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October 20, 1999
SECTION TWO vol 10, no. 200
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE
Appreciating the Authority of the Church
We continue our new daily series in uncovering the great treasuries of the Church contained in her Deposit of Faith. Today, we feature, in the Foundation and Mission of the Church, the Authority of the Church For the thirty-sixth installment, click on APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH
THE AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH
The chief attributes of the Catholic Church are authority, infallibility, and indefectibility.
These attributes are qualities or characteristics perfecting the nature of the Church.
By the authority of the Catholic Church is meant that the Pope and the bishops, as the lawful successors of the Apostles, have power from Jesus Christ Himself to teach, to sanctify, and to govern the faithful in spiritual matters. Authority is the power one person has over another, such that he can exact obedience justly. Thus rulers have authority over subjects; parents over their children; teachers, over pupils, etc.
Christ appointed the Church to teach whatever He taught: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20).
Christ taught, as in the Sermon on the Mount. Christ appointed the Church to sanctify the faithful, by administering the means of grace to its members. Christ dispensed the means of grace, as when He forgave Mary Magdalen, gave His flesh and blood at the Last Supper, and blessed little children.
Christ appointed the Church to govern with authority and jurisdiction.Christ was the pastor or ruler of men. He gave commandments, sent the disciples on missions, instructed them, reproved the Pharisees.
Christ gave the Church full authority and power, saying, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21). As a father who goes away on a journey leaves all his power and authority to the mother, so Christ upon leaving the earth gave to His Church full power and authority to carry on His work. “He who hears you, hears Me; and he who rejects you, rejects Me” (Luke 10:16).
The authority of the Church is not restricted to matters of doctrine and belief, but to whatever is necessary for the good of the Church and its members. Thus the Church lays down laws concerning fast and abstinence, Sundays and holy days of obligation, worship, and administration of the sacraments.
The members of the Church must observe whatever laws and regulations it makes. Authority in some form is necessary for every organization; without it members could not be directed to their common purpose.
Every society lays down rules for its members. Those who do not wish to keep them are excluded from it. Without authority the Church could not fulfill its divine purpose. The denominations that broke from the unity of the Church denied its authority. Having no head to obey, they split and re split into hundreds of denominations.
The Church exercises her authority to teach, to sanctify, and to govern the faithful by various means, among them being:
- Teaching by sermons and by religious classes in schools and parishes.
Today the Church teaches by preaching, by deciding controversies, and by condemning wrong teaching. Parish churches have sermons in the Masses of Sundays and holy days of obligation. Every Catholic school prescribes the study of religion in every class. Every parish holds catechetical classes.
- Sanctifying by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, by the sacraments, by blessings, and by special devotions held in the Churches.
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, instituted by Our Lord Himself, is the great act of worship of the Church, the source of grace to sanctify the faithful. The sacraments are means of grace by which we obtain help to become more holy children of God.
- Governing by the commandments of the Church, by other laws ordered from time to time as need arises, and from the general control by bishops in the dioceses.
In her capacity as ruler, the Church makes regulations forbidding what is dangerous or sinful, as when she prohibits the reading of dangerous books and magazines. All members of the Church are under a strict obligation to obey her laws and regulations; disobedience to the Church is disobedience to Him Who authorized her rule, Jesus Christ, God.
Tomorrow: The Infallibility of the Church
The 100th Metropolitan of Turin Cardinal Giovanni Saldarini is one of the most respected scripture scholars in Italy
Our one-hundred-thirteenth red-hat we feature, in alphabetical order is the nearly 75 year-old prelate Cardinal Giovanni Saldarini, Archbishop of Turin and custodian of the famed Shroud of Turin. This Scripture scholar has been shepherd of this See since 1989. He received his red-hat and elevation to the cardinalate from Pope John Paul II in the Consistory of June 28, 1991. For more on Cardinal Giovanni Saldarini, click on COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION
113. Cardinal Giovanni Saldarini
The Metropolitan of Turin, Cardinal Giovanni Saldarini was born on December 11, 1924 in Cantu, Italy. At the young age of 14 he had visions of being a priest and enrolled in the seminary in Lombardy in 1938, completing his studies for the priesthood nine years later when he was ordained on May 31, 1947. His bishop assigned him to study at the Pontifical Biblical Institute where he received his degree in Sacred Scripture and returned to his bishop in 1952 who appointed him to the faculty of the Venegono Seminary in Milan. For the next fifteen years he became one of the most respected scripture scholars in Italy. He was appointed Vicar of the First Pastoral Region
in 1982, receiving responsibility for 180 churches in the Milan area. A year later he was promoted to Pro-Vicar General by Cardinal Carlo Martini, Archbishop of Milan and the following year Pope John Paul II elevated him to the episcopacy on November 10, 1984. A month later on December 7th he was installed as the Titular Bishop of Guadiaba and Auxiliary Bishop of Milan.
