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MONDAY      March 15, 1999      SECTION THREE       vol 10, no. 51

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

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World News Service and Noticias Eclesiales Church News



      VATICAN ( - The beatification of Padre Pio, scheduled for May 3, 1999, will provide an early test of plans to accommodate the many thousands of pilgrims who are expected to flood Rome during the Jubilee year.

      Organizers at the Vatican expect roughly 1 million people to arrive in the Eternal City for the beatification of the famed Capuchin monk, who died in 1968 after gaining a wide following all around the world.

      Only about 150,000 people will be able to fit into St. Peter's Square for the beatification ceremony: 50,000 in the available seats, and another 100,000 standing in the Square. Others will be able to watch the ceremony on huge video screens, which will be erected along the Via de la Conciliation, which leads from St. Peter's to the Tiber.

      Although the supply of tickets for the beatification has already been exhausted, the Capuchin organizers of the ceremony are still being flooded with requests. Those requests have come not only from Italy itself, but also from "Padre Pio prayer groups" in European countries such as Switzerland, Austria, and Ireland; and more remote places like Australia, Chile, and Uruguay. Italian vendors are already preparing various souvenirs of the beatification, such as posters and images of Padre Pio, for sale to the visiting pilgrims.

      Italian people who ask for tickets to the ceremony are now being advised by the organizers to follow the television broadcast of the beatification. The organizers are studying the possibility of installing video screens at various locations around Rome, in particular in a large space in front of the Basilica of St. John Lateran. That location is the site of a concert planned for May 1, and the organizers have arranged that video screens will be erected for the concert and left in place for the beatification. After presiding at the beatification, the Vatican has announced the Pope John Paul will travel to St. John Lateran to greet pilgrims there and lead them in the recitation of the Angelus.

      Also, the corps of volunteers recruited by the Central Committee for the Jubilee to serve as guides for pilgrims in the year 2000 will be mobilized for the first time for Padre Pio's beatification. At least 2,000 of these volunteer guides will be on hand for the ceremonies, dressed in their distinctive blue uniforms. (There will be 54,000 guides on the job during the Jubilee Year.)

      Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the Pope's vicar for Rome, says that he expects the beatification ceremony to run smoothly. "Everything will work out serenely," he told reporters. "We are all profoundly happy about the beatification of Padre Pio, and I am sure everyone will be happy when it happens."


      CALCUTTA ( - Mother Teresa's successor as head of the Missionaries of Charity religious order said on Thursday the sisters are in no hurry to have the late Nobel Peace Prize laureate canonized.

      "We in the Missionaries of Charity will not tell the Holy Father: Do it, do it, do it. I'm not asking for it," Sister Nirmala told Reuters news agency during a news conference. However, she added that she would like to see the canonization take place during the Jubilee Year next year.

      Earlier this month, the Vatican announced that Pope John Paul II had issued a waiver allowing the cause for Mother Teresa's canonization to be opened now rather than wait the required five years after death. Mother Teresa died in September 1997.

      Father Brian Kolodiejchuk, a member of the order from Rome who has been appointed postulator for the cause, said assembling the case for canonization will take time because Mother Teresa accomplished so much during her four decades of service to the poor and needy. "All the documents concerning Mother Teresa's life and achievements have to be collected," he said. He will be in Calcutta for three weeks collecting information.

      Two potential miracles have already been reported to the Vatican for verification. One reportedly happened in the United States, where a French woman who broke several ribs in a car accident was miraculously healed. In the other case, a Palestinian girl suffering from cancer was reportedly cured after Mother Teresa appeared in her dreams and said, "Child, you are cured."


      WASHINGTON D.C., 13 (NE) "There are those in the state of New York trying very, very hard to insist, to demand that either we reject our principles or we will be driven out of business," Cardinal John O'Connor, Archbishop of New York, pointed out this week in a press conference held in Albany. Throughout the conference the American Cardinal denounced the pressures that pro-abortion groups are exercising against Catholic hospitals.

      In view of this situation, generated by the merging of a non-Catholic hospital that performs abortions into a Catholic hospital that doesn't, the Cardinal urged to firmly maintain the moral principles of the Church in all medical matters. "We will fight against any efforts to try to emasculate the integrity of our approach to the human person," affirmed the Archbishop.

      The New York Cardinal held a meeting with the state governor in order to present the priorities in the agenda of the State Catholic Conference, which include other legislative proposals in favor of life.


      WARSAW ( - Polish lawmakers proposed a draft bill on Thursday that would require stores to remain closed on Sunday in order to protect people forced to work on Sunday, a day of rest for Christians.

      The bill, sponsored by 21 deputies, has the support of the Polish bishop's conference, citing Pope John Paul II's recent remarks that Poles are too often converging on so-called hypermarkets on Sundays when they should instead be attending Mass and spending time in spiritual pursuits. More than 90 percent of Poles are Catholic.

      Jerzy Gwizdz, one of the authors of the draft, acknowledged that respect for Sunday as a Christian holiday was one of the reasons behind the proposal. But the measure also aims at "protecting a big number of people who are forced to work on Sundays," Gwizdz told the state Radio Three.

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. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.


     At the midway point of Lent we want to share with you a very special site which we are presenting our coveted GOLDEN CHALICE AWARD to for its outstanding content - specifically prayers, devotions and the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church provided on line for all. It is MISERICORDIA designed and maintained by Brigid Lente who has a real talent for artwork that we know you'll find inspiring.

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March 15, 1999 volume 10, no. 51   DAILY CATHOLIC