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July 24-26, 1998
SECTION THREE   vol 9, no. 144
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO
This weekend is pretty ordinary as in Ordinary Time except for Saturday when we celebrate the feast of SAINT JAMES THE APOSTLE. Though the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time supercedes the feast of Saint Anne and Joachim, we bring you vignettes on the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary. For the liturgies, readings, meditations and story of St. James, plus St. Anne and St. Joachim, click on LITURGY
Friday, July 24, 1998
First Reading: Jeremiah 3: 14-17
Psalms: Jeremiah 31: 10-13
Gospel Reading: Matthew 13: 18-23
Saturday, July 25, 1998
First Reading: 2 Corinthians 4: 7-15
Psalms: Psalm 126: 1-6
Gospel Reading: Matthew 20: 20-28
FEAST OF SAINT JAMES THE APOSTLE
Known as Saint James the Greater because he was called to be an Apostle before the other James, he was also the older brother of Saint John the Evangelist who were sons of Zebedee and Salome. He followed his brother John to the shores of the Jordan River where he was called by Jesus to be "fishers of men." James was one of the three privileged Apostles, along with Peter and John, to witness three miraculous events - the healing of Peter's mother-in-law (cf Matthew 1: 29-31), resurrection of the daughter of Jairus (cf. Mark 5: 37-43) and the Transfiguration of Jesus (cf. Mark 9: 2-8). James was also present in the agony of Garden as one of the few apostles who accompanied Jesus there and fell asleep. Jesus affectionately called James a "son of thunder" because of his great flaming love of his soul for the Son of God. James revealed his humanity in Luke 9: 51-56 when James impetuously railed about calling down fire from Heaven on the Samaritans because of their lack of faith and in the famous scene in Mark 10: 35-45 where the two brothers ask Jesus for the privilege of sitting at His right side in Heaven. But after Pentecost all imperfections faded and James went on to preach the Gospel in Samaria and Judea, then traveled a great distance to Spain where he evangelized. In Zaragosa, Spain around 40 AD the Blessed Mother made her first recorded apparition, this before her Assumption, appearing to James in a vision as Our Lady of Pilar because she stood on a pillar with the angels supporting it. Her purpose was to summon him back to Jerusalem where he was martyred by beheading at the hands of Herod Agrippa around 43 AD. He was buried in Jerusalem but his relics were transfered to Compostela, Spain in 830 where they remain today.
SUNDAY, July 26, 1998
First Reading: Genesis 18: 20-32
Psalms: Psalm 138: 1-3, 6-8
Second Reading: Colossians 2: 12-14
Gospel Reading: Luke 11: 1-13
Though it is not celebrated because it is on Sunday, July 26 is...
The Feast of Saint Joachim and Saint Anne, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The apocryphal Protoevangelium of St. James claims that the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joachim and Saint Anne were sterile, yet an angel predicted Mary's birth to Joachim after he had spent 40 days in the desert fasting and praying. Anne was too old by biological standards to give birth, but God in His Providence miraculously allowed Anne to be impregnated with the wondrous Immaculate Conception. At Mary's birth she was given the name Miriam which was shortened to Mary and, at a very early age, Joachim and Anne consecrated her to God sending her off to the Temple to study and live her Hebrew faith. St. Anne or Ann, which means "grace," was, along with Joachim, given special graces for their faithfulness, and the greatest grace was that they were chosen to be the parents of the Mother of God and the grandparents of Jesus, Son of God. St. Anne is considered the patron of mothers and of special importance to children and she is greatly venerated in Canada, specifically at the massive St. Anne Beaupre Basilica in Quebec. At first St. Anne was the only one recognized in the Church dating back to the crusades, but St. Joachim was added in 1584 by Pope Gregory XIII and the two feasts were combined into one day; originally this was March 20, the day after the feast of St. Joseph, but in 1969 the Church, through recommendation of the Second Vatican Council, moved the date to July 26th.
