DAILY CATHOLIC     WEDNESDAY     June 16, 1999     vol. 10, no. 116


On-going coverage of the Holy Father's marathon trip to his homeland

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Cancels Scheduled Appearances for Tuesday

          KRAKOW, JUN 15 (ZENIT).- After several hard days of travel and public appearances, John Paul II appears to have a mild flu. He was ordered by his doctors to cancel his public appearances today.

          This morning, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, director of the Holy See's Press Hall, reported in Krakow that "since late yesterday afternoon, Monday, June 14, the Holy Father has had a moderate rise in temperature, which might be of a viral nature. For this reason, he has been advised to cancel all his appointments for today, June 15. The Holy Father will spend the day in the Archbishop of Krakow's residence."

          In response to reporters' questions, Navarro-Valls said the Pope's "temperature has remained below 100 degrees"; in "addition to rest, the Holy Father will receive anti-influenza treatment." The Pope's indisposition does not seem to be causing too much concern, as no other alterations have been made to his schedule.

          There are those in the Pontiff's entourage who fear he might over extend himself during this trip. Yesterday, for example, although he was tired, he continued his indomitable pilgrimage through Poland. ZE99061520


Cardinal Sodano Substituted Holy Father at Mass

          KRAKOW, JUN 15 (ZENIT).- It is not unusual for the unexpected to happen during trips, and this is exactly what has happened to the Holy Father, who is in his beloved Krakow for the sixth time as Pontiff. Cardinal Angelo Sodano substituted for the Pope at this morning's Mass in the Blonia Plaza. In spite of bad weather, about a million and a half people attended the Mass.

          There was great disappointment over the Pope's absence, and much concern for his health, as well as warm expressions of affection for John Paul II.

          Cardinal Franciszek Macharski, Archbishop of Krakow, read the Pope's homily, a great hymn of praise to God, with reflections from the Te Deum, in thanksgiving for Krakow's one thousand years of Christianity, whose beginnings are linked to the apostolic activity of Saint Adalbert, who died a martyr on the Baltic shores. "It is a great gift that, while the Church throughout the world gives thanks to God for the two thousand years of her existence, at the same time the Church here in Krakow gives thanks for its own millennium!" read the homily.

          "If today we return to the beginnings and to these figures, we do so to renew our awareness that the roots of the Church in Krakow are profoundly fixed in the apostolic tradition, in the prophetic mission and in the witness of martyrdom," the Pope wrote. "Entire generations made this tradition, mission and martyrdom their own, and built their faith on them in the course of a millennium."

          The homily was a virtual pilgrimage of the imagination through the testimony of innumerable generations of martyrs and saints, bishops, priests, religious and laity: the history of a Church that has survived many storms and many trials and that, in this century, resisted the destructive force of war and occupation, Communist totalitarianism and atheist ideology, overcoming the time of persecutions without ever losing its strength to witness.

          "Safeguard the deposit with the help of the Holy Spirit who dwells in you. Carry it into the third Christian millennium with the pride and humility of witnesses. Transmit to future generations the message of divine Mercy, which in this city was made manifest to the world. At the end of the twentieth century the world appears more than ever to be in need of such a message. Bring it into the new times as a promise of hope and pledge of salvation," Cardinal Macharski read from the Pope's homily.

          At the end of the Mass, there was quite a commotion when Cardinal Macharski read the Pope's greetings to the various groups in Blonia. The multitude broke into long applause and affectionate slogans loudly directed to the Pope, especially when it was revealed that the Pope was watching the Mass on television: "Come with us, we will not leave you, we will go to your residence."

