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January 6, 1999
SECTION TWO vol 10, no. 3
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE
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."
Today is the feast of Blessed Andre Bessette, a humble, holy religious brother from Canada. Tomorrow we celebrate the feast of Saint Raymond of Penyafort, priest and religious and cofounder of the Mercedarians. For the readings, liturgies, meditations and vignettes on these men, click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.
Wednesday, January 6, 1998
Wednesday January 6:
Twelfth Day of Christmas and
Feast of Blessed Andre Bessette, Religious
First Reading: 1 John 4: 11-18
Psalms: Psalm 72: 1-2, 10, 12-13
Gospel Reading: Mark 6: 45-52
Blessed Andre Bessette, Religious
Credited with countless cures, Canadian-born Blessed Andre Bessette, a Holy Cross Brother was born
in 1845 into a family of twelve. At the age of twelve he became an orphan when his parents died and helped
care for his brothers and sisters by working in mills and farms in New England before returning to Montreal
in 1870. At the age of 25 he joined the Holy Cross Order as a Lay Brother. Never educated and of poor
health, Andre did not let that deter him from fulfilling God's Will in the simplest of ways. Though he was first
rejected by the Holy Cross Fathers after his novitiate, the Bishop of Montreal intervened and suggested that
he become a lay brother with the Order. For the next 67 years he devoted himself to the menial, but
spiritually rewarding jobs of porter and gardener. Through the grace of God those who came in contact with
this holy man were cured and word quickly spread of his fame. While he was helping build a shrine to Saint
Joseph in Montreal - St. Joseph's Oratory, he contined as porter at the College of Notre Dame in that
Canadian city. For 40 years he held this responsibility until demand was so great for Brother Andre to be at
the shrine that the Holy Cross Order transferred him over there. Millions of pilgrims flooded the shrine with
countless cures physically and spiritually occurring regularly when they came in contact with this holy,
humble man of God. They flocked to him for spiritual direction. He received over 80,000 letters a year and
insisted on corresponding with the people, but could not read or write and so he dictated the letters, many
through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to a plethora of secretaries hired to handle the phenomenal
responses to Blessed Andre. Through word of mouth and devotion, this shrine has since become the most
well-known shrine to the protector of the Blessed Virgin Mary and foster father of Jesus in the world. It was already the best known in North America when Brother Andre succumbed of old age at 92 in 1937. Eighteen years later the Oratory was solemnly dedicated and declared a minor basilica. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1982.
Thursday, January 7, 1998
Thursday January 7:
Weekday in the Days of Christmas and
Feast of Saint Raymond of Penyafort, Priest and Religious
First Reading: 1 John 4: 19-21; 5: 1-4
Psalms: Psalm 72: 1-2, 14-15, 17
Gospel Reading: Luke 4: 14-22
Feast of Saint Raymond of Penyafort, Priest and Religious
Born at Penyafort in Catalonia, Spain in 1175, Saint Raymond was a scholarly genius, evident by the fact
he was teaching philosophy in Barcelona at the early age of 20. By the time he was 35 he had resigned to
study law at Bologna, Italy where he acquired a doctorate in 1216. Two years later Bishop Berengarius of
Barcelona, proud of Raymond's achievements, made him an archdeacon which led to Raymond's vocation
as a Dominican. The ensuing years brought fame to Raymond for his preaching throughout Spain as he
addressed both Moors and Christians who had been freed from Moorish slavery, an endeavor Raymond
played a pivotal role in from preaching the Spanish crusade which ultimately freed the Spanish slaves.
Along with Saint Peter Nolasco, Raymond cofounded the Mercedarians in 1223, which was a lay order
called the Order of Our Lady of Ransom and whose specific purpose was to raise money to ransom the
Christian slaves. Raymond was St. Peter Nolasco's spiritual director. Raymond became spiritual confessor
to Pope Gregory IX in 1230. It was there in Rome where Raymond was assigned the task of collecting and codifying papal decrees. His massive work, released in 1150, became the cornerstone for canon law. It
was also during this time that he was appointed papal penitentiary which led to his writing Summa casuum
and which would have an influential effect on the penial system throughout Europe during the middle ages.
