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May 1-3, 1998             SECTION TWO              vol 9, no. 85

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

WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant
provided by Catholic World News Service



      VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Because the Virgin Mary was the first human person to know of the coming of Christ, all preparation for the Jubilee Year 2000 is a form of preparation to share in Mary's joy. That was the message of Pope John Paul II at his weekly public audience on Wednesday, April 29.

      In the 14th talk of a catechetical series on the Jubilee, the Holy Father concentrated on the role of the Virgin Mary in the celebration. "We cannot separate the Son from the Mother," he said, "having been born of Mary is part of the personal identity of Jesus."

      He added that from the earliest years of the Church, the profession of faith recognized Jesus as "Son of God and Son of Mary." And the Council of Ephesus, in 431, solemnly proclaimed that Mary is the Mother of God-- a title which, the Pope pointed out, is "the loftiest title one can give to any human person."

      Mary's maternity, the Holy Father continued, reflects the will of God, that his Son should be born in a truly human fashion. At the same time, he continued, God "wished a virginal mother, as a sign of the child's divine filiation."

      Moreover, John Paul emphasized, it was also the will of God that this birth could occur only with the consent of Mary, who retained the freedom to refuse. "In effect," he said, "the angel set out the divine project and waited for a response, which came from her free will." Thus the mystery of the Incarnation occurs through the consent of the Virgin. And, the Pope said, "That adherence of Mary to the divine will had an immense effect on the future of all humanity."

      Finally, John Paul taught that the union of Mary with Christ in his suffering on the Cross "produced in Mary a new maternity"-- a "universal" maternity. "She who suffered for all humanity became mother of all men," he concluded.

      Later in the day Pope John Paul II told a group of seminarians from the city of Florence that they had no reason to fear if they let the Holy Spirit be their guide.

      The Holy Father received Cardinal Silvano Piovanelli and the seminarians from his Italian archdiocese in a private audience, and alluded to the worldwide day of prayer for vocations which will be observed on May-- a date on which he will ordain 30 deacons to the priesthood for Rome.

      "Do not be afraid, dear seminarians, to open you sails to capture the breath of the Holy Spirit," the Pope said. "Let the force of truth and love enliven every dimension of your young lives." He urged the young men to devote "you entire being" to the work of the priesthood, which means "being a sign and instrument of Christ."

      The Florence seminary-- where the Holy Father made a pastoral visit in 1986-- trains priests not only for that city, but also for work in Poland and in Kerala, India.

UN blames Congress for placing abortion ban on Funding Bill, ignoring the fact Clinton threatens to kill it with veto

     Wouldn't you know it! The UN cronies and President Clinton are in cahoots in trying to get funding to repay over a one and a half billion dollar debt. How else would one explain the fact that UN officials completely overlook the fact that whether the UN gets their money or not depends not on Congress, but on Clinton. If he vetoes the bill because of the overseas abortion ban attachment Republicans were able to pass, then he should be the "bad guy" in the eyes of the UN. But no!!! Because the UN is promoting abortion, the Republican Congress is the culprit in their eyes. For more, click on UN Hypocrisy.


      NEW YORK (CWNews.com) - Rather than criticize US President Bill Clinton for vowing to veto a proposed law that would have paid the US dues in arrears to the United Nations, UN officials on Wednesday criticized the Congress for including provisions in the bill banning US funding of overseas groups that promote or provide abortions.

      Clinton has repeatedly said he would veto the bill, despite his insistence on the need to fund the UN, because of the pro-life amendment. The Senate on Tuesday gave final congressional approval to a State Department funding bill that included $926 million for the UN and the abortion funding ban. UN officials said the congressional action in effect holds the funds hostage to an issue with which it is not involved. "The position of the UN is that abortion is not to be promoted as a means of family planning and under no circumstances are UN funds to be used for abortion," said Bill Ryan of the UN Population Fund.

      According to the United Nations, the United States owes more than $1.57 billion -- mostly from previous years. Of that money, $958 million is owed to the fund used to reimburse countries that provide troops for UN peacekeeping missions. The remainder -- about $619 million -- is owed to the UN operating budget.


