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October 27, 1998
SECTION TWO vol 9, no. 210
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE
LITURGY FOR TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY
Today is the Thirtieth Tuesday in Ordinary Time while tomorrow is the Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles. For the readings, liturgies, meditations and vignettes of these saints, click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.
Tuesday, October 27, 1998
First Reading: Ephesians 5: 21-32
Psalms: Psalm 128: 1-5
Gospel Reading: Luke 13: 18-21
Wednesday, October 28, 1998
First Reading: Ephesians 2: 19-22
Psalms: Psalm 19: 2-5
Gospel Reading: Luke 6: 12-16
FEAST OF SAINT SIMON, APOSTLE
This apostle, Saint Simon the Zealot, shares the feast with Saint Jude Thaddeus because it is believed both were sent to Persia where they were martyred for the faith in the first century. St. Simon was referred to as the Cananean in Matthew 10: 4 and Mark 3: 18 and called the Zealot because of his great zeal in upholding the Jewish Law. (cf. Luke 6: 15 and Acts 1: 13) Cananean means "Zelotes" in Greek and therefore gives credence to this concept. It was also necessary to give him a title to distinguish him from Saint Simon Peter who Jesus constantly addressed as Simon in Sacred Scripture. After the Council of Jerusalem after Jesus' Ascension, Simon went to Egypt where he preached the Gospel there and then on to Carthage, up into Spain where James had been and even into Britain. Sailing back through the Mediterranean he returned to Jerusalem where he joined Jude on missionary journeys east to Syria, Mesopotamia and into Persia which is today Iran. Historians report that he was sawed in half and left to the beasts to devour. He is often depicted in art holding the instrument of his martyrdom. Again the eastern church differs in the account of this apostle, where his feast is celebrated on May 10, maintaining he died peacefully at Edessa on October 28, but because of the nature of his mission and the people he was ministering to, it is highly unlikely he escaped the crown of martyrdom. This fact was confirmed by Church scholar and historian Saint Fortunatus, bishop of Poitier in the 6th Century.
October 28: FEAST OF SAINT JUDE, APOSTLE
The saint known as the Patron Saint of Hopeless Cases, Saint Jude Thaddeus was a cousin of Jesus since he was the nephew of the Blessed Mother and her chaste spouse St. Joseph. Jude was also the brother of Saint James the Less, a fellow apostle as pointed out in Luke 6: 16 and Acts 1: 13. In Matthew 13: 55 and Mark 6: 3 Jude is called only Thaddeus. Yet they are both the same man. In fact, most likely Jude was a boyhood companion of Jesus for his and James' father was Cleophas who died a martyr and whose wife was Mary of Cleophas who stood at the foot of the cross (cf. Matthew 27: 56 and Mark 15: 40). Both Jude and James left everything behind to follow Jesus, so taken were they with their childhood Friend Who had planted the seeds of a lasting vocation to follow Him. After the Council of Jerusalem, he left for Edessa where tradition tells that he healed the king of Edessa of leprosy by holding up a shield of Christ and proclaiming the Name of Jesus over the pagan ruler. Jude was instilled with special gifts of the Holy Spirit including ordering the demons to leave the pagan idols in many of the temples he visited. Once they were gone, the idol images toppled to the ground, smashing in pieces. It was a sign to all that Jude's God was the One True God. It is believed Jude returned to Jerusalem and then returned to Syria with Saint Simon. While it is believed Simon died in the city of Suanis, Persia, some believe Jude suffered martyrdom in Beirut which is today Lebanon. Jude wrote His Epistle warning Christian converts of the dangers of heresy and immorality some time between 62 and 67 AD after the death of his blood brother St. James who had been the Bishop of Jerusalem and before the death of Saint Peter for Peter referred to Jude's Epistle in his own Second Epistle (cf. 2 Peter 2: 6, 10-18; 3: 2-3). Some accounts relate Jude was crucified on the cross as an example to all, but most hold to the tradition that he was clubbed to death and beheaded. He is often depicted holding the face of Jesus and a club, the instrument of his martyrdom. In some illustrations, a flame protrudes from his forehead representing the power of the Holy Spirit. In the Devotions section there is a special Novena and Consecration to St. Jude.
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
Today's prayer is taken from the Entrance Prayer for Civil Authorities and since we are one week away from election day, we thought we would bring the following:
O Almighty and Eternal God, all power of governing and the rights of peoples are in Your hand. Look kindly upon those who rule us, so that the integrity of religion and the security of our country may always endure under Your protection. Through Jesus Christ. Amen.
NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant
Despite religious persecution, Vietnamese bishops want government to extend formal invitation to Pope for a 1999 visit
His Holiness John Paul II has been to many countries throughout his twenty-year pontificate, but never to Vietnam. Now the bishops there are praying and hoping that will change and are officially lobbying the Communist Vietnamese government to extend a formal invitation to the Holy Father to visit. They are well aware that little has changed regarding religious freedom in this Southeast Asian country torn apart by war and tribal conflict for centuries. The bishops have seen what the papal visit did in Cuba and are hopeful such a turnaround can have the same impact in Vietnam where there are millions of Catholics amidst a Buddhist culture. They are hoping the Pope can be present to officially celebrate the bicentennial of the apparitions of Our Lady of La Vang. For more, click on Viet hopes.
