NEWS & VIEWS
with a Catholic slant
Vatican Secretary of State meets with Russian Patriarch after Cathedral reconsecrated in Moscow
Concelebrating with a cadre of cardinals from Eastern Europe and the United States and nearly 100 priests and prelates, the Holy See's Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano reconsecrated the magnificent Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Moscow after sixty years of being used as a factory by the communists. It marked the second Roman Catholic Church in the Russian capital. The following morning the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II cordially received Cardinal Sodano, opening up the possibility that an eventual papal trip to Moscow could be in the offing in 2001 as they discussed joint celebration of Jubilee 2000. For more, click on The Fatima message begins to take effect with reconsecrated Cathedral in Russia.
Officials laying the groundwork for possible papal trip to Jordan in March as part of Pope's "Jubilee Journey" to Holy Land
Tying in his "Jubilee Journey" to the Holy Land, Vatican and Jordanian officials discussed the possibility of the Holy Father traveling the end of March to Amman in Jordan and Mount Nebo where Moses died after striking the rock twice and to Mount Mukawer where John the Baptist suffered martyrdom. Jordan is very friendly to a papal visit and the Holy Father might even entertain a visit to the royal palace to meet with King Abdallah in reciprocation for the son of the late King Hussein's visit to Castel Gandolfo this past September. For more, click on Pope contemplating side trip to Jordan.
Monsoons cause collapse of convent in Southern India, crushing six nuns to death
On the day we bring you India's most famous nun in the TOP 100 CATHOLICS OF THE CENTURY, we are sad to bring you more news from India that six nuns of the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Cluny were crushed to death when their convent collapsed while they were sleeping. Four others were injured. The constant monsoons in that region weakened the roof and walls and they didn't have a chance once the foundation gave way. A special funeral Mass was held for the victims yesterday morning in the Southern India region of Cheyyur in the Diocese of Madras-Mylapore. The Archbishop of the See celebrated the Mass. For more, click on Tragedy in Southern India
Indonesia Foreign Minister to meet with Pope next week, religious tolerance on the docket as new government seeks to assure Church persecutions are over
In the aftermath of the terrible ethnic cleansing in East Timor in September and the subsequent election of a new regime in Jakarta, Indonesian officials have made overtures that they want to set things right and assure the Vatican they will not tolerate religious intolerance. The new Foreign Minister of Indonesia will have that opportunity this week when the Muslim official travels to Rome to meet with Pope John Paul II. The Pope is expected to be insistent that Indonesia will assure no more churches will be desecrated and burned. He also is expected to discuss retribution for the terrible devastation in East Timor. For more, click on Is Indonesia turning over a new leaf?.
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- The NUMBER ONE selection in the Countdown of the TOP 100 CATHOLICS OF THE CENTURY
- A layman's perspective on the Church today in Pat Ludwa's column VIEW FROM THE PEW
- Seventy-second installment on our new daily feature APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH
- Time Capsules in Church History with MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES focusing on December 16th
- DAILY LITURGY for the Third Thursday and Friday of Advent.
- Words of wisdom from Bishop Fulton J. Sheen in SIMPLY SHEEN
- ...and more in our 239th issue for 1999!
To review past articles in textonly format, click on Archives.
TOP CATHOLIC OF THE CENTURY COUNTDOWN:
The "Angel of Mercy" who devoted her life to the poorest of the poor and most wretched of the wretched as the saint of the gutters in Calcutta, then reaching out to the world for Jesus
Today, as we narrow down the list to the next to last person, we bring you the number two person selected out of the TOP 100 CATHOLICS OF THE CENTURY. The voters chose Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the phenomenal foundress of the mushrooming Missionaries of Charity who gave dignity, food and hope to millions of the poorest of the poor and sickest of the sick in the slums and squalor of Calcutta, India; then exploded out to the entire world through her guidance and example as the servant of the lowliest servants. All for the honor and glory of Jesus Who chose Mother for this task. For more, click on MOTHER TERESA
Papacy turns into a tug-of-war between warring Roman factions in the second half of the ninth century
We resume our on-going series of this abridged History of the Mass and Holy Mother Church over a 2000 year span called 2000 YEAR VOYAGE ON THE BARQUE OF PETER after a week's hiatus. Today we feature the thirteen Sovereign Pontiffs from the second half of the ninth century which includes five Popes who were caught up in a ridiculous feud between the pro-Formosus and anti-Formosus factions that resulted in the poisoning of three of them. For Installment thirty The Rise of the Holy Roman Empire - part two: "The Apostolic Line of Peter during the second half of the ninth century" in the BARQUE OF PETER
Events Today in Church History
On this date fifty-four years ago in 1945 Father John O'Connor was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He would, of course, go on to become the Head Chaplain for the United States Navy and then Archbishop of New York and finally cardinal in the Consistory of May 25, 1985. His eminence has just recovered from brain surgery for a tumor and is expected to retire next year at the age of 80. For more on him also see 16th selection of the TOP 100 CATHOLICS OF THE CENTURY For other pertinent events throughout the centuries that are memorable in Church history today, click on MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES
Appreciation of the Bible and the New Testament
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 pick up today on our series on the Bible and Sacred Scripture with an overview of the New Testament today and tomorrow we begin briefly explaining the origins, meaning and background on each of the Books of the Bible in subsequent installments. For the seventy-first installment, click on APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH
At 85 Cardinal Kazimierz Swiatek of Bielorussia is still going strong as Archbishop of Minsk-Mohilev after years of cruel treatment by the KGB
Our one-hundred-thirty-fifth red-hat we feature, in alphabetical order is the 85 year-old Estonian Archbishop of Minsk-Mohilev Cardinal Kazimierz Swiatek, who was banished to the Soviet salt mines in Siberia for ten years before finally being freed and returning to his home diocese where he was appointed Archbishop in 1991 and Pope John Paul II elevated this long-suffering prelate to the cardinalate during the Consistory of November 26, 1994. For more on Cardinal Kazimierz Swiatek, click on COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION
SIMPLY SHEEN:The simple love exhibited by Mother Teresa
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".
"It is possible for us to love beyond our knowledge, to allow faith to fill up the insufficiency of our intellectual understanding. A simple person in good faith may therefore have a greater love of God than a theologian, and this love can give him (her) a keener understanding of the ways of God with human hearts than any psychologist will possess."
Today we commemorate the Third Wednesday of Advent and tomorrow the Third Thursday of Advent, For the readings, liturgies, and meditations on these feasts, click on DAILY LITURGY.
November 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message
Dear children! Also today I call you to prayer. In this time of grace, may the cross be a sign-post of love and unity for you through which true peace comes. That is why, little children, pray especially at this time that little Jesus, the Creator of peace, may be born in your hearts. Only through prayer will you become my apostles of peace in this world without peace. That is why, pray until prayer becomes a joy for you. Thank you for having responded to my call.
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE
The DAILY WORD
"Go and report to John what you have heard and seen: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not scandalized in Me."
Luke 7: 22-23