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THURSDAY             June 18, 1998             SECTION TWO              vol 9, no. 118

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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 June 18:

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World News Service



      VATICAN ( -- A thorough restoration of the tomb of St. Peter, underneath the altar of St. Peter's basilica, is scheduled to be completed by Christmas of 1999. The project has been sponsored by Italy's national electrical utility, ENEL (Ente Nazionale d'Energia Elettrica).

      At a press conference in Rome today, Cardinal Virgilio Noe, whose responsibilities include the buildings of the Holy See, and Franco Tatto of ENEL explained the process of restoration. The goal of the project is to allow better access to the tomb of St. Peter, while at the same time preserving and beautifying the site.

      The first step in the process is to arrest the natural process of decay in the surrounding rock, and installing climate controls to slow that process in the future. The tomb will be illuminated, but the lighting must also be carefully planned to avoid causing any damage.


      VATICAN ( -- Pope John Paul II hopes that his upcoming visit to Austria will help to promote "the unity of the Church in truth and love" in that country.

      Along with his usual catechetical talk, the Pope today addressed his weekly public audience in German, speaking about the trip to Austria which he will make this weekend. Vatican Radio has acknowledged that he will encounter a "delicate" situation within the Church there, because of widespread dissent over Church teachings and because of the revelations about child abuse by the former archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer. The Pope said that he and the Austrian bishops should "work together to overcome the difficulties." And he said that the suffering which the Church has undergone could be a means of spiritual growth.

      Finally, the Pope mentioned the most unmistakably positive aspect of his trip: the beatification of three Austrians, Fathers Anton Maria Schwartz and Jacob Kern, and Sister Restituta Kafka. Those beatifications, the Pope said, were "a sign of the liveliness of the Church in Austria."


      VATICAN ( -- Pope John Paul II will make a pastoral visit to Croatia in October, highlighted by the beatification of Cardinal Alojzije Stepanic.

      Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, the Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, today made the announcement that the Pope would visit Croatia on October 2 - 5. On October 3, he will preside at the beatification ceremonies for Cardinal Stepanic in the Marian sanctuary of Marija Bistrica. That date marks the anniversary of the day in 1946 when Cardinal Stepanic was sentenced to the labor camps by the Communist regime. On the following day the Holy Father will visit Split for the 1,700th anniversary of that city's foundation.

      Archbishop Tauran told Croatians that Pope's visit was designed "to strengthen you to continue to live the Christian life with confidence on Croatian soil, without worrying about the future." Archbishop Ante Juric of Split, in a pastoral message to the people of that archdiocese, said that the papal visit would be "a great gift and grace for us all" and predicted "great spiritual fruits."


      NEW HAVEN, Connecticut ( - The Knights of Columbus fraternal order announced on Tuesday that it had donated a record $107.1 million to charity in 1997 and volunteered more than 50 million hours of service to their communities and parishes.

      The 117-year-old Catholic brotherhood, which funds much of its charitable efforts through investing of insurance premiums for members, said more than $88 million was donated to the Catholic Church and charitable causes directly by state and local councils last year, while the remaining $18.9 million was distributed directly by the Supreme Council of the Knights.

      Over the past ten years, the Knights have donated more than $274 million to the Catholic Church through parishes, schools, religious education programs, seminaries, and other projects. Other community and youth charities, including the Special Olympics, have received more than $545 million during the same time frame.

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.


"The memory of the just will be blessed, but the name of the wicked will rot. "

Proverbs 10: 7

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June 18, 1998 volume 9, no. 118   DAILY CATHOLIC