December 17, 1997   vol 8, no.54

     SECTION TWO     
To print out SECTION ONE, click here

The Choir of Angels celebrate the nuptials

     They do when the sacrament of matrimony is performed in accordance with the norms and rituals set down by Holy Mother Church. When the ceremony is conducted otherwise, the notes emanating from the angelic harps are flat. To please Heaven and rectify the abuses, the Vatican has passed down an important document on Instructions for curbing abuses by the Laity and Clergy. Today we bring you the nineteenth installment of this 37-page document released a little over a month ago from the Holy See. Click on THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS

INSTRUCTION on Certain Questions regarding the Collaboration of the Non-ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priest

Nineteenth installment: PRACTICAL PROVISIONS - Article 10
Assistance at Marriages

1. The possibility of delegating the non-ordained faithful to assist at marriages may prove necessary in special circumstances where there is a grave shortage of sacred ministers.

This possibility, however, is subject to the verification of three conditions. The diocesan Bishop, may concede this delegation only in cases where there are no priests or deacons available and after he shall have obtained for his own diocese a favourable votum from the Conference of Bishops and the necessary permission of the Holy See. (106)

2. In such cases, the canonical norms concerning the validity of delegation, (107) the suitability, capacity and attitude of the non-ordained faithful must be observed. (108)

3. With the exception of an extraordinary case due to the absolute absence of both Priests and Deacons who can assist at marriages provided for in Canon 1112 of the Code of Canon Law, no ordained minister may authorize the non-ordained faithful for such assistance. Neither may an ordained minister authorize the non-ordained faithful to ask or receive matrimonial consent according to the norm of Canon 1108

NEXT ISSUE: PRACTICAL PROVISIONS - Article 11 The Minister of Baptism

Laughter is the nectar of the Angels

     And we hope they'll enjoy the second part of our rib-ticklers on Bulletin Bloopers and not jiggle the clouds too much with their laughs. You can laugh all you want by reading this lighter side during midweek and we hope you do. Click on "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven"
      We follow up with the second part of bloopers, malaprops and typos that actually appeared in church bulletins throughout the country. Their faux pais are listed below for a chuckle or two or three. Some are ridiculous, some are hilarious, and some make no sense whatsoever. But then one man's humor is another's doldrums and vice versa, but God wants us all to laugh as we continue our journey to Heaven so have a good one on us and enjoy some of these Bulletin Bloopers and pray for the bulletin person who typed them. We're sure they heard no end to their faux pais.

Classic Church Bulletin BloopersPart Two


For the Advent Novena Prayer and all prayers up until today, click on ADVENT Novena Prayers

December 17, 1997

      St. Joseph, your work has brought barely enough income for you and Mary, and you have made what you can from your carpenter's shop to provide for the care of the Child Jesus. You see that Mary is in good health and you are relieved, yet you, too, desired to provide for her. Help us, St. Joseph, to realize that God is our Father and desires also to provide for us His children, if only we allow Him. By our obedience may we shun the wickedness of the world, all its glitter and false promises, and rely only on our Heavenly Father for our every need.

Medjugorje Monthly Message for November 25th

    Dear children: Today I invite you to comprehend your Christian vocation. Little children, I led and am leading you through this time of grace, that you may become conscious of your Christian vocation. Holy martyrs died witnessing: I am a Christian and love God over everything. Little children, today also I invite you to rejoice and be joyful Christians, responsible and conscious that God called you in a special way to be joyfully extended hands toward those who do not believe, and that through the example of your life, they may receive faith and love for God. Therefore, pray, pray, pray that your heart may open and be sensitive for the Word of God. Thank you for having responded to my call!
For more on Medjugorje, Click on MEDJUGORJE

NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant



      VATICAN (CWN) -- Pope John Paul II offered a pointed critique of the United States government policies today, as he received the diplomatic credentials of the new US Ambassador to the Holy See, Lindy Boggs.

      Recognizing the United States as "a nation which plays a crucial role in world events today," the Pope pointed out that many other nations look to America as a successful example of democratic development. However, he continued, the success of the "American experiment" is based on the fundamental commitment to "unalienable rights" celebrated in the Declaration of Independence.

