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TUESDAY             June 9, 1998             SECTION TWO              vol 9, no. 111

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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 9:

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World News Service



      VATICAN ( -- In a powerful public statement issued from Baghdad, Cardinal Roger Etchegarary today called for an end to the international embargo against Iraq, but also denounced the country's arms build-up.

      Cardinal Etchegaray, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, is on a tour of the Middle East, with stops planned in Jordan and Israel as well. The appearance of such a prominent Vatican official in Iraq-- timed to coincide with an international ecumenical conference in Baghdad-- was a significant new sign of Vatican interest in ending the embargo, which the Pope has repeatedly denounced.

      Cardinal Etchegaray made his condemnation of the embargo a key point of his address to the international gathering, at which the leaders of various Christian denominations will spell out their own positions on the topic. Speaking on the role of the churches as peacemakers, the cardinal said that Christianity offers "exceptional realism" in her analysis of public events. But he added that the Church is "divine as well as human," and cannot be aligned with any earthly power.

      After the symposium, Cardinal Etchegaray will visit the Ur, according to tradition the birthplace of Abraham. That locale has been indicated as the possible site of a papal trip to Iraq-- a project which has been listed among the many goals the Pope would like to fulfill during the Jubilee Year 2000.


      STAMFORD, Connecticut ( - A bishop in the underground Catholic Church in Communist China was arrested on May 31, the Cardinal Kung Foundation reported on Saturday.

      Bishop Zhang Weizhu of Xianxian, near Beijing, was detained while traveling to his village, the foundation said, adding that no other details were available. Communist China requires that all Catholics belong to the state-sanctioned Patriotic Catholic Association, which eschews connections to the pope and refutes certain Catholic doctrines. The Vatican estimates that millions of Catholics belong to the underground Church, led by loyal bishops in danger of arrest for their activities.

      The foundation also reported that the Chinese government has again refused to renew the passport of Cardinal Ignatius Kung Pin-mei, for whom the foundation is named. The 96-year-old cardinal is the bishop of Shanghai, was imprisoned for 32 years, and now lives in exile in the United States. He recently submitted his passport to the Chinese Consulate in New York for renewal, but the consulate confiscated the document, said the cardinal's nephew Joseph Kung.


      BOSTON ( - Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston on Saturday officially defrocked a retired priest accused of sexually molesting dozens of children over 20 years, just days after media reports that the archdiocese settled lawsuits with many of the accusers.

      The cardinal's decision to defrock Father John Geoghan, 63, is the first time such drastic action has been taken against a priest of the archdiocese and was broadly welcomed by those who were allegedly molested by the priest as well as many Boston-area Catholics. Geoghan is accused of raping or molesting more than 50 children over a period of three decades at five parishes in the Boston area.

      A Suffolk County grand jury is investigating the case which became public in 1995 and could still hand down indictments. The archdiocese reportedly paid at least $2.5 million to settle the lawsuits stemming from the priest's abuse, and further settlements could bring the total to $10 million.


      VATICAN ( -- Greeting a group of US bishops who had traveled to Rome from their ad limina visit, Pope John Paul repeated his insistence that the growth of lay movements constitutes an "extraordinary and surprising new springtime of the Church."

      The newly emerging groups manifest "the dynamism of the faith. living hope, and charity" stimulated by the Holy Spirit among the laity, the Holy Father said. His remarks came in a meeting with bishops from Minnesota and the Dakotas, one week after a dramatic meeting in Rome in which he had greeted thousands of members of lay movements.

      "The new evangelization which could make the 21st century a springtime for the Church is the task of the entire people of God," the Pope said; "but it will depends in a decisive way on the manner in which the lay faithful are conscious of their baptismal vocation and their responsibility to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to their culture and their society."

      The task of bishops, the Pope continued, is to teach, sanctify, and govern in ways that will help the lay people to develop and exploit their evangelical abilities.

      Addressing himself to several questions which have provoked problems for the Church in the United States, the Pope also called upon the bishops to encourage faithful obedience to the Church teaching on artificial contraception. The American people have special "need to listen" to that teaching, he said, because of the "false promises of the sexual revolution" which have produced so much suffering in society. He also encouraged the bishops to follow the recent Vatican directive on the proper limits of lay ministry, especially in the celebration of the liturgy.

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





Today's Prayer is the continuing Novena to the Body and Blood of Christ leading up to next Sunday's the Feast of Corpus Christi. Click on PRAYERS & DEVOTION

Novena honoring the Body and Blood of Christ

(In preparation for the Feast of Corpus Christi]

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June 9, 1998 volume 9, no. 111   DAILY CATHOLIC