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Volume 2, Issue 240

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  • John N. Lupia
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 11, 2002

      Volume 2, Issue 240
      TUESDAY 12 November 2002

      Feast of St. Josaphat

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      • Papal Address to Pontifical Academy of Sciences
      • Vatican Address at U.N. on Religious Liberty
      • Divorce Mentality "Weakens Spouses," Warns Council
      • Church's Problems with Media Tied to a Lack of Commitment
      • Papal Envoy Urges Mexican Indians to Keep Christian Values
      • A Bishop-Physician Critiques Euthanasia
      • Swiss Guard's New Leader Hopes the Members Stay Longer

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      Papal Address to Pontifical Academy of Sciences

      Scientists Are Called to "Serve More," John Paul II Says

      VATICAN CITY, NOV. 11, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Here is the address John Paul II delivered today to participants who are in Rome for the plenary meeting of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

      Dear Members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences,

      It gives me great pleasure to greet you on the occasion of your Plenary Meeting, and I offer a particularly warm welcome to the new members among you. Your discussion and reflection this year focuses on "The Cultural Values of Science." This theme allows you to consider scientific developments in their relation to other general aspects of human experience.

      In fact, even before speaking of the cultural values of science, we could say that science itself represents a value for human knowledge and the human community. For it is thanks to science that we have a greater understanding today of man's place in the universe, of the connections between human history and the history of the cosmos, of the structural cohesion and symmetry of the elements of which matter is composed, of the remarkable complexity and at the same time the astonishing coordination of the life processes
      themselves. It is thanks to science that we are able to appreciate ever more what one member of this Academy has called "the wonder of being human": this is the title that John Eccles, recipient of the 1963 Nobel Prize for Neurophysiology and member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, gave to his book on the human brain and mind (J.C. Eccles, D.N. Robinson, The Wonder of Being Human: Our Brain and Our Mind; Free Press, New York, 1984).

      This knowledge represents an extraordinary and profound value for the entire human family, and it is also of immeasurable significance for the disciplines of philosophy and theology as they continue along the path of "intellectus quaerens fidem" and of "fides quarens intellectum," as they seek an ever more complete understanding of the wealth of human knowledge and of Biblical revelation. If philosophy and theology today grasp better than in the past what it means to be a human being in the world, they owe this in no small part to science, because it is science that has shown us how numerous and
      complex the works of creation are and how seemingly limitless the created cosmos is. The utter marvel that inspired the first philosophical reflections on nature does not diminish as new scientific discoveries are made. Rather, it increases with each fresh insight that is gained. The species capable of "creaturely amazement" is transformed as our grasp of truth and reality becomes more comprehensive, as we are led to search ever more deeply within the realm of human experience and existence.

      But the cultural and human value of science is also seen in its moving from the level of research and reflection to actual practice. In fact, the Lord Jesus warned his followers: "everyone to whom much is given, of him will much be required" (Lk 12:48). Scientists, therefore, precisely because they "know more," are called to "serve more." Since the freedom they enjoy in research gives them access to specialized knowledge, they have the responsibility of using it wisely for the benefit of the entire human family. I am thinking here not only of the dangers involved in a science devoid of an ethic firmly grounded in
      the nature of the human person and in respect of the environment, themes which I have dwelt on many times in the past (cf. Addresses to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, 28 October 1994, 27 October 1998 and 12 March 1999; Address to the Pontifical Academy for Life, 24 February 1998).

      I am also thinking of the enormous benefits that science can bring to the peoples of the world through basic research and technological applications. By protecting its legitimate autonomy from economic and political pressures, by not giving in to the forces of consensus or to the quest for profit, by committing itself to selfless research aimed at truth and the common good, the scientific community can help the world's peoples and serve them in ways no other structures can.

      At the beginning of this new century, scientists need to ask themselves if there is not more that they can do in this regard. In an ever more globalized world, can they not do more to increase levels of instruction and improve health conditions, to study strategies for a more equitable distribution of resources, to facilitate the free circulation of information and the access of all to that knowledge that improves the quality of life and raises standards of living? Can they not make their voices heard more clearly and with greater authority in the cause of world peace? I know that they can, and I know that you can, dear members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences! As you prepare to celebrate the Academy's Fourth Centenary next year, bring these common concerns and aspirations to the international agencies that make use of your work, bring them to your colleagues, bring them to the places where you engage in research and where you teach. In this way, science will help to unite minds and hearts, promoting dialogue not only between individual researchers in different parts of the world but also between nations and cultures, making a priceless contribution to peace and harmony among

      In renewing my warm wishes for the success of your work during these days, I raise my voice to the Lord of heaven and earth, praying that your activity will be more and more an instrument of truth and love in the world. Upon you, your families and your colleagues I cordially invoke an abundance of divine grace and blessings.

