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WEDNESDAY     November 17, 1999     SECTION TWO      vol 10, no. 218

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

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


    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

Feast of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Wife, Mother and Religious

Thursday, November 18, 1998

Feast of the Dedication of Saints Peter and Paul Basilicas in Rome

Feast of Saint Rose Phillippine Duschesne , Virgin, Missionary and Religious

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant



Fox won't allow it to be seen, but we will!

    NEW YORK ( - 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 coming out.'"

    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 (


    WASHINGTON, DC ( - 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 intrinsically disordered."

    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.


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. ZE99111411


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. ZE99111502

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 17, 1999 volume 10, no. 218  DAILY CATHOLIC