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November 17, 1999
SECTION TWO vol 10, no. 218
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Tokyo's Archbishop Cardinal Peter Seiichi Shirayanagi has been shepherd of Japan's largest See for thirty years in his attempts to solidify Catholics in Asia
Our one-hundred-twenty-fourth red-hat we feature, in alphabetical order is the 71 year-old Japanese Cardinal Peter Seiichi Shirayanagi, Archbishop of Tokyo, the largest city in the world. For the past thirty years he has been shepherd of the Tokyo See as well as a unifier of Asian Catholics. He was elevated to the cardinalate by Pope John Paul II in the Consistory of November 26, 1994. For more on Cardinal Peter Seiichi Shirayanagi, click on COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION
124. Cardinal Peter Seiichi Shirayanagi
As Archbishop of the largest city in the world - Tokyo, Cardinal Peter Seiichi Shirayanagi has his hands full in ministering to his flock of under a half million in a land where the population is over 125 million. He was born in Hachioji, outside of Tokyo on June 17, 1928. The war interrupted some of his schooling, but undaunted he continued his studies for the priesthood, becoming a priest on December 21, 1954 where his Archbishop assigned him to various pastoral duties throughout the Archdiocese of Tokyo for twelve years until Pope Paul VI made him Titular Bishop of Antenia and Auxiliary Bishop of Tokyo on March 15, 1966. He was ordained a bishop on May 8, 1966.
Three years later on November 15, 1969 the Holy Father made him Titular Archbishop of Castro and Coadjutor Archbishop of Tokyo. He was installed as Archbishop of Tokyo on February 21, 1970. Shortly after that he was named President of the Conference of Japanese Catholic Bishops. Always the giver, he made a special point to share the wealth of his archdiocese with lesser endowed sees throughout Europe. In 1989, in the spirit of reconciliation, he gathered a group of Japanese priests, nuns and lay leaders to meet with Chinese Catholics in seeking their forgiveness for the atrocities committed by the Japanese Imperialist army in the thirties and fourties. This springboarded to solidarity with all Asian Catholics organized by Archbishop Shirayanagi in an effort to rebuild the Church in Asia, refurbishing convents and seminaries.
He was included in the Consistory of Pope John Paul II on November 26,1994, receiving his red-hat and the titular church of St. Emerentiana in Tor Fiorenza while at the same time appointed curial membership in the Pontifical Council for the Family and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. He is expected to remain Archbishop of Tokyo where he has been for thirty years, bringing stability to this vast, sprawling see in Japan. He resides and works out of the Archbishop's House at 16-15 Sekiguchi, 2-chome, Bunkyoku, Tokyo, 112 Japan.
Today we commemorate the Feast of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Wife, Mother and Religious while tomorrow we celebrate the Feast of the Dedication of Sts. Peter and Paul Basilicas in Rome and Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne plus the 33rd Thursday in Ordinary Time. For the readings, liturgies, meditations, and vignettes on these feasts, click on DAILY LITURGY.
Wednesday, November 17, 1999
First Reading: 2 Machabees 7: 1, 20-31
Psalms: Psalm 17: 1, 5-6, 8, 15
Gospel Reading: Luke 19: 11-28
Feast of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Wife, Mother and Religious
The daughter of Saint Hedwig and King Andrew II, Catholic ruler of Hungary, Saint Elizabeth was born in 1207. At the age of four she was promised in marriage to Louis IV from Thuringia. Ten years later she was married to him in an elaborate royal ceremony. Early in their marriage her husband, who had become King, rebuked her because she was always serving people. "That's no work for a queen" he reprimanded her, demanding to know what she was carrying in her cloak. He pulled open her cloak and instead of finding provisions for the poor as he expected, out cascaded lovely red and white roses. He knew then that she was indeed a holy woman and from that point on he dedicated his life to sharing in her ministry. They lived their vows above reproach, conceiving three children. While in labor with her third child, word reached her that her husband Louis had been killed in battle during the Cursade led by Holy Roman Emperor King Frederick II. At twenty years of age Elizabeth, now Queen and widow, went into mourning. Rather than accepting the offers of several suitors, she opted to remain a widow and turned her attention to the poor and ill, vacating the luxurious castle at Wartburg to dedicate the rest of her life to helping others. She founded a hospital at Marburg, dedicating it to Saint Francis who had just been canonized and took up the gray habit of the Francican tertiaries to work in the hospital she had established. Her charitable works became well-known and the fruits of that love and charity spread far and wide after her death at the tender age of 24. Falling ill from the plague that had claimed many of the hospital patients, Elizabeth herself, not one to rest, contracted the disease and died in the hospital on November 16, 1231. Almost immediately miracles were attributed to her by those who touched her tomb. Four years later the clamor and evidence was so solid that Pope Gregory IX canonized her, three years after making Francis a saint. Since the thirteenth century she, along with Saint Louis IX have been the patron saints of Franciscan tertiaries. She is also patron saint of bakers.
