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February 9, 1999
SECTION TWO vol 10, no. 27
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE
CATHOLIC CANVAS: Daily Dose of curious contents of the Church
Today is the 378th anniversary of the election of Pope Gregory XV, the 234th successor of Peter who is best known for promulgating and perpetuating the missionary efforts of the Church through his official establishment of the Pontifical Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith or "Propaganda Fide". The evolution of this commission actually started with Saint Pius V as a commission of cardinals for the missions in the West and East Indies as well as Protestant territories throughout Europe. Pope Clement VIII tried to resuscitate it in 1599 but it did not last until Gregory, late in his pontificate, officially established it with his Apostolic Constitution Inscrutabili Divinae on June 22, 1622. Because it was toward the end of Gregory's papacy that it was decreed, credit is often given to his successor Pope Urban VII for its instrumentation, but in effect, Gregory XV was responsible. The Congregation was formed to support and promote missionary efforts throughout the world from the Vatican to the parish level through prayers, donations and labor. Today various departments are incorporated into this Pontifical Congregation. They include the Missionary Union of the Clergy and Religious; the Society for the Propagation of Faith - founded in Lyons, France in 1822 two hundred years after Gregory's proclamation; the Society of St. Peter the Apostle for Native Clergy, the Society of the Holy Childhood; and the International Center of Missionary Animation. These all come under the auspices of the the Curial Office renamed on June 28, 1988 Pope John Paul II as the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Today it is headed by Cardinal Josef Tomko as the Prefect and assisted by the Congregation's Secretary Bishop Marcello Zago, OMI, former Superior General of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a priestly order that personifies all the Congregation calls for in propagating the Faith.
(sources: 1999 Catholic Almanac, Our Sunday Visitor; The Official Catholic Directory 1998, P.J. Kennedy & Sons; Oxford Dictionary of Popes, J.N.D. Kelly, Oxford Press; The Roman Pontiffs, I Sommi Pontifici Romani; Catholic Dictionary, Fr. John Hardon, SJ, Doubleday).
Today is the Fifth Tuesday in Ordinary Time while tomorrow we celebrate the Feast of Saint Scholastica, Virgin and Religious Founder of the Benedictine Nuns. For the readings, liturgies, meditations and vignette on St. Scholastica, click on DAILY LITURGY.
Tuesday, February 9, 1999
First Reading: Genesis 1: 20-31; 2: 1-4
Psalms: Psalm 8: 2, 4-9
Gospel Reading: Mark 7: 1-13
Wednesday, February 10, 1999
First Reading: Genesis 2: 4-9, 15-17
Psalms: Psalm 104: 1-2, 27-30
Gospel Reading: Mark 7: 14-23
Feast of Saint Scholastica, Virgin and Religious Founder
The foundress of the Benedictine Nuns - Saint Scholastica, whose feast has always been celebrated on February 10th, was Saint Benedict's twin sister. Both were born in 480 near Umbria and Sabina in Norcia, Italy. Close from birth, both dedicated themselves to God from an early age. When Benedict went off to become a monk, Scholastica became a nun. When Benedict built Subiaco, Scholastica was at a monastery nearby also establishing convents for Benedictine nuns. She later followed her brother to Montecassino where she entered a monastery at Piumarola, Italy. It was there she died in 547 at the age of 67 with Benedict by her side. After a short visit with his sister, Benedict had intended to leave, but the weather was so fierce he had to stay. It was then he realized she was dying and that God had prevented him from going back to his monastery for this reason. He prayed with her by her bedside for three straight days. On the third day she succumbed and Benedict writes that he saw her soul rise to Heaven in the form of a pure, white dove.
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
Today we want to re-emphasize the importance of the Rosary and recommend the excellent, easy-to-use Rosary available at the Site operated by Catholics United for Life. You can pray the Rosary while you sit at your computer whether you pray the decades faithfully each day or are a first time participant in Our Lady's Prayer. Since it is a Java program it may take a short while to load but it's worth it. Just say a few prayers while you're waiting. To reach this, click on PERPETUAL WEB ROSARY
Events Today in Church History
On this date 89 years ago Francisco Febres Cordero Munoz, better known as Saint Miguel Cordero died in Spain. When he was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1984 he became the first saint born in Ecuador. Brother Miguel, a Christian Brother, was famed for writing Catholic textbooks that are still used today. For other pertinent events that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES
Historical Events in Church Annals for February 9:
Death of Saint Apollonia, an aging deaconess in Alexandria who was stoned and dragged through the streets by an angry mob of anti-Christians who had been stirred into a frenzy by a false poet. Though she was severely hurt and all her teeth knocked out, she did not die and the mob, infuriated, threw her into a bonfire where, professing her undying love for Christ, she was burned to death. She is the Patron Saint of Dentists.
