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MONDAY      February 8, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 26

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

SIMPLY SHEEN: A scrambled ego forsakes God

     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".

"At the root of every deed which breaks the heart and starts a civil war in the soul is the affirmation: 'I am god' I am my own creator, my own redeemer.' Generally, egotists are not as willing to declare their belief in this kind of god as they are to negate a belief in the God Who stirs their conscience to return to Him."

"I do solemnly tell you that at each moment satan's hold upon you tightens."

      Those words from the Blessed Virgin Mary in Message #383 in early August 1993 to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart us a mother's plea to her children to heed her warnings and desist from following the lures of the world, the flesh and the devil. She calls for all her children who want to share in the ultimate glory that they must earn their "stripes" so to speak by taking up the cross and standing with her at the foot of the Cross of her Divine Son Jesus. She reinforces this in Message #384 two days later, reasserting the need to live in the Divine Will so that all she has imparted will come to pass including the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart. For Messages 383 and 384, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."

Messages Three Hundred-Eighty-three and Three Hundred-Eighty-four

Message Three Hundred-Eighty-three, August 2, 1993

(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
(Feast of Saint Eusebius of Vercelli)

Message Three Hundred-Eighty-four, August 4, 1993

(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart)
(Feast of Saint John Vianney, Cure of Ars)

Events Today in Church History

      On this date in 1550 Pope Julius III succeeded Pope Paul III as the 221st successor of Peter. Julius reconvened the landmark Council of Trent begun by his namesake Paul five years earlier. It was during his pontificate that Queen Elizabeth would usurp the crown over the rightful heir Mary Tudor, the Catholic Queen whom Julius supported fully and, when she was ordered killed by Elizabeth, sealed the fate of Catholicism in England. 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 8:

CATHOLIC CANVAS: Daily Dose of curious contents of the Church: Humanae vitae

      Pat Ludwa focuses on Humanae vitae the much bufffeted and ignored seventh and final encyclical issued by Pope Paul VI on July 25, 1968. There were four components to the encyclical: new aspects of a perennial problem; competence of the Church's Magisterium in resolving the problems; doctrinal principles to be maintained; and the pastoral directives for carrying out this encyclical. This long-awaited encyclical on "Of human life" in regulating procreation was met with resistance spurred on by the dissident liberal factions who had hoped Paul VI would follow his predecessor Pope John XXIII's more open policies. They wanted Paul to allow free exercise of personal conscience. Instead Paul held to the Church's traditional teachings on marriage and issues related to marriage including birth control, that the Church reserved the right and duty to pass final judgment on moral matters where they "pertain to the natural moral law" as well as moral matters formally revealed. The entire encyclical was written in total compliance with the directives of Vatican II, outlining the rights and wrongs of sex within marriage and condemning sterilization and artificial contraception as being contrary to God's laws of life. While many modernists wanted the Church to relax the rules on birth control, the Holy Father fell back on the tried and true natural rhythm method as the only viable means for regulating births save abstinence. Led by dissidents in Belgium, France and Austria and such self-proclaimed spokesmen as Hans Kung, a darling of the liberals, a resistance was put up to ignore all Paul VI had proclaimed. This spread to the United States where many confused bishops refused to enforce the principles and edicts within the encyclical. It is no coincidence that from that time on abortions increased drastically, immorality intensified with extramarital sex, divorces skyrocketed and the door was swung wide open for homosexuality to try to forge its way into the mainstream of society as an acceptable alternate way of life. Soon after AIDS raised its ugly head and the moral code honored by the media was thrown out the window in favor of titilation and sensational shock values. Looking back we have to wonder what might have been the outcome had Catholics embraced Paul VI's words in Humanae vitae. (sources: 1999 Catholic Almanac, Our Sunday Visitor, Publisher; Catholic Encyclopedia, Thomas Nelson Publishers; Catholic Dictionary, Fr. John Hardon, SJ, Doubleday).


      Today is the Fifth Monday in Ordinary Time as well as the Feast of Saint Jerome Emiliani, priest and religious founder while tomorrow is the Fifth Tuesday in Ordinary Time. For the readings, liturgies, meditations and a vignette on St. Jerome Emiliani, click on DAILY LITURGY.

Monday, February 8, 1999

Feast of Saint Jerome Emiliani, Priest and Religious Founder

Tuesday, February 9, 1999


      In honor of Saint Jerome Emiliani we present the Opening Prayer for today's Mass honoring him:

      God of mercy, You chose Jerome Emiliani to be a father and a friend of orphans. May his prayers keep us faithful to the Spirit we have received, who makes us Your children.

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World News Service and Noticias Eclesiales Church News



      VATICAN ( -- Pope John Paul II resumed his normal working schedule on Friday, February 5, after having spent most of the week recuperating from a mild fever.

      The Holy Father met on Friday with several Greek bishops, who were making their ad limina visits. On Saturday, February 6, he will meet with Rome's Mayor Francesco Rutelli-- a meeting which was postponed from February 1 because of the Pope's illness.

      However, in order to keep that appointment with the Mayor, without overcrowding the Pope's schedule during his recovery, the Vatican announced that John Paul II would not join with families from the diocese of Rome in a public recitation of the Rosary on February 7, as had been expected.

      The Vatican anticipates no changes in the Pope's schedule for next week.

