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WEDNESDAY      January 13, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 8

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

SIMPLY SHEEN: To give is to receive

      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".

"There is more happiness in rejoicing in the good of others, than in rejoicing in our own good. The receiver rejoices in his good; the giver in the joy of others and to such comes the peace nothing in the world can give."

with a Catholic slant

provided by
Catholic World News Service
and Noticias Eclesiales Church News



      VATICAN, 12 (NE) Yesterday in the Vatican Pope John Paul II addressed his traditional speech to the members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See. The Holy Father highlighted the positive and negative signs that are manifested in today's world at the threshold of the third millennium. Among the positive signs, the Pope remembered the processes of peace in Ireland and Spain, also stressing the agreement achieved between the nations of Peru and Ecuador. "I direct my earnest and paternal calling to the Peruvian and Ecuatorian Catholics so that, through prayer and action, they be convinced artisans of reconciliation," said the Successor of Peter.

      "However, the culture of peace is far from being universal, as the flames of persistent conflicts attest," declared the Holy Father, remembering the conflicts in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, as well as the difficult situation in the Middle East. The Successor of Peter also called the world's attention on the violence in the African continent, expressing his solidarity with the different nations. "They are to know that the Holy See doesn't scant efforts to heal their sufferings and to find, in both the political and humanitarian environment, sensible solutions to the serious problems that exist," he said.

      "Facing these familiar problems, Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to have you participate of an intimate conviction: in this last year before the 2000 it is necessary an awakening of our conscience." The Holy Father emphasized that, "International law cannot be the law of the stronger, nor that of a simple majority of States, nor even that of an international organization. It must be the law which is in conformity with the principles of the natural law and of the moral law, which are always binding upon parties in conflict and in the various questions in dispute."


      VATICAN ( -- As the annual week of prayer for Christian unity (January 18- 25) approaches, the undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity has offered an outline of current relations between the Holy See and other Christian communions.

      Msgr. Eleuterio Fortino began his summary with a general affirmation: "The Catholic Church is in dialogue with all Christian communions in the Eastern and Western worlds." He added that this active dialogue is a new development, reflecting the pastoral influence of the Second Vatican Council.

      "At the same time," Msgr. Fortino continued, "while bilateral dialogues have in fact been established, the most serious differences have been identified with great precision, particular in the field of theology."

      Relations with the Orthodox world are complicated, the Vatican official observed, because they involve 15 different autonomous churches. Thus far the dialogue has produced an important statement of common beliefs, promulgated at Balamund in 1993, involving Catholics with the Greek Orthodox churches. He expressed the hope that the dialogue might be extended to include the Russian Orthodox churches, and pointed to the progress in Romania, where an ecumenical commission is considering the disposition of church properties confiscated by the old Communist regime.

      With Lutherans the primary goal for Vatican ecumenical officials is the completion of a common declaration on the theme of justification-- a declaration on which theologians have been working for 30 years. "It should soon be received favorably by the two churches," Msgr. Fortino predicted.

      Finally, Msgr. Fortino noted that the calendar for the Jubilee celebrations in Rome includes a number of events intended to promote ecumenical work. He mentioned the ceremonial opening of the Holy Door of St. Paul outside the Walls, on January 18, 2000, and the recognition of 20th century martyrs on Easter Sunday, May 7, at the Roman Coliseum. In each case, plans call for an extensive collaboration with other Christian denominations in the event.

      Msgr. Fortino listed the dates at which the Vatican had begun formal talks with different Christian bodies:


      ST. LOUIS, 12 (NE) Less than 15 days away from the Pope's pastoral visit to St. Louis on the banks of the Mississippi River in Missouri, very intense activity is taking place at the American archdiocese. Coordination of the routes that the Pope will take in his visit, verification of the security systems at the different events, coordination of the mobilization of the great quantity of people that will attend them, go along with the spiritual preparation to receive the Vicar of Christ.

      Saint Louis' Cathedral, where the Holy Father will preside over a night of prayer, gets ready -as the St. Louis Post Dispatch recently pointed out- "to receive its most important visitor."

      "I just see him shuffling down the center aisle smiling and waving his hand in blessing," declared one of the members of the local staff preparing things for the visit, expressing the great expectation there is for the Holy Father's visit, especially for his presence at the Cathedral that he himself gave the title of Basilica in 1997.

      A great number of people have not been able to get tickets to attend the central events, many of them youths. In order to solve this problem, the Archdiocese plans to prepare a special area -that has been named "Papal Plaza" - so that a great number of youths may gather and participate in a more active way. Three Jumbotron video screens will transmit the most important events of these days at the "Papal Plaza."


      WASHINGTON, DC ( - Two independent groups released a report on Monday that charges that the Guatemalan military was responsible for the majority of deaths in that country's 36-year civil war, the same charges that may have led to the murder of a Guatemalan bishop last year.

      The American Association for the Advancement of Science and the International Center for Human Rights Research said they used the latest scientific methods to determine who was responsible for the deaths of an estimated 150,000 people, mostly civilians, during the war, which ended in 1996. "The evidence is clear -- tens of thousands have died at the hands of the state," Patrick Ball of the AAAS, who led the study, said in a statement. The researchers used all available documentation and analysis to determine that of 37,255 killings the government was responsible for 97 percent.

      Last April, Auxiliary Bishop Juan Gerardi Conedera released a report by the Catholic Human Rights Office in Guatemala that also blamed the military for most of the killings. He was murdered three days later. Although a priest who lived with the bishop was arrested and charged with the crime, many human rights groups and Catholic leaders have publicly stated they believe the people connected to the military were responsible.

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.


"What will it profit, my bretheren, if a man says he has faith, but does not have works? Can faith save him?"

St. James 2: 14


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January 13, 1999 volume 10, no. 8   DAILY CATHOLIC