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TUESDAY      October 5, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 189

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


Events Today in Church History

   Today is the sixty-first anniversary of the death of Blessed Sister Maria Faustina Kowalska, the Polish nun and Messenger of Divine Mercy who was given the devotion to Divine Mercy and many lessons from Jesus which she recorded in her diary Divine Mercy in My Soul. Today the Chaplet of Divine Mercy has become widespread and countless Catholics reserve three o'clock in the afternoon, the hour Our Lord died on the cross, to call down Divine Mercy on the world through the Chaplet. As a Godincidence, she was beatified the same day as Blessed Gianna Beretta Molla, our featured TOP 100 CATHOLIC OF THE CENTURY today. 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 5:


Appreciation of the Commissions and Committees

    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 Roman Curia, treating today the second part of the non-curial offices of the commissions and committees assigned to the Curia in Rome. For the twenty-fifth installment, click on APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

THE ROMAN CURIA

Non-curia institutes: Commissions and Committees part two


SIMPLY SHEEN:
Relating to others as Christ would

      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".

"The best way to help others is by identifying ourselves with their affliction, getting into them and feeling their pains as our own. It is not enough merely to have an intellectual understanding of another person's difficulty; we need to go a little farther to feel it as our own burden, as the Samaritan put the wounded man upon a beast of burden and took him to an inn."

DAILY LITURGY

    Today is the Twenty-seventh Tuesday in Ordinary Time and tomorrow we continue with Ordinary Time plus the Feast of Saint Bruno, priest, hermit and religious founder and the Feast of Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher, virgin and religious founder. For the readings, liturgies, meditations, and vignettes on these feasts, click on DAILY LITURGY.

Tuesday, October 5, 1999

Wednesday, October 6, 1999

Feast of Saint Bruno, Priest, Hermit and Religious Founder

Feast of Blessed Marie Rose Durocher, Virgin and Religious Founder


PRAYER & DEVOTIONS

   Tomorrow we will feature the Opening Prayer for Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher. Today we present, for tomorrow's Feast of Saint Bruno, the Opening Prayer for the Mass in his honor.

Father, You called St. Bruno to serve You in solitude. In answer to his prayers help us to remain faithful to You amid the changes of this world.


WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

HEADLINES:

EUROPE'S "QUIET APOSTASY"

Synod Puts Finger on European Christianity's Sore

    VATICAN CITY, OCT 4 (ZENIT).- From the very first day, the Synod for Europe, being held in the Vatican from October 1-23, began discussing the grave challenges the Catholic Church must face if Christianity in Europe is not to become something of the past in the third millennium.

    The pace of the discussions was set by an initial report by the Archbishop of Madrid, Cardinal Antonio Rouco, who later met the press and made it very clear that the 197 Synod Fathers and the close to 50 auditors and fraternal delegates must answer an urgent question: What does the Church have to say to Europe, after the fall of the Wall and the reinforcement of (the Continent's) political and cultural ties? More importantly, what can (the Church) say to a Continent that seems to be moving toward a 'quiet apostasy?'"

    Replies to this question have come as a authentic deluge. Until October 11, the participants physical endurance will be tested, as they are having to listen to between 25-30 talks a day. John Paul II follows every discussions in person together with all the other bishops.

Failure of Christianity?

    The expression, "quiet apostasy" was coined by Cardinal Pierre Eyt, Archbishop of Bordeaux, France, in the Synod "aula" just minutes before Cardinal Rouco's meeting with the press. Cardinal Eyt offered a very penetrating analysis of the situation in the West.

    "The idea that Christianity has failed in Europe is widespread; at times it implies a distancing of contemporary culture from the Church and Christianity. This is the origin of the 'quiet apostasy' among a majority of Europeans, at least in the West, and especially among adolescents and youth." Paraphrasing the Fathers of the Church, the French Cardinal said "the European soul is no longer naturally Christian."

    Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, used harsh and stirring words to describe the European cultural scene: "intellectual agnosticism, cultural amnesia, ethical chaos, religious asphyxiation, spiritual anemia." Cardinal Poupard, who is co-president of the Synod, stated that "doubt and irony, controversy and criticism, skepticism and agnosticism have never constructed a thing, except a dumb consensus." Consequently, "By being less Christian, European culture has become less human. Therefore, to evangelize European culture means to return to a fully human culture."

European Drama

    Bishop Andre Fort of Perpignan, analyzed in depth the grave European drama at this time. "Our exaggerated discretion in asserting our hope of eternal life and our desire for 'the coming of Christ, the only one who can destroy death' has grave consequences. In face of a human condition that has suffered the amputation of its eschatological dimension, failure, suffering and death become unbearable," the Bishop said.

    "Christ is not desired or awaited, because he is not really loved. Then the Christian sense of sin becomes something incomprehensible and the priesthood seems useless."

