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THURSDAY      September 23, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 181

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

Appreciation of the Pontifical Councils

    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, the governing body of the Church and the dicastries or Pontifical Councils that have been established by Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II. Today we cover the first three. For the seventeenth installment, click on APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH


The Pontifical Councils
part one

Events that happened this day in Church History

    This day 57 years ago today will, like December 7, 1941 live in infamy in the annals of atrocious deeds for it was on this day in 1942 that the Nazis began their "experimental" gassing of thousands of Jews and Catholics who had been deported to the Nazi "Death Camp" in Auschwitz which today is on the Polish side. Among those victims of the horrible holocaust were two saints of the Church - Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe a devoted Marian priest, and Saint Edith Stein, a converted Jew who became a nun. 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 23:

The road to truth is paved with humility

    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 denial of Truth is just as fatal to the mind as the denial of light is to vision. Truth in its fullness is not easy to attain, even if one does admit its existence. There are certain psychological and spiritual conditions which are essential for its discovery, and the most important of these is the virtue of humility."


    Today is the Twenty-fifth Thursday in Ordinary Time while tomorrow is the Twenth-fifth Friday in Ordinary Time. For the readings, liturgies, and meditations, click on DAILY LITURGY.

Thursday, September 23, 1999

Friday, September 24, 1999

The clarion sounds as a wake-up call to Catholics as we provide a review of all past articles on the Church today

    Like our other feature series, we present installments 1 through 105 of this series which is a set blueprint for Catholics everywhere to take up the banner of truth in defending Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church as we prepare for this glorious event - the second coming of Christ and the Reign of the Sacred Heart, the Second Pentecost, the Era of the Eucharistic Presence, the Advent of Peace. To read any of the over one-hundred previous installments in this long on-going series, click on the Archives ofWHERE IS HOLY MOTHER CHURCH HEADING AS WE NEAR THE MILLENNIUM?

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant



    DILI, East Timor ( - Anti-independence militias killed three people in Dili on Tuesday, including a Dutch journalist, according to witnesses.

    Sander Thoenes, 30, a reporter for the Financial Times of London, was found dead in a suburb of Dili where pro-Indonesian militias were active, according to Maj. Gen. Kiki Syahnakri, commander of Indonesian forces in the territory. Motorcycle driver Florindo Araujo said he was driving the Thoenes, when they approached a roadblock staffed by at least six armed men wearing what Araujo said were the gray uniforms of the Indonesian police. The two turned around, but some of the armed men gave chase, firing warning shots and eventually shooting out the motorcycle's rear wheel. Araujo, who fled, last saw Thoenes lying in the street.

    Militiamen have vowed to kill Westerners, whom they accuse of helping East Timor in its efforts to break free of Indonesian rule. Thoenes was the first foreigner believed to have been killed since UN peacekeepers arrived on Monday.

    Australian Maj. Gen. Peter Cosgrove, commander of the UN force, said the militias were attempting a show of force in Dili and the attacks were "obviously a reaction to our presence."


    WASHINGTON, DC ( - Two of Pennsylvania's Republican congressmen introduced a new bill on Tuesday that would provide federal funds to pro-life crisis pregnancy centers, but not pro-abortion groups.

    Rep. Joseph Pitts and Sen. Rick Santorum proposed the law as an alternative to federal funds that are currently set aside for pro-abortion groups, including Planned Parenthood, the United States' largest abortion provider. The Women and Children's Resource Act would give $85 million to maternity homes, adoption services, crisis pregnancy centers, but the funds would not be available to family planning agencies or other groups that refer to abortionists, provide abortion counseling, or perform abortions.

    The money could be used for pregnancy testing, adoption information, prenatal and postpartum care, diapers, baby food and clothes, abstinence counseling, and referrals for other services, including housing, education, and job training. The funds would be allocated to states based on the number of abortions and out-of-wedlock births.

    The National Abortion Federation immediately attacked the bill, saying it "poses a significant public health danger because it would support organizations that withhold information about safe, legal options to unintended pregnancy."

    Meanwhile, the United Nations' Population Fund (UNFPA) said on Wednesday that as world population hits six billion spending on population control programs has fallen.

    UNFPA Director Nafis Sadik said funding was billions of dollars short of goals because of limited resources in developing nations and the failure by developed nations to provide funds promised at the 1994 Cairo population conference. "That has been a huge problem .... International resources are at half the level that were expected," Sadik said. According to UN projections, world population is due to hit six billion next month and reach 8.9 billion by 2050, although some pro-life groups dispute those figures.

    Sadik said wealthy nations had promised to give $5.7 billion for UN population control programs, that include birth control, sterilization, and abortion, but only about $2 billion had been received. In the United States, much funding for the UN has been blocked by pro-life congressmen who object to the UN's pro-abortion, anti-population policies.

    The UNFPA report warned that decreased funding will result in more "unwanted pregnancies," abortions, maternal and child deaths, and a faster spread of AIDS. Sadik added that it is in wealthy countries' best interests to fund population control because it would help the environment, cut the flow of immigrants, and help the global economy.