Thursday, November 18, 1998
Thursday November 18:
Thirty-third Thursday in Ordinary Time and
Feast of the Dedication of the Basilicas of Sts. Peter & Paul in Rome and
Feast of Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne, Virgin, Religious and Missionary
Green or white vestments
First Reading: 1 Maccabees 2: 15-29
Psalms: Psalm 50: 1-2, 5-6, 14-15, 23
Gospel Reading: Luke 19: 41-44
Feast of the Dedication of Saints Peter and Paul Basilicas in Rome
Like St. John Lateran Basilica, the dedication of the Basilica of St. Peter's and the Basilica of St. Paul's dates back to the time of the Emperor Constantine. He had begun the construction of this Basilica after building the Lateran Basilica. After Constantine's death his son's completed the work as well as the work of St. Paul's Basilica which is today Saint Paul Outside the Walls St. Peter's was built over a pagan cemetery which had become a burial place for Christians including Saint Peter himself which was confirmed in 1950 by Pope Pius XII when he announced they had discovered the tomb of St. Peter. This had been surmised since the year 200 when Caius a priest had related in documents that Peter's relics were on Vatican Hill and the remains of Saint Paul could be found buried along the Ostian Way. Today the Tomb of St. Peter lies in a glass-encased vault deep below the main altar of St. Peter's Basilica and can be viewed by visitors. It is a symbol of the oneness, universality, and apostolic succession of the Church. The present basilica was begun by Pope Nicholas V forty years before Christopher Columbus discovered the New World. The initial plan of the great basilica was a Greek cross, projected by master architect Donato Bramante but was finished in the configuration of a Latin cross by the great Italian artist Raphael Santi around the turn of the 16th Century. In 1568 Pope Saint Pius V decreed the dedication of both these basilicas be celebrated on November 9th throughout the universal Church. In the late 1580's Pope Sixtus V completed the magnificent dome of St. Peter's Basilica designed by the master of masters Michelangelo and installed in St. Peter's Square the Egyptian obelisk, originally brought to Rome from Africa by the Emperor Caligula.
The Basilica of Saint Paul's Outside the Walls was consecrated in the year 390 by Pope Saint Siricus, the same pontiff who instituted the title "Pope" or "Papa" in Greek meaning "Father" which is also an anagram of the words "Petri Apostoli Potestatem Accipiens". Constantine had originally laid out the plans for the Basilica of St. Paul with a five-aisle scheme. St. Paul's fell into disrepair but was restored by Pope Saint Leo the Great around 450, resembling Constantine's basilica on Vatican Hill. The Benedictines were placed in charge of the Basilica in the 700's and have been there ever since. Over the years many frescoes, mosaics and marble masterpieces were added. In 1823 a violent fire damaged much of St. Paul's but it was restored by Pope Pius IX and reconsecrated in 1854, the same year he proclaimed the infallible dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Today the arcade consists of 146 white granite columns. The golden mosaics high on the exterior are by the Italian artist Vespignani and depict Christ giving His blessing flanked by St. Peter and St. Paul. Below that is the Lamb of God on the hill between Jerusalem and Bethlehem where four rivers pour forth and represent the Apostles, quenching the thirst of the flock which symbolizes mankind. Below that are the four standing figures of the Apostles. Like St. Peter's Basilica, the layout is configured to a Latin Cross with five aisles supported by 80 tall columns. Above the aisles are large mozaic portraits on medallions representing all 264 pontiffs from Peter to John Paul II.