Five years later the Holy Father named him the new Archbishop of Turin on January 31, 1989, becoming the one hundredth Metropolitan in that archdiocese's long illustrious history. Two years following the Vicar of Christ included him in his Consistory of June 28, 1991 bestowing on him the red-hat and the titular church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus a Castro Pretorio. Besides his duties as head of the see of Turin, he serves curial membership in the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Congregation for Bishops, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and the Congregation for the Clergy. At seventy-five, he is expected to resign his post in the near future, but most likely will remain at the Archbishop's residence at via Arcivescovado 12, 10121 in Torino, Italy.
Events Today in Church History
On this date in 1939 Pope Pius XII, under tremendous scrutiny by the media today for the false accusations against him in regard to being a Nazi sympathizer and not helping the Jews, proved them wrong then as well with his encyclical on the need for a new humanity united in all societies Summi Pontificatus. Four years later, from the experiences and ruin of the devastating Second World War, Chiara Lubich would put the principles of Pius' words into action with the founding of the Focalare movement. 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 20:
Death of Saint Usthazanes, abbot who was beheaded along with twelve other martyred monks at Ishtar, Persia.
The first crusaders arrive in Antioch from Constantinople during the First Crusade.
Death of Pope Urban III, 172nd successor of Peter whose pontificate lasted two years. Born Umberto Crivelli in Milan, he was elected on December 1, 1185. He was elected in Verona and there he set up his papal court. As a cardinal he had planned the Lombard League. He stood up firmly against the arrogance of Frederick Barbarossa, German emperor and died of sorrow when the Saracens took possession of Jerusalem.
Rather than risking the lives of his people and in order to prevent the shedding of blood, Pope Pius IX surrendered the city of Rome to King Victor Emmanuel of Sardinia. The surrender virtually ended the Papal States for the Pope was no longer allowed to govern Rome, but he was allowed to retain St. Peter's and the Vatican Palace and the Italian government agreed to pay him over three million lire a year, but Pius refused to accept the monies under any condition. In effect Vatican City was born.
Pope Pius XII issues his first encyclical on the unity of human society entitled Summi Pontificatus.
Today we commemorate the Twenty-ninth Wednesday in Ordinary Time plus the Feast of Saint Paul of the Cross with tomorrow being the Twenty-ninth Thursday in Ordinary Time. For the readings, liturgies, meditations, and vignettes on this feast, click on DAILY LITURGY.
