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FRI-SAT-SUN      July 30 - August 1, 1999      SECTION THREE       vol 10, no. 142

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

"The Haunting" is not the only thing that's haunted! Top Ten Films for Fourth Week of July

      The film "The Haunting" topped the charts and it personified the kind of summer it's been for movies for they have been "haunting" the good taste and moral turpitude of those seeking wholesome entertainment. Other than "Muppets from Space" movie which dropped out of the Top Ten this week, there's not a lot of fare worth seeing. This is evident as we scan the list from the new Disney entry "Inspector Gadget", a nonsensical farce that insults our intelligence to that atrocious excuse for a teen-flick "American Pie" whcih came in third followed by another slease-filled art film with no redeeming quality "Eyes Wide Shut" and the moronic Big Daddy which finished number five this week. Finishing sixth was "Lake Placid" then "Wild Wild West", "Tarzan", "The Wood" and the megahit Star Wars' "Episode One - The Phantom Menace" just barely staying in the Top Ten for the tenth consecutive week. Oh where, oh where is there quality in films? It can truly be haunting. For the Top Ten reviews for the fourth week of July prepared by the NCCB, click on MOVIES AND MORALS




  • 5.   BIG DADDY

  • 6.   LAKE PLACID


  • 7.   TARZAN

  • 9.   THE WOOD

      (20th Century Fox) -    $4.2 million last week/   $402.8 million in ten weeks:
            Because of sci-fi swordfights and battle sequences, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace is A-II - adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. "The Phantom Menace" is a disappointing prequel to the "Star Wars" trilogy in which two Jedi knights (played by Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor) intent on saving the planet Naboo from Federation invaders enlist the help of a young boy who will eventually become the evil Darth Vader. By emphasizing fantastical creatures and myriad special effects, writer-director George Lucas loses much of the movie's human dimension and ends up achieving mostly visual spectacle. May 1999
    While the reviews by the NCCB are very good and provide the ratings, we have discovered another site which will give you a much more detailed survey of what to watch out for. Just click on Christian Analysis of Culture Alert.

    with a Catholic slant

    with a Catholic slant

    provided by
    Catholic World News Service
    and Noticias Eclesiales Church News and ZENIT International News Agency


      U.S. Secretary of State meets with Vatican Secretary for Relations with States over progress in Kosovo

            Acknowledging the past, present and future role of the Vatican's in the peace process in Kosovo, U.S. Secretary of State Madeliene Albright is huddled with Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, Secretary for Relations with States to hammer out the next step in maintaining peace in the former Yugoslavia. For more, click on Secretary to Secretary


    Albright Discusses Balkans and Middle East with Archbishop Tauran

          VATICAN CITY, JUL 29 (ZENIT).- U.S. Secretary of Sate Madeleine Albright was at the Vatican today to discuss issues including the Middle East peace process, and the situation in the Balkans and some Asian countries.

          Albright had more than one hour's "cordial conversation" with the Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, two days before the opening of the Sarajevo conference, which will focus on the Balkans' situation.

          Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said that "both parties agreed on the need to persevere in efforts for law and justice that will guarantee genuine peace and true coexistence among peoples everywhere."

          Later, Madeleine Albright met with Italy's Foreign Minister, Lamberto Dini, and expressed concern over the establishment of mechanisms for the stabilization and reconstruction of Kosovo and the whole area, which are proceeding "slowly, far more slowly than we would wish." She said that the process must move forward with "greater speed." ZE99072903

      Fortune Magazine spews venom against Vatican with yellow journalism that is slanderous

            Fortune Magazine has launched an invective, vitrolic, slanderous campaign against the Vatican by committing the major sin of journalism - assuming facts that aren't there and condemning with no proof in regards to a scam manipulated by a priest singlehandedly. Yet they accuse the Holy See of masterminding it. Talk about Catholic bashing! For more, click on Catholic bashing.


    Sensationalist and Anti-Catholic Reporting

          VATICAN CITY, JUL 29 (ZENIT).- The September 6 edition of "Fortune" Magazine (available online at reports on the alleged actions of Fr. Peter Jacobs in a money-laundering scheme to the benefit of Martin Frankel. The article, by investigative reporter Richard Behar, equates the actions of this one priest with a vast Vatican plot to make money off of Frankel's crooked dealings.

