A General Council is an assembly convened by the Holy See, of all the bishops of the world, and others entitled to vote. It represents the teaching body of the Church, and must be infallible. In the year 50 the Apostles held the first General Council in Jerusalem. Its decisions were proclaimed as coming from God, the final decree beginning with these words: “For the Holy Spirit and we have decided to lay no further burden upon you” (Acts 15:28).
Over a General Council, the Pope or his legate presides; as representative number of bishops and others entitled to vote, such as cardinals, abbots, and generals of certain religious orders, must be present. Upon confirmation by the Pope, a General Council’s decrees are binding on all Christians. It must be understood that the decrees of a General Council have no binding authority until confirmed by the Pope. There is no appeal from the Pope to a General Council.
A unanimous vote is not necessary for an infallible decision of a general council; a great majority is sufficient. The most notable of the General Councils so far held following the Council of Jerusalem have been: (1) The Council of Nicea, in the year 325, which pronounced against the heresy of Arius; (2) the Council of Ephesus, in the year 425, which declared Mary the Mother of God; (3) the Council of Nicea, in 787, which declared the veneration of images as lawful and profitable; (4) the Council of Trent, 1545-1563), which declared against the heresies of Martin Luther; (5) the Council of the Vatican 1870, which defined as an article of faith the doctrine of the infallibility of the Pope.
The question arises about Vatican II and the answer is that all the documents formulated at the Second Vatican Council were in accord with the other ecumenical council guidelines. However, the "spirit of Vatican II" in which individuals and groups took it upon themselves to interpret and change on their own do not fall within those parameters and therefore there have been problems because of satan's clever ploy to confuse the faithful. John Paul II has been extolling the virtues of the Council by publishing and elaborating on all that was decreed at Vatican II and the ones he comes in conflict with are those who spread the "spirit of Vatican II" with no regard or respect for the Church and the Council Fathers.
9. Even when the bishops are not gathered together in one place, they form the teaching body of the Church, united with the Pope. This is called the "Magisterium" of the Church. Therefore their voice must be infallible, otherwise the universal Church would be led into error. For the same reason as above, the daily ordinary uniform teaching of the Church in every place in the whole world is infallibly true. “Go into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
The Catholic Church will endure to the end of time, for it is founded on a rock. The powers of evil will beat in vain against it. They will b break themselves and perish, but the Church will remain, indefectible. The testimony of almost two thousand years proves the perpetuity of the Church. Nothing that malice and envy could invent; nothing that the world, the flesh, and the devil could do have been lift untried in the past 2000 years. Still the Church is with us, exactly as Christ founded it, and stronger than ever.
Death of Blessed Contardo Ferrini a Professor of Roman law at the University of Messina in Sicily who was known for his tremendous piety and humility.
Birth of John Krol in Cleveland, Ohio. He would go on to become a priest and bishop and be elevated to the rank of Cardinal in June, 1967. This former president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops was the Archbishop emeritus of Philadelphia and died while in Rome early this year at the age of 88. He was a close friend of Pope John Paul II and had escorted him when Cardinal Karol Wojtyla visited the United States before becoming Supreme Pontiff.
Mother Teresa founds the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India on this day born from a desire to fulfill the gospel of love taught by Jesus in seeing Him in every human being no matter how poor, downtrodden or sick they might be. Mother's order, known for the trademark blue and white sari, has become one of the most well known and beloved throughout the world in less than fifty years.
Vatican Radio begins its first broadcast on this day as directed by Pope Pius XII.
Pope John Paul II beatifies Blessed Don Luigi Orione, Blessed Bartolomea Longo and Blessed Maria Anna Sala.
In observance of World Mission Sunday, the Pontiff said that all Christians are called to promulgate the message of Christ. He said that the "new evangelization" of the world-- and particularly the European nations, where Christianity once dominated the culture-- is a top priority for the new millennium.
At the close of his audience, the Holy Father paid tribute to the negotiators who are seeking a path to peace in Colombia. Noting that a peace demonstration was being held in the South American country that same day, he called for a renewed effort to break the stalemate in protracted negotiations between the government and guerrilla forces.
After his meeting with the Holy Father, the Russian Minister had an interview with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State.
The Vatican disclosed that, in the course of the conversations, topics of current international importance were addressed, especially the present situation experienced by the Russian Federation.
In this connection, the Holy Father expressed the hope that "a speedy political solution will be found to the conflict in Chechnya."
Attention was also given to matters of Church-State relations in Russia, especially to issues relating to the application of the law of religious liberty, and improvement of diplomatic relations between the Vatican and the Russian Federation. As is well-known, following the approval of the law on religious liberty, some Catholic institutions experienced serious difficulties, because Catholicism was not given the status of a traditional Russian religion. ZE99102505
During the meeting, the Pontiff expressed satisfaction with the special attention given by the diocese of the French capital to the formation of priests. And it is precisely in the seminary, that the future of priests is defined, as well as that of the Church herself.
In recalling that the seminary is a kind of training ground for priestly life, the Holy Father stressed that "the elements acquired during the period of formation -- a time of discernment for the Church, is for each priest like the map of his own priestly life."
The Pope explained that permanent formation "disposes" seminarians "for the mission." "All that you have begun to practice with regularity, must remain in you like a rule of life during your whole life." In this context, he mentioned the meeting with the Lord in the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, confident love for the Church, liturgical and personal prayer, the 'lectio divina,' fraternal life, which is like the soul of the presbytery, and concern for the people of God, especially the poor."
Addressing the Parisian professors and seminarians, John Paul II reminded them that they "are called to scrutinize the Christian mystery in order to understand the faith. It is not a simple 'knowing,' but a journey as believers, allowing oneself to be molded and unified through the Creed for the purpose of proclaiming the Gospel in terms adapted to our time." He also recalled that "the study of Scripture, read in the tradition, must be the soul of your lives."
Moreover, in response to the present crisis of meaning that man is experiencing, the Pope reminded the seminarians that theology must presuppose and imply "a philosophy of man, of the world and -- more radically, of being, based on objective truth."
The Pope's last piece of advice was perhaps the most personal. The seminarian's formation will only be able to forge the priest of tomorrow if it is impregnated with love for the Church. "Love the Church as Christ loved her, giving Himself up for her! Proclaim the mystery of the cross at all times with your life, through preaching and the gift of the sacraments."
The Holy Father concluded that in this way "you will be genuine pastors and servers of your brothers, ready to respond to the demands of the announcement of salvation, in the respect and obedience owed to your Bishop." ZE99102504
The recently privatized ACEA utility detailed the charges in its annual report to shareholders. The Vatican has said that the Lateran Treaty, which set up the Vatican city-state while stripping the See of most of its lands, exonerates it from sewage and water charges.
ACEA chief executive office Paolo Cuccia said the foreign ministry had taken up the matter and further negotiations were due to start shortly. The city of Rome will be liable for the charges if the Holy See does not pay.
Meanwhile more buried frescoes from the Roman Empire have been discovered in the excavations for a parking garage being built for Rome's Jubilee Year celebrations, causing a potential delay.
Archeology officials in Rome confirmed on Friday that the excavation uncovered a first-century villa with walls covered in frescoes of birds and mythological creatures. The discovery of a similar room in August caused more than a month's construction delay.
The parking garage is being built to house buses for the more than 20 million pilgrims expected to visit Rome next year for the Jubilee 2000 celebrations. The Italian department of the UNESCO cultural agency, which wrote to Rome's mayor and Italy's Culture Ministry about the frescoes, said the find must be safeguarded. A decision on the fate of the parking garage and the frescoes is expected later this month. 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.