Death of Saint Sabinus, Bishop of Canosa in the Apulian region of Italy who was a close friend of Saint Benedict, founder of the Benedictines. He was sent as papal legate to the Eastern Emperor Justinian by Pope Saint Agapitus I. He is considered the Patron Saint of Bari in Italy.
Death of Saint Theilian, Irish bishop of Cardiff in Wales where he ministered to the people of Wales and founded numerous monasteries and churches there. It is said that after his death three different groups claimed ownership of his relics and the next morning when they went to claim the body, there were three bodies of St. Thelian, also known as Saint Teillo.
Death of Saint Alto, an Irish monk who was sent to Germany as a missionary and began a hermitage in the Bavarian forest near Augsburg. Because of his holiness, King Pepin bestowed on him land to found a monastery in Altomunster and it was dedicated in 750 by Saint Boniface himself. When the monastery fell into disrepair, the story goes that he appeared to a Bavarian king in 1000 requesting the monarch restore the monastery. The king complied and, to this day, the monastery is still in existence.
Death of Saint Raynald of Nocera, a Benedictine monk who became a Bishop and a close friend of Saint Francis of Assisi. Like the gentle founder of the Friars Minor, Raynald cared greatly for the sick, poor and downtrodden and would spend his entire day hearing confessions. He is considered the Patron Saint of Nocera in the Umbria region of Italy.
Cardinal Alessandro Ludovisi is elected the 234th successor of Peter and chooses the name Pope Gregory XV. His pontificate would last only two years and he would dedicate it to the missions and assisting the Catholic restoration of France as well as instituting the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith to assist missionaries, especially in Ireland.
Death of Saint Miguel Febres Cordero, a deformed child who overcame his handicap by dedicating himself to his studies and became a great De la Salle Christian Brother. He was Ecuador's first saint, canonized in 1984 by Pope John Paul II.
NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant
Pope sends his condolences and prayers to the people of Jordan
Expressing his deep sympathy to the people of Jordan, the Holy Father eulogized King Hussein and sent the Prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches to the late Jordan monarch's funeral yesterday. Considering Hussein's Muslim roots, the Pope might have dispatched Cardinal Francis Arinze as well since he is President of the Commission for Religious Relations with Muslims, but the immediate funeral the day after his death precluded the Pontiff from making this a reality. For more, click on King Hussein
CARDINAL REPRESENTS POPE AT HUSSEIN BURIAL
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Pope John Paul II designated Cardinal
Achille Silvestrini, the prefect of the Congregation for Eastern
Churches, as his personal representative to the funeral of Jordan's
In an official statement issued on February 7, the Holy See said that
the Pope "joined in the sorrow of that noble nation," and pointed to
"the many contacts" between King Hussein and Pope John Paul II. In
view of the "personal ties between the [Lebanese] royal family and
the Apostolic See," the statement continued, it was deemed
appropriate that the Pope's representative at the funeral should be
someone "of high rank."
Jordan has maintained diplomatic relations with the Holy See since
Rah, rah for ol' Notre Dame! University upholds Catholic traditions in refusing gay agenda
Anyone fearing that the University of Notre Dame would follow the more liberal policies of other universities in relaxing the moral code by allowing a homosexual platform on campus need worry no more. By a unanimous vote the Trustees voted to reject including homosexuality in its discrimination policies, citing the fact that the gay lifestyle has nothing to do with race, creed or culture but is rather a way of life that is wrong in the eyes of God and His Church. They assured all that they would watch closely for any blatant discrimination that violates human rights and would endeavor to love the sinner always, but never the sin! For more, click on Notre Dame.
NOTRE DAME REJECTS INCLUSION OF GAYS IN DISCRIMINATION POLICY
SOUTH BEND, Indiana (CWNews.com) - The trustees of the
University of Notre Dame voted unanimously on Friday not to
include homosexuality as part of its anti-discrimination
policy because the law does not recognize the traditional
Christian understanding of "love the sinner, but hate the
Notre Dame's Board of Fellows, meeting in London, said the
university "did not believe that the university should
leave to civil courts the interpretation and application of
Church teaching." A group of homosexual students had said
they planned to challenge the school's policies on
homosexuality if they had included the lifestyle choice in
the discrimination policy.
