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MONDAY             August 31, 1998             SECTION ONE              vol 9, no. 170

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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 31:

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World News Service



      VATICAN CITY ( - The Holy See on Thursday summoned the ambassador from Italy to the Vatican on Thursday to deliver a protest over the treatment of the cardinal of Naples in an ongoing probe of organized crime.

      Cardinal Michele Giordano of Naples saw his official offices raided by police last Saturday as they sought evidence of corruption and the funneling of archdiocesan funds to his brother, Mario Giordano, who was arrested on August 20 on charges of money laundering and loan sharking. The Vatican then protested that the probe violated a concordat between Italy and the Vatican that prohibited the search and reported phone taps without first notifying the Vatican.

      Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the Italian ambassador was summoned to a meeting with Vatican Foreign Minister Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran in which the archbishop outlined the Holy See's position on the affair, which media outlets speculated included protests of violations of the concordat. Among other provisions, the treaty protects places of worship from outside interference, which the Vatican says includes chancery offices.


      VATICAN CITY ( - Pope John Paul II in July granted the title of "university" to the Pontifical Atheneum of the Holy Cross, making it the sixth pontifical university in the city of Rome, the Opus Dei order reported this week.

      The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross includes schools of theology, canon law, and philosophy as well as Apollinare Institute of Religious Science. The students include priests and laity, men and women, religious and diocesan candidates for the priesthood. In the 1997-1998 academic year there were 1,326 students enrolled from 65 countries around the world.

      The university is run by the Personal Prelature of Opus Dei, and its chancellor is Bishop Javier Echevarria, the Prelate of Opus Dei. The bishop has said the university is the fulfillment of the vision of the order's founder, Blessed Josemaria Escriva. The seat of the university is in the Apollinare Palace and the library is on the Via San Girolamo della Carita.


      LOS ANGELES ( - The Jewish group conducting formal dialogue with the Vatican has prepared a reply to the Catholic document released in March, Reuters reported on Thursday.

      The news agency said it had obtained a draft copy of the response from the International Jewish Committee on Inter-religious Consultations, which apparently disputes the Vatican's defense of Pope Pius XII as someone who saved hundreds of thousands of Jewish lives during World War Two. The document also reportedly says the Catholic Church herself must bear some responsibility for Hitler's genocidal attack on Jews.

      The report refers to the defense of Pope Pius, saying the Vatican cannot defend a pontiff who "never once explicitly mentioned the Jews in his public pronouncements during World War Two." Some prominent Jewish leaders have praised the Vatican document, "We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah," as well as Pope Pius, while others have denounced both. The Jewish committee report also accuses the Church of complicity in the Holocaust because "Hitler, Himmler, and other Nazi leaders were all baptized Christians who were never excommunicated."

      The committee includes representatives of the Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox branches of Judaism as well as the World Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, B'nai B'rith, and the Israel Interfaith Committee.


      KINSHASA ( - Government soldiers fought back rebel incursions into the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday, carrying out reprisals against rebel soldiers and suspected rebels alike. Meanwhile, the Fides news agency at the Vatican raised the death toll in a weekend massacre to 207, including a priest, nuns, and seminarians.

      Victorious government soldiers prowled Kinshasa during the day, shooting, torturing, and even burning captured rebels. Scattered rebel groups continued to vow that they will capture the city. Congo has been embroiled in violence since August 2 when President Laurent Kabila ordered Rwandan soldiers who helped him come to power last year to leave the country. On Wednesday, Pope John Paul II denounced the massacres of civilians and prisoners, calling for all sides to respect life and honor negotiations.

      The violence now threatens to turn into a witch hunt as Kabila exhorted the public, on television and radio, to turn in suspected traitors and to take up the fight themselves "with spears or arrows, hands, guns, and sticks." Voice of the People radio said, "All enemies must be denounced and arrested."

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.


"By justice a king gives stability to the land; but he who imposes heavy taxes ruins it."

Proverbs 29: 4

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August 31, 1998 volume 9, no. 170   DAILY CATHOLIC