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TUESDAY      October 20, 1998      SECTION TWO       vol 9, no. 205

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Events Today in Church History

      Today is the 59th anniversary of the first encyclical Summi Pontificatus on human society, much in the same vein as Pope John Paul II's most recent encyclical Fides et Ratio. For other events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

Historical Events in Church Annals for October 20:

Feast of Saint Paul of the Cross

"Never shall faith be tested as in these days before the great purification falls from Heaven to rid the earth of evil."

     Those are the words from Our Lord in the 240th message and which His Blessed Mother reinforces in the 241st message, both conveyed on October 13, 1992 to the Hidden Flower of the Immaculate Heart. Jesus and Mary point out that the world and satan have swallowed up our inner fire to obey and worship God and we have ignored Him in favor of our own comfort zone. They urge us all to return to the safe refuge of their Sacred and Immaculate Hearts and to heed all They impart. For messages number 240 and 241, click on "I SOLEMNLY TELL YOU..."

Messages Two Hundred Forty and Two Hundred Forty-one

Message Two Hundred Forty, October 13, 1992

(Feast of Our Lady of Fatima during Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament)
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary and her Divine Son's Sacred Heart)

Message Two Hundred Forty-one, October 13, 1992

(Afternoon Adoration at St. Bernard's Chapel on the anniversary of the final apparition at Fatima)
(Imparted to the Hidden Flower by the Immaculate Heart of Mary)

with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World News Service



      VATICAN CITY ( - Pope John Paul II celebrated the 20th anniversary of his election as Pope "with his family" last Thursday, with his fellow Poles, and on Sunday, the World Day of Missions, with the diocese of Rome. The people of Rome gathered in St. Peter's Square, along with Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar of Rome, for a Eucharistic celebration presided over by the Pope and concelebrated by more than 1,500 priests and bishops.

      The Holy Father told the faithful, "The apostolic ministry consists first in the teaching of the Word of God, the truth, and prayer." Underlining the missionary character of his new encyclical on the reciprocal relationships of faith and reason, Fides et Ratio, the Pope affirmed with his Angelus message the importance of the proclamation of truth throughout his pontificate. "What misfortune if humanity lost the understanding of truth, the courage to seek it, and confidence to find it," he said. "It is not only the faith which would be compromised, but the understanding even of life." On that subject, he also evoked St. Therese of Lisieux whom he proclaimed Doctor of the Church last year, and St. Edith Stein whom he has just canonized and whom he called the "saintly philosopher."

      Commenting on the passage of St. John's Gospel where Christ asks Peter: "Do you love me?" and entrusts to him "to feed his lambs," the Holy Father affirmed in his homily that the first duty of the successor of Peter is "to confirm" his brothers in the faith and consequently to teach. "The bishop known as the bishop of Rome, and with stronger reason the pope, must continuously turn to the sources of wisdom which lead to salvation. He must love the Word of God."

      "After twenty years of service to the See of Peter," he said, "Can I not raise these questions today: Did you hold to that? Were you a diligent and vigilant guardian of the faith in the Church? Did you seek to bring people closer today to the great work of the Second Vatican Council? Did you seek to satisfy the desire for the faith in the Church, and also this hunger for truth which is felt in the world apart from the Church? "

      He reaffirmed: "To proclaim the Word, that is my task there, thereby making it possible for the Son of Man, when He comes, to find the faith throughout the world."

      The reading of the passage of the book of the Exodus where Moses is shown in prayer with raised hands prompted him to say: "Here is an icon of an extraordinary praying force: the icon of a beseeching shepherd ..." He added, "The prayer of the shepherd supports the flock. That is certain. But it is as true that the prayer of the people supports he who is charged with guiding them. It is thus since the beginning." He then quoted the passage of the Acts of the Apostles where the Church of Jerusalem prays for the imprisoned Peter and then he is miraculously delivered. "For myself, I have witnessed it personally. The prayer of the Church has a great power."

      The Pope thanked all those who expressed to him their "solidarity" at this time of his 20th anniversary by naming the sick and suffering people, the contemplatives, the monks, the families, and the faithful present in St. Peter's Square, including Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro and Cardinal Ruini. For Rome and Italy, which he often has called his second homeland, the Pope had cordial words: "I would like to express my gratitude for the warmth of the way with which the City of Rome and Italy welcomed me from the first days of my Petrine ministry." He then renewed his devotion towards the Virgin Mary while repeating: "Totus tuus!"


