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WEDNESDAY      September 22, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 180

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

COUNTDOWN TO THE JUBILEE: 100 and counting, hoping and praying...

Getting it write!

    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".

"Education is presently directed to help students answer the question: 'What can I do?' If a pencil were endowed with consciousness, it would not first ask itself: 'What can I do?' but rather: 'What am I?' 'What is my purpose? Once that was established, then the pencil would be prepared for writing. When our youth has discovered the Truth about life, two conclusions will follow: courage to be oneself, and humility to recognize our creatureliness; that being a product, a result, a creature of the Power that made us, we will seek with the help of that Power to be all that we can be - a human being worthy of the name - aye, more than a human being - a child of God!"

Events Today in Church History

   On this date 1,469 years ago in 530 A.D., Pope Saint Benedict II was elected the 55th successor of Peter. Though his pontificate lasted only two years amid much strife from rival factions who posed an antipope to oppose him, he is best remembered as the Sovereign Pontiff who ordered that a monastery be build over the land once occupied by the famed temple of Apollo. That monastery? None other than the famed Monte Cassino which withstood the test of time until modern times when modern bombs demolished its exterior during World War II. 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 September 22:

with a Catholic slant



    TAIPEI, Taiwan ( - "We are doing all we can to alleviate the suffering of the people: every Church structure is preparing to accommodate the homeless," said Cardinal Paul Shan Kuo-Hsi of Kaohsiung, president of the Chinese Regional Bishops' Conference in Taiwan, on Tuesday, hours after a violent earthquake struck the island, killing 1,100 and leaving 3,500 injured and at least 1,200 still buried under the rubble of collapsed buildings.

    "The Church in Taiwan will move in two phases," said Cardinal Shan. "First, we intend to mobilize all church and school buildings to provide shelter for the homeless. Then we will start a worldwide campaign for funds to help the earthquake victims." Locally in Taiwan, as part of this campaign, the bishops will make a special appeal to the government and to citizens to think of the suffering on September 24, which for the people of China is the Feast of Autumn. "We will ask everyone of goodwill to save the money they would spend on festivities and give it to help our suffering people."

    Prayers for the dead will also be said in every diocese on the island. "On Sunday, September 26, in every parish, there will a Mass for the dead with prayers for the survivors and a collection in aid of the homeless," Cardinal Shan said. He added that he wished to thank everyone for the countless messages of solidarity from all over the world, especially those from Pope John Paul II and mainland China.

    Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano sent Cardinal Shan a telegram on behalf of the Pope expressing "deep sadness at the news," "closeness to the entire population," and "sympathy to all affected by this tragedy."

    Father Giovanni Battista Zhang, editor of the Faith Bulletin in the diocese of Shijia Zhuang in Hebei, near Beijing, said he is "profoundly grieved at the news" and voiced on behalf of all Chinese Catholics "solidarity with the people of Taiwan." He said, "We already have been praying for the victims of the earthquake in Turkey and today we are very near to our fellow countrymen and women. We will celebrate Mass for them and do everything we can to help."


Terrifying Testimony of Two Nuns Who Survived Massacre and exclusive interview with one nun

    BACAU, SEP 20 (ZENIT).- The Church in Bacau is mediating between the army and the pro-independence guerrillas. At present, Bishop Basilio do Nascimiento, Apostolic Administrator of Bacau, is leading negotiations to free a commando kidnapped on September 7 by the Falintil guerrillas, the armed section of Timor's resistance. The Bishop, who has delegated the task to a priest, told the "Fides" news agency that the negotiations are well underway. He hopes the soldiers will be freed very soon.

    In statements to Fides, Bishop do Nascimento did not give much importance to the wounds he suffered a few days ago when his residence was attacked by paramilitaries supporting East Timor's annexation to Indonesia. He also said that the presence of an international force will help eliminate the people's suspicions and fear. "What is most important is to regain confidence and guarantee public order," he said.

    "The peace forces will help people return to their homes. It is important to control the militias that are wandering through West Timor. Although the people should not be threatened, the paramilitaries act like cowboys from the Far West: they shoot in the air and the terrified people, hide."

    The Vatican has received testimonies from civilians and religious who were able to escape the massacres of the last few days. Two Sisters from the community of Jesus' Followers, who arrived in West Timor on September 16 from Sama (south of the Island), described scenes of horror to Fides.

