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WEDNESDAY      October 21, 1998      SECTION TWO       vol 9, no. 206

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

Events Today in Church History

      Today is the 233rd anniversary of the death of the eighteenth century Italian master Giovanni Paolo Panini who contributed so much to the great interior of St. Peter's Basilica. 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 21:

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World News Service



      ROME ( - On Tuesday, Pope John Paul II made an official visit to the "Quirinal" -- the residence of the President of the Italian Republic (named after the Roman hill on which it is built). The pope met President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro as well as the new prime minister, the ex-Communist Massimo D'Alema and outgoing prime minister Romano Prodi.

      The topic of the meeting was the collaboration between the Church and the State "for the promotion of man and the good of the country," as specified in the concordat of February 1984 and quoted by the Pope. He expressed his wish that the "harmony be confirmed" and even "intensified" for the preparation of the Great Jubilee in 2000. And within this framework, he launched a call for an authentic family policy and legislation which protects human life and the right of parents in education.

      By tradition, the president of the Italian Republic makes an official visit to the Vatican after his election, a visit which the pope then returns to him. This arrangement is unique to the relationship between the Holy See and Italy. President Scalfaro visited the Vatican on November 22, 1992, and the Holy Father's return visit came as Scalfaro's seven-year term nears its end next spring.

      The visit proceeded with great solemnity, the Pope being escorted from St. Peter's Square by an "extraordinary mission of the Italian government ," along with a military formation bearing trumpets. In an uncovered car which enables him to greet both Romans and pilgrims, the Pope went to the Quirinal with a large escort, including a horse guard awaiting him along the way.

      In his speech, the Pope reaffirmed the existing link between family policy, the respect for the life and the "level of civilization" reached by society. "A healthy family can transmit the values on which rests any ordered coexistence, starting with the fundamental value of life, whose more or less great respect measures the degree of civilization reached by a people," he said. " A healthy family, a healthy country: one cannot be deceived into believing he may obtain one without being concerned with what is necessary for the other." The pope then asked for "clear and quick protection for all forms of human life, to overcome the wound of abortion and any form of legalization of euthanasia." He added, "In the vast context of the service of life, it is my wish that adequate legislative initiatives be expressed in the principles of freedom and of pluralism contained in the Italian Constitution, and in reference to the rights of parents to choose the educational model suitable to the cultural growth their children."

      He continued on the topic of freedom of choice in education by referring to other European legislation favoring private schooling. "That [education model] comprises not only the guarantee of an real right to study, but also the possibility of choice of the type of preferred school, without discrimination and penalty as is already the case in the most of the countries of Europe."

      Other concerns the Pope brought up during the meeting included unemployment, in particular that of young people; the situation of immigrants; victims of kidnapping and of violence.

      The Holy Father avoided controversy when he met with ex-Communist Massimo D'Alema, to whom was entrusted the formation of a new Italian government two days ago. Last Sunday, the official Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano called D'Alema "a man from the apparatus of the former Italian Communist Party," recalling the political past of the new prime minister as secretary of the Federation of Communist Youths. Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini said of the article, "Some are perhaps preoccupied in the Vatican by the innovation. But it is necessary to take account of the evolution of the left-wing parties in our country. The country has evolved with the creation of two wings supporting our political system: one social democrat, the other liberal democrat."

      Giuseppe Lumia, a member of Parliament from Catholic Action, said, "It is normal for a small part of those representing L'Osservatore Romano and L'Avvenire [the official newspaper of the Italian Catholic bishops] to be opposed to the change. But another part, the majority, of the Catholic world has for years collaborated and lived with the left-center and found in this political area the possibility of expressing its own values."

      The Pope shook the hand of the new prime minister for a lengthy period of time, but taking note of the political controversy, did not voice a sentence, present in his written speech: "I keep in mind the uneasy times that Italy is living in."

      The Pope had already twice visited the Quirinal, following the visit of President Sandro Pertini to the Vatican in May 1984 and after President Francesco Cossiga went to the Vatican in October 1985. This is the seventh time that a pope has gone to the Quirinal, since the Quirinal ceased being a papal residence, in 1870, after the capture of Rome by the Republicans and King Victor Emmanuel II: Pius XII went in 1939 to try to convince, in vain, Victor Emmanuel III to not enter World War II; John XXIII, in 1963, for the Balzan Prize for Peace; Paul VI, in 1964 and 1966, to officially thank Italy for having supported the unfolding of the Second Vatican Council.


