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September 16, 1999
SECTION THREE vol 10, no. 176
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WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant
Archbishop Tauran dismayed at Muslim leaders' lack of compassion for the countless Catholics slaughtered in East Timor; fears further genocide if UN troops don't move in immediately
Amid dire warnings that troops are needed, not air drops, those in the know in East Timor know that anything less than full military support to protect the people will result in their annihilation for the Indonesian militia are just waiting for the air drops to identify their hiding places so they can ferret out and kill those hiding in the mountains of East Timor. Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran expressed dismay that Muslim leaders were not outraged by the killings thus far in East Timor and is greatly concerned about their sincerity. For more, click on Turmoil in East Timor
VATICAN DIPLOMAT CONCERNED MUSLIMS DIDN'T DENOUNCE TIMOR KILLING
PARIS (CWNews.com) - Vatican foreign minister Archbishop
Jean-Louis Tauran said he regretted that no Muslim leaders
had spoken out against the slaughter of Catholics in East
Timor by mainly Muslim militias, according to an interview
on Wednesday in the French Catholic newspaper La Croix.
Archbishop Tauran also said he was disappointed at how
slowly the United Nations reacted to the massive slaughter
in the mainly Catholic territory which voted earlier this
month to seek independence from Indonesia, the world's most
populous Muslim country. Pro-Indonesia militias, armed and
trained by the country's military, have killed thousands
and forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes and
On this subject, allow me to tell you how disappointed I
am to see that no Muslim religious personality has raised
his voice to condemn the massacre of Christians and the
systematic destruction of the Church's works in Timor," the
archbishop said. "Pope John Paul II was a daring defender of
human rights when the Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina faced
the same fate," he added. "That gives you something to
On Wednesday, the UN Security Council authorized a
multinational peacekeeping force led by Australia to
restore peace in the territory after international
criticism that Indonesian soldiers were abetting the
massacres. The force was expected to start arriving by
Monday. The UN World Food Program also said it will
implement a plan to air drop 70 tons of high-energy
biscuits to hundreds of thousands of people hiding in
Timor's wilderness and said to be suffering from a lack of
food, drinking water, and medical care.
The Vatican Fides news agency quoted Carmelite nuns in East
Timor on Wednesday who said the Indonesian military planned
to bomb refugees as soon they come out of hiding to search
for the UN food parcels. "The Indonesian army is planning
to bomb refugees in the mountains to the south of Dili,"
said Sister Maria del Carmen Aparicio. "They are waiting
for humanitarian air drops to coax out the refugees and
show them which areas to hit."
Kangaroo court in Kigali continues as Bishop Misago reasserts his innocence in the face of persecution against the Church in Rwanda
Despite trumped-up evidence fabricated by the anti-Catholic president of Rwanda intended to frame Bishop Augustin Misago as the scapegoat for genocide in the early and mid-nineties, it is merely a cover-up to both throw off the scent of the president's and his party's intrinsic involvement in the genocide and discredit the Church which has been the champion of the people there. For more, click on Kigali kangaroo court.
RWANDAN BISHOP ACCUSED OF GENOCIDE STATES HIS INNOCENCE
Court Could Sentence Him to Death
KIGALI, SEP 14 (ZENIT).- Rwandan Bishop Augustine Misago, accused of
involvement in the spring 1994 genocide in his country, in which over half
a million people died, rejected charges made at the opening of his trial in
a Kigali court on Tuesday.
"I reject all accusations made against me and accept none," 56-year old
Bishop Misago said, who appeared this morning in court in the pink uniform
worn by those accused of genocide; he had a crucifix hanging from his neck.
Bishop Misago was arrested on April 14, after Rwandan President Pasteur
Bizimungu publicly accused him of genocide. If the court declares him
guilty, he could be condemned to death. During the preliminary hearing on
August 23, the Bishop's lawyers appealed for conditional liberty, but it
was denied by the court.
Alfred Pognon, Bishop Misago's main lawyer, described the accusations made
today in court as a politicized farce. He also said that the greater part
of statements made by witnesses were false.
Two-faced Red China arrests bishop and priests same week they deny transgressions against religious freedom
Even while China was denying to the world any kind of religious persecution, they were clandestinely arresting a bishop and three priests of the underground Church in China which is loyal to Rome. Red China has been trying to establish the Patriotic Catholic Church as an official church of China being beholden to Beijing not Rome and have dismissed all overtures to dialogue with Vatican representatives. For more, click on Chinese persecution.
CHINA ARRESTS CATHOLIC BISHOP AND PRIESTS
BEIJING, SEP 14 (ZENIT).- In central-eastern China, the police arrested four
representatives of the "clandestine" Catholic Church, which is faithful to
the Pope but not officially recognized by the Chinese government. The
information was given by the Cardinal Kung Foundation, from its
headquarters in the United States.
Bishop Lin Xili, who is 81 years-old and had spent 20 years in jail for his
fidelity to Rome; and Fathers Wang Chenzhi and Shao Zhumin, were arrested
in early September in Wenzhou, in the Zhejiang region. Fr. Chu Guangyao, of
the Shanghai diocese, was arrested on August 16, the Kung Foundation stated.
