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February 18, 1999
SECTION TWO vol 10, no. 34
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Daily Dose of curious contents of the Church:
Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
Yesterday, in our COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION we featured Cardinal Edward Isdris Cassidy, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. This Roman curia is relatively new, having been established by Pope John XXIII on June 5, 1960 in preparation for the Second Vatican Council. At that time it was merely a preparatory secretariat, but elevated to the status of a Commission in the autumn of 1962 during the first session of Vatican II with John's successor Pope Paul VI defining its functions and status as a secretariat after the close of the Council. It was our current Holy Father who proclaimed it a Pontifical Council on June 28, 1988 and appointed Cardinal Cassidy to head it. Since then he has been the only person to be President of this Pontifical Council. Under the new functions designated by John Paul II it handles relations with members of other Christian ecclesial communities; deals with the correct interpretation and execution of the principles of ecumenism; initiates or promotes Catholic ecumenical groups and coordinates on national and international levels the efforts of those promoting Christian unity. It also undertakes meaningful dialogue on ecumenical questions and activities with churches and ecclesial communities who are not in communion with the Apostolic See. In addition this Council is responsible for dispatching Catholic observer-representatives to Christian gatherings around the world and also invites observers of other faiths to Catholic gatherings, such as the Second Vatican Council. Another duty of this Council is to execute conciliar decrees dealing with ecumenical affairs such as the one last year toward those of the Jewish Faith with "We Remember the Shoah." (source: Catholic Almanac, Our Sunday Visitor, Publisher).
Today is the second day of Lent, observed in the Lenten liturgy as a Lenten Weekday as is tomorrow. Today is also the optional Feast of the Lourdes visionary and religious, Saint Bernadette Soubirous whose body remains incorrupt to this day. For the readings, liturgies, meditations and vignette on St. Bernadette, click on DAILY LITURGY.
Thursday, February 18, 1999
Thursday February 18:
Lenten Weekday and
Optional Feast of Saint Bernadette Soubirous, Virgin, Religious and Lourdes Visionary
Purple or violet vestments
First Reading: Deuteronomy 30: 15-20
Psalms: Psalm 1: 1-4, 6; 39: 5
Gospel Reading: Luke 9: 22-25
Optional Feast of Saint Bernadette Soubirous
Born at Lourdes, France, in 1844, Saint Bernadette Soubirous is honored the world over as the recipient of the Blessed Mother's pronouncement: "I am the Immaculate Conception." This supernatural confirmation of the doctrine proclaimed by Pope Pius IX in 1854 occurred on March 25, 1858. Our Lady appeared to the little peasant girl eighteen times during the early part of that year. These apparitions took place in the grotto at Massabielle, where, at the direction the Blessed Virgin, Bernadette uncovered a miraculous spring, the waters of which have been instrumental in the manifestation of many cures and miracles. Bernadette was doubted by all, her family, parish priest, townspeople but she steadfastly persevered and became a nun with the Sisters of Notre Dame. She died at the age of 35 at Nevers, France on April 16, 1879 and proof of authenticity, not just in Church approval of Lourdes, but in the visionary herself was manifested in the fact to this day her body remains incorrupt.
Friday, February 19, 1999
Purple or violet vestments
First Reading: Isaiah 58: 1-9
Psalms: Psalm 51: 3-6, 18-19
Gospel Reading: Matthew 9: 14-15
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
Tomorrow we will conclude the special Prayer for the Beginning of Lent for today, though Lent supercedes the feast, we remember the visionary of Lourdes Saint Bernadette Soubirous, Virgin and Religious with a special prayer from My Daily Prayer:
O God, guardian and lover of the lowly, Whose handmaid Sister Mary Bernadette was permitted visions of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, with whom she conversed; grant, we beseech Thee, that we, following the pathway of a trusting faith, may at last be brought to Thee in the celestial vision. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.
