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March 20-22, 1998             SECTION TWO              vol 9, no. 57

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant



      SAN FRANCISCO (CWN) - A federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday that a woman fired for leaving her job to go on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje was not necessarily entitled to unpaid leave and was subject to loss of her job.

      Mary Tiano said she received a calling from God in August, 1988 to visit Medjugorje, Yugoslavia, the alleged site of apparitions of the Virgin Mary to six children, that October. She asked for an unpaid leave from her job at Dillard Department Store in Phoenix, but was turned down because the store prohibited leaves during the holiday season which began in October. Tiano left anyway, and when she returned in two weeks was told she had voluntarily resigned.

      A US District Court judge ruled that Tiano had suffered religious discrimination because the store had failed to accommodate her sincere religious belief, and awarded her $16,445 for lost wages. But the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals said on Wednesday the timing of the pilgrimage was a personal preference and not part of her calling. The court said Tiano had failed to show that she needed to go on a pilgrimage at that particular time.


      WASHINGTON, DC (CWN) - The Clinton administration asked the House of Representatives on Wednesday to pass the $18 billion bailout bill for the International Monetary Fund, and not jeopardize it by attaching pro-life provisions that scuttled previous measures.

      Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Defense Secretary William Cohen, and Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin met with reporters during a visit to Capitol Hill to lobby for the current version of the bill. Pro-lifers in Congress have said they want to attach language to the bill that would ban US funding of overseas abortion and population control groups that perform abortions or lobby for its legalization. The three Cabinet members warned of national security problems if the IMF legislation was held up by the dispute.

      The administration has said it will veto any legislation with this language, and said any such provisions should be considered as a separate bill, not attached to unrelated legislation. The practice of attaching unrelated amendments to popular bills is a longstanding practice among both parties for many years in Congress.


      VATICAN (CWN) -- Pope John Paul II observed the feast of St. Joseph today by ordaining three bishops-- including his own longtime secretary Stanislaw Dziwisz-- in St. Peter's Basilica.

      During his homily, the Holy Father repeatedly invoked the example of St. Joseph, the spouse of the Virgin Mary, and his model for the Church. He urged the newly ordained bishops to follow the example of St. Joseph in their service to the universal Church.

      The Pope observed that he felt a particularly strong tie to each of the three new bishops-- all of whom are veteran Vatican officials. Bishop Dziwisz, in particular, has been a close collaborator. When he was an auxiliary bishop of Krakow, 35 years ago, the Holy Father ordained Dziwisz to the priesthood. Three years later, having become the Archbishop of Krakow, he tapped Father Dziwisz to be his personal secretary, and after his election to the papacy in 1978 he brought him to Rome to continue in that role. In February, the Pope named then-Msgr. Dziwisz to be Adjunct Prefect of the Pontifical Household.

      The Prefect of the Pontifical Household, Bishop James Michael Harvey, was the second man ordained to the episcopacy today. An American priest born in Milwaukee, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1975 and has worked for years in the Vatican Secretariat of State.

      The third new bishop, Piero Marini, has recently served as the master of ceremonies for solemn liturgical occasions involving the Pope, accompanying John Paul on his apostolic trips to carry out that role. Thus he too has been a regular companion for the Holy Father.


      LOS ANGELES (CWN) - The World Jewish Congress announced on Wednesday that a group of Jewish leaders will meet with Pope John Paul in a private audience next week, and a new Vatican document on the Holocaust will certainly be a topic of discussion they said.

      The Congress said the meeting will follow on three days of talks between Catholic and Jewish officials at the Vatican, and was arranged long before the release of the Vatican statement on Monday. Speaking to a joint American Catholic-Jewish delegation that visited Israel and Rome on Wednesday, the Holy Father said, "I hope and pray that our inter-religious dialogue will continue in a climate of renewed openness and trust." WJC executive director Elan Steinberg echoed that sentiment, saying, "Just as the Pope said today, the message we wish to deliver is that we seek to redouble our efforts to strengthen the dialogue and enhance mutual respect."

      The Vatican document took over 10 years to produce, but Jewish leaders are divided in their reaction. Some leaders welcomed it for its frank look at the actions of some Christians in failing to work against the Holocaust, but other Jews criticized the Vatican for not placing blame on wartime Pope Pius XII for alleged failures to take action against the Nazi persecution of Jews.

      On Thursday, a top Catholic historian who is the last surviving member of a Vatican commission that looked into the Church's role in World War II, strongly defended Pope Pius. Jesuit Father Pierre Blet said the Pope did not speak out more forcefully for fear of worsening the fate of those who he was trying to protect in Nazi-occupied countries. "The apparent silence hid a secret action carried out through nunciatures and episcopates to avoid, or at least to limit, the deportations, the violence, the persecutions," he wrote in the Jesuit journal Civilta Cattolica. "The reasons for such discretion are clearly explained by the Pope (Pius) himself in various speeches, in letters to the German episcopate or in the minutes of the (Vatican) Secretariat of State."


