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THURSDAY      June 3, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 107

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


Events that happened this day in Church History

      On this day in 618, the Irish monk Saint Kevin died at the ripe age of 120. He was known as the saint who "bridged the centuries" having been born late in the fifth century and died in the earlier part of the seventh century. He was most influential in carrying on the work begun by the Apostle of Ireland Saint Patrick and St. Kevin founded several monasteries as well as confessor to many Celtic saints at that time including Saint Kieran, also known as Saint Kellin. 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 3:


DAILY LITURGY

      Today we commemorate the Feast of Saint Charles Lwanga, Catechist and his companion martyrs from Uganda while tomorrow we observe the Ninth Friday in Ordinary Time and the FIRST FRIDAY of the month. For the readings, liturgies, meditations and vignette on St. Augustine, click on DAILY LITURGY.

Thursday, June 3, 1998

SAINT CHARLES LWANGA AND COMPANIONS CATECHISTS AND MARTYRS

Friday, June 4, 1999


PRAYERS & DEVOTION

      Today, in honor of Saint Charles Lwanga, and his companion Ugandan martyrs, we present the Opening Prayer for the Mass honoring these saints:

Father, You have made the blood of the martyrs the seed of Christians. May the witness of St. Charles and his companions and their loyalty to Christ in the face of torture inspire countless men and women to live the Christian faith.


WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant

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

HEADLINES:

POPE TO DISCUSS YUGOSLAVIAN CRISIS WITH KOFI ANNAN TOMORROW

Will Ask U.N. Secretary General to Be Protagonist for Peace

      VATICAN CITY, JUN 2 (ZENIT).- John Paul II is taking another step in his quest for a peaceful solution to the conflict devastating the Balkans. According to Joaquin Navarro-Valls, spokesman for the Holy See, the Pope has requested a personal interview with Kofi Annan, secretary general of the United Nations, who immediately accepted the invitation. The meeting will take place tomorrow, Thursday, at 1 p.m.

      With this meeting, John Paul II hopes to respond to "the worsening situation in Yugoslavia and the humanitarian drama resulting from it."

      From the very beginning, the Holy See has condemned the Milosevic regime's ethnic cleansing, as well as the NATO air attacks, which have caused numerous innocent deaths. Simultaneously, he has undertaken an impressive diplomatic endeavor, which has included meetings of pontifical legates with Slobodan Milosevic; letters to president Bill Clinton of the United States and to Javier Solana, NATO secretary general; consultations with religious leaders from areas affected by the war, etc.

      This work has been coupled with a special campaign of prayer for peace among all Christians of the world in May, and by a mission of prayer of the Holy See which will take papal representatives to Belgrade, Macedonia and Albania tomorrow to celebrate Corpus Christi with victims of the violence.

      According to Navarro-Valls, tomorrow the Pontiff will ask Kofi Annan to have the solution to the conflict brought back to the heart of the U.N. This position of the Holy See was expressed the very first day after the allied air attacks on Yugoslavia. In fact, some argue that the NATO intervention violates the norms of international law, as it lacks a specific mandate in this regard from the U.N. Security Council.

      On April 27, 1999 John Paul II wrote a letter to Kofi Annan stating, "The Holy See very much hopes that the Organization will find its full role in the management of a crisis affecting the whole international community. It is especially urgent that law and institutions be heard and that these not be suffocated by the clash of arms." ZE99060206

     


POPE CONSIDERS GUERRILLA ACTION IN COLOMBIA "SACRILEGIOUS"

Appeals for Release of Hostages Kidnapped During Mass

      VATICAN CITY, JUN 2 (ZENIT).- The Pope made a strong appeal to the guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (NLA) of Colombia during this morning's general audience to release the hostages they kidnapped while the latter were attending Mass.

      John Paul II expressed his sadness over the news that an armed group erupted into the Church of the Transfiguration in the city of Cali during Mass last Sunday.

