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July 3-5, 1998
SECTION THREE   vol 9, no. 129
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO
WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant
Breakthrough in Dallas settlement that could salvage Diocese
Would you rather have one hundred million dollars on paper in promisory note or thirty million in hand? The latter would seem to be the unanimous response of the plaintiffs in the 119.3 million case awarded last summer in the Rudy Kos abuse trial. Plaintiffs are expected to waive the jury's settlement, thus taking it off the record legally and paving the way for the plaintiffs to receive their money fairly soon with the Diocese paying 3.1 million to each and the insurance companies picking up the balance of 4.4 million. Bishop Charles Grahmann was delighted with this breakthrough, citing an "end to this long period of sadness." For more, click on Dallas settlement
NEWSPAPER: DALLAS DIOCESE SETTLES LAWSUIT JUDGMENT
DALLAS (CWNews.com) - A tentative settlement has been
reached between the Diocese of Dallas and eight plaintiffs
who wan a portion of a record $119.6 million judgment
against the diocese for sexual abuse by a priest, The
Dallas Morning News newspaper reported on Thursday.
The newspaper said the eight remaining plaintiffs have
agreed to settle the claims for $22.5 million. The three
other plaintiffs agreed in March to a $7.5 million
settlement, allowing the diocese to settle the whole case
for $30 million instead of the nearly $120 million which
could have bankrupted the diocese.
The diocese had been found liable in a jury trial last year
of knowing that former priest Rudolph Kos abused children
over a period of ten years and did not take steps to
prevent it. Kos is now serving a lengthy prison term.
Survey shows increases in vocations in poorer countries offset the lack of vocations in Europe
Paralleling the time of the Protestant Reformation when Europe suffered badly in defections and the new world gained greatly in conversions, the Vatican released a survey late this week that illustrates the Catholic population has dropped in Europe and even North America while gaining substantially in third world countries of Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia - all missionary targets of thirty to fifty years ago which today are bearing great fruit. For more, click on vocations
VATICAN STATISTICS SHOW GROWTH IN THIRD WORLD
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- The Vatican publishing house, Libreria
Editrice Vaticana, today announced the publication of an annual
statistical survey, covering the year 1996.
Looking at a trend which began in 1978, the survey finds an increase
in the number of priestly ordinations and religious vocations in
Africa, Latin America, eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia, but a
decrease in North American and in Western Europe.
The geographical distribution of the world's Catholic population has
also shifted. In 1978, 35.5 percent of the world's Catholics lived in
Europe, and 7.8 percent in North America; today those figures have
dropped to 28.5 percent and 7.1 percent, respectively. But Africa,
which had 7.3 percent of the world's Catholics in 1978, now boasts
11. 0 percent. Similarly, Latin America has boosted its share of the
Catholic population from 10.8 to 12.0 percent, and Southeast Asia
from 7.5 to 10.1 percent.
In Europe, the decline in priestly and religious vocations has been
most pronounced in France and Belgium, followed by Italy, Spain,
Germany, and Ireland - while Poland, Ukraine, and Romania have
The same general trends are visible in the distribution of
seminarians. The African countries-- especially Nigeria, Tanzania,
and Congo-- are seeing a rise in seminary attendance. Latin America
now accounts for 17 percent of the world's seminarians. But
seminary figures are declining in North America (again, particularly
in the United States and Europe.
A minor surprise comes with the statistics involving permanent
deacons. North America-- and more particularly the United States--
once dominated the ranks of the permanent deaconate. Now their
proportion is declining, as Europe and Central America gain a larger
The Vatican survey does not include figures for lay movements.
Spanish Catholics not so gay over gay legislation
While Portuguese Catholics staged a sit-in last week that helped defeat abortion, their Spanish neighbors in Catalonia were not quite so fortunate in respect to a same-sex referendum that legitimizes homosexuality, thus giving it the same status as the married state. Spanish bishops were outraged, insisting that such a measure institutionalizes " immoral behaviour of homosexuality" which the Church can never condone. For more, click on Gay agenda.