      VATICAN (CWN) -- The Vatican is expecting 50,000 youngsters-- most of them from Italy and France-- to participate in a meeting with Pope John Paul on the eve of Palm Sunday-- which falls on World Youth Day this year.

    &bnsp; Because of the size of the anticipated crowd, the Vatican has decided not to hold the annual meeting in the Paul VI Hall, but to move it to St. John Lateran. The remarkable increase in expected attendance is being attributed to the excitement generated by last year's World Youth Day in Paris, as well as the continuing drive for evangelization within the diocese of Rome in preparation for the Jubilee.

    &bnsp; The meeting, held on the theme "Take Up the Cross," is intended to prepare the young people of Italy to receive the "Cross of the Holy Year," which was used during the liturgical events held in St. Peter's Basilica during the Holy Year of 1983. Pope John Paul II later gave that cross to the young people of the world.

    &bnsp; On Palm Sunday itself, in a ceremony that will take place in St. Peter's Square, that cross will be solemnly conveyed to a delegation of young Italians (led by Cardinal Camillo Ruini) by a delegation from France (led by Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger). The French youngsters, as hosts of the last World Youth Day, had themselves received the cross from their predecessors in that role, from the Philippines, on Palm Sunday of 1997.

    &bnsp; Before that ceremony, however, the youngsters from both nations will participate in a series of events beginning April 2 and continuing through Saturday, April 4, when the cross will be carried through the streets of Rome. That afternoon the young people will begin to assemble to present the cross to the Holy Father on the evening of their meeting.

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Today's prayer is taken from the Opening Prayer - the Introit of the Fourth Sunday of Lent, in which the term "Laetare" Sunday evolves.

      Rejoice, Jerusalem! Be glad for her, you who love her; rejoice with her, you who mourned for her, and you will find contentment at her consoling breasts.

For more devotions of Lent, click on WAY OF THE CROSS

FIRST STATION: Jesus is Condemned to Death

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Weakened by Your Agony in the Garden, You now hear the fateful words of Pilate. Were You afraid, Jesus? I would be, such a cruel death. So unjustified. Permit me, my Jesus, to learn the great lesson of humility which You gave us, as You stood defenseless, offering nary a word to those who sought Your ruin. You, Innocence Itself, accepted the unjust sentence, which came upon You because of my sins. Jesus, touch my heart. Purify it. Convert it fully. Take my hand and help me walk the Way of the Cross with You...the Way of Salvation.

SECOND STATION: Jesus Carries His Cross

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

If You were weak before, how much so now that You had endured a scourging, one I can't even comprehend, but which fills me with horror. Yet they presented You with Your Cross, and with arms of love You received it, in perfect obedience to Your Heavenly Father that all men might be saved. You did not recoil from it. I would have. I still do, because at the slightest suffering I become impatient, frustrated, even angry. I want to run away, to seek solace in others, to deny that suffering is part of everyday life. Permit me, on this walk with You, dear Jesus, to learn in the depths of my soul and heart, to embrace the Cross which is the only way to Eternal Life. Whenever sorrow or suffering come, help me to remember that I deserve to shoulder the cross, because You, Who are the Innocent Lamb, embraced it without complaint out of love for me, a poor sinner.

THIRD STATION: Jesus Falls the First Time

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

So brutalized were You, my Jesus, that any ordinary man would have already expired. The loss of Your Sacred Blood causes You to fall heavily to the ground. No one showed You the least bit of compassion. Instead, You were kicked, spit upon, whipped and yanked to Your feet with the heavy burden of the Cross upon Your shoulder. Permit me, dear Jesus, to learn the virtue of patience. Let me remember Your example, and when things go wrong for me in any way, let it be the silence of Your Love which seals my lips out of love for You.

FOURTH STATION: Jesus Meets His Sorrowful Mother

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

My Jesus, can anyone ever know the anguish which was exchanged between You and Your most Holy Mother? Help me to meditate upon this meeting, and to learn from it that You, the Sinless One, and Your Immaculate Mother, call me to give up my sins, my inclination to evil. Whenever I am tempted, let me fall at the feet of Your Sorrowful Mother and there, with the tender mother's love which flows from her heart, receive Your strength to resist temptation, to grow stronger in my faith, in my resolve never to sin again. Let me gaze upon Your Holy Face, my Jesus, and understand what Love really means.

FIFTH STATION: Simon the Cyrene Helps Jesus

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

It wasn't compassion which forced the Roman soldiers to make Simon help You. They feared You would die and they would not have the victory of seeing You die in anguish on Calvary. My dear Jesus, grant me the grace to help You carry Your Cross, making it my own with the full knowledge and assurance that it is You Who helps me to carry it. Only in this way will I be able to bear all with loving obedience, and patience, that Eternal Life might be mine.

