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TUESDAY             June 2, 1998             SECTION TWO              vol 9, no. 106

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

Historical Events in Church Annals for June 2:

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World News Service



      ROME ( - More than 250,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square on Sunday for a special Pentecost celebration with Pope John Paul II, foreshadowing the effects of increased pilgrimages to the Vatican during the Jubilee Year celebrations in 2000.

      The Pope began the celebration of the feast of Pentecost along with an estimated 200,000 members of Lay Catholic apostolates, who filled St. Peter's Square to overflowing on Saturday evening, the eve of Pentecost.

      The Holy Father, who had issued an invitation to the leaders of lay movements to join him for Pentecost, stressed the importance of these groups in bringing the Gospel message to a secularized society. He preached to a crowd which spilled out onto the streets outside St. Peter's Square, and included the founders of several worldwide movements: Chiara Lubich of Focolare, Kiko Arguello of the Neocatechumenate Way, Don Luigi Giussani of Communion and Liberation, Jean Vanier of L'Arche, and others.

      Chiara Lubich thanked the Pope for his solicitude, and said the growth of lay movements has been "one of the main works of your pontificate." Cardinal Francis Stafford, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity (which had organized the encounter) agreed; "only the Pope could have done this," he said.

      The Pope, in turn, told the members of the lay apostolates that their young movements were now reaching spiritual maturity. "You are the first tangible proof of the outpouring of the Spirit," he said. He added the maturity should entail close alliance and identification with the Church through the hierarchy.

      On Pentecost Sunday itself, the Pope conferred the sacrament of Confirmation on 15 young people-- 5 boys and 10 girls-- during Mass at St. Peter's, with a congregation of some 40,000. In his homily, the Pope recalled the "unforgettable" encounter of the previous evening, and said "the climate of Pentecost" had filled the air of the Vatican on that evening, as the dedicated lay Catholics showed their love of God and their determination to "build a civilization of love."

      The Holy Father also stressed that the work of the Holy Spirit, begun in the apostles on the first Pentecost, continues to this day in the missionary work of the Church. He pointed out that all believers share in the Gospel mandate to spread the good news of Christ, and said the Church is now entering "a springtime sustained by the renewing power of the Holy Spirit."

      Traffic in the Italian capital was caught up in gridlock on Saturday as the pilgrims began to gather. About 2,000 chartered buses and special trains brought the pilgrims through the city to the Vatican. Traffic was barred from neighborhoods near the Vatican, and backups were reported along nearby roads. Cars on the beltway around the capital found the going slow. Some residents found flyers on their doors urging them to stay home.

      About 20 million more pilgrims than usual are expected to travel to Rome in 2000 for the celebrations marking the beginning of the third millennium. "Curfews in entire neighborhoods, buses which immobilized the Tiber-side road, appeals not to go out or to do so without cars are things which speak for themselves," said Giovanni Negri, a member of the group Lay Observer of the Jubilee. He said the group was considering going to court to protect citizens' rights to free movement.


      VATICAN ( -- Pope John Paul II said that Catholic schools in the United States must teach the truth in all its integrity, despite a climate in which all moral norms are regarded as private preferences.

      As he received a group of American bishops from the midwest, who were making their ad limina visit to Rome, the Holy Father said that Catholic schools have an obligation to "lead young people to the realization that freedom consists above all in responding to the truth." The greatest challenge for Catholic schools in the United States, he continued, is to be an "authentically Catholic" witness in a secular society. He added that Catholic universities, too, should be unyielding in their devotion to the truth-- a devotion which should imply respect for the teaching magisterium of the Church.


      MELBOURNE, Australia ( - Archbishop George Pell of Melbourne was confronted by militant homosexuals demanding Communion on Pentecost Sunday who he turned away, and then he told the congregation that practicing homosexuals cannot licitly receive the Eucharist.

      About 70 protesters wearing rainbow-colored sashes or lapel pins, the symbol of the Rainbow Sash Movement which organized the protest, came forward in the Communion line and were offered a blessing in place of the sacrament. "The Church's view on sexuality ... is clear and unequivocal and derives from natural moral law, which we believe is unchanging," said Archbishop Pell. He added that it is not only homosexuals who should not receive Communion, but anyone who has committed mortal sin and has not repented. "It's not a question of refusing homosexuals or someone who is homosexually oriented. The rule is basically the same for everyone," he said.

      The archbishop said the protest during Mass was inappropriate, and everyone wearing a rainbow sash or lapel pin was refused Communion, whether or not they were homosexual. "Archbishop Pell said he couldn't give me Holy Communion until I took the sash off," said Nan McGregor, the mother of a homosexual protester. "I said I was a heterosexual mother, but he said he couldn't until I took the sash off because the sash indicated I rejected the teachings of the Catholic Church."


      CHICAGO ( - A federal appeals court decided on Friday not to grant a delay for a Wisconsin law requiring a 24-hour waiting period for abortions, allowing the law to take effect on Sunday.

      The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals denied the motion by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and pro-abortion groups to delay the law, which was passed two years ago, while the groups pursue a legal challenges. The law requires a minimum 24-hour waiting period after a mother speaks with an abortionist, and requires that she receive state-supplied information that describes fetal development and alternatives to abortion.

      Susan Armacost of Wisconsin Right to Life praised the court's decision. "It was for the protection of women so they do not go into a serious, irreversible decision in their life without knowing exactly what they were choosing," she said.

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.


Tuesday, June 2, 1998


Wednesday, June 3, 1998



"On rebellion alone is the wicked man bent, but a merciless messenger will be sent against him."

Proverbs 17: 11

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June 2, 1998 volume 9, no. 106   DAILY CATHOLIC