Events that happened this day in Church History
On this date in 1564, that celebrated master Michelangelo Buonarotti died. Age and arthritis that crippled him so badly from the many, many years of molding, chipping granite and marble, and lying prone painting the Sistine Chapel under extreme weather conditions and pressures, finally took their toll. He is remembered as the greatest of all Renaissance painters and the greatest contributor of artistic treasures for the Vatican. He often remarked that he did not have time to get down on his knees because they hurt so much, but that every brush stroke, every fold in his sculptures was a prayer. 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 February 18:
Death of Saint Simeon , believed to be first cousin of Jesus and nephew of St. Joseph who became one of the first bishops. Some historians believe he was given a heavenly warning of the impending destruction of Jerusalem in 66 AD and gathered a group of faithful and fled the city, setting a safe distance away until returning to Jerusalem to rebuild it. Though many times he nearly met his martyrdom, it wasn't until 107 when, under the persecution of Emperor Trajan that he was scourged and crucified like his relative Christ had been 74 years before.
Death of Saint Flavian of Constantinople, Patriarch of Constantinople who excommunicated the heretic Eutyches for teaching the false doctrine that Christ was only Divine. Pope Saint Leo the Great backed Flavian's actions with a special "Tome of Leo" to the saint confirming the dogma of Jesus being born with both a human and divine nature. Though Flavian was deposed at the Council of Ephesus by Eastern sympathizers to Eutyches. The Byzantine Emperor Theodosius and his hand-picked new Patriarch Dioscorus manipulated the Council, having Flavian tortured and beaten of which he never recovered. Dioscorus was appointed Patriarch until two years after Flavian's death when, at the Council of Chalcedon Flavian was declared a saint and martyr and Dioscorus deposed.
Death of Saint Helladius, Archbishop of Toledo who converted late in life after serving as minister in the courts of the Visigoth monarchs.
Death of Saint Angilbert, Abbot of Centula who had been brought up by Saint Alcuinin the great Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne's court and courted his daughter Bertha. Rather than marriage, both vowed themselves to the Lord, she to a convent and he as a Benedictine monk where became Charlemagne's personal confessor as well as his special diplomat and executor of Charlemagne's last will and testament.
Death of Pope Gregory V, 138th successor of Peter. Born in Saxony, he was elected on May 3, 996. During his three-year pontificate he was forced to flee to Pavia and the antipope John XVII was nominated by the Italian patrician Crescentius. John ruled Rome only a year until Gregory returned triumphantly. He instituted the commemoration of the dead and translated to the church of Santa Maria Nuova in Rome the body of the Martyr Saint Lucy.
Death of Michelangelo Buonarroti, Italian master sculptor and painter whose arthritis caused him to give up his life's work in his later years. The man who painted the Sistine Chapel, sculpted the Pieta and the statue of David, among countless other priceless works of art, died at the age of 88.
Death of Mary Stuart, Catholic Queen of Scots who was beheaded at the order of her half sister Elizabeth who usurped the crown of England rightfully belonging to Mary and turned against Catholicism in the same manner her father Henry VIII had.
NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant
Holy Father considers it paramount in returning to Fatima sometime this year because of its significance for our times
When John Paul II will make his pilgrimage to Fatima is still to be determined, but there is no question it will be sometime this year as the Holy See confirmed the Pope's acceptance of the invitation from the Bishop of Fatima. There is much speculation that the Holy Father might proclaim a special document while there, or further the cause for canonization of the two deceased visionaries Francisco and Jacinta (Lucia is still alive), or tie in Our Lady's message of Russia's conversion with his impending visit to the Ukraine, or quite possibly proclaim the fifth dogma at Fatima. No one knows for sure but they do know that Fatima can expect him to make his third pilgrimage sometime this spring or summer. For more, click on Fatima.
POPE PLANS VISIT TO FATIMA
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Pope John Paul II has indicated a desire
to make a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Fatima this year,
although no date has been set.
Bishop Serafim de Sousa Ferreira e Silva of Fatima has disclosed that
he invited the Holy Father to visit on May 13-- the date of the first
apparition by the Virgin Mary to the children at Fatima. The
invitation was signed by most of the bishops of Portugal.
While the Pope accepted the invitation in principle, the date of his
visit has not been fixed. In addition to May 13, the Vatican is also
considering dates in August and October-- times when thousands of
pilgrims annually flock to the Marian shrine.
There are several reasons for the Pope's interest in visiting Fatima
this year, on what would be his third pilgrimage to the shrine. He
may use the occasion to consecrate the 21st century to the Virgin
Mary-- making that consecration at a shrine which has been
particularly dear to him. Or-- since the message of Fatima carries
special importance for Russia-- he may reiterate his desire for closer
ties between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox world.
