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THANKSGIVING ISSUE - WEDNESDAY through SUNDAY
November 24-28, 1999
SECTION FIVE vol 10, no. 223-225
To print out entire text of this special Thanksgiving issue, print this section as well as
SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO and SECTION THREE and SECTION FOUR
WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant
Pope sends message with Cardinal Cassidy to Russian Orthodox Patriarch seeking unity between East and West
In an effort to open communication with the Russian Orthodox Church, the Holy Father sent a papal message to the Patriarch of Moscow hand-carried there by Cardinal Edward Isdris Cassidy, prefect of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The cardinal heads a Vatican delegation in Russia for an international conference of religious leaders. For more, click on Seeking to heal the rift
POPE APPEALS TO RUSSIAN ORTHODOX TO OVERCOME DIFFERENCES
Imperfect Union Already Exists in Baptism
VATICAN CITY, NOV 23 (ZENIT).- John Paul II sent a message to the
International Conference in Moscow, which is addressing the topic, "Jesus
Christ is the Same Yesterday and Today and For Ever (Heb: 13:8) --
Christianity on the Threshold of the Third Millennium". The meeting, which
began today and will end on November 25, was organized by the Christian
Interconfessional Consultative Committee.
The Interconfessional Committee includes Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant
leaders of the Community of Independent States and in the Baltic Countries.
At the Committee's invitation, the Vatican is represented by Cardinal
Edward Cassidy, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian
In the papal message, which Cardinal Cassidy has taken to Moscow, the Holy
Father expresses the hope that this will be a decisive meeting for
Christians of different confessions -- Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants,
to "inspire all involved to bear an ever more convincing and effective
witness to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ ... who is the center of the
Christian faith and of the truth which is his Church."
In referring to the fact that in the congress Churches are participating
that "through the incorporation of their members by baptism into Christ,
already share a real, though yet imperfect, communion," the Pope underlined
that the "rediscovery of this brotherhood in the Lord will make it possible
for Christians to deepen their relations, intensify their cooperation, and
strive towards that perfect unity in the faith which is expressed in full
and visible ecclesial communion, and to which Christ the Lord calls his
The current Moscow Conference is the third meeting of its kind. The
preceding were held in Moscow in 1994 and Minsk in 1996.
The full text of the Message can be found at www.zenit.org/english in the
German bishops toe the line, declare they will abandon controversial abortion certificates on orders from Rome
The results of John Paul II's stern talks last weekend paid dividends Tuesday when the German Episcopal Conference announced they will no longer issue the controversial abortion certificates at the consultation centers for pregnant women in Germany. They will phase out their participation in 2000 and introduce a new program for pregnant women that will uphold the Sanctity of Life. No word on the repercussions from the German government, but the bishops have said it is a fait accomplis and there's no turning back. They are committed to obeying the Holy Father's mandate. For more, click on German bishops comply.
GERMAN BISHOPS WILL NOT GRANT CONTROVERSIAL ABORTION CERTIFICATES
Accept Papal Instruction
BERLIN, NOV 23 (ZENIT).- The German Episcopal Conference announced today
that, in the future, Catholic consultation centers for pregnant women in
difficulty will not grant certificates that give access to legal abortion,
according to German legislation.
The decision was announced today in Wuerzburg, Bavaria, at the end of a
2-day meeting during which the Episcopal Conference examined the results of
last week's meetings with John Paul II in Rome, on the occasion of the
German bishops "ad limina" visit with the Pope and the Holy See.
The bishops announced that the Catholic Church's withdrawal from the
government consultation program will take place during the year 2000. At
present the bishops are considering the best way to help pregnant women in
difficulty, in order to save thousands of lives, without being involved in
the granting of these certificates.
The certificates the Church offers in its consultation centers, state
specifically that the document cannot be used for an abortion; however, in
practice, hospitals and clinics had continued to accept these certificates
as a "de facto" authorization for legal abortion. As a result, this
presented the Catholic consultations with the moral dilemma of
collaborating, even if only indirectly, with abortion.
During their visit with the Holy Father last week in Rome, the Pontiff
asked the German bishops to give clear and unanimous witness in defense of
life, and that the Church's support of pregnant women in difficulty be
reorganized in a more effective way, according to papal letters sent to the
German bishops over the last few months.
"I am convinced, that an ecclesial consultation that is outstanding for its
quality, is an eloquent sign to society and an effective means to encourage
women in difficulty not to reject the new life they carry in their womb,"
the Pope said.
