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April 20, 1998             SECTION TWO              vol 9, no. 76



PRAYERS & DEVOTION

Today's Prayer is the REGINA COELI which takes the place of the ANGELUS during Eastertide
      Queen of Heaven, rejoice. Alleluia.
For He Whom you were made worthy to bear.
Alleluia. Has risen as He said. Alleluia. Pray for us to our God. Alleluia.
Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary. Alleluia.
For the Lord has risen indeed. Alleluia.
Let us Pray.
     God, Who through the resurrection of Thy Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, has vouchsafed to make glad the whole world, grant us, we beseech Thee, that, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may attain the joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant provided by Catholic World News Service

HEADLINES:

HOLY SEE WILL DECIDE ON SHROUD TESTING AS IT GOES ON EXHIBIT IN TURIN

      TURIN (CWN) -- Over 425,000 people have already made reservations to view the Shroud of Turin which went on display Saturday and will be available for viewing until June 14 of this year. Organizers of the display expect an overall total of perhaps 3 million people.

      In order to avoid long lines, the organizers have required pilgrims to make reservations, purchasing tickets for a precise date and time. Those time slots are quickly filling up. In fact, while the exhibit will be restricted on May 24 because of a personal visit by Pope John Paul II, the preceding weekend is already nearly full. Organizers say that the weeks of June remain relatively free for interested pilgrims.

      Meanwhile, Turin's Cardinal Giovanni Saldarini said that the Vatican would decide whether or not to sponsor new scientific texts on the cloth.

      "The Shroud belongs to the Holy See," the cardinal observed. In an interview published by Il Messagero, he added that the Church would not become directly involved in scientific debates that have sprung up about the testing of the cloth. Those tests, and their interpretation, are properly matters for scientists to decide, he said.

      Since 1988, the Shroud has been the focus of a lively debate involving the Carbon-14 tests which traced the cloth of the Shroud to an origin in the Middle Ages. Some critics of the tests have pointed out that the cloth had been impregnated with smoke from a fire, thereby compromising the results of the test. Other critics say that the parts of the cloth unaffected by the fire seem to come from the region of Palestine, during the time of Christ.


BLEEDING CRUCIFIX ATTRACTS THOUSANDS IN CALCUTTA

      CALCUTTA (CWNews.com) - Thousands of Christians and the merely curious have flocked to Trinity Church in Calcutta this week to see a crucifix that is apparently bleeding, police said on Friday.

      Ajanta Rovena Chatterjee, a lawyer who lives on the grounds of Trinity Church in central Calcutta, said she noticed blood apparently coming from the wounds of the corpus on her cross on Thursday morning. "I went to clean up the crucifix on Thursday morning, but to my shock I discovered it was bleeding at all the points where Christ was nailed, and even on the head where He was wearing a crown of thorns," she said.

      Police controlling the crowds gathering at the site said there had been about 10,000 so far. Press Trust of India quoted the Central Forensic Science Laboratory's (CSFL) deputy director, Dr. V.K. Kashyap, as saying the "blood" could be organic substances oozing from the stone statue. "Aging and temperature variations might lead to cracks in stone from where dark brown-colored pigments flow out," he said, adding that the CSFL would examine a sample of the "blood" and put out a report on Saturday.


AUSTRIA CARDINAL APOLOGIZES FOR DISGRACED BISHOP

      VIENNA (CWNews.com) - Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn of Vienna took the unprecedented step on Thursday of apologizing for the actions of his predecessor, the disgraced Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer who was accused of molesting young men in the 1970s and 1980s.

      Cardinal Groer, 78, relinquished all ecclesiastical duties and privileges as an archbishop and cardinal on Tuesday and stated he will leave Austria, after he was asked to do so by Pope John Paul II. He had resigned as archbishop of Vienna in 1995 after the allegations first surfaced, but he has never clearly admitted or denied the charges. Cardinal Schoenborn, for his part, implicitly stated his belief that the charges were true. "As a bishop of this diocese, I apologize for everything by which my predecessor, and other church dignitaries, have wronged people entrusted to them," he said in a statement. "We in the Vienna archdiocese are prepared to offer help to all those who thus have suffered injury."

      Church officials said help, including funds for therapy, would be offered to the victims. Cardinal Schoenborn said he hoped Austrians would put the crisis behind them, and asked Catholics "to jointly follow the path of mutual trust in honesty, respect, and compassion."


NEW YORK CARDINAL BOYCOTTS BASEBALL OVER GOOD FRIDAY GAMES

      NEW YORK (CWNews.com) - Cardinal John O'Connor said on Friday that he will not attend any Major League Baseball games this year, because many professional teams played on Good Friday.

      "I love the Yankees. I love the Mets. I love baseball," Cardinal O'Connor wrote in his weekly column in the newspaper Catholic New York. "But I will not go to a game because major league teams played on Good Friday." While 15 teams played on the holy day, the cardinal was particularly upset at the Yankees and the Cleveland Indians because they started the games at 1:05 pm, in the midst of the hours from noon to 3 pm that mark the time of the crucifixion.

      The cardinal had praise for the Boston Red Sox because they delayed the start of their home-opener to 3:05 pm in deference to Christians and Jews, who began the celebration of Passover on the same day, while also banning beer sales for the day. A spokesman for the archdiocese emphasized that the cardinal's decision is a personal one and not a call for Catholics to boycott baseball.

      Yankees spokesman Rick Cerrone said the team is willing to reconsider its tradition of making its home opener a day game. "With the respect that we have for Cardinal O'Connor, we will certainly give consideration to his concerns and his suggestions in the future," Cerrone said in the New York Post. The Indians asked the American League in a letter to "be more sensitive" about scheduling games on Good Friday.

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Apri1 20, 1998 volume 9, no. 76   DAILY CATHOLIC