      The United States compromises that commitment, the Holy Father said, whenever it refuses to recognize the rights of those most in need. "Whenever a certain category of people-- the unborn or the sick and old-- are excluded from that protection, a deadly anarchy subverts the original understanding of justice," the Pope said. He continued: "The credibility of the United States will depend more and more on its promotion of a genuine culture of life."

      The Pope saluted the United States for its dedication to religious liberty, but warned that this strength, too, might now be in jeopardy. "It would truly be a sad thing if the religious and moral convictions upon which the American experiment was founded could now somehow be considered a danger to free society," he said.

[The following is the text of an address delivered by Pope John Paul II today as he received the diplomatic credentials of the new US Ambassador to the Holy See, Lindy Boggs.]

Your Excellency,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the Vatican for the presentation of the Letters of Credence by which you are appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Holy See. I am grateful for the greetings which you convey from President Clinton, and I reciprocate with good wishes to him and the American people.

      You represent a nation which plays a crucial role in world events today. The United States carries a weighty and far-reaching responsibility, not only for the well-being of its own people, but for the development and destiny of peoples throughout the world. With a deep sense of participation in the joys and hopes, the sorrows, anxieties, and aspirations of the entire human family, the Holy See is a willing partner in every effort to build a world of genuine peace and justice for all. I am certain that, following upon the good work of your predecessors, you will apply your many personal talents and your long experience of public life to strengthening understanding and cooperation between us.

      The Founding Fathers of the United States asserted their claim to freedom and independence on the basis of certain "self-evident" truths about the human person: truths which could be discerned in human nature, built into it by "nature's God." Thus they meant to bring into being, not just an independent territory, but a great experiment in what George Washington called "ordered liberty:" an experiment in which men and women would enjoy equality of rights and opportunities in the pursuit of happiness and in service to the common good. Reading the founding documents of the United States, one has to be impressed by the concept of freedom they enshrine: a freedom designed to enable people to fulfill their duties and responsibilities toward the family and toward the common good of the community. Their authors clearly understood that there could be no true freedom without moral responsibility and accountability, and no happiness without respect and support for the natural units or groupings through which people exist, develop, and seek the higher purposes of life in concert with others.

      The American democratic experiment has been successful in many ways. Millions of people around the world look to the United States as a model, in their search for freedom, dignity, and prosperity. But the continuing success of American democracy depends on the degree to which each new generation, native-born and immigrant, make its own the moral truths on which the Founding Fathers staked the future of your Republic. Their commitment to build a free society with liberty and justice for all must be constantly renewed if the United States is to fulfill the destiny to which the Founders pledged their "lives....fortunes...and sacred honor."

      I am happy to take note of your words confirming the importance that your Government attaches, in its relations with countries around the world, to the promotion of human rights and particularly to the fundamental human right of religious freedom, which is the guarantee of every other human right. Respect for religious conviction played no small part in the birth and early development of the United States. Thus John Dickinson, chairman of the Committee for the Declaration of Independence, said in 1776: "Our liberties do not come from charters; for these are only the declaration of pre- existing rights. They do not depend on parchments or seals; but come from the King of Kings and the Lord of all the earth." Indeed in may be asked whether the American democratic experiment would have been possible, or how well it will succeed in the future, without a deeply rooted vision of divine providence over the individual and over the fate of nations.

      As the Year 2000 draws near and Christians prepare to celebrate the bi-millennium of the birth of Christ, I have appealed for a serious examination of conscience regarding the shadows which darken out times. Nations and States too can make this a time of reflection on the spiritual and moral conditions of their success in promoting the integral good of their people. It would truly be a sad thing if the religious and moral convictions upon which the American experiment was founded could now somehow be considered a danger to free society, such that those who would bring these convictions to bear upon your nation's public life would be denied a voice in debating and resolving issues of public policy. The original separation of Church and State in the United States was certainly not an effort to ban all religious conviction from the public sphere, a kind of banishment of God from civil society. Indeed, the vast majority of Americans, regardless of their religious persuasion, are convinced that religious conviction and religiously informed moral argument have a vital role in public life.

