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May 8-10, 1998
SECTION TWO   vol 9, no. 90
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE
WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant
Reconciliation and Mercy mark the Slain Swiss Guard Funerals
It was the funeral Mass for suspected killer Swiss Guard Cedric Tornay that brought home the love, mercy and reconciliation exhibited by slain Swiss Commander-elect Alois Estermann's parents when they embraced the parents of Tornay at the Kiss of Peace. While some might call for vengeance, both sets of parents felt the deep loss of their sons and in that bond there was unity and understanding. For more, click on Funeral Masses
A CALL FOR MERCY, HOPE AT ESTERMANN FUNERAL. MERCY SHOWN BY
ESTERMANN'S PARENTS BY ATTENDING TORNAY'S FUNERAL AS WELL
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican
Secretary of State, presided today at the funeral for Colonel Alois
Estermann, the slain commandant of the Swiss Guard, and his wife
Gladys Meza Romero.
"This is the time for pardon," the cardinal said, as he asked for
"mercy" for Cedric Tornay, the Swiss Guard corporal who apparently
killed the couple before committing suicide.
Remarking that the slain commandant had attended Mass just two
hours before his death, Cardinal Sodano called upon mourners to
revive their "Christian hope," and to look forward to the resurrection
from the dead. He called for "contemplation on the mercy of our
heavenly Father, who never takes anything from his children
without giving them something greater."
Seven cardinals and 30 bishops concelebrated the funeral Mass, as
the Swiss Guard in full regalia surround the casket of their fallen
leader. Cardinal Sodano stressed that he was acting on behalf of the
Holy Father as he conveyed his profound sympathies for the families
of the victims. Turning to the members of the Swiss Guard, he added:
"The Pontiff renews his thanks to you, and his gratitude for the
precious service you have done for 500 years.... He hopes that this
dark hour will not dampen your enthusiasm, but rather will be an
occasion for still greater dedication to your important work, and
greater fraternal spirit among your ranks."
Finally the cardinal paid tribute to Colonel Estermann for his "great
example of silence, fidelity, and continual generous service to the
successor of Peter and the Holy See." He noted that Estermann had no
fear of death-- as he had shown when he leapt to the aid of Pope
John Paul II during the assassination attempt of May 1981-- and
that he finished his service with a remarkable record of devotion.
In a dramatic gesture of forgiveness, the
parents of Colonel Alois Estermann today attended the funeral of
Cedric Tornay, the man accused of killing their son.
The Tornay funeral was held at St. Anne's church at the Vatican
today, Bishop Amedee Grab, the head of the Swiss bishops'
conference, presiding. Claudio Caratsch, the Swiss ambassador to the
Holy See, also attended, as did a Vatican delegation led by Cardinal
Darien Castrillon Hoyos, and a large number of uniformed Swiss
Tornay died of a gunshot wound, evidently self-inflicted, soon after
he apparently shot and killed the Swiss Guard commandant and his
At the moment of the Kiss of Peace, Tornay's parents turned to those
of Alois Estermann and embraced in a sign of their mutual mourning
Devastating Mudslides strike area of Campania, Italy
Two hours of torrential rains of biblical proportions over a mountainous region left barren by earthquakes and volcano activity over the years, have left the city of Sarno and other parts of this region south of Naples devastated with thousands homeless and many feared dead or missing. The powerful force of nature has left this area reeling in disbelief as Pope John Paul II extended his deepest sympathies to the people of this area and called on all to pray for the victims. Conditions have worsened with the mud hardening as the Sarno River resides, making it more difficult to extract those trapped as extensive rescue efforts got underway. For more, click on Mudslide disaster.
SOUTHERN ITALY DEVASTATED BY MUDSLIDES
SARNO, Italy (CWNews.com) - At least 48 people are dead and
70 more are missing after mudslides slammed through towns in
southern Italy on Wednesday, leaving thousands homeless and
scores of villages buried in mud.
Rescuers, assisted by the army and volunteers, continued
digging through debris in villages of the Campania region
south of Naples. Many children are feared to be among the
dead and missing. The mudslides hit Italy just months after
three earthquakes hit central Italy, killing 11 people and
leaving 1,000 homeless. Days of torrential rain swept mud
and topsoil off mountains and hills in the areas affected
and combined to create a fast-flowing wave of mud. The end
of rain and a return to warmer weather on Thursday made
rescue operations more difficult as the mud begins to
Pope John Paul II called the slides a shocking disaster and
said he was praying for the injured, the dead, and the
missing and their families. In a telegram to the head of
the bishops' conference in Campania, the Holy Father said
he "shared the pain of family and friends of the victims
and those still missing in the mournful effects of this
Guatamalan authorities indict murder suspect of human rights bishop.
Ten days after Auxiliary Bishop Juan
Gerardi Conedra was brutally murdered, Guatamalan law authorities feel they have the culprit, enough to formally charge twenty-four year old Carlos Enrique Vielman with his murder. Determination on whether it was a sole act of violence on Vielman's part or part of a larger conspiracy because of Conedra's outspoken policy on human rights is still being determined. For more, click on Arrest to read more.
