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WEDNESDAY      December 22, 1999     SECTION TWO      vol 10, no. 243

To print out entire text of today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION ONE

Ordained by Pope Paul VI, the Archbishop of Genoa Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi is one of the newest Italian cardinals

    Our one-hundred-thirty-eight red-hat we feature, in alphabetical order is the 65 year-old Italian Archbishop of Genoa Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, who taught Theology to seminarians for thirty years before being pegged as Archbishop of Ancona in 1989 and then in 1995 to Genoa. Ordained in 1957 by Pope Paul VI, then archbishop of Milan, he was elevated to the cardinalate during Pope John Paul II's most recent Consistory of February 21, 1997. For more on Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, click on COLLEGE OF CARDINALS COLLECTION

138.   Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi

Misery loves company

    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 first effect of not receiving love because one is generous and loving toward others is cynicism and even hostility. Never a good word can be said for anyone. Because one is unloved one tries to make everyone else unlovable. Characters are assassinated, the noblest motives reduced to the basest, and slanders believed and propagated. When others do show them kindness they look 'for the catch in it'; even gifts are viewed with suspicion and the sincerest of compliments acknowledged with a charge of insincerity. Because such egotists are so miserable they seek to make everyone else miserable. Never once do they see that they are the cause of their own unhappiness. Someone else is always to blame."


   Today we observe the Final Wednesday of Late Advent and tomorrow the Final Thursday of Late Advent in addition to the optional feast of the Polish priest Saint John of Kanty, For the readings, liturgies, meditations, and vignette on St. John of Kanty, click on DAILY LITURGY.

Wednesday, December 22, 1999

Thursday, December 23, 1999

Feast of Saint John of Kanty, Priest

with a Catholic slant



    JERUSALEM ( - When Pope John Paul II visits the Holy Land next March, he will be accompanied by Israeli security guards, but not by Israeli politicians, according to the Latin-rite Patriarch of Jerusalem.

    Patriarch Michel Sabbah said on Tuesday that the Holy Father will travel alone to emphasize that his trip is spiritual in nature and not political. The patriarch pointed out that if the Pope were to visit east Jerusalem, a disputed area claimed by both Palestinians and Israelis, accompanied by Israeli leaders that might send a message that he supports Israel's political claims.

    Israel captured east Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast war and the semi-autonomous Palestinian Authority has vowed to make the capital of a future Palestinian state there, a major sticking point in peace negotiations for the region.

    "During the visit of the Holy Father inside the holy city, he will not be escorted by any political authority," Patriarch Sabbah said. "He will be just escorted by religious people who will pray with him." Yoav Koren, an adviser to Israeli Cabinet Minister Haim Ramon -- the Israeli government liaison for the Pope's visit -- said the final details had not yet been worked out, but that in principle it was up to the Pope to decide who would accompany him.


Curia Benefits from his Reflections on Petrine Ministry

    VATICAN CITY, DEC 21 (ZENIT).- In addressing his collaborators in the Curia this morning, John Paul II concentrated on the ministry and service of the vocation of Peter's successor. Commenting on Christ's words to Peter: "Confirm your brothers," the Pope stressed the dramatic context of this phrase. He spent some time reflecting on it in order to absorb the full meaning of Peter's vocation in the Church. Thanks to the strength of Christ, Peter can confirm his brothers in spite of his personal frailty.

    The Holy Father embraced the memory of all the Popes of this millennium and all those who collaborated with them. "May this, today's meditation, cross the threshold of the third millennium and be accepted by those who will come after us, who will take up after us, as Peter's successors and collaborators, the Petrine ministry, and exercise it according to Christ's will. This is the wish I articulate to all my dear brothers and sisters of the great community we belong to, constantly giving thanks to each and every one for their support, help, and the generous collaboration they give me."

    The Pope made a quick evaluation of the plan of preparation for the Great Jubilee, thanking the Holy Trinity, whose glory we will sing during the coming Holy Year. He referred to the innumerable preparations being made in local Churches and, at the universal level, through the continental Synods. Highlights of the year that is ending were ecumenical undertakings and his trips to Rumania and Georgia, as well as progress in relations with members of the Lutheran tradition, with the signing of the joint document on justification. The Holy Father also referred to last October's meeting with representatives of the different world religions, organized by the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue.

    "In face of great world problems, this year the Apostolic See has also been concerned in order that the evangelical leaven not be lacking. The road of the People of God has been supported in its local pastoral situations, which in a thousand ways have taken charge of human needs and service to the neediest." The Holy Father emphasized "the promotion of a 'culture of charity,' capable of making relations among men mature in solidarity, to do away with prejudices and predispose spirits to the humility of meeting and dialogue."

