NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant
Vatican Secretary of State addresses issues while waiting for final clearance from foreign governments; expresses confidence that Pope will proceed with pilgrimage to Ur and Holy Land
While patiently waiting for Iraq to respond and finalize plans and clearance for the Holy Father to begin his historic "Jubilee Journey" in January, the Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano addressed various issues from the games being played by Iraq and the U.S. which are hindering final clearance to the mosque crisis in Nazareth to the value of human dignity worldwide. The second highest ranking prelate in the Church expressed confidence that all will be resolved in time for the Holy Father to embark on this historic pilgrimage retracing our Christian heritage in the great Jubilee Year. For more, click on Secretary of State
Pope points out where cinema can be uplifting and educational rather than sin-ema. Meanwhile controversial film on discovering body of Christ gets underway in Jerusalem
It's not Cannes, but an international Spirsitual Film Festival was held in Rome in which the Holy Father encouraged the film industry to serve the good in creating harmony, love and respect among all God's children. He emphasized how their powerful medium can be such a force for good in the world in the new millennium and challenged them to do all they could to foster unity and love worldwide. At the same time in Jerusalem, international film star Antonio Banderas began shooting on a controversial film dealing with the discovery of Christ's body, which, we all know, is impossible. For more, click on Spiritual Film Festival.
Trouble worldwide for adolescents as culture of death and permissive adolescent sexuality is encouraged through Ted Turner's donations, Scottish clinics and the French government
From the millions of dollars culture of death advocate Ted Turner has donated to the UN Population Fund to the encouragement of sexual activity by adolescents in Scotland by government clinics to the liberal distribution of the morning after abortion pill in France, the family structure as God intended it is in great peril. Besides the Pope speaking out on this last Wednesday, Cardinal Thomas Winning of Scotland also spoke out strongly against the clinics in his country and the French Bishops have condemned the action by the French government to distribute abortion pills liberally in schools. For more, click on Decline of morals and attacks on the family.
Spanish Bishops, on behalf of the Church, seek forgiveness for any atrocities committed this century including Spanish Civil War
In the spirit of the Holy Father's reconciliation message, the Church in Spain has asked forgiveness of all Spaniards for any transgressions committed by Church members intentionally or unintentionally throughout the 20th century, especially the bloody Spanish Civil War. The Spanish Episcopal Conference made it perfectly clear this is a general "mea culpa" for and from all Catholics. For more, click on mea culpa.
Number 7 in our countdown of the TOP 100 CATHOLICS OF THE CENTURY
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More pertinent viewpoints in our editorial CATHOLIC PewPOINT
Sixty-sixth installment on the treasures of the great Deposit of Faith in APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH
Time Capsules in Church History with MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES focusing on events that occurred on December 7th
DAILY LITURGY for the Feast of Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church on Tuesday and the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary on Wednesday.
More gems from Bishop Fulton J. Sheen in SIMPLY SHEEN
And more in our 232nd issue for 1999!
To review past articles in textonly format, click on Archives.
TOP CATHOLIC OF THE CENTURY
Pope Saint Pius X
The saintly "Pope of the Holy Eucharist" whose motto and life were dedicated to restore all things in Christ in being the great defender of the Faith. His body remains incorrupt today in Venice.
Today, as we narrow down the TOP TEN CATHOLICS OF THE CENTURY, we bring you the 8th person selected out of the TOP 100 CATHOLICS OF THE CENTURY. The voters chose Pope Saint Pius X, the 257th successor of Peter who was elected early in this century and set the tone by reinforcing Church Doctrine against the growing curse of modernism. He will forever be remembered as the "Pope of the Eucharist" for making Holy Communion more readily available daily and for children as well. At the beginning of this century he advocated much of what John Paul II has been preaching the end of this century. For more on the 8th selection, click on POPE SAINT PIUS X
Special Prayer to Pope Saint Pius X
"So deep was your humility, O holy Pius X, that when you were raised to the summit of the priesthood you shed tears of heartfelt grief, declaring yourself unworthy of the office: by your prayers to God on our behalf, procure for us, too, the grace to be humble in all our doings, to be submissive always to His Holy Will.
