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May 18, 1998             SECTION TWO              vol 9, no. 96

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

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 May 18:


     Besides being the Sixth Monday of Easter, today is also the feast of the martyred Pope, Saint John I who was the 53rd successor of Peter in the sixth century. For his story and the liturgy, readings, and meditations, for today and tomorrow, click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.

Monday, May 18, 1998


      The 53rd successor of Peter, Pope Saint John I was born in Tuscany and became a priest and then bishop before being elected Pope on August 13, 523. John was asked to go to Constantinople to settle issues regarding the Arians for the Arianism heresy was running rampant. He became the first pope to visit Constantinople and while there he crowned Justinian emperor. This did not sit well with his rival, the ribald Theodoric who retaliated violently by invading Italy and imprisoning the Pope, accusing John of treason and threw him into shackles in Ravenna where he died on this day in 526 of neglect and starvation.

Tuesday, May 19, 1998

A Contradiction of the heart, but not the Holy Spirit: Rev up and slow down!

      In his conclusion of his short series on "Shortcuts to the Heart" Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv. gives us a seemingly contradictory scenario. He asks us to rev up and then slow down. On the surface it doesn't make sense, but when Father explains that by placing ourselves in the care of the Holy Spirit then it all makes perfect sense for when we rev-up to the invitation of the Sanctifier then He allows us to slow down and listen to Him through and with our hearts, making it that much purer a prayer from the heart. To find out more, click on HEARTS TO HEART TALK


WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World
News Service



      MADISON, Wisconsin ( - A federal judge's refusal to issue an injunction against a new state law banning partial-birth abortions had the unintended side-effect of stopping all abortions in the state, at least for a few days.

      Planned Parenthood said the six abortion clinics in the state canceled all appointments indefinitely and are turning women away at the door because they say the law is too vague and the abortionists are afraid they could face life imprisonment. On Wednesday, US District Judge John Shabaz refused to issue a temporary injunction against the law while Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and the six abortionists pursue their challenge of the law in court. The abortion group has said it will appeal Shabaz's ruling.

      In denying the motion, Shabaz said there was no "irreparable harm" to the doctors or patients that would require a restraining order against the law. Instead, he said, the order could cause more harm to the "parents of those perhaps several hundred living post-first trimester children who may be unnecessarily killed" if the laws were enjoined.

      Pro-life groups said the closure by the clinics is a cynical attempt to scare the courts into believing the partial-birth abortion ban could cut into the availability of other abortions. "It is such a smoke-screen because the law couldn't be clearer as to what's a partial-birth abortion," said Susan Armacost, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life.


      WASHINGTON, DC ( - The US House voted on Thursday to approve a proposed religious freedom bill that would impose automatic sanctions on countries which persecute religious groups, a bill which the Clinton administration opposes.

      The bill, approved 375-41, would create a State Department office to monitor and report on religious persecution, and mandates sanctions for countries guilty of persecution. A Clinton spokesman complained that the law restricts the administration's ability to conduct foreign policy and would force them to ignore abuses in order to avoid imposing sanctions.

      The law had also been opposed by the US Chamber of Commerce, which has traditionally been supportive of Republican politicians and agendas. "This kind of an issue can have a preeminent factor in your decision-making," said Bruce Josten, the Chamber of Commerce's executive vice president for government affairs. "Companies are going to stop, pause and think about this. Why would you continue to throw money at someone who's continuing to vote against your corporate interests." The Senate is expected to take up similar legislation later this year.


      WASHINGTON, DC ( - The senior Vatican official in charge of relations with the Jewish people told an American Jewish group on Thursday that a major goal of a recent Vatican document on the Holocaust was to make Christians aware of past injustices perpetrated by Christians against Jews.

      Cardinal Edward Cassidy, president of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, told the American Jewish Committee at its annual meeting that the document was intended to promote awareness of the Shoah (Holocaust) among "Catholics in those countries that were far removed by geography and history from the scene of the Shoah, and encourage their participation in the present efforts of the Holy See to promote throughout the Church a new spirit in Catholic-Jewish relations."

      The cardinal also said that awareness is not enough, but Christians should ask forgiveness from God for pardon and reconciliation on behalf of victims and those who perpetuate violence throughout history. Martin Kaplan, chairman of the AJC Interreligious Affairs Commission, replied to the cardinal's comments, applauding two achievements of the document: "There is no room within the Christian religion for anti-Semitism or anti-Judaism, and the Roman Catholic Church affirms the truth of the Shoah." He also saluted Pope John Paul II and other Catholic leaders for their efforts in ending anti-Jewish attitudes in Christians and the Church's theology.

      Both Kaplan and Rabbi A. James Rudin both expressed disappointment that the document did not form an explicit link between old anti-Jewish attitudes and the Nazi anti-Jewish movement that culminated in the Holocaust. The Vatican has repeatedly said that Nazi hatred of Jews and Christians is rooted in pagan, and not Christian, influences.


      VATICAN ( -- Pope John Paul II on Friday met with the participants in a chapter general for the Society of St. Paul, and encouraged the members of that religious order to maintain the charisms of their founder.

      Don Giacomo Alberione, the founder of the Society, had often told his follower, "Your parish is the world." Taking up that phrase, the Holy Father pointed out, "Your parish is the Pope's parish."

      Last year, in an effort to resolve tensions within the order, the Pope had appointed Msgr. Antonio Buoncristiani as his delegate to head the Society until a new leader could be elected. The publications sponsored by the order had drawn protests from Church authorities, in particular from Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the president of the Italian bishops' conference, because of editorial stands that seemed to conflict with Church teachings.

      "The time has now come," the Pope said, "to confront and resolve difference in a spirit of faith." He also urged the delegates to keep "a constant reference to the magisterium of the Church."

      The Pope recalled that Don Alberione had envisioned a religious order based on the Eucharist, the Gospel, prayer, and the use of modern means of evangelization. The same basic outlook, he said, should motivate the order at the dawn of the 21st century.

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May 18, 1998 volume 9, no. 96   DAILY CATHOLIC