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The Pope's visit to Mexico from January 22 to 25 will furnish the occasion for the formal promulgation of the apostolic exhortation concluding the special Synod of Bishops for the Americas, which was held at the Vatican late last year.
The Pope's visit to St. Louis will be his first stop in that city.
At the end of this Millennium the Catholic Church desires to express her deep sorrow for the failures of her sons and daughters in every age. This is an act of repentance (teshuva), since, as members of the Church, we are linked to the sins as well as the merits of all her children. The Church approaches with deep respect and great compassion the experience of extermination, the Shoah, suffered by the Jewish people during World War II. It is not a matter of mere words, but indeed of binding commitment. "We would risk causing the victims of the most atrocious deaths to die again if we do not have an ardent desire for justice, if we do not commit ourselves to ensure that evil does not prevail over good as it did for millions of the children of the Jewish people ... Humanity cannot permit all that to happen again".(22)
We pray that our sorrow for the tragedy which the Jewish people has suffered in our century will lead to a new relationship with the Jewish people. We wish to turn awareness of past sins into a firm resolve to build a new future in which there will be no more anti-Judaism among Christians or anti-Christian sentiment among Jews, but rather a shared mutual respect, as befits those who adore the one Creator and Lord and have a common father in faith, Abraham.
Finally, we invite all men and women of good will to reflect deeply on the significance of the Shoah. The victims from their graves, and the survivors through the vivid testimony of what they have suffered, have become a loud voice calling the attention of all of humanity. To remember this terrible experience is to become fully conscious of the salutary warning it entails: the spoiled seeds of anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism must never again be allowed to take root in any human heart.
(2) Cf. Pope John Paul II, Speech at the Synagogue of Rome, 13 April 1986, 4: AAS 78 (1986), 1120.
(3) Pope John Paul II, Angelus Prayer, 11 June 1995: Insegnamenti 181, 1995, 1712.
(4) Cf. Pope John Paul II, Address to Jewish Leaders in Budapest, 18 August 1991, 4: Insegnamenti 142, 1991, 349.
(5) Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 1 May 1991, 17: AAS 83 (1991), 814-815.
(6) Cf. Pope John Paul II, Address to Delegates of Episcopal Conferences for Catholic-Jewish relations, 6 March 1982: Insegnamenti, 51, 1982, 743-747.
(7) Cf. Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, Notes on the correct way to present the Jews and Judaism in preaching and catechesis in the Roman Catholic Church, 24 June 1985, VI, 1: Ench. Vat. 9, 1656.
(8) Cf. Pope John Paul II, Speech to Symposium on the roots of anti-Judaism, 31 October 1997, 1: L'Osservatore Romano, 1 November 1997, p. 6.
(9) Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Nostra Aetate, 4.
(10) Cf. B. Statiewski (Ed.), Akten deutscher Bischöfe über die Lage der Kirche, 1933-1945, vol. I, 1933-1934 (Mainz 1968), Appendix.
(11) Cf. L. Volk, Der Bayerische Episkopat und der Nationalsozialismus 1930-1934 (Mainz 1966), pp. 170-174.
(12) The Encyclical is dated 14 March 1937: AAS 29 (1937), 145-167.
(13) La Documentation Catholique, 29 (1938), col. 1460.
(14) AAS 31 (1939), 413-453.
(15) Ibid., 449.