In 1235 Raymond was consecrated Archbishop of Tarragona, Spain. It was a position he did not want for he
wanted to be with the people and felt as bishop he could not dedicate time to preaching or studies. He
became very ill a year later and requested the Holy Father to rescind his appointment as bishop so he could
return to his beloved Spain where, after recuperating, resumed his preaching duties. Three years later he
was named Master General of the Dominican Order. In this position he wrote a revision of the Dominican
constitution, one that would stand until 1924 and then, at the age of 65, resigned his position with the
Dominicans. Though it was the end of his official titles with the Dominicans it was not the end of his
ministry for he would go on to preach for 35 more years, living to the ripe old age of 99, passing into God's
embrace on January 6, 1275 in Barcelona, just shy of becoming a centarian. In those final years Raymond
not only founded friaries in Tunis and Murcia, introduced the study of Arabic and Hebrew in Dominican
circles to better understand Sacred Scripture and to preach to the non-Christians of the mideast during the
Crusades, but also assisted in establishing the Inquisition in Catalonia, Spain. Raymond was canonized in
1601 by Pope Clement VIII.
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
Today's Prayer is taken from the Opening Prayer for the Mass honoring Blessed Andre Bessette:
Lord our God, Friend of the lowly, You gave Your servant, Brother Andre, a great devotion to St. Joseph and a special commitment to the poor and afflicted. Through his intercession help us to follow his example of prayer and love and so come to share with him in Your glory.
NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant
Pope ordains six new bishops today as he looks forward to what could be his final trip back to Poland this year
The Holy Father chose the traditional feast of the Epiphany today to ordain six new bishops, three of which are papal nuncios. Meanwhile, as age steals each day from this holy pontiff, great plans are underway to make the papal visit to Poland this year very, very special for their favorite son, one that could be his last time to step foot on his native soil. For more, click on Pope.
POPE TO ORDAIN 6 BISHOPS ON EPIPHANY AS
HE SETS SIGHTS ON HIS POLISH ROOTS
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Today, the feast of the Epiphany,
Pope John Paul II will ordain six men as bishops.
Three of the new bishops will be papal nuncios: Msgr. Alain
Lebeaupin has been assigned as the apostolic nuncio to Ecuador,
Msgr. Allesandro d'Errico to Pakistan, and Msgr. Salvatore Pennachio
Meanwhile, in a letter to the director of Vatican
Radio, Pope John Paul II has offered his thanks for 60 years of
broadcasts to Poland.
"During the sorrowful years of the war and the occupation in Poland,
and then during the oppression by the Communist regime, Vatican
Radio offered not only the sole Catholic radio programming for us,
but also one of the rare sources of credible information about the
Church and the world," the Pope wrote. He added that the Vatican
Radio broadcasts had "strengthened the ties that bound our faith in
Christ, our love for the Church, and our patriotism."
Tying in with his roots, Poland's bishops announced on Monday
that Pope John Paul II has planned one of his most
ambitious trips to his homeland when he visits Poland for
two weeks in June.
Archbishop Tadeusz Goclowski of Gdansk said the Holy Father
will visit 20 cities between June 5-17, beginning in Gdansk
and ending in Krakow where he was bishop in the 1960s and
1970s. He will address the National Assembly for the first
time and meet with Poland's leaders. The trip will have
many themes, said the archbishop, but it essentially boils
down to preparing his countrymen for the new millennium.
During the trip, the Pope is expected to beatify more than
100 Poles killed by the Nazis and commemorate victims of
Communist repression. He will also address coal miners in
Silesia who are suffering increased unemployment and
working conditions, and visit Lichen where the country's
largest church is under construction.
Chinese lying through their teeth once again with denials of persecution of Catholic priests
In response to the strong accusations of unspeakable torture of priests in the underground Church in China from the Vatican news agency Fides, Red Chinese government officials flatly denied any of that had ever taken place. Does any government tell the truth anymore? Whether it's our president, Iraq's or communist China it's come down to one thing: they're all lying and morals and decency mean nothing to them. They've been playing "hide the pea" for the past several years when fact-finding tours visit China, but hopefully this will prove once and for all their insincerity and devious tactics. For more, click on China chumps.
ITALIAN PRESS CONDEMNS CHINESE PERSECUTION
AS CHINA DISPUTES REPORT OF PRIEST TORTURE
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Several Italian newspapers carried
stories on January 5 recording the protests of Fides, the Vatican news
agency, over the torture and sexual abuse of a Catholic priest in
China who is active in the underground Church.
"The Chinese Communists are continuing their work of persecution
against Chinese Catholics who remain faithful to Rome," reported Las
Fides had called international attention to the abuse of Catholics with
a story (carried on Monday by Catholic World News) about Father Li
Qinghua, of the Hebei diocese, who has reportedly been tortured,
brainwashed, and repeatedly subjected to temptation by police-
employed prostitutes since his arrest on November 15. "Other priests
have received the same treatment in recent months," Fides charged.