In 1995, the school refused to grant official recognition
to a homosexual and lesbian student group and would not
allow them to meet on campus. But administrators sought a
means to uphold Church teaching on the immorality of
homosexual activity while condemning harassment or violence
against them. In 1997 the university instituted a "spirit of
inclusion" policy that welcomes homosexual and lesbian
students and faculty.
"This issue has been studied very closely by the
administration, and we've made what we think is the best
choice institutionally," said university spokesman Dennis
Brown. "At the same time we have the spirit of inclusion on
record to indicate that discrimination will not be tolerated
Vatican closes the book on Swiss Guard murders
Citing the fact that all leads and evidence have been exhausted and satisfied that the findings point to the fact that Cedric Tornay was the sole perpetrator in the murder of Swiss Guard commandant-elect Alois Estermann and his wife Gladys before killing himself last May, the Vatican finally closed the books on the investigation, laying the matter to rest in the Vatican Archives hoping to put this sad moment in Church history behind them. For more, click on Swiss Guard.
REPORT CLOSES INQUIRY ON SWISS GUARD KILLING
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- The Vatican today released the formal
results of an inquiry into the May 1998 killings of Swiss Guard Col.
Alois Estermann, his wife Gladys Meza Romero, and a disaffected
member of the Swiss Guard.
Judge Gianluigi Marrone of the Vatican Tribunal concluded, in a
report dated February 5, that "the Estermann couple were killed by
Vice-Corporal Cedric Tornay, who then immediately killed himself
with the same automatic pistol."
That report brought a conclusion to a nine-month inquiry into the
May 4 murders. Since the killer himself is dead, and there is no
evidence of outside involvement, the case is now closed.
The official Vatican statement indicated that the investigation
involved five police reports, and testimony from experts in ballistics,
toxicology, and other fields. In all, 38 people gave testimony, and the
Vatican thanked a variety of officials in Rome and Switzerland for
their help in providing evidence and expert analysis.
The results of the inquiry fully confirm the explanation set forth by
Vatican officials almost immediately after the killings. The full-scale
investigation was undertaken in part to allay fears that the Vatican
had overlooked evidence of more sinister plots within the Swiss
Guard. No such evidence emerged during the months of inquiry.
From the sublime to the ridiculous. In this case Justice is truly blind though the Judge endeavored for all to see the Light
The news that a rapist may go free because an Ohio judge invoked God's law regarding scandal and hurting a little one is truly a travesty. This whole idea of separation of Church and State has gone too far as is evident when an Ohio appelate judge overturned the decision against a child-rapist rendered by Judge Melba Marsh because she quoted the words of Jesus in Luke 17: 2 which were more than applicable to the situation. But because she did so there is the possibility that the convicted rapist could go scot free! Is this justice? For more, click on blind justice.
RAPIST'S SENTENCE OVERTURNED BECAUSE JUDGE QUOTED BIBLE
CINCINNATI (CWNews.com) - An Ohio appeals court overturned
a child rapist's 51-year sentence on Friday because the
judge quoted from the Bible while imposing the sentence.
The Ohio 1st District Court of Appeals ruled that the
sentencing in January 1988 of James Arnett, 33, by Judge
Melba Marsh was unconstitutional because Marsh referred to
the Gospel of Luke 17:2 -- "It would be better for him if a
millstone were hung round his neck and he were cast into the
sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to
stumble." -- as the sentence was imposed. Arnett had
pleaded guilty to raping and molesting the 8-year-old
daughter of his fiancee.
Appellate Judge Mark Painter wrote in the 2-1 ruling, "We
stress that this case is unusual in that a specific text in
the Christian Bible was the determining factor in the
judge's imposition of punishment." The court said Arnett
should receive a new sentencing hearing where he may ask
for a lesser sentence. Prosecutors said they plan to appeal
to the state Supreme Court.
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
SITE OF THE DAY
Today, with King Hussein in the news, we bring you an interesting site from that part of the world. It is MIDDLE EAST ARAB AMERICAN ROMAN CATHOLIC COMMUNITY website called Al-Bushra which is Arabic for "Good News." It is operated by Father Labib Kopti out of San Francisco and geared for keeping all informed about Middle East Catholics. He is from the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and this site should open your eyes to the fruits of the Eastern Church in union with Rome, as well as what is truly happening in the regions known as the Holy Land today.
Click here to go to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
February 9, 1999 volume 10, no. 27 DAILY CATHOLIC