MONDAY

January 26, 1998   vol 9, no. 18    

SECTION TWO



WORLDWIDE NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant

HEADLINES:

UKRAINIAN CATHOLICS ASK POPE TO VISIT THEM TOO

     KIEV (CWN) - Ukraine's Eastern-rite Catholic bishops applauded Pope John Paul's visit to Communist Cuba this week, but they added that they want him to visit their country as well.

      "We welcome the Pope's visit to Cuba because Cubans need spiritual support and a sign of hope from him," Bishop Yulian Hobur, the Eastern-rite Catholic Synod Secretary, said by telephone from church headquarters in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv. "But the Pope, who has been even to Lebanon or Bosnia, does not come to Ukraine, a European country where Christianity has a thousand-year-old tradition." The Holy Father was dissuaded from visiting the former Soviet Republic by President Leonid Kuchma in 1995 who warned of exacerbating tensions between Ukrainian Catholics and Russian Orthodox.

      Catholicism was banned by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in 1946 and many church properties were confiscated and given to the Orthodox Church. After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, the ban on the Catholic Church was lifted, but disputes arose over ownership of those properties. A statement from the bishops also said they felt slighted when they were left out of talks between Vatican officials and the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate last week in Moscow.


YELTSIN SAYS POPE MEETING WILL NOT ADDRESS CATHOLIC-ORTHODOX RELATIONS

      MOSCOW (CWN) - Russian President Boris Yeltsin will not discuss relations between the Russian Orthodox and Catholic churches when he meets with Pope John Paul in Rome next month, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

      Spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky also denied reports that Yeltsin would invite John Paul to visit Russia, the ITAR-Tass news agency said. The Holy Father is expected to take Yeltsin to task over a new Russian law that puts severe restrictions on non-Russian Orthodox religions, including the Catholic Church, when the two men meet during Yeltsin's February 9-11 visit to Italy.

      The Pope may also ask Yeltsin to intervene in a dispute over property confiscated from Eastern-rite Catholic churches by the Soviet regime and handed over to the Russian Orthodox church, an issue that has strained relations between the Catholic and Orthodox churches.


AUSTRIAN BISHOPS DISCUSS RECENT TURMOIL

      VIENNA (CWN) - Austria's bishops scheduled a special meeting yesterday to discuss recent turmoil in the Church in that country, including dissent from Church teaching, a recent letter from a retired bishop taking his brother bishops to task, and allegations of sexual misconduct against another retired bishop.

      Several weeks ago, retired Bishop Reinhold Stecher's private letter critical of Catholic teaching on priestly celibacy and the male priesthood was made public in several Austrian newspapers. After that, former Archbishop Han Hermann Groer of Vienna was accused of child sexual abuse. Meanwhile, a dissident Catholic group called Catholic Action has organized a petition drive gathering hundreds of thousands of signatures demanding changes in Church teaching, stirring up anger and resentment among parishioners.

      The bishops met on Sunday in Vienna to analyze the turmoil and search for solutions, a spokesman for the bishops' conference said. [More will be forthcoming in following issues of the Daily CATHOLIC.]


PROVERB OF THE DAY

"The simpleton believes everything, but the shrewd man measures his steps."

Proverbs 14: 15

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January 26, 1998 volume 9, no. 18          DAILY CATHOLIC


January 1998