Finally, it is possible that the visit could coincide with an
announcement about the cause for beatification of Jacinta and
Francisco, two of the three children to whom the Virgin appeared at
Fatima. A committee of physicians working with the Congregation for
the Causes of Saints recently examined the case of a woman who was
cured after making a novena to Jacinta and Francisco; the doctors
found no medical explanation for the cure. A committee of
theologians will now be appointed to determine whether or not the
case qualifies as a miracle.
Pope John Paul has consistently said that he credits the Virgin of
Fatima for his survival of the assassination attempt which took place
on May 13, 1981. His last visit to Fatima was in May 1991, at which
time he made a public expression of thanks to the Virgin for
guarding his life.
Castro opens arms to Inter-American Bishops at conclusion of conference in Havana
Following up and affirming all the Holy Father had imparted during his historic papal pilgrimage to Cuba last year, bishops from North, South and Central America met with communist dictator Fidel Castro after they expressed agreement with him that the 36-year embargo imposed by the United States must be lifted. But they did agree to disagree on the capital punishment issue which the bishops are against and Castro is for. For more, click on Cuba conference
BISHOPS MEET CASTRO; URGE END TO US EMBARGO,
PLEDGE PASTORAL SUPPORT TO CUBAN CHURCH AND REJECT USE OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
HAVANA (CWNews.com) - Cuban President Fidel Castro met with
bishops from across the Americas on Tuesday, just after the
bishops called for an end to the 36-year-old US embargo of
The bishops of the Latin American Episcopal Conference
(CELAM), as well as delegates from the US and Canadian
bishops' conferences, were gathered for the first time in
Havana this week for their annual meeting to discuss
implementing Pope John Paul's call for a new evangelization
for the Americas and the state of the Church in Cuba. On
Tuesday, the bishops said they hoped for improved relations
between Cuba and the US. "It has always been the position of
the bishops of the United States ... to seek the lessening
and even the ending of the embargo," said Archbishop
Theodore McCarrick of Newark, New Jersey.
The bishops added that they were encouraged by changes
implemented by President Bill Clinton in January that would
allow more Americans to send money to Cubans, begin direct
mail service, and expand charter flights. "We hope they are
just the beginning of more substantial changes," Archbishop
At the conclusion of the
Inter-American Meeting of Bishops,
several bishops committed to providing material and pastoral
help for the growing Church in Cuba, subject to the approval
of the Cuban Communist government.
After the closing Mass, held on Tuesday, Cardinal Lucas
Moreira Neves, Prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for
Bishops and President of the Pontifical Council for Latin
America, said: "There will be an effort to send Latin
American priests and missionaries to strengthen the work of
evangelization in Cuba." Honduran Archbishop Oscar Rodriguez
Maradiaga, President of the Latin American Bishops' Council
added: "We have listened to the positive steps
made by the Church in Cuba after the Pope's visit and we
have realized that there are great needs."
Archbishop Rodriguez said that the Church in the US and
Canada, as well as several Latin American episcopates, have
committed material help against "the lack of proper places
to celebrate Mass, to preach the Gospel, and to promote
humanitarian activities." He added, "Of course, this help
will be available in Cuba if the government decides to
introduce some changes in the law." In 1987, the Cuban
government allowed several foreign missionaries to enter
the country, but current law still bans them. In addition,
no religion may begin restoration work or build new
Archbishop Rodriguez said that the Church hopes not only
for approval for the construction of new churches but "also
the re-dedication of churches that at present are used as
public offices or warehouses."
Noticias Eclesias' Church News also reported that Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega expressed
his concern yesterday for the new measures implied in the bill
of defense of economy and Cuban independence, being currently in
discussion. The bill establishes diverse punishments for people
accused of affecting "the fundamental, political, or economical
interests" of Cuba.
On the other hand, the Archbishop of Havana manifested his
rejection to capital punishment, one of the penalties
contemplated in Cuban legislation and which is being considered
to increase in use. "Yesterday much was discussed about common
crime and I was following all that referred to the different
penalties, such as life imprisonment, capital punishment, and
you already know what our position is regarding those penalties.
Capital punishment is always a tragic resource that the Church
rejects in its doctrine," he pointed out.
