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FRI-SAT-SUN      September 11-13, 1998      SECTION THREE       vol 9, no. 178

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      VATICAN ( -- Preparations for a papal trip on September 18- 20 to the north of Italy have been disrupted by the appearance of posters calling for "Death to the Pope" in the center of Chiavari, one of the towns which the Holy Father is scheduled to visit.

      The posters, which accuse the Pope of "tyranny," carried the signature of local anarchist groups. Police in Chiavari have opened an investigation, hoping to discovery the exact identity of the authors. Similar tracts were distributed several years ago prior to a papal visit to the city of Trent.

      Despite the excitement generated by the appearance of the posters, the Chiavari pastor said he was confident that there was "no real danger" to the Pope. He also pointed out that security would be tightened for the visit.

      Preparations for the papal trip continue unabated. Pope John Paul II is scheduled to preside at a solemn Mass in Chiavari on September 19, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the diocese. The occasion will also allow the Pope to make a friendly visit with Bishop Alberto Maria Careggio, who helped organize the Pope's vacation in the nearby Dolomites this summer.

      In Brescia, the Pope will salute Pope Paul VI, a native of the region, as Brescia celebrates the 100th anniversary of that pontiff's birth. Also in Brescia, he will preside at the beatification of Giuseppe Tovoni, a layman and banker who founded the Banco Ambrosiano-- an institution which would be plunged into scandal in the 1980s.


      PHILADELPHIA ( - Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua of Philadelphia on Wednesday called on US congressmen to pass a proposed law that would ban doctor-assisted suicide.

      The cardinal said in a letter to Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, that assisted suicide is the moral equivalent of partial-birth abortion and part of the "culture of death." The proposed Lethal Drug Abuse Prevention Act would allow the Drug Enforcement Administration to revoke the drug-prescription license of any doctor who intentionally prescribes a lethal dose of drugs to help patients commit suicide.

      A similar version of the bill is pending in the US House. The laws were formulated as a response to Oregon's legalization of assisted suicide last year.


      BUENOS AIRES ( - According to an opinion poll carried out in Argentina and released this week, the Catholic Church tops the ranking of confidence among institutions involved in social relief services.

      The Gallup poll sponsored by the National Association of Volunteer Work, said 64 percent of adults believe the Catholic Church is a highly reliable provider of social relief and health care. Non-governmental organizations followed with 58 percent and public schools and universities receiving 56 percent and 53 percent, respectively. Political parties appeared at the bottom of the list with only 12 per cent.

      The poll also showed that the number of Argentineans contributing money, goods, or time increased in the last two years. In fact, the percentage of Argentineans cooperating in some way with social organizations jumped from 39 to 46 percent from 1996 to 1998. Another 17 percent gave direct donations to poor people or relatives in need.

      On September 8, the Argentine government gave the yearly Congressional award to the Catholic relief organization "Caritas," for its "outstanding effort to help the victims of the floods in the northern region."


      RIO DE JANEIRO ( - Brazilian Catholics on Wednesday mourned the death of more than 50 pilgrims who died in a bus crash while returning from the shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, the patron saint of Brazil, on Tuesday.

      The death toll rose to 53 on Wednesday, while 11 people remained in the hospital including one woman who was in grave condition with burns over 90 percent of her body. The two buses carrying nearly 100 people from the same village lost control as a diesel truck driving in front of them crashed and burned. The flames were then fed by a second truck carrying grain alcohol also crashed and began to burn.

      Twenty nine survivors returned on Wednesday to their homes in Anapolis, as the people in their Alexandrinha neighborhood, where most of the victims lived, hung black banners and prepared funerals. The mayor said a funeral Mass would be held for all of the victims on Thursday.

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 just man has a care for the rights of the poor; the wicked man has no such concern."

Proverbs 29: 7

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September 11, 1998 volume 9, no. 178   DAILY CATHOLIC