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TUESDAY      September 22, 1998      SECTION TWO       vol 9, no. 185

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Events Today in Church History

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

Historical Events in Church Annals for September 22:

with a Catholic slant

provided by Catholic World News Service



      VATICAN ( -- In a visit to the northern Italy town of Brescia on Saturday, September 19, Pope John Paul II invoked the memory of his predecessor Pope Paul VI, a native of the region.

      The visit by Pope John Paul coincided with the closing of ceremonies marking the 100th anniversary of Pope Paul's birth. John Paul spoke of him as "a pilot of Peter's barque, at a time that was not easy for the Church or for humanity.

      While in Brescia the Holy Father also presided at the beatification of Giuseppe Tovini, a lay Catholic activist and "the father of an affectionate family." A man deeply devoted to Catholic social doctrine, he was the founder of Banco Ambrosiano, and worked constantly for social justice until his death in 1897.

      Pope Paul VI, who died in 1978, ascended Peter's throne in 1963, during the Second Vatican Council. It was he who named Bishop Karol Wojtyla as Archbishop of Krakow (in 1964) and elevated him to the College of Cardinals (in 1967). He also invited the Polish cardinal to preach the annual Lenten retreat for the papal household in 1976.

      The visit to Brescia was the second of this pontificate; Pope John Paul had previously traveled to the city in 1982. Prior to that visit, the last pope to visit Brescia had been Martin V, in 1415.


      WASHINGTON, DC ( - Potential Republican presidential candidates in the 2000 election told the Christian Coalition on Saturday that President Bill Clinton legal and political woes are a symptom of America's "lost moral compass."

      Although the four men addressed other political issues, all turned their attention at some point to Clinton. Sen. Bob Smith, R-New Hampshire, said: "We have a character in the White House. We need character in the White House." Sen. John Ashcroft, R-Missouri, for his part called Clinton a remnant of the "self-indulgent '60s."

      Gary Bauer, president of the Family Research Council, compared the damage to American culture to environmental damage caused by an oil spill. "We have watched in the last seven months while our children have been taught that fidelity is old-fashioned, that adultery is the norm," Bauer said. "This has been the equivalent of a cultural oil spill. It's not sea otters and ducks that are washing up on shore covered with gunk, it's our kids."

      Millionaire Steve Forbes made a connection between Clinton's misdeeds and the conduct of the entire administration, including Vice President Al Gore. "The Clinton-Gore administration has ignored or mishandled the great issues of our day and now we're beginning to bear and reap the terrible consequences of what they have done and not done," Forbes said. The 3,000 members of the Christian Coalition at the conference greeted each speaker's comments on the issue with applause, including the unanimous call for resignation or impeachment.


      VATICAN ( -- The annual miracle of St. Januarius, the patron saint of Naples, was repeated on September 19, in the presence of a large crowd and a substantial media presence.

      The liquefaction of the saint's blood-- an inexplicable phenomenon which has occurred yearly over the centuries-- was taken by some observers as a testimony to the innocence of current archbishop of Naples, Cardinal Michele Giordano, who has become the center of a church-state conflict after local law-enforcement authorities searched his offices in connection with a probe of organized crime.

      The liquefaction of the blood, occurring on the feast of St. Januarius, had been viewed by some observers as a sort of test. When Cardinal Giordano held the vial in which the coagulated blood is preserved, and a witness proclaimed that it had again become liquid, the large audience in the Naples cathedral burst into applause before venerating the relic.

      On Monday, September 21, the Vatican revealed that Cardinal Giordano has launched an inquiry into the financial affairs of his archdiocesan curia.

      A formal inquiry, under the terms of the Code of Canon Law, can be undertaken when the bishop has convincing evidence that some offense has been committed. The inquiry in Naples, following close on the heels of a civil investigation which resulted in a search of archdiocesan offices, supports the suspicions that some archdiocesan officials may have been involved in criminal affairs.

      Cardinal Giordano himself-- long known as an public opponent of organized crime-- has staunchly maintained his own innocence of all wrongdoing. And in Rome, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the head of the Italian bishops' conference, denounced the "pressure campaign" against Cardinal Giordano, insisting that the Naples prelate was a victim rather than the perpetrator of a crime.


      MADRID ( - The Spanish parliament on Tuesday will begin to debate a proposed law that would effectively legalize abortion on demand in the majority Catholic country.

      The bill proposed by the minority Socialists has already been defeated twice, and the country's Catholic bishops have rallied behind the majority Popular Party to oppose it again. Current law only allows abortion if the unborn child is deformed, the pregnancy is the result of rape, or the mother's psychological or physical health is threatened. The proposed measure would also allow abortion within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy if the mother believes the child would cause her serious, personal, family, or social conflict -- a stipulation that would make almost any first trimester abortion legal.

      While the vote is expected to move along party lines, about 20 parliament members have been given free reign by their parties to vote as their conscience dictates which could swing the referendum. On Sunday, Catholic priests spoke out against the bill in their homilies, urging their parishioners to attend rallies against the bill on Monday.

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 virtue of the upright saves them, but the faithless are caught in their own intrigue."

Proverbs 11: 6

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September 22, 1998 volume 9, no. 185   DAILY CATHOLIC