Wednesday, October 20, 1999
Wednesday October 20: Twenty-ninth Wednesday in Ordinary Time
Feast of Saint Paul of the Cross, priest and religious founder
Green or white vestments
First Reading: Romans 6: 12-18
Psalms: Psalm 124: 1-8
Gospel Reading: Luke 12: 39-48
Feast of Saint Paul of the Cross, Priest and Religious Founder
The Founder of the Passionists, Saint Paul of the Cross was born Paul Francis Danei on January 3, 1694 in the tiny village of Ovada, Italy near Genoa. He was the oldest child in a merchant family that had come upon hard times and so Paul learned austerity and sacrifices growing up in his family. At 19 be joined the Venetian army in their battle with the Turks, but disenchanted, left after a year. Propositioned to marry, he turned the young suitor down and opted to retreat to Castellazzo in Lombardy where he could pray. During this time he received numerous locutions and visions from the Blessed Mother which gave him purpose to what God intended for this young man. In one vision in 1720 he beheld Our Lady dressed in a black habit with the name of Jesus and His cross emblazoned on her chest. She instructed Paul to found a religious order which would be dedicated to preaching on the Passion of her Divine Son. After much investigation as to the private revelation, the bishop of Alessandria granted him permission to begin the order. Rather than jumping right in, Paul went back to Castellazzo to pray for forty days and forty nightswhile he wrote the rule for the Congregation of the Passion. Then, with his loyal younger brother John Baptist, and two other men they began living the rule and traveled to Rome to obtain papal approval from Pope Innocent XIII who refused their request in 1723. However, undaunted and prayerful, they continued to persevere and, in 1727 the Passionists were approved for the diocese by Innocent's successor Pope Benedict XIII who also ordained Paul and his brother in St. Peter's Basilica. The first Passionist house was established on Mount Argentaro, but most of the novices fell away because they couldn't live the strict rule. Still encouraged, Paul and his companions pressed on and opened the first monastery in 1737. Four years later Pope Benedict XIV gave approval for the rule for the religious institute named the Barefoot Clerks of the Holy Cross and Passion. Through Paul's tireless efforts he and his band of a few men preached throughout his country. As the fame of their preaching reached far and wide, the Passionists grew in demand. Paul was responsible for many, many conversions through his austere life and his mystic supernatural gifts of prophecy, miracles, healings and visions. Conversion of sinners was his greatest concern and to which he dedicated his life. Seeing the massive fruits reaped by the Passionist Fathers, Pope Clement XIV gave full papal approval for the congregation in 1769 and gifted to them for their headquarters the church of Sts. John and Paul in Rome. Two years later Paul was able to establish the first convent for the Passionist nuns in Corneto, Italy. He grew extremely ill in 1772 and during the last three years of his life he led a life patterned after Jesus, offering all his sufferings for the reparation of souls. He died after 80 years of service to God in Rome on October 18, 1775 and was canonized 92 years later by Pope Pius IX who celebrated this saint as "one who lived what he preached and brought the importance of Christ's Passion and Death to the people."
Thursday, October 21, 1999
First Reading: Romans 6: 19-23
Psalms: Psalm 1: 1-6
Gospel Reading: Luke 12: 49-53
NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant
Agreement reached between Holy See and Jews to review archives of Pius XII
Under an agreement between the Vatican and the International Jewish Committee three Catholic and three Jewish scholars will have full access to all archives during World War II to settle once and for all the controversy swirling about in the press regarding the pontificate of Pope Pius XII which has put somewhat of a crimp in his beatification process. Inside the Vatican's October issue which just came out has an excellent in-depth feature on Pius XII: Innocent or Guilty and we highly recommend it. For more, click on Pius XII archives.
CATHOLIC, JEWISH PANEL TO REVIEW WORLD WAR II DOCUMENTS
VATICAN (CWNews.com) - A committee of three Jewish and
three Catholic scholars has been formed to review the "Acts
and related documents of the Holy See in the Second World
War," a set of documents released between 1965 and 1981 at
the request of Pope Paul VI, and representing the whole of
the files in the Vatican on the subject.
Announced on Tuesday by Cardinal Edward Idris Cassidy,
president of the Pontifical Commission on Religious
Relations with the Jews, the agreement related to the
formation of the panel was reached on Monday between the
commission and Seymour D. Reich, president of the
International Jewish Committee on Interreligious
Consultations and an attorney from New York.
The committee of Jewish and Catholic researchers -- whose
names will be published soon -- will review the 11-volume
English edition of the wartime documents, and will be able
to raise questions which, in its opinion, merit further
clarification by the Holy See, an apparent reference to the
possibility that the panel would be granted partial or
indirect access to the closed archives of the period.
The hope is that the panel will clarify the role of Pope
Pius XII in saving Jews from the Holocaust, a role which
has been cast into doubt in recent years by some authors
who have claimed that the Pope was sympathetic to
anti-Semitism and the Nazis. The question was further
complicated by Vatican refusals to allow access to its
archives because they contain sensitive information related
to personal, sacramental matters. The Vatican has held that
all relevant information related to Pope Pius XII and World
War II had been released in the documents compiled between
1965 and 1981.