SPANISH CATHOLICS SLAM SAME-SEX COUPLE RIGHTS
MADRID (CWNews.com) - Catholics in the Spanish region of
Catalonia protested on Wednesday against new regulations
giving homosexual and lesbian couples some of the rights
traditionally given to married couples.
The new law gives same-sex couples the same inheritance and
alimony rights as married couples, but does not allow
adoption. "This law is institutionalizing the immoral
behaviour of homosexuality," the Spanish bishops'
conference said in a statement. "The Church cannot condone
homosexuality." Homosexual groups applauded the measure as
opening the door to same-sex marriage. "The law is a
positive step because for the first time the homosexual
couple is being recognized as a form of marriage, and is
being given rights accordingly," said Jordi Petit,
secretary general of the Barcelona-based International Gay
and Lesbian Association.
Petit dismissed the bishops' conference's remarks as
unacceptable and meddling. "This is the first time that
this kind of law has been passed in a Catholic country, and
serves as an important reference for Latin American
nations," Petit said.
Peace in Northern Ireland shattered with bombing of churches
Despite the peace accord reached a few months ago and the overwhelming vote, radical Protestants continue to get in the way, evidenced by the fact that, upset over not being allowed to march through the Catholic section of Belfast, sprayed ten Roman Catholic churches and several homes in Belfast with firebombs. Fortunately, as far as reports we've heard, no one was injured but for the first time since the Good Friday accord, tension returns to this hotbed of violence over the past few decades. For more, click on Protestant revolt .
10 CATHOLIC CHURCHES FIREBOMBED IN NORTHERN IRELAND
BELFAST (CWNews.com) - Ten Catholic churches in Northern
Ireland were damaged by arsonists Wednesday night, and two
of them were destroyed in action police say is linked to a
loyalist march planned for Sunday.
The Orange Order, Northern Ireland's major pro-British
Protestant fraternal order, was ordered by the government
Parades Commission on Monday that they could not bring
their annual parade on Sunday through a Catholic
neighborhood this weekend. Similar bans in 1997 and 1996
sparked rioting and violence throughout the province.
Fearful that rising tensions could undermine April's peace
agreement, British Prime Minister Tony Blair flew into
Belfast today to meet top political and religious leaders
and to inspect at least one of the damaged churches.
Nine of the churches were in predominantly Protestant rural
areas between Belfast and Portadown, 30 miles away and the
location of the banned parade. The tenth church in
Protestant east Belfast suffered minor damage. Gasoline
bombs were also thrown at two Catholic homes in Protestant
east Londonderry. No group claimed responsibility for any
of the attacks, but police linked them to members of an
outlawed pro-British gang, the Loyalist Volunteer Force.
Castro comes to the Cardinal
In an unprecedented move that was kept from the press, Communist leader Fidel Castro stole away and met with Cardinal Pio Laghi while the Apostolic Nuncio was in Cuba for the feast of Saints Peter and Paul. The fact Castro went out of his way to go to the local nuncio's quarters rather than the other way around indicates the Cuban dictator may be willing to compromise further. For more, click on Castro .
CASTRO MEETS WITH APOSTOLIC NUNCIO
HAVANA (CWNews.com) - A Catholic Church source in Havana
confirmed on Wednesday that President Fidel Castro held an
"informal conversation" at the residence of the apostolic
nuncio to Cuba, Archbishop Beniamino Stella, after the
celebration of the Saints Peter and Paul feast on Monday.
The theme of the conversation was not made public, but the
sources said that the two-hour long conversation referred
to the visit of Cardinal Pio Laghi, prefect of the
Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education. During his
five-day long visit, which ended on Tuesday, Cardinal Laghi
insisted on the right of the Catholic Church to run Catholic
schools. "A secular state means precisely that is not
involved in religious issues, and therefore does not favor
or oppose religious education," Cardinal Laghi said during
The source said "there is a mild hope" that some new leeway
could be granted by the government to the Catholic Church.
But, he also made clear that "the Catholic Church is
hoping, but not yet counting, on such new leeway."
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.