          At the end, Cardinal Sodano expressed his gratitude in Italian, which was translated into Polish: "Even though we have had a rainy day, Krakow has proved itself a city of joy. Continue to pray for the Pope. I also thank the Krakow community for having given the Church of Rome and the universal Church this great pastor who is our beloved Supreme Pontiff. Beloved Church of Krakow, I give you my heartfelt greetings and I hope you will also bear great fruit in the new Christian millennium." ZE99061506


The Church is Interested in Problems of Workers

          SOSNOWIEC, JUN 15 (ZENIT).- In Sosnowiec, yesterday, John Paul II addressed thousands of youths on the rights of workers. Sosnowiec is a relatively young diocese, in Upper Silesia, an industrial region. "As we approach the year 2000, we look back upon all the different phases of this journey made through the centuries by our forebears. They have left us a great heritage of creative work which today fills us with admiration and gratitude. Their hard toil and the works of past generations are a challenge for us to continue to rule over this land which the Creator has given to us as a possession and a task."

          "Accepting the invitation of the ages," he continued, "we cannot forget the divine perspective of sharing in the work of creation, which confers upon all human effort true meaning and dignity. Without this perspective, work can easily lose its subjective dimension. When this happens, the man who does the work is no longer important, and all that matters is the material worth of what is produced."

          John Paul II went on to address the threats hidden in economic transformations. "Because of the laws of the market, human rights are forgotten; this happens in varying degrees all over the world. It happens, for example, when the claim is made that economic profit justifies taking away the job of someone who loses not only a job but every prospect for maintaining himself or the family. It also happens when, to increase production, the worker is denied the right to rest, the right to care for the family, or the freedom to plan his daily life. This is always the case when the value of work is defined not according to human effort, but according to the price of the product -- which creates a situation where the pay does not correspond to the work that is done."

          The Pontiff explained that such distortions refer "not only employers but also employees. The one who accepts a job can also give in to the temptation to treat it as an object, as no more than a source of material enrichment. The job can dominate a man's life to the point where he no longer notices his need to look after his health, the development of his personality, the happiness of his loved ones or in the end his relationship with God."

          The Pope summed up his message saying, "Wisdom is needed to discover ever anew the supernatural dimension of work, given as a task to man by the Creator. A correctly formed conscience is needed to discern the absolute value of one's work. A spirit of sacrifice is needed lest our own humanity and the happiness of others are lost on the altar of well being."

          "I pray still more fervently that these words will bring hope to the hearts of those who very much want to work but have the misfortune to be unemployed. I pray to God that the economic development of our country and of other countries in the world may proceed in such a way that all people -- as Saint Paul says -- may 'work in quietness and ... earn their own living' (2 Th 3:12). I raise my voice in saying this because I want you to realize -- I want every worker in this country to know -- that the Pope and the Church are interested in your problems," the Holy Father assured the crowds. ZE99061505


          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Pope John Paul II was stricken by a fever and confined to bed on June 15. He was unable to celebrate Mass as scheduled for the estimated 1 million people who had gathered in downtown Krakow, waiting in a steady rain.

          Papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said that the Pope's illness was not serious. He said the Pontiff was suffering from a flu, and "he has to listen to the doctor." The Pope remained in bed at the archbishop's residence in Krakow.

          In his 87 previous foreign trips, the Pope had never previously been forced to cancel public appearances because of illness. But there was some speculation that on this occasion John Paul would be forced to forego the remainder of his trip to Poland, and return directly to Rome. The Holy Father had made two last-minute additions to his schedule: a pilgrimage to the Marian shrine at Czestochowa and a personal visit to the dying leader of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Catholicos Karekin I; those two trips are now expected to be cancelled.

          The Pope had been enthusiastically looking forward to his return to Krakow, where he was ordained to the priesthood in 1946, consecrated as a bishop n 1958, and installed as archbishop in 1964. During his pontificate he has visited his old archdiocese five times, and on each occasion he has received an extraordinarily warm welcome.

          Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican Secretary of State, took the Pope's place as the principal celebrant for the Mass. Cardinal Franciszek Macharski of Krakow read the homily which the Pope had prepared.

          When the crowd gathered for the Mass heard the official announcement that the Pope was ill, there was a loud collective sigh, and many people who had been waiting patiently in the rain broke down in tears. Several thousand people surrounded the archbishop's residence after the Mass, hoping to hear some news of the Pontiff's health. They were kept at a distance, so that the noise from the crowd would not disturb the Pope's rest.


Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features 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.

June 16, 1999       volume 10, no. 116


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