November 3, 1997   vol 8, no.22

Section Two - Monday Features

NEWS & VIEWS with a Catholic slant


Red Cubans wave white flag to pave way for Pope's visit

    Is it a smokescreen from Fidel's stogie or is the Cuban Communist government genuinely sincere in accommodating the Holy Father and the millions of pilgrims pressing to see him? An announcement this weekend by Roman Catholic leaders in Cuba points to the possibility of softening their hard-line stance. Click on Cuba to read more.

      With the first visit ever of Pope John Paul II to the tiny communist island of Cuba just a few months away, tensions have been mounting over fears the Cuban government would interfere and place obstacles in the way of the pontiff’s plans. However, yesterday Church leaders in Cuba confirmed that government leaders have made concessions. These include furnishing public transportation to and from all papal events on the island, granting permission for pilgrim ships coming to Havana from the States to dock and allowing press coverage of all activities while the Pope is there.

   Cuba, which is heavily Roman Catholic, but has suffered from the persecution of Communist dictator Fidel Castro who, when he took over declared atheism as standard state policy. However, in 1994, with the decline of Communism in the Soviet Union and fearing reprisal, he softened his stance somewhat, allowing controlled church activities, but always under his command. The Holy Father’s announcement that he was coming to Cuba has forced Castro into a corner where he must cooperate or feel the global wrath if he doesn’t cooperate with this Pope of Peace.

   The concessions are a tremendous breakthrough considering they are precedent-setting and many have expressed prayerful hope that John Paul’s papal trip to Cuba will open the door to greater religious freedom and the Church can once again flourish among the Cuban flock. The concessions have somewhat eased the concerns of Vatican officials who had expressed alarm at the lack of cooperation by the Cuban government with Cuban Roman Catholic clergy

Information for this article gathered from Associated Press and Catholic World News Service

Catholic Press celebrate 175th anniversary

    Saint Francis de Sales and Saint John Bosco would be proud of the accomplishments of the Catholic Press on many accounts, ashamed for some, and always encouraging more so that souls will be touched. Rome is acknowledging 175 years of Catholic journalistic excellence here in America by sending the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications...a man who is no stranger to our shores. click on Catholic Press to read more.

   The week that the first regular daily Catholic publication goes on line in the new phenomena of hyperspace, the roots of the Catholic Press in America are celebrated…roots that go back 175 years when even the old typewriters were yet to be invented and only the hot lead type could produce the words that Catholics across the country have been reading for one and three quarter centuries.

   To recognize the occasion, the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Archbishop John P. Foley is in the country giving four addresses on the east coast. On Friday evening in Philadelphia he received the highest honor from the American Catholic Historical Society - the coveted Barry Award, named after the man who founded the United States Navy - Commodore John Barry who was also a good Catholic.

    Archbishop Foley will address the International Catholic Association for Radio, Television and Audiovisuals in Arlington, Virginia this coming Thursday. The Conference marks the 25th anniversary of these meetings for this Catholic media group, still 150 years shy of their predecessors’ mark of 175. Yet, with the rise of high technology and instant communication, countless more souls are being reached than could ever have been dreamed of back in 1822.

Information for this article gathered from Associated Press and Catholic World News Service

Pope pops holes in liberals' claims that statues and images are passe

    The Holy Father reaffirmed the importance of statues, images and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary as crucial to Catholics in their reverence toward God, specifically Jesus Christ the Divine Son. He cited various Church councils who said the same thing. Click on Statues to discover what else his holiness had to say.

   For those who have been advocating taking statues out of the churches because that’s what Vatican II decided, they are sorely wrong and Pope John Paul II confirmed that along with a strong recommendation toward Marian devotion in his most recent Wednesday public audience at Pope Paul VI Hall. He reminded the gathering that council fathers of Vatican II encourage devotion to the saints and the Mother of God, particularly within the Liturgy. He sited not only Vatican II but other past Church councils all the way back to the Second Council of Nicea which have upheld the "legitimacy and validity of sacred images, in the face of certain tendencies that intended to eliminate them from churches and shrines, with the aim of concentrating all attention on Christ."

   He went on to say that statues, images of the saints and especially Our Lady "in houses, in public places and in numerous chapels and churches, help the faithful to invoke her constant presence and her merciful patronage in life’s different circumstances. Making concrete and nearly visible the Virgin Mary’s motherly tenderness, images invite one to address her, to implore her with confidence and to imitate her in generously welcoming Divine Will." He also assured all that in adoring the Image of Jesus, worshippers are not committing idolatry and cautioned to focus on Christ for all devotion is centered on Mary’s Divine Son. He added what all Marian devotees know, and that is that "everything in Mary derives from Christ and is ordered to Him. Thus true Marian devotion "moves one to filial affection for her and stirs up a firm proposal to imitate her virtues."

Information for this article gathered from the Catholic World News Service

Medjugorje Monthly Message

This Medjugorje section, part of the A Call To Peace department, offers the Monthly Message from Medjugorje and the Call to Peace from the Queen of Peace, summarizing the five main points of the messages Our Lady asks of all her children. To read the October 25th Monthly MessageClick on MEDJUGORJE.


October 25th Message

Dear children: Also, today I am with you and I call all of you to renew yourselves by living my messages. Little children, may prayer be life for you and may you be an example to others. Little children, I desire for you to become carriers of Peace and of God's Joy to today's world without peace. That is why, little children, pray, pray, pray! I am with you and I bless you with my motherly peace. Thank you for having responded to my call!

The Essence of the Medjugorje Message

A Call To Peace from the Queen of Peace

According to the testimony of the visionaries in Medjugorje, Our Lady introduced herself: "I am the Queen of Peace" Mary is calling all of humanity to PEACE, PEACE, PEACE - for it is necessary to save all humanity. We have to begin by first creating peace within our hearts, then in our families and then in this war-threatened world. This can be done in the following manner:







"He who winks at a fault causes trouble, but he who frankly reproves promotes peace."

Proverbs 10: 10

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November 3, 1997 volume 8, no. 22         DAILY CATHOLIC

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