(16) The wisdom of Pope Pius XII's diplomacy was publicly acknowledged on a number of occasions by representative Jewish Organizations and personalities. For example, on 7 September 1945, Dr. Joseph Nathan, who represented the Italian Hebrew Commission, stated: "Above all, we acknowledge the Supreme Pontiff and the religious men and women who, executing the directives of the Holy Father, recognized the persecuted as their brothers and, with effort and abnegation, hastened to help us, disregarding the terrible dangers to which they were exposed" (L'Osservatore Romano, 8 September 1945, p. 2). On 21 September of that same year, Pius XII received in audience Dr. A. Leo Kubowitzki, Secretary General of the World Jewish Congress who came to present "to the Holy Father, in the name of the Union of Israelitic Communities, warmest thanks for the efforts of the Catholic Church on behalf of Jews throughout Europe during the War" (L'Osservatore Romano, 23 September 1945, p. 1). On Thursday, 29 November 1945, the Pope met about 80 representatives of Jewish refugees from various concentration camps in Germany, who expressed "their great honour at being able to thank the Holy Father personally for his generosity towards those persecuted during the Nazi-Fascist period" (L'Osservatore Romano, 30 November 1945, p. 1). In 1958, at the death of Pope Pius XII, Golda Meir sent an eloquent message: "We share in the grief of humanity. When fearful martyrdom came to our people, the voice of the Pope was raised for its victims. The life of our times was enriched by a voice speaking out about great moral truths above the tumult of daily conflict. We mourn a great servant of peace".
(17) Cf. Pope John Paul II, Address to the New Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Holy See, 8 November 1990, 2: AAS 83 (1991), 587-588.
(18) Loc. cit., no. 4.
(19) Address to Jewish Leaders, Strasbourg, 9 October 1988, no. 8: Insegnamenti 113, 1988, 1134.
(20) Pope John Paul II, Address to the Diplomatic Corps, 15 January 1994, 9: AAS 86 (1994), 816.
(21) Pope John Paul II, Speech at the Synagogue of Rome, 13 April 1986, 4: AAS 78 (1986), 1120.
(22) Pope John Paul II, Address on the occasion of a commemoration of the Shoah, 7 April 1994, 3: Insegnamenti 171, 1994, 897 and 893.
For most of us it is a lifelong task to whittle away at resisting the Holy Spirit and with His help to melt down our ego drive. Some days we gain, some days we lose ground. It is for this reason that Jesus tells us that the "one who persevers to the end will be saved." (Matt. 10:22).
We could help ourselves in this struggle between the "old and new man" within us if we would allow ourselves to nurture the experience of surrender within our heart. From the start to surrender to things like the weather, the habits of spouses, the wrinkles on our face, and the like. We can then graduate to the experience of surrender to our limitations, to our daily crosses, to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. The final and the highest form of surrender is the surrender we experience when we surrender to the Holy Spirit even our need to be in continued surrender to Him in all that He wishes to do in us, with us and through us, that is when we consecrate our life in its entirety to Him, that He and only He would become the source of power within us.
Impossible? No really. Difficult? Yes. Let us remember that heaven is a reward for work done. Putting forth energy is quite necessary. However, to realize that even the putting forth of energy must in itself be prompted by the Spirit. We are to become totally dependent upon Him even in our prayer to become totally dependent upon Him. It is He Who is the Source of all life, all grace, all energy directed towards spiritual development.
Our Blessed Mother is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. Loving spouses as these two are, always work together. As Mary’s little children, we need no ego power to approach Her in our need to surrender more and more willingly and more and more completely to the Holy Spirit. In her request that we consecrate ourselves to Her Immaculate Heart, she has a deeper request, that we consecrate ourselves to Her Son’s Sacred Heart and still a deeper request that we consecrate ourselves to Her Spouse, the Holy Spirit. Putting ourselves completely into His care, will be reassuring that the day can come and for many, it will come when much of our day and at time, most of our day, will be spent I zero resistance and zero ego power in following through on the wishes of the Holy Spirit and His Spouse, our Mother.
After the death of seventy more from riots following the death of Guiliano de' Medici, the Pope at that time Pope Sixtus IV is drawn into war with Florence - a war that would last two years.
Pope Julius II excommunicates the entire city of Venice because of her refusal to rid themselves of those parts of Romagna they had occupied under the supervision of the dangerous and heretical Cesare Borgia.
