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THUR-FRI-SAT-SUN      May 13-16, 1999      SECTION THREE       vol 10, no. 94

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


      In conjunction with the Worldwide Rosary Crusade Novena, we promote a nine-day novena of Rosaries for peace between Ascension Thursday and the Solemnity of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church and the day of the Holy Spirit - dove of Peace.

Events this weekend in Church History

      On Ascension Thursday this year we observe the 82nd anniversary of the first apparition at Fatima when the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three young children in Portugal with a portent for this century and a directive to follow so successfully navigate this final century of the millennium. For other events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history this weekend, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES


Historical Events in Church Annals for May 13:

Historical Events in Church Annals for May 14:

Historical Events in Church Annals for May 15:

Historical Events in Church Annals for May 16:

with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World News Service and Noticias Eclesiales Church News and ZENIT International News Agency


Statements by Apostolic Nuncio Jean Claude Perisset

      BUCHAREST, MAY 10 (ZENIT).- Archbishop Jean Claude Perisset, Apostolic Nuncio in Bucharest, told the 'Fides' news agency that "the Pope's presence in a country of Orthodox majority is proof that the doors are wide open on the path to unity." John Paul II's visit to Bucharest, from May 7-9, became the first trip of a Bishop of Rome to a country with an Orthodox majority. Romania is the seat of the second largest Orthodox patriarchy in the world in terms of numbers; Moscow is the first. According to Archbishop Perisset, who was one of the architects of this trip, first as secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and later as Apostolic Nuncio, "the visit surpassed all expectations, because it has shown concretely that the Pope, the first person responsible for the unity of the Church, brought thousands of faithful together around Christ -- both Catholic and Orthodox --, in two important liturgical celebrations."

      Perisset summarized the visit in three words: "joy, hope and unity." Joy, because "the Pope has been welcomed as the messenger of hope that Romania so very much needs, because of the difficult socio-economic conditions." Hope, especially for ecumenism, "because the presence of the Pope in a country of an Orthodox majority is proof that the doors of the path toward unity are wide open." Unity, because we have seen the Catholic and Orthodox leaders "talk and pray together for reconciliation."

      Among the reactions the Nuncio heard in Bucharest was that of an Orthodox priest who told a Catholic Bishop as the Pope's plane took off: "I feel sadness in my heart, because our father has gone." ZE99051006


      VATICAN ( -- A joint Catholic-Anglican commission has published a new 40-page statement on authority in the Church, suggesting a possible common understanding of episcopal collegiality and the primacy of the Pope.

      Officially unveiled on May 12 at Westminster Abbey in London, the new statement by the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) is billed as "the result of five years of dialogue, patient listening, study, and prayer."

      ARCIC was formed in 1970, after the meeting in Rome between the Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey, and Pope Paul VI. The group took up the question of papal authority in response to the challenge issued by Pope John Paul II, in his 1995 encyclical Ut Unum Sint, for new efforts to define the essential elements of the Petrine office.

      The joint chairmen of ARCIC-- the Catholic Bishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor of Arundel and Anglican Bishop Mark Santer of Birmingham-- submitted the report to the hierarchies of their respective churches, voicing the hope that its conclusions would be accepted and put into practice. In that way, they said, "the subject of the nature of authority and the manner in which it is exercised…. will cease to be a cause of permanent rupture in communion between our two churches."

      The document states that both Catholics and Anglicans recognize the need for "the universal primacy exercised by the Bishop of Rome," while also noting that this power must be exercised "in collegial association with the other bishops." The ARCIC statement also emphasizes the importance which both Catholics and Anglicans place on adherence to an apostolic tradition. That tradition has "a radically missionary element," the statement continues, and in bringing the message of the Gospel to all nations the Church must embrace "legitimate diversity" among the local churches. It is in maintaining fidelity to the Gospel, and in discerning the truths communicated by the Holy Spirit, ARCIC says, that the Pope exercises his "specific ministry of universal primacy." In this context, the document says, the Pope's role should be seen as "a gift to be received by all the churches."

      The ARCIC document recommends that the Anglican Church should develop more visible "structures of authority" to ensure unity among the local churches. Within the Catholic Church, the statement argues, there is a need for greater collegial cooperation among the bishops. The ARCIC document does not directly address the key questions that separate Anglicans from Rome, such as the Anglican decision to ordain women to the priesthood.


      VATICAN ( -- After meeting with Ibrahim Rugova, the Kosovar leader, Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran has concluded that the embattled Yugoslavian province has been largely depopulated, with only few hundred people left in the main city, Pristina.

      Speaking to a conference of military chaplains, the Vatican's Secretary for Relations with States said that the accounts he received from Rugova matched the reports he had heard from Church sources in the Balkans. The fact that only a few thousand people remain in Kosovo, he observed, "will give you an idea of the scope of the humanitarian disaster that is occurring."

      Among the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have left their homes, the archbishop continued, only a very small fraction will be able to return. And even for that minority, "It will take an international force-- military as well as civilian-- to give them confidence." He agreed with the suggestion advanced by Russian negotiators that the international force should be drawn from predominantly Orthodox nations.

