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THUR-WED      May 6-12, 1999      SECTION THREE       vol 10, no. 90-93

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 and ZENIT International News Agency

HEADLINES:

HOLY FATHER GREETS ARMENIAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS GATHERED IN SYNOD

      VATICAN CITY (CWNews.com) - Pope John Paul II on Wednesday during his general audience addressed a special greeting to bishops of the Armenian Catholic Church, who are currently gathered in a synod at the Vatican on questions related to the life of their communities.

      The Holy Father expressed a greeting in particular to the Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians, His Beatitude Jean-Pierre XVIII, and called on the bishops to have "a new apostolic spirit" on the occasion of the 1,700th anniversary of the evangelization of Armenia, begun in 301 by Gregory the Illuminator. The Church is "grateful" to the Armenian people, affirmed the Pope, "for their faithful witness to Christ."

      The Armenian Catholic Church, which dates from the 18th century, has its patriarchal see in Beirut, Lebanon and includes some 250,000 people in Armenia, in Lebanon, and in Syria. On the other hand, the Armenian Apostolic Church -- separated from Rome -- accounts for approximately 3.5 million faithful in Armenia, with other significant communities in Russia, in Georgia, the Middle East, in America, and in Europe. The Apostolic Church is independent of the other Orthodox Churches, and split from Rome in the year 506 when an Armenian synod rejected the conclusions of the Council of Chalcedon in 451.

      Although the Vatican has still not given official confirmation of a trip by the Holy Father to Armenia from July 2-4, 1999, preparations are already underway at the Congregation of the Eastern Churches.


RICH NATIONS MUST RESPECT SIGNED AGREEMENTS

Pope denounces attempts to violate Cairo Conference

      VATICAN CITY, MAY 5 (ZENIT).- This morning John Paul II publicly expressed his concern over attempts by some countries to violate the commitments adopted by the international community in the Cairo World Conference on Population and Development organized by the United Nations in 1994.

      At the end of his audience with 12,000 faithful in the Vatican Paul VI Hall, the Pontiff referred to the informal meeting which is taking place at the U.N. headquarters in New York from May 5-7, to try to overcome the disagreements which emerged during the last week of March among the delegations of the different countries, when it came to writing a joint document reviewing the commitments made at the Cairo summit.

      During the March meeting, which was also held in New York, the Holy See insisted on making its voice heard regarding the commitments signed in 1994. Some European delegations, as well as that of the United States, tried to add to the text the so-called "right to reproductive health," whose objective is to introduce abortion and different methods of contraception as a means of controlling population growth. With this measure, the rich nations hope to impose these practices on nations where abortion is illegal. The Vatican received the support of the so-called "Group of 77" countries; in general, these are poor countries.

      Already at the Cairo Conference, the Pope said today, "the Holy See insisted on the human person being placed at the center of any development program. This implies that the solution of problems relating to population must respect the dignity of every human being and, at the same time, promote his fundamental rights, among which is, in the first place, the right to life. To this must be added the right to health and education, involving the family in its irreplaceable role as the institution upholding human, spiritual and moral values."

      The Pope concluded by insisting that "five years after the international Conference on population and development, the governments must renew their signed commitments to insure a real and lasting human development."

      Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) have revealed that some organizations at this informal U.N. session are placing impediments for the accreditation of other organizations which are not in agreement with the official U.N. line. The same thing happened during The Hague meeting in February, where the participation of NGO's was greatly restricted because they were not in agreement with the line of the U.N. Population Fund. ZE99050508


PERU WOMEN KIDNAP PRIEST TO PREVENT TRANSFER

      LIMA (CWNews.com) - A group of women in a remote Andean village kidnapped their parish priest on Sunday to prevent his transfer, but released him on Tuesday after agreeing to a settlement.

      Father Julian Parque was celebrating his final Mass in the village of Mejia when he was abducted by the women. After a 48-hour standoff with police, the women agreed to release the priest when the bishop agreed to extend his time in the village for another month.

      Negotiations were expected to continue over further extending the deadline for Father Parque to leave his post.


SWISS GUARD REFORMS

On first anniversary of Commander's murder

      VATICAN CITY, MAY 5 (ZENIT).- A year after the murder of Swiss Guard Commander Alois Estermann, and his wife, Gladys Meza, and the suicide of the murderer, Cedric Tornay, the Swiss Guard is being reformed at the request of the Holy Father himself.

      Tomorrow, 35 new recruits will be sworn in. At the same time, three documents will be published establishing new norms which will govern discipline in the Corps. Among other things, there is a change in the criteria for recruitment. Special attention will be given to psychological requirements. Candidates will be administered a professional examination. New directives will be given, which will cover honors and promotions.

      The Swiss Guard is the oldest army in the world. It was established by Pope Julius II in 1503. Its feast day is May 6. On that day, in 1527, the Guards gave proof of heroism by sacrificing their lives in defense of the Pope during the sacking of Rome by the imperial forces of Charles I of Spain. These historic origins, according to Pius Segmuller, Estermann's successor, are the reason why changes are "slow, so as not to destroy important traditions." The reform will also institutionalize contacts with the Swiss army and police.

      The Swiss Guard has taken advantage of its feast day to inaugurate a new site on Internet at http://www.vatican/curia_romana/guardia_svizzera ZE99050505


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 Daily Dispatches, Dossiers and Features from 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:

Council of Vienne

      On this date in 1312, Pope Clement V, the 195th successor of Peter, officially closed the Fifteenth Ecumenical Council at Vienne in France. Clement was the first to willingly submit to the Avignon Exile, better known as the Babylonian Captivity of the Church when Clement agreed to be consecrated at Lyons in France in 1305 under the influence of King Philip IV who had fixed the residence of the Holy See at Avignon after bitter squabbling with the two pontiffs before him, specifically Pope Boniface VIII. The Council of Vienne settled various reforms and also disbanded the Knights Templar, bequeathing all their property to the Knights Hospitallers of St. John which are very loyal to Holy Mother Church today. The Knights Templar? They withdrew into oblivion for a while only to rise their ugly head in the form of Freemasonry some three centuries later and become a scourge of the Church. Also condemned were the Fratricelli, Apostolicals, Beghards, and Beguines, associations which, though originally formed with pious and charitable intentions like the Templars, fell into excesses and even into heresy. There were 132 bishops who attended, one of the least attended of the Ecumenical councils and there were three sessions which began on October 16, 1311 and ended on May 6, 1312. Philip had promised to undertake another crusade to the Holy Lands, pledging this at the Council but it was just rhetoric and never took effect. For more on this Fifteenth Ecumenical Council at Vienne, we recommend NEW ADVENT CATHOLIC SUPERSITE (sources: Cabinet of Catholic Information, Duggan Publishing Co.; The Glories and Triumphs of the Catholic Church, Benziger Brothers; 1999 Catholic Almanac, Our Sunday Visitor).

SITE OF THE DAY

    Tying in with Pope Saint Pius V's encyclical Quo Primum we bring you a site providing all the documents and counter reforms passed at Trent in the COUNCIL OF TRENT DECREES site, maintained by Hanover College, a liberal arts institution in Indiana.

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


May 6-12, 1999 volume 10, no. 90-93   DAILY CATHOLIC