      * * *

      Vatican Address at U.N. on Religious Liberty

      Archbishop Martino on a "Touchstone" Right

      NEW YORK, NOV. 11, 2002 (ZENIT.org).- Here is the text of an address given Friday by Archbishop Renato Martino, head of the observer delegation of the Holy See to the United Nations, before the Third Committee of the 57th Session of the General Assembly on human rights questions.

      Mr. Chairman,

      My Delegation welcomes and congratulates Mr. Sergio Vieira de Mello upon his election as High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Holy See is confident that his experience in the field of human rights, humanitarian care and protection and peace building will help him to bring great respect and success to the role of the High Commissioner. He can depend on the cooperation and support of the Holy See.

      Mr. Chairman, The Holy See welcomes the Interim Report of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the elimination of all forms of religious intolerance.

      In an annual address to the Diplomatic Corps, His Holiness Pope John Paul II affirmed, "Among the fundamental freedoms which the Church must defend, first place naturally goes to religious freedom. The right to freedom of religion is so closely linked to other fundamental rights that it can rightly be argued that respect for religious freedom is, as it were a touchstone for the observance of other fundamental rights." (Pope John Paul II, Address to the Diplomatic Corps, February 1989)

      The Holy See has always defended and promoted respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms for all people. It should be no wonder then, that my Delegation addresses this item today, as it has done each and every year.

      The Holy See is especially concerned that in many parts of the world, discriminatory or intolerant policies continue, with regard to minorities in States having an official religion.

      Additional matters of concern are the combining of ethnic and religious persecution in many parts of the world and the blatant disregard and disrespect for churches, religious shrines or sites.

      Mr. Chairman, the mystery of and the belief in God is at the heart of every culture and the greatest of all mysteries. Religion expresses the deepest dreams, hopes and desires of the human person. Religious faith helps to shape people's vision of the world and affects their relationships with others. Indeed, different peoples and cultures throughout history and throughout the world testify to the many and varied ways in which humankind addresses the meaning of creation, history and personal existence.

      The right to life, the right to freedom of religion or belief and respect for religious and cultural heritage are the basic premises for human existence. The fact that there are still many places today where the right to gather for worship is either not recognized or is limited to the members of one religion alone or where religious belief is pushed aside in the name of development or "modern thought" is a sad commentary on any claim to a more just, peaceful world where fundamental rights and freedoms are more widely
      promoted and respected.

      My Delegation renews its conviction that recourse to violence, in the name of religious belief, is a perversion of the very teachings of the major religions. The Holy See reaffirms here today what many religious leaders have repeated so often: "The use of violence can never claim a religious justification, nor can it foster the growth of true religious feeling."

      Differences between religious traditions, must be accepted, respected, and tolerated. The practice of any faith must be conducted with respect for other religious traditions. Religious tolerance must be based on the conviction that God wishes to be adored by people who are free. This is a conviction which requires us to respect and honor personal conscience, wherein each person
      meets God.

      When such respect and understanding is not realized, and when the differences in religious belief or conviction leads to civil strife and war, there is a need for mutual forgiveness. The commitment to religious tolerance and collaboration must be based upon the conversion of hearts and upon prayer, which will also lead to the necessary purification of past memories.

      Mr. Chairman, the people of the world continue to be scandalized by the sharp divisions that manifest themselves in the destruction of human life in the name of religion. The Holy See renews its call to all women and men of faith everywhere, to commit themselves courageously to the path that leads to peace, tolerance and understanding. This call is not impossible to hear nor is an invitation impossible to accept. It is, however an essential element to building a world in which all people can live in peace and harmony with one another.

      Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

      * * *

      Divorce Mentality "Weakens Spouses," Warns Council

      Don't Give In, Urges Vatican Document

      VATICAN CITY, NOV. 11, 2002 (Zenit.org).- The worse response to the growing number of divorces is to give in to this evil, says a note published by the Pontifical Council for the Family.

      Divorce is not just a legal question, but above all a source of suffering for the couple, the children and their loved ones, the note observes.

      The document states that the majority of families still live in "a firm and faithful union," including in countries where the problem of couples in difficulty is more acute.

      Yet, "the precariousness of the conjugal bond is one of the characteristics of the contemporary world," says the Vatican note. "It does not exclude any continent or social environment and makes society fragile."