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TUESDAY      September 28, 1999      SECTION TWO       vol 10, no. 184

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, treating today the fourth and final part of the Pontifical Councils. For the twentieth installment, click on APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH


The Pontifical Councils
part four

SIMPLY SHEEN: Hatching 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".

"Religion starts with an emptying of self. The Spirit cannot come into the soul until the ego begins to hang outside its tinsel dwelling the sigh: 'Immediate Occupancy.' The ego or the selfish part of existence has to be broken like the shell of an egg before there can be the development of the personality which at the beginning is as helpless as a chick."


    Today is the only day we commemorate Ordinary Time, but it is shared with the Feast of Saint Wenceslaus, ruler and martyr plus the Feast of Saint Lawrence Ruiz, husband and father, and his companion martyrs. Tomorrow we begin a string of four glorious feasts with the Feast of the Archangels Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel, and Saint Raphael. For the readings, liturgies, meditations, and vignettes on all these feasts, click on DAILY LITURGY.

Tuesday, September 28, 1999



Wednesday, September 29, 1999


    For the Feast of Saint Wenceslaus, we bring you Opening Prayer for the Mass in his honor:

Lord, You taught Your martyr Wenceslaus to prefer the kingdom of Heaven to all that the earth has to offer. May his prayers free us from our self-seeking and help us to serve You with all our hearts.

    For the Feast of Saint Lawrence Ruiz and his companion martyrs of Nagasaki, Japan we bring you Opening Prayer for the Mass in their honor:

Lord God, in our service to You and to our neighbor give us the patience of the holy martyrs Lawrence and his companions; for those who suffer persecution for justice' sake are blessed in the kingdom of Heaven.

Events Today in Church History

    Today is the twenty-first anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul I, the immediate predecessor of our current Vicar of Christ. Cardinal Albino Luciano was chosen on August 26th and, in effect, served thirty-three days, dying mysteriously in his bed. He was the first Pontiff in history to take two names of previous Popes out of respect for the two preceding Popes. 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 28:


"But when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, 'Lord, wilt Thou that we bid fire come down from Heaven and consume them?' But He turned and rebuked them, saying, 'You do not know of what manner of spirit you are; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.'"

Luke 9: 54-56

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant



John Paul II Addresses A Favorite Topic

    CASTEL GANDOLFO, SEP 26 (ZENIT).- Today, John Paul II once again addressed a topic that has interested him enormously since his youth: the relation between faith and reason. He spoke on this subject a year after signing the encyclical "Fides et Ratio" (Faith and Reason), in which he proposed a new dialogue between contemporary philosophy and theology.

    The Pope focused especially on the role of reason in the road to faith. Reason, he said, "is already present in the mature act of faith, because the latter, although founded on the 'authority of God who reveals,' develops in a profoundly reasonable way through the perception of 'signs' that God Himself has given in the history of salvation," the Pontiff explained.

Signs of the Spirit

    "Obviously, it is not about 'proofs,' as is the case in the field of experimental science. God's signs are to be found in the context of interpersonal communication. According to the latter's logic, not only is it related to reasoning, but also to a profound existential commitment. In this condition, and supported by interior grace, they become luminous indicators, a kind of 'signs of the Spirit,' which indicate the presence of God and impel man to abandon himself to God with full confidence."

    But the role of reason in the life of the believer is not limited to this. "Mature faith challenges intelligence, committing the latter, in St. Anselm's expression, 'to seek what it loves.' Thus faith becomes not only reasonable but also 'reasoning,' " the Pontiff, who is a doctor of philosophy and theology, said.

    The Holy Father is convinced that there can be no faith without reason, nor full reason without faith. "What is more, it can be said that 'one is in the other': on one hand it is necessary to believe to perceive something of the mystery that transcends us; on the other, it is necessary to understand so that faith will be reasonable and increasingly mature."

Farewell to Castel Gandolfo

    After appealing to the international community for aid to Taiwan, the Pope greeted a group of officers and sailors of the Chilean Navy in Spanish; they sang an song composed in the Pontiff's honor entitled "Messenger of Life."

    The people of Castel Gandolfo, located some 30 kilometers south of Rome, took advantage of the occasion to bid the Pontiff farewell; he returns to the Vatican this week, at the end of summer vacations.

