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TUESDAY      February 9, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 27

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"Propaganda Fide"

      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

Wednesday, February 10, 1999

Feast of Saint Scholastica, Virgin and Religious Founder


      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:

with a Catholic slant

provided by
Catholic World News Service
and Noticias Eclesiales Church News



      VATICAN ( -- 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 King Hussein.

      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 1994.


      SOUTH BEND, Indiana ( - 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 sin."

      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 here."


      VATICAN ( -- 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.


      CINCINNATI ( - 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


    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