Monday, July 27, 1998
First Reading: Jeremiah 13: 1-11
Psalms: Deuteronomy 32: 18-21
Gospel Reading: Matthew 13: 31-35
WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant
Cardinal Ratzinger clarifies Apostolic Letter on Bishops' Conferences for media
With the Holy Father enjoying his second day of summer residency in the cooler clime of the hills above Rome at Castel Gondolfo, Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith met with the media and other officials yesterday to officially release and explain the Pope's Apostolic Letter Apostolos Suos which regulates Bishops' Conferences and their authority via theological and canonical norms. For more, click on Apostolos Suos
CHURCH OFFICIALS EXPLAIN BISHOPS-CONFERENCE RULES
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- At a press conference in Rome today,
introducing the new apostolic letter Apostolos Suos, Cardinal Joseph
Ratzinger explained that a statement issued by an episcopal
conference cannot be considered authoritative unless the bishops
adopt it unanimously, because the truths of the faith are not decided
by majority votes.
The prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was
helping reporters to analyze the motu proprio formally issued today
by Pope John Paul II, setting forth the proper role of the national
bishops' conferences. (For a fuller description of the apostolic letter,
see yesterday's CWN news feature.)
Cardinal Ratzinger briefed the press along with several other ranking
Church officials: Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, the secretary of the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Cardinal Miloslav Vlk of
Prague, the president of the council of European bishops' conferences;
Archbishop Francesco Monterisi, the secretary of the Congregation
for Bishops (who was representing the newly appointed prefect of
that Congregation, Cardinal Moreiera Neves, who has not yet arrived
in Rome to take up his new post); and Archbishop Julian Herranz,
president of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of
Legislative Texts-- the body charged with the interpretation of Canon
The Pope's letter affects the 108 episcopal conferences around the
world. (It does not affect the 12 groups which bring together the
heads of episcopal conferences in various geographical regions, nor
does it affect the synods of bishops that govern Eastern Catholic
Cardinal Ratzinger pointed out that the Pope's letter upheld the
position of individual bishops who might be in the minority within
an episcopal conference, but remain the authoritative teachers of
their own dioceses. He emphasized that each bishops carries personal
responsibility for the work of the episcopal conference, and that
responsibility cannot be delegated to committees or staff aides.
Archbishop Monterisi observed that the papal document had been
prepared in response to a request made by several bishops during
the special synod of 1985. During the ten-year process of preparing
the document, he added, there had been an extensive process of
consultation with all of the world's episcopal conferences. The first
draft of what would eventually become Apostolos Suos was conveyed
to the world's bishops in January 1988, and the bishops' responses
were incorporated into later drafts prepared by the Congregation for
the Doctrine of the Faith in collaboration with the Council for
Archbishop Herranz, the head of that latter body, said that the
apostolic letter itself has "the power of universal law," and that
individual episcopal conferences may not change the rules set forth
by the Holy Father in this letter. It is, he said, "an ordinary
instrument of the legislative activity by the Supreme Pastor of the
Archbishop Herranz said that the most important new teaching
contained in Apostolos Suos involves the doctrinal authority of the
bishops' conferences. On that point, the Pope made it clear that a
doctrinal statement could be considered final only if it was endorsed
unanimously by every diocesan bishop belonging to the conference.
All of the participants at the press conference agreed that a
document issued by a committee of bishops, or by the conference
staff, would have "informational" value, but must be regarded as
"provisional." Such documents should not be published in the name
of the bishops' conference, they said.
Archbishop Herranz also pointed to other new elements in the
apostolic letter, such as the requirement that the president of the
episcopal conference must be an active diocesan bishop, rather than
an auxiliary or titular bishop, and that the voting system within the
conference must not allow auxiliary bishops to hold a majority.
Government cover-up takes strange twist as Guatamalan police point finger at priest for murder of bishop, suggest tryst with secretary.
