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TUESDAY      February 23, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 37

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

SIMPLY SHEEN: The definition of dirty politics

      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".

"Politics is what might be called 'deferred repentance' - the keeping clean of the outside of the cup in order to escape the necessity of cleaning the inside."

"Come then as little lambs and place your hearts, souls and wills upon the altar."

     This is what Our Lord asked of all His children in Message #406 conveyed to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart in mid-September 1993. Jesus asks His flock to return to Him, the Good Shepherd and place themselves in His Merciful and Loving arms. Only there will we find true refuge if we give Him all reverence. His Blessed Mother Mary prefaces her Divine Son's words in Message #405 two days earlier when she asks all His lambs to drink from the Chalice of Divine Mercy which flows freely for all if we but heed His Commandments and adhere to the Divine Will. She weeps for the many who turn their backs on Him and pleads for them to return in the manner of the prodigal son before it is too late. For these two Messages, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."

Messages Four Hundred-five and Four Hundred-six

Message Four Hundred-five, September 17, 1993

(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
(Feast of Saint Robert Bellarmine)

Message Four Hundred-six, September 19, 1993

(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Sacred and Merciful Heart of Jesus)


     Today is the First Tuesday of Lent plus the optional Feast of Saint Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr. Tomorrow is the First Wednesday of Lent. For the readings, liturgies, meditations and vignette on St. Polycarp, click on DAILY LITURGY.

Tuesday, February 23, 1999

Feast of Saint Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr

Wednesday, February 24, 1999

Events Today in Church History

      Through an interesting coincidence today we not only feature Pope Eugene IV, 207th successor of Peter, in our 94th installment of THE HISTORY OF THE MASS AND HOLY MOTHER CHURCH but today is the 552nd anniversary of the death of Pope Eugene IV. For other pertinent events that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

Historical Events in Church Annals for February 23:

with a Catholic slant

provided by
Catholic World News Service
and Noticias Eclesiales Church News



      VATICAN ( -- The number of baptized Catholics in the world has surpassed 1 billion, according to the latest edition of the Annuario Pontificio.

      The Annuario for 1999 was formally unveiled in Rome this weekend. The volume's summary of statistics shows a grand total of just over 1 billion baptized Catholics alive on December 31, 1997.

      Of these Catholics, nearly half-- 49.3 percent-- live on the American continents. Europe accounts for 28 percent of the world's Catholics, Africa for 11 percent, Asia 10 percent, and Oceania less than 1 percent. The American continent is the only one where Catholics form a majority of the population, at 63 percent. In Europe, Catholics are only 41 percent; in Oceania 28 percent; in Africa 15 percent; and in Asia only 3 percent.

      The Annuario includes statistics on the number of bishops, priests, deacons, religious, and missionaries throughout the world, as well as statistics on baptisms, marriages, funerals, and ordinations. The figures show a slight increase over the previous year (1996) in the number of priestly ordinations, although deaths have left the total number of active priests essentially unchanged. The number of men and women religious declined slightly in 1997.


      VATICAN ( -- In his message for the 85th annual World Day for Migrants, Pope John Paul II has renewed his pleas for a reduction in the debt of the world's poorest countries.

      The Pope laments that "disequilibrium" between rich and poor countries could become irreversible, "with tragic consequences for all of humanity." Such a lack of equilibrium, he says, is incompatible with the fundamental theme of his message regarding migrants: the need for Christians to "welcome the stranger."

      The Pope's message, published on February 20, alludes to the Church herself as a sort of migrant-- a pilgrim on earth. Thus, he says, "the Church by her nature is in solidarity with the world of migrants." Like the world's migrants, Christians-- sons of Abraham-- are strangers on their way to the Promised Land, he says. He expresses the hope that "this perspective will help Christians to abandon all nationalist logic and ideological schemes."

      On the first Sunday of Lent, the Pope encouraged the faithful to use the season as preparation for Easter and for the Jubilee.

      Speaking at his regular Angelus audience-- after making his 281st visit to a parish in the Rome diocese-- the Holy Father stressed the value of spiritual preparation for the celebration of the 2000th anniversary of Jesus' birth. "It is important to step back from the indifference and the distractions of the world, and listen to the voice of God, which can be heard through the Church and, in the first place, in the conscience of every man."

      On Sunday evening, February 21, the Pope and most of the leaders of the Roman Curia began their annual Lenten Retreat. The retreat will continue through February 27. During that time, most offices at the Vatican will be working on a sharply reduced schedule, if not completely closed.


      DUBLIN ( - A commercial for Ireland's biggest-selling Catholic newspaper has been banned from the airwaves.

      The advertisement promotes The Irish Catholic as a lively and provocative family newspaper for those who "expect more from a family newspaper than a diet of sex and sensationalism." But broadcasting authorities pulled the plug on the commercial before it began its six-week run on local radio stations in Counties Waterford and Donegal.

      It was in breach of legislation prohibiting ads "directed towards any religious or political end," said the Irish Radio and Television Commission. Established 111 years ago, the Irish Catholic has a circulation of 27,000. Its latest edition condemns the ban as "an issue of press freedom, specifically the freedom of the religious press."


      WASHINGTON, DC ( - The pro-family Family Research Council on Monday unveiled a new advertising campaign urging citizens to become more involved in public policy and government as a way to make a better America for their families.

      "The liberal establishment has every reason to sit up and take notice. Regardless of the Senate vote on impeachment, cultural indicators show Americans' attitudes and actions shifting towards traditional morality," FRC's National Advocate Janet Parshall said in introducing the nine radio public service announcements. "The public momentum is going in the right direction. This should only energize the pro-family movement. One message I have: Never give up! Especially not now."

      The Good Citizen Project is designed to make the listener realize that, as an individual, their participation in civic life can make a difference. FRC vice president Chuck Donovan said pro-family citizens have already made an impact on public policy, citing recent restrictions on pornography on the Internet, the education of the public on partial-birth abortions, tax changes in favor of married taxpayers, and proposed or approved laws banning same-sex marriages.

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


    Tying in with the pro-family campaign, we present today a site that provides the finest Catholic materials benefiting family life as God intended. It is the Catholic Family Catalog offering a complete selection of religious items, books, tapes, and home schooling materials with the emphasis on the family that prays together, stays together.

Click here to return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.

February 23, 1999 volume 10, no. 37   DAILY CATHOLIC