La Stampa said that these reports matched the pattern of wholesale
religious persecution in China, which has continued in part because of
"the indifference of international authorities." The daily recalled the
case of Bishop Su Zhimin of Baoding, who was imprisoned last
October along with 26 of his priests. Another Italian paper, Il
Messagero, cited the case of Bishop Tommaso Zeng Jingmu, who spent
32 years in prison before his release in May 1998. And yet another
paper, Il Tempo, remarked that the latest outrages had occurred
"despite the fact that since 1994 China has been busily assuring us of
the religious freedom on its territory."
Meanwhile, in Beijing China's Communist government on
Tuesday denied the report by Fides that
Catholic priests are arrested and tortured in a special
prison unit designed to blackmail them.
The Fides new agency reported on Monday that Father Li
Qinghua, 31, was arrested in November and transported to a
prison unit where he was tortured and then young women were
used to tempt him to violate chastity and his vow of
celibacy. Other priests told Fides that they had been
detained and that those who succumb to the deception are
blackmailed with video from hidden cameras.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao denied any knowledge
of the Father Li's predicament, but expressed disbelief at
the veracity of the report. "I don't know the details of
the case and I don't know the source of the information,"
Zhu said. "But I can say clearly that these reports have
not been confirmed." He also dismissed the report as
"irresponsible" and denied the existence of underground
churches in the atheist Communist state. "So-called
underground churches do not exist in China," he said.
Many Catholics belong to the underground Catholic Church in
China which remains loyal to the Church's teachings and the
pope. The government only allows membership in the
state-sanctioned Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association
which eschews ties to foreign organizations and denies
certain Church doctrines.
Cuba to be flooded with Catholic bibles and a wave of optimism as the US makes overtures of good will and speculation the Pope might make an unscheduled, welcome visit to the tiny island this month
The fruits of Pope John Paul II's visit to Cuba last January are manifesting themselves greatly. Nearly a year later, Fidel Castro has exhibited more tolerance in allowing Catholics to worship and celebrate feast days and holy days, including Christmas. Cuba's head cardinal Cardinal Jaime Ortega has grown stronger in stature and his voice is being heard...all the way to Washington D.C. where the US is finally willing to make concessions to their tiny neighbor 90 miles off the coast of Florida. For more, click on Cuba.
CATHOLICS TO DISTRIBUTE SCRIPTURES ACROSS CUBA
WHILE US PROPOSES NEW CUBA POLICIES AMID RUMORS OF
CUBA STOPOVER FOR PAPAL TRIP TO MEXICO
HAVANA (CWNews.com) - Calling for a "new evangelization" of
Cuba, Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino of Havana has launched
a program in which thousands of copies of the Gospel of St.
Matthew will be distributed all across the island nation.
The distribution of the Gospel, in a pocket-sized booklet
of 112 pages, began at the New Year's day Mass in the
Havana cathedral. The copies of the Gospel, which were
printed with financial help from Mexican Catholic donors,
carry on their covers a reproduction of Rembrandt's famous
work, "The Prodigal Son." The booklets will eventually be
distributed in every diocese in Cuba.
The Gospel of St. Matthew is the third to be distributed in
such a way throughout Cuba. In 1997 the Church passed out
copies of St. Mark's Gospel, and in 1998 copies of St.
Luke's Gospel. The Gospel of St. John will be distributed
in the year 2000, completing the cycle of four Gospels in
time for the Jubilee.
Cardinal Ortega told worshippers at the cathedral that the
task of evangelization is the duty of all Christians. He
urged his people to "walk along the way with those who have
no belief, and those who believe in magic and find their
security in primitive rites." He also called upon Catholics
to reach out toward "those who are bowed down by the
miseries of the life, those who lack the basic necessities,
those who have only a superficial religious life -- which
makes difficult for them to grasp more deeply the
principles and commitments that characterize a true faith."
Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C. President Bill Clinton on
Tuesday announced new changes in the US policy toward Cuba
to encourage increased contact between Cubans and Americans
which he said he hopes will lead to changes in the Communist
Clinton's changes include an expansion of the amount of
cash transfers allowed between private Americans and
Cubans, limited direct flights between the countries, and
proposals for US food sales and direct mail service. "These
steps are designed to help the Cuban people without
strengthening the Cuban government," Clinton said in a
statement. "They are consistent with our policy of keeping
pressure on the regime for democratic change -- through the
embargo and vigorous diplomatic initiatives -- while finding
ways to reach out to the Cuban people through humanitarian
efforts and help in developing civil society."
Administration officials stressed that the proposals do not
signal a weakening of the 38-year-old trade embargo.
Critics of the Castro regime said the initiatives only mask
Clinton's true aim. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida,
said the administration secretly maintains its "true
intention of normalizing relations with the Cuban
dictator," Fidel Castro. Administration officials contend
that the ground for the policy shift was laid by Pope John
Paul II's historic visit to the Communist country last year
and insist that they will only help to promote democracy
without aiding Castro.
