DAILY CATHOLIC     FRIDAY - January 22 to WEDNESDAY - January 27, 1999

JOHN PAUL II RETURNS TO THE AMERICAS IN WHAT IS POSSIBLY HIS FAREWELL TOUR TO THE NEW WORLD

      EDITOR'S NOTE: We will be updating this page several times a day during the week. The following news articles are provided by CWN - Catholic World News and Noticias Eclesias CHURCH NEWS. For live up-to-date coverage of the papal trip to Mexico and the United States, visit EWTN. Continuous Spanish- language coverage is also available at Spanish Coverage.

January 25, 1999

DELEGATIONS OF DIFFERENT COUNTRIES WILL PARTICIPATE VIA SATELLITE IN POPE'S MEETING WITH ALL GENERATIONS

          MEXICO CITY, 25 (NE) The whole American continent will participate today at the meeting with the representatives of all generations that will take place at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. Catholics from diverse parts of the Continent will join those who accompany the Holy Father in Mexico to express their affection and gratitude to the Successor of Peter, and will also express their desire to accept his message and his invitation to a New Evangelization.

          The delegations will make themselves present live, sending via satellite a salutation to the Holy Father and a meditation on diverse aspects of Christian Life, such as the gift of Faith, solidarity, fraternity, among others. Groups of persons from Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, United States and Argentina will send to the Holy Father a live greeting from their countries. These will express the greetings of the whole Continent of Hope.

PAPAL SCHEDULE FOR MONDAY

          MEXICO CITY (CWNews.com) -- On Monday, January 25, Pope John Paul II is scheduled to meet with the presidents of the 24 episcopal conferences of North and South America, as well as the leaders of CELAM, the Latin American bishops' conference. He will then travel to the Azteca stadium for a mass meeting with representatives from all across the hemisphere, to discuss the challenges that arise from the social, economic, and cultural diversity of the Americas.

RECAP: THE POPE'S WEEKEND IN MEXICO

          MEXICO CITY (CWNews.com) -- Pope John Paul II arrived in Mexico on January 22, saying that his visit-- highlighted by the promulgation of a apostolic exhortation outlining the pastoral challenges that face the Church in the Americas-- would be "a historic event" for Catholics in the Western hemisphere.

          The Pope arrived in mid-afternoon, under a sunny sky, and was greeted by a large and enthusiastic crowd. Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo offered his formal greetings, saying that the people of his country could profit from "religious fervor, devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the love and joy of Mexican Catholics." That warm welcome was a marked change from the cool reception the Pope received in 1979, during his first pastoral visit to Mexico, from a government which still upheld anti-clerical laws.

          In his first remarks, the Pope spoke of the "three realities" of Mexico: the "rich and ancient sensibility" of the natives; the Christian culture which set down deep roots in the country, and the modern rationalism which now challenges old ways.

          On January 23, the Holy Father traveled to the Guadalupe basilica, where he was officially greeted by Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City on behalf of the Mexican episcopal conference. There he concelebrated Mass with 500 bishops from North and South America, and formally promulgated his apostolic exhortation, Ecclesia in America (see related story).

          On Sunday, January 24, the Pope celebrated Mass for an enormous congregation at a racetrack outside Mexico City. Police estimated that well over 1 million people-- perhaps as many as 2 million-- crowded into the facility, to hear the Holy Father say in his homily, "All members of Mexican society have equal dignity." And the Pope stressed the same message on Saturday evening when he spoke with members of the diplomatic corps in Mexico City, insisting that a human person cannot be transformed into "a number of a simple economic factor."

RECAP: THE POPE'S WEEKEND IN MEXICO

          MEXICO CITY (CWNews.com) -- Pope John Paul II arrived in Mexico on January 22, saying that his visit-- highlighted by the promulgation of a apostolic exhortation outlining the pastoral challenges that face the Church in the Americas-- would be "a historic event" for Catholics in the Western hemisphere.

          The Pope arrived in mid-afternoon, under a sunny sky, and was greeted by a large and enthusiastic crowd. Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo offered his formal greetings, saying that the people of his country could profit from "religious fervor, devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the love and joy of Mexican Catholics." That warm welcome was a marked change from the cool reception the Pope received in 1979, during his first pastoral visit to Mexico, from a government which still upheld anti-clerical laws.

          In his first remarks, the Pope spoke of the "three realities" of Mexico: the "rich and ancient sensibility" of the natives; the Christian culture which set down deep roots in the country, and the modern rationalism which now challenges old ways.

          On January 23, the Holy Father traveled to the Guadalupe basilica, where he was officially greeted by Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City on behalf of the Mexican episcopal conference. There he concelebrated Mass with 500 bishops from North and South America, and formally promulgated his apostolic exhortation, Ecclesia in America (see related story).

          On Sunday, January 24, the Pope celebrated Mass for an enormous congregation at a racetrack outside Mexico City. Police estimated that well over 1 million people-- perhaps as many as 2 million-- crowded into the facility, to hear the Holy Father say in his homily, "All members of Mexican society have equal dignity." And the Pope stressed the same message on Saturday evening when he spoke with members of the diplomatic corps in Mexico City, insisting that a human person cannot be transformed into "a number of a simple economic factor."

