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FRI-SAT-SUN      May 21-23, 1999      SECTION THREE       vol 10, no. 99

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Events this weekend in Church History

      On May 22, 1545 Pope Paul III, the 220th successor of Peter, in order to regroup Holy Mother Church and stop the onslaught of the Protestant rebellion, called for an Ecumenical Conference that would address reforms. It would be the Nineteenth Council and better be remembered as the Council of Trent which would open on December 13, 1545 in the wintry mountains of Northern Italy and last on and off until 1563 when it would be closed by Pope Pius IV on December 4th and carried out to its fullest by his successor Pope Saint Pius V. 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 21:

Historical Events in Church Annals for May 22:

Historical Events in Church Annals for May 23:

with a Catholic slant

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


      MINSK, Belarus ( - The Belarus government has told the Catholic Church in the former Soviet republic that no more foreign priests could be brought into the country now that the first group of native priests had been ordained, according to Keston News Service.

      "Recently we were officially informed that no more foreign priests could come to Belarus because the Catholic Church now has a seminary of its own and the first priests were already trained," reported Cardinal Kazimierz Swiatek. At age 84, the cardinal serves as archbishop of Minsk and bishop of Pinsk. Condemned to death in 1939, he was imprisoned for a decade and in 1991 became the first Catholic bishop in Belarus for almost 50 years.

      Since that time the first seminary has received 25 candidates for the priesthood annually -- not enough to replenish the parishes, ninety percent of which were destroyed or confiscated by the Communists. The initial rebuilding of the Church has been made possible by 130 Polish priests who have come to serve in Belarus since the early 1990s. These foreign priests -- seven of whom serve in the Chernobyl diocese -- are those affected by this government decree.

      Cardinal Swiatek said, "We are most heavily restricted at the administrative level. The priests who come from abroad require permission from the state, without which they cannot carry out their ministry as priests." Despite severe restrictions the Cardinal said he will press on rebuilding and restoring the Catholic Church. When asked what gives him the strength to continue his work, the cardinal replied, "The Church in Belarus is led by the Holy Spirit, by God. I am only His instrument."


      NEW YORK ( - The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), in a statement public this week, has officially rejected a series of proposals being considered by the US bishops' conference on the implementation of a papal letter on Catholic higher education.

      The papal document, Ex Corde Ecclesia, called on Catholic colleges to more readily adhere to their Catholic identity and Church teaching and asked bishops' conferences to play a greater guiding role. In a draft proposal last year on implementing the directives of the letter, the US bishops proposed that every university president take the Oath of Fidelity, that Catholics constitute the majority of faculty if possible, and that local bishops exercise control over the appointment of theology professors. The ACCU said it opposed all three proposals.

      Some Catholic educators have expressed sometimes vociferous opposition to greater control over the schools by the Vatican or bishops, claiming that academic freedom will be hindered. But the 1990 Vatican documents contends that colleges have academic freedom only "within the confines of the truth and the common good." A bishops' committee is expected to consider proposed changes to the draft proposal at their annual spring meeting June 28-29. The revised version will then be brought before the whole conference of bishops for a vote in November.


Remembers Participants in Heroic Battle of Montecassino

      VATICAN CITY, MAY 19 (ZENIT).- At the end of his audience this morning with close to 15,000 pilgrims in Saint Peter's Square, the Pope spoke about the urgency to return to peace in Yugoslavia through dialogue and negotiation. These needs, as well as the issue of the "just war," have been constantly on the Pope's mind over the last few weeks.

      The occasion was propitious when the Pope greeted 120 members of the NATO Defense College, and 2,500 Polish compatriots who came to Rome to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the memorable battle of Monte Cassino.

      "I am always pleased to greet the NATO Defense College, recognizing your organization's role in the service of peace. Today, unfortunately, the Balkans are without peace, and we are witnesses daily of the great suffering of so many of our brothers and sisters. I urge you to keep clearly before you the need for everyone to work to insure that dialogue and negotiation will succeed in bringing an end to violence in the area," the Pope told them.

      When greeting his compatriots, who were led by Cardinal Josef Glemp, Primate of Poland, the Pope addressed the soldiers who took part in the battle of Monte Cassino, "inscribed forever in the history of Poland and Europe."

      John Paul II was referring to the battle for the conquest of the Benedictine monastery, a powerful obstacle in 1944 to the progress of the Allied Armies who fought all the way up the Italian peninsula on their way to Rome. Among the many incidents was the battle of an Anglo-Polish division of 300,000 soldiers, in which 150,000 died. The German force had 60,000 men, 20,000 of whom lost their life. In addition, 6,577 Frenchmen, of a division of 15,000 soldiers, died. The Polish regiments were in the font lines of the assault which, as the numbers reveal, had extremely heavy casualties.

      According to the Holy Father, who had personal friends among the victims, the "Polish soldier fought for a just cause." It is important to understand the reasons which justified the use of arms against the Nazi domination. The Poles were fighting to guarantee "the right of the nation's existence, to independent existence, to social life in the spirit of national convictions and religious traditions, and the sovereignty of the State itself," the Pope explained. ZE99051905


      WASHINGTON, DC ( - The House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday turned back new proposals that would have allowed abortions to be performed on military bases overseas.

      The proposal by Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-California, would have allowed military women or dependents use their own funds to pay for abortions at military hospitals. The current law only allows abortions in case of rape or incest or when the life of the mother is endangered. Public funds can only be used to perform abortions in such hospitals when the life of the mother is threatened.

      The committee did expand the circumstances under which public funds could be used for abortions to include pregnancies that resulted from rape or incest reported to law enforcement authorities, but excluding cases of statutory rape.

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 the Feast of Saint Eugene de Mazenod and Father Al Svobodny's Fiftieth Anniversary as a priest we present two sites dedicated to the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. The first is the new site for the United States Province, a new development in which all the provinces merged into one this year and can be found at OMI-USA and the official site internationally for the Oblates at MISSIONARY OBLATES OF MARY IMMACULATE.

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May 21-23, 1999 volume 10, no. 99   DAILY CATHOLIC