Monday thru Friday at

See why so many consider the
Daily CATHOLIC as the
"USA Today for CATHOLICS!"


TUESDAY      September 21, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 179

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

Appreciation of the Sacred Congregations

    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 last three Sacred Congregations. For the fifteenth installment, click on APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH


Sacred Congregations
part three

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant



    DILI, East Timor ( - The first of thousands of United Nations peacekeepers began arriving in East Timor on Monday, securing the airport and seaport and bringing in supplies as pro-Indonesian militias looked on.

    The deployment of soldiers from Australia, New Zealand, and Britain occurred smoothly, although many of the soldiers were taken aback at the amount of destruction that took place in two weeks of violence by pro-Indonesian militias.

    Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation in the world, invaded mainly Catholic East Timor in 1975 and annexed it the following year in a move not recognized by the United Nations. In August, the region held a Jakarta-proposed referendum to allow Timorese to choose either autonomy within Indonesia or full independence. After the pro-independence results were revealed, pro-Indonesia militias, armed and backed by Indonesia's military, went on a rampage, killing thousands and forcing hundreds of thousands to flee the former Portugese colony.

    Bishop Carlos Belo of Dili said on Sunday that he would return to his diocese, from which he had been forced to flee last week, after calm had returned and peacekeepers had deployed across the territory. Dozens of Catholic churches were burned and unknown number of priests and nuns were feared dead after anti-independence forces targeted them because of the Church's moral leadership in the island region.


Denounces Exaggerated Nationalism and Profit-Oriented Europe

    MARIBOR, SEP 19 (ZENIT).- Enough of wars and common graves among Europeans, was John Paul II's cry during his lightning visit to Slovenia today. The Holy Father attracted 15% of the country's population to Maribor, for the first Slovenian beatification -- that of Bishop Anton Martin Slomsek of this city, who died in 1862, and is a key figure in the young country's history.

An Extremely Timely Message

    In the last century, and anticipating his contemporaries, Bishop Slomsek defended the idea of a multi-ethnic, peaceful Europe. Today, after the end of the Balkan conflict, the 88th international pastoral trip of John Paul II's pontificate has helped rediscover these values, so important for predominantly Catholic Slovenia, situated at the crossroads of the European East and West.

    Shortly after 8:30 a.m. this morning, the Pope's plane left Rome's Fiumicino airport and arrived after an hour and a half in Maribor, the second largest city of Slovenia, and the economic and cultural capital of the Slovenian south. After the welcoming ceremony, attended by President Milan Kucan, who has been the political leader of this Alpine nation of 2 million inhabitants since its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, the Pope went to the Betnava square, where the beatification ceremony took place.

    In addition to Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State, the Mass was concelebrated by some 60 Bishops representing virtually all the Eastern Churches. About 250,000 pilgrims were present from all the Slovenian dioceses, as well as several neighboring nations.

    During the homily, the Pope evoked the example of the newly beatified Bishop Slomsek, who was committed to the unity of Christians, the promotion of educational institutions and love for his country. An example from which Europe must draw lessons to insure a future free from conflicts and violence, the Holy Father said, repeating the same words he spoke in this country three years ago: "Sanctity is the only force than can change the world."


    BOGOTA ( - The People's Liberation Army (EPL), Colombia's smallest guerrilla group, on Sunday released Bishop Jose de Jesus Quintero of Tibu to a commission headed by the President of the Colombian Bishops' Conference, Archbishop Alberto Giraldo Jaramillo of Medellin.

    In his first statements to the press, the bishop gave thanks to his fellow bishops and to Pope John Paul II "for his prayers and intervention" and said: "I will keep being a bishop faithful to the Church and leading my people in the diocese of Tibu."

    The bishop said that he was treated well, but strongly criticized kidnapping as "an evil that has no excuse, not even for political or so-called social reasons." He added, "My mission as Bishop of Tibu will continue as usual, because my task is evangelization and evangelization is a process that cannot stop because of violence or other difficulties." The bishop was reportedly released with a warning from the rebels that he leave the region.

    On Saturday, the release of Bishop Quintero was suspended by the EPL, who accused the Colombian army of creating "an unstable situation" in the area. Francisco Caraballo, the EPL leader jailed at the Itagui penitentiary near the city of Medellin, said that the kidnapping of Bishop Quintero -- kidnapped for the second time in less that two years -- on August 15, near his diocese of Tibu, "was nothing personal against the bishop, but only a way to make an statement."


    NEW YORK ( - Pro-life, pro-family youth groups from around the world formed a new coalition, the World Youth Alliance, last week to gain a greater voice at United Nations conferences that purport to be "listening to young people," according to a report by the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute.

    The alliance said that their goal is to counter the disproportionate influence of pro-abortion youth groups at the UN. "It is our intention to show UN delegates that radicals do not speak for very many young people at all," said co-founder Diana Kilarjian. "We realized after Cairo+5 that it was necessary to organize pro-life, pro-family youth more formally."

    At the preparatory meetings for the conference marking the fifth anniversary of the Cairo population conference, Kilarjian noted that youth participation focused almost exclusively on sex and reproductive rights. While pro-abortion youth -- hand-picked, funded, and trained by UN agencies and non-governmental agencies -- receive wide-ranging access and latitude at UN conferences, pro-life youth said they are systematically excluded from the same meetings.

    In the Cairo+5 meetings since August 1998, the radical "Youth Coalition reduced us to our sexual faculties, said alliance co-founder Anna Halpine. "Almost every mention of youth was connected to reproductive and sexual health and rights. Most youth of the world have much different and more important concerns," such as "the development of the whole person (including) the moral, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual as well as the physical dimensions."

    Meanwhile in the same city, Jewish leaders on Sunday made public a letter from Cardinal John O'Connor of New York expressing sorrow for historic injustices by some Catholics against Jews.

    Elie Wiesel, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, had the letter published in the Sunday New York Times at a cost of $99,000 after receiving permission from the cardinal. "He went very far and it's a great gesture of understanding and the quest for understanding," said Wiesel "For the prince of the Church to say the things he does, it's very strong."

    "I ask this Yom Kippur that you understand my own abject sorrow for any member of the Catholic Church, high or low, who may have harmed you or your forebears in any way," the cardinal said in the letter dated September 8, just after undergoing surgery for a brain tumor.

    Wiesel said the letter goes beyond past official statements of the Catholic Church and last year's statement from Pope John Paul II, who apologized for the errors and failures of some Catholics during the Holocaust. Archdiocesan spokesman Joseph Zwilling said the cardinal, in his letter, was referring to both Nazi atrocities and other anti-Semitic acts of the last 2,000 years.

Click here to return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.

September 21, 1999 volume 10, no. 179   DAILY CATHOLIC