VIETNAM BISHOPS ASK GOVERNMENT TO INVITE POPE DESPITE
THE FACT THERE IS "NOTHING NEW" IN VIET POLICY ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
Hanoi (CWNews.com) - The Bishops' Conference of Vietnam has
decided to extend an official invitation to Pope John Paul
II to visit Vietnam in 1999, asking the Communist
government to approve the invitation, according to the
Vatican news agency Fides.
If approved, the Holy Father may visit the country in
August 1999, to conclude celebrations for the 200th
anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of La Vang. Last
March, Cardinal Paul Joseph Pham Dinh Tung of Hanoi made an
informal request to the government to invite Cardinal
Etchegaray for the opening celebrations on the Feast of the
Assumption, on August 15, but he was "advised" not to make
an official request.
The decision to invite the Holy Father was reached
unanimously by the Bishops' Conference during an October
11-18 meeting in the capital. The bishops have also asked
the government whether they may continue to be members of
the Federation of Bishops' Conferences (FABC). Any
relations with "foreign religious organizations" are in
fact subject to government approval. All the activities of
the Vietnamese Bishops' Conference are government-approved
and controlled, including even the date, place, and order
of the day of meetings.
But there is much work to be done for although the Vietnamese
government has promised to institute new policies allowing
religious freedom, a new government decree does
nothing to lift restraints on religious exercise, according
to the Vatican's Fides new agency.
Government officials in Hanoi readily admit that the current policy
restraining religious affairs-- based on a decree issued in 1991-- is
unsatisfactory. For some months, the government's Religious Affairs
Bureau has been promising a new, more open policy. But when a
draft of the new decree appeared in print on October 1, the 38-point
document contained nothing new, Fides reported.
"On careful reading it is clear that this new decree is no different
from the previous one, either in contents (it is a decree, not a law) or
in its style," Fides reports. The Vatican agency, an affiliate of the
Congregation for Evangelization, quotes Vietnamese priests as saying
that the only change is in the organization of the document; the new
decree sets down government policy on more individual points than
the 1991 version, and the October draft covers all religious
affiliations, whereas the earlier decree mentioned only Buddhism--
the most popular religion in Vietnam-- explicitly.
The fundamental point, however, remains unchanged: In Vietnam, all
religious activities still require official government approval.
For Catholics, another source of concern is the new decree's effort to
distinguish between a "Vietnamese Catholic Church" and the
universal Church. As in China, the government in Vietnam has sought
to establish a "patriotic" Catholic association, without ties to the Holy
See. The new decree contributes to that cause by saying, "Legal
religious organizations within the country must obtain civil authority
permission to put into practice religious guidelines coming from
foreign religious organizations." Since the Vatican is defined as a
"foreign religious organization," the practical effect of this policy is to
make it illegal for Vietnamese Catholic bishops to enact policies set
by Rome. For the immediate future, that policy will probably prevent
Vietnamese Catholics from participating in preparations for the
Jubilee Year 2000-- or, at least, from doing so without defying the
law and risking arrest.
The proposed new decree proclaims that religious believers in
Vietnam are free to profess their faith, convene public gatherings,
print religious literature, and carry out social activities. However,
after proclaiming those freedoms, the decree goes on to say that
these activities require explicit government approval in every case.
As Fides observes, the decree "would seem to be more of a 'trap'--
religious freedom is proclaimed and then withdrawn, secured under
the shield of government authority."
Fides cites three specific areas in which government policies may be
more restrictive, despite general claims of freedom:
1) The new decree announces that every individual will be free to
choose and practice his religion. However, the government has rarely
given authorization for young men to enter seminaries, or for pastors
to take up their duties in the parishes to which they have been
assigned. The government has also resisted Vatican appointments of
2) The new decree smashes hopes that the government might return
confiscated parish properties to the churches. Instead, the document
insists that these properties were "offered" to the state, and will
remain under government control.
3) The decree also implicitly rejects a request, made repeatedly by
the country's Catholic bishops, for permission to set up a religious
publishing house. All religious literature must be printed under the
auspices of the government's Religious Affairs Bureau; no
independent publisher will be authorized.