International Forum to Offer Concrete Solutions

    ROME, SEP 21 (ZENIT).- An international Forum on the foreign debt of developing countries is being held today and tomorrow in Rome to promote the "Indemnification of Debt to Live A Millennium Free of Debts." The event, which takes place within the framework of the U.N.'s Peoples' Week, is dedicated to the role of the global civil society and economic justice. It will end with a walk from the city of Perugia to Assisi.

    The organizations convoked by the Forum have called for the complete cancellation of the poor countries' debt before the year 2000. The Forum is being attended by groups that adhere to the "Jubilee 2000" initiative, which has received numerous support from stars of the entertainment world.

    At the heart of the problem are the debts that the poorest countries cannot pay without imposing on their neediest people an unbearable burden. Often the debts are the result of decisions taken by unscrupulous governments, especially dictators, who used the money to purchase arms. One of the factors aggravating the already difficult situation of these nations are the interests: as a result some countries end up paying $13 for every dollar loaned to them. This is the reason why the forum is calling for the cancellation of the debts that have already been paid, without taking the interest into account.

    "Jubilee 2000" Association member, Anne Pettifor, who spoke about studies that state it would be enough for every person in the Western countries to donate $4 a year to overcome the problem. In addition, she referred to the biblical meaning of the Jubilee, which is centered on forgiveness and reconciliation.

    At the conclusion of the Forum's sessions on Thursday, the Pope will receive a delegation of "Jubilee 2000," including Bono of U2, Bob Geldoff and others. ZE99092105


Disclosures by Secretary of Episcopal Conference

    CARACAS, SEP 21 (ZENIT).- It was nightfall on Thursday, August 26. Bishop Jose Sanchez heard on the television news that the Congressional members and participants of the National Constituent Assembly were looking privately for a solution to the confrontation that required the convocation of Parliament in extraordinary session. "They will not decide a thing," the secretary general of the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference thought to himself. He called several bishops and told them the Church should intervene. He went directly to the Legislative Palace, arriving at 9:15 p.m., not knowing where to park. "I arrived trusting in God, and said to Him that if what I was doing was for the good of Venezuela, that doors might open to me."

    Leaving his car, the Bishop asked a member of the National Guard to take him to the room where the parliamentarians and members of the Constituent Assembly were meeting. "Do not tell them I am a priest, they might misunderstand; tell them I am Bishop Sanchez," he said to the guard. "And so I joined them, and suggested they sit at a table to talk, ... the best place we had was the headquarters of the Episcopal Conference."

    Bishop Sanchez said in an interview with the newspaper "El Nacional," that at that moment he realized that as long as the Assembly was determined to declare itself authentic and Congress was determined to deny this, there would be no understanding, "and that could generate much violence (...) the situation could become enormously complicated."

National Peace

    Today, almost one month after these events, the bishop explains how men of God were able to calm the spirits of the two powers: the Assembly and the Congress, "which held very narrow, radical positions, because they were defending principles on which they did not want to cede nor will cede."

    Bishop Sanchez regards the Constitutional process as very positive for the country, because he feels the people are participating in the changes. "We have always asked the people to participate, and at this moment we see that several articles of the new Constitution are complete, I think there are 16. There are also hundreds of proposals from ordinary citizens, the Church and the (political) parties on other specific issues."


    The Venezuelan Bishops believe that "there is great expectation in the country regarding what the Constitutional (Assembly) could decide, because the Venezuelan people cannot be let down. It would be very unfortunate if Venezuelans felt they were not understood by the Constitutional (Assembly). This is my message to the members Assembly; they must make every possible effort to understand their Venezuelan (countrymen) who have put their confidence in them. We do not want to feel betrayed by any resolution of the Constituent (Assembly)."

    If the Constitution does not satisfy Venezuelans, the Bishop foresees "all kinds of danger. The Venezuelan people desire much justice, work and peace."

Serve the People

    "What I would suggest to all who govern, to anyone, is that they must listen to the people. Because all men in government run the risk of surrounding themselves with a small group, and this small group often gives them erroneous information. I believe that, up until now, President Chavez has listened a great deal to the people. You can see this every time he speaks; I would advise him to continue with this attitude that will enable him to take measures and to know if the needs of the people are being met. For example, right now, people are anxious for more sources of employment; they want health (services) and better education," Bishop Sanchez said.

    In regard to relations between the ecclesiastical institution and the government of President Chavez, the secretary of the Episcopal Conference emphasized that a climate of ... discussion has developed. He admits there have been difficulties, but points out that the government has decided to help and collaborate with the programs developed by the clergy. "They have said that they see great transparency in the way the Church manages the funds given by the State."

Proposals to Constitutional Assembly

    The Venezuelan Episcopal Conference has a commission that is closely following the Constitutional process. The Church has prepared a number of proposals to be included in the new Constitution. Bishop Sanchez stressed the need for "religious liberty in Venezuela. This means, in the first place, respect for the conscience of every individual, but also for each one of the religions."

    The Bishops also believe that the Constitution must include absolute respect for life, "from the moment of conception until death, that is, we are opposed to abortion, the death penalty and euthanasia." Finally, the Bishops request that the Church be given the possibility to participate, along with the whole of society, in the education of the Venezuelan people. ZE99092101

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

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

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