      The Holy Father was very clear, and referred to the "sacrilegious way" in which the guerrillas broke into the Church "during the celebration of Mass" to capture 140 hostages, among whom the parish priest. More than half the hostages have been released, but 60 remain in the guerrillas' power.

      Archbishop Isaias Duarte of Cali excommunicated the kidnappers. "Never before in the history of the Church had something like this happened," the Archbishop said. That which is "most sacred for Catholics, the Eucharist, was profaned and this is why those responsible must be excommunicated."

      The Pope recalled that "similar acts have taken place in the interior of the country, such as El Piņon, in Magdalena, including the murders of religious personnel."

      A few weeks ago the Holy Father appealed for the release of 25 hostages kidnapped by the NLA last April after forcing the pilots of a commercial flight to land on a secret runway.

      John Paul II ended his appeal by saying: "In face of acts of this magnitude, I renew my urgent call for pacification, respecting the rights of persons and committing to dialogue which will bring the desired solution to the grave crisis. I couple this hope with remembrance in my prayers that God may grant peace to Colombia." ZE99060207


POPE SPEAKS ON CHRISTIAN APPROACH TO DEATH, PREPARES FOR START OF POLISH PILGRIMAGE THIS WEEKEND

      VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- In his regular weekly public audience on Wednesday, June 2-- a week after advising believers not to be preoccupied with thoughts about the end of the world-- Pope John Paul II turned his attention to the issue of death.

      It is difficult to speak about death in modern society, the Holy Father observed; society rejects such discussion, because "it casts a dark shadow, which is incompatible with a life of plenty." Nevertheless, he continued, in the context of Christian faith the prospect of death is transformed by hope in the Resurrection.

      At the close of his audience, the Pope told his audience of 13,000 people that "sad news is still coming to us from Colombia." Speaking in Spanish, he condemned the guerrilla attack on a parish in Cali, which resulted in the taking of over 200 hostages-- of whom about 90 remained captive as he spoke. He called for a peaceful end to the conflict in Colombia, and asked his audience to join him in prayer for that country.

      Before returning to his apartment in the Apostolic Palace, the Pope stopped in the Vatican gardens to bestow a blessing at the opening of an underground parking garage, built to relieve the shortage of parking spaces for Vatican workers.

      Meanwhile, the Vatican released a preliminary itinerary of the Pope's trip to Poland this weekend. During his trip to Poland this month, Pope John Paul II will visit 20 cities in his native country, from north (Gdansk) to south (Stary Sacz), and including Warsaw, Krakow, and his hometown, Wadowice.

      The Pope's trip-- the 87th of his pontificate, and 8th to Poland-- will last from June 5 to 17. Vatican announcements have indicated that the main theme of the voyage will be the Christian heritage of Poland. The Pope will make frequent references to the great Catholic heroes of Polish history, including St. Adalbert, who evangelized the Baltic region, and St. Hedwig, the queen whom Pope John Paul canonized in 1997.

      Vatican insiders predict that the Holy Father will caution his countrymen about the dangers of a secularized society and a free-market economy, insisting that Polish society will be healthy only if the country's people are mindful of their religious heritage. In May, as he met with Polish bishops in Rome, the Pope called for an "interior renewal of the faith" among the country's people, and he is expected to repeat that message when he presides at the conclusion of a synod of the country's bishops at Warsaw on June 11.

      Observers point out that the Polish Pope has always been remarkable influential in his homeland, and each of his pastoral trips there has produced an outpouring of enthusiasm. Organizers of the papal voyage anticipate a particularly emotional welcome in Gdansk, the birthplace of the Solidarity movement, and another powerful response in Warsaw, where the Holy Father will preside at the beatification of 108 victims of the Nazi regime. There are also high expectations for an unprecedented papal address to the Polish parliament, scheduled for June 11.

      Meanwhile, in Warsaw Poland's government on Tuesday announced that liquor sales will banned in each of 11 provinces that Pope John Paul II will visit this month on the days he will be in each province.