      In his remarks to the visiting Greek bishops, the Holy Father observed that the absence of any formal agreement between the Catholic Church and the government of Greece has created some difficulties in that country, and he urged the bishops to work toward a "just and equitable" agreement.

      The Pope also encouraged the bishops to organize their episcopal conference more efficiently, suggesting that a permanent secretariat could stimulate cooperation among the diocesan bishops. He also suggested "a common structure to serve all the diocese," particularly by helping to form young men for the priesthood-- thereby addressing the current shortage of Catholic priests in Greece.

      The Catholic population of Greece is relatively small, and quite diverse, the Pope noted. (Among the six bishops visiting the Vatican this week, one was a Byzantine-rite exarch, while another was of the Armenian rite.) That diversity creates special challenges, the Pontiff noted, but he urged the bishops to coordinate their efforts, so that all Greek Catholics, of whatever background, could work together, thus providing a "new pastoral energy" to the country.


      ROME, 5 (NE) A delegation from the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, led by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation, will travel to the United States for a meeting with the Presidents of the Doctrinal Commissions of North America and Oceania. According to a communique released yesterday, the meeting will take place in San Francisco, from February 9 to 12. During the meeting, Cardinal Ratzinger will give a conference on Subjectivism, Christology and the Church.

      "The initiative is part of the task of the Congregation to promote and guide the Doctrine of Faith" and "receives a special character for its direct contact with the local episcopates," stated the communique made public yesterday at the Holy See press office. "The aim of the meeting is above all to become better acquainted with the realities of the religious situation in North America and in Oceania and to reflect in this regard with local bishops. It is also hoped to further promote the functioning of the doctrinal commissions of the Episcopal conferences, as well as their regular and systematic collaboration with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the light of the Circular Letter on Doctrinal Commissions of November 25, 1990 and the Motu proprio Apostolos Suos.

      The San Francisco meeting follows similar encounters in Bogota in 1984, Kinshasa 1987, Vienna 1989, Hong Kong 1993 and Guadalajara 1996. Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, also forms part of the delegation, and will give a conference on the Church's Magisterium and the Professio fidei, the profession of faith required by all those who teach in the name of the Church. Other conferences will talk about the character of the theologian in the Catholic university in the light of the Motu proprio Ad tuendam fidem, the question of feminism and the question of homosexuality.


      WASHINGTON, DC ( - The National Clergy Council on Thursday decried President Bill Clinton's remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast, saying his remarks were disappointing and charging he criticized some religious groups.

      The Rev. Rob Schenk, president of the 4,500-member group that includes clergy from Catholic, Evangelical, Orthodox, and Protestant traditions, said Clinton missed an opportunity to tell the nation of the lessons he has learned over the past year. Clinton has admitted to having an extra-marital affair with a young employee and then lying to his staff and the nation about it. He has also been impeached on charges of obstruction of justice and perjury.

      "Instead, the President skirted the real issue that was on everyone's mind, and engaged in political rambling, and even some criticism of certain religious groups," Schenk said. "He missed his golden opportunity. It was disappointing." In an appeal for reconciliation, Clinton said: "Throughout history, people have prayed to God to aid them in war. I do believe that even though Adolf Hitler preached a perverted form of Christianity, God did not want him to prevail."

      He added, "But I also know that when we take up arms or words against one another, we must be very careful in invoking the name of our Lord. The Almighty has his own designs, and all we can do is pray to know God's will."

      Schenk has held criticism for Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Connecticut, who introduced Clinton at the breakfast, calling Lieberman's remarks "political bolstering." Lieberman prayed for Clinton, saying: "Help him in the work he is doing with his family and his clergy. Lord, we pray that you will not only restore his soul and lead him in the path of righteousness for your name's sake, but help us join with him to heal the breach, begin the reconciliation and restore our national soul."


      BOGOTA ( - A United Nations commission investigating discrimination against women called on Colombia on Thursday to end its legal ban on abortion to bring the country into compliance with international conventions.

      The 23-member commission, which monitors compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, said Colombian women were receiving illegal abortions despite the ban. One commission member cited a recent study that 26 out of 100 women attending universities had undergone abortions, and one out of every three women who had ever been pregnant had admitted to having them. Abortion was a medical procedure, she said, and thus, its legal prohibition was discriminatory.

      They concluded that, despite political violence and natural disasters, "overturning the prohibition on abortion is something it could do automatically and without delay."

      Colombian representatives replied that the country was seeking to address many forms of discrimination against women in that country, including domestic violence and sexual exploitation. They said the government was fundamentally committed to basic human rights for all Colombians. "We do have some very difficult times facing us," government representative Alfonso Valdivieso told the commission, referring to the recent earthquake, political violence, drug trafficking, and educational problems. He said the government is committed to seeking peaceful and innovative solutions.

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


"But we carry this treasure in vessels of clay, to show that the abundance of the power is God's and not ours."

2 Corinthians 4: 7


     Today, in honor of Pope Paul VI's final encyclical Humanae vitae and Pope John Paul II's Evangelium Vitae, we present a site dedicated to upholding the Sanctity of Life. It is CATHOLICS UNITED FOR LIFE, which keeps everyone abreast of events, documents, activities and prayers for pro-life, including their unique Perpetual Web Rosary.

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

February 8, 1999 volume 10, no. 26   DAILY CATHOLIC