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February 19-21, 1999
SECTION THREE vol 10, no. 35
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO
Daily Dose of curious contents of the Church
We hear the name "Roman Curia" bandied about a lot. But what does it mean? The word curia means "court" in Latin. The roman Curia, as the Catholic Almanac points out, is "the Church's network of central administrative agencies also called dicastries which serve the Vatican and local churches, with authority granted by the Pope." The original office of the Curia was the Apostolic Chancery which was set up in the 4th century in order to transmit documents. Special commissions of Cardinals and Bishops were gradually established into divisions during the second half of the 15th Century as an offshoot of the Council of Trent and the counter-reform measures. Pope Saint Pius X revamped the governing process in 1908. It wasn't until 1967 that Pope Paul VI, after a four year intensive study of each commission, reorganized the entire Curia, publishing a special Apostolic Constitution Regimini Ecclesiae Universae on August 18, 1967. All of his decrees went into effect March 1968. Twenty years later John Paul II further modified the Curia with his Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus on June 28, 1988 that was implemented on March 1, 1989. Though there have been revisions of some offices since, the current Curia compose the Office of the Secretariat of State, nine governing agencies called Congregations, three judicial agencies called Tribunals, eleven promotional agencies termed Pontifical Councils, three Offices and five Curia Agencies which deal with matters within the Vatican, and twenty Commissions and Committees, many of which are attached to certain Curial agencies. All Curial positions are appointed by the Pope and they are subject to the Roman Pontiff and Canon Law 360 and 361. Basically the Curia is the Vatican's answer to Congress, except they perform much more efficiently!
(sources: 1999 Catholic Almanac, Our Sunday Visitor; My Catholic Faith, Mission House; Catholic Encyclopedia, Thomas Nelson Publishers)
WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant
Pope zeroes in on parable of the prodigal son in his Lenten Message
Pope John Paul II used his Wednesday Papal Audience at Paul VI Hall to kick off his Lenten message of reconciliation and tying it all in with the year of the Father and how the Father reconciled with the world two millenniums ago by sending His Only-begotten Son Who reconciled the world to Him. The Pope encouraged all to live the message of this final Lent of the second millennium to the fullest. For more, click on Wednesday Audience
LENT "IS THE TIME FOR RECONCILIATION" SAYS POPE
VATICAN CITY, 18 (NE) The Holy Father stated yesterday that
Lent "is a time when God shows a particular fondness in
forgiving our sins: it is the time of reconciliation." In his
Wednesday General Audience in the Pope Paul VI Hall, the Pope
recalled that the "austere ceremony of the imposition of ashes"
is the beginning of the "penitential itinerary of Lent."
The Pope's words invited the faithful to meditate on that
Parable of the Prodigal Son that "describes in a simple and
profound way the reality of conversion manifesting the most
concrete expression of the merciful intervention of God in the
human world." The Pontiff, that in so many occasions has
commented this passage of the Gospel, referred in particular to
the paternal embrace, pointing out that this symbolizes
perfectly "the topic of this introductory year to the Great
Jubilee of the year 2000."
Reflecting on the passage more in depth, he also manifested
that "the embrace of reconciliation between the Father and the
whole of the sinful humanity occurred in the Calvary." Upon
concluding, the Successor of Peter invited the faithful to
pilgrim in this time of Lent "with our eyes fixed on Christ, our
only Redeemer," reminding also that "our reconciliation with God
is made effective thanks to an authentic conversion."
Framed Guatamala priest finally acquitted as newly appointed Judge takes action!
Finally someone in authority has heard the pleas and seen the lack of evidence to indict Father Mario Orantes Najera for the murder last April of Auxiliary Bishop Juan
Gerardi Conedera, an avowed human rights advocate who was a burr under the saddle of a Guatamala government and military notorious for abusing human rights. After interminable delays, the Judge finally did something. Now, as the Church and human rights groups have been saying all along, the authorities can do nothing but look in the mirror for the real murderer. For more, click on Guatamala.