SUSPECT CHARGED IN GUATEMALAN BISHOP'S MURDER
GUATEMALA CITY (CWNews.com) - The prime suspect in the
murder of an auxiliary bishop on April 26 was formally
charged on Tuesday by the presiding judge in the
Judge Jorge Figueroa opened formal court proceedings
against Carlos Enrique Vielman after the suspect made his
first court appearance, pleading innocent to the murder of
Bishop Juan Gerardi. The bishop was found in a pool of
blood in the garage of his Guatemala City home, his head
crushed by a wedge of cement. Vielman was arrested four
days later. Vielman was portrayed by his attorney who is a
chronic alcoholic who does not even fully understand the
charges against him.
Prosecutors said Vielman was identified by two eyewitnesses
and forensic evidence. Human rights leaders have claimed
that Bishop Gerardi was murdered in retaliation for
releasing a report two days before his death on atrocities
committed by the army and rebel forces during the
36-year-long civil war that ended in 1996.
Despite support for religious persecution bill, International Relations Committee caving in to Clinton pressure
Even though the House Ways and Means Committee passed a much-needed religious persecution bill, much of it had lost its teeth due to compromises made by the International Relations Committee in trying to appease Bill Clinton whose agenda is not in alignment with the bill and who is striving to favor China despite their miserable record of religious persecution. For more, click on religious persecution bill to read more.
PERSECUTION BILL CAUGHT IN CONGRESS JURISDICTION SQUABBLES
WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - The House Ways and Means
Committee approved a religious persecution bill on
Wednesday, after removing provisions enacting President
Bill Clinton's economic sanctions against Sudan that had
been approved by another committee.
Rep. Bill Archer, R-Texas, chairman of the powerful Ways
and Means Committee, said the International Relations
Committee had overstepped its jurisdiction when it had
cleared attachment of the sanctions proposed by Clinton
last November to the bill. He criticized the committee for
deciding to "openly legislate in the jurisdiction of the
Committee on Ways and Means." The Ways and Means
Committee's approval of the bill also lacked a
recommendation for the full House's action.
The bill would create a special office with the State
Department to monitor religious persecution worldwide and
would impose economic sanctions, including denial of
foreign aid and visas and a ban on exports, against
countries that persecute religious minorities. Clinton has
said he opposes the bill because its goals could be
accomplished by other means. However, Clinton's opposition
may also be due to a potential clash with China, which has
consistently suppressed religious minorities and which the
Clinton administration has fought to grant favored trading
status. Clinton has also said the bill's mandatory
sanctions would force the administration to look the other
way to avoid imposing sanctions, despite the law's
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.
April 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message
Dear children! Today I call you, through prayer, to open yourselves to God as a flower opens itself to the rays of the morning sun. Little children, do not be afraid. I am with you and I intercede before God for each of you so that your heart receives the gift of conversion. Only in this way, little children, will you comprehend the importance of grace in these times and God will become nearer to you. Thank you for having responded to my call.
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE
The Essence of the Medjugorje Message
A Call To Peace from
the Queen of Peace
According to the testimony of the visionaries in
Medjugorje, Our Lady introduced herself: "I am the
Queen of Peace" Mary is calling all of humanity to
PEACE, PEACE, PEACE - for it is necessary to save all
humanity. We have to begin by first creating peace
within our hearts, then in our families and then in this
war-threatened world. This can be done in the following
COMMITMENT TO GOD
Turn to Him and communicate with Him. He is
our Eternal Father. Let Him rule your life. Begin
by turning away from sin.
Through our trust in the Lord and our total belief
that Mary is the Mother of all God's children on
earth. Faith is our lifeline to God. So live it.
Our Lady specifically calls for daily prayer
consisting of the Apostles' Creed, 7 Our Father's, 7
Hail Mary's, and 7 Glory Be's which incorporate the
"Peace Rosary"; then the whole Rosary and, if
possible, all 15 Decades meditating on the
Mysteries; daily reading of the Word of God in
Sacred Scripture; and personal communication
with God throughout our active daily duties and
during quiet time with your own special prayers
between you and God.
Mary asks us to fast on Wednesdays and Fridays
and, if possible, on only bread and water. If this is
unfeasible, then restraining from various activities
is encouraged so that we may begin to abandon
our worthless worldly values, denying the flesh,
the world, and the devil. These sacrifices will help
assure eternal bliss for ourselves and others.
Our Blessed Mother asks us to receive the Holy
Sacraments as often as possible. She requests
monthly Confession or even more frequently for the
Sacrament of Reconciliation and asks that we
worthily and reverently receive her Divine Son in
the Holy Eucharist as often as possible at the Holy
Sacrifice of the Mass.
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May 8-10, 1998 volume 9, no. 90 DAILY CATHOLIC