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WEDNESDAY             June 3, 1998             SECTION TWO              vol 9, no. 107

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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 3:

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World News Service



      VATICAN ( -- Pope John Paul II has named Pius Segmuller to become the new commandant of the Swiss Guard, replacing Alois Estermann, who was murdered on the day of his installation.

      As the Swiss Guard attempts a return to normal patterns, 40 new members will be sworn into the service at a private ceremony on June 28. The swearing-in ceremony, ordinarily a public event, was postponed this year because of the deaths of Colonel Estermann, his wife, and the subordinate who apparently killed them.

      Pius Segmuller, 46, was born in the canton of Lucerne. He is married, with two children. As his deputy, the Pope has designated Elmar Theodor Mader, 34.

      The acting commandant of the Swiss Guard, Roland Buchs-- who had come out of retirement to fill his former position in the wake of the killings-- issued a statement commending the new leader and promising that the Swiss Guard would enter the 21st century with new strength and unchanging loyalty to the Holy See.


      MIAMI ( - The Archbishop of Miami said on Friday that Cubans are flocking back to the Church following Pope John Paul II's historic visit to the Communist country in January.

      "The bishops tell me that every Sunday they are noting more and more people coming back to church," Archbishop John Favalora said after returning from a pastoral visit to Cuba. He said the papal visit filled Cubans with optimism and enthusiasm, and continuing good relations between the Church and the officially atheist government increases that enthusiasm. "From what I could tell there was a very cordial relationship between church and state which continues to build," he said.

      "The Church already has a great deal of space and it is growing," he added. "It is preaching the gospel, spreading the message, and helping the people. I got no impression from anyone there was any intimidation not to go to church." Archbishop Favalora visited Cuba last week to show support for the Church in that country. A charter plane loaded with medical supplies was also expected to fly from Fort Lauderdale to Havana on Tuesday after being held up by various delays, said Bishop Thomas Wenski, head of Miami's Catholic Charities.

      On the subject of Cuba, in a new pastoral letter, the bishops of Cuba strongly uphold Catholic social doctrine as an alternative to both capitalism and collectivism. The bishops also call for an end to the isolation imposed upon their country by the US embargo.

      On the eve of a trip to Rome, during which they visit with Pope John Paul to discuss the progress that has been made in Cuba since his January visit there, the bishops released a pastoral letter, dated on Pentecost Sunday. The letter emphasizes that Catholic social teaching is different from both collectivism (which the bishops classify as "virtually obsolete") and "neo-liberal capitalism." In contrast to the ideologies of "domination of some by others" the bishops propose a social and economic system built on solidarity.

      The bishops also echo the Pope's call for the world to open itself to Cuba, ending the embargo which has been imposed by the United States. That embargo is "ethically unacceptable," the bishops say.


      ORLANDO, Florida ( - The pro-life group Operation Rescue began planned protests in Orlando on Monday, holding demonstrations at an abortion clinic, a national bookstores chain that sells pornography, and Walt Disney World which will host a homosexual event at the resort this weekend.

      More than 100 advocates gathered outside the EPOC clinic, singing, praying, and chanting, in apparent violation of a court order banning singing, whistling, and chanting within earshot of the clinic. The injunction, obtained by the city of Orlando against Operation Rescue last week, also allows police to search backpacks and purses of anyone within 1,000 feet of a clinic and requires pro-life and pro-abortion protesters to keep at least 10 feet apart. While no one was arrested for violating the order, five people were arrested in a civil disobedience protest when they blocked the street next to the clinic.

      Pro-life advocates also attended a city council meeting on Monday to protest a plan to fly rainbow-colored flags around the city to commemorate June as Gay Pride month. The week of protests will include a demonstration at a Barnes & Nobles Booksellers store and then culminate with a protest at Walt Disney World which is the site of annual Gay Days celebration this weekend.


      LIMA ( - A secret program of forced sterilizations for poor women has collapsed after the Church and several human rights groups publicly denounced it, said sources at Peru's Ministry of Health on Monday.

      "Sterilizations have decreased in 68%" as a consequence of "a dramatic lack of confidence both in the method and in health agents," the sources said. The report also said that other artificial methods, with the exception of condoms, have experienced the same fall in popularity.

      Jorge Parra, director of the Reproductive Health and Planned Parenthood program, said, "Obviously, we will not reach our annual goal to perform 78,000 tubal ligations and 22,000 vasectomies throughout the country, and we also had to suspend our sterilization festivals." Parra blamed the Catholic Church for employing "a subtle guerrilla war against the program."

      Last December, Catholic bishops, pro-life groups, and congressmen started a campaign to stop forced sterilizations in the poorest regions of the country. Despite the partial failure of the birth control program, criticism of the plan continued. The People's Defense Center -- an arm of the Peruvian judicial system -- is currently looking into 56 cases of forced sterilizations among young women, the majority of them 18-year-old, to see if any laws had been broken or their civil rights violated.

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.

June is the month of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. For the Consecration to the Two Hearts click on Consecration





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June 3, 1998 volume 9, no. 107   DAILY CATHOLIC