The formation of the new investigative panel was a response
to a Jewish request to have further access to the Vatican
files of the Second World War period, particularly a
request made during March 23-26, 1998, when an
international conference on relations between Jews and
Catholics was assembled in the Vatican, a few days after
the publication by the Holy See of a document on the Shoah,
or Holocaust, called "We Remember." On March 26 of last
year, Cardinal Cassidy said that a combined panel of
Catholic and Jewish historians would be formed to examine
the published volumes compiled by Catholic historians --
four Jesuits, whose only survivor today is the Frenchman
Father Pierre Blet who recently released his own book on
the subject, debunking the anti-Semitic claims against Pope
Pius XII -- in order to raise the points which would require
The statement released on Tuesday said that Cardinal
Cassidy and Reich hoped that "all the questions and the
disputes which currently exist, or which arise from the new
investigation, will be resolved through this common
examination." Cardinal Cassidy expressed his "satisfaction"
at the formation of this panel, adding that he was
"convinced" of its necessity. Reich added that this
agreement was an "unusual arrangement" which can be,
however, "a useful first step" for resolving the question
of the role of the Vatican during the Second World War and
for improving relations between Jews and Catholics.
New twist in Guatamala trial of Bishop's murder with surprise witness who could implicate military
Announcing that there is a new prosecutor who will bring forth a surprise witness, the topsy-turvy trial in Guatamala City to find the murder of human rights advocate Bishop Juan Girardi Conedera, mauled to death in his home a year and a half ago. Despite attempts by the government and Guatamala's corrupt military to sabotage the trial and intimidate witnesses, the jury and the former prosecutor who fled for his life, the trial will continue at the insistence of human rights promoters the world over and the Church who want to see justice done for the dastardly murder of one of its prelates. For more, click on Trail of the trial .
NEW PROSECUTOR, NEW WITNESS IN BISHOP MURDER CASE
GUATEMALA CITY (CWNews.com) - While the Guatemalan
government appointed a new prosecutor for the investigation
of the murder of Bishop Juan Jose Gerardi Conedera, sources
in the judiciary revealed on Tuesday that there is a new
witness who may provide key information that could put the
case back on course.
The new prosecutor, Leopoldo Zeissig Ramirez, will replace
Celvin Galindo, who fled the country and requested asylum
in the United States following death threats as his
investigation progressed. The attorney general's office
also appointed two new assistants, Mario Leal and Joel
Garcia, to help the recently appointed prosecutor.
Bishop Gerardi was murdered in April 1998, two days after
releasing a human rights report that blamed most of the
deaths in the country's 36-year civil war on the military.
While initial investigations focused on Father Mario
Orantes Najera, who lived with the bishop and has also fled
the country after being cleared of charges, human rights
groups and Church leaders called for an investigation into
military connections to the murder. As Galindo began to
pursue DNA evidence that could connect soldiers who were
near the scene of the crime to the murder, death threats
against his family escalated, forcing him to flee.
"This is certainly a great challenge, because the Gerardi
case is probably the most complicated, but we will put all
our efforts to deliver accordingly," Zeissig Ramirez said.
Meanwhile, according to reports in the local media, a woman
who was a key witness to the murder of Bishop Gerardi has
agreed to step forward after receiving protection from the
United Nations Mission of Verification for Guatemala
(MINUGUA). Although her name has not been released for
security reasons, the woman would allegedly be well-known
in the political and social circles of Guatemala.
Dallas Bishop takes on U.S. Immigration Department, decries treatment of immigrants as inhumane
Speaking out at the Second Congress for New Evangelization being held in Cuautitlan, Mexico, the shepherd of the sprawling Diocese of Dallas Bishop Charles V. Grahmann pulled no punches in denouncing the treatment of Mexicans and other immigrants by the U.S. Government. He called for easier access for migrant workers to obtain green cards and be treated as human beings free of intimidation and arrests that have mushroomed in recent years. He admitted that the Diocese has helped integrate hundreds of thousands of immigrants because there was no avenue open to them through normal means with the government, a government he has denounced for their tactics and hypocrisy toward immigrants in intimidating and deporting them. For more, click on Deportation blues
DALLAS DIOCESE DENOUNCES U.S. IMMIGRATION POLICY
Bishop Charles Graham Says Human Rights Are Violated
MEXICO CITY, OCT 18 (ZENIT).- The Bishop of Dallas, Texas, denounced the
United States for its "intense campaign of arrests and massive
deportations" of Mexicans who arrive in the country seeking a better life.