Give us, through the power of your pleading, a greater faith in Divine Providence, and secure for us this boon: that humankind, dismembered now by self-conceit, be spared the scourge of further wars: may sincerity of purpose, charity and justice rule supreme in the minds of those who rule, bringing us peace that is real: and in the hearts of all of us be found the strength to live in detachment from the goods of this earth, after the model of you holy poverty.
Be our patron, dear St. Pius X, in your loving kindness, to set us free from every evil. At the moment of our death, come to our assistance, so that we may be with you in Paradise and together with you sing the praises of Our Lord and of His Blessed Mother. Amen."
Pope focuses on family values in face of mounting pressures against sacred institution of marriage
In his most recent regular weekly Wednesday Papal Audience Pope John Paul II reemphasized the need to uphold family values, noting the attacks on the family worldwide today by those who disregard God's Will and hit at the very foundation of God's sacred institution. The Pope shows how they mock God the Father with civil legislation that has eroded the bond between man and woman as the Father intended. The Holy Father shows the fullness of familial love and unity through the Mystery of the Blessed Trinity. For the Pope's words on his talk, "Responsibility for Promotion of the Family," click on THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS.
As Berlin's Bishop Cardinal Georg Maximilian Sterzinsky oversaw the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 before becoming Archbishop of Germany's largest city
We continue with this special series introducing you to the Princes of the Church. Our one-hundred-twenty-eighth red-hat we feature, in alphabetical order is 63 year-old Cardinal Georg Maximilian Sterzinksy, Archbishop of Berlin who was present to witness the fall of the Berlin Wall after experiencing the horrors of war and subsequent occupation by the communists. He was elevated to the cardinalate during the Consistory of June 24, 1991 by Pope John Paul II. For more on Cardinal Georg Maximilian Sterzinksy, click on COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION
Appreciation of The Apostles' Creed
Today we continue with our new series in the search to uncover the wonderful treasures of the Church contained in the great Deposit of Faith. We feature today our second installment on The Apostles' Creed, encompassing the beliefs and truths of our Catholic Faith, outlining the twelve articles of belief that every Catholic must profess in order to be a Roman Catholic in good standing. For the sixty-fifth installment, click on APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH
Events Today in Church History
On this day 49 years ago in 1950 a little over a month after declaring the Dogma of the Assumption, Pope Pius XII issued his 20th of 41 encyclicals - Mirabile illud which dealt with a crusade for prayers in petitioning peace for the Korean War had broken out and there was unrest in Eastern Europe as well with the shadow of the hammer and sickle over the land. For other time capsule events that happened in Church history on this date, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES
SIMPLY SHEEN: Our daily work can be the greatest of prayers
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the words of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen have been known to launch a thousand images in one's mind, one of the ways this late luminary did so much to evangelize the faith. Because of the urgency of the times and because few there are today who possess the wisdom, simplicity and insight than the late Archbishop who touched millions, we are bringing you daily gems from his writings. The good bishop makes it so simple that we have dubbed this daily series: "SIMPLY SHEEN".
"The sweeping of a floor, the driving of a garbage-truck, the checking of a list of boxcar numbers - all these can be 'made good' through a simple act of the will which directs them to the service of God. The simplest task can be given spiritual significance and made Divine."
Today is the Second Monday of Advent, but also the Feast of Saint Nicholas, Bishop who many attribute to the Christian origin of the tradition known as Santa Claus which today has become so secular. Throughout Europe his feast is celebrated by the children with great joy. Tomorrow we celebrate the Feast of Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. For the readings, liturgies, meditations, and profiles on these saints, click on DAILY LITURGY.
The DAILY WORD
"But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, answered and said to them, 'Why are you arguing in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, 'Thy sins are forgiven thee,' or to say, 'Arise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins' - He said to the paralytic - 'I say to thee, arise, take up thy pallet and go to thy house.'"
Luke 5: 22-24