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WEDNESDAY             July 22, 1998             SECTION TWO              vol 9, no. 142

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

The prayer of faith is a prayer of intelligent commitment to God.

     That is what Father John Hampsch, C.M.F. emphasizes today as he begins the section on "Intelligent Commitment" part one" in which he stresses in which he riddles us with a paradox of faith that makes perfect sense if we are intelligent enough to accept. For Father's forty-ninth installment of "Faith: Key to the Heart of God," click on KEYS TO LIVING GOD'S WILL

Forty-Ninth Installment: Intelligent Commitment part 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 July 22:

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World News Service



      VATICAN ( -- Pope John Paul II will end his two-week vacation at a mountain chalet in Lorenzago di Cadore this afternoon.

      Tomorrow, the Holy Father will have his usual Wednesday public audience at the Vatican. After that audience, he will go to his summer residence in Castel Gandalfo, south of Rome.


      AIPATE, Papua New Guinea ( - As the death toll from a devastating series of tidal waves rises to near 3,000, Pacific-area Catholics extended their assistance this week to help survivors and bury the dead.

      The tidal waves, up to 30 feet high, hit the northern coast of Papua New Guinea last Friday after an offshore earthquake, erasing whole villages in this mainly Catholic area which had a population between 8,000 and 10,000 before the disaster. With so many dead and the tropical heat accelerating decomposition, workers are burying the bodies where they lay, contrary to the cultural norms of the people. "It will be hard for them to come to terms with the fact they cannot bury the dead," said Father Jim Croucher. "Culturally they need to spend time with the bodies, telling stories, weeping and crying over the bodies. I don't know how they will cope."

      Murray Greene, a native New Zealander working as diocesan manager for the Diocese of Aitape, praised a concerted effort of Catholic lay volunteers from Australia, New Zealand, America, Germany, and England working with rescue agencies. "People are in shock and hiding in the mangroves and mountains," he told the New Zealand Catholic newspaper.

      Greene added that the town of Aitape and the local church were protected by a peninsula. "But in villages to the west there is total devastation. Yesterday we buried 722 people, out of a population of 6000." He said the mission hospital in Aitape was full to overflowing with injured, mainly fractures from falling and broken houses. "Bodies are decomposing and it is a gruesome task. Identifying them is becoming difficult and we are concerned about infection," said Greene. "We are short of food, water, and tools." Some people were burying relatives themselves, and others were lost at sea, so counting the survivors might be the only means of knowing the total death toll, he said.


      GUATEMALA CITY ( - An Italian-born priest serving a Guatemala church and as an army chaplain was shot and wounded on Monday by unidentified gunmen in his church.

      "The army was profoundly concerned to receive the news of an attack on [Father] Sebastiano Crestani today at 1:40 [1940 GMT] inside San Juan de Borromeo Church," said a faxed statement from the Guatemalan army's information office. Media reports said the 60-year-old priest had been shot five times.

      The attack comes as officials continue to investigate the murder of Auxiliary Bishop Juan Jose Gerardi on April 26, just two days after releasing a report on human rights abuses during the country's 36-year-long civil war.


      MEXICO CITY ( - Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City on Monday strongly rejected government efforts to legalize abortion and said "killing babies does not solve economic and social problems."

      In an interview in the newspaper "El Universal," Cardinal Rivera criticized the statements of Health Secretary Juan Ramon de la Fuente, who supported the legalization of abortion. The archbishop said, "Mexicans should be ashamed of having a government official that promotes baby-killing without ever investing a penny in the promotion of natural family planning."

      "The decision of some government officials to support the legalization of abortion shows their inability to give people what they need, because they think that by killing innocent babies they will solve our social problems," said Cardinal Rivera.

      De la Fuente said the legalization of abortion is needed to reduce the number of women dying from illegal abortions. The cardinal responded, "If the government really wants to reduce female mortality, it should focus not in bogus figures, but on facts: the need to support women during their pregnancy and help them to avoid decisions that do not solve their problems."

      "I think that public health in Mexico has to be improved. There are many basic needs that authorities do not address, but they now try to cover with laws such as the one the Church now and always opposes," he said. Cardinal Rivera added that any effort to legalize abortion will meet with "the strong, openly pro-life position of the Church." He also said, "If the right to life is not respected, what other right will survive?"

      "We are ready to talk with political leaders and parties at any time but we will always reject abortion and stand on the side of life," he concluded.

      In Phoenix, the Cardinal's point was brought home only too clearly when an Arizona abortionist had his medical license suspended on Monday while officials investigate a botched abortion in June and the bleeding death of a woman who had just undergone an abortion in April.

      The Arizona Board of Medical Examiners voted unanimously to suspend the license of Dr. John I. Biskind of Scottsdale. In the April case, Louann Herron, 32, died from a ruptured uterus caused by a medical instrument, which board members said need not have been fatal if proper care had been administered. A criminal investigation into the matter is ongoing.

      In June, Biskind tried to perform an abortion on a 17-year-old girl who he believed was 23 weeks pregnant. In fact, the girl was 37 weeks pregnant and the baby survived the abortion with a fractured skull and lacerations. "Dr. Biskind is incompetent to tell a woman in the middle of her pregnancy from a woman in the end of her pregnancy," Dr. Edward Sattenspiel, a board member, said. "Anybody that does this should not have the right to practice medicine."

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.


     Today is the feast of Saint Mary Magdalene, devoted Disciple of the Lord, while tomorrow we celebrate the feast of Saint Bridget of Sweden. For the readings, liturgy and meditations of both days, click on LITURGY

Wednesday, July 22, 1998


Thursday, July 23, 1998



     Below is the Preface for today's Mass honoring Saint Mary Magdalene:

You enkindled in her heart the fire of an ardent love for Christ that endowed her with freedom of spirit, and you infused in her the courage to follow Christ faithfully, even to Calvary. After His death on the cross, she sought her Master so zealously that she merited to meet the risen Lord and to be the first to announce the Easter joy to the apostles.


"The way of the sluggard is hemmed in as with thorns, but the path of the diligent is a highway."

Proverbs 15: 19

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July 22, 1998 volume 9, no. 142   DAILY CATHOLIC