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MONDAY     June 21, 1999     SECTION ONE      vol 10, no. 119

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

Abbreviated Summer issues begin today for next two and a half months

    As has been the tradition of the DAILY CATHOLIC each summer - from the last two weeks of June through the end of August, we traditionally pare back our original features. Thus, beginning with today's issue, the summer issue format is in effect. This means there will be only one VIEW FROM THE PEW by Pat Ludwa a week - on Thursdays, and one CATHOLIC PewPOINT each Friday. Sister Mary Lucy Astuto's weekly column GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER on Fridays will continue as well as our COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION three times a week and the usual Monday feature VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS. However, as for features, we are going to recycle those from earlier editions so that newer readers over the last two years can have the opportunity to read what they may have missed. Just as the networks run re-runs, we are running reruns of earlier successful articles. However, we will have a very special new feature beginning in July when we begin our COUNTDOWN OF THE TOP 100 CATHOLICS OF THE CENTURY. We will suspend for the summer the SITE OF THE DAY and CATHOLIC CANVAS and focus more on the news features of the day to emphasize the daily, up-to-date strengths of the DAILY CATHOLIC. As always, we welcome your feedback and what you, the reader, wants to see in this publication that is fast approaching four million visits since we went on line daily on All Saints Day of 1997.

Message to the Americas:
Suffer the children to come to God along the Path to Communion

    Following up a year after the Bishops of North, Central and South America, along with the Caribbean contingent, met for the month-long Synod of the Americas in Rome at the end of 1997, Pope John Paul II officially closed the Synod with his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in America at Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine in Mexico City in January 1999. Because of its significance for all Americans, we bring you this important document in several installments over the next few months. For those wanting to read the entire encyclical or check footnotes, go to Ecclesia in America For the seventeenth installment on Chapter Four: The Path to Communion - Leading Children to Encounter Christ , click on THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS.

Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in America


48. Children are God's gift and a sign of his presence. “There is a need to accompany children in their encounter with Christ, from Baptism to First Communion, since they are part of the living community of faith, hope and love”. (182) The Church is grateful for the efforts of parents, teachers, pastoral, social and health care workers, and all those who seek to serve the family and children with the same attitude as Jesus Christ who said: “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of Heaven” (Mt 19:4).

    The Synod Fathers rightly deplored and condemned the painful condition of many children throughout America who are denied their dignity, their innocence and even their life. “This condition includes violence, poverty, homelessness, lack of adequate health care and education, the harm inflicted by drugs and alcohol, and other states of neglect and abuse”. (183) In this regard, special mention was made during the Synod of the problem of the sexual abuse of children and child prostitution, and the Fathers made an urgent appeal “to all those holding authority in society, that, as a priority, they do all in their power to alleviate the suffering of children in America”. (184)

Elements of communion with other Christian Churches and Ecclesial Communities

    49. Between the Catholic Church and the other Christian Churches and Ecclesial Communities there exists a drive towards communion rooted in the Baptism which each administers. (185) It is a drive nourished by prayer, dialogue and joint action. The Synod Fathers wished to express their special desire “to cooperate in the dialogue already under way with the Orthodox Church, with which we share many elements of faith, sacramental life and piety”. (186) The specific proposals of the Synodal assembly concerning non-Catholic Christian Churches and Ecclesial Communities as a whole were numerous. It was suggested in the first place “that Catholic Christians, Pastors and faithful foster cooperation between Christians of the different confessions, in the name of the Gospel, in response to the cry of the poor, by the promotion of justice, by common prayer for unity and by sharing in the word of God and the experience of faith in the living Christ”. (187) Also to be promoted, when possible and appropriate, are meetings of experts from the different Churches and Ecclesial Communities aimed at facilitating ecumenical dialogue. Ecumenism should be a subject of reflection and shared experience between the different Catholic Episcopal Conferences in America.

    Although the Second Vatican Council refers to all those who are baptized and believe in Christ as “brothers and sisters in the Lord”, (188) it is necessary to distinguish clearly between Christian communities, with which ecumenical relations can be established, and sects, cults and other pseudo-religious movements.