      Looking toward the future, Archbishop Tauran said that an international conference on the Balkans is now "absolutely necessary, so that the crisis will not begin again in a few years." He said that it is important for the United Nations to demonstrate a real peacekeeping ability, and for Russia to show itself as a positive force on international affairs.

      Kosovo Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova on Monday, during a prayer vigil for peace in the Balkans, called on Christians to pray for priests, especially the local bishop, who remain in Kosovo.

      "I ask you to pray for the priests who are still in Kosovo, especially for Bishop Mark Sopi who stayed behind, to give courage to those who have remained," Rugova said at the service organized by the St. Egidio Community at the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere in Rome. Rugova, who had met with Pope John Paul II on Monday, said that if "Kosovo is a desert and Prizren is a ghost-city," then in that desert there is still a Catholic bishop: Bishop Mark Sopi, 61, Auxiliary of Skopje-Prizen for Albanian-speaking Catholics.

      Rugova told the Rome-based Fides missionary news service before his departure from Italy that Bishop Sopi is in Prizren with Father Tome Karrice, rector of the seminary and a few nuns, the first reliable news of Bishop Sopi, whose whereabouts were uncertain for the last three weeks.

      Bishop Joakim Herbut of Skopje-Prizren had expressed concern about Bishop Sopi, saying all he knew was that the bishop's sister and a nephew had reached Macedonia before Easter and that the bishop's personal secretary reached Skopje just after Easter. In early May, Archbishop Farhat Edmond, Nuncio to Slovenia and Macedonia on a mission to Skopje, failed to obtain news of Bishop Sopi, reportedly still in Kosovo. The bishop's telephone has been dead for weeks, since Belgrade telephone exchanges were put out of order by NATO bombing.

      On May 3, Serb authorities had assured the Nunciature in Belgrade that the bishop was well and safe in his residence. Now Rugova, by asking for prayers for Bishop Sopi -- who is a close friend and fully supports his moderate non-violence stance -- has fully confirmed that Bishop Sopi is in fact in Prizren having chosen to remain beside those who have not yet been forced from their homes.

      In Kosovo, before Belgrade began ethnic cleansing, there were some 60,000 Catholics (all Albanian-speaking except for 1,500 Croats). They were gathered in 23 parishes served by 37 priests, all Albanian except 5 Croats, including one Franciscan, and one Salesian from Slovenia.

      Meanwhile, ZENIT reports that according to the Yugoslavian government, priests and religious with Serbian passports are classified as "reservists" and could be called up by the army to serve in the war. Whoever leaves Yugoslavia, therefore, could be considered a deserter. At present, they are not even given temporary permits to leave the country for special meetings abroad to which they are invited, many of which are to organize aid for victims of the war.

      The Italian daily 'Avvenire' reports that the Belgrade delegation was absent from the Caritas International summit held in Zagreb, Croatia.

      "I asked for permission to go to the Croatian capital for a few days, but I was not even given an answer, Father Antun Pecar said. Father Pecar is director of Caritas-Serbia and parish priest of Nis. Priests and religious up to 60 years of age can be called up for service. It makes no difference if they are of another nationality; suffice it to carry a Yugoslav passport."

      Of a total of 200 priests and religious, only Archbishop Franc Perco, who is older than 60, and one of his assistants can travel. Even Auxiliary Bishop Gasparovic of Diakowo in southern Croatia, is subject to the same restrictions. He has a Yugoslav passport because part of his ministry is in a diocese in Serbia which includes the Belgrade airport. Over Easter the authorities tried to impede his return to Diakowo; he had much trouble obtaining the initial permission to leave.

      "It would not be so bad if they at least allowed Caritas to act and collect the aid," Father Antun said. But their veto of Caritas' activity has left the latter's warehouses empty for weeks and what is even worse, it is simply not allowed to receive aid. "The goods we are sent, which are a lot, especially from Italy, go directly to the Red Cross, which distributes them at will without consulting us. We have repeatedly expressed our willingness to cooperate, however, and to help everyone, but we need to be given freedom of movement in this area." ZE99051001


      WASHINGTON, DC ( - Anna Quindlen, a journalist who sites on the board of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL), canceled a scheduled appearance at Villanova University's graduation ceremonies.

      Quindlen was scheduled to appear as the commencement speaker and to receive an honorary degree at the Catholic university, but protests by Catholic groups and alumni organizations prompted her to cancel. "I am absolutely confounded at how Anna Quindlen could have possibly been considered to be a good candidate and representative of a Catholic university," said student Matt Malek. "The administration here is liberal, but I wonder if they realize how many students would have been graduating this week if they had not been murdered before birth?"

      Malek, who is also president of American Collegians for Life, said his group does not consider the cancellation a complete victory since the university did not cancel Quindlen's appearance.

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 and ZENIT International News Agency. These news services are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.


     This weekend, in honor of Our Lady's month of May and the 82nd anniversary of the first apparition at Fatima, we present the official site of Fatima called SANCTUARIO DE FATIMA which is the official Site from the Portugal shrine, offering versions in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Portuguese.

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May 13-16, 1999 volume 10, no. 94   DAILY CATHOLIC