GUATEMALA JUDGE RELEASES PRIEST ACCUSED OF BISHOP MURDER
GUATEMALA CITY (CWNews.com) - A Guatemalan judge on
Wednesday ordered the release of Father Mario Orantes
Najera, determining that there is insufficient evidence to
implicate him in the murder of Auxiliary Bishop Juan
Father Orantes was arrested in July 1998, after police
investigators charged that he was involved in the death of
Bishop Gerardi in April of that year. Father Orantes, who
lived in the same rectory with the slain bishop, was
accused of having ordered his dog to attack the bishop. But
the investigators never produced any evidence to back that
Catholic Church officials had consistently said that they
believed Father Orantes is innocent of the charges, and
appealed for his immediate release. Church officials have
also criticized investigators for failing to pursue other
leads in the death of Bishop Gerardi -- who was killed just
after having released a report which sharply criticized the
country's military leaders for their involvement in
human-rights offenses during Guatemala's civil war.
The release of Father Orantes leaves investigators with no
suspects in the Gerardi slaying. Two other suspects,
arrested prior to the detention of Father Orantes, were
also released because of lack of evidence to tie them to
Vatican supports Palestinian cause in "Bethlehem 2000" Conference
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat visited with the Pope and Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, head of the Central Committee for Jubilee 2000 and had to be encouraged with plans for 2000 and the course the week-long Vatican conference entitled "Bethlehem 2000" has taken in backing Palestinians in their struggle for human rights in the troubled Gaza Strip and West Bank. For more, click on Bethlehem 2000.
CARDINAL VOICES SUPPORT FOR BETHLEHEM CELEBRATIONS
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- At a conference in Rome on plans for the
Jubilee Year in Bethlehem, Cardinal Roger Etchegaray has expressed
the hope that the Palestinian people "will enter the year 2000 with
all the resources they need to assure their full flowering."
This week's conference on Bethlehem was organized by the
"Committee for the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People," a
group which seeks the full enactment of resolutions adopted by the
United Nations in December 1998 in support of the Palestinian cause.
The particular goal of the conference is to "mobilize as much
international support as possible" for the "Bethlehem 2000" project,
which in turn is being designed as a showpiece for Palestinian
Cardinal Etchegaray, who heads the Vatican effort to coordinate plans
for the Jubilee celebration, said that his own participation in the
conference was meant as a "gesture of encouragement" for the
group's plans. He said that the Catholic Church would enthusiastically
participate in the "Bethlehem 2000" plans.
The cardinal added the hope that the many Christian pilgrims who
are expected to flock to the Holy Land during the Jubilee year will
find it "a land of welcome and of peace." Any lasting peace, he said,
would necessarily be founded on "respect for the dignity of all men,
without discrimination and without any impediment to free
participation by everyone in professional and social life."
Roman Curia will begin week-long retreat Sunday to refresh spiritually
It should be pretty quiet at the Vatican all next week as the entire Roman Curia engage in their annual retreat. Ever since Pope Pius XI initiated the annual retreat for the Roman Curia in 1929, it has been held every year in Lent. This year's begins Sunday and will last through next Saturday. For more, click on Annual Retreat.
ROMAN CURIA WILL BEGIN LENTEN RETREAT
VATICAN CITY, 18 (NE) From the 21st to the 27th of February
the annual Lenten retreat of the Roman Curia will take place in
the Vatican, in the presence of the Holy Father. It will begin
the first Lenten Sunday, and will consist of two daily sessions,
which include meditation, the rosary, adoration and benediction.
They will be held at the Clementine Hall in the Vatican.
As the Vatican Information Service (VIS) explained, Papal
spiritual exercises began with Pope Pius XI in 1929. In his
encyclical Mens nostra he declared his intention of initiating
annual retreats with the members of the Roman Curia.
This year Bishop André-Mutien Léonard of Namur (Belgium) will
preach the spiritual exercises. In 1976 John Paul II himself, at
that time Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, preached the spiritual
exercises of the Roman Curia for Pope Paul VI.
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
As we continue to feature Catholic megasites, we offer this weekend one which provides the entire Catholic encyclopedia, beaucoup Church documents, St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica and many more features. This excellent resource site called NEW ADVENT CATHOLIC SUPERSITE is the brainchild of Kevin Knight who hails from Denver, home of the traditional and loyal Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap. This site is a past recipient of our Golden Chalice Award.
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February 19-21, 1999 volume 10, no. 35 DAILY CATHOLIC