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MONDAY      June 28, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 124

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


      Today is the Feast of Saint Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr while tomorrow is the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles and the Feast of the Bishop of Rome honoring the Vicar of Christ. For the readings, liturgies, meditations and vignettes for these feasts, click on DAILY LITURGY.

Monday, June 28, 1999


Born in Smyrna in 120 AD, Saint Iraneaus was a disciple of St. Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna who had often listened at the feet of the Apostle St. John the Evangelist. Sent by Polycarp to France - then Gaul, Iraneaus became a priest in Lyons ordained by St. Ponthinus, Bishop of Lyons, during the terrible of persecution of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Upon Ponthinus' death, Iraneaus succeeded him as the Ordinary of Lyons. In this office, besides dodging Roman persecution, he fought the growing heresies of Gnosticism. Because of his training by Polycarp and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Iraneaus wrote a treatise against the Gnostics that has been handed down and contains the essence in systematic presentation of Catholic Doctrine. His preaching and evangelizing effected countless conversions throughout Gaul as he dispatched many missionaries to all parts of the country. In 203 he was captured by the Romans and the Emperor Severus ordered his execution along with hundreds of other Christians there in the city of Lyons where they all received their crowning glory through martyrdom.

Tuesday, June 29, 1999


with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World News Service and Noticias Eclesiales Church News



Cardinal Cassidy Will Carry Papal Message to Sick Patriarch

      VATICAN CITY, JUN 25 (ZENIT).- John Paul II's trip to Armenia has been definitely canceled. The Pope looked forward to this trip with great enthusiasm, since the Catholic Church has reached an historic theological agreement with the Armenian Church, which has put an end to 1500 years of religious controversy. Patriarch Karekin I's health has continued to deteriorate, however, and everything points to the fact that the two religious leaders will be unable to meet.

      Consequently, the Pope has asked Australian Cardinal Edward I. Cassidy, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, to travel to Yerevan, Armenia, to visit the dying Catholicos of All Armenians on the Pope's behalf.

      In a statement today by Joaquin Navarro-Valls, director of the Holy See's Press Office, it was announced that the date of the meeting will be July 2. The Australian Cardinal will give the Armenian Patriarch a personal message from the Pope.

      As reported earlier, during John Paul II's visit to Poland a representative of the Catholicos requested a meeting with the Holy Father in Warsaw to tell him about the difficulties of the papal trip given the worsening health condition of Karekin I. The Pontiff had then changed his plans in hopes of visiting the Patriarch in his private quarters at the end of his pastoral marathon in Poland. Because of the fever the Pope himself suffered, the visit was postponed, and has now been canceled. ZE99062505


Television Program for Pope's Feast

      VATICAN CITY, JUN 25 (ZENIT).- June 29, the feast of Saints Peter and Paul is the feast of the Bishop of Rome, given that Peter was Rome's first Bishop. In celebration of this feast, the Jubilee Steering Committee and Italian Radio and Television (RAI) will present a television program of Jubilee preparation, to be transmitted live by Eurovision from the Paul VI Audience Hall in the Vatican. Among the participants will be the Pope himself.

      The program includes international satellite links and performances by several artists. Among the personalities of international prestige participating in the event are Nelson Mandela from South Africa and Kofi Annan, U.N. Secretary General from New York. Neil Armstrong is slated to greet the Holy Father from Houston, on the thirtieth anniversary of man's arrival on the moon.

      On the occasion of this television event, the official Jubilee hymn, "Christ Today," will be heard for the first time. The celebration will end with the "Antica Girandola" from Castel Sant'Angelo, a spectacle of fireworks, which Popes have historically offered to pilgrims during Jubilee years, precisely on June 29. This event has not been celebrated since the time of the unification of Italy. ZE99062508


      VATICAN CITY, 26 (NE) The process of beatification of Mother Teresa will officially begin next July 28 in the city of Calcutta, where the founder of the Missionaries of Charity began an abnegate work of service to the "most poor among the poor".

      The Archbishop of Calcutta, Henry D'Souza, informed of the date in which the diocesan phase of the process will begin, during which different testimonies on the life and work of the nun of Albanian origin will be listened to. In the last days, sisters of the Missionaries of Charity made the official delivery to the prelate of biographical material necessary to begin the cause.

      Also, it was made known that witness on the life of the Mother Teresa will also be listened to in Rome and New York. The process will then pass on to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During the process, a medical commission will verify if scientific explanations exist or not for some of the healings attributed to the intercession of Mother Teresa.


Catholic Church's "Marshall Plan" for Balkans

      MILAN, JUN 25 (ZENIT).- In an interview published in the Italian magazine "Il Regno," Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, Vatican Secretary of Relations with States, said that the future of the Balkans, in the wake of the agreement between NATO and Russia is especially complex, warning of the remaining ambiguities and problems.