SIXTH STATION: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

You never forgot, even in the midst of Your torture, to give to those Who truly love You, a remembrance of Yourself. You desired for all men to remember Your Passion that from it they might learn Love. Imprint the image of Your Holy Face upon my heart and soul, my Jesus. In this way, strengthened by Your merits, let me always think of You, placing You above all earthly cares, until I see You in Eternity.

SEVENTH STATION: Jesus Falls the Second Time

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

So weakened! Your Holy Face lies on the hard ground, the weight of the Cross even heavier now. You fell, my sweet Jesus, to remind me of the pride and self-love that I cling to in life, rather than willingly, submitting myself fully to Your Holy Will in all things. Permit me, dear Jesus, to learn from You, and to henceforth be mindful to prostrate myself before You, my Lord and my God, that I might learn humility and simplicity in all things.

EIGHTH STATION: Jesus Comforts the Women of Jerusalem

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

The weeping arouses You from the anguish of Your continuing Passion. You manage to speak to the women, and Your Holy words should arouse in me a deep repentance of all my sins. You Who are sinless, went to Your death with peace for You were united fully with the Father. Permit me, my Jesus, to contemplate my offenses against You, to confess them with a contrite heart, and to weep in the depths of my soul, for all I have done to cause You such suffering. And let me always remember that as You gaze upon me, it is with eyes of Mercy, so infinite is Your Love.

NINTH STATION: Jesus Falls the Third Time

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Life is waning from Your Sacred Body, but there is still a long, painful way to go. You fell, but You did not give up, in order that God's Will might be fulfilled. Teach me, my Jesus, to rise every time I fall, and to understand in my soul that You are there to help me to my feet, that it is You Who sets me once again on the right path - the Way of the Cross.

TENTH STATION: Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

Your soiled garments adhere to Your Sacred Body because of the clotted blood. What anguish You suffered in order to atone for the sins of intemperance and sensuality. Permit me, my dear Jesus, to surrender to You all of my sins of the flesh, and even more, all of my earthly attachments. As You were subjected to the humility of being stripped, so teach me the joy of being stripped of sin, of earthly attachments in every instance, that I might stand with You on Calvary, a repentant sinner filled with joy and hope at the Salvation You have won for me.

ELEVENTH STATION: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

I cannot comprehend what it was like to have cruel nails pounded into my tender flesh. I shrink from this, my Jesus. Sometimes it terrifies me. But You did not shrink from it. Permit me, my dear Jesus, to remember that it is my sins which have done this to You. You looked far beyond the pain, which I cannot fathom, to the Will of the Father, and the salvation of mankind. Let me remember in times of pain and sorrow, that You hold my hand and give me strength to endure, that You might wound my heart with the Love of Your Own Heart. Divine Mercy was poured forth upon mankind when the lance pierced Your Sacred Heart. My Jesus, grant that I, prostrate at the foot of Your Cross, may receive Your Divine Mercy.

TWELFTH STATION: Jesus Dies on the Cross

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

I behold You, my Jesus, hanging upon the Cross in bitterest agony. You raise Your Sacred Head with the last ounce of Your strength and Will, and You look upon me. A look of such love! Of such compassion! O, permit me, my Jesus, to remain at the foot of Your Cross, gazing upon Your Sacred Countenance. Imprint upon my heart a lively contrition for my sins, which weighed so heavily upon you as You died in agony. Let me hear in my heart the words You offered to the Good Thief, and may I draw comfort from Your loving promises. Help me to look to Your Heavenly Mother, my own Mother, for the guidance I need to remain with You in these last terrible moments before eternal bliss.

THIRTEENTH STATION: Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

It is consummated! You have surrendered Your Divine Soul to the Father. Now, Your Blessed Mother, bereft of her Son, and alone of all consolation, receives Your lifeless body into her arms. Those about see only the lifeless body. Mary believes that You, God, will rise again on the third day, and if there is any comfort for her, it is this. With Mary, may I, a sinner, kiss each wound upon Your Sacred Body, in loving remembrance of all You have done for me. The journey is now complete for You. Help me, my Jesus, to complete my journey in this life, with the sincere faith that You shall greet me for all Eternity.

FOURTEENTH STATION: Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You.
Because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

What great sadness weighed down upon Mary as she watched Your Body hastily prepared for burial, and the cold, lonely tomb receive the Flesh of her flesh, and of the Father. She watched with tears streaming down her face as the stone was rolled in front of the tomb, her faith her bulwark against despair. Grant to me, my dear Jesus, the grace to ponder the Way of the Cross which all men must walk, in order to come to that moment of glorious resurrection with You for all Eternity.

For all other standard features, articles and columns, click on Archives

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March 20, 1998 volume 9, no. 57         DAILY CATHOLIC