There are over 10 million Catholics in China, divided between the Patriotic
Catholic Church, controlled by the government; and the clandestine Church,
persecuted for its ties with the Holy See.
Pope John Paul II to be busy and on the go as year winds down
The Holy Father won't be resting on any laurels as he finishes off the second millennium for his schedule is packed during the final 100 days of 1999 as the Holy See released his itinerary yesterday. The docket will begin in Slovenia, then the unveiling of St. Peter's facade and blessing followed by the opening of the European Synod in October before heading to India and Georgia in November. While it was not included in his itinerary, many suspect December will include the first leg of his "Jubilee Journey" to Ur in Iraq and Mt. Sinai in Egypt. On Christmas Eve he will officially open the "Holy Door" thus issuing in Jubilee 2000. For more, click on Pope's year-end schedule.
PAPAL SCHEDULE SET FOR REMAINDER OF 1999
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- The Holy See has released a new calendar of the
major papal events scheduled for the remainder of this calendar year.
On September 19, the Holy Father will visit Slovenia, and on September 30
he will preside at the formal unveiling and blessing of the renovated fašade
of St. Peter's Basilica.
On October 1, the Pope will officiate at the opening of the European Synod,
and on October 23 he will preside at the closing ceremonies. On October 28
he will lead a special inter-religious encounter in St. Peter's Square which
has been organized for the Jubilee.
On November 1, the Pope will visit the crypt of St. Peter's Basilica, to pray
for his deceased predecessors on Peter's throne. His trip to India will begin
on November 5, and he will return-- stopping for one day in the former
Soviet republic of Georgia-- on November 9. On November 13 his schedule
calls for an ecumenical Vespers service at the Vatican, and on November 21
he will celebrate the canonization of two newly proclaimed saints.
On Christmas Eve, the Holy Father will solemnly open the "Holy Door" of the
Vatican basilica, prior to the celebration of the midnight Mass of Christmas,
thus formally opening the Jubilee Year. On Christmas Day he will bestow his
traditional "Urbi et Orbi" blessing from the balcony of St. Peter's, and that
afternoon he will visit the Basilica of St. John Lateran to open the holy door
there as well.
On December 31, the Pope will close out the year at St. Peter's Basilica with
solemn Vespers and a Te Deum, giving thanks for the blessings of the year,
the decade, and the century. And at midnight he will pronounce a new "Urbi
et Orbi" blessing, this time from the window of the Apostolic Palace. On
January 1, he will open a third holy door at the Vatican: at the basilica of St.
Holy See calls for drastic changes in United Nations' attitude toward humanity at all levels and life in all its stages
As the 54th assembly of the UN convened Wednesday, Vatican permanent observer to the UN Archbishop Renato Martino delivered the Holy Father's message to the body of global representatives, calling for reform and a greater role in protecting the Sanctity of Life in all its stages. This was confirmed by Cardinal John O'Connor also in attendance who emphasized the need to defend human dignity and reach out to help others and fight the culture of death which the UN has kowtowed to recently with distribution of contraceptives and abortion measures in poorer countries. For more, click on UN reform.
POPE CALLS FOR U.N. REFORM
Prayer Meeting at Opening of 54th General Assembly
NEW YORK, SEP 15 (ZENIT).- The 54th U.N. General Assembly opened yesterday,
while the Security Council discussed the resolution to authorize the
sending of a peace mission to East Timor, confirming the fact that the
search for world stability continues to be the organization's primary
objective. However, this year the delegates must address other urgent
problems, including the struggle against poverty and the debate on the
organization's reformation, to make it more efficient in the modern world.
Yesterday's session was primarily of ceremonial significance: the new
president of the Assembly, Namibia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, took up
his post and new members of the south Pacific were admitted -- including
Kiribati, Nauro and Tonga.
International Year of Culture of Peace
The debates will begin next week. Secretary General Kofi Annan and leaders
of U.N. member nations will be among the participants. But yesterday, Annan
tried to set the pace at the Assembly by proclaiming the opening of the
International Year of the Culture of Peace. In his recent report on the
organization's work, the Secretary General emphasized the increase in
conflicts over the last few years and of victims, as well as damages
caused by natural disasters. In order to respond to these emergencies, Annan
invited the countries represented at the U.N. to develop a culture of
prevention, instead of delayed reaction to wars and natural catastrophes.
The Secretary General referred to these ideas during the prayer meeting
organized by the Holy See's Permanent Observer at the U.N., Archbishop
Renato Martino, at the Assembly's opening. John Paul II sent a message
through Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State, in which he
requested the United Nations to become an ever more effective instrument of
dialogue. And Cardinal John O'Connor, Archbishop of New York, emphasized the
need to defend human dignity, inviting delegates to place themselves at the
service of people.
The topic of internal U.N. reform remains an open question, which became
critical first in Kosovo and currently in East Timor. Richard Holbrooke, the
new U.S. ambassador, repeated yesterday that his country favors the
enlargement of the Security Council, with a view to admitting Japan and
Germany. However, some countries, like Italy, have been opposed to this idea
for many years. No doubt the issue will continue to be hotly debated during
the current Assembly.
For more headlines and articles, we suggest you go to the Catholic World News site at the
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September 16, 1999 volume 10, no. 176 DAILY CATHOLIC