Friday, July 3, 1998
First Reading: Ephesians 2: 19-22
Psalms: Psalm 117: 1-2
Gospel Reading: John 20: 24-29
FEAST OF SAINT THOMAS THE APOSTLE
Though Saint Thomas the Apostle is often referred to as the "Doubting Apostle," in truth he was one of the most faithful, believing of Christ's disciples. This is confirmed in John 11: 16 when Thomas boldly encourages his fellow apostles to go with Jesus to Lazarus where the fear was that they might be stoned, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him." That does not display doubt, but rather undying faith. But Thomas, being human and having withered the many storms Christ underwent, expressed the sentiment many would. In other words, it was almost too much to believe that Jesus had risen. To allay any further sorrow, Thomas put up a defense to the other Apostles with his famous, "Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe." In other words, "don't tease me!" Christ understood and was gentle with Thomas, rebuking him mildly in John 20: 27-29 with "...and be not unbelieving, but believing...Because thou hast seen Me, thou has believed. Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed." The last sentence is a great lesson in faith for the majority of us have not seen, yet we believe. That's faith. This event also occurred before the Descent of the Holy Spirit. Even before this Thomas had pledged his undying loyalty with his famous response to Our Lord in John 20: 28, "My Lord and my God!" It was Thomas' way of asking forgiveness for doubting. After Christ's Ascension Thomas was sent to preach in Parthia and the Indies where he gained the glorious crown of martyrdom. In 1972 Pope Paul VI proclaimed him "Patron Saint of India."
Saturday, July 4, 1998
Saturday July 4:
Fourteenth Saturday in Ordinary Time and
Feast of Saint Elizabeth of Portugal, wife, queen, and mother and
Observance of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday
Green or white vestments
First Reading: Amos 9: 11-15
Psalms: Psalm 85: 9, 11-14
Gospel Reading: Matthew 9: 14-17
FEAST OF SAINT ELIZABETH OF PORTUGAL
Saint Elizabeth of Portugal was named after her great-aunt Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. Born to of King Peter III of Aragon in 1271, Elizabeth was married off at the age of 12 to Denis, king of Portugal. She bore two children - Constance the future queen of Castile, and Alphonse, successor to the Portuguese throne. Denis was a rogue and fathered multiple children out of wed-lock with numerous women. Rather than leaving him, Elizabeth not only prayed and fasted for him, but went out of her way to provide for the education of these illegitimate children. She constantly was the peacemaker between father and son when strong-headed Alphonse took up arms against Denis. Satan did all he could to hurt Elizabeth, but her faith and devout austerity prevailed. After Denis' death in 1325, Elizabeth tried to enter the Poor Clares but was turned away. Undaunted, she put on the habit of the Third Order of St. Francis where she dedicated the rest of her life to helping others, dying peacefully in 1336 at the age of 65. Ironically the order that had denied her in life, opened their arms to her in death, for she was buried at the Poor Clare Monastery she had helped build in Coimbra. She was canonized by Pope Urban VIII in 1625.