Feast of Saint Rose Phillippine Duschesne , Virgin, Missionary and Religious
This saint, Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne was canonized in 1988 by Pope John Paul II. She was born on August 29, 1769 in Grenoble, France to a family whose father was a wealthy merchant. Educated by the Visitation nuns of Sainte Marie d'en Haut, a vocation was fostered to that order despite the protests of her parents who wanted her to marry. Rose had always had a desire to be a missionary, on fire with zeal for Jesus and wanting to share it with everyone. When the French Revolution broke out the Vistation nuns were forced to disperse and Rose was left alone. Her prayers to be reunited with a community of Visitation nuns were not answered, rather God chose a new order for Rose in 1804 - the Religious of the Sacred Heart which had been founded in 1800 by Mother Madeleine Sophie Barat. This was a missionary order of nuns which, through God's Providence, brought Sr. Rose to New Orleans in the southern United States in 1818. There, with four other nuns, Rose was sent up the Mississippi River by the bishop of New Orleans to St. Charles, Missouri where she founded the first American Sacred Heart house and began the first free school west of the Mississippi in a log cabin in Florissant just outside St. Louis. By 1828 there were six houses along the mighty Mississippi. It was here that she intervened with the Indians who had objected to the Jesuits and through her efforts and good will, preserved the Jesuit mission. At the age of 72, St. Rose resigned as head of the American branch of her Order to answer Jesuit missionary Father De Smet's call for her to pursue missionary work. With a handful of other hand-picked nuns she traveled farther west to Kansas where she opened a girls' school for the Cherokees and other Indian tribes in Sugar Creek, Kansas. Though she could not learn the Indians' dialect, she was able to communicate through her prayers and devout example. The Indians loved and admired this woman they called "The Woman Who Prays Always" that many conversions were manifested even though St. Rose was in Sugar Creek for only one year because ill health mandated that she return to the mother house in St. Charles where Rose died on October 18th, 1852. Her remains were enshrined at the mother house and her name is the first one listed on the Pioneer Roll of Fame in St. Louis' famed Jefferson Memorial Building. She played a major role in bringing the faith to the heartland of America where, in the gateway to the west, it has remained strong to this day. She was beatified in 1940 by Pope Pius XII before being canonized 48 years later.
WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant
Proof of Life in the Womb documented in crystal clear photo of fetus' hand grasping doctor's finger after operation to save baby, but Fox News bans photo, stirs controversy.
Fox won't show it, but we will. With amazing evidence of life inside the womb, photographer Michael Clancy captured on film the phenomenal photo of 21-week-old fetus Samuel Armas grasping the finger of Dr. Joseph P. Bruner with his infinitesimal still-being-formed hand in a gesture of gratitude for the surgeon's efforts to alleviate the effects of spina bifida at the parents' request. Matt Drudge of internet fame intended to use the photo on his Fox program a while back but the network, fearing he would use it to rail against partial-birth abortions, refused him permission, creating a real stink with pro-lifers and freedom of speech advocates. Fox's loss is the DAILY CATHOLIC readers' gain in verifying undeniable proof that life does begin at conception. For more, click on Sanctity of Life photo.
DRUDGE, FOX BATTLE OVER FETAL SURGERY PICTURE
Fox won't allow it to be seen, but we will!
NEW YORK (CWNews.com) - Internet journalist Matt Drudge
refused to appear on his Fox News channel program on
Saturday after network officials refused to allow him to
show a picture of an unborn child undergoing surgery.
Drudge said he wanted to show a photograph, printed in
several newspaper accounts, of a 21-week-old unborn child
reaching out from his mother's womb to touch the surgeon's
hand as he underwent surgery for spina bifida, a birth
defect. He said his intent was to show the picture, "and
just say, 'What does it say about life? Look at this hand
A Fox News spokesman countered, "He was using this photo
from the National Enquirer as a jumping-off point to talk
about partial-birth abortion." Spokesman Brian Lewis added,
"It was a picture of an emergency operation for spina
bifida. We thought it was a blatant misrepresentation. It
was a straight editorial decision."
Fox said on Tuesday that the dispute with Fox had been
settled and that he would return to his news and commentary
show this Saturday. He added: "If I was going to show a
picture of an ostrich egg with a foot popping out, it would
be fine. It happens to be a picture of a human. People get
upset about that." He said he would try again to show the
photo on his show.