    Finally, the Pope received members of the Italian Air Force and their families in audience. He thanked them for accompanying him in his pastoral trips within Italy, he praised their technical and professional training and, as he usually does at the end of September, he decorated some of them with pontifical honors. ZE99092607


    NEW YORK ( - Cardinal John O'Connor of New York called on Catholics in the archdiocese on Sunday to register their disapproval of a piece in a Brooklyn Museum that depicts painting of the Virgin Mary with elephant dung smeared on it.

    In his Sunday sermon at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Cardinal O'Connor said: "I'm saddened by what appears to be an attack not only on our Blessed Mother ... but one must ask if it is not an attack on religion itself and in a special way on the Catholic Church." He also reserved words of praise for city officials he also condemned the display.

    Mayor Rudolph Giuliani had pledged to cut off the Brooklyn Museum of Art's $7 million in annual funding from the city -- one-third of its budgets -- unless the painting was removed before the exhibit opens on Friday.

    The painting, "The Holy Virgin Mary," depicts Mary with dark skin, African features, and flowing robes and includes a shellacked clump of elephant dung and two dozen cutouts of buttocks from pornographic magazines. The artist, Chris Ofili, 30, a black Catholic who was born in England and lives there, has said he used the pornographic images because classical images of Mary are often "sexually charged."

    New York Civil Liberties Union director Norman Siegel said the mayor's threats to cut the funding "violates the First Amendment. His assertion that New York City can withdraw all funds for the museum based on a single exhibition that he finds offensive illustrates a serious misunderstanding of the Constitution." But Giuliani defended his statement, saying: "There is nothing in the First Amendment that supports horrible and disgusting projects. If you're going to use taxpayers' dollars, you have to be sensitive to the feelings of the public."


    VATICAN ( -- The Vatican has emphatically rejected the message contained in a series of recent news reports, which had suggested that the Holy See was relenting in its opposition to UN family-planning programs that emphasize abortion and contraception.

    In a statement formally released on September 27, Joaquin Navarro- Valls-- the head of the Vatican press office-- remarked that "the Holy See has not changed its well-known position." Navarro-Valls used the occasion to underline the Vatican's opposition to the use of abortion, abortifacients, and artificial contraceptives as means of family planning.

    Last week Nafis Sadik, the head of the UN's Population Fund (UNFPA), had issued a public statement claiming that the Holy See was backing off its opposition to the UNFPA's efforts. Sadik made that remark in a September 22 report on the activities undertaken by her agency since the 1993 Cairo Conference.

    Navarro-Valls said that in accepting the report of the Cairo Conference, the Vatican had not endorsed the UNFPA's definition of certain controversial terms such as "contraception," "family planning," "reproductive rights," "female controlled methods," "the widest possible range of family planning services," "new options," and "under-utilized methods." The Holy See, he continued, would oppose any "'family planning' services which do not respect the freedom of the spouses, human dignity, and the human rights of the interested parties."

    Specifically, the Vatican spokesman continued, the Holy See would continue emphatically to oppose any family-planning campaign which includes abortion or "emergency contraception." He also said that the Vatican would continue to speak out against an approach to sexuality-- often found in the work of the UNFPA-- which is "inspired by a vision of sexuality which does not give due consideration to the dimension of reciprocity that is constituted by the expression of mutual love."


    VATICAN ( -- The Catholic bishops of Canada met with Pope John Paul II on Saturday, September 25, for their ad limina visit.

    During the discussion, the Pope spoke of the "prodigious fruits" of the Second Vatican Council, and the "new spiritual vitality" that is most manifest among the laity.

    The Pope told the Canadian bishops that it is essential to rediscover "the sense of complementarity and communion" between priests and lay people. He argued that the image of the Church as a sheepfold had the negative effect of suggesting that lay people have a "strictly passive and dependant" role. In fact, he said, priests should see themselves as servants of the laity, as well as ministers set apart from the congregation for that special service. Lay people, on the other hand, should recognize that their role is "to promote the art of being Christian in the world."

    The Pontiff urged the Canadian bishops to guard against the danger of confusing the proper roles of priests and laity, saying that such a crisis in vocational identity works to the detriment of priests and lay people alike. Priests should not become "politicized," he said; and lay people should not become "clericalized."

Finally the long-awaited books
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 28, 1999 volume 10, no. 184   DAILY CATHOLIC