          Whether or not this priest was involved in the money-laundering action has yet to be proven, and it seems to be quite precipitous to accuse the Vatican of complicity in this plot. Holy See Spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls explained to the press on July 2 that the Vatican does not have any relations with Fr. Jacobs.

          The scheme described in the article involved the setting up of a "charity" called the "St. Francis of Assisi Foundation" that would use the dirty money, keeping 10% of it for itself. This Foundation, in turn, was under the control of the "Monitor Ecclesiasticus Foundation," which reporter Richard Behar contends is under direct Vatican control.

          The facts of the matter are that neither of these institutions is listed among the juridical persons of the Holy See. Furthermore, the Vatican Bank, which, according to the article, received the money from the "St. Francis of Assisi Foundation," has never had an account for that organization.

          The "proof" that the article produces to imply a deeper Vatican connection to the whole scandal is a statement from Pope Benedict XV (reigned 1914-1922), who said that the "Monitor Ecclesiasticus" Magazine was printed with "special Vatican approval." The reporter adds that Pope Paul VI gave "Monitor Ecclesiasticus" his Apostolic Blessing, and that John Paul II has never made statements against the magazine. From this, the article concludes that the "Monitor Ecclesiasticus" is very close to the Vatican.

          The facts speak differently, though. While "Monitor Ecclesiasticus" Magazine existed in the time of Pope Benedict XV, since 1967 it has been under the control of the "Monitor Ecclesiasticus Foundation," founded in that year in the Diocese of Naples, outside of Vatican jurisdiction.

          The fact is, like any other Catholic institution, the "Monitor Ecclesiasticus Foundation" is subject to a certain degree of approval from the Vatican -- its president, Msgr. Colagiovanni, also implicated in the scandal, was appointed by the Secretariat of State -- but the Vatican does not directly oversee the foundation.

    Hidden Agenda?

          All of this leaves the feeling that Behar's article fails in the basic principles of ethical journalism. The article is clearly guilty of sensationalism. Since a single priest getting involved in a dirty scheme doesn't sell magazines, "Fortune" has apparently inflated the story to make it appear that the whole Vatican is involved.

          In the current intellectual environment in the United States, another reason for this attack on the Vatican could even be a latent anti-Catholic sentiment. If a low-level executive in a Fortune 500 company had been accused of wrongdoing, the national news magazines would not blame the company for one man's action. Thus, the Church is being held to a different standard by the media. In our day, it would seem, anti-Catholicism sells.

          The correct interpretation of these events was given by Christ himself (Mt. 13:24-30). The Church is made up of both saints and sinners. It cannot be held responsible as a whole for the actions of one or two men. ZE99072920

      Family Research Council poll reveals public won't buy gay rights facade!

           A recent poll taken by the Family Research Council illustrates that the majority of Americans don't think gays and lesbians are in the same boat as Blacks, Asians and Hispanic minorities in regard protected legal rights for homosexuality is a lifestyle, not an ethnic culture. The poll also revealed that 80% of those polled believe that gays have cried wolf too often and have not suffered to the degree African Americans and other groups have. Yet, nearly 100% agreed that any kind of violence or harassment of gays is totally wrong and a hate crime that cannot be justified, thus puncturing the argument gays use to try to lobby for more demands. For more, click on gay rights are wrong.


          WASHINGTON, DC ( - A new poll released by the Family research Council this week showed that a majority of Americans don't believe that homosexuals should qualify as a protected minority.

          "The American people aren't buying the story that people who engage in homosexual behaviors deserve the same special legal protections as true minorities," said spokesman Janet Parshall. "The 'gay' party line that homosexuals have suffered injustices similar to those that Dr. Martin Luther King fought against is a groundless comparison."

          The poll commissioned by the council found that 80% of respondents believe that "homosexuals have not suffered the same as blacks," such as not being able to vote or get an education. The poll also revealed that 98% of respondents think that the murder of a homosexual and a heterosexual are equally serious and should both be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. A similar number believed that the action of the crime should provide the basis for prosecution, not the thoughts of those committing the crime.

