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March 22, 1999
SECTION THREE vol 10, no. 56
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WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant
China rejects opportunity for Zemin to meet with Pope while in Rome
One has to wonder at China's resolve to establish diplomatic relations with Rome after it was confirmed that Jiang Zemin has no intentions to meet with the Pope even though he will be in Rome for five days this week. The Holy See, however is not willing to submit to the communist government's unrealistic demands that the Vatican accept that the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Church which is governed by Beijing has no loyalty to Rome. They cannot be Catholic if they don't. Right now it does not look good for any progress. For more, click on chinks in the China plan.
CHINESE LEADER WILL NOT VISIT VATICAN
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Chinese leader Jiang Zemin will not meet with
Pope John Paul II during his visit to Rome next week, nor does the Vatican
expect any other meeting with Chinese government officials.
Jiang Zemin will be in Rome from March 20 to 25, for meetings with leaders
of the Italian government. But the Vatican press office has denied rumors,
circulating in the Italian press, that the Chinese leader will also visit the
In an interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, the Chinese
president insisted that Beijing would not open diplomatic relations with the
Holy See until the Vatican broke off relations with Taiwan, and promised not
to interfere with "internal affairs" in China "under the pretext of religion."
The Vatican has already indicated a willingness to move the papal nuncio out
of Taiwan and into new headquarters in mainland China, if the Beijing
government permits that move. However, the Holy See has also said that this
move would not constitute a "break" in relations with Taiwan, and that the
Vatican would maintain a representative there. That position was underlined
in February, when the foreign minister of Taiwan visited Rome.
The question of "interference" in Chinese internal politics is a more
complicated one. The Beijing government currently insists that all Catholics
must be subject to the "Patriotic Catholic Association," which denies any
fealty to Rome. The Vatican, for its part, has insisted that diplomatic
relations with Beijing will not be possible unless the Communist government
recognizes the religious freedom of Catholics-- including the freedom to align
themselves with the universal Church.
Future looking brighter for Vatican-Vietnam relations after five-day talks in Hanoi
While things were turning sour between the Holy See and China, things are looking up for a Vatican-Vietnam bond that could pave the way for the Holy Father to make a visit there. That is the summation of Vatican representative Monsignor Celestino Migliore on returning from Hanoi where at the end of a five-day meeting period with government officials the Monsignor reported that their hearts were more favorable to the Church. This encouraged Vietnamese bishops who also expressed surprise at how open the Vietnam government was at the end of the talks. For more, click on Validating Vatican-Vietnam talks.
VATICAN ENVOY OPTIMISTIC ON VIETNAM RELATIONS
HANOI (CWNews.com) - The Vatican's deputy foreign minister
ended a five-day visit to Communist Vietnam on Friday,
saying he was optimistic for improving relations with the
Southeast Asian country.
Monsignor Celestino Migliore told reporters the trip was a
constructive first step toward an official relationship
between the Holy See and Vietnam. The Vatican and Vietnam
have had a strained relationship since Communists came to
power, as the Communist Party sees the Church as
interfering in internal affairs. Under current
arrangements, the government must approve all papal
appointments of bishops.
The monsignor said he was especially pleased with being
able to visit the southern dioceses of Phan Thiet and Ho
Chi Minh City (the former Saigon). "We were very happy to
share with this very vibrant community (in the south) and
this morning we had also the occasion to meet with the
community in Hanoi (in a Mass), and so this allows us to
leave with some optimism," he said.
The Vatican news service Fides on Thursday quoted Bishop
Bartolomeo Nguyen Song Lam of Khanh Hoa as saying the
Vietnamese government was more favorable this time toward a
potential papal visit. "To our surprise, this time the
Vietnamese side is showing a more favourable attitude," he
said. Monsignor Migliore would not say whether Pope John
Paul II hopes to visit this year during a larger planned
trip to Asia.
Cardinal Ratzinger releases meditative book Images of Hope for the Jubilee
In preparation for the Jubilee 2000 festivities, especially in Rome itself, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has published a special book of prayers and meditation called "Images of Hope. A walk around the times and places of the Jubilee" which is a spiritual journey for those pilgrims while visiting Rome. For more, click on Images of Hope
NEW BOOK BY CARDINAL RATZINGER FOR JUBILEE OF YEAR 2000
ROME, 20 (NE) Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has recently published a
book offering different meditations that will serve as guide for
pilgrims to Rome throughout the Holy Year. "Images of Hope. A
walk around the times and places of the Jubilee" is the title
of the new publication.
The book writthen by the Cardinal Prefect for the Congregation
for the Doctrine of faith offers Catholics from the whole world,
but specially those who will peregrinate to Rome during the
Great Jubilee of year 2000, diverse reflections on the places of
peregrination and encounter with the Lord Jesus in the Eternal
As Cardinal Ratzinger says, the book has its origin in his own
experience of life in Rome and in the necessity to offer
meditations on the most important periods of the liturgical
year. "Slowly a path has developed along the different periods
of the liturgical year and along the places of the Jubilee. They
are proposed to the reader as a little guide to follow during
this event of grace."
Chances for peace in Northern Ireland fading following outbursts of violence against Catholics after funeral Mass for human rights lawyer
Those opposing peace in Northern Ireland threw another monkey wrench into efforts to achieve it late last week when they disrupted the funeral procession of Catholic human rights attorney Rosemary Nelson killed in a car-bomb attack last Monday. Because of her defense of many IRA members in various trials, some suspect the police collaborated or at least knew the attack was planned and did nothing about it. For more, click on More violence in Northern Ireland
RIOTS FOLLOW FUNERAL OF SLAIN IRISH LAWYER
BELFAST (CWNews.com) - Following the funeral of a slain
Catholic human rights lawyer on Thursday, rioters threw
firebombs and burned vehicles as Catholic leaders called
Thousands of mourners lined the procession route for
Rosemary Nelson who was killed on Monday by a bomb placed
in her car. The pro-British Red Hand Defenders terrorist
group claimed responsibility for bomb in an apparent
attempt to ignite partisan ire and wreck the peace process.
Nelson had represented several suspected Irish Republican
Army defendants in her career, leading some to accuse the
Royal Ulster Constabulary police force of colluding in her
death. Signifying a rise in tensions following the attack,
rioters took the streets on Thursday night, throwing
firebombs and stones at police. Meanwhile, Bishop Francis
Gerard Brooks called for peace and said retaliation would
be disrespectful of Nelson's memory "who strove by
political and legal means to right a grievance."
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.
SITE OF THE DAY
Today we present another outstanding Diocese on-line under the auspices of Bishop John J. Myers, who is a very orthodox, caring shepherd totally loyal to the Holy Father. The site is the DIOCESE OF PEORIA which also provides the on-line editions of The Catholic Post - the official Diocesan publication in Peoria, Illinois. The Bishop has improved on the axiom "if it plays in Peoria, it will play anywhere" by transforming the Diocese of Peoria into an outstanding model of serenity and dynamic faith programs that should be played in dioceses all over the globe.
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March 22, 1999 volume 10, no. 56 DAILY CATHOLIC