Monday thru Friday at

See why so many consider the
Daily CATHOLIC as the
"USA Today for CATHOLICS!"


TUESDAY      March 16, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 52

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

A sword pierces Mary's heart

      In today's second part of Meditative Lesson 7 THE MOTHER SUFFERS WITH THE SON we get a glimpse of what Simeon foresaw in the temple when he prophesied that Mary's heart would be pierced by seven swords. This, then, is one of those swords when the reality of what is happening has set in and Our Lady, rather than lashing out bitterly, seeks counsel from the Father for herself in acquiescing to the Divine Will in accordance to all her Divine Son has foretold and promised. It is a touching moment which the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart shares with all. For part two of Lesson 7, click on "IT IS CONSUMMATED!"

Meditative Lesson 7:


part two

NEXT INSTALLMENT: Part Three of Lesson 7: Our Lady's Meditation on THE MOTHER SUFFERS WITH THE SON

with a Catholic slant

provided by
Catholic World News Service
and Noticias Eclesiales Church News



      VATICAN ( Ė This week the diocese of Rome will conclude the local phase of the process for the beatification of Pope Paul VI.

      The cause for the beatification of Pope Paul, who served as Pontiff from 1963 to 1978, was opened in May 1993, with the approval of the Holy See, under the aegis of Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the Popeís vicar for Rome. Some 63 witnesses have presented evidence to a diocesan tribunal, and their testimony has been confirmed by declarations from many bishops.

      During this time, another process was taking place in Milan, where Giovanni Battista Montini served as archbishop from 1954 until his election to Peterís throne. And a third process was begun in Brescia, where he was born and raised. The Milan tribunal heard 71 witnesses; the Brescia panel heard 21 more.

      After the completion of the diocesan inquiries, all of the testimony heard by these tribunals will be forwarded to the Vaticanís Congregation for the Causes of Saints. That dicastery will then prepare a "Positio," or synthesis of the documentation, to determine whether there is adequate evidence to justify a finding that Pope Paul lived a life of "heroic virtue."


      BUCHAREST ( - Officials of Romania's Orthodox Church said on Monday that final details of Pope John Paul II's visit to the country in May have been finalized.

      "The Vatican accepted the program of the visit which will include only the capital," Orthodox Bishop Mihaita Nifon told state radio. The Vatican and Romanian Catholic bishops had originally wanted to include two other cities with large Catholic populations on the three-day papal visit that begins on May 7, but faced opposition from Orthodox leaders.

      Bishop Nifon said the visit will include Catholic and Orthodox liturgies, meetings with Orthodox Patriarch Teoctist and Catholic bishops, and a meeting with Romanian President Emil Constantinescu and government officials. The Orthodox Church earlier this year ended its long-time opposition to any papal visit, setting up the first visit by a pope to an Orthodox country in centuries.

      Other issues involved in the planning of the visit included ongoing disputes between Catholics, who were suppressed by the Communist government from 1946 until 1991 when Communism fell, and the Orthodox who were given Catholic properties during the Communist reign.


      DALLAS ( - Cardinal Francis George of Chicago said at the sixth annual Bishops' Pro-Life Dinner in Dallas on Saturday that Catholics have no choice but to be pro-life.

      The cardinal told the crowd of 1,700 that abortion is "a moral disaster that stalks our land ... an enormous and dramatic clash between good and evil, death and life, the culture of death and the culture of life." He also called on Catholics to bring their faith into the public arena, influencing society in politics, economics, education, and other areas.

      Cardinal George also warned against extremism and a lack of charity for those who disagree. "That means not beating people over the head and always using a tone of compassion and caring," he said.

      In a related story out of Boston that has significance regarding Catholics getting involved in politics for the pro-life cause, Raymond Flynn, a former US ambassador to the Vatican, will head the national political group Catholic Alliance, the group announced over the weekend.

      Flynn, a former Democratic mayor of Boston, on Wednesday will officially become head of the alliance which was founded in 1995 as a branch of the Christian Coalition. "It's doing what I believe in and what is consistent with the social justice position of the Catholic Church," Flynn said. While he is avowedly pro-life, Flynn's other political positions have placed him at odds with Republicans who form the traditional political base of the Christian Coalition from which the alliance separated two years ago.

