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MONDAY      March 1, 1999      SECTION THREE       vol 10, no. 41

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



      LINGEN, Germany ( - The German bishops' conference said on Wednesday following a meeting this week that they would ask Pope John Paul II to give them guidance on whether to continue giving abortion counseling.

      The Catholic Church in Germany operates more than 250 counseling centers as part of the country's abortion counseling system which requires a woman to receive information and advice before she can have an abortion. Last year, the Holy Father said the Church should not participate in the program by issuing the mandated certificates which allows a woman to seek an abortion.

      The German bishops' responded to the Pope's request by saying they would continue counseling, but would gradually phase out participation in the certificate process. Some critics said the phase-out is taking too long, while others claim that women will be reluctant to go to Church-run counselors because they will not be able to have an abortion if they choose, losing the opportunity to change some women's minds.

      Bishop Klaus Lehmann, president of the bishops' conference, said after the meeting that the bishops had been unable to formulate a compromise. "There was a tussle about this. The Pope will have the final decision now," he said.


      VATICAN ( -- The Vatican's Central Committee for the Grand Jubilee held a press conference on Friday, February 26, to update reporters on preparations for the Year 2000 celebrations.

      The two main subjects for discussion were the "Pilgrim's Card" which organizers have designed, and the new Web site ( which was recently launched to provide information about the Jubilee.

      The "Pilgrim's Card" is a "smart card" which will help visitors to Rome use gain entry to Vatican sites, find information about Jubilee events, use public transportation, make telephone calls, and pay for their food and lodging. At the same time it will help organizers to track the number of pilgrims, their countries of origin, and the places they visit. Six million such cards are being prepared for 2000. The "Pilgrim Card" for each visitor will include some personal information-- including medical data which might be needed in case of an emergency. The price for the cards-- which will offer different levels of services-- has not yet been set.

      The Jubilee Web site, opened to the public on February 22, has already drawn an enormous amount of attention; organizers report that there were 45,000 "hits" on the first day of operation. The site, which offers information in seven different languages, is intended primarily to help pilgrims prepare for the Jubilee celebration.


      DENVER, 27 (NE) Conscious of "the dramatic changes in medicine in the last years," which in many cases have serious moral implications, the Colorado Catholic Medical Association (CCMA) will carry out a meeting to present teaching programs to physicians and medical students that integrate Church teachings with medical and ethical issues

      The meeting will commence with a Eucharistic celebration presided by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver. The Colorado Catholic Medical Association looks forward to "serve through a moral and spiritual support, for the doctors and students of medicine face the dilemma of practicing their profession in a cultural atmosphere very often adverse," one of the organizers of the meeting pointed out.


      NEW YORK ( - The Catholic group The Christophers announced the winners of its annual media awards this week, giving awards to poet Maya Angelou and director Steven Spielberg among others.

      Angelou won the award for the film "Down in the Delta" which marked her debut as a director. Spielberg was honored with his fifth Christopher Award for "Saving Private Ryan." Also winning awards in the film category were the Italian movie "Life is Beautiful" and "Smoke Signals."

      All of the winners in the film category, except "Saving Private Ryan," were distributed by Miramax Films. Miramax has come under fire in recent years from Catholic groups for distributing anti-Catholic or immoral movies including "Priest," which depicted a priest who was persecuted for being homosexual, and "Kids," which portrayed a group of high school boys keeping score as they made a series of sexual conquests.

      Five awards were also handed out in the television category and 14 awards were given to books.

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.

Daily Dose of curious contents of the Church:


      Our final news story today highlights the Christopher Awards with this year's recipients including Stephen Spielberg for "Saving Private Ryan", Maya Angelou for "Down in the Delta", and Roberto Benigni for "Life is Beautiful!" to name a few. Though not officially a part of the structure of the Church, the Christophers is a Catholic media-watchdog organization founded over half a century ago which sets as its philosophy that "it's better to light one candle than to curse the darkness." It is one of the most visible and well respected in the media industry with their famous "Christopher Notes" and "Three Minutes a day" inspirations that we can remember being circulated in the fifties to all the Catholic schools. Today this New York City organization is headed by Father Tom McSweeney. For fifty years they have been publicly recognizing quality and media material in the entertainment field in movies, television, and books. Though not possessing the media hype of the Academy Awards or the Golden Globes or Emmies, the Christopher Awards carry a prestige and decency that says "job well done" to the directors, producers and writers who have portrayed to the audience ideas and ethics that "affirm the highest values of the human spirit." This year the Christophers will celebrate their Golden Anniversary of presenting these awards. Over the past fifty years these deserving recipients may not have received the overall recognition from the public, but they are recognized where it most counts in helping others, just as their namesake Saint Christopher did as the legend says in carrying the child Jesus across the river. (source: The Christophers Web Page at


     Continuing with the theme above regarding the Christophers, we see no reason not to honor The Christophers as Site of the Day for you can apply for a free subscription to their famous Christopher News Notes as well as keep up with the "Three Minutes a Day" inspiring 'Rest of the Story' vignette for each day of the week.

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March 1, 1999 volume 10, no. 41   DAILY CATHOLIC