OBSERVANCE OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY ON SATURDAY
Honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary is a custom first promoted by the Benedictine Monk Saint Alcuin back in the days of Charlemagne (see archives December 23, no. 25 issue). He composed different formulas for Votive Masses for each day of the week, with two set aside to honor Our Lady on Saturday. This practice caught on with great enthusiasm and eventually the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday
became the Common of the Blessed Virgin. This Mass was a favorite with retired priests and those whose sight was failing for most had memorized this Mass and were able to say it by heart without having to read the Lectionary or Sacramentary. One reason Saturday was dedicated to Mary was that Saturday held a special meaning in Mariology. First of all, as Genesis accounts for, God rested on the seventh day. In the Old Testament, the Sabbath was Saturday. Jesus, Son of God rested in the womb and then, when He became incarnate, in the loving arms of Mary from birth until she held His lifeless body at the foot of the Cross. Thus the God-head rested in Mary. It was also on Saturday after Good Friday that Jesus gave His Mother a special gift and reward for keeping her faith in His Divinity intact by making an exceptional appearance to her. Thus, because of these reasons, the devotion spread by St. Alcuin and other liturgies that evolved within the Church, Saturday took on a special Marian significance. Saturday took on even more significance in honoring Mary when Our Lady imparted
to visionary Lucia in her third apparition at Fatima on July 13, 1917, "Our Lord wishes that devotion to my Immaculate Heart be established in the world. If what I tell you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace; the war will end...I ask the consecration of the world to my Immaculate Heart and Communion of reparation on the First Saturday of each month...If my requests are granted, Russia will be converted and there will be peace...In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph, and an era of peace will be conceded to humanity." As we
draw nearer to that wonderful event, it is more important than ever to honor Mary's request on the First Saturday as well as each Saturday that her feast is commemorated in the Church calendar, not to mention responding to her call daily with the Rosary and attending Daily Mass, nourished by her Divine Son present body and blood, soul and Divinity in the Blessed Sacrament. It is in the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary where she remains in the background in the liturgy of the Word so that her Divine Son's words and His Presence take the spotlight as He
should while Mary remains the chief intercessor before the Holy Trinity as she should and serves as the ideal for all Catholics to strive for, as we should. The Dictionary of Mary states quite succinctly, "Through these liturgical acts, (honoring Mary on Saturday) Christians exalt the person of Mary in the action that renews the sacrifice of Christ and in the action that prolongs His prayer."
SUNDAY, July 5, 1998
First Reading: Isaiah 66: 10-14
Psalms: Psalm 66: 1-7, 16, 20
Second Reading: Galatians 6: 14-18
Gospel Reading: Luke 10: 1-12, 17-20
Monday, July 6, 1998
Monday July 6:
Fourteenth Monday in Ordinary Time and
Feast of Saint Maria Goretti, Virgin and Martyr
Green or Red vestments
First Reading: Hosea 2: 16-18, 21-22
Psalms: Psalm 145: 2-9
Gospel Reading: Matthew 9: 18-26
FEAST OF SAINT MARIA GORETTI, VIRGIN AND MARTYR
Considered the first saint of the 20th Century, Saint Maria Teresa Goretti was born into a poor family in
Nettuno, Italy in 1890. At a very early age she showed tremendous maternal instincts, caring for her four younger
brothers as well as the neighbors young children while the parents worked in the fields during the day. Her
mother had been forced to work the fields since her husband and Maria's father died in 1900. Too poor to afford
education, Maria dedicated herself to doing God's Will and went about her work joyously. One of the older boys
who worked on the farm, a nineteen year old, lusted after Maria who was only twelve years old in 1902.
Regardless he attempted to rape her when no one else was around, but Maria resisted, crying out: "No! No! Do
not touch me, Alessandro! It is a sin. You will go to hell!" Her refusal so enraged Alessandro that in a fit of
passion he pulled out his field knife and plunged it into her fourteen times and then fled. Bleeding to death,
Maria was rushed to the hospital where she lay dying for two more painful days. On receiving the Final
Sacrament, the priest asked her if she would forgive her murderer and she lovingly proclaimed, "Yes, I forgive
him for the love of Jesus, and I want him to be with me in Heaven. May God forgive him!" Shortly after that she
breathed her last death with her lips to the crucifix, clutching the Miraculous Medal. Her assailant Alessandro was quickly arrested and served 26 years in prison. It was during his 8th year in prison that he experienced a conversion experience from a dream of Maria Goretti presenting him with flowers. When he was released from prison in 1928 he went immediately to Maria's mother and begged forgiveness and then accompanied her to Christmas Mass where they received Holy Communion together. He became a Franciscan tertiary and spent his remaining life with the Capuchins. The most fascinating aspect of all this was that both Alessandro and Maria's mother were present for the canonization ceremonies in Rome when Pope Pius XII officially proclaimed Maria Teresa Goretti a saint in 1970. She is one of the greatest role models for young people today in a society that exalts the world, the flesh and the devil.
To review past articles in textonly format, click on Archives.
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July 3, 1998 volume 9, no. 129 DAILY CATHOLIC