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TUESDAY      July 20, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 134

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

Events Today in Church History

     On this date one thousand four hundred and eighty five years ago, Pope Saint Hormidas, who was born in Frosinone within the city limits of Rome, became the 52nd successor of Peter succeeding Pope Saint Symmachus. It was during his nine year papacy that Saint Benedict, the "Father of Western Monasticism," founded the Benedictines and established the celebrated Monastery of Monte Cassino with the Pope present to consecrate it. It lasted for nearly a century and a half until allied bombs greatly damaged it beyond repair. For other pertinent events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

Historical Events in Church Annals for July 20:

with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World News Service
and Noticias Eclesiales Church News and ZENIT International News Agency



      VATICAN ( -- Pope John Paul II made the second and last public appearance of his summer vacation schedule on Sunday, July 18, when he led the Angelus prayer outside a Carmelite monastery near the town of Quart.

      In his remarks to the faithful who has assembled to pray with him, the Holy Father reflected on the importance of the contemplative life. It is, he said, " response to the absolute love of God, who in the Incarnate Word joined himself to humanity with an eternal and indissoluble bond."

      Greeting the residents of the area, the Pope thanked everyone who had contributed to his "serene and peaceful" vacation. Having spent nearly two weeks in the Alpine region, he plans to return to Rome on July 20. He has reportedly enjoyed a number of outdoor excursions during his vacation, although he is no longer capable to undertaking long walks through the mountains, as he did in previous years.

      The Vatican also announced that Pope John Paul II will make a one-day visit to Slovenia in September.

      The Holy Father will travel to Slovenia for the beatification of Anton Martin Slomsek, a 19th-century bishop of Maribor. The Pope will arrive in Slovenia in the morning, preside at the beatification, then visit the city's cathedral to pray at the tomb of the newly beatified bishop. He will next meet with the President of Slovenia before returning to Rome in the evening.

      Bishop Slomsek was known for his efforts to promote literacy among the Slovenes in their native language. He will be the first Slovenian to be beatified.

      The trip will be the second visit by Pope John Paul II to Slovenia; the first came in May 1996.


      ARLINGTON, Virginia ( - The new bishop of Arlington, Virginia, began his tenure as leader of the diocese by ordering a pastor to stop allowing girls to be altar servers because he failed to receive permission first.

      Bishop Paul Loverde told Father Horace Grinnell of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Falls Church to end the program which he did, but not without making a statement in his homily and church bulletin expressing his dissent. "Why is it normal that men and women should serve together as lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, and choir members, yet not serve together as altar servers?" Father Grinnell asked in his bulletin. "Both male and female altar servers are the norm in the rest of the United States and most of the world (including Rome)."

      Diocesan chancellor Father Robert Rippy said the issue is one of obedience, not altar girls. "It's standard operating procedure that once a bishop has died, the policies he created do not end with his death," he said. "Therefore, the policy he made on female altar servers remains in force." Pope John Paul II in 1994 signed off on a statement that girls could be allowed to serve at the altar, but left the final decision up to each bishop. The late Bishop John Keating had wanted only male altar servers to encourage boys to consider the priesthood.

      Father Rippy said Bishop Loverde, who allowed altar girls in his former diocese of Ogdensburg, New York, will not make any changes during his first year as bishop in Arlington. The bishop also asked Father Grinnell to stop offering Communion under both species to the congregation at Mass on Sunday, which was also banned by Bishop Keating as a matter of "practicality," according to Father Rippy.


U.S. Episcopal Video Against Pornography

      ROME, JUL 18 (ZENIT).- In a video produced by the U.S. National Council of Catholic Bishops, the Bishops make a strong appeal that no efforts be spared to combat violence and pornography, which at present saturate Internet, television, and other media. The video is entitled, "Renewing the Mind of the Media: Overcoming the Exploitation of Sex and Violence in Communications." It is a complement to the document with the same title, approved by the Bishops in their June 1998 meeting.

      In the document, for the first time the Bishops addressed, specifically, the problem of violence and pornography in the media. They pointed out that "the media has such potential to inspire the life of countless people with truth and beauty, that we cannot allow it to become a venue for those who want to pervert the gift God has given us of the body and sexuality."

      After praising the media for its capacity to "inform and entertain," it warned against "its inordinate interest in producing shows whose content is extremely violent and pornographic."

      The video includes the comments of three national religious leaders: Cardinal William H. Keeler of Baltimore, representing the Religious Alliance against Pornography; Rev. Eileen Linder, Assistant Secretary General of the Christian Union for the National Council of Churches; and Jerry Kirk, President of the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families.

