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September 27, 1999
SECTION THREE vol 10, no. 183
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NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant
Pope calls East Timor "A new defeat for the cause of humanity" as Vatican seeks answers to massacres
In Geneva to address the UN's Human Rights Commission, Vatican representatives are insisting on inquiries as to how such a travesty as East Timor could ever have happened. The Holy See is asserting that this was a planned demolition of a population and the Church charted well before the vote had been taken and that Indonesia knew exactly what the military and their own trained militia would do. Their feigning ignorance to this is part of the guilt that lies with Indonesia. For more, click on Seeking answers for East Timor
HOLY SEE SEEKS INQUIRY INTO TIMOR MASSACRES
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- The Holy See has called upon the UN's Human
Rights Commission to recognize the fact that, in East Timor, violence has been
used as a means of annulling the results of a popular referendum.
Speaking on behalf of the Vatican at Geneva meeting on September 23, Msgr.
Giuseppe Bertello observed that the recent massacres in East Timor were not
an ordinary civil conflict, but an attempt "to wash out, in blood, the will of
the overwhelming majority of the people" there. Along with UN
peacekeepers and humanitarian aid, the international community should
launch an inquiry into the massacres, he said.
The spasm of violence that swept over East Timor came in the wake of a
referendum in which 80 percent of the voters chose independence from
Indonesia. The militia groups which were responsible for the bloodshed
favored continuing ties with Indonesia, and had sought to prevent the
election from taking place. Catholic Church leaders have argued that the
wave of killings was a concerted attempt to force the imposition of martial
law, and thus abort the drive toward independence.
Speaking of the "heavy price" paid by the Catholic Church because of her
advocacy for human rights in East Timor, Msgr. Bertello expressed the
dismay of the Holy See that "after the tragedies in Rwanda and Kosovo,
mankind is still not capable of learning the lessons of history." He cited the
words of Pope John Paul II-- that the recent massacres have shown "a new
defeat for the cause of humanity."
German Bishops give their response: We will not abandon the counseling centers but will never advocate abortion!
Per the Holy Father's instructions, the German Episcopal Conference, meeting in Fulda, Germany Friday voted to continue the counseling centers for women, but with new guidelines that will prevent loopholes where the German government can make certificates from the centers a passport to having an abortion. That the bishops will not stand for and will instruct all counselors as to the dire consequences of such actions. One way to prevent this abuse is to no longer issue certificates. For more, click on German Bishops.
GERMAN BISHOPS REQUEST NEW SYSTEM TO ADVISE ON ABORTION
Decide to Continue With Consultation Centers for Pregnant Women
FULDA, SEP 24 (ZENIT).- The Catholic Church in Germany stated that for the
time being, it wishes to continue with its own consultation centers in the
public system on decriminalized abortion in the country. This statement was
published today by the Episcopal Conference at the conclusion of its meeting
"The German Bishops will try to do everything possible so that in the
future there will be the guarantee of support and help for pregnant women,
especially for those experiencing special needs and difficulties." "For
this reason, the Catholic consultation (centers) will continue in
everything ... with their activity," the statement reads.
The document explains, however, that "a certain number of Bishops have
expressed they are in favor of the introduction of a new system that will
not include the granting of certificates of consultation that allow for the
implementation of abortions."
In a letter sent to the German Bishops at the beginning of this week,
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State, said that "the
certificate will have to serve strictly and exclusively to document the
line of the ecclesial consultation centers at the service of life, and to
guarantee the attribution of promised aid." In no case, can it serve as an
instrument to access abortion.
Showdown looming for November NCCB Meeting of Bishops vs. Universities in upholding Catholic values and principles
While some Catholic colleges and universities remain stubborn in their resolve to not comply with Pope John Paul II's directives in Ex Corde Ecclesiae, his 1990 document on higher education, the United States Bishops are drafting a document that will back the Pope and insist on implementation. The main argument by the Catholic institutions of higher learning is that their status or independence will be threatened but the document assures those rights will be protected, thus eliminating the last vestige of opposition to fulfilling the Holy Father's directive. For more, click on Catholic education .
US BISHOPS STAND FIRM ON CATHOLIC HIGHER ED
WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - A committee of US bishops has
prepared a document calling for a renewal of America's
Catholic colleges and universities ahead of the US bishops'
semi-annual meeting in November, according to the Cardinal
Newman Society on Thursday.
The society reported that the document takes steps to move
closer to the spirit of Pope John Paul II's 1990 document
on higher education Ex Corde Ecclesiae. In that document
the Pope called on each country's bishops to develop norms
specific to Catholic colleges and universities. Patrick
Reilly, Executive Director of the Cardinal Newman Society,
praised the revisions as "prudent and masterful."
"The bishops have not backed off one inch from their
commitment to the renewal of Catholic higher education,"
Reilly said. He added that the document, revised from an
earlier draft, would ensure that colleges would be able to
maintain their Catholic identity in the face of any threats
to their independence or academic excellence.
"These revisions to the bishops' earlier draft should
ensure that this document will be approved in November, and
we can finally move forward," said Manuel Miranda, president
of the society. "All the valid reasons for criticism have
been wiped away. The debate about control and authority is
ended. Let's move forward with the important tasks before
Some groups have criticized the bishops and the Ex Corde
Ecclesia document for seeking to undermine Catholic schools
by tampering with their academic freedom and ability to
attract students in a pluralistic society. Many college
presidents and faculties also worried that the bishops'
document would increase the risk of faculty lawsuits, loss
of accreditation, and denial of public funds.
Among the most controversial provisions were a Vatican
requirement that Catholic theologians must receive a
"mandate" from their local bishop, and provisions stating
presidents and a majority of faculty and trustees should be
Parishioners of Roman parish finally get their church after forty years of waiting. Dedicate it to Saint Peter's immediate successor
A parish established during the early reign of Pope John XXIII finally has its sanctuary 40 years later in the 21st year of the Pope John Paul II's pontificate. The church in question is the new temple dedicated to Saint Peter's immediate successor Pope Saint Linus, which until now had not been built. Some 10,000 parishioners used the parish hall for Masses and liturgical celebrations. The new church will seat 500 at a time and was consecrated by the Holy Father's Vicar of Rome, Cardinal Camillo Ruini. For more, click on New church for St. Linus .
CHURCH IN ROME DEDICATED TO FIRST SUCCESSOR OF ST. PETER
ROME, 24 (NE) A new temple dedicated to the first successor of
the Apostle Peter, St. Linus, was dedicated yesterday in the
city of Rome. The dedication ritual of the new parochial church
was presided by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Pope's Vicar for the
diocese of Rome.
After forty years, the more than ten thousand Roman faithful
belonging to this parish will now have a parochial temple where
to carry out their diverse celebrations. When the parish was
built in 1959, the church could not be built, so parishioners
had to use one of the rooms in the parish to hold celebrations.
The Mass and dedication rite presided by Cardinal Ruini were
carried out yesterday afternoon. The Italian Cardinal thanked
God, together with the faithful, for the blessing that the new
temple means for the community.
The church, that is capable of gathering approximately 500
people seated, was designed by the same architect that projected
the parochial complex. It counts with a square from which one
can sight the impressive dome of St. Peter's Basilica.
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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September 27, 1999 volume 10, no. 183 DAILY CATHOLIC