Bishop Joseph Galante to replace the retiring Bishop Charles Grahmann in Dallas
With the pending retirement in the Diocese of Dallas of Bishop Charles V. Grahmann, the Holy Father has appointed Bishop Joseph Galante of the Beaumont Diocese as Coadjutor Bishop of Dallas. Bishop Galante comes from the same roots as Cardinal John O'Connor - Philadelphia and should bring an orthodox approach and a special affinity for religious life to the troubled Dallas see that has been under seige by the media spotlight over the Rudy Kos scandal. Bishop Galante was assistant Vicar and then Vicar for Religious in Philadelphia for 15 years from 1972 to 1987. He served in Rome as Undersecretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life from 1987 to December 11, 1992 when he was ordained Auxiliary Bishop of San Antonio. He had been Bishop of Beaumont, Texas since 1994. For more, click on New Bishop for Big "D".
NEW COADJUTOR BISHOP NAMED FOR DALLAS DIOCESE
VATICAN CITY, NOV 23, 1999 (ZENIT).- The Holy Father today has appointed
Joseph A. Galante, currently Bishop of Beaumont, Texas, as the new
coadjutor bishop of Dallas, Texas.
Bishop Galante was born in Philadelphia and ordained a priest for that
Archdiocese in 1964. He was named titular bishop of Equilio and Auxiliary
of San Antonio, Texas, in 1992. He was appointed Bishop of Beaumont, Texas,
He currently serves as member of the U.S. Bishops' Conference's Committees
for Catholic Afro-Americans; for the Pontifical North American College of
Rome; and the Communications Committee. He is also consultant for the
Committee of Canonical Affairs.
Pope adds former Soviet Republic of Kazakstan to busy Jubilee itinerary
First the Ukraine, then Romania, then Georgia. Now word has come down that the president of Kazakstan Nursultan Nazarbayev has extended an invitation to the Holy Father to visit his country in 2000 and has also confirmed that the Pope has accepted. No dates as yet, but one thing is for sure: Next year will be a busy year for the Pope. For more, click on Pope heading for Kazakstan in 2000.
POPE TO VISIT KAZAKSTAN IN 2000
MOSCOW, NOV 23, 1999 (ZENIT).- According to a news release issued by the
Russian agency ITAR-Tass, Kazakstan President, Nursultan Nazarbayev,
announced yesterday that Pope John Paul II will visit that country in the
No more details or more specific dates were given, only the fact of the
possible trip of John Paul II to this country, previously a member of the
with a total population of 16 million, including approximately 45% Russian
Orthodox and 50% Muslims. Christians make up less than 5%.
While the Vatican as yet has neither confirmed nor denied the announcement,
if the trip does take place, it will be another significant step on the
road of ecumenism, together with the Pope's previous journeys to Rumania
and, more recently, Georgia.
East Timorese refugees may finally return to their homeland
Some 200,000 homeless East Timorese who were forced to flee their land during the terrible slaughter of hundreds of thousands in April and May this year will be allowed to return and rebuild in an agreement between Indonesia and the UN. For more, click on Return to East Timor
200,000 EAST TIMOR REFUGEES TO RETURN TO THEIR COUNTRY
Agreement between Indonesian Military and U.N. Forces
JAKARTA, NOV 23 (ZENIT).- Some 200,000 refugees of the conflict in East
Timor, during which two bishops were attacked and hundreds of Catholic
collaborators and faithful were killed, will be able to return to their
land from their present refuge in the western part of the island. The
decision follows an agreement signed by the Jakarta army and the U.N.
INTERFET forces. Those who wish to remain in the west, will be able to do
so if they choose to be integrated into Indonesian society.
The agreement was made possible, thanks to the mediation of United States
U.N. ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who is currently visiting the Asian
island. The treaty stipulates that the Jakarta armed forces must control
the activities of the pro-Indonesia paramilitary militias, who were
responsible for the previous killings, which took place in the island after
the referendum on independence held on August 30.
Yesterday, Albert Hasibuan, president of an independent Commission
established in Indonesia to investigate these attacks on human rights, said
to the newspaper "Suara Pembaruan" that "the TNI (Indonesian army)
supported the militias' burnt earth program in East Timor, which ended in
killings and devastation." Hasibuan specified that a series of military
chiefs are being investigated.
"There are at least five violations of human rights that have caused the
death of hundreds of Timorese and have been committed by militias with the
help of regular troops," the Commission's president said.
Meanwhile, tensions and disorders on another island of the archipelago, in
the province of Aceh, have resulted in the death of two policemen and three
civilians. This province, which experienced unrest previously -- provoked
by independence movements, had returned to calm following Wahid's election
as President of Indonesia.
For more headlines and articles, we suggest you go to the Catholic World News site at the
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November 24-28, 1999 volume 10, no. 223-225 DAILY CATHOLIC