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FRI-SAT-SUN             July 31-August 2, 1998             SECTION THREE              vol 9, no. 149

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


     For time capsule events in Church History for July 31, August 1, and August 2, click on ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME

Historical Events in Church Annals for July 31:

Historical Events in Church Annals for August 1:

Historical Events in Church Annals for August 2:


with a Catholic slant

provided by
Catholic World News Service



      VATICAN ( -- The government of Vietnam, which has offered several recent pledges to respect religious liberty, is showing its true intent by restricting a traditional Catholic pilgrimage, according to the Vatican news agency Fides.

      Fides has noted that in February 1998, a delegation from the Holy See visited Vietnam and negotiated a series of agreements with the Communist government. The Vietnamese prime minister and Communist Party officials promised to allow the appointment of bishops, and to recognize the role of the Catholic Church in addressing "social ills such as drugs, prostitution, and corruption."

      However, the government reserved the right to control activities which might affect "national and social security." And the government is now making the claim that the national pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of La Vang, scheduled for August 13-15, calls for such restrictions.

      The government has now announced that pilgrims from outside Vietnam itself will not be allowed to participate in this year's pilgrimage, which marks the 200th anniversary of a reported apparition of the Virgin Mary at La Vang. Fides reports that police are also trying to persuade Catholics inside Vietnam that they should not participate in the pilgrimage, and tourist agencies are being warned that they should not organize travel plans for the pilgrims. All these restrictions are being attributed to "security reasons."

      Nevertheless, Father Joseph Duong Duc Toai, who is organizing the pilgrimage, expects up to 120,000 participants. The Catholic bishops of Vietnam have continued to encourage pilgrims to join in the celebration, making this event a challenge to the regime. In a January message to the 8 million Catholics of Vietnam, Pope John Paul II also called attention to the importance of the Marian shrine at La Vang in the life of the Church.


      VATICAN ( -- The 284 Bernini columns and the 88 pillars of St. Peter's Square will be undergoing a process of renovation this summer, in a process that is expected to continue through early October.

      The restoration effort is being done by the German firm of Alfred Karcher, a specialist in the field. The same firm has gained prominence by restoring the Statue of Liberty in New York, the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin, and the famous statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro. The firm uses an environmentally sensitive approach, using water under pressure to clean off accumulated grime.

      The columns and pillars of St. Peter's Square have been seriously damaged and discolored by pollution. The restoration effort-- which is being done on a complimentary basis-- is intended to restore the building for the Jubilee Year 2000. The Italian firm ENI is already at work on restoration of the facade of St. Peter's Basilica.


      SARAJEVO ( - The Croatian representative in the town of Kakanj, where suspected Muslim extremists blew up a Catholic church, said on Wednesday that 14,000 ethnic Croatians out of 18,000 were forced out of Kakanj by Muslims during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the rest of the Croatian population was subjected to persecution.

      Niko Lozancic said that over the last year, there have been numerous terrorist attacks on Croatians in the region. A bazooka was fired on the Franciscan monastery in Kraljeva Sutjeska; Several houses of Croatian refugees who returned to Kakanj were destroyed; A Croatian's shop was attacked; and a house was burned down a month ago. The police have not arrested any suspects, with the exception of one man for murder of a Catholic nun in Kakanj.

      "It was an attempt to scare off returnees," Lozancic said. "I spoke to ordinary people. They asked themselves what will happen to them if even the churches are attacked." Lozancic added that he is still optimistic, since he sees the attacks as the last twitches of Islamic extremists. Muslim returnees in other regions have also been subjected to various forms of harassment and persecution by Croatian extremists where they hold the majority.


      RICHMOND, Virginia ( - A federal appeals court on Wednesday ruled that Virginia's ban on partial-birth abortions will remain in effect while a legal challenge proceeds through the courts.

