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TUESDAY      January 26, 1999      SECTION ONE       vol 10, no. 17

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

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

High Noon! The duel between the Sanctity of Life vs. the Culture of Death!

      In today's editorial we stay on top of the latest headlines as we imagine ourselves a "fly on the wall" of the airport hanger where there is likely to be a duel of dichotomies between the upholder of the culture of life personified in its great crusader Pope John Paul II vs. the perpetuator of the culture of death in the person of William Jefferson Clinton. We know we can't depend on the secular media or spinmeisters to find out what really was said. For today's commentary entitled Showdown in St. Louis! , click on CATHOLIC PewPOINT.

Showdown in St. Louis!

Michael Cain, editor

The seeds of simony sprout as Pope Boniface IX is forced into a corner he cannot extricate himself from during the Great Schism of the West

     The hopes and expectations of Pope Boniface IX were high when he was chosen the 203rd successor of Peter in trying to extricate the Church from the Great Schism. But great expectations turned to sour reality for Boniface bit off more than he could chew as we shall see in this week's episode of the Church at the turn of the fifteenth century. For the ninetieth installment titled Pope Boniface IX: Trying to pick up the pieces without much help. , click on THE HISTORY OF THE MASS AND HOLY MOTHER CHURCH.
Installment Ninety

Pope Boniface IX: Trying to pick up the pieces without much help.

      When the abbreviated Conclave of fourteen cardinals met in late October of 1389, they realized that practically anybody they elected would be better than Pope Urban VI who had died a disgruntled, bitter man with no credibility or respect on October 15th. With his passing they, along with much of Christendom, had hoped the schism was over. But they didn't count on the stubborness of the antipope Clement VII who wielded power out of Avignon even though the French king Charles VI tried to convince Clement to abdicate in favor of dissolving the Great Schism of the West. The Italians, as before, clamored for an Italian Pope but the College would not be intimidated as before when they were rushed into electing Urban VI. This time they took more time and chose wisely, selecting a young cardinal priest from Naples by the name of Cardinal Pietro Tomacelli who chose the name Pope Boniface IX to become the 203rd successor of Peter. He was the total opposite of Urban - gentle, receptive, a convincing speaker with a skill in overseeing people which won the populace over to him almost immediately. He even extended the olive branch to Clement at Avignon but the latter would have nothing to do with him and quickly excommunicated the new pontiff. Boniface had no choice but to return the "favor" though Clement had already had received an interdict from Urban. Boniface sought to correct the errors of Urban, eliminating any nepotism within the Vatican and assuaging Italian fears by reinforcing the Papal States which over a ten year period would totally drive the Clementines from the Italian and Sicilian shores. Boniface's labors were manifested in many fruits, specifically the return of numerous cardinals who had sided with Clement only because of Urban. Boniface was an expert mediator and was able to bring peace to Northern Italy, no small feat considering the circumstances and political intrigue in those regions.

      Clement's stiff resistance to reconciliation moved Boniface to ignore him for awhile rather than deal with him. The latter realized he was the true Pope and so he set about healing the fizzures that he could throughout Christian Europe, first certifying that England and Germany to remain loyal to him. He won them over as well. Yet, because of cultural differences and national interests Boniface still had enemies. One was Louis II, Anjou king who had been appointed by Clement. Boniface threw his backing and coffers behind the Sicilian king Ladislas who would enter Naples in July 1400 to reclaim the Neopolitan empire for Boniface and Rome. During his pontificate Boniface set about to reconstruct the magnificent Castel Sant'Angelo on the Tiber which had been pummeled into ruins by constant attacks. But Boniface was a healer and so he extended another olive branch to Clement, promising that if he abdicated there would be no punishment and all his cardinals would be free to continue as bonafide prelates with no fear of reprisal. Boniface even promised Clement a papal legacy. Clement was getting on in age and the struggles over the years were taking its toll. Yet, he steadfastly resisted. He also turned his attention to France and the court of King Charles whom, through his persuasive, disarming manner, he convinced of his legitimacy as Pope. When Clement passed away on September 16, 1394 it looked very likely that the Church would be one again. But a funny thing - or should we say 'sad' - happened "on the way to the forum." The Clementine cardinals - twenty one of them at Avignon, encouraged to work to end the schism by the French monarch, swore to abdicate the papacy if chosen. That way the schism would officially be over. The unanimously chose Cardinal Pedro de Luna, a prelate from Aragon who shocked all by becoming a turncoat and refusing to abdicate. Instead he took the name Benedict XIII on September 28, 1394. In effect, he was another Urban VI! The power had gone to his head. Even though King Charles tried to convince him to renounce the Avignon papacy, that just ensconced Benedict further in his resolve to stay on. Benedict was crafty and he felt he could wrestle more power by offering a much publicized meeting with Boniface IX. He inaugurated the showdown in September 1404. But Boniface would not be able to make the appointment for, as much as he wanted to reunite the Church, he had run afoul of politics, specifically in Germany where, in an effort to offset any kind of rebellion, had thrown all support behind the German king Wenceslaus giving him the power to raise tithes in the churces for his military endeavors. Boniface ran into that age-old problem: Promising something you don't have or can't give. This caused him to run into serious problems by dispensing indulgences to raise more money to pay the piper. Thus were the seeds of simony planted. To cover one mistake he piled on more favors, until he was bankrupt; so much so that he was forced to flee Rome for a while.