      The Catholic Alliance, which has 125,000 members, was most recently led by Keith Fournier, a founding partner of the American Center for Law and Justice, a legal advocacy group connected to Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson.

      Flynn ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic nomination to the US House seat vacated by former US Rep. Joseph Kennedy, D-Massachusetts. Flynn partly blamed his loss to Michael Capuano on his pro-life stance.


      VATICAN ( Ė Pope John Paul II reiterated the necessity of individual confession during a talk to participants in a course on the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

      Speaking on March 13 to young priests and seminarians taking part in an annual course organized by the Apostolic Penitentiary, Holy Father said: "It is necessary to make oneís confession before approaching the Eucharist whenever one is conscience of having committed mortal sin." The Apostolic Penitentiary is one of the top ecclesiastical tribunals at the Vatican, responsible for problems of "the internal forum"óin other words, the forgiveness of sins and indulgences.

      The Pope said that "it is Godís will that the forgiveness of sins and restoration to divine friendship should be accomplished through the work of the Church." He illustrated his point by citing the words of Jesus to Peter: "Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven."

      Someone conscious of grave sin, the Pope continued, must confess his sins before receiving the Eucharist if he hopes to do so "licitly and fruitfully." He explained that while the sinner may obtain Godís forgiveness immediately if he is truly sorry for his sin, "he must have the intention of accusing himself as soon as possible in the sacrament of Reconciliation." He added that general absolution carries no value unless it is preceded by an individual confession of any grave sins.

      For lesser faultsó venial sinsósacramental confession is not technically necessary. But the sacrament still is "extremely useful," because the penitent can find special help in avoiding future sins. Therefore the faithful have the "right" to confess venial sins, he stressed, and that right corresponds to an obligation on the part of the confessor. Through the steady practice of confession, even of venial sins, the penitent can experience great spiritual growth, the Pope said, adding that the sacrament is "a school which forms great saints."

      "I hope that the Jubilee Year will be an occasion for all the faithful to approach the sacrament of Reconciliation, thanks to the generous service of priest-confessors," the Pope concluded as he ended his address.

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.

CATHOLIC CANVAS: Daily Dose of curious contents of the Church

The Stole

      The stole was originally the uppermost garment. It is the distinctive mark of official authority and signifies the robe of original innocence which man lost at the fall of Adam and Eve. The etimology of the word is derived from the Greek and Latin word stola for "garment." The stole is a necessary vestment both at Holy Mass as well as the administration of other sacraments such as Baptism, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Holy Matrimony. For confessions this is the only vestment the priest wears and it must be purple or violet, while at Holy Mass the celebrant must wear an alb and chasuble with the stole, the color to correspond with the liturgical calendar. The stole is a long, band-like vestment, usually three to six inches wide, which the priest wears around the neck draped over both shoulders hanging down to his waist or lower. A deacon wears the stole on his left shoulder wrapped across the chest and joined on the right hip to distinguish the difference between priest and deacon. The stole in recent years has become an ornamental piece in many different colors and designs, but traditionally is red for feasts of Martyrs, the Passion of our Lord including Palm Sunday and Good Friday, Pentecost, and the Apostles; white for solemnities, feasts of Our Lord and Our Lady, angels, and non-martyred saints, plus the feast of Saint John the Baptist, Saint John the Evangelist, the Chair of Peter, the Conversion of Saint Paul, Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday as well as the Easter and Christmas season; green for Ordinary Time; and purple or violet for Lent, Advent and, on occasion, Masses for the dead. Purple is the color used for hearing confessions; white for Benediction or annointing of the sick, and the color of the liturgical season when the priest or deacon preach. (sources: The Glories and Triumphs of the Catholic Church, Benziger Brothers; 1999 Catholic Almanac, Our Sunday Visitor, Publishers; Catholic Dictionary, Fr. John Hardon, S.J., Doubleday; Catholic Encyclopedia, Thomas Nelson Publishers).


   Today we present a site that is considered the "bible of Catholic apologetics" in America - CATHOLIC ANSWERS which has helped millions in better understanding the faith and explaining it to others. Practically every question you might have is answered here at this site provided by an organization created by the famed Karl Keating. The site is a past recipient of our GOLDEN CHALICE AWARD.

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

March 16, 1999 volume 10, no. 52   DAILY CATHOLIC