah hopes "that it may enjoy its new sovereignty and full liberty," in a period of stability for all inhabitants, and an era of peace, security and tranquility especially for those of Bethlehem. The Patriarch believes that the key to the solution of Jerusalem's future lies in sharing and equality, both in the aspect of sovereignty as well as that of citizens' duties and rights. All believers -- Jews, Muslims and Christians, must be able to express themselves and be heard when the moment arrives to decide on the future of the Holy City. Christians and Muslims must face together the question of the Nazareth mosque, having a single vision and a single heart, helped in this by those who have the responsibility of public order in the city.

        On the occasion of the Jubilee, the Holy Father will make his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, "a visit of faith and prayer, and which all leaders of the Catholic Church in this land have so desired, in order that it be a blessing for all, a voice of the Spirit in our country, a message of peace for our peoples in search of peace; a meeting with all believers in God in this land that is God's," the Patriarch concluded.

        The Bethlehem Midnight Mass will be broadcast live via Internet this year, enabling persons unable to travel to the Holy Land to experience the celebration. Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah will celebrate the Mass in the Basilica of the Nativity. The webcast can be reached at or or , and will be broadcast in RealPlayer format (RealPlayer is a free download, but is included with most newer Internet browsers). Midnight of December 24 in the Holy Land is 5:00 p.m. Eastern time, December 24 (10:00 p.m. GMT). The Al-Bushra site will keep the Mass online for later viewing for those who are unable to see it live. ZE99122208 and ZE99122220

      It won't be a peaceful Christmas in Eastern Africa as war continues between Ethiopia and Eritrea

          The Papal Envoy to the warring nations of Ethiopia and Eritrea Archbishop Silvano Tomasi acknowledged it will not be a peaceful Christmas for there is none in this eastern region of Africa where wars between the two countries have taken their toll over a border dispute that has thrown both countries into turmoil killing tens of thousands in senseless slaughters adding to the trauma of this region where the vast Sudan lies to the west bordering both countries and waiting for the spoils. The archbishop prayed that He expressed hope that the peace talks presided over by Algeria can be worked out to everyone's satisfaction. Both Ethiopia and Eritrea want control over the Horn of Africa and ne'r the twain shall meet. Until it does, war will continue and it will not be a peaceful Christmas For more, click on Peace on earth shallow in East Africa .


        ADDIS ABABA ( - Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican envoy to Ethiopia and Eritrea, in a Christmas message on Tuesday, called for peace to descend on the two countries which have waged a long war.

        "I pray that good sense will prevail and that peace will be re-established since it is the only way to guarantee the development of these two countries which have already suffered so much," said Archbishop Tomasi.

        The long border war has already claimed tens of thousands of lives. "At all costs, there must be no ulterior destabilization in the Horn of Africa region," he said. "This would be deleterious for the outset of the new millennium. It is logical to think that if the fighting continues the consequences will be tragic; but in this conflict logic counts for little or nothing."

        The conflict, which began as a fight over boundaries, can be explained, the archbishop said, on the one hand by a justified demand for national autonomy and identity on the part of Eritrea and on the other Ethiopia's desire to maintain its traditional and historical leadership in the Horn of Africa.

        Recently, fighting has become more intense while peace mediation, which Algeria presides over for the Organization for the Unity of Africa (OUA), is extremely slow. The OUA proposes a plan which includes the withdrawal of troops from the contested zone. The plan was opposed by Eritrea at first and now Ethiopia refuses to agree. Eritrean President Isaias Afeworki said recently during a visit to Rome that the plan must be accepted unconditionally by both sides.

      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.

    • Total number of visits to the DAILY CATHOLIC thus far in 1999 (as of December 21):     5,153,933
    • Total number of visits since this daily publication went on line November 1, 1997:              7,041,373

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    December 23, 1999 volume 10, no. 244  DAILY CATHOLIC