Victory by Don Juan of Austria and the Holy League of Nations over the Turks and the death of Ali Pasha, Turkish Fleet Commander. The victory was hailed by Pope Saint Pius V as a great victory for Catholics due largely to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary through the faithfuls' recitation of the Rosary. He proclaimed it the special feast day of Our Lady of Victory but was later made an universal feast as Our Lady of the Rosary. For more on this, see TODAY'S LITURGY.
Pope Pius XII issues his 28th encyclical Ad Sinarum gentem on the Church's role in China.
Pope John Paul II beatifies Hanibal Maria Di Francia and Joseph Allamano.
The announcement appears to reflect the shock felt by Catholics in Sweden when the archbishop-- the head of the Lutheran Church in that country-- announced his support for church recognition of homosexual unions.
Joaquin Navarro-Valls, the director of the Vatican press office, said that the papal audience had been postponed in view of "recent events in Stockholm, and the public discussions they have provoked." It seemed prudent, he said, to schedule the meeting for a later date.
In addition to his public backing of proposals for blessing homosexual unions, Archbishop Hammar had drawn fire in Sweden by authorizing a photographic exhibit, displayed in his cathedral, which included a parody of the Last Supper, in which the apostles were dressed as women and Jesus himself wore spike-heeled boots.
In a press conference of his own, held in Upsala, Archbishop Hammar said that his audience with the Pope had been postponed at the request of Swedish Catholics. He added that he would not change his public stance, regardless of the Vatican's displeasure.
For his part, Navarro-Valls said that a new date for the audience would be set upon agreement between the two parties.
The six parishes were closed and merged with other parishes as part of a diocesan reorganization in 1988 necessitated by changing demographics, a diocesan spokesman said. A coalition of parishioners filed the first of several lawsuits in 1994 to block the closings. Last year, the US Supreme Court turned away a similar appeal of a ruling that the closings are an internal Church matter.
Father Ronald Lengwin, diocesan secretary for pastoral life, said he hopes that this most recent decision ends the matter conclusively. "It is our hope that those persons involved in the suits would accept the reconciliation offered many times by the diocese over the past several years, and join with their follow Catholics in the effort of spiritual renewal," Father Lengwin added.
Father Lengwin emphasized that the reorganization process had been undertaken with due deliberation involving every member of the affected parishes. When some parish members objected to the conclusions, he said, they were also allowed to appeal via ecclesiastical channels, but were ultimately unsatisfied when even the Vatican upheld the decision and turned to the secular courts.
Father Boma reportedly told four other Sudanese priests about the torture when he met them in a Khartoum jail on October 1. He said that he had been tortured, and that he had signed a "confession" of crimes against the state in order to stop the torture of Father Sebit.
The news report from Fides came as a tribunal in Khartoum began prosecution of the two priests, and 18 other people, for allegedly participating in a dynamite attack in Khartoum last June 30. Father Boma is also accused of involvement in the Popular Army for the Liberation of Sudan (SPLA); he is being identified by government prosecutors as the head of a ring of rebels who, by their bombing attack, sought to disrupt electrical power in Khartoum. And Father Boma is further accused of orchestrating attempts on the lives of government leaders.
The 20 defendants will be tried before a court of 3 judges: an engineer, a lawyer, and a military officer. Among those 20 defendants, 18 are Christians. All of the defendants were present when the court opened its first session, except Father Boma. He appeared later, appeared "tired," according to one eyewitness. After a short hearing, at which the accused designated their lawyers, the trial was adjourned until October 13.
Human rights groups and foreign governments welcomed the decision, but advocated prudent observation for signs that China will uphold its pledge. "Since China is currently in violation of almost every article of the covenant, we hope its decision to sign indicates a change in human rights practices," said Sidney Jones of Human Rights Watch. "The test will be in the implementation."
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights defines the right of self-determination, prohibits torture, and provides for freedom of movement, religion, expression, and association. A Chinese government spokesman said he did not know when the treaty would be ratified by the government. Spokesman Zhu Bangzao said legislative ratification "takes time."
Meanwhile to the north in Moscow, even as NATO countries tempered their threats of military action as Serbian forces withdrew from the breakaway Balkan province of Kosovo, Russia warned on Tuesday that it would veto any move by the United Nations to authorize air strikes.
President Boris Yeltsin warned NATO that the use of force in the region would cause a serious diplomatic breach with Russia. Serbian police and military forces have been accused of human rights atrocities in Kosovo against the ethnic Albanian majority as it seeks to quell a rising independence movement. Yeltsin engaged in telephone diplomacy as he talked with German Chancellor-elect Gerhard Schroeder, US President Bill Clinton, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and French President Jacques Chirac.
As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Russia holds a binding veto vote against any resolution that comes before the body. "(Russia) would definitely use its right of veto," Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov told Interfax news agency when asked how it would react if the matter was raised at the UN Security Council. "A military strike will not help normalize the situation but will have the opposite effect," he said.