    Various dicasteries of the Roman Curia are very meritorious in this respect, "especially those most involved in this area. A few days ago, I offered some lines for reflection in the annual message for the World Day of Peace," the Pope continued.

    "We must quicken the pace toward the Jubilee, an extraordinary year of grace, expressed especially in the gift of the indulgence. Far from being a discount for the Christian's change of life, it exacts even greater efforts from him. The spiritual commitment that up to now has been profuse, and that we must continue to develop, even in the realms of competence of the respective dicasteries and, especially, in the realm of the Committee for the Holy Year, attempts to help all believers to be aware of the real meaning of the Jubilee event. 'Be converted and believe in the Gospel.' This is the message that must vibrate with growing intensity in the course of the next months," stressed the Holy Father.

    John Paul II concluded his Christmas greetings to the Curia by wishing the Cardinals and all his collaborators that "they may feel Emmanuel's presence, God with us, in the joy of having been chosen to work closely with the ministry of Peter's successor, as heralds of his Kingdom of love and peace. I bless you all affectionately. Merry Christmas! Fruitful Holy Year!" ZE99122107


Bishop of La Guaira Loses Family and Residence in Floods

    CARACAS, DEC 21 (ZENIT).- The end of the millennium has brought a tragic Christmas to Venezuela, a country rich in natural resources, but brought to its knees after decades of corruption and poor management, forcefully manifested during the current natural disaster. This tragedy was not altogether unpredictable, as the rainy season always entails mudslides in the areas surrounding Caracas. These natural conditions were aggravated by illegal construction, human invasion of gullies, and the natural lack of foresight of people who live for the present, impoverished by the irresponsibility of so many governments.

    This catastrophe hit Venezuelans just at the moment when they were experiencing the uncertainty of a 180 degree turn in the political rudder, steered by Hugo Chavez, a charismatic president who is supported by the people's desire for change from a situation of exhaustion and exploitation. The President has taken command of the situation, and with all his military energy, crowned by a red beret, sleeps in the devastated Maiquetia airport, from where he directs all the rescue and assistance operations.

    President Chavez is tapping all his charismatic charm, dancing among the homeless, embracing those who weep, and singing with the volunteers, in order to restore the people's morale. "The worst is over," the 45 year old former parachutist said. "Now we must begin the reconstruction." This populist leftist, who calls himself a friend of Castro and who appointed Jose Rangel, a prestigious man of the left ,as his Foreign Affairs Minister, has said time and time again that the disaster will make possible social planning on a large scale, and has blamed decades of poor urban administration for the present loss of human lives, because the poor were precariously balanced on the hills surrounding the capital in shanties devoid of foundations.

    The unpredictable President has made a novel announcement: this drama could spell a new life for many if they agree to go south, where the land is rich and needs hands to cultivate it. Rivers and streams continue to flood their banks, sweeping away everything in sight. There are areas of the state of Vargas, east of Caracas, where people have remained buried by 7 meters of mud, and where excavators cannot operate. It is the worst catastrophe of the century for Venezuelans.

    Bishop Francisco de Guruceaga of La Guaira, a locality next to the capital's airport hit by the full force of the floods, lost his mother, sister and residence. The Mayor of La Guaira, Lenin Marcano, has confirmed a list of some 25,000 dead.

    The towns of Caraballeda and Carmen de Uria are utterly devastated. The majority of people have been evacuated and they look like veritable ghost towns. The homeless are being sheltered in sports centers, churches, schools and military barracks, where doctors and volunteers give assistance and distribute aid. The religious were among the first to mobilize, opening their centers and houses to shelter the homeless, especially orphans. Venezuela is in need of the world's help this Christmas. Caritas has already announced aid centers, as have other humanitarian organizations and Venezuela's embassies throughout the world. ZE99122108


    LONDON ( - Apostles and Old Testament prophets are still the inspiration behind the most popular boys' names in Britain, it was announced on Tuesday, although girls are less likely to be named after saints than they were 100 years ago.

    Figures published by the Office for National Statistics show that Jack (John) was the most popular name for baby boys for the fifth year running, followed by Thomas and James. Fourth place goes to Joshua and fifth goes to Daniel. Girls, however, are most likely to be named Chloe, followed by Emily, Megan, Olivia, and Sophie.

    A century ago, Mary was the most popular name for girls and the Old Testament Sarah has remained common for most of the last 100 years. Boys of the period were more likely to be named after monarchs with William, George and Edward topping the list. Proving the British public's fascination with all things royal, the names of William and Harry are as popular now as they were this time last century.

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December 22, 1999 volume 10, no. 243  DAILY CATHOLIC