Because of this "very grave" situation, Bishop Charles Graham said that for
several years the Curia he heads has exerted pressure on the Clinton
Administration and supported the immigrants in obtaining their "green card"
so that they can live and work there legally.
Interviewed during the 2nd Congress for New Evangelization 2000, which is
taking place in Cuautitlan, Mexico, Bishop Graham said that virtually all
U.S. dioceses have an office that offers immigrants legal assistance to get
their documentation in order to work in the country.
"In Dallas we have an enormous office because we are trying to help without
having to pay, or paying a minimum, to put all the papers in order so that
the immigrant can get his green card or official residence in this
country," Bishop Graham said. The U.S. Church is lobbying so that such
large quantities of people will not be deported, obtain better paid jobs
and improve their standard of life.
"We are trying to pressure the U.S. government to allow more people to
reside, and not to throw them out when they have family [in the U.S.]. The
U.S. Episcopal Conference has its Immigration Commission to help the
government implement laws that will benefit immigrants," the Bishop said.
"We are trying to do something more for the immigrants who are crossing
over," Bishop Graham affirmed. He also said that those immigrants who
approach the Dallas diocese are given legal assistance to protect their
human rights, but the Bishop gave no additional information.
Immigrants have the opportunity to talk to a lawyer in the U.S. At present,
many people are being arrested and sent back to Mexico, but the Dallas
diocese is trying to encourage people to take the opportunity to defend
themselves with the help of an American lawyer, the Bishop explained. He
also said that in 1987, the year of amnesty, the Dallas diocese helped
120,000 persons who arrived in his offices to obtain a "green card" to
reside and work in the U.S. legally.
Missionary Bishop in Sierra Leone, who was captured by rebels, is freed along with fifteen others
Bishop Giorgio Biguzzi, an Italian missionary prelate for the See of Makeni, was caught in the crossfire last Friday, along with fifteen others at an Xavier Brothers mission in Freetown, Sierra Leone in which rebels from the Revolutionary United Front clashed with renegade soldiers. The result was one of the groups snatched the bishop, two prists and workers from Caritas as hostages to escape and then held them over the weekend before releasing them without harm yesterday. The mood has been tense in this far-western province of Africa between the government and rebels from various fronts. For more, click on Bishop is safe.
SIERRA LEONE BISHOP, AID WORKERS FREED BY CAPTORS
FREETOWN (CWNews.com) - An Italian-born bishop serving a
diocese in Sierra Leone was released on Tuesday, along with
15 aid workers, all of whom were kidnapped last Friday by
rebels, according to Church officials in Freetown.
Bishop Giorgio Biguzzi of Makeni was part of a group
including an Italian priest, a Sierra Leonean priest, and
local and international aid workers from the Caritas
Catholic aid group. "The bishop and the 15 others were
kidnapped at Makeni during an exchange of fire between the
AFRC (renegade soldiers) and RUF (Revolutionary United
Front rebels)," said Father Antonio Guiotto, of the local
Xaverian Brothers mission. "All of them, including the
bishop, are well and fine and will be airlifted to Freetown
Both RUF leader Foday Sankoh and former AFRC junta ruler
Johnny Paul Koroma denied that their men carried out the
kidnapping. The Vatican-based MISNA missionary news service
said on Monday that Bishop Biguzzi, 63, was believed to have
been kidnapped by AFRC fighters.
Koroma later contacted the agency to deny responsibility
for the abduction, saying his men had, on the contrary,
rescued the bishop. An aide to Koroma repeated on Tuesday
that the group "were protected (by the AFRC) during the
crossfire between us and the RUF before we allowed them to
go to Bumbuna town."
- Total number of visits to the DAILY CATHOLIC thus far in 1999 (as of October 18): 3,871,786
- Total number of visits since this daily publication went on line November 1, 1997: 5,759,226
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October 20, 1999 volume 10, no. 200 DAILY CATHOLIC