      Government spokesman Krzysztof Luft said alcohol sales in each province would be banned on the days when the Holy Father visited that particular region in the trip which begins on Saturday. Similar bans were applied on earlier papal visits.

      Poland has one of the highest per capita rates of liquor consumption in Europe, with one in five road accidents attributed to drunk driving. "Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims will arrive," Luft noted. "It is essential to maintain order." He added, "The ban is beneficial from the point of view of security during the Pope's pilgrimage, which is a great emotional event for Poles."Poland's government on Tuesday announced that liquor sales will banned in each of 11 provinces that Pope John Paul II will visit this month on the days he will be in each province.

      Government spokesman Krzysztof Luft said alcohol sales in each province would be banned on the days when the Holy Father visited that particular region in the trip which begins on Saturday. Similar bans were applied on earlier papal visits.

      Poland has one of the highest per capita rates of liquor consumption in Europe, with one in five road accidents attributed to drunk driving. "Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims will arrive," Luft noted. "It is essential to maintain order." He added, "The ban is beneficial from the point of view of security during the Pope's pilgrimage, which is a great emotional event for Poles."


MAINE REVIEWS GROUP HOME FOR BAN ON SEX, PORNOGRAPHY AND COURT SAYS MAINE CAN EXCLUDE PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS IN SCHOOL CHOICE

      LEWISTON, Maine (CWNews.com) - Maine's Department of Human Services has said it plans to revoke the license of group home for mentally-retarded adults because the Catholic woman who runs it forbids pornography or sexual activity.

      Monique Dostie said she is adamant about trying to keep "perversion" out of the home. "I teach them that it's wrong, that they don't need that to survive," she said. "I teach them their faith and bring God into their lives." But state regulations say people with mental retardation and autism in group homes have a right to participate in activities of choice, which include using pornographic material and sexual acts.

      None of the three residents at Dostie's Jaricot Foster Home have complained, and, in fact, their guardians chose the home because of its policies. Joni Fritz, executive director of the American Network of Community Options and Resources, which represents group homes, said Dostie's policy could lead to an increase in deviate behavior as her residents seek ways to increase gratification.

      James Bendell, who is representing Dostie on behalf of the American Catholic Lawyers Association, says the state believes every group home must be the same, and makes no exceptions, creating a "cookie cutter" group home that might not be in the best interest of all residents. Dostie said her residents could be placed in another home. "But they don't want to," she said. "They're not the ones asking for sex or pornography. It's the state that's mandating it."

      In a related story out of Maine, a federal appeals court on Tuesday said the state is not obligated to pay student's tuition to parochial schools if it pays for students with similar situations to attend non-religious private schools.

      Maine law allows families in towns without public secondary schools to send their children to any public or nonsectarian private school with the state paying at least part of the tuition, but had excluded religious schools from the program. The 1st US Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston agreed with a lower judge's ruling that the state is not constitutionally required to extend these subsidies to religious schools.

      Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice that is representing the plaintiffs, said the appeals court ruling creates a conflict with a Supreme Court decision to let stand a Wisconsin voucher program that provides financial help for families whose children attend religious schools.

      The plaintiffs had argued the Maine law's exclusion of otherwise eligible parochial schools from the state tuition program violated the constitution by demonstrating hostility toward religion. Sekulow promised to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.


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 Daily Dispatches, Dossiers and Features from 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.

SITE OF THE DAY

     As the Holy Father prepares to cross the threshold of hope with the UN's Kofi Annan today at the Vatican and prepares to return to his native homeland this weekend, we present a site provided by the Catholic Information Center on the Internet which includes Pope John Paul II's entire book on the web - CROSSING THE THRESHOLD OF HOPE in easy-to-read and print format available courtesy of CICI.


Click here to return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.


June 3, 1999 volume 10, no. 107   DAILY CATHOLIC