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TUESDAY             July 7, 1998             SECTION TWO              vol 9, no. 131

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Commandments are not suggestions!

     Today's editorial coincides with the Holy Father's release of his Apostolic Letter Dies Domini which deals with a return to a strict observance of Sunday as the Lord's day. In our commentary we trace the origin of where we began to go lax in observance of Sundays as something very special in compliance with God's Will. Our technology has dulled our idea of theology and we need to return to basics as we point out. For our commentary, Never on Sunday!, click on Tuesday's CATHOLIC PewPOINT

Never on Sunday!

Michael Cain, editor

If God rested on the Seventh Day, then we sure had better do the same!

     The 93rd Lesson/Meditation imparted by Jesus to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart, which is one in a series of 100 Meditative Lessons imparted to her and this one coincides with the subject matter of Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Letter released today. Our Lord speaks of the Third Commandment and the need, rather the mandate, to observe all He has said and His Church has decreed. For the Lesson/Meditation titled THE THIRD COMMAND: KEEP HOLY THE LORD'S DAY, click on THE HIDDEN WAY


Lesson Meditation #93

(Imparted on February 22, 1995 to the Hidden Flower by Our Lord)

with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World News Service



      VATICAN ( -- On July 4, Pope John Paul II celebrated the 40th anniversary of his original appointment as a bishop. But the main news from the Vatican on Sunday came when it was announced that the Holy Father would not lead the public recitation of the Rosary, as he usually does on the first Sunday of each month.

      The Vatican announcement that Cardinal Virgilio Noe would lead the recitation of the rosary-- a service which always attracts a sizable crowd, and is broadcast across Italy-- provoked some speculation about the Pope's health. Vatican officials explained that the Pope was preparing for his summer vacation, which will begin July 8. Some journalists observed that in recent months the Holy Father appeared to have some difficulty catching his breath during the recitation of the Litany. However, the Pope appeared healthy and energetic at his public appearances during the weekend. At his regular Angelus audience, he reminded listeners that he was preparing for his own vacation, and wished everyone a happy summer vacation of their own.

      At his regular Angelus audience on Sunday, Pope John Paul II himself announced the pending publication of his latest apostolic letter: a plea for observance of the Sabbath.

      The Pope said that on July 7, his new letter Dies Domini will be promulgated. He recommended the document to his audience, saying that they might make "an interesting discovery" in his treatment of the Sabbath.

      The rediscovery of the Sabbath observance, the Holy Father continued, is "among the urgent priorities in the life of the Church today." For many believers, he said, Sunday has become simply the "end" of a "weekend." Rather, he insisted, it should be a day-long celebration of the Resurrection.

      "Sundays should be sanctified, in obedience to the 3rd Commandment," the Pope said. Attendance at Sunday Mass should be the highlight of the celebration, he continued, but the Sabbath observance should mean time set aside for relaxation and for family activities. This day of rest, he said, "is a time that infuses light and hope into all our days."

      The Holy Father urged pastors to take up this issue with their people, encouraging them to act as a "counterculture" by bucking the general trend to make Sunday an "ordinary" day.


      BELFAST ( - Northern Ireland was rocked by a night of firebombing and attacks on police by Protestant youth gangs after British authorities blocked a Sunday parade through a Catholic neighborhood by the Protestant Orange Order.

      Several hundred Protestants remained camped outside the Drumcree Anglican church near Portadown after police used barbed wire to block the marchers from Garvaghy Road. The parade is an annual event which marks a 300-year-old victory by Protestants over a Catholic king. The march has been marked by riots over the past three years after police blocked the march and then relented to end violence.

      "I sincerely hope that everybody in Northern Ireland will see that the Parades Commission is anxious to take a balanced approach," said Alastair Graham, the chairman of the government commission set up last year to regulate the controversial parades, after allowing the Orange Order to march on July 13 through a Catholic neighborhood in the Lower Ormeau section of Belfast. The summer parades are seen as the first major test of the recently ratified Good Friday peace accords signed by the warring factions earlier this year.


      AUSTIN, Texas ( - The Texas Supreme Court ruled on Friday that buffer zones around abortion clinics to keep pro-life protesters away is an unconstitutional burden on the freedom of speech.

      The court decided 6-3 to eliminate buffer zones around five clinics and modified four others to allow up to two pro-life counselors to approach women within the zones. They also eliminated a buffer zone around the home of an abortionist, but allowed buffers around four others to remain intact without change. "We conclude that portions of the injunction infringe upon (protesters') freedom of expression," Justice Nathan Hecht wrote for the majority. "This is a free speech case, not an abortion picketing one."

      The case stemmed from the 1992 Republican National Convention in Houston where pro-life groups announced plans to demonstrate at clinics and the homes of abortionists. Planned Parenthood joined the clinics and five abortionists in obtaining a temporary court order, which later became permanent, banning demonstrations within 100 feet of the clinics.


      LIMA ( - Five women religious were killed and one more remains in coma after a car accident early Sunday morning in northern Peru near the border with Ecuador.

      The six women -- members of the Congregation of the Reparation of the Sacred Heart -- were traveling from Piura, 700 miles north of Lima, to Tumbes, a city located 70 miles from Piura and 5 miles from the border with Ecuador.

      A police spokesman said the crash occurred when the driver slammed into a bus traveling in the opposite direction as he tried to avoid the numerous potholes caused by recent torrential rains and floods. Sisters Berta Morillo, Angelica Olaya, Elsa Paucar, Augusta Gonzales, and Simona Guerrero died immediately, while Sister Paulina Quinde, provincial of the congregation, was severely injured. She was evacuated by plane to Lima where she remained in a coma. The sisters' driver survived the accident and no injuries were reported among the bus passengers.

      Archbishop Oscar Cantuarias of Piura and Tumbes mourned the death of the sisters and described it as "the greatest and most painful loss in Piura's recent history." He described the women as "holy, deeply dedicated sisters that gave a great service to the evangelization of the region." He added, "In this instance it is particularly hard to understand God's will, but we accept it and pray that, closer to God, they will help even more in bringing Christ to the minds and hearts of our youth."

      The accident has shaken the region since the women were all born in the area. Early on Monday, more than 3,000 people, including students and alumni, gathered in Saint Gabriel's school in Piura for the funeral service.

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.

To review past articles in textonly format, click on Archives.

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July 7, 1998 volume 9, no. 131   DAILY CATHOLIC