      No expression of today's commitment to liberty and justice for all can be more basic than the protection afforded to those in society who are most vulnerable. The United States of America was founded on the conviction that an inalienable right to life was a self-evident moral truth, fidelity to which was a primary criterion of social justice. The moral history of your country is the story of your people's efforts to widen the circle of inclusion in society, so that all Americans might enjoy the protection of law, participate in the responsibilities of citizenship, and have the opportunity to make a contribution to the common good. Whenever a certain category of people-- the unborn or the sick and old-- are excluded from that protection, a deadly anarchy subverts the original understanding of justice. The credibility of the United States will depend more and more on its promotion of a genuine culture of life, and on a renewed commitment to building a world in which the weakest and most vulnerable are welcomed and protected.

      As they have done throughout your country's history, the Catholic people in the United States will continue to make an important contribution to the development of American culture and society. The recently completed Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for America has highlighted the range and variety of activity which Catholics, out of commitment to Christ, undertake for the betterment of society. May this transforming and elevating work continue to flourish for the good of individuals, the strengthening of families, and the benefit of the American people as a whole.

      Your Excellency, these are some of the thoughts prompted by your presence here as your country's diplomatic representative. These reflections evoke a prayer: that your country will experience a new birth of freedom, freedom grounded in truth and ordered to goodness. Thus will the American people be able to harness their boundless spiritual energy in service of the genuine good of all humanity. Be assured that the various Offices of the Holy See will be ready to assist you in the fulfillment of your mission. Upon you and upon the people of the United States of American I cordially invoke abundant divine blessings.


     HAVANA (CWN) - Cuban Communist President Fidel Castro announced on state television on Sunday that he will hold a landmark meeting with the country's Catholic bishops as part of preparations for the Pope John Paul's visit next month.

      In over an hour of televised remarks to parliament, Castro outlined plans for the papal visit and announced that the officially atheist government would allow the celebration of Christmas for this year. Although Castro has met with his country's bishops during meetings with Vatican representatives, the planned meetings would be the first with just Cuba's hierarchy in decades.

      Castro said the Communist government was taking extraordinary steps to ensure that the papal visit is a success, including allocating nearly half the country's public transportation for pilgrims wishing to attend the four papal Masses. "We want the Pope to go home to Rome with the impression that this is the best visit he has made to any country," he said.


      GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (CWN) - Fans of the American football team, the Green Bay Packers, are looking for heavenly help to ensure that their team repeats as Super Bowl champions this year.

      Judy Strong of Crafter's Market in West Allis, Wisconsin said she's been selling out of Packers rosaries and her supplier can't keep up with the demand. Strong said she received 500 calls on Sunday from people looking for the rosaries. Some people said they've found it to be an effective means of getting their children to pray, she said.

      Demand for the rosaries peaked after a story on the Packer rosary inventor, Karla Sponder, appeared in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Strong said she has received calls from as far away as California and Pennsylvania.

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Praying with the Angels in anticipation of His Coming

     The Liturgy of the Day provides an excellent opportunity for all to join the angels in prayer and preparation for the glorious solemnity of Christ's birth. The nine day novena leading up to Christmas is in its second day with the second prayer: SECOND DAY OF CHRISTMAS NOVENA: "O Wisdom that comest out of the mouth of the Most High, that reachest from one end to another, and orderest all things mightily and sweetly, come to teach us the way of prudence!" (Add an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be) For today's Liturgy for Late Advent, click on LITURGY OF THE DAY

WEDNESDAY, December 17, 1997

THURSDAY, December 18, 1997

Thursday, December 18:
Third Thursday of Advent


"Toil not to gain wealth, cease to be concerned about it; while your glance flits to it, it is gone! For assuredly it grows wings, like the eagle that flies toward Heaven."

Proverbs 23: 6

For all other standard features, articles and columns, click on Archives
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December 17, 1997 volume 8, no. 54         DAILY CATHOLIC

December 1997