Another priest murdered in South America; drug traffickers suspected of heinous crime
Persecution of priests world-wide continues with the latest news that a crusader for helping drug addicts has been brutally murdered by suspected drug traffickers in the slums outside Rio de Janeiro. Many believe he was slain gangland style because he dared to stand up to known drug traffickers and rescued many from their clutches at his parish church of Santo Antonio de
Guarus in the diocese of Campos. The 39-year-old priest, Oto Campos Braga was discovered by police after being reported missing shortly after saying Holy Mass on Sunday. Police announced an investigation had begun to apprehend his killers and we can only hope the justice system there has more integrity than in Guatamala where another priest has been falsely accused of a murder committed by government soldiers. For more, click on Tragedy in Brazil
BRAZILIAN PRIEST KILLED; DRUG TRAFFICKERS SUSPECTS
RIO DE JANEIRO (CWNews.com) - The brutal murder of a young
Brazilian priest has shaken Rio de Janeiro, where the
priest was regarded as a champion against drug trafficking
and drug consumption. Last Monday, the police found Father
Oto Campos Braga, 39, dead inside his car, after he was
reported missing late on Sunday.
Police spokesmen said the priest was repeatedly beaten with
stones and sticks and his car was set on fire. Father Braga
was attacked on Sunday evening after celebrating a Mass in
a slum in Rio.
Ordained ten years ago, Father Braga was involved in the
recovery of drug addicts in his parish of Santo Antonio de
Guarus, in the diocese of Campos. His Bishop, Roberto
Guimaraes, of Campos, said: "He was a very good man, a
devoted pastor and beloved by his people." But, Bishop
Guimaraes added that the priest was well known for his
strong stance against "some economic interests." In fact,
Father Braga stopped a group of vendors from controlling a
local religious feast. He also was a strong critic of drug
traffickers in the area. The police believe that a local
gang of drug traffickers murdered the priest, but
investigations are still ongoing.
Role of Catholic Education takes center stage at Vatican as Pope encourages educators
Speaking to sixty educators from around the world in Rome at the invitation of the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Holy Father addressed the assemby urging them to uphold the principals of Catholicity in all that is taught and to give it the highest priority in the face of cultural changes and pressure from special interest groups that tend to water down the truth. Truth, he told them, must be paramount and through a solid Catholic education that becomes evident despite the distractions of technology and mores that can hinder the student as well as the teacher today. For more, click on Catholic education.
POPE MEETS CONGREGATION FOR CATHOLIC EDUCATION
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Pope John Paul II today held a private
audience with the participants in a plenary session of the
Congregation for Catholic Education. That session has drawn 60
people to Rome to discuss the educational role of the Church.
The Pope stressed that the Church's efforts in education must be a
high priority, regardless of the "difficulties" caused by "cultural
changes" and "new technological forms." He observed that
improvements in the field of communications should be helpful to
Catholic educators, although he also noted that the new technology
has brought some problems, "such as superficiality, the lack of
creativity, and fragmentation."
The role of Catholic education is to provide "a model for man which is
unified and complete," the Pope continued. Toward that end, the
individual's faculties should be developed in harmony, leading him
"toward contemplation and truth."
The Pope thanked the members of the Congregation for their own
contributions to the educational process, giving special attention to
the needs of seminaries and Catholic universities. He urged religious
institutions to devote themselves to the educational work which is
"so urgent and essential for the future of the world and the Church."
Pope receives new French Ambassador to the Holy See amidst rebellion within the ranks of modern France
A day after receiving the new Irish ambassador to the Holy See, the Holy Father received the new French Ambassador Jean Gueguinou. The Pope was cordial but firm in reminding the ambassador that despite the secularism of government in separation of Church and state, it was important to maintain a moral latitude that promoted the betterment of all peoples of France - a group who traditionally have opened their arms to all immigrants. The Pontiff expressed hope that this would continue while praying that the people will be loyal to Christ and His true faith despite any differences they might now have with the conservative policies of his pontificate. For more, click on New French Ambassador
NEW FRENCH AMBASSADOR PRESENTS CREDENTIALS
VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- On Saturday, October 24, Pope John Paul
II accepted the diplomatic credentials of Jean Gueguinou, the new
ambassador of France to the Holy See.
In his remarks to the French diplomat, the Pope mentioned the needs
of the family and of Catholic schools, and the government's policies
regarding immigrants and resident aliens, as well as the more
general need for world peace and diplomatic resolution of conflicts.
The Pope also spoke of the principle of secularity which governs
relations between France and the Holy See. While recognizing the
need to keep the government removed from questions of religious
faith, he pointed out, this principle nonetheless does not eliminate
the need for a religious perspective, nor does it even militate against
"the acceptance of a religious dimension in the national patrimony."
The proper separation of church and state, he concluded, is a
recognition that religious practice is a private affair; it does not
exclude the possibility that government should recognize the positive
contributions of faith in the life of society.
After remarking on the need to protect family life and to allow
parents to obtain a Catholic education for their children, the Pope
next turned to the issue of immigration. "France has a tradition of
social conviviality, openness, respect, and welcome," he said. He
expressed the hope that France would continue that tradition by
recognizing immigrants as "above all, our brothers."
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.
PROVERB OF THE DAY
"A man may conceal hatred under dissimulation, but his malice will be revealed in the assembly. "
Proverbs 26: 26
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October 27, 1998 volume 9, no. 210 DAILY CATHOLIC