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MONDAY      March 22, 1999      SECTION THREE       vol 10, no. 56

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 ( -- 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 Vatican.

      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.


      HANOI ( - 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.


      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 City.

      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."


      BELFAST ( - Following the funeral of a slain Catholic human rights lawyer on Thursday, rioters threw firebombs and burned vehicles as Catholic leaders called for peace.

      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.


     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