The photo has also been published on the Internet by
several news sites, including The Tennessean newspaper at
Bishops nearing eleventh hour in showdown over compliance with Pope's directives in Ex Corde Ecclesia, call for end to Iraq boycott and Nazareth mosque
The bishops continued with their end-of-the-millennium conference in Washington D.C. this week as some of the more liberal bishops tried to stave off a vote on conformity for Catholic Education per the Pope's Ex Corde Ecclesia. The showdown is today as a vote will be called for with 2/3rds majority needed for passage. Meanwhile dissident homosexuals tried to disrupt proceedings with protests across from the conference, but the bishops dismissed it as saying they must follow the true teachings of the Church on homosexuality which undeniably call for abstinence. Besides calling for an end to the boycott in Iraq, they voted unanimously to ask Israel to stop the construction of the proposed mosque in Nazareth. For more, click on NCCB.
US BISHOPS TACKLE CATHOLIC COLLEGES, HOMOSEXUALITY, MORE
WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - The National Conference of
Catholic Bishops continued its biennial meetings on Monday
afternoon, debating guidelines for Catholic higher
education, calling for an end to the economic embargo of
Iraq, and calling for the US to confront Israel concerning
a Muslim mosque in Nazareth.
The main issue facing the US bishops this week is an effort
to present guidelines to Catholic colleges and universities
based on Pope John Paul II's 1990 letter "Ex Corde
Ecclesia." The recommended guidelines call for theologians
submitting themselves to the local bishop for a teaching
mandate, preference for Catholics in hiring faculty and
appointing board members, preserving a Catholic identity in
official activities, such as choosing commencement speakers.
Some educators say the rules will infringe on academic
freedom, while supporters said the papal document
recommends wider freedom than even recommended by US
secular college groups.
During a Monday presentation on the issue, Bishop Raymond
Lucker of New Ulm, Minnesota, asked about the proper
procedure for bishops who want to delay a decision this
week in order to hold further talks with college leaders. A
two-thirds vote is required for passage of the proposal and
is scheduled for Wednesday.
Meanwhile, a coalition of pro-homosexual groups met in a
hotel across the street from the meeting, demanding the
bishops ask the Vatican to reconsider an order to Sister
Jeannine Gramick and Father Robert Nugent that they end
their ministry to homosexuals because they violated Church
teaching. Bishop Joseph Fiorenza of Galveston-Houston,
president of the US bishops' conference, said that Father
Nugent and Sister Gramick did not "fully reflect the
constant teaching of the Church that homosexual activity is
The bishops also voted on Monday to call for the United
Nations and the US to end the embargo against Iraq imposed
after the 1990 Gulf War, and to ask Congress and the
Clinton administration to ask Israel to halt construction
of a controversial mosque in Nazareth.
Holy Father inaugurates magnificent chapel that transcends millenniums
Those who are privileged to attend a private Mass in the Holy Father's papal chapel will see what many are calling the "Sistine Chapel for 2000" with mosaic artwork that transcends the centuries and millenniums inside the papal oratory of the Vatican Apostolic Palace which is called the Redemptoris Mater Chapel. If you haven't seen pictures, you'll enjoy the description inside. For more, click on New Papal Chapel
JOHN PAUL II INAUGURATES "SISTINE CHAPEL OF THE YEAR 2000"
A Surface of 600 Square Meters of Mosaics with Millions of Stones
VATICAN CITY, NOV 15 (ZENIT).- Yesterday morning, John Paul II inaugurated
the "Sistine Chapel of the Year 2000," as the Italian media has called it.
It is the papal oratory inside the Vatican Apostolic Palace.
The oratory's decoration began in 1996 and was carried out under the
direction of Slovene Jesuit Fr. Marko Ivan Rupnik, artist, theologian and
director of the Workshop of Spiritual Art, an institution linked to the
Pontifical Oriental Institute. It is a gift from the College of Cardinals
to John Paul II, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his priesthood,
which he celebrated in 1996.