Reason for Hope

    Although the Synod did not hesitate to put its finger on the sore, this does not imply that the "aula" remained imprisoned by despair. The signs of a new springtime of the spirit in Europe are evident. A good number of Bishops and Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, Archbishop of Prague, in particular, mentioned the importance of the new ecclesial movements. Their merit resides in having discovered the wisdom of a life committed to the faith in this new Europe. "It is not shameful for us, the Church's teachers, to put ourselves in a position of listening to these experiences" that "even before transmitting Christian life, are committed to living it," the Czech Cardinal, who is president of the European Episcopal Conferences, explained. There can be instances of "immaturity, exaggeration and -- on occasion even deviations," but at present these forces are going through "a new level of ecclesial maturity." After his words, there was a hearty round of applause from the section of the "auditores," among whom are numerous representatives, and even a few founders, of several new Catholic movements.

    Cardinal Eduardo Martinez Somalo, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life, contrasted the spiritual vacuum that is asphyxiating Europe with the force of the 450,000 nuns and 100,000 men religious in Europe who live consecrated to God.

    Nor was downright frightening testimony missing, which opens new horizons for Christianity in Europe, as Czech Bishop Frantisek Radkovsky recalled. During "the Communist persecution, Jesus was ... in our midst and gave us the strength to love the enemy and helped us to endure the adversary together with the joy and hope in Christ's victory."

    "The countless martyrs of our time (over 10,000 worldwide this century), are a living challenge for the Church of the third millennium, especially for youth," Ukrainian Bishop Michel Hrynchyshyn said. ZE99100401


EAST TIMOR CARITAS PRIEST, WORKERS FOUND ALIVE

    DILI, East Timor (CWNews.com) - The head of East Timor's Caritas Catholic charity and 20 of his workers returned safely to Dili on Monday after being reported dead weeks ago.

    Father Francisco Barreto and the workers had been hiding in the mountains outside Dili since anti-independence militias went on a rampage following an independence vote on August 30. Caritas Australia had reported on August 9 that Father Barreto and the others had been killed in the town of Suai by Indonesian soldiers.

    "We were devastated when we thought they had been killed," Caritas Australia's national director Tom Story said. "In the reports these are just facts and figures but to us they were real people. We are so grateful they have been spared," he said in a statement.

    Story said he planned to meet with them on Monday to discuss the rebuilding of East Timor. "They will play a key role in rehabilitation and rebuilding the community after they have recovered from their ordeal," he said. Story added that a benefit concert was planned for Friday in Sydney to raise funds for Caritas' work.

    Meanwhile, Bishop Carlos Belo of Dili plans to return to the city on Wednesday, after having fled for his life following an attack which burned his home and offices earlier last month. Dozens of people sheltering at the residence were reportedly killed in the attack supported by Indonesian soldiers.

    Australian Maj. Gen. Peter Cosgrove, commander of the international force in East Timor, said enormously popular Bishop Belo would be protected when he returned. "We know that he's a very significant figure. He has been an important rallying point for East Timorese for a number of years and no doubt there will be keen interest in his visit," Cosgrove said.


PAPAL SCHEDULE FOR TRIP TO INDIA, GEORGIA

    VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- The Vatican has made public the schedule for the November trip by Pope John Paul II to India and Georgia.

    The Holy Father will arrive in New Delhi in the evening on November 5, and spend the night there without any public appointments. The following day, he will make a courtesy call at the presidential palace that evening. After meeting with the country's political leaders, he will travel to the tomb of Mohandas Gandhi, which he also visited on his first visit to India in February 1986.

    That evening, November 6, at a ceremony in the New Delhi cathedral which will involve bishops from all around the continent, the Pope will sign the apostolic exhortation reflecting the conclusions of the Synod assembly, which met in Rome during April and May of 1998. The next day he will formally close the Synod, with a Mass at a public stadium in New Delhi.

    After that ceremony, the Holy Father will meet with leaders of other religious groups n New Delhi: the final item on his agenda for the visit to India.

    On his return trip to Rome, the Pope will stop on November 8 in Tbilisi, the capital of the former Soviet republic of Georgia. There he will meet with the Orthodox Patriarch Georgie II and members of the Orthodox synod, then travel to the cathedral in Mtshkheta, about a half-hour's drive from the capital.

    On November 9 the Pope will bless a house for the poor built by Caritas, the Catholic charity, in Tbilisi. Then he will celebrate Mass in city square for the city's small Catholic population. In the afternoon he will meet with Georgian President Edouard Shevardnadze, and later with cultural and scientific leaders, before departing for Rome.

    The visit to Georgia will be the Pope's second trip to a country where the population is primarily Orthodox. (The first was his May trip to Romania.) Only about 2 percent of Georgia's population is Catholic.




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October 5, 1999 volume 10, no. 189  DAILY CATHOLIC