Monday thru Friday on the

See why so many consider the
Daily CATHOLIC as the
"USA Today for CATHOLICS!"

WEDNESDAY             June 17, 1998             SECTION TWO              vol 9, no. 117

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

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 June 17:

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World News Service



      DALLAS ( - Norma McCorvey, the woman who was once the icon of the pro-abortion movement and later renounced that status to become a pro-lifer and a Christian, announced on Tuesday that she is planning to enter the Catholic Church.

      The former "Jane Roe" of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case that effectively legalized abortion on demand said she has decided the join the "Mother Church of Christianity." McCorvey was baptized into the Christian faith in 1995 by the Rev. Flip Benham, director of Operation Rescue, and then later met Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, who became a mentor and friend and "the catalyst to bring me into the Catholic Church."

      McCorvey said she had clearly heard God tell her in prayer that she was to come home to Him soon. Not knowing what the ominous words meant, she consulted with Father Pavone. "I told him of my concerns, and his advice to me was to continue to pray and to ponder this message," she said. "I listened to him and came to realize that what God was actually saying to me was to 'come all the way home to Him' in His Church."

      Many Catholic pro-life leaders who knew McCorvey's mother was Catholic encouraged her to return to that faith after her initial conversion to Christianity. "After I came into Christianity, I just wanted to learn the Gospel and all that," McCorvey said. "And I did, but I also received both the influences of the Evangelical side of the pro-life issue and the Catholic side."

      McCorvey said she expects to begin instruction in the Catholic faith in July with Father Edward Robinson in Dallas, and hopes to be ready to enter the Church by the end of the year. "I will also continue to be in close contact with Father Pavone, who now works at the Vatican and will arrange for me to receive my Confirmation in the city of Rome," she added. "He has told me that he is going to inform the Pope of my decision to become a Catholic."


      VATICAN ( -- The plans for a permanent international court of justice were at the top of the agenda as UN Secretary General Kofi Annan met with Pope John Paul in Rome today.

      After this 20-minute talk with the Pope, the UN head also spoke with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican Secretary of State, and with Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, the Secretary for Relations with States. A statement from the Vatican press office indicated that in each case the conversation centered on the international conference- - now taking place in Rome-- that is intended to set up a permanent international court.

      At his Sunday Angelus audience on June 14, Pope John Paul endorsed the establishment of such a court-- provided that it would respect "fundamental human rights." Church diplomats and pro-life activists have expressed concerns that such a court might eventually intervene in the affairs of individual nations, to enforce UN statements supporting unrestricted abortion and contraception.

      Representatives of 100 countries have gathered in Rome to discuss the prospects for a permanent court of justice, which would be charged with the responsibility for handling cases of war crimes and other "crimes against humanity." The drive to establish such a court on a permanent basis began after the Nuremberg trials of 1948, and- - after being stalled by the Cold War-- was revived when special international courts were convened to try accused war criminals for offenses committed during the warfare in the former Yugoslavia and during the genocidal conflicts in Rwanda. The current drive has enthusiastic support from Canada and Germany, and more qualified support from China, Russia, France, and the United States.

      A short ways from the Vatican, speaking at the Rome conference dedicated to the establishment of a permanent international court of justice, the Vatican delegate to the United Nations argued that such a body should be an instrument of reconciliation. He also reaffirmed the Holy See's opposition to the death penalty.

      Archbishop Renato Martino, the permanent observer for the Holy See at the UN, said that an international court should be dedicated not to vengeance but to "the restoration of just relationships in the human family." For that reason, he said, the court should not invoke the death penalty. He added that "the destruction of life... is inconsistent with the universal norms which serve to justify" such an international court.

      The archbishop also said that such a court must protect the dignity of the human person. He said that nations have the right to establish such a court, in order to make manifest the universal moral norms which they hold in common. Such norms, he continued-- in an obvious reference to certain UN resolutions which have been seen as attacks on family life-- must be in keeping with "the eternal principles and objectives that protect and ordain the family and human life."


      CHICAGO ( - An ethics committee of the American Medical Association issued its recommendations concerning human cloning on Monday, saying the process is not scientifically necessary and should be opposed.

      The committee presented its report at the AMA's annual meeting, saying that only acceptable cloning would be for replacement organs or tissues, as long as it does not include cloning embryos. AMA delegates will determine this week whether the panel's recommendations should be adopted as part of the 294,000-member organization's code of ethics.

      Acknowledging the benefits of cloning, the committee reported: "Human cloning as an approach to fertility has ethical hazards in the areas of individual autonomy, privacy, and informed consent. It also raises difficult and unresolved legal questions and even more difficult psychosocial problems about family and other social relations. These issues appear insolvable, and therefore make human cloning an unacceptable treatment for fertility."

      The panel also recommended against cloning to as a solution for terminal illness, to eliminate genetic defects, or for the use of unborn children's tissues for replacement parts.


      NEW YORK ( - A junior high school teacher was fired this week for telling her sixth-grade students that a deceased classmate is in heaven and then praying with them.

      Mildred Rosario, 43, said a student in her class asked her if a recently drowned classmate went to heaven, to which she replied, "Of course." She then told any student who didn't want to take part in the discussion to do other activities, but all 29 remained. Rosario said she spoke about Jesus and then led the children in prayer.

      She told the New York Post newspaper, "A lot of programs are brought into our schools, where they talk about condoms, drugs, and everything else, but we cannot talk about God. This is an injustice. Without him, nothing is possible." The Board of Education said Rosario violated regulations requiring the absence of religious discussion in the classroom.

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.


"Wealth is useless on the day of wrath, but virtue saves from death."

Proverbs 11: 4

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

Click here to return to SECTION ONE or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.

June 17, 1998 volume 9, no. 117   DAILY CATHOLIC