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THURSDAY             August 20, 1998             SECTION TWO              vol 9, no. 163

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

Events Today in Church History

     For events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history today, click on TIME CAPSULES: ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME

Historical Events in Church Annals for August 20:

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World News Service



      VATICAN ( -- Pope John Paul II made his first live appearance on the Internet on Saturday, August 15: the feast of the Assumption.

      Greeting pilgrims from his summer residence at Castel Gandalfo, the Pope offered special greetings to those who were on vacation and to those who, because of old age or physical infirmities, are unable to leave their homes.

      The Holy Father himself showed the effects of advancing age during his noon Angelus audience, stopping several times to mop his brow on a hot, humid day. But he also showed a tan-- evidence of the time he had spent outdoors during his own vacation in the Italian Alps.

      The Pope's public appearance was broadcast live on the Internet, in the first such effort made by the Vatican. The Vatican Internet presence will continue to offer papal appearances, which may be accessed live on the Vatican site ( or downloaded from the archives at that site.

      The Vatican has also announced plans to form direct Internet links with the world's bishops, thus allowing instant communication links and a ready means of providing access to documents and statements from the Holy See.


      HAVANA ( - A Cuban Catholic publication that disappeared two years ago after its first issue reappeared this week with the promise of becoming a "regular voice for the Catholic Church" in Cuba.

      A new edition of Aqui La Iglesia (Here, the Church), which appeared for the first -- and last -- time in early 1996 as the official newsletter of the Archdiocese of Havana, was distributed last Sunday in several city parishes with a new design and a special column by Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino.

      "From now on, this will be a regular publication that will exist as a permanent contact between the Chancery and Catholics in the city," said Eduardo Meza, the lay editor of Aqui La Iglesia. Meza explained that the shortage of paper and ink in the country -- which has forced even official publications to reduce their number of pages or their frequency -- made it impossible for the archdiocese to continue the publication. But they now have a reliable source of stock to ensure continuity, Meza said.

      In his first column, Cardinal Ortega made a strong defense for the Cuban family, saying: "Family rights sprout from its own nature as the first and fundamental cell of society. Therefore, these rights are not given by the state, the United Nations, or any other organization." The cardinal also said that the fact that many fathers leave their families for long periods -- for the "voluntary field work organized by the regime" -- divides the Cuban family and makes its development and growth difficult. "The Church does not oppose community work, but believes it should be reconciled with family life," the cardinal said.

      Meza said Aqui La Iglesia will be distributed on a monthly basis in all Catholic parishes in Havana


      NEW ORLEANS ( - The 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a federal law on Tuesday that allowed public school systems to lend library books and computers to private, religious schools, saying the law violated the court-mandated separation of church and state.

      The court used Supreme Court rulings as precedent for the decision, including one which said "secular and religious training are so intertwined that secular textbooks furnished to students by the public are, in fact, instrumental in the teaching of religion." The overturned law was enacted 32-years ago and was first challenged 13 years by Louisiana parents of public school students.

      The court did uphold two state laws that use public funds to pay for special education teachers at parochial schools and to pay for bus drivers for the private schools' students. Those programs provide a secular service that do not advance religion, the court ruled. The Justice Department has not decided whether to appeal.


      CINCINNATI ( - A University of Cincinnati political science professor said this week that Americans are more likely to believe in creationism over evolution that citizens of other countries.

      George Bishop said in an article in the latest edition of Public Perspective: A Roper Center Review of Public Opinion and Polling that about 45 percent of Americans believe God created man within the last 10,000 years, as suggested by a literal reading of the Book of Genesis. Forty percent of Americans hold a theistic evolutionist view that God guided a process by which man evolved over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, and only 10 percent believe in Darwinistic evolution in which God had no part in the development of man from lower life forms.

      Bishop attributed the percentages toward America's continued status as a mainly religious nation. He said those most likely to be creationists are women, older and less educated Americans, southerners, and blacks. Those most likely to believe in theistic evolution are those who are college-educated, under 45 years-old, and mainline Protestant, Catholic, or Jewish. Darwinists are more likely to be men, under 30-years-old, without political party affiliation, and non-religious.

For more headlines and articles, we suggest you go to the Catholic World News site. CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.


"A proverb in the mouth of a fool hangs limp, like crippled legs."

Proverbs 26: 7

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August 20, 1998 volume 9, no. 163   DAILY CATHOLIC