    "Many civilians have been killed. The bodies of victims were decapitated and hung from trees. The whole city of Sama has been destroyed by the military, who also destroyed buildings constructed by the government. The militias expelled the people and burnt their homes. There were many bodies in the streets. Instead of burying them, they burnt them, to eliminate proofs of the massacres." ZE99092004

    Meanwhile, a Salesian Missionary nun from Dili told of the situation that "many militiamen kill for only a few rupees." The first contingents of the U.N. peace force are already being deployed in East Timor. They could encounter resistance from armed militias opposed to the country's independence. In the midst of uncertainty, Catholic missionaries continue to work and help the people. Sister Paola Bataglini, an Italian missionary, has stayed in the country to help mothers and children. In a telephone interview with the Italian newspaper "Avvenire," she commented on the situation in Dili, where she works with six other Salesian Sisters, in what was formerly a convent and at present has been turned into a shelter.

SISTER PAOLA BATAGLINI: We have given refuge to some one hundred mothers and their children, some of them very young. Today things are a little better. Last night there was no shooting. We now also have military guarding our house. But they do not let us go out.

Q- Are you being protected or are you prisoners?

SISTER BATAGLINI: We are both protected 'and' prisoners. Yesterday two men from the Red Cross were here to make note of what is needed. They asked if they could stay to sleep. Dili has been completely destroyed. We prepared rooms for them, but the soldiers made them leave.

Q- You are really prisoners then?

SISTER BATAGLINI: This morning, I was able to go to the hospital. The soldiers accompanied me. I got medicines for the refugees hiding in the mountains. I have seen what remains of the city; everything is in ruins. There is no one on the streets; the houses are empty and destroyed -- both those of well-know supporters of independence, as well as those of pro-Indonesians.

Q- Can you send aid to the refugees in the mountains?

SISTER BATAGLINI: To (the town of) Dare, where there is a seminary in the forest. An Indonesian priest arrived from there this morning. He said there were thousands of refugees in need of everything, (especially) food and medicines. The area is also surrounded by soldiers.

Q- How was he able to get to Dili?

SISTER BATAGLINI: He is Indonesian, and has connections. Moreover, he was also accompanied by the army. He was able to load a van with rice and medicines. The military want to be seen engaging in humanitarian activities.

Q- To be seen?

SISTER BATAGLINI: Not in the negative sense. Here many act just for the effect. In Asia, the first thing is to save face. The militiamen also ..."

Q- The militiamen?

SISTER BATAGLINI: You must realize that some time ago the Church organized a meeting in Dare between supporters of Indonesia and those of independence. (Among those) present, were the leaders of today's violence -- Domingo De Deus and Enrique Gutierrez. They seemed to be more reasonable (then), like little lambs. But now, there is not one store they have not looted. And how many have been killed with machetes!

    Many have Catholic names. Catholics? God will it! In 1967, under the Portuguese, the Catholics in Timor were 27%. When the Indonesian government (came to power), and everyone had to declare his religion -- this is written on the identity document, not to discriminate: faith is necessary to be considered an Indonesian citizen, everyone declared himself Christian. Many without knowing what faith is.

Q- What are these militiamen? Moslems?

SISTER BATAGLINI: Many have been manipulated, forced, you know by whom. There is talk of men from neighboring islands, brought here on purpose, and of people of the forest who dreamed of looting the city's stores. There is talk that they have been paid. They can kill for a few rupees. Later they are caught in a (vicious) circle which they cannot abandon.

Q- A 'circle'?

SISTER BATAGLINI: Rancor among families. The circle of vengeance. There are those whose father was killed in 59, a brother in 74, in other clashes, other resistance ... No one forgets here. They were warrior tribes; vengeance is a tradition. Because of this, those who are most afraid are the men, up in Dare. They are the ones who are killed, in the circle of vengeance. Even on the day of the referendum, the youths were the first to vote and then picked up their bags and fled to the mountains.

    I have been told that the Indonesian military chief in Baucau, who wants to maintain order until the Australians arrive, is having a lot of difficulties with the militiamen. He tries to control them. It seems that now he is collaborating with the Bishop. We also have a colonel here who is a 'collaborator.' I was hoping he would come; he would have allowed me to get our Sister from Komoro. She is Sister Margaret, an elderly nun who has stayed in the diocese to impede further theft.

Q- Do you have food for the mothers and children?

SISTER BATAGLINI: We have enough for a month. Only rice, of course, but it is enough for us. ZE99092009


    BERLIN ( - Pope John Paul II has told Germany's bishops to extricate the Church completely from a controversial government-administered abortion counseling program, according to a German newspaper on Tuesday.