Death of Portuguese explorer and navigator Ferdinand Magellan who was killed by Filipino natives in the Philippines.
Establishment of the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines at Cebu City. These islands bordering the Orient and Oceania would become a Catholic stronghold over the years thanks to the dauntless efforts of so many missionaries, mostly from Spain.
Death of Pope Leo XI. 232nd in the line of Peter who died during a procession on the way from the Vatican to the Lateran after just under three weeks on the papal throne.
The executions of the 20 men and one woman took place in five cities in locations where massacres of an estimated 500,000 Tutsis were carried out by extremist Hutus following the collapse of the government in 1994. In Kigali, the convicts were tied to posts, black sacks draped over their heads and white bands marked with targets bound to their chests. After a minutes-long pause during which the crowd jeered angrily, blue-uniformed police officers shot them one by one from a distance of less than a yard.
At least 330 people have been tried in Rwanda for genocide and 116 have been convicted and sentenced to death, including two Catholic priests this week. One-third of those tried have been convicted and sentenced to life in prison, 20 were acquitted and the rest received sentences of varying lengths. More than 125,000 people are awaiting trial.
Many international groups and persons including Amnesty International and the United States, as well as the Holy Father, called for mercy and clemency in order to let real healing begin without revenge-inspired retribution.
Pope John Paul II today expressed sorrow over the executions carried out in Rwanda and in the United States where 3 convicted killers were put to death on April 22.
The Pope had appealed for clemency for the prisoners in Rwanda, and had intervened with Texas Governor George bush Jr, seeking a stay of execution for Joseph Cannon, who was put to death there.
Pope John Paul has made no secret of his personal opposition to capital punishment, and his strong stand has led to a change in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which now states that while capital punishment may be morally justifiable, in practice it should not be used in the modern developed world.
The bill was passed by 56-43 with only a few Republicans and Democrats crossing over party lines. The measure also includes amendments which oppose creating federal math and reading tests and ends the Education Department's control over some spending programs. Supporters said the bill was intended to return control of education to states, local school districts, and parents. "What we have here is a choice between the status quo and people who want to empower parents to have more of a role in the education of their children," said Sen. Judd Gregg, R-New Hampshire.
The measure's co-sponsors said the tax-free savings accounts are a modest way to help working and poor families meet school expenses and find alternatives to dangerous or substandard public schools. The bill must now be reconciled with a House-passed version.
The cardinal's secretary received a head injury, inflicted by a thrown stone, and four other pilgrims, refugees who lived in Derventa before the 1992-95 civil war, sustained injuries. The group was visiting their hometown to which they still cannot return, and wanted to at least visit the remains of the church and graveyards and celebrate Mass, a spokesman said.
Cardinal Puljic and the group of around 600 pilgrims arrived to Derventa at 11:30 am in by buses and private cars, and proceeded to clean the graveyard beside the destroyed church, where the cardinal was scheduled to celebrate Mass. Instead, a crowd of 1,500 Serbian attacked the group, throwing stones and eggs and hurling curses and insults. An explosive device was thrown into the crypt where Cardinal Puljic and around 100 pilgrims sought shelter, but luckily only the ignitor exploded. The crowd also tried to set the crypt on fire, but was stopped by the local police.
The international police forces were not able to control the crowd and had to retreat to their headquarters. After six hours as hostages in the crypt, the pilgrims were saved by the SFOR troops of the UN. Cardinal Puljic was taken by SFOR forces to Sarajevo. Rescued pilgrims were escorted out of Serbian-controlled territories in special reinforced buses at which a couple of fire bombs were thrown. A number of the pilgrims' private vehicles were stolen by Serbian civilians and one bus was destroyed, police said.
Auxiliary Bishop Pero Sudar of Sarajevo said that the first pilgrimage of exiled Croats to Derventa had all the necessary permits, including written permission of the Government of Republika Srpska -- the Serbian part of the Bosnia-Hercegovina federation.