      The 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request for a temporary injunction by the abortion clinics and abortionists contesting the constitutionality of the law approved earlier this year. The lawsuit, which claims the law is vague, goes to trial on August 18. The ruling is the first time a federal appeals court allowed the law to remain in effect while it is being challenged.

      A state lawyer said the law is easy to understand and clearly states what procedures will trigger it. In partial-birth abortion, the abortionist delivers the baby through the birth canal, feet first, until only his head remains inside. He then pierces the baby's neck, suctions out his brain, collapses the head, and finishes delivering the now-dead baby

      In Washington The House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to ban the use of federal money to implement a homosexual rights ordinance in San Francisco that requires employers doing business with the city to provide health and other benefits to same-sex partners of employees.

      The provision, sponsored by Rep. Frank Riggs, R-California, was narrowly approved 214-212 as an amendment to a wide-ranging appropriations bill, and must survive a House-Senate conference committee that will reconcile differences in funding bills. Riggs said the amendment protects private businesses and charities run by religious groups from being forced to adopt policies they find objectionable.

      Critics said the bill is a "bigoted, mean-spirited attack" on homosexuals, and undermines local autonomy. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said the city has negotiated with Catholic Charities and reached a compromise, which other businesses could also negotiate. But the Salvation Army has already shut down programs serving the needy rather than compromise its principles. "The Salvation Army, which refused to buckle to city policy, forfeited $3.5 million of its $18 million budget," said Riggs, because it didn't want to comply with the city ordinance.

      The bad news was that the US Senate on Wednesday joined the House of Representatives in approving a bill that requires most heath insurance plans for federal employees to cover prescription contraceptives for women.

      The measure, part of the $29.9 billion Treasury Department funding bill, was approved by a voice vote and a final vote on the overall bill was expected on Thursday. The provision's sponsors, Sens. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said they hope this is only the first step to requiring all health insurance in the country to cover contraceptives. "This step sends a signal to insurers nationwide -- prescription contraceptive coverage is a long overdue provision for health plans," Snowe said after the vote.

      The House approved a similar bill two weeks ago. Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, and other Republicans said they decided against fighting the provision in the Senate because they have a better chance to block it when a House-Senate conference committee writes a compromise bill later this year. The newly-approved bill provides exceptions for health care plans that do not cover any prescriptions or plans run by religious groups that object to contraception, most notably the Catholic Church.

      The Senate also approved an amendment by Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, that bans the same health care programs from paying for abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the mother's life. A similar provision has been in place every year since 1984, except in 1993 and 1994.

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.


     This weekend we celebrate two influential saints with the feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits on Friday and on Saturday the feast of a bishop and Doctor of the Church: Saint Alphonsus Liguori. For the liturgies, readings, meditations and vignettes of the above saints for the weekend of the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, click on LITURGY

Friday, July 31, 1998


Saturday, August 1, 1998



Monday, August 3, 1998


     Following is the Prayer from the Preface of the Mass for Saint Ignatius of Loyola:

You called Saint Ignatius to associate himself with Your Son so that, inflamed with love for Him, he would inspire countless souls to seek Your greater glory, to promote greater service to You throughout the world, and to offer Your people a Company marked with apostolic love in Jesus Christ our Lord.

     Following is the Prayer after Communion for the Mass honoring Saint Alphonsus Liguori:

Lord, You made Saint Alphonsus a faithful minister and preacher of this Holy Eucharist. May all who believe in You receive it often and give You never-ending praise.

July 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message

   Dear children! Today, little children, I invite you, through prayer, to be with Jesus, so that through a personal experience of prayer you may be able to discover the beauty of God's creatures. You cannot speak or witness about prayer, if you do not pray. That is why, little children, in the silence of the heart, remain with Jesus, so that He may change and transform you with His love. This, little children, is a time of grace for you. Make good use of it for your personal conversion, because when you have God, you have everything. Thank you for having responded to my call.

For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE

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July 31-August 2, 1998 volume 9, no. 149   DAILY CATHOLIC