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TUESDAY      October 12, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 194

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

Appreciation of the Dignity of the Priesthood

    Today we continue with our new series in the search to uncover the great treasuries of the Church contained in the great Deposit of Faith. We continue with the Hierarchy - the Priests as part of the Mystical Body of Christ - treating today the Dignity of the Priesthood. For the thirtieth installment, click on APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH


The Dignity of the Priesthood

Events Today in Church History

    Two hundred-seven years ago the United States Congress decreed that Columbus Day would be commemorated on this day in honor of the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, crediting with discovering America 507 years ago. More important for Catholics in America he was the instrument that brought the faith to these shores and has grown steadily ever since. While in our politically correct environment today he has been maligned, no one can take away the fact that through his efforts in bringing the Spanish missionaries to the western hemisphere, the Americas lead the world in the number of Catholics. For other pertinent events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

Historical Events in Church Annals for October 12:

Breaking up is a hard thing for the soul!

      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".

"A disordered soul is characterized by the same sort of thing that has happened to an atom, namely, fission. Everywhere there is a breaking up, an alienation, a fragmentation and a dissolution. Such a person no longer is a unit. He is divided first within himself; he is divided from his fellowman; he is alienated from God."

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant



    NEW DELHI ( -- The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP - World Council of Hindus) declared in New Delhi on Saturday that it will spearhead a 15-day campaign demanding an "apology for forced conversions and atrocities committed against Hindus" from Pope John Paul II during his scheduled to visit New Delhi next month.

    VHP will commence its 15-day protest march from western Goa state on October 20 and will conclude in New Delhi on November 4, on the eve of the arrival of the Pope in New Delhi, said Acharya Giriraj Kishore, VHP vice-president.

    "(The Pope) should not take part in religious functions if he is coming as the head of a state. And, if he is visiting India specially for religious purposes, then the government should not treat him as a state guest," said the leader of the Hindu group that has been in the forefront of anti-Christian propaganda from Hindu extremist groups. The Holy Father will use the visit to formally release the final exhortation from the Synod for Asia held in Rome in April and May last year.

    The VHP leader said the Pope should tender an "unconditional apology" for atrocities committed under the name of conversion during his stay in the country as "Goans faced such acts by missionaries." It was in Goa that western missionaries first arrived in India in the 16th century led by Saint Francis Xavier, whose body is preserved in the Bom Jesus cathedral in old Goa. Christian leaders rejected the group's characterization of the activities of missionaries, holding that while there may be a few exceptions, the majority of conversions were voluntary.

    The Hindu extremist group has also declared that it will hold countrywide demonstrations on October 20 to create awareness about the activities of missionaries even as the march will be launched from Goa.


Spanish Cardinal Rouco's Report Following Assembly's Debate

    VATICAN CITY, OCT 11 (ZENIT).- "Today we begin a new stage," Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco, Archbishop of Madrid, said to the Synod of Bishops for Europe, in his "report following the debate." A new stage in the technical sense, as the Synod has ended the first phase in which the general assembly heard the talks of each of the participants and must now address the proposals that will result from this ecclesial summit. But it is also a new stage in the figurative sense, because -- given the honesty, breadth and depth of the analyses presented, the Church in the Old Continent emerges from this week with a new awareness. In a certain sense, and without being demagogic, it could be said that the life of the Church in Europe will not be the same after this Synod.

    "Our brothers' word has helped us know ourselves better, it has given us light and confirmed us in faith and hope, particularly (the word) of those who have spoken as witnesses of the faith who have suffered imprisonment and torture in their own flesh for love and fidelity to the Truth that saves us. Now we shall study what was heard in smaller groups, to be able to formulate some proposals to give to the Holy Father on the situation and task of the Church at this time in Europe."


    The Spanish Cardinal summarized the "convergence" or "fundamental coincidences" that have emerged from the talks heard by the participants. Among the most notable and important, he pointed out, is the common perception of "the urgency of our Churches to announce and give transparent witness to Jesus Christ, to his personal and operating presence, as the source of hope that Europe needs."

    In the second place, Cardinal Rouco said that the Bishops have insisted on the need to plan the new evangelization for Europe as a lived and visible proposal of Jesus Christ, who is alive in his Church and as such, the source of hope for our contemporaries.

    In the third place, this Synod has manifested the need to undergo an ecclesial examination of conscience both in regard to the situation of European society as well as that of the Church itself.


    The Cardinal went on to make 20 proposals for the new evangelization that will guide the reflections of the different language working groups. Among them is ecumenical dialogue; the Church's dialogue with the political and cultural world, and new impulse to some of the sacraments, such as Confession. In addition, the Cardinal mentioned other very contemporary issues, such as charities; the presence in, and relation with, the media; the role of women; social doctrine that responds to the needs of our time, such as unemployment and immigration. He also stressed the need to update the announcement of the Gospel in the new European societies.

Return to Origins

    Cardinal Rouco's report ended by recognizing that the Church's future is already in her origins. "The renewal of Christian life in its very sources (faith in God's Word, celebration of the sacraments, the work of charity) will bring the divine and human hope that Europe needs. Renewal comes from the encounter with the resurrected Jesus Christ, who teaches us -- through his Spirit, to understand the mystery of the cross and of life, forgiveness and glory." ZE99101106


    SAO PAULO, OCT 11 (ZENIT).- Cardinal Aloisio Lorscheider, former president of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil during the years of the military regime, has reached the age of compulsory retirement established by the Church -- 75 years.

    In keeping with Canon Law, Lorscheider presented his resignation to John Paul II. The Pope could decide on his immediate retirement or request that he remain for a time in the important diocese of Aparecida, the heart of Brazilian Marian spirituality, some 170 kilometers northeast of Sao Paulo.

    As head of the Episcopal Conference between 1970 and 1979, Lorscheider often met with the military authorities to express his concern over violations of human rights and to request a return to civilian government. The Armed Forces governed Brazil from 1964 to 1985. ZE99101012


    CLAREVILLE, Australia ( - Morris West, the Australian novelist who wrote 30 books, often dealing with Catholics themes, died on Saturday of a heart attack at 83 years old as he was writing his last novel.

    West reportedly died midsentence as he was writing "The Last Confession." Among his best-known novels were "The Shoes of the Fisherman," "The Devil's Advocate," and "Children of the Sun." Father Paul Collins, another author, told the Canberra Times newspaper that West's "tense relationship" with the Catholic Church is countered with a strong loyalty and affection for the religion.

    West had entered the Christian Brothers order, but left in 1939 before taking his final vows and then continued to include religion as a major theme throughout his 54-year career.

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    October 12, 1999 volume 10, no. 194  DAILY CATHOLIC