      Cardinal Keeler speaks about the devaluation of human sexuality and respect for the human person. "When this happens, a thread of the fabric that maintains society united is rent."

      Jerry Kirk warns against the unlimited and uncontrolled access to Internet by adolescents and very young children. "It is the death of our children's innocence. They do not have the chance to grow up without being exposed to pornography."

      Rev. Linder points out that "violence is so pervasive in the media that society is insensitive to it. There is no longer a shock effect."

      The video can be ordered from the National Council of Catholic Bishops on their web site: ZE99071802


Historians' New Reading on 900th Anniversary

      ROME, JUL 18 (ZENIT).- On the occasion of the 900th anniversary of the first Crusade to the Holy Land, led by Godfried de Bouillon and Raymond of Tolosa, which ended with the Christian re-conquest of Jerusalem on July 15, 1099, the cultural sections of newspapers have been filled with articles. There have also been exhibitions and congresses of experts to commemorate the event.

      Yet the Crusades remain a controversial moment in Church history. There are those who never fail to use them to criticize the Catholic Church. This position has become rather commonplace, but it fails to take into account the results of recent historical research.

      In view of the Jubilee, and in spite of the fact that the media are exerting pressure for Catholics to bear a burden of guilt, new historical evidence reveals that the issue of the Crusades is far more complex than was previously thought. Jesuit Carmelo Capizzi, professor of Medieval History at the Pontifical Gregorian University, wrote an article in the latest issue of the magazine "CiviltÓ Cattolica," in which he maintains that: "far from being useless or damaging, the Crusades contributed to the creation of positive historical situations, which ended in international processes that continue to this day and are of vital importance."

      The article criticizes "superficial evaluations of this historical event" and invites the studious to approach the topic free of ideological conditioning. Fr. Capizzi urges them to "rescue" the Crusades from a historiography with a secularizing bent that is strongly conditioning.

      Undoubtedly, there were mistakes, the Jesuit scholar admits, but this does not justify the condemnation of the whole of the Crusades, which, in his opinion, should be considered a factor of social and cultural progress. "Those who attribute certain objectives to the Crusades that they never had, such as the spread of the faith with an armed hand, are mistaken," Fr. Capizzi concluded.

      Catholic writer Vittorio Messori is sympathetic to the Jesuit scholar's point of view. In statements to the Italian newspaper, "Corriere della Sera," he said, "What is forgotten is that when the Moslems arrived in Jerusalem, they destroyed all the Christian churches, just like they did in North Africa, Turkey, and the area of Spain that they occupied" for 700 years.

      According to historian Franco Cardini, the mistakes made on this issue spring from a reductive view of history: "The military fact (of the Crusade) is separated from its very profound and positive context."

      "To evaluate the situation better, it is necessary to reinsert it in its historical context, which would automatically do away with many of the controversies," asserted the scholar.

      It should be pointed out, Cardini said, "that the word Crusade is a modern expression that has been used systematically only since the 18th century. Until that time, there were words that defined the 'crusader,' but the word 'crusade,' as such, did not exist. This means that in speaking about the Crusades from 1700 to the present, all manner of deceitful generalizations have been made."

      Auxiliary Bishop Rino Fisichella of Rome, Vice-President of the Jubilee's Theological-Historical Commission, explained to Vatican Radio that "the topic of the Crusades is complex. I do not agree with those who read the Crusades in only a religious light or as a holy war. Let's not forget that it is a phenomenon that has some 200 years of history behind it; it cannot be reduced to a religious reading. The judgment on the Crusades must be complex and global, otherwise there is the risk of transposing ideas and triumphs of present-day thought to the past."

      In view of the Jubilee, it is good to evaluate the Crusades "in the events of our history", in the positive aspects that resulted in progress, which have "helped the conscience and behavior of some Christians to mature" and those that have been limiting, and made no allowance for a full and profound vision of the sanctity of the Church."

      "As regards the Crusades, in the past these have been characterized as a confrontation between the East and West, between those who were right and those who were wrong, between the stronger and the weaker. But today, in the light of history and other triumphs of humanity, and also the Church's greater awareness of its history, I believe it is better to speak in terms of the complementary. It is no longer a confrontation between East and West but an awareness that the two worlds, the two cultures, the two realities must know one another and be mutually integrated," Fisichella concluded. ZE99071806

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 and the features, dossiers and Daily Dispatches at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

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July 20, 1999 volume 10, no. 134   DAILY CATHOLIC