          "The poll exposes the fundamental inequity of 'hate crimes' legislation," Parshall said. "Americans want to see all people receive equal protection under the law."

      Romania to build new church in honor of the Holy Father

           The fruits of the Pope's first visit to Romania early this summer are already paying off. The Romanian diocese has pledged to build a church outside the city of Oradea. Though it will be called Mary, Star of Evangelization, the people are already dubbing it "the Pope's church." It is a tribute both to the Pontiff of Rome and the people of Romania who have suffered so much through the communist persecution. For more, click on new church in Romania.


          ROME, 29 (NE) In memory of Pope John Paul II' pilgrimage to Romania and as a homage to his tireless apostolic work, a Romanian diocese has announced the decision to build a new church for the faithful.

          The new temple, to be constructed at the Greco-Catholic diocese of Oradea Mare of Romanians, will be consecrated with the name "Mary, Star of Evangelization." The church will be an important initiative for the diocese's faithful, who in spite of several years of communist persecution, lived coherently their faith in the Lord and their fidelity to Peter's Successor.

          "The Pope's church," as it is has been already named by local people, will be built 6 miles from the city of Oradea, near the border with Hungary. The temple expects to become and important place of cult for the Catholic community in the diocese.

      Pope's Wednesday treatise on hell ignites discussion on the existence of haides

            Just as the Holy Father's talk on Heaven last week triggered discussion on the Hereafter, so also his talk this past Wednesday on the existence of hell has sparked discussions of the nether regions among many, including a priest and professor of Fundamental Theology in Florence who confirms what the Pope has said and adds that we cannot ignore hell for by being silent about it we contribute to the evil one's schemes. The people need to know that God does not condemn them, they condemn themselves through their own free will. For more, click on discussion of hell.


    Fr. Severino Dianich: "Both Terror and Silence Must Be Avoided"

          ROME, JUL 29 (ZENIT).- In spite of the heat and holidays, yesterday's papal catechesis on Hell has sparked great interest. Among the various reactions, Fr. Severino Dianich, Florentine professor of Fundamental Theology, said to the Italian newspaper "Avvenire," that "terror and silence are two extremes to be avoided."

          In teachings on Hell, there seems to be an alternation between these two extremes. "There was a time, when there was a veritable 'pedagogy of terror.' Suffice it to think of part of the liturgy for the dead, the 'Dies Irae,' a splendid, but terrifying, hymn. Later there was a move to virtual silence on the matter of responsibility. Nonetheless, from a pastoral point of view, it is important to form the conscience to understand that we risk our life once and for all."

          The Holy Father said that punishment does not come from outside or from God, but rather from the sinner himself. We have the reflection of two great Christian thinkers -- Ss. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. "The former gave us that famous phrase: 'Although God created you without you, He cannot save you without you.' Salvation, therefore, is an interpersonal relation between man and God. It cannot but be conditioned by my liberty, decision and intention," noted the theologian. "Moreover, St. Thomas interprets the category of the eternal, of reward and punishment, precisely in the sense that a time arrives when what I am, I shall continue to be forever. Whereas in life I can change for better or worse, be converted or perverted, at a certain point this way of living stops: it is the leap to eternity. I go where I will to go. A mysterious leap and, in certain aspects, terrifying."

          In regard to the modern view of a vengeful God, a description used by some to criticize the Church's doctrine, Fr. Dianich said, "I do not see how, given contemporary sensitivity and language, one can speak of God as rewarding and punishing. It is true that the Bible speaks this way. But it does so by way of comparison with human justice, simply to tell us that at the end, we are truly responsible before God. But not in the sense of punishment, in other words, obliged by a superior justice to give us a congruent punishment, as in the penal code."

          Regarding the question of who might be in Hell, Fr. Dianich replied that "what happens in the secrecy of conscience between men and God, no one can know from outside. No one can say what might have happened in the final meeting of the man Stalin, the man Hitler, or the man Judas with God. This is the point: the relation of the human conscience with God." ZE99072905

    For more headlines and articles, we suggest you go to the Catholic World News site at the CWN home page and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and Daily Dispatches, Dossiers and Features from ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

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    July 30 - August 1, 1999 volume 10, no. 142   DAILY CATHOLIC