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WEDNESDAY      September 16, 1998      SECTION TWO       vol 9, no. 181

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Events Today in Church History

     For events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history today, click on TIME CAPSULES: MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES

Historical Events in Church Annals for September 16:

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World News Service



      VATICAN ( -- Plans have been set in place to mark the 20th anniversary of the pontificate of Pope John Paul II with a solemn Eucharistic liturgy in St. Peter's Square on October 18.

      Cardinal Karol Wojtyla was actually elected Pope on October 16, 1978; and his pontificate formally began with his installation on October 22.

      Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the Pope's vicar for the Rome diocese and the president of the Italian bishops' conference, has sent a message to all the bishops of Italy, inviting them-- and through them, the faithful of their dioceses-- to participate in the celebration.

      The celebration will also commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Pope's consecration of a bishop, which took place on September 28, 1958. He was nominated to the episcopacy on July 4 of that year by Pope Pius XII. He was named Archbishop of Krakow by Pope Paul VI in 1964, and elevated to the College of Cardinals by the same pontiff in 1967.


      VATICAN ( -- Writing in today's issue of L'Osservatore Romano, the Franciscan moral theologian Gino Concetti sharply criticized US President Bill Clinton for his veto of a bill that would have banned partial-birth abortions.

      The US Senate will soon vote on whether or not to override that presidential veto; the US House of Representatives has already approved an override.

      Father Concetti advanced the possibility-- not being actively considered in Washington-- that President Clinton could avoid the Senate showdown by withdrawing his veto.

      The article in L'Osservatore Romano speaks of partial-birth abortion in indignant tones. "This technique is homicide," Father Concetti writes. "And it is without precedent in the history of human cruelty." The theologian speaks of the "barbarity" and "abomination" involved in the technique. Conceding that relatively few abortions are performed by this technique, he added: "the gravity is not measured by the quantity."

      In 1996, the American bishops protested the President's veto of a similar bill, and their protest was published in the press bulletin of the Holy See-- an unusual step, indicating the Vatican's keen interest in the issue.

      The Vatican has not made any official comment on the current White House scandals. But the article in L'Osservatore Romano indicates that Rome will not allow the partial-birth abortion debate to pass unnoticed amid the turmoil now surrounding the American President.


      VATICAN ( -- Father Luigi Andeni, an Italian missionary priest stationed in Kenya, died today from gunshot wounds he suffered yesterday, according to the Italian missionary agency MISNA.

      The agency reported that Father Andeni was shot several times by armed bandits at Archer's Post. The agency charged that the government has been slow with efforts to identify the perpetrators of the killing.


      HAVANA ( - The Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Havana, Father Ramon Suarez Polcari, on Tuesday denied the US State Department's allegations of harassment during last week procession of Our Lady of Charity in Havana and said that Communist Cuban authorities "did not play any harassing role."

      The US State Department issued an official statement saying that four officials of the American Interests Office in Cuba attending the procession as observers were harassed by Cuban agents. But, Father Suarez said, "almost five thousand people took part in the procession of the Virgin of El Cobre -- the most important Catholic devotion in the country -- and we did not register any harassment." He added, "We were quite alert and did not see any provocations, nor did we receive reports of problems."

      Father Suarez explained that the only incident during the procession occurred when "a civilian in the middle of the crowd raised a banner with a clearly political message," but said that "the crowd itself called the man to respect the agreement with the authorities." In order to obtain official authorization for the procession, the archdiocese agreed to keep the parade "purely religious," by asking people not to carry any other symbol or banner than the white and yellow balloons that were distributed by Church representatives.

      The crowd, led by the Apostolic Nuncio in Cuba, Archbishop Beniamino Stella, and Cardinal Jaime Ortega of Havana, "walked twelve blocks around the Our Lady of the Charity parish without any incident and in a fervent spirit," Father Suarez concluded.

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 scoundrel suffers the consequences of his ways, and the good man reaps the fruits of his paths."

Proverbs 14: 14

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September 16, 1998 volume 9, no. 181   DAILY CATHOLIC