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MONDAY      May 17, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 95

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

SIMPLY SHEEN: Ever wonder about winged wonders?

      They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the words of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen have been known to launch a thousand images in one's mind, one of the ways this late luminary did so much to evangelize the faith. Because of the urgency of the times and because few there are today who possess the wisdom, simplicity and insight than the late Archbishop who touched millions, we are bringing you daily gems from his writings. The good bishop makes it so simple that we have dubbed this daily series: "SIMPLY SHEEN".

"God sets many angels in our paths, but often we know them not; in fact, we may go through life never knowing that they were agents or messengers of God to lead us on to virtue, or to deter us from vice. But they symbolize that constant and benign intervention of God in the history of men, which stops us on the path to destruction or leads us to success or happiness and virtue."

"I solemnly tell all the world: Time is so very short, you cannot conceive of it. Yet each day you waste your time and damage your souls by your pettiness, your ego, your human agenda."

      Those words from Our Lady were imparted to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart on the feast of Saint Maria Goretti in Message #514 in which the Blessed Mother laments on how so many go about forging their own will without giving serious thought to God's will or what He is asking through Sacred Scripture, through His Church and through the messages imparted by His special emissary - the Blessed Virgin Mary. She prefaces these words three days earlier on July 3, urging all to call on the Holy Spirit to pray for His infusion of gifts and graces, reminding us also that July is the month of the Precious Blood. For Messages #513 and #514 from the Blessed Virgin, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."

Messages 513 and 514

Message Five-Hundred-thirteen, July 3, 1994

(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart)

Message Five-Hundred-fourteen, July 6, 1994

(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
(Feast of Saint Maria Goretti)

with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World News Service and Noticias Eclesiales Church News



Bishops Denounce Anti-Clericalism on Public Television

      WARSAW, MAY 13 (ZENIT).- Just when media around the world are repeating the often-heard clichés of the "fragile-looking Pope," the "bent-over by disease and fatigue Pontiff," John Paul II is again defying the odds and preparing to embark on the longest journey ever to his native Poland.

      On June 5, he will visit the country of his birth for the seventh time. In a recent pastoral letter, the Polish bishops pointed out that the visit is linked to two very important anniversaries: the millennium of the canonization of Saint Adalbert, and the sixth centenary of Saint Eduvigis, queen of Poland.

      The bishops have organized a series of prayer vigils, which began on April 30, for protection for this papal pilgrimage which will last twelve days -- John Paul II's longest trip to his country as Pontiff. During the pilgrimage, the Pope will visit twelve cities.

      The Episcopal Commission responsible for the papal visit considers this a unique opportunity to renew the "sense of community," as well as the role of the laity in the Church. The latter's work is indispensable, for "the Church to fulfill its own mission," the Commission reported.

      According to observers close to the preparation of the visit, this trip will be an important occasion to speak to the Catholic faithful about the need of them being informed and active participants in the cultural circles of their day, giving public testimony of their beliefs and, in the words of the preparatory Commission, to abandon the "false opinion that faith in Christ is a private affair."

      Public witness to faith is one of the great challenges for the Church in Poland, especially in the media. During a recent homily, before a large group of deputies, at the Marian shrine of Jasna Gora, Bishop Adam Lepa, who is responsible for the media, denounced the anticlericalism and moral materialism which still have great sway in the media, -- a legacy of the communist system.

      Bishop Lepa spoke severely against the public television channel "TVP," and said that the directors of the network have given time to cover the papal visit as a special favor when, in fact, it should be a real obligation, as it is one of the most important events in the country this year. ZE99051304


Holy Father greets a group of Refugees in St. Peter's Square, Vatican paper demands Acceleration of Peace Negotiations

      VATICAN CITY, MAY 16 (ZENIT).- At the conclusion of the first world encounter of volunteers, John Paul II launched a new call for peace in Kosovo.

      A group of refugees from the war-devastated region gathered in St. Peter's Square to hear the Pope's words to them: "I am very pleased to receive this morning a group of Kosovian refugees being cared for by Italian Caritas."

      In continuation he added, "Beloved brothers, in this month of May we are praying for peace. May the intercession of Mary most Holy obtain it for you and for all peoples made martyrs by war."

      "The search for negotiated solutions" for the crisis in the Balkans has "already taken too long," insisted "L'Osservatore Romano" on the front page of today's issue.

      "The new slaughter of refugees that has inflicted the most recent wounds in bleeding Kosovo, who is at the limits of its strength, constitute a call to the conscience of the world that it bring peace," stated the semi-official Vatican newspaper in its Italian edition. "Sorrow for the victims, shared suffering in the fears of those who, due to their flight, cannot know if their loved ones are among the dead, demands that the heads of the organizations of the international community listen to the cry of that rent conscience."

      "L'Osservatore Romano" recalled that hate is not something "inevitable," even though we find ourselves "before the obvious and cruel barbarity that ex-Yugoslavia has lived in this decade or before a technological violence that has made our century the bloodiest in history."

      Therefore, the article calls for responsible politicians not to give in to the temptations to "discouragement, or worse still, to indifference, which could increase the amount of time -- already too long -- needed to find a negotiated solution."

      The article ends with a stern warning. "No one is allowed to put more pitfalls into the perilous path of peace."


