DAILY CATHOLIC    THURSDAY     September 30, 1999     vol. 10, no. 186

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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POPE EXPLAINS PROPER UNDERSTANDING OF INDULGENCES, MAKES PAPAL PLEA FOR EAST TIMOR

        VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Pope John Paul II explained the proper understanding of indulgences during his public audience on Wednesday, September 29.

        Earlier in the month, the Vatican had published a new Manual of Indulgences, explaining how various forms of prayer, penance, and acts of charity could earn partial or even complete remission of the punishment for sins. The Holy Father explained that the "temporal pain" endured by souls in purgatory is a part of the "process of purification" for the sinner. In that process, the repentant sinner is prepared to receive "the fullness of love."

        Through the authority granted by Christ, the Pope continued, the Church has replaced that temporal pain with "concrete steps toward conversion" here on earth. Thus the process of earning indulgences cannot be a matter of "external gestures, done superficially," but must be "a process of interior growth toward actual detachment from sin."

        The Pope spoke to about 16,000 pilgrims in St. Peter's Square. This was his first audience at the Vatican since returning to Rome, having ended his summer stay at Castel Gandalfo.

        Pope John Paul II renewed his call for peace in East Timor, as he closed his public audience. The Holy Father spoke of his "profound sorrow" over the news of killings that took place in Bacau, at the northeast corner of East Timor, on September 26. The massacres there-- occurring after the first arrival of international peacekeeping forces on the island-- took the lives of two missionary nuns. The Pontiff denounced these "massacres committed against unarmed civilians, against Christians, priests, and religious who have given their lives in service to everyone."

        The Pope again called for prayers "for all the victims of the tragedy in Timor," as well as "everyone who is working to help them, and to bring peace to the territory."


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September 30, 1999       volume 10, no. 186
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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