    The Frankfurter Allgemeine printed what it said was a letter from the Holy Father to Bishop Karl Lehmann of Mainz, president of the German bishops' conference, that said a compromise reached by the country's bishops earlier in the year was insufficient.

    Under German law, a woman wanting an abortion must first receive a certificate that states she has been to a counseling center, one-sixth of which are affiliated with the Catholic Church. Many Catholics objected to the Church's participation in the program as supporting abortion, although some said that the Church must remain in the program to counsel women on the path to abortion.

    In July, the Pope told Germany's bishops that the certificates handed out by Catholic counselors should state that they "cannot be used for legally carrying out abortions." But, most abortion clinics have continued to recognize the documents as legal, rendering the compromise moot.

    Meanwhile, in Dublin, Ireland Pro-life groups in Ireland have called for a referendum on abortion in response to a government report on issues related to abortion.

    The Youth Defense group Justin Barrett said the Green Paper was not specific enough in examining the constitutional and legislative issues surrounding abortion in Ireland, where it is illegal except in rare circumstances. Barrett told a pro-life conference in Dublin last Saturday that his group would push a referendum to outlaw abortion totally in Ireland.

    "If this government thinks they can find a middle ground in limited abortion, they're just plain wrong. There is no such thing as limited abortion," Barrett said.

    Bernadette Smyth, president of the Northern Irish group Precious Life which has protested outside abortion referral clinics, said more action was needed. "In Ireland, north and south, we need to be active. We need to be out there ... we need to be a force to be reckoned with," Smyth said.

    Although abortion is illegal in Ireland, a change in the law in 1993 allowed women to travel to Britain for abortions. In 1998, almost 5,900 Irish women were referred to British abortion clinics, a rise of more than 10 percent.


    VATICAN ( -- The cause for the beatification of Pope Pius XII is proceeding on a normal schedule, but he will not be beatified in the year 2000, according to the relator for his cause.

    Father Peter Gumpel, a German Jesuit, has been charged by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints with the task of compiling the documentation on the cause of Pope Pius. He told the Roman news agency I Media that the process "is not far enough advanced" to allow for beatification in 2000.

    Father Gumpel said there are no particular roadblocks to impede the process, but "it is a tremendous amount of work," because the pontificate of Pius XII lasted 19 years, and the beatification process entails a thorough study of the Vatican records during that complex period. Pope Pius XII also wrote a great deal, and his writings must be collected and studied. Observing that Pope Pius XII wrote 13 encyclicals, Father Gumpel adds that "he is the individual most frequently cited in the documents of the Second Vatican Council."

    An Italian Jesuit priest, Father Molinari, is the postulator for the cause of Pius XII. He is currently editing a "positio," or synthesis of the case for beatification. The first two volumes of that work is now being printed, Father Gumpel reported; but another two volumes are anticipated. When that work is complete, a team of nine theologians will study the several thousand pages involved, and submit their judgment to the cardinals and bishops on the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. They in turn will submit a judgment to the Pope, who-- on their advice-- could authorize the Congregation to issue a decree recognizing the "heroic virtue" of the candidate for beatification. Once such a decree is issued, there is an additional step prior to beatification: the approval of a miracle attributed to the candidate's intercession. "While it is difficult to predict how much time this all will take, at a minimum it would be two years," Father Gumpel reported.

    On the other hand, the German Jesuit said that the cause for Pope Pius XII would not be affected by the renewed controversy over allegations that he did not do enough to stop the Nazi Holocaust. The Vatican Congregation, Father Gumpel said, "is not impressed by publications that have no historic validity." That was a clear reference to the new book, Hitler's Pope, in which author John Cornwell resurrects old charges that Pope Pius XII aided the growth of the Nazi regime. Father Gumpel said that the Cornwell book ignores the historical evidence, which clearly shows that those charges are baseless. Cornwell, he charged, displays an ignorance of both German and Vatican history, and a weak understanding of international negotiations.

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.

Finally the long-awaited books "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..." and THE HIDDEN WAY are NOW available!

   With the messages completed, you can now order the book that contains ALL the messages. This much-anticipated 224-page book of ALL the messages to the world imparted to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart from the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a lasting gift that will inspire you in your faith, and all God asks of us. You can acquire your own handsome, coffee-table top copy of "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..." containing all 632 messages or the THE HIDDEN WAY containing 100 inspirational Meditative Lessons from Our Lord and Our Lady on Church Doctrine by clicking on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..." or THE HIDDEN WAY or both books at BOOKS

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September 22, 1999 volume 10, no. 180   DAILY CATHOLIC