It would seem, in an effort to throw off suspicion of their own soldiers, the Guatamala government is now accusing the priest who discovered the murdered body of Auxiliary Bishop Juan Joseph Gerardi, a crusader for civil rights. Using trumped-up charges against Father Mario Leonel Orantes Najera, Guatamalan authorities also arrested the bishop's cook Margarita Lopez accusing her of having an affair with both Fr. Najera and the slain bishop. For more, click on arrest
PRIEST, COOK ARRESTED IN GUATEMALA BISHOP MURDER
GUATEMALA CITY (CWNews.com) - Guatemalan authorities on
Wednesday arrested a priest and a cook in connection with
the murder of Auxiliary Bishop Juan Joseph Gerardi in April.
Father Mario Leonel Orantes Najera and Margarita Lopez were
arrested at the San Sebastian church where they worked with
the bishop. Bishop Gerardi was found dead on April 26 in
the garage of the church rectory, having been beaten to
death with a cement block. Father Orantes was brought
before investigating judge Isaias Figueroa Medina on
Wednesday for questioning, but officials did not release
any evidence that led to the arrests.
Human rights leaders have blamed Bishop Gerardi's death on
participants in the country's 36-year civil war for a
report on human rights abuses the bishop released just two
days before. The spokesman for Guatemala's conference of
bishops, Archbishop Victor Hugo Martinez, expressed
surprise at the arrest but said he wanted to hear evidence
before commenting. The only man previously arrested in the
case was Carlos Enrique Vielman, 24. His attorney, Mario
Alfonso Menchu, insisted that Vielman was innocent and
raised the suggestion that Father Orantes might have been
Now it's up to the Senate to finish the override of Clinton's Partial-birth ban veto.
A pro-life House of Representatives easily passed an override of Bill Clinton's veto of the Partial Birth Abortion ban. However the real test comes next in the U.S. Senate where Republican pro-lifers are furiously mustering as many votes they can to let the President know America will not go along with the culture of death. A two-thirds majority is needed to effect the override and speculation now is that they are still three to five votes short. Memo to the senators: There's always prayer!!! For more, click on veto override.
HOUSE OVERRIDES PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTION VETO
WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - The US House on Thursday
voted to override President Bill Clinton's veto of a bill
banning partial-birth abortions, but pro-life Senators were
still several votes short of a similar override.
Clinton vetoed the bill last October, and congressional
supporters of the bill delayed a crucial vote until more
support could be rallied in the Senate and to make the
president's veto a part of the 1998 congressional election
campaign. The Senate passed the bill last year by a vote of
64-36, three votes less than the two-thirds majority needed
for an override. Thursday's House override vote passed by a
The bill would ban partial-birth abortions -- which
involves the partial delivery of the baby through the birth
canal after which the abortionist pierces his skull and
suctions out his brain -- except to save the life of the
mother. Several states have already passed similar bans,
but legal challenges have overturned some of them.
House of Lords exhibits commons sense; not exactly something common with House of Commons
Maybe common sense and decency are returning to England after all. After the House of Commons voted to reject the House of Commons mandate that the age of consent be lowered for homosexuals. Their greatest fears are that it will open up more problems and make the spread of the gay lifestyle more available to younger people. Though their rejection is not a legal vote, it does carry a lot of weight within the British government and hopefully the homosexual measure will die. For more, click on House of Lords .
BRITISH LORDS BLOCK HOMOSEXUAL AGE CONSENT LAW
LONDON (CWNews.com) - The British House of Lords on
Wednesday voted to block a proposed law passed by the House
of Commons that would have lowered the age of consent for
homosexual sex from 18 years old to 16.
The upper House of Lords, which is not elected, cannot veto
legislation, but only delay it, although such delays can
often disrupt the legislative agenda. Religious leaders and
Conservative Party members united in opposition to the
measure. "Do we really want to open the floodgates of
suffering even further than they are already?" said
Britain's chief rabbi, Lord Jakobovits, speaking in the
debate about the threat of AIDS to young people.
After the vote, the government said it was "considering its
position," although it may decide to accept the Lords'
rejection rather than threaten its legislative timetable by
scheduling a Commons' vote to overrule it.
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.
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July 24-26, 1998 volume 9, no. 144 DAILY CATHOLIC