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TUESDAY      February 16, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 32

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


      In preparation for Lent which begins tomorrow, it is a good time to remind all of the Act of Contrition which does not have to be said only at confession time but should be encouraged to be prayed every single day. There are various versions from the traditional pre-Vatican one to the most recent. The first is the traditional version, the second is the one most learned, the third is the most modern one which most of our children learned. The Act of Contrition carries an indulgence of three years according to article 36 of the Raccolta:

      O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy Grace, to confess my sins, do penance and to amend my life. Amen.

      O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because of Thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin.

      My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against You Whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with Your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In His name, my God, have mercy.

Events Today in Church History

     There have been those who have criticized the Church for not speaking out against Naziism in its earlier stages but we have proof that on this date in 1933, six years before Adolf Hitler invaded Poland and concocted the horrible holocaust, the German Catholic newspaper Germania strongly warned the faithful of the atrocities that were to come if they followed the man who would become "der Fuhrer." For other pertinent events that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

Historical Events in Church Annals for February 16:

with a Catholic slant

provided by
Catholic World News Service
and Noticias Eclesiales Church News



      VATICAN ( -- The Vatican has officially confirmed that Pope John Paul II will visit Romania in May 1999, at the invitation of the Romanian Orthodox Patriarch Theoctist.

      That announcement is a particularly significant one, since Romania will be the first predominantly Orthodox country in Eastern Europe to receive a papal visit. Relations between the Orthodox and Catholic churches, which have often been tense, have improved markedly during recent months. The visit by Pope John Paul II is both a product of that improvement and an effort to continue the thaw. The two bodies have been working together to resolve questions about the ownership of church properties seized from the Catholics under the old Stalinist regime.

      Pope John Paul has also made it clear that he sees a visit to Romania as an opportunity to help build a sense of European unity which embraces the "two Christian traditions"-- those of Western and Eastern Christianity. During his Angelus audience on February 14, the Pontiff invoked Sts. Cyril and Methodius, the evangelizers of Eastern Europe, who along with St. Benedict are patrons of the entire European continent.

      The Vatican announcement of the impending visit, issued February 13, ended a week of anticipation. The Holy See had previously received invitations from Romanian Catholic officials and from the country's President Constantinescu. But Vatican officials had indicated that the Pope was waiting for an invitation from the Romanian Orthodox synod, which convened last week.

      Last week, the Orthodox synod indicated that it would invite the Holy Father to visit Romania. But the Vatican press office had cautioned that no announcement would be made until a formal invitation was received. When that invitation did arrive, the Vatican promptly accepted it.

      No dates have been officially set for the papal trip, but diplomatic sources suggest that it will probably occur on May 7- 9, 1999. The Pope is expected to confine his trip to the capital, Bucharest.

      It was also announced that Pope John Paul II will travel to Maribor, in Slovenia, on September 19.

      The Holy Father will preside at beatification ceremonies on that date for Anton Martin Slomsek (1800-1862), the bishop of the diocese which now includes Maribor.

      Bishop Slomsek-- who will be the first Slovenian to be beatified-- was known for his efforts to educate the populace in the native language. He also founded the Association of St. Cyril and Methodius to promote unity between Catholics and Orthodox Christians.

      In a related story on reuniting faiths, Pope John Paul II received Archbishop George Carey of Canterbury, the primate of the Church of England, in a private audience on Saturday, February 13.

      Archbishop Carey, who was in Rome for the opening of a new Anglican center there, has visited the Vatican on two previous occasions: in December 1996 and again in December 1997. The latter meeting was marked by tensions, as the discussions between the Pope and the Anglican primate centered on the question of ordination for women. The decision by the Church of England to ordain women to the priesthood marked a major setback to the hope of unity between the two churches.

      The latest meeting was described as a "warm" conversation. Pope John Paul and Archbishop Carey reportedly discussed the plight of Christians who are being persecuted-- notably in Sudan and in India.


      VATICAN ( -- Archbishop Eric D'Arcy of Hobart, Australia, reaffirmed Church teachings on the intrinsic immorality of homosexual acts after a meeting of English-speaking bishops in San Francisco last week.

      Bishops from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the English-speaking countries of Oceania had met with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and other officials of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for three days of reflection on controversial theological problems.

      The moral status of homosexuality figures prominently among the issues which bishops must confront in their dioceses, Archbishop D'Arcy reported. He lamented that there are some tendencies to approach the issue of homosexuality without taking into account the clear teachings of the Church, which in turn are based on the clear indications of the Bible. He concluded: "The Church teaches that homosexual acts cannot contribute to the authentic welfare of the human person."


      MIAMI, 15 (NE) The Inter-American Meeting of Bishops started Sunday in Havana, Cuba, with a Eucharistic celebration presided over by Cardinal Jaime Ortega, Archbishop of Havana. The meeting, which gathers bishops from the entire American continent, is being held shortly after the first anniversary of the pilgrimage of Pope John Paul II to Cuba.

      Many pastoral challenges at the threshold of the third millennium will be faced during the event. Among these are the challenge of evangelization, the secularization of society, the urgency to promote priestly vocations and the problem of sects. The meeting will be held in the outskirts of the capital through February 17th.

      "If we want to preserve the richness of our diverse traditions and cultures, the new evangelization will have to promote the encounter with a living Christ," pointed out Cardinal Jaime Ortega during the inauguration Mass. "Only He can give American peoples what they intensely long for." During his homily the Archbishop of Havana stated as well that Christian love couldn't be substituted by "individualistic or collective" political ideologies.


      ROME, 15 (NE) "We must give this seed time so that it may mature," said Archbishop Justin Rigali of Saint Louis, commenting on the message given in the United States during Pope John Paul II's last visit. In declarations to the Italian newspaper Avvenire, Archbishop Rigali pointed out that "all the central topics addressed by the Holy Father, from the defense of life to solidarity between the north and south of the continent, have raised a debate. The hope is that the reflection raised may give birth to a movement of opinion."

      "The Church's message is difficult to accept in its entirety, just as it is difficult to truly follow Jesus," pointed out the Archbishop of Saint Louis. "John Paul II, however, has the gift of offering truth in a way in which it is totally attractive, that makes one truly think about the presence of the Holy Spirit. The difficulties exist but just as well as the openness and we must give these seeds their time to mature."

      Recalling Darrell Mease's case, whose capital punishment was recently commuted after the Holy Fatherīs intercession, Archbishop Rigali urged not to forget that the Pope's intervention against capital punishment "is inserted in a general zeal to defend life, which also includes problems referring to abortion, euthanasia and the necessary rights in order to guarantee respect for the dignity of the human person."

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. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

January 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message

    Dear children! I again invite you to prayer. You have no excuse to work more because nature still lies in deep sleep. Open yourselves in prayer. Renew prayer in your families. Put Holy Scripture in a visible place in your families, read it, reflect on it and learn how God loves His people. His love shows itself also in present times because He sends me to call you upon the path of salvation. Thank you for having responded to my call.
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE


    Today, we begin a series of Catholic megasites that all should be familiar with. The first is one that has made great strides as CatholiCity - a virtual Catholic city full of choice Catholicity sponsored by the Mary Foundation and Bud McFarlane, Jr.. It is an earlier recipient of our Golden Chalice Award for excellence. We strongly recommend this site.

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February 16, 1999 volume 10, no. 32   DAILY CATHOLIC