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MONDAY             June 22, 1998             SECTION TWO              vol 9, no. 120

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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 22:

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World News Service



      VATICAN ( -- Pope John Paul II arrived in Salzburg, obviouslty tired but just as obviously enthusiastic, today to begin his third pastoral trip to Austria.

      In his first public remarks, delivered in a short address at the airport, the Holy Father did not allude to the controversies that have battered the Church in Austria-- of which the most damaging has been the revelation that Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer, the retired archbishop of Vienna, was involved in the sexual abuse of young men. Instead, the Pope concentrated on Austria's role in the reunification of Europe. He cautioned that in rebuilding a united continent, political leaders must not neglect the spiritual element. The love of God and service to neighbors is more important than money, career, and comfort, he insisted.

      The Pope was greeted by a modest but friendly crowd. Under threatening skies, he encountered hundreds of people carrying banners that read, "Totus tuus." There was only one small, isolated group of protestors, whose signs-- written, significantly, in English, apparently for the benefit of the media-- urged the Pope to "go home."

      Later, in the Salzburg cathedral where Mozart was baptized, the Holy Father urged the faithful to maintain their faith, and uphold their Catholic culture. He warned the Austrian people that religious indifference can be "as dangerous as outright hatred" of the faith.

      The Pope, who came to Salzburg to celebrate the 1200th anniversary of the founding of the diocese, was unusually energetic in his appearance at the cathedral. As we walked down the long aisle, greeted by loud applause, he wore a broad smile, and stopped frequently to greet young children.

      In his homily, the Pope did not shrink from discussion of the problems that face the Church in Austria-- a country where the population is more than 75 percent Catholic, but where theological dissent and clerical scandal have caused severe divisions. The Holy Father said that he was obliged to come, as the successor to St. Peter, to encourage his brethren in the faith. And he insisted that the teaching office of the Church could not be rejected. "The magisterium is not a human invention," he said. "Christ himself gave us this duty," he continued, in order to ensure that the divine will is accurately conveyed to each passing generation.

      "Do not leave the Church!" the Pope pleaded. "Come back to her, to receive the joyous message, which can enlighten our lives, and even the shadows in our lives."

      John Paul welcomed dialogue within the Church, and recognized the important work of parish pastoral councils. But he also cautioned that there is a "diversity of roles" between priests and lay people. Each must respect the other's role, he said. Together, he continued, clergy and laity face the challenge of reviving and spreading the faith, at a time when indifference has become widespread.

      Before leaving the Salzburg cathedral, the Pope offered a brief message of recognition and thanks to the leaders of other Christian faiths who had joined him for the ceremony.


      VATICAN ( -- The Vatican budget for the 1997 fiscal year shows a surplus of nearly $11 million-- a pleasant improvement from the previous year's surplus of $260,000.

      Despite a 40 percent increase in family benefits for Vatican employees-- an expression of the Pope's determination to strengthen family life-- the budget for the Holy See was in the black by $10,860,438. The separate budget for the Vatican City administration also showed a positive balance, of $21,408,012. And the Pope's charities, supported by the worldwide Peter's Pence collection, brought in a record $52,456,044.

      Today's happy announcements came from Msgr. Francesco Salerno, the secretary to the Prefecture for Economic Affairs at the Holy See. He credited sound management practices, a favorable exchange rate, and the generosity of individual Catholics for the positive balances.

      Vatican City will invest this year's $21 million surplus in construction projects, including the building of an underground garage and the modernization of the Vatican Museums. These projects are being planned as part of the preparation for the Jubilee Year 2000, which is expected to draw millions of pilgrims to Rome.

      Yesterday the reassuring financial figures were discussed at a meeting of the council of cardinals charged with oversight of Vatican economic affairs. That meeting brought together the Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano; the president of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs, Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani; and the other members of the council: Cardinals Joachim Meisner, Jose Freire Falcao, Simon Ignatius Pimenta, Frederic Etsou-Nzabi-Bamungwabi, Camillo Ruini, Henri Schwery, Ricardo Maria Carles Gordo, and Juan Sandoval Iniguez.


      WASHINGTON, DC ( - President Bill Clinton tried to deflect criticism of his visit to Communist China next week on Thursday, by calling on the Chinese government to release religious prisoners and resume talks with the Dalai Lama, the spiritual and secular leader of Tibet.

      Clinton has been criticized for agreeing to an official reception in Beijing's Tiannenman Square, the site of a massacre of hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators a decade ago, as well as plans to continue China's Most Favored Nation trade status despite continued human rights abuses. After meeting with religious leaders at the White House, Clinton said: "We believe that China should resume talks with the Dalai Lama. We believe that prisoners of conscience should be released. I am convinced that dealing directly with the Chinese on these issues is the best way to make a difference, and making a difference in the end is what matters."

      Clinton also announced that Robert Seiple, president of World Vision, had been appointed as senior adviser to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright for international religious freedom. The president noted that China has recently released several religious leaders and agreed to sign international agreements on the freedom of thought and religion, but added that many still languish in prison. "Chinese Christians, Moslems and Buddhists remain imprisoned for their religious activities, including in Tibet, and other believers face harassment," he said.


      LOS ANGELES ( - Cardinal Roger Mahoney of Los Angeles was declared cancer-free on Thursday by doctors four days after surgery to remove a cancerous prostate gland.

      The cardinal was released from USC/Norris Cancer Center in Los Angeles, where he had undergone surgery on Monday. He encouraged all men to have regular physical examinations and prostate cancer detection tests, which he credited for his recovery.

      Cardinal Mahoney's surgeon, Dr. Donald Skinner, said: "His case represents a prime example of the benefits of early detection and treatment. We encourage all men and women to use the Cardinal's case as inspiration for undergoing regular physical examinations, as we believe the best treatment for cancer comes from early detection."

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.

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June 22, 1998 volume 9, no. 120   DAILY CATHOLIC