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THURSDAY      October 7, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 191

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

Danger to the Soul

When some declare they don't need rules, they have bats in their belfry and are blowing hot air which could get a lot hotter if they're not careful!

    In his column today, Pat Ludwa points out, through Sacred Scripture, that those who opt to subscribe to the spiritual do-it-yourself school place the emphasis on self rather than God. When they do this they leave themselves wide open for failure for without rules and regulations, without boundaries man is an anarchist, doomed to fail. History has proven this and only the Church which Jesus Christ founded has survived two millenniums. The reasons are simple, because of the boundaries Our Lord placed on man - dating back to our first parents in the Garden of Eden - the only way to survive and reap the rewards God has promised are by obeying Him in all things. There is no such thing as "cafeteria" Catholicism. There is also no merit in believing the lie spread by the evil one that we don't need organized religion. Minnesota Governor and ex-wrestler Jesse Ventura has come under heavy criticisms for such remarks and rightfully so for he should know that to be with God forever no man can live forever without God. For Pat's column Spiritual Do-it-yourselfers!, click on VIEW FROM THE PEW

Spiritual Do-it-yourselfers

with a Catholic slant



    DILI, East Timor ( - Bishop Carlos Belo of Dili returned to East Timor on Wednesday, almost a month after being forced to flee the country by anti-independence militias that carried out a destructive campaign against the Timorese.

    Bishop Belo, who is revered as the territory's foremost spiritual leader, arrived in Dili and was met by priests and nuns and a strong security force. "I hope ... the international community can work hard to establish lasting peace in this land," he told reporters. "My priority is to be here with the people, to say Mass and to pray with them, to visit them. This is the only priority I can have."

    The bishop, a 1996 Nobel Peace Prize co-winner, left East Timor in early September after militias attacked his residence, burning it to the ground, and forcing hundreds of refugees sheltering there to flee. Bishop Belo said he hoped his return encouraged the tens of thousands of refugees still hiding in the forests to return and start rebuilding their lives.

    "Why do they continue to live in the forest? This is not our life," Belo said before leaving Darwin, Australia, for Dili. "As human beings we must return to our villages, to our towns, to begin to rebuild."


    VATICAN ( -- The Vatican has temporarily suspended for a scheduled papal visit to Iraq, because of mixed signals from the Iraqi regime.

    Pope John Paul II is scheduled to travel to Iraq in December, to visit Ur of the Chaldeans, the ancient home of the patriarch Abraham. The visit, which the Holy Father describes as a pilgrimage, would mark one step in the Pontiff's plan to visit "the places that are tied to the history of salvation" during the next year.

    However, although the Pope has stressed that his trip would be a purely religious pilgrimage, he cannot reach the site of Ur-- now located at the city of Tal al Muqayyar-- without first traveling to Baghdad. And in the Iraqi capital city, some powerful forces are evidently striving to make the papal visit a political event.

    On September 29, the Iraqi news agency INA-- which is tightly controlled by the regime of Saddam Hussein-- published a statement by four leading intellectuals, who sharply criticized Pope John Paul for wishing to make a strictly religious pilgrimage, and insisted that while in Iraq he must issue a statement condemning "American-Zionist aggression" against that country.

    Since that public statement appeared to reflect the thinking of some Iraqi government leaders, the Vatican decided to suspend preparations for the papal visit, pending a clarification from Baghdad. Vatican sources indicated that the clarification could come in the form of a formal written invitation to the Pontiff; to date, the Iraqi government has only extended an oral invitation.

    Political analysts believe that the Iraqi regime is divided about the papal visit. Some figures close to Saddam Hussein believe that the Pope's presence would have a positive impact, since it would call attention to the suffering borne by the Iraqi people as the result of an international embargo. Others, however, point out that Pope John Paul could direct some blunt criticism against the country's totalitarian government.

    Vatican sources, speaking privately, indicate that the Pope still intends to make his pilgrimage to Iraq. Although the United States has protested against the Pontiff's plans, no real obstacle has been placed in the way of a visit, and the Holy See expects to resolve the latest political difficulties with the Iraqi regime. However, if those problems are not resolved quickly, the papal visit-- currently scheduled for December 2- 5-- might be moved back to a later date.


    VATICAN ( -- At his regular public audience on Wednesday, October 6, Pope John Paul II spoke of "the mystery of infinite love" which is made manifest in the Incarnation.

    God "does not remain far off, but intervenes in history," the Pope pointed out, in the 920th weekly catechetical talk of his pontificate.

    At the close of his audience, the Holy Father voiced his satisfaction with the news that the Organization of African States had reached a preliminary agreement to resolve the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea. He asked the 18,000 pilgrims who had gathered in St. Peter's Square to pray for peace in Africa and "in all the countries that are still suffering because of war."


    WASHINGTON, OCT 6, 1999 (ZENIT).- What do Michael Jordan, William Shakespeare, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein and John Paul II all have in common? Each one of them were voted the most important figure of the millennium in their respective category in a recent ABC television opinion poll.

    The poll was conducted in a novel way, without the standard multiple-choice answers. Each of the 506 adults interviewed by phone were offered open-ended questions to allow for greater spontaneity and a larger possibility of answers.

    While ABC has not given the exact figures of the responses, they did reveal that John Paul II was followed closely by Billy Graham and Mother Teresa.

    William Shakespeare was the only figure to appear among the most popular in more than one category. In fact, he placed first by a large margin in Literature, but came in a meager fourth in Entertainment: behind Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. ZE99100621

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.

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October 7, 1999 volume 10, no. 191  DAILY CATHOLIC