      It is a shame Boniface's pontificate came to that for it started out so strongly. Yet, it would be unrealistic to think one man could wipe out the bad will and serious damage done by Urban VI in such a short time. Boniface tried, but because of his zeal he ran afoul; not because he was devious or immoral, but rather so concerned for the people and so dead-set against the schism that he became a fool who rushed in where angels feared to tread. When one balances the accomplishments vs. his setbacks the former would far outweigh the deficits. He had made great strides despite the promise of favors, and had come closer to ending the schism than many think because he basically had all the monarchs of Europe behind him. He genuinely felt the schism was on its last legs when, on September 1, 1404, he received the invite from Benedict to meet. But he never kept the appointment for a kidney stone lodged in his colon and caused him to bleed to death internally as he succumbed on October 1, 1404. Benedict did not know for he was enroute. He would meet with an entirely different scenario as we shall see in the next installment when we cover Pope Innocent VII.

Pope Innocent VII: The Pope and the Riddle that riddled Europe: When is a murder not a murder?

CATHOLIC CANVAS: Daily Dose of curious contents of the Church

Pastoral Epistles

      Today is the Feast of Saint Timothy and Saint Titus who were not evangelists as many mistakenly believe because of the Books of 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus in the New Testament. In actuality the epistles were written by Saint Paul on his journeys to Ephesus and Lystra in Lycaonia for Timothy and to Crete for the Grecian-born Titus. These are properly called the "Pastoral Epistles" because they are addressed directly, not to any church as a group, but rather to its head or pastor for his guidance in the rule of the Church. From earliest times these letters have been recognized as inspired and canonical by the eastern and western Fathers. Paul's letter to these two bishops set the tone for the Church's pastoral letters from bishops to their flocks as well as the Bishop of Rome toward his fellow bishops and which have carried over to the ad limina visits of bishops to Rome and Synods of Bishops. (source: My Catholic Faith, My Mission House, and The Glories and Triumphs of the Catholic Church, Benziger Brothers.)

"I solemnly tell you again: Pray! Pray! Pray!"

      The Blessed Virgin Mary's words above in Message 365 to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart are part of a summary of why she has been appearing in her special Oasis of Peace for then over 12 years (now 18) and what we, as her faithful army, need to do to both live the messages and convey them to whomever we meet. Our Lady follows this up in Message 366 later the same day with the theme to pray and do penance in reparation for our own sins and those of others. She also implores us to pray for her beloved Pope-son John Paul II who the heretics and schismatics are trying to silence. For these two messages on the occasion of the 12th Anniversary of the first apparitions at Medugorje, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."

Messages Three Hundred-Sixty-five and Three Hundred-Sixty-six

Message Three Hundred-Sixty-five, June 25, 1993

(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
(Before Holy Mass on the 12th Anniversary of Our Lady's First Message to the visionaries of Medjugorje)

Message Three Hundred-Sixty-six, June 25, 1993

(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart)
(Later that day on the 12th Anniversary of the Medjugorje Apparitions)

Events Today in Church History

     Today is the 729th anniversary of the death of Saint Margaret of Hungary, holy Queen of Hungary whose relatives included Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, King Saint Stephen and Saint Hedwig. If more monarchs emulated her we suspect there would have been far fewer wars and more happiness over the centuries. She practiced what she preached by doing penance, and was a role model for all through her dedication to almsgiving and prayer. She was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1943. For all the pertinent events that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

Historical Events in Church Annals for January 26:


"Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied."

Luke 6: 20-21

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January 26, 1999 volume 10, no. 17   DAILY CATHOLIC