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TUESDAY     November 16, 1999     SECTION THREE      vol 10, no. 217

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

Nothing can replace the joy of God

      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".

"The man who has integrated his personality in accordance with its nature, and oriented his life towards God knows the intense and indestructible pleasure the saints call joy. No outward event can threaten him or ruffle his happiness. But many men look outward for their pleasure and expect the accidents of their lives to provide their happiness. Since nobody can make the universe his slave, everyone who looks outward for pleasure is bound to disappointment."

Prayer for the Souls in Purgatory


     There is also the special prayer that in honor of the poor souls in Purgatory. When one prays this prayer from the heart countless souls are released from Purgatory at God's will. It is an excellent way as members of the Church Militant to fulfill our role in the Communion of Saints:

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant



    WASHINGTON, DC ( - The United States' bishops gathered in the biennial meeting on Monday with the group's president reiterating their stated purpose of implementing papal guidelines on Catholic higher education.

    Bishop Joseph Fiorenza of Galveston-Houston, president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, told the bishops that their task of maintaining Catholic identity in higher education mirrors their predecessors' efforts in the 19th century for parochial schools. The US bishops are struggling with how to implement the guidelines of Pope John Paul's apostolic exhortation "Ex Corde Ecclesia."

    Some Catholic college and university presidents are resisting efforts to impose any kind of guidelines from the hierarchy of the Church. Under the proposed rules, Catholic theologians would be required to obtain a mandate from the local bishop to teach in his diocese and schools would be encouraged to select mainly Catholics for their boards of trustees and faculty.

    Supporters of the rules have said they would prevent a further erosion of Catholic identity at most schools without sacrificing academic freedom, but some educators see the guidelines as a threat. The rules require a two-thirds approval for passage and a closed-door session on Tuesday will determine whether the majority exists.

    The conference is also scheduled to elect new leadership, reorganize the bishops' conference, and issue rules that would make it difficult for seminarians expelled from one seminary to enroll in another.


Supreme Court tackles Student Prayer at High School games

    WASHINGTON, DC ( - The Clinton administration and Congress came to an agreement on Sunday on the payment of back dues to the United Nations that kept intact a provision that banned funding for pro-abortion groups.

    The bill that would have paid $1 billion in dues that the United States owes to the UN was tied to a provision sponsored by Rep. Christopher Smith, R-New Jersey, that would have forbid funding of international population control groups that lobby for legalization of abortion. President Bill Clinton's vow to veto the bill if it contained the abortion measure held up passage and threatened the US vote in the UN's General Assembly.

    Under the one-year deal, Clinton could waive the restriction, but if he did, there would a reduction in the $385 million set aside for international population control programs. In exchange, $926 million would be provided to pay the UN dues.

    A pro-life victory on the population control provisions could lead to quick agreements on other contentious fiscal matters that could cement a budget deal.

    Pro-abortion groups were upset at news of the agreement. "I'd find it disappointing in the extreme if this pro-choice president is the person who took what was only a policy during the Reagan-Bush years and wrote it into statutory law, the waiver notwithstanding," said Susan Cohen, assistant policy director for the Alan Guttmacher Institute. "Once it's written into statutory law, it would be very hard to undo."

    In a related story on Capitol Hill, the US Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear an appeal on whether public schools may allow students to lead prayers at school athletic events.

    The high court will review a lower-court decision that struck down a Galveston County, Texas, school board's policy as a violation of the separation of church and state. Previous Supreme Court decisions banned clergy-led prayers at public school graduation ceremonies in 1992 and banned organized, officially sponsored prayers from public school.

    In the Galveston County case, the school district allowed students to deliver any "message" or "invocation" over the public address system at football games and graduation ceremonies. The court will only review the football-game policy.

    On Monday, the court also refused to hear appeals regarding child visitation rights for a lesbian who helped raise a child with her former partner, the child's mother, upholding a lower court decision in her favor and a ruling against court and probation officials who had ordered a convicted drunk driver to continue attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. The lower court said AA meetings included prayer and other religious content and the sentencing order violated the convict's religious rights.


    VATICAN ( -- The Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Mar Ignace Zakka I has invited Pope John Paul II to visit Syria, praising the Holy Father as "the foremost among the illustrious fathers of the Church who have sought for unity among the Christian churches in this century."

    The Orthodox leader, who is the Patriarch of Antioch, based in Damascus, told reporters in Genoa, "We hope that His Holiness can visit Damascus." He made his remarks at an inter-religious meeting in Genoa, organized by the St. Egidio community, which had drawn together over 1300 representatives of different Christian churches.

    "John Paul has made many pastoral visits, to many places in the world, always bearing the light of the Gospel just as the Apostle Paul did," the Patriarch said. "His first and last preoccupation is unity among Christians and brotherhood among peoples."

    So Patriarch Ignace Zakka I issued his invitation for the Pope to visit "Damascus, the town of the Apostle Paul, and Syria, the cradle of Christianity." He noted that the Holy Father has indeed indicated a desire to visit Damascus during the Jubilee Year.

    Relations between the Syrian Orthodox Church and the Holy See have been very close and warm in recent years. In June 1984, Pope John Paul and Patriarch Ignace Zakka signed a common declaration, affirming that the two churches profess the same faith, as formulated by the Nicene Creed, and that the causes of subsequent schisms "do not involve the substance of the faith."


    VATICAN ( -- Cardinal Pio Laghi has retired from his position as prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education. He is being replaced by Archbishop Zenon Grocholewski, the Polish-born bishop who was serving as prefect of the Supreme Tribunal for the Apostolic Signatura.

    Cardinal Laghi, who is 77 years old, became prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education after a long career in the Vatican diplomacy. He had been the Pope's representative in Jerusalem from 1969 to 1974, then to Argentina from 1974 to 1980, and finally to the United States from 1984 to 1990. He was raised to the College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul II in June 1991.

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 the features, dossiers and Daily Dispatches at 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.

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November 16, 1999 volume 10, no. 217  DAILY CATHOLIC