      VATICAN CITY ( - In the tenth year of Pope John Paul II's motu proprio "Ecclesia Dei" (July 2, 1988) -- which facilitated the "ecclesial communion" of the faithful formerly loyal to Archbishop Lefebvre -- a pilgrimage has been organized in Rome from October 24 to 26 by various parochial communities and fraternities inspired by this Motu Proprio.

      The groups intend to confirm their unity with St. Peter and to thank him and at the same time to reaffirm their attachment to the Church within the framework of the preparation for the Jubilee of 2000.

      The motu proprio gave rise to a pontifical commission of the same name which is currently chaired by Cardinal Angelo Felici. The mission of this commission was to "collaborate with the bishops, the dicasteries of the Roman curia, and other interested groups in the goal of facilitating the full ecclesial communion of priests, seminarians, communities, and monks and nuns that were connected in various ways with the fraternity founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who wish remain united with the Successor of Peter in the Catholic Church."

      "To all faithful Catholics who feel attached to certain liturgical and disciplinary forms of the former Latin rite," wrote the Pope in his motu proprio," I wish to express my will to facilitate their ecclesial communion by means of measures necessary to guarantee the respect of their legitimate desires."


      DUBLIN ( - Pope John Paul II has said he may visit Northern Ireland in the wake of the Good Friday peace agreement between Republicans and Unionists. The Pope visited the Republic of Ireland in 1979, but was advised not to travel to Northern Ireland, which is still ruled by Britain.

      The Holy Father's former master of ceremonies, John Magee -- who is now Bishop of Cloyne in southwest Ireland -- said last week that he was speaking to the Pope just after the Good Friday Agreement was signed. The Pope thanked God for the agreement and added: "Now is the time for me to complete my visit to Drogheda." The bishop added that, as the Pontiff left Ireland in 1979, he promised to return, on condition that he could visit the North.

      The nearest he came was Drogheda in the border county of Louth. There he pleaded "on my knees" with paramilitaries on both sides of the sectarian divide to "turn away from the path of violence and returns to the ways of peace."

      Meanwhile in Belfast, Church of Ireland Archbishop Robin Eames said on Tuesday that he will seek a solution to the continuing problems related to the annual Protestant "marching season" in Northern Ireland.

      Archbishop Eames said he would demand guarantees of good behavior from the pro-British Orange Order which organizes a parade each year in the village of Drumcree that has resulted in violence over the past three years. The parade season commemorates military victories over the Irish Catholics hundreds of years ago. "The very term 'Drumcree' conjures up images of violence and protest," the archbishop said in a speech to a Church of Ireland convention. "It has become a cameo of the worst agonies of Northern Ireland."

      The rioting that erupted between Catholics and Protestants this past summer threatened the newly-minted Good Friday peace agreement that seeks to end the violence in the British-ruled province. Tension swept the province in July when authorities banned an Orange Order parade from going through Catholic areas of Drumcree, near the border with the Irish Republic, and ended in the death of three Catholic children killed when a gasoline bomb was thrown into their home in Ballymoney.


      WARSAW ( - A Polish municipal court on Monday turned down the government's attempt to take over a plot of land adjoining the former Auschwitz Nazi death camp in a bid to remove an embarrassing display of hundreds of crosses.

      Grassroots Catholic groups have set up the crosses to memorialize the Poles killed in the camps and to protest attempts to remove a cross erected at the site that commemorates Pope John Paul II's visit to the camp in 1979. The municipal court rejected the government's bid to appoint a caretaker for the land while it takes legal action to revoke the lease held by supporters of the cross plantings. The current occupants will now be able to stay on the site throughout the eviction process, which the protestors have vowed to fight through all levels of the Polish courts.

      Jewish groups have criticized the cross plantings as an offense to the memory of the more than 1 million Jews killed at the camp by the Nazis during World War II. They say an international accord bans religious, ideological, or political symbols at the camp.

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.


"The horse is equipped for the day of battle, but victory is the Lord's."

Proverbs 22: 31

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October 21, 1998 volume 9, no. 206   DAILY CATHOLIC