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MONDAY             July 20, 1998             SECTION TWO              vol 9, no. 140

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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 July 20:

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World News Service



      VATICAN ( -- Pope John Paul II is enjoying a restful break from his usual duties, and quickly recovering his energy during his vacation in the Dolomite Mountains, Joaquin Navarro-Valls told reporters today.

      While jealously guarding the privacy of the papal retreat, the Vatican spokesman offered reporters a pair of photos of the Pope's recent excursions. In one shot the Pope is wearing a large hat and a vest over his cassock as he walks through the mountains; in the other he is hatless, standing in the shade and looking out over the mountains from a height of nearly 8,000 feet. In each snapshot, the Pope is using two walking-sticks, almost like ski poles-- one in each hand.

      Navarro-Valls said that the Pope wanted to convey his gratitude to the people of the region, who had helped prepare his vacation and had guarded his privacy with "delicate efficiency and discretion."

      The papal spokesman said that the Holy Father is not working on any special project during the vacation. (His encyclical on faith and reason is already complete, and is now being translated into several different languages, to be ready for publication.) He has brought several dossiers of work, Navarro-Valls said, and consults them from time to time. He added that the Pope is also reading a work of modern philosophy, which he declined to identify.

      A Vatican spokesman said Pope John Paul II has been saddened by the news of the firebombing that killed three boys in Northern Ireland this past weekend, and is "concerned about the future of the peace process," according to his press spokesman.

      Briefing reporters at Lorenzago di Cadore, where the Pope is spending a two-week vacation, Joaquin Navarro-Valls said that the Holy Father has been following the latest developments in Northern Ireland with keen interest and concern, and offering his prayers for the cause of peace.


      STEUBENVILLE, Ohio ( -- The Franciscan University of Steubenville has presented the 1998 Courage in Faith Award to Father John Harvey, OSFS, the founder of the Courage, a group which helps homosexuals to live chaste lives.

      Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, the president of the university, cited Father Harvey's defense of the Church teaching on homosexuality and his loving support for those men and women who want to be chaste. "Father Harvey has been attacked and called names," Scanlan said. "He takes all the heat and yet never turns from giving a compassionate defense of the truth and the Catholic faith. He is an example to us all."

      In receiving the award, during a Defending the Faith conference on the Ohio campus, Father Harvey warned that proponents of legalizing same-sex "marriage" are on the offensive, using their power and influence to press for changes in the nation's law. He continued: "They would intimidate us with that power and influence into accepting that gay marriage is on the same level as Catholic marriage. Well, we won't be intimidated. "

      Franciscan University established the Courage in Faith Award in 1997 to honor those who demonstrate outstanding leadership in defense of Catholic teaching. Last year the honor went to Msgr. George Kelly, president emeritus of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars.


      NEW DELHI ( -- India's All India Catholic Union (AICU) has urged the federal government to take serious note of Hindu fundamentalists' open threat to carry out massive program "to reconvert" Christians in northeastern India.

      A senior leader of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad-- the World Council of Hindus, or VHP-- last week unveiled the Hindu revivalist group's ambitious plan of "mass conversion of Christians to Hinduism" in the northeast, where three of the seven tiny Indian states have Christian majorities. The threat comes amid Christian complaints of "forced" reconversion of thousands of tribal Christians by Hindu cadre groups in central India.

      Calling for "strict action" against those "provoking communal discord," the Indian lay group reminded Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee that such proclamations threaten "the unity and integrity of the country." The statement expressed regrets that senior leaders of the coalition government "have kept quiet, and have chosen not to denounce [the VHP statement] as inflammatory."

      "The silence of the government and the BJP leadership in the face of the coercive arrogance" implicit in the threat, AICU statement said, "makes it clear that such provocative programs have the covert or overt support of the party in power." The statement urged the government "to wake up to the dangers" of posed by the Hindu zealots "which threaten the social fabric, the peace and the tranquility" in the northeast of India.


      STOCKTON, California ( -- A jury has ordered the Diocese of Stockton, California, to pay $30 million in damages to a pair of brothers who were sexually molested by a Catholic priest.

      John and James Howard were each awarded $6 million in compensatory damages and $24 in punitive damages. The judgment against the Stockton diocese comes just a week after the Diocese of Dallas agreed to pay $24 million to victims of sexual abuse by a priest there.

      Father Oliver O'Grady, the priest who molested the Howard brothers in the 1970s, is now serving a 14- year prison term after being convicted in 1994 on sexual-abuse charges. Their lawyers had argued that the Stockton diocese covered up a history of child-abuse incidents, thus in effect aiding the priest in his misdeeds.

      Bishop Donald Montrose of Stockton asked the forgiveness of the Howard family, but said that he was disappointed by the jury verdict.

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.

June 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message

   Dear children! Today I desire to thank you for living my messages. I bless you all with my motherly blessing and I bring you all before my Son Jesus. Thank you for having responded to my call.

For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE

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July 20, 1998 volume 9, no. 140   DAILY CATHOLIC