In a related story out of Rome, the Pope might stop in Cuba on
his way to Mexico later in January, according to a story in the Italian
The daily newspaper Il Messagero, in its January 3 editions,
suggested that the Holy Father might visit Cuba either on his way to
Mexico or on his return trip from the United States. The Pope's
current schedule calls for him to reach Mexico on January 22, and
return from St. Louis to Rome on January 28.
Il Messagero pointed out that both Havana's Cardinal Jaime Ortega
Alamino and Cuban dictator Fidel Castro have said they would
welcome a new visit by the Pontiff, whose trip to Cuba in January
1998 paved the way for some historic changes in the island nation.
The newspaper added that Vatican sources would not comment on
the possibility of a papal stopover in Havana, except to say that it
was "technically possible," if difficult, to make last-minute changes in
the Pope's itinerary. Papal spokesmen said that any such change in
plans would be determined by the Pope himself.
Catholic Campaign for Human Development finally comes clean in revoking grants to pro-gay groups while another radical Catholic group rails against those who do not accept homosexual lifestyle.
Going against the grain is what being Catholic means and that means no Catholic can accept or condone the sinful homosexual lifestyle. The buzzword now is that if you are against homosexuality, then you are a danger and could resort to violence as some radical Catholic groups are implying. In truth, as a Catholic we are a threat to that lifestyle for we strongly believe what Christ preaches, "Hate the sin, but love the sinner." The Church has always embraced everyone who is in communion with the Sacraments for, despite all the rhetoric about "throwing stones," few fail to add, "Go and sin no more!. For more, click on A lifestyle not so gay
CATHOLIC CHARITY REVOKES GRANTS TO PRO-HOMOSEXUAL GROUP
WHILE CONTROVERSIAL CATHOLIC GROUP CALLS FOR END TO HOMOSEXUAL PREJUDICE
WASHINGTON (CWNews.com) - After consistently rejecting
complaints that it had funded organizations that oppose
Church teaching, the US bishops' charitable agency has
quietly rescinded grants to a California group which had
been active in campaigns to promote homosexuality.
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has
canceled grants of over $30,000 to the Center for Third
World Organizing (CTWO), after CTWO sponsored a program
that included the distribution of condoms to teenagers in
Oregon. CTWO has also been on record in support of
homosexual marriage, and has joined in public condemnation
of both the "Christian Right" and the "nuclear family."
Until the latest grant was revoked, the CTWO had enjoyed
funding from the CCHD for nearly 20 years. The CCHD grants
were allegedly made in support of programs helping
low-income people to build effective political
For several years, the CCHD has been criticized for making
grants to organizations which oppose Catholic teachings on
issues such as homosexuality, feminism, and abortion. The
Washington-based Capital Research Center, a non-profit
organization which studies philanthropical giving, has
repeatedly called for tighter scrutiny of the CCHD, and has
issued several reports listing the grants made by the
bishops' agency to groups engaged in abortion advocacy. To
date, the CCHD has always rejected the critics' charges,
insisting that they are completely without foundation.
In a related story out of New York, two Catholic activism groups placed
a full-page ad in The New York Times on Wednesday responding
to the October murder of a 21-year-old homosexual Wyoming
man by calling for an end to discrimination against
homosexuals and lesbians.
The ad was sponsored by Pax Christi USA, which promotes
transforming society through non-violence, and New Ways
Ministry, which has been controversial because of its
promotion of the acceptance of homosexuality in
contradiction to Catholic Church teaching. "If Catholics
and all people of faith commit their hearts to acceptance
and inclusion of gay and lesbian people, the escalation of
violence can be overcome," said Francis DeBernardo,
executive director of New Ways Ministry. "Misguided
religious thought has fueled the homophobia that causes
violence. True Christian charity can correct it."
Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old, openly-homosexual college
student, was allegedly killed by two Wyoming men, partly
because of his sexuality. Pro-homosexual groups pointed at
the murder as a sign of increasing violence and hostility
against them, which they said stems from religious and
moral objections to their lifestyle.
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.
WORD OF THE DAY
"The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not the sharing of the blood of Christ? And the bread that we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord? Because the bread is one, we though many, are one body, all of us who partake of the one bread."
1 Corinthians 11: 16-17
SITE OF THE DAY
Today we recommend a multipurpose site with fascinating articles and highlights from a planned theme park for apparition sites to the Third Secret of Fatima at MARIANLAND maintained by Rafael Brom of the Center for the Queen of Peace in Sugarland, Texas.
Click here to return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
January 6, 1999 volume 10, no. 3 DAILY CATHOLIC