CHIAPAS BISHOPS UNCONCERNED BY POPE'S CAUTION

          MEXICO CITY (CWNews.com) -- During his plane ride from Rome to Mexico, Pope John Paul II expressed misgivings about the political involvement of certain Mexican bishops. But Bishop Samuel Ruiz Garcia, widely recognized as the object of the Pope's concern, told reporters that he was pleased with the Pope's stance.

          Bishop Ruiz and his colleagues Bishops Felipe Arizmendi and Raul Vera-- the three bishops of the troubled southern state of Chiapas-- told the Mexican daily El Universal that they had been delighted with the Pope's public remarks about the need to respect the culture of Indian tribes. The three bishops said that "support for the Indians" had been a principal focus of their ministry in Chiapas.

          During his plane flight, Pope John Paul had remarked to reporters that while liberation theology has faded, there are some theological trends in Mexico "which are influenced my Marxism." He added, "We must put that behind us, and insist on solidarity and dialogue." But Bishop Ruiz said that when the Holy Father insisted on respect for Indian customs, those papal remarks made him "very happy." The three Chiapas bishops promised to "support the Pope in all the decisions that he makes to promote the Catholic Church."

POPE VISITS HOSPITAL, COMFORTS TERMINAL PATIENTS

          MEXICO CITY (CWNews.com) -- A hospital visit provided a highlight of the third day of Pope John Paul's visit to Mexico.

          The Holy Father visited the Adolfo Lopez Mateos hospital on Sunday afternoon, accompanied by a number of Mexican bishops, as well as members of the hospital staff and other Catholic health-care institutions. While a choir of young handicapped Mexicans sang, the Pope personally blessed about 80 of the hospital's patients.

          In remarks which he addressed not only to the hospital workers and patients, but also to those listening on radio and television, the Pope expressed the hope that the visit might demonstrate "that one is never alone in confronting the mystery of suffering," because God is especially close to those who are in pain. The Pope prayed that those who suffer, realizing God's love, would find reassurance and new life in that realization.

          After his public remarks, the Pope met privately with about 30 patients who are terminally ill-- many of whom are in the final stages of AIDS.

          "HAVE THE COURAGE TO BEAR WITNESS TO THE GOSPEL," REQUESTS HOLY FATHER TO MEXICAN PEOPLE MEXICO CITY, 25 (NE) "Faith in Christ is an integral part of the Mexican nation, being engraved, as it is, indelibly in its history. Do not let this Light of faith be extinguished!" With these words the Holy Father addressed the faithful assisting the Holy Mass celebrated yesterday morning at the Rodriguez Brothers racing circuit. More than one million people gathered for the event, many of which arrived to the racing circuit one day prior to the Mass, having to spend a cold night's sleep, in order to hear and show their affection toward the Successor of Peter.

          Upon commencing the Holy Mass, the Holy Father was greeted by Cardinal Norberto Rivera, Archbishop of Mexico, who manifested to the Pope the immense love that the Mexican people have toward him. "Most Holy Father," the Cardinal said, "in the midst of its weakness and wounded by its sin, Mexico continues being faithful to its Catholic religion. It continues being faithful to Christ, Light of all peoples; it continues being faithful to that Great Light which, 500 years ago, was brought here by the first missionaries."

          The Holy Father lively invited Mexicans to "have the courage to bear witness to the Gospel on the streets and in the town squares, in the valleys and mountains of this nation! Promote the New Evangelization, following the Church's orientations." Remembering the words of the II Vatican Council: "Christ is the Light of peoples," he urged the people to allow this light to "enlighten Mexican society, its families, schools and universities, countryside and cities. May values of the Gospel inspire its rulers to serve their fellow citizens, taking special care of the most needy." He also, warned the sons and daughters of Mexico and of the whole of America, "not to seek the Truth of life in fallacious and apparently novel ideologies: 'Jesus is the true novelty that exceeds all of humanity's expectations and so it will be forever'."

          As soon as the Holy Father addressed the youth, inviting them on behalf of the Lord Jesus to be "like the apostles, fishers of men," a roaring round of applause and exclamations broke out from the crowd as an affirmative and lively response to the invitation of the Pope. "Christ is surely calling some of you to follow Him and to give yourselves totally to the cause of the Gospel," pointed out the Successor of Peter alluding in particular to the vocation to consecrated life. "Don't be afraid to receive the Lord's invitation! Don't let the nets keep you from following Jesus' way! Be generous, don't fail to respond to the Master who calls."

          Toward the end of his homily, the Holy Father trusted in the hands of "Our Lady of Guadalupe, Star of the First and the New Evangelization of America," the evangelizing task that awaits for Mexico and all of America, and he also trusted "to her loving protection the cause of life." When the Holy Father, in a loud voice said: "may no Mexican dare to wound the precious and sacred gift of life in the mother's womb!," all those present acclaimed his words with enthusiasm. Pope John Paul II finished his homily saying: "Most Blessed Virgin! May we, like Blessed Juan Diego, be able to bear your impressed image in the path of our life, and announce the Good News of Christ to all people."

         

         

For more articles previous to this,
  • see PAPAL VISIT TO THE AMERICAS - January 24-25 and
  • PAPAL VISIT TO THE AMERICAS - January 22-23
  • Articles provided through Catholic World News 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 22-27, 1999      
    JOHN PAUL II's FAREWELL TOUR TO THE AMERICAS

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