Cardinal Ortega affirmed that such penalty is not a way of
solving any problems. "Maybe the problem goes beyond that. It
lays in the values, it lays in education, in the family, it lays
in many things that must be improved in order to avoid any human
being walking in the wrong path," he added.
Papal-bashing Mouth of the South at it again with foot-in-mouth disease!
Talk about stupid remarks!!! If he had bashed the blacks, Jews or gays, they'd have his head, but becasue Ted Turner, the liberals' darling for promoting the culture of death, bashed Catholics, in particular Pope John Paul II he's applauded! In his crusade to advance abortion and contraception he had to attack the Catholic faith and her Vicar of Christ, calling him out of touch and, well, you know, the same ol' liberal refrain. For more, click on Terrible Turner.
CNN FOUNDER CALLS FOR ONE-CHILD POLICY, INSULTS POPE
WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - Cable News Network founder
Ted Turner addressed the National Family Planning and
Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA) on Tuesday,
peppering his remarks with insults and jokes about Pope
John Paul II and the Ten Commandments -- to the applause
and laughter of the audience -- as well as a call for an
international "one-child" policy.
Turner, now a vice-president of Time-Warner, Inc., was
awarded the group's President's Award for his support of
the United Nations Populations Fund. Last year, the
billionaire and his wife, Jane Fonda, gave $1 billion to UN
for population control programs.
Turner said that while he is the father of five children,
he fathered most of them before he was 30 when he didn't
know any better. He added, "Once they were here, I couldn't
shoot them." He said now he believes an ideal world
population would be 2 billion -- it is now 5.9 billion. "We
could do it in a very humane way if everybody adopted a
one-child policy for 100 years," he said.
In other remarks, Turner said the Ten Commandments are
outdated and said, "If you're going to have 10 rules, I
don't know if adultery should be one of them." When asked
what he would say to Pope John Paul, he responded with an
ethnic joke -- "Ever seen a Polish mine detector?" -- and
suggested the Holy Father should "get with it. Welcome to
the 20th century."
Survivors of slain Swiss Guard incensed by defamation of character over drug and gay accusations
Cease and desist! That is the message the surviving families of both Swiss Guard Commandant-elect Alois Estermann and his wife Gladys Meza Romero have clearly told Italian media barracudas swimming in a school of sensationalism surrounding the causes of Estermann's death last May. With no evidence by the Italian press to back up their claims, the family members are furious that they continue to denigrate the memory of Estermann when the Vatican has researched it thoroughly and concluded it had nothing to do with drugs or a homosexual affair which the media falsely perpetuates. For more, click on Swiss Guards.
FAMILIES DENOUNCE "CALUMNIES" AGAINST SLAIN SWISS GUARD
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- The family of Col. Alois Estermann, the
Swiss Guard commander who was killed last year, has called for an
end to "infamous calumnies" published in the Italian press.
Since the formal conclusion of a Vatican inquiry into the deaths of
Col. Estermann and his wife, Gladys Meza Romero, several Italian
newspapers have published stories-- based entirely on speculation--
alleging that the Vatican covered up evidence of drug abuse,
espionage, or homosexual affairs involved in the Swiss Guard killing.
The Vatican inquiry-- conducted with help from Italian and Swiss
police investigators-- found no evidence to support those rumors.
In a statement issued today through the Vatican press office, the
Estermann family-- joined by the Meza Romero family-- expresses
confidence in the results of the Vatican investigation. The families
indicate that they can forgive the man who apparently killed their
loved ones: Corporal Cedric Tornay. But they have difficulty
understanding the "unscrupulous" journalists who concoct "absurd
and injurious" theories to dishonor the memory of those who died.
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.
SITE OF THE DAY
In honor of today's Optional Feast of Saint Bernadette Soubirous, visionary of Lourdes we present the site for Medjugorje, an extension of what Our Lady imparted in France and a confirmation of her continuing messages from Rue de Bac on. The site is MEDJUGORJE WEB, an excellent site to find out everything you need to know about the phenomena that has been occurring in this mountain village of Bosnia-Herzegovina for the past eighteen years. This site is also a past recipient of our Golden Chalice Award.
Click here to return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
February 18, 1999 volume 10, no. 34 DAILY CATHOLIC