The "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel -- this is its real name -- today has become
a mosaic surface of over 600 square meters made up of millions of hand-cut
stones. The materials speak for themselves: granite, travertine, Macedonian
marble, enamels, gold, white gold, mother-of-pearl ... A grandiose work
done according to the style of workshops of Medieval art, under the
direction of Fr. Rupnik.
The chapel is not open to the public but, for those with the privilege to
enter, there is a feeling of engaging in a new relationships with great
saints of the past and Bible figures that seem to embrace the onlooker. The
wall behind the altar includes saints from the East and West around Mary,
the Mother of God, to whom the chapel is dedicated.
Bright colors, reds and blues, and the dynamism of the work submerge the
man of prayer in a new ambience, transporting him to a new dimension, in
which the divine and human come together.
The wall on the left of the altar depicts scenes from Christ's life; the
mystery of the God made man who goes down into hell and transforms the
defeat of death into victory.
On the front wall, there is an image of Christ rising to the Father. It is
the divination of man, as Christ takes with him all that is human. Heaven
descends to earth: the Church is born, in which each one responds in a
personal way to the love of God.
In the rear wall there is a representation of the "Parousia," the second
coming of Christ: paradise where love is eternal and where everyone
resurrects with that which each has loved.
After visiting the Chapel, Orthodox theologian Olivier Clement described it
as "a prophecy of the 21st century," as it is an artistic representation of
the road that must be traveled by the ecumenical movement between
Christians -- East and West.
While celebrating Mass in the Chapel this morning, John Paul II paused
before some of the representations on the walls, in particular the Virgin
"Redemptoris Mater" that highlights the message of salvation: Christ, born
of Mary, who has changed forever the destiny of mankind.
More and more it looks like Iraq will be launching point for Pope's historic "Jubilee Journey" in January
From all indications coming out of Baghdad the beginning the Holy Father's historic "Jubilee Journey" could be on again, as early as January 16-20 in 2000. That is the word from Chaldean Patriarch Raphael Bidawid whose predictions in the past have been right on. Never giving up hope that the Papal trip would still take place, he has worked closely with the Holy See and the Saddam Hussein regime to keep communications open and has indicated that Vatican officials will fly to Baghdad next week to lay out details for the Pope's itinerary. The NCCB has voted to ask Bill Clinton to rescind the economic embargo against Iraq while at the same time sites in Ur have been undergoing renovation at Hussein's command paving the way for the Holy Father to retrace the footsteps of Abraham. All that's missing is a formal invitation from Saddam. For more, click on Iraq.
FRESH START TO PREPARATIONS FOR PAPAL TRIP TO IRAQ
Pilgrimage Could Take Place from January 16-20
BAGHDAD, NOV 15 (ZENIT).- Patriarch Raphael Bidawid, of the Chaldean
Catholic Church in Iraq, said yesterday that John Paul II's visit to Iraq
could take place from January 16-20 of the year 2000.
His Beatitude Bidawid also revealed that the Vatican will send a delegation
to Iraq next weekend to discuss details of the trip.
At the end of June, John Paul II wrote a letter to all Catholics,
expressing his intention to visit the major places of Revelation, both of
the Old as well as the New Testaments. It is in this context that the papal
trip is being organized. The Pontiff hopes to visit Ur of the Chaldeans,
birthplace of Abraham, the Father in faith of all believers of the three
monotheist religions. In the letter, the Pope states explicitly that the
pilgrimage is of a strictly spiritual nature, and that it would distress
him to think that political motives were attributed to it.
The visit has been subject to delay. At first, it was to take place in
December, but this plan was abandoned because of a number of impediments
originating with the Iraqi regime. Then in October, a group of Iraqi
intellectuals published an open letter questioning the wisdom of a possible
visit by the head of the Catholic Church to the land of Abraham. In
addition, at that time, the Vatican was yet to receive an official
invitation from Saddam Hussein's regime -- an indispensable requirement for
all papal trips.
Next weekend's Vatican delegation will be headed by Archbishop Carlo Maria
Vigano. The delegates will arrive on Sunday and stay in Iraq for three or
four days. Two of the delegates will visit Ur, which at present is under
restoration, by order of President Saddam Hussein.
For more headlines and articles, we suggest you go to the Catholic World News site at the
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November 17, 1999 volume 10, no. 218 DAILY CATHOLIC