The Church's relations with Jewish communities

    50. American society also includes Jewish communities, with which the Church has fostered increasing cooperation in recent years. (189) The history of salvation makes clear our special relationship with the Jewish people. Jesus belongs to the Jewish people and he inaugurated his Church within the Jewish nation. A great part of the Holy Scriptures, which we Christians read as the word of God, constitute a spiritual patrimony which we share with Jews. (190) Consequently any negative attitude in their regard must be avoided, since “in order to be a blessing for the world, Jews and Christians need first to be a blessing for each other”. (191)

Non-Christian religions

    51. As for non-Christian religions, the Catholic Church rejects nothing in them which is true and holy. (192) Hence, with regard to other religions Catholics intend to emphasize elements of truth wherever they are to be found, while at the same time firmly bearing witness to the newness of the revelation of Christ, preserved in its fullness by the Church. (193) Consistent with this attitude, they reject as alien to the spirit of Christ any discrimination or persecution directed against persons on the basis of race, color, condition of life or religion. Difference of religion must never be a cause of violence or war. Instead persons of different beliefs must feel themselves drawn, precisely because of these beliefs, to work together for peace and justice.

    “Muslims, like Christians and Jews, call Abraham their father. Consequently throughout America these three communities should live in harmony and work together for the common good. The Church in America must also work for greater mutual respect and good relations with the native American religions”. (194) A similar attitude should be fostered with regard to the followers of Hinduism, Buddhism and other religions who have come to America as a result of recent waves of immigration from the East.

NEXT MONDAY: Installment eighteen - Chapter Five: PATH TO SOLIDARITY Lay faithful and the renewal of the Church

"Trust Me and receive My Mercy, for in this way, I, Myself, shall clothe you in the garment of My Mercy when you are judged, and the Father shall welcome you into the Kingdom of Heaven."

    Those powerful words from Our Lord were imparted to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart on the feast of Saint Martin of Tours on November 11, 1994 in which Jesus reinforces the magnitude of His Mercy and alerts His children of the sorrows that are to come, offering us the shelter of grace to best cope with what lies ahead. He follows this up two days later reiterating the importance of remaining loyal to His Holy Church and Vicar on earth and again beseeching His little ones to pray for Divine Mercy that the chastisements be mitigated and more find salvation despite the evil one's treachery and trickery. For Messages #563 and #564 from the Sacred Heart, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."

Messages 563 and 564

Message Five-Hundred-sixty-three, November 11, 1994

(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Sacred of Jesus)
(Feast of Saint Martin of Tours)

Message Five-Hundred-sixty-four, November 13, 1994

(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Sacred Heart of Jesus)

SIMPLY SHEEN: Holiness has nothing to do with smarts, just that it's smart to be holy!

    They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the words of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen have been known to launch a thousand images in one's mind, one of the ways this late luminary did so much to evangelize the faith. Because of the urgency of the times and because few there are today who possess the wisdom, simplicity and insight than the late Archbishop who touched millions, we are bringing you daily gems from his writings. The good bishop makes it so simple that we have dubbed this daily series: "SIMPLY SHEEN".

"A learned person is not necessarily a saint. Nor is a saint or an individual of strong character necessarily learned. The knowledge we possess of things outside of us has little or nothing to do with our moral temperament."

The Archbishop emeritus of Caracas is now retired after a dedicated life as one of Venezuela's favorite sons

    We continue with this new series that debuted the beginning of the year, bringing you on a regular basis three times a week the Princes of the Church. Our sixty-eighth red-hat we feature, in alphabetical order is Cardinal Jose Ali Lebrun Moratinos, the Archbishop emeritus of Caracas, Venezuela who turned 80 on March 19th. He was elevated to the cardinalate by Pope John Paul II in the Consistory of February 2, 1983. For more on Cardinal Lebrun, click on COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION

68.   Cardinal Jose Ali Lebrun Moratinos

Events Today in Church History

    On this date 997 years ago Bruno Egisheim was born in Lorraine. He would go on to become the 152nd successor of Peter as Pope Saint Leo IX who would become known as the Pontiff who excommunicated the Eastern Patriarch Michael Cerularius in 1054 prompting the thousand year schism between East and West. 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 June 21:


   Today is the Feast of the Jesuit seminarian Saint Aloysius Gonzaga while tomorrow is the triple celebration of the Twelfth Tuesday in Ordinary Time, and the feast of Saint Paulinus of Nola, bishop, plus the feast of the English martyrs Saint John Fisher, bishop and Saint Thomas More, married man. For the readings, liturgies and meditations for today and tomorrow, click on DAILY LITURGY.

Monday, June 21, 1999

Tuesday, June 22, 1999

May 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message

   Dear children! Also today I call you to convert and to more firmly believe in God. Children, you seek peace and pray in different ways, but you have not yet given your hearts to God for Him to fill them with His love. So, I am with you to teach you and to bring you closer to the love of God. If you love God above all else, it will be easy for you to pray and to open your hearts to Him. Thank you for having responded to my call.
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE

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June 21, 1999 volume 10, no. 119   DAILY CATHOLIC