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THURSDAY      January 21, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 14

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


     Today is the feast of the virgin and martyr Saint Agnes and tomorrow, besides being the Second Friday in Ordinary Time, it is also the feast of Saint Vincent, deacon and martyr. For the readings, liturgies and meditations for these two days, click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.

Thursday, January 21, 1999

Feast of Saint Agnes, Virgin and Martyr

Friday, January 22, 1999

Feast of Saint Vincent, Deacon and Martyr


      Today's prayer is in honor of Saint Agnes taken from the Opening Prayer for today's Mass:

Almighty, eternal God, You choose what the world considers weak to put the worldly power to shame. May we, who celebrate the birth of Saint Agnes into eternal joy, be loyal to the faith she professed.

with a Catholic slant

provided by
Catholic World News Service
and Noticias Eclesiales Church News



      MEXICO CITY, 20 (NE) The Holy Father will visit physically only Mexico and the United States, but many encounters via satellite have been planned with diverse Latin American countries. The 25th of January, Pope John Paul II will communicate with the Brazilian Catholic channel Rede Vida, with a multitude that, taking advantage of the commemoration of the city's anniversary, will be gathered at Sao Paulo, awaiting the salutation of the Holy Father. After the transmission of the salutation, the television will display images of the group greeting His Holiness. All this will happen as the Pope is in the "Encounter with the representatives of all generations of this century" in the Azteca Stadium of Mexico City.

      It has been also announced that on the occasion of the Holy Father's visit, EWTN will launch a new channel in Mexico: EWTN - Mexico. The news was given by Cardinal Juan Sandoval, Archbishop of Guadalajara, at a press conference recently held in Mexico. The Catholic channel will be launched the 22nd of January.

      In a related story, Catholic World News reports that the Archdiocese of St. Louis announced on Tuesday that Pope John Paul II's public appearances in the city during his visit January 26-27 will be broadcast on the Internet.

      The archdiocese said that the papal events will be seen on its web site at ( and that a schedule of events is now available. "This Internet broadcast will give people around the world opportunities to see the Pope, hear his speeches and watch as the Holy Father celebrates Mass in the Trans World Dome," said Steve Mamanella, community relations Director for the archdiocese.

      The audio and video feeds will be supplied by a pool of local St. Louis television stations and converted for Internet use by Digital Broadcast Network. DBN will maintain edited versions of the broadcasts on its web site at (


      SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico ( - A group of Mexican Catholics in violence-torn Chiapas state on Tuesday sent a letter to Pope John Paul II asking him to remove their bishop for allegedly supporting Marxist rebels.

      A coalition of four groups accused Bishop Samuel Ruiz of falsifying "Catholic doctrine in favor of a Marxist socialist revolution." The groups asked the Holy Father to appoint "a pastor who teaches the authentic Catholic doctrine." Bishop Ruiz had served as a mediator between the Zapatista Indian rebels and the government until last year when he was accused of favoring the rebels in talks.

      The Holy Father begins a four-day visit to Mexico on Friday. An assistant to the bishop, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Bishop Ruiz will not have any comment until the Holy Father has read the letter.


      VATICAN ( -- Pope John Paul II has issued an urgent call for efforts to restore the peace in Kosovo and in Sierra Leone.

      At his regular weekly audience on January 20, the Holy Father voiced his "particular closeness and solidarity" with the Archbishop Joseph Ganda of Freetown, Sierra Leone, and the missionaries who are being held hostage there. The Pope prayed "that they might, as soon as possible, be back at liberty, to return to their ministry of evangelization and charity."

      Speaking more generally of "the displays of atrocity and cruelty" which have been in the news in recent days "in many parts of the world," the Pope urged all people to pray "for an awakening of conscience in those who guide the destiny of nations," so that they might "turn their hearts toward the building of peace."

      In an interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Cardinal Angelo Sodano said that the massacre of civilians in Kosovo has made that region the subject of extreme concern among Vatican diplomats.

      Cardinal Sodano, the Secretary of State for the Holy See, said that "those who have the ability"-- in particular the leaders of the international community-- should "separate the adversaries" in Kosovo, where ethnic Albanians seeking greater autonomy for self-government have been routed by Serbian forces representing the government of Yugoslavia, which controls Kosovo.

      The cardinal said that international leaders should "disarm the aggressor" in the Kosovo conflict. That phrase echoes a request made by Pope John Paul II during the height of civil war in Bosnia; he too asked for the European powers to "disarm the aggressor." (In each case, the "aggressor" could be identified as Serbian.) That mandate seems clearly to imply that the conflict is in fact an act of aggression rather than a civil conflict, and that world leaders should take the necessary steps not merely to stop the conflict and separate the warring factions but also to make eliminate the ability of "the aggressor" to undertake similar acts in the future.

      However, these efforts by the international community need not consist of military acts, Cardinal Sodano said. Rather, operations should be aimed at "restoring the peace." In working toward peace, he said, one important point is the status of existing treaties. Many treaties have been made, he observed, but then "openly violated." He argued: "Treaties are violated when the moral conscience of the contracting parties is obscured." It is impossible, the cardinal concluded, to "build a human civilization without a solid moral basis."


      VATICAN ( -- The Vatican is actively considering a papal trip to Vietnam, although the country's Communist government has not yet authorized such a visit.

      According to the Fides new agency, a Vatican delegation will travel to Hanoi in February or March for discussions on the possibility of a papal trip. The Vietnamese bishops have already issued an invitation, and the country was discussed as the possible site for a visit during which the Holy Father would promulgate an apostolic exhortation summarizing the work of the Synod of Asian bishops. That Synod convened in Rome during April and May 1998.

      One possible time for a trip would be August 1999, when the Pope could participate in ceremonies marking the 200th anniversary of the apparition of the Virgin Mary at La Vang, which has now become the country's most popular Marian shrine and pilgrimage site. The visit would also give the Pontiff an opportunity to prod the Communist regime toward increasing religious freedoms.

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.


    Continuing with yesterday's theme of preparing for Pro-Life week which kicks off Friday with the Pro-Life March in Washington D.C, we present the HUMAN LIFE INTERNATIONAL web site. It remains the largest pro-life organization in the world dedicated to life in all its stages and garnered a Golden Chalice Award last year.

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January 21, 1999 volume 10, no. 14   DAILY CATHOLIC