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WEDNESDAY      October 28, 1998      SECTION TWO       vol 9, no. 211

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Events Today in Church History

     Today is the 40th anniversary of the election of Cardinal Angelo Guiseppe Roncalli to succeed Pope Pius XII as the 261st successor of Peter. He would of course take the name John XXIII and turn the world and Church on its ear with the announcement of Vatican II. 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 28:

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World News Service



      KARLSRUHE, Germany ( - Germany's Constitutional Court on Tuesday ruled that the mainly Catholic state of Bavaria cannot limit the amount doctors can earn from abortions.

      The 1996 Bavarian law was to go into effect last year, but was blocked until the high court could rule on it. The law banned doctors in Bavaria from earning more than 25 percent of their income from performing abortions. Supports of the law said abortionists who are financially dependent on the practice would be less likely to inform pregnant women of other options as required by federal law.

      While the federal law forbids most abortions and requires pre-abortion counseling, the procedure is available practically on demand because mothers or abortionists who ignore the law are never punished. Before reunification in 1990, West Germany had the strongest pro-life laws in western Europe, but restrictions were loosened after the former Communist East Germany rejoined the country.


      BUFFALO, New York ( - Even as a New York abortionist was being buried on Monday after having been killed by a sniper's bullet on Friday, pro-abortion groups blamed pro-lifers for creating a climate of violence that made the killing possible.

      Kate Michelman, director of the National Abortion Rights Action League, equated Dr. Bernard Slepian's murderer with pro-life legislators. "Whether it comes from those who commit violence to stop women from having abortions or those who craft legislation to make abortions more difficult to obtain, the freedom to choose is under serious assault," she said. The American Jewish Congress blamed the killing on those who, "in the name of 'a demonic religious belief,' provide encouragement for the murderers even if not specifically calling for murder," the group said. "It is these perverse views that account for these atrocious acts," said AJC president Jack Rosen in a statement.

      Most pro-life groups, however, condemned the killing. The American Life League declared that such violence can never be justified. "This tragedy is but another example of the disrespect for human life that has permeated our society," ALL said in a statement. The Rev. Jerry Falwell of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, said the killer is not pro-life. "There is no justification for that and, if anything, persons like that do more to damage the cause of the unborn than any other person in the culture," he said.


      VATICAN ( -- In the aftermath of the Wye Plantation peace agreement between Israel and Palestine, the Holy See has made new expressions of concern over the status of Jerusalem.

      "The cause of the Holy City has always been at the center of the Holy See's concerns, and one of the major priorities of its international action," said Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, the Vatican's chief foreign-affairs official.

      Speaking in Jerusalem on Monday, to a group of Catholic leaders convened there at the invitation of Patriarch Michel Sabbah, Archbishop Tauran repeated the Vatican contention that Jerusalem should be an international city, with guaranteed open access for believers of all the great world religions.

      The situation in Jerusalem is thoroughly unique, the archbishop pointed out, for three reasons: it is a city regarded as holy by the three great monotheistic religions; it is claimed as a capital by both Israelis and Palestinians; and it is inhabited by a very diverse population. "It is a conflict," Archbishop Tauran admitted. "In fact there are many different points of conflict."

      For that reason, the archbishop continued, the Holy See seeks an integral approach to the city's status: an agreement which would guard not only the access of pilgrims to religious sites there, but the entire heritage of the Holy City. He pointed out that the Vatican has consistently protested the military occupation of the city since 1967, pointing out: "It is false, therefore, to pretend that the Holy See is only interested in the religious aspect and ignores the political and territorial questions." While the Vatican has no interest in strictly political or territorial affairs, he added, the Church "has the right and the duty to remind the parties of their obligations to resolve controversies peacefully, according to the principles of justice and equity."

      Calling Jerusalem a "treasure of humanity as a whole," the Vatican diplomat said that the city should be governed by an international accord, and the Holy See will resist any "unilateral solution." He recommended a special international statute to govern the city's future.


      VATICAN ( -- The Vatican was represented at the October 26 signing of a peace treaty resolving territorial disputes between Ecuador and Peru. Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, was present at the ceremony in Brazil.

      Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, a native of Colombia, had traveled to Brasilia-- where peace negotiations had been in process for weeks, culminating a long series of talks that began in February 1995-- to express the concerns of the Holy See. The governments of Brazil, Argentina, and Chile had also voiced concerns over the border disputes, which had caused tensions between Peru and Ecuador for decades. Those concerns were finally resolved by a treaty which was signed yesterday by the Ecuadoran President Jamil Mahuad and his Peruvian counterpart Alberto Fujimori. Brazilian President Henrique Cardoso acted as host for the ceremony.

      Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos carried a message from Pope John Paul II to the signing parties: "I am happy to associate myself with you in spirit at this solemn moment of the signing of the accord." The Pope added that he would join in the celebration "of two peoples whom I love so much, and who today see the closing of a sad chapter in the history of your relations, and an opening to lasting peace."

      The Pope thanked the other Latin American governments which had joined in promoting the peace negotiations, praising them for their efforts. He also thanked the Catholic groups in Ecuador and Peru which had organized days of prayer for peace.

      In Lima, Peru the Catholic bishops of Peru and Ecuador encouraged their countrymen to accept the peace agreement that presidents of both countries will sign on Tuesday in Brasilia, Brazil and announced that they will hold a joint liturgical celebration to "strengthen peace an reconciliation."

      A final proposal that puts an end to the most volatile border conflict in the region was proposed to Peru and Ecuador by four guarantor countries -- the US, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. The congresses of both countries had previously agreed to accept the proposal as " definitive." President Jamil Mahaud of Ecuador and President Alberto Fujimori of Peru both agreed to sign the agreement last Friday, but a wave of protests resulted in both nations. According to the agreement, Peru will have to provide navigational facilities to Ecuador in the Amazon river. In exchange, Ecuador will relinquish any territorial demand and will agree to mark and accept the boundaries as claimed by Peru.

      "We Peruvians had to make some concessions because when two parties negotiate, there is no agreement that can perfectly satisfy one of the sides," said Cardinal Augusto Vargas Alzamora, president of the Peruvian Bishops' Conference, in a message on Sunday. "This is the moment to provide full support to this decision because it means a definitive peace with a brother nation," he added. Archbishop Mario Ruiz Navas, president of Ecuador's Bishops' Conference, said, "The decision does not satisfy all our aspirations, but is certainly much better than a history of problems and the menace of the phantom of war. Let us concentrate now in the future and in the fruits of peace."

      According to a source in the Peruvian Bishops' Conference earlier this week, auxiliary Bishop Julio Teran Dutari of Quito, Ecuador, will visit Lima for a set of conferences. "This will also be the occasion to plan a liturgical celebration of reconciliation and fraternity among both episcopates and both Catholic peoples," the source said. The celebration could be celebrated on the bridge that connects the Peruvian city of Aguas Verdes with the Ecuadorian city of Huaquillas.

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.


"A cheerful glance brings joy to the heart; good news invigorates the bones."

Proverbs 15: 30

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October 28, 1998 volume 9, no. 211   DAILY CATHOLIC