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WEDNESDAY             July 8, 1998             SECTION TWO              vol 9, no. 132

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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 8:

Be it done unto you according to your faith.

     That is what Father John Hampsch, C.M.F. highlights today as he finishes up the section on "Success Through Faith . part two" in which he emphasizes that God answers all prayers, the degree of which are dependent on our faith. For Father's forty-seventh installment of "Faith: Key to the Heart of God," click on KEYS TO LIVING GOD'S WILL

Forty-Seventh Installment: Success Through Faith part two

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World News Service



      VATICAN ( -- Dies Domini, a new apostolic letter by Pope John Paul II encouraging proper respect for the Sabbath, was released today.

      The Lord's Day, the Holy Father writes, should be a "great school of charity, justice, and peace." He calls on Christians to demonstrate their spiritual maturity and to reinforce their Christian identity by their observance of the Sabbath.

      The Sabbath rest is not a way of avoiding work, the Pope argues; rather it is a time for engaging in acts of charity, strengthening family bonds, and deepening interior life.

      At the same time, the Sabbath rest is not merely a religious obligation, the Pope continues. It is a human right, which should be protected by appropriate legislation.

      The 104-page apostolic letter responds to what John Paul sees as a "banalization" of the Sunday rest. He observes that in some countries the day has become simply a portion of the weekend-- stripped of its character as the day devoted especially to celebration of the Resurrection.

      Earlier generations of Christians had a much better understanding of the Sabbath, the Pope writes. He points to the example of the martyrs who died at the hands of the Roman Emperor Diocletian because they refused to profane the Lord's Day. Their example led eventually to the Church's decision to make attendance at Sunday Mass a religious obligation. But in reality that obligation reflects the Third Commandment, the Pontiff continues; it is a natural expression of the obligation to "keep holy the Lord's Day."

      Citing the 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum, by Pope Leo XIII, John Paul notes that the Church has always insisted on the right of workers to a day of rest. He denounced the "exploitation" practiced by employers who ignore this fundamental human need, observing that the exploitation is most common in poor countries.

      Along with worship and rest, Sunday is an appropriate day for religious education, the Pope writes. In the apostolic letter, he takes pains to explain the origin of the Sunday observance. It is, he says, an expression of the lively Christian faith in the risen Christ, living in the Church.

      The Pope urges all pastors to plan carefully for the Sunday liturgy, and to take the time to prepare homilies that will "deepen in the faithful the hunger for the Word of God." He also encourages the faithful to participate fully in the Eucharistic liturgy, preparing themselves through the Sacrament of Penance.

      Meanwhile at a press conference in Rome announcing the publication of Dies Domini, Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, said that the faithful should be educated in the meaning of liturgical rites, so that they are not "mute spectators" at the Mass.

      Msgr. Geraldo Majella Agnelo, the secretary of the same congregation, echoed the same theme when he called upon pastors to "re-educate the faithful" in the meaning of the Sunday liturgy.

      Emphasizing that the Pope's apostolic letter is another effort to safeguard the Christian identity, Cardinal Medina Estevez underlined the importance of the Sunday Mass, saying that there is "no other religious experience similar to the Sunday celebration." He emphasized the need for active participation in the liturgy.



      VATICAN ( -- More than 2,000 priests from all around the world have gathered in Mexico this week for a retreat at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The worldwide retreat for priests is the third of its kind; previous events have been held at the Marian shrines at Fatima (in 1996) and Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast (in 1997). Next year the retreat will be held in Jerusalem, and in 2000 it will be in Rome.


      BELFAST ( - Protestant gangs attacked police positions Monday night and Tuesday morning in Northern Ireland with guns, gasoline bombs, grenades, and rocks in an effort to force an end to restrictions on a planned parade through a Catholic neighborhood.

      The worst violence since the Good Friday peace accords in April resulted after the loyalist Orange Order was turned back from Garvaghy Road on Sunday during the annual parade which marks a 300-year-old Protestant victory over a Catholic king. The Order called on supporters to offer only nonviolent protests to the parade ban, but the violence continued to spread over a second night.

      The British army announced on Tuesday that it will deploy two more battalions of soldiers to Northern Ireland to quell the rioting. "Orangemen must realize that if this violence continues, it will only be a matter of time before we once again are following coffins," said David Trimble, a past defender of Portadown's Orangemen who is the newly elected minister heading Northern Ireland's power-sharing government. The parade ban elicited violence in 1996 and 1997 until the government capitulated and allowed the march to go through.


      NEW ORLEANS ( - Four abortion clinics and a non-abortion-related medical clinic were closed on Monday after a foul-smelling chemical was released into the building, apparently by vandals.

      The FBI said it was investigating, and agents said they believe the medical clinic in Metarie was mistargeted as an abortion clinic. Firefighters identified the chemical as butyric acid which can cause skin and eye damage after lengthy exposure. FBI agents said the chemical could have been dumped in the clinics over the holiday weekend. In one case, it appeared the acid was poured in a mail slot at a clinic and then a water hose was allowed to run in the slot through the weekend. Investigators said the odor produced by the acid was amplified when it was mixed with water.

      The vandalism is similar to incidents in May when ten Florida abortion clinics were also sprayed with butyric acid. No suspects were named in those attacks and the federal investigation is continuing. Police officials said these are the first incidents involving New Orleans-area abortion clinics.

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 and tomorrow are Masses for Ordinary Time. For the readings, liturgy and meditations of both days, click on LITURGY

Wednesday, July 8, 1998

Thursday, July 9, 1998

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July 8, 1998 volume 9, no. 132   DAILY CATHOLIC