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Though he had been embroiled in many disputes with imperial parties during his bishopric, he wrote many tomes on theology and established a powerful influence on the people of his time, coming to be known as the "Father of Scholasticism." He was studied in depth by such luminaries as Saint Thomas Aquinas. In 1720 Pope Clement XI declared Anselm a "Doctor of the Church."
Joaquin Navarro-Valls, the press spokesman for the Holy See, told reporters that the Holy Father had specifically invited two senior Chinese bishops to attend, so that all of the country's other bishops could feel that they were represented.
Bishop Matthias Duan Yinming, the first of the Pope's choices, is the oldest bishop in China, having been consecrated in the Diocese of Wanxia, Sechuan, in 1949. He was born in the same diocese in 1908.
The second bishop mentioned, Bishop Joseph Xu Zhixuan, is the coadjutor of Wanxia. He was born in 1916 and ordained to the priesthood in 1946, then to the episcopacy in 1980.
Vatican sources indicated that there are at least 70,000 Catholics loyal to Rome within the Wanxia diocese. One source added that at least 50 of the bishops who work within the government-sponsored Catholic Patriotic Association have secretly pledged their loyalty to the Holy See.
In a related story, out of Beijing on the eve of the Vatican's bishop synod for Asia, the chairman of the Communist-approved Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association on Monday called on Pope John Paul II to end diplomatic ties with Taiwan and recognize Communist China.
"We hope that Pope John Paul II will cut diplomatic relations with Taiwan and recognize the People's Republic of China as China's only legitimate government as soon as possible," said Bishop Michael Fu Tieshan, head of the state-sanctioned church which eschews all ties to the Vatican and rejects some foundational dogmas, including papal infallibility. "If the political problems between the two states are resolved it will open new prospects in the relations between the two churches," the bishop told a news briefing in Beijing.
China does not allow the Pope to appoint bishops, allowing only its own appointed bishops to lead Catholics. A large community of Catholics worship underground, led by bishops who proclaim loyalty to the Holy Father. Bishop Fu said while the state-approved Chinese Catholic church pledges allegiance to China's Communist government and does not recognize the Vatican's authority, it had no differences with the Universal Church on matters of religious belief. "We are completely in accord with the Pope on matters of faith and doctrine, and Chinese Catholics pray for the Pope in Masses in all churches," he said.
France's Socialist-led government is preparing legislation to introduce a "contract of social union" that will give homosexual or heterosexual couples living together, the legal rights currently enjoyed by married people. Michel Pinton, the former secretary-general of the large Union for French Democracy party (UDF) and now mayor of the small village of Felletin in central France, sent letters in March to France's 36,000 mayors asking them to voice their opposition to the plan, because they would be asked to officiate at these "weddings," and up to 12,000 have done so.
"In our sick French society, the two things that are still healthy, the family and the town council, are now being threatened by a catastrophic weakness," he wrote. "It may be that this new form of marriage, which you will have to officiate at, clashes with your conscience."
The organizers of the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage responded with a threat to sue Pinton. "He is being very dishonest as well as homophobic," organizer Jan-Paul Pouliquen told Reuters News Service. "We are not talking about gay marriage ceremonies with vows, but a simple contract to be signed at the town hall in front of any council official."
Ironically regarding France's immediate neighbor Luxembourg, the US Senate is facing a contentious vote as it returns from its Easter recess over sending the United States' first openly homosexual ambassador to that predominantly Catholic country.
James Hormel is President Clinton's nominee to be ambassador to the tiny, European nation of Luxembourg, which is 97 percent Catholic, and was the only foreign relations nominee not acted upon at the end of last year's session. Three Republican senators, expressing concern that he would use the post to promote a homosexual agenda and offend Catholics, put "holds" on the nomination, effectively freezing it. But before leaving for the Easter recess, 42 Democrats sent Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, a letter supporting the nomination and urging a vote.
Hormel, a 64-year-old San Francisco businessman, Democratic Party contributor, and heir to the Hormel Meat Co. fortune, received unanimous Senate confirmation last May for another post, as an alternate to the US delegation to the UN General Assembly. His current nomination also received approval for a full Senate vote last November with 16-2 vote by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The Family Research Council voiced its opposition to the nomination citing Hormel's financial support for a documentary aimed at educators that promotes homosexual lifestyles and his leadership of a 1996 "gay pride" parade in San Francisco in which he lauded homosexuals dressed as nuns. FRC president Gary Bauer, citing Luxembourg as a Catholic country, said "appointing an ambassador who shows nothing but contempt for certain groups of believers should offend every American who believes in the Constitution."
Sister Anne Desrumeaux was killed in the evening of April 8 when a group of soldiers attacked the convent of St. Therese in Nganza, in the Diocese of Kananga. The same convent had been the object of a previous attack on the preceding Sunday, which was Palm Sunday. The attackers were discouraged on that occasion when one of the nuns set off an alarm that brought the local population to the alert. But on Wednesday night of Holy Week, a group of about 20 men broke into the convent, and shot down the Belgian nun when she confronted them. She was rushed to the nearest hospital, but during the long trip-- made still longer when the driver was forced to make a detour around an armed rebel camp-- she lost blood steadily, and she was declared dead at the hospital in Thikagi.
Archbishop Godefroid Mukeng'a Kalong celebrated a funeral Mass for Sister Desrumeaux in St. Clement cathedral in Kananga on Holy Thursday. Among those present for the funeral was the local governor, who received a formal protest from the diocese because of the inadequate security at the convent.
The Holy Father praised Cardinal Bovone for his wisdom, discretion, and energy in carrying out the work of the Vatican, where he had worked in the Roman Curia since 1951. Cardinal Bovone was prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints when he died. He had been elevated to the College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul in February, but-- too ill to attend the conclave-- actually received his red hat from Cardinal Angelo Sodano in his room at Gemelli Hospital.
The death of Cardinal Bovone leaves 118 cardinals eligible to vote in a papal conclave.
Death of Pope Alexander II, the 156th successor of Peter who served twelve years and made religion and spirituality more important than politics as some of his successors had in trying to appease the German emperor Henry IV, but Alexander would have none of the machinations of the ambitious Holy Roman Emperor who, in retaliation, threw his support to antipope Honorius II.
The First Crusade arrives in Constantinople.
Death of Saint Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury who was appointed to that post by his uncle Pope Alexander II. Anselm, a brilliant biblical scholar died in the city where he was born - Mantua, Italy. See TODAY'S LITURGY
Death of controversial French theologian Father Peter Abelard, a monk of Cluny whose work when he taught at the University of Paris was called into question by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux and several pupils of Saint Anselm. After writing the Dialectica and his autobiography Story of my calamities retired to the monastery of Cluny at Chalôn-sur-Saône where he died with the peace of mind that he had made peace with God .