Receives Chaldean Patriarch and Islamic Leaders

      VATICAN CITY, MAY 14 (ZENIT).- John Paul II received the Patriarch of Babylonia of the Chaldeans in Iraq, His Beatitude Raphael I Bidawid, along with a group of Muslim leaders in audience this morning. Among the Islamic leaders were Hussein Ishmael Hayder Al-Sader, the Shiite Iman of Jadum, the Sunni President of the Administrative Council of the Iraqi Islamic Bank, Abdul Latif Hemim Mohammed, and Iraqi Minister of Religion, Samer Said.

      According to Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls, the leaders came to visit the Holy Father to thank him for "the care with which he follows the destinies of the entire Iraqi population." After their meeting with the Pontiff, the delegation was received by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, and Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran.

      Navarro-Valls also indicated that these meetings permitted the analysis of the situation in Iraq, and "confirmed to the Holy See that the efforts of the international community to rapidly reach a just and definitive solution for the crisis must have the Iraqi people as their particular central objective."

      The Holy See and John Paul II have often condemned the economic embargo currently being applied to Iraq, noting that the real victims of this action are the most helpless of the Iraqis. The Patriarchate of Iraq and the Holy See are currently studying the possibility of the Pope visiting Iraq at the end of this year. ZE990501408


Statements by Orthodox Theologian Olivier Clement

      ROME, MAY 13 (ZENIT).- Some observers feel John Paul II's trip to Romania has left the door open for a possible trip to Moscow. Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls, went even further and said that, more than a door, the visit "has opened an avenue to Moscow."

      Olivier Clement, well-known Orthodox theologian in the ecumenical circles of the Patriarchy of Constantinople, spoke about the results of the Holy Father's trip to Romania during an interview with the magazine 'Avvenire.'

-- After the Pope's trip to Romania what are the possibilities of visiting Moscow?

OLIVIER CLEMENT: "It is difficult to answer. Relations between the Moscow Patriarchy and that of Bucharest are not good, because of the problem of former Soviet Moldavia, which has won independence; the latter's Church is claimed both by Russia and Romania. But in Bucharest a taboo has been broken. In fact, there was a kind of psychological taboo on the part of the Orthodox against papal visits. This has broken and things went magnificently well, especially with the people. There was a profound spirit of fraternity, people were moved. A door has opened on a psychological barrier which had to be eliminated. And it has been. What has been achieved? It is still too early to know. We must wait and see. The next event is John Paul II's trip to Armenia, which is also important. It is yet another sign which makes other trips possible. But there are many forces at play in different directions; there are very strong conservative forces in Russia whose reaction is unknown. But, undoubtedly, what happened in Romania will be looked at very closely by all Orthodox countries."

-- Is the difficulty of the Pope's trip to Russia religious or also political?

OLIVIER CLEMENT: "It's political, psychological and historical. We are at the heart of a very long problem which goes back many centuries, to Uniate policies in Poland and Lithuania, for example, to which the Russian Orthodox reacted with similar if not worse violence against the Poles in the 19th century. The Orthodox have a curious trait: they remember all the evil that has been done to them but easily forget the evil they might have done. But the Russians are capable of extraordinary changes. If the Pope went to Moscow, I think he would be welcomed by the people as well as he was in Romania; popular sensibilities would support him. But at present, with the Serbian crisis, not a few Orthodox believe the West is carrying out a crusade against Orthodoxy as it did in the past."

-- Does the current war bring the Pope and Moscow's Patriarch closer or does it distance them?

OLIVIER CLEMENT: "It depends on what the Pope says and what he will say [in future]. He said some beautiful things to the Patriarch of Romania. He made a call for peace. Everything depends on what he will say during the next few days. It is important he not appear as giving a blessing to a NATO crusade because at present the anti-West feeling in Orthodox countries is running high. No doubt the Pope understands this point; he proved this in the case of Iraq. He can also prove it during this crisis, even if it is more difficult."

      As a result of the trip to Bucharest, Moscow is closer, but "not overly so." Clement warned against planning a trip too soon. "This is not taking into consideration the possibility of a surprise, which, in itself, would surprise me a lot." ZE99051302

For more headlines and articles, we suggest Catholic World News site at the CWN home page and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

CATHOLIC CANVAS: Daily Dose of curious contents of the Church:


     With the emphasis this past week on the Eastern rites with the Holy Father's visit to Romania and the Chaldean Patriarch's visit to the Holy See and Pentecost the end of this week, we present a word that refers to an invocation of the Holy Spirit, used to call on the Father to dispatch the Sanctifier to bless the offerings consecrated at Mass and turn the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of the Son of God - Jesus Christ, body and blood, soul and divinity. This is invoked before the consecration in the Western or Latin rite and afterwards in those churches of the Eastern rite who are in union with Rome. The etimology of the word evolves from the Greek epiklesis meaning "invocation." This invocation calls upon the Holy Trinity which renders the Eucharist essential in the scope of God's plan for the salvation of the faithful. For more, we strongly recommend NEW ADVENT's CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA, by clicking on Epiklesis (sources: 1999 Catholic Almanac, Our Sunday Visitor; Catholic Encyclopedia, Thomas Nelson Publishers ).


     Today we present an interesting site maintained by the bi-monthly print Envoy Magazine, an excellent apologetics publication on the cutting edge of journalism and design. You can get a glimpse of that at their site which features many animated graphics through their shockwave program that brings the site to life.

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

May 17, 1999 volume 10, no. 95   DAILY CATHOLIC