      VATICAN CITY ( - Pope John Paul II, meeting with a delegation of US bishops on Saturday, expressed his dissatisfaction with the number of annulments being granted to Catholics. US Catholics receives a disproportionately greater number of annulments each year.

      In audience with bishops from Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, the Holy Father said that annulments should be a last resort. "The indissolubility of marriage is a teaching that comes from Christ himself," he said, "and the first duty of pastors and pastoral workers is therefore to help couples overcome whatever difficulties arise. The referral of matrimonial cases to the tribunal should be a last resort."

      The Pontiff also warned that easy availability of annulments could cause the faithful to misunderstand a declaration of nullity as "divorce under a different name." He also affirmed that the tribunal judge must be convinced of the "moral certainty" of the existence of the nullity, and not just the probability that it exists.

      He also said that, when determining if a psychological problem rendered a person incapable of contracting a valid marriage, the tribunal must make use of a psychiatrist or psychologist "who shares a Christian anthropology in accordance with the Church's understanding of the human person."


      VATICAN CITY ( - The Holy See intervened last Wednesday at the United Nations in New York during a discussion on the promotion of the woman, as begun at the Fourth World Conference which had taken place in Beijing in September 1995.

      Helene Lukas, a member of the Holy See's delegation, recalled the participation of the Holy See in the consensus which had approved the Beijing Platform for Action, in spite of some reservations on certain sections of the document. For the Vatican, the Action plan is in "narrow convergence" with the social doctrines of the Church, particularly on the section of document which focuses "on the needs of poor woman, on ending violence against the woman, on access of woman to employment, land, capital, and technology, and to a strategy of promotion of woman in education." "Too many women are still poor, impotent, and victims of violence," said Lukas who also counted more than 538 million illiterate women currently in the world.

      In the field of health, the Vatican delegation recognized that the last thirty years saw "a great improvement" in the access of women to medical care, insisting however on "an always decreasing number" of women who die during pregnancy or childbirth. AIDS is also a wound which touches women particularly, she said, including "one million women" in the last year. Lukas also noted that more than 8 million orphans less than 15 years old now suffer from AIDS.

      Faced with all these "injustices" endured by women, the Holy See does not cease promoting any action aimed at "improving the status of woman," continued Lukas. Citing "the primary strategy," she requested "educational institutions, teaching religious congregations, and Catholic medical institutions" to focus on girls and women, "particularly the poorest."

      "The Church is completely conscious of the importance" of continuing the work started in Beijing, concluded the representative from the Holy See. "It encourages people, society as a whole, and political authorities of the whole world to make a real contribution to the promotion of the status of women" and "makes it integral with any authentic international initiative to improve the situation of women."


      GUATEMALA CITY ( - The chief UN representative in Guatemala said on Friday that investigators had not given sufficient credence to allegations that a Catholic bishop had been the victim of political assassination.

      "Given the history of Guatemala, the perception that this is a political crime is justified. That hypothesis is totally reasonable. We know there are groups in Guatemala that are capable of giving a common appearance to a political crime," said Jean Arnault, chief of the UN Verification Mission in Guatemala.

      Auxiliary Bishop Juan Gerardi Conedera, head of the human rights office of the Archdiocese of Guatemala city, was murdered at his home in April, just two days after releasing a human rights report that blamed pro-government forces for most of the deaths during the country's 36-year civil war. Government prosecutors have charged Father Mario Orantes, who lived in the same rectory as the bishop, with the murder.

      "The case continues as a thick cloud over the state of justice in Guatemala. ... We feel the investigation has not shown the necessary vigor or transparency," said Arnault, who helped the government and rebels negotiate 1996 peace accords that brought the civil war to an end. Human rights and Catholic groups have said the government has not sufficiently investigated leads that the military was involved with the crime.

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.

September 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message

   Dear children! Today, I call you to become my witnesses by living the faith of your fathers. Little children, you seek signs and messages and do not see that, with every morning sunrise, God calls you to convert and to return to the way of truth and salvation. You speak much, little children, but you work little on your conversion. That is why, convert and start to live my messages, not with your words but with your life. In this way, little children, you will have the strength to decide for the true conversion of the heart. Thank you for having responded to my call

For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE


"One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth."

Proverbs 13: 7

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October 20, 1998 volume 9, no. 205   DAILY CATHOLIC