      SARAJEVO (CWNews.com) - Cardinal Vinko Puljic of Sarajevo criticized "hostile NATO indifference toward Catholics in Bosnia-Hercegovina" in an interview given to the Italian newspaper Avvenire last week, following an attack on the cardinal and a group of pilgrims in Derventa, as NATO troops deployed in Bosnia-Hercegovina failed to protect the group from Serbia gangs despite prior arrangements and NATO and Serbian permits.

      "I was afraid for my life," said Cardinal Puljic. "The incident was premeditated." He emphasized that on all sides of ongoing ethnic disputes in Bosnia-Hercegovina there are individuals who oppose the return of two million refugees to their homes and seek to preserve the results of "ethnic cleansing." But, Cardinal Puljic said that the return of refugees should remain a priority.

      At a press conference in Sarajevo last week, Cardinal Puljic referred to the incident in Derventa: "It was not a spontaneous gathering of [Serbian rioters], but prearranged, and it was not refugees who came after us." He added, "The police did not stop anyone. Some attackers had been brought to Derventa by buses. The local authorities and the IPTF (international police) were aware of what was being planned." Cardinal Puljic said that soldiers who undertook the rescue operation risked their lives too, and that he was more critical of the commanders of the SFOR and the international community.


      BOSTON (CWNews.com) - A study of the abortion pill RU-486 shows that it may not be as effective in killing unborn children as previously suggested, but supporters expect the US Food and Drug Administration to approve the pill for general use anyway.

      The study published on Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the drug, whose pharmacological name is mifepristone, caused an abortion in 92 percent of mothers who were pregnancy for less than 50 days. Earlier research had pegged the rate at between 96 and 99 percent. The researchers also found that RU-486 was less effective in women who had already had an abortion.

      The researchers from the Population Council, the non-profit group that owns the US manufacturing rights, added that the older the unborn child, the greater the chance that the drug would fail. In addition, the risk of side effects, such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and the need for hospitalization, was higher among women pregnant for 50 days or longer. Many of those side effects appeared during the four hours the patients spent at the clinic waiting for the drug to work.

      The Population Council said that despite the problems and risks discovered in the clinical trials, they are confident that the FDA will approve full-scale production, despite pro-life groups charges that the drug is dangerous to mothers.

      On the plus side in Tallahassee, Florida, the Florida House approved a bill on Wednesday that would make a special license plate with the slogan "Choose Life" available to car owners, following the Senate which approved the measure a day earlier.

      The plate, if the bill is signed by Gov. Lawton Chiles, would join 39 other special license plates that Floridians can receive after paying an extra fee. Other plates include one reading "Save the Manatee," memorializing the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986, and expressing support for education. Opponents of the "Choose Life" plate said it was an inappropriate political statement while supports said it is a general affirmation of the value of life.

      "To me it's a positive, pro-active message," John Dowless, executive director of the Christian Coalition of Florida, said. "I personally think the state of Florida should have a policy that favors adoption over abortion." Proceeds from the sale of the new plate will be earmarked for services for pregnant women and to promote adoption. A spokesman for Chiles said it was not yet known whether the governor would sign the measure or veto it.

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April 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message for

     Dear children! Today I call you, through prayer, to open yourselves to God as a flower opens itself to the rays of the morning sun. Little children, do not be afraid. I am with you and I intercede before God for each of you so that your heart receives the gift of conversion. Only in this way, little children, will you comprehend the importance of grace in these times and God will become nearer to you. Thank you for having responded to my call.
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE


"Virtue guards one who walks honestly, but the wicked brings shame and disgrace."

Proverbs 13: 6


This weekend's Prayer is a special prayer to Saint Joseph the Worker.

     Glorious Saint Joseph, example for all who are engaged in toil, pray with me please to obtain the grace that I may work in the spirit of penance and so make atonement for my sins…that I may work conscientiously, keeping devotion to duty before my personal feelings…that I may work with thankfulness and joy, holding it an honor to use and to develop by my labor the gifts I have received from almighty God.
      Pray with me that I may obtain help to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience-and never shirk duty because of weariness or because of difficulties encountered and that, before all else, I may work with a right intention and with detachment from self, keeping always in mind the hour of my death and the account I must give then for misused time, for neglected talents, for good not done, and for any foolish pride in my success-a fault so fatal to the work of God.
      All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of you, Joseph most faithful! This shall be my motto in life and in death. Amen.

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

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May 1, 1998 volume 9, no. 85   DAILY CATHOLIC