      One of the principal questions, according to Archbishop Tauran, is the "future of the refugees. They must be convinced to return, with the guarantee of an international military presence and with credible forces of peace, which will encourage mutual trust between the people of Kosovo and the Serbs. After the atrocities committed, the desire for revenge or the dream of many refugees of a great Albania, which will protect them from Serbia, cannot be underestimated."

      In regard to the Vatican's position about those implicated in the conflict, Archbishop Tauran said that "the Holy See has not condemned the NATO action as such, as it was aware that such an initiative could be interpreted as an intervention for humanitarian ends, with the objective of putting an end to the unbearable violations of the most elemental human rights in Kosovo."

      Such an initiative should only have been taken, he added, "once all the diplomatic possibilities had been exhausted."

      According to Archbishop Tauran, the Holy See "has been perplexed by the means chosen to put an end to the violations perpetrated in Kosovo against human rights. Like many observers, I asked myself: is it possible to protect a population suffering these threats, from 16,000 feet in the air? Does the protection of the legitimate aspiration of the Kosovo inhabitants imply the destruction of the whole of Serbia? Can the U.N. be kept on the sidelines?"

      The Vatican diplomat said that the Kosovo Army of Liberation (UCK), "will be weighty in the pacification of the region. What must be avoided is a destabilizing withdrawal by the Serbs as well as an anarchic return by the refugees."

      Another thorny question is the American idea of having financial aid for the reconstruction of Serbia depend on Slobodan Milosevic's demise from the political scene. "These are some of the many questions that arise and that reflect the complexity of the management of peace. The great challenge at present is the triumph of peace. And, as the Holy Father has stressed, such a victory must be based on respect for history and for law by and for everyone," the Archbishop said.

Secretaries of Episcopal Conferences Stimulate Ecumenical Dialogue

      This week the secretaries general of the 34 European Episcopal Conferences met in Dubrovnik, one of the symbolic cities of the Balkans war, to analyze the social and spiritual situation of the Continent at the end of the Kosovo conflict and to study the Christian response.

      According to Fr. Aldo Giordano, secretary of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences, during the meeting in Dubrovnik "we saw the difficulty of beginning to implement the process of unification that respects differences. What happened in the Balkans confirms that we still cannot imagine a civil society that is able to combine unity with individual identity. And the same thing happens with ecumenism and with ... religions and cultures."

Unity in Diversity

      The secretaries of the European Episcopal Conferences arrived at this conclusion after debating the challenge of globalization ("a new fact that requires new pastoral answers"), the information society, migrations ("a way to promote understanding among peoples, the communion of the Church and the inter-religious dialogue"), and the safeguarding of creation, peace and justice.

      A new culture is emerging in Europe. At Dubrovnik, the representatives of the Bishops of the East and West confirmed that "Europe's new culture will continue to be unintelligible without a serious rethinking of Christian values," as "the indispensable premise for a more intense coexistence among nations and persons," beginning with the Balkans.

The Balkans

      After hearing the testimony of Kosovo Bishop Hil Kabshi, the Bishops' representatives said that "the real tragedy of the war is not just the great material misery, but the deep wounds among peoples, which run the risk of festering for many generations."

      Consequently, the participants appealed "to those who are politically and militarily responsible not to condemn the whole Serbian nation because of the cruelties of their political leaders, but to include Serbia in programs of assistance."

      The Catholic Church's "Marshal Plan" for the Balkans, which is already underway not only in Kosovo but also in Serbia through various national Caritas, does not consist, primarily, in humanitarian aid. Its main contribution is to intensify the dialogue with the Orthodox Churches, "to be able to overcome the errors of recent history and insure a lasting peace for the future."

      The representatives of the Catholic Bishops of Europe believe that the support the Orthodox Serbian Church is even more important, now that its leaders have denounced Milosevic's misdeeds to the point of requesting his resignation. The suffering of the war has united Christians, Orthodox, and Catholics. Fr. Giordano confirmed: "There are real signs of hope on the ecumenical road, including with the Orthodox Churches, although we must admit that the path to a full communion is still a long way off."

Ecumenical Letter

      The plan will be formulated in an ecumenical letter that will establish the rules of dialogue among Christians. It is a decisive initiative for serenity and cultural fecundity in the old Continent, which will be concluded in 2001.

Document on Relations with Buddhism

      Nor have relations with believers in other religions been forgotten, particularly adherents of Islam, who already number 12 million in Europe, and Buddhism, which in some European circles continues to be attractive.

      It was announced at the Dubrovnik meeting that a document will soon be published on the relation of the Church in the West with Buddhism. The text includes the conclusions of a meeting held recently in Rome convoked by the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue and the Council of European Episcopal Conferences. ZE99062501 and ZE99062507

For more headlines and articles, we suggest Catholic World News site at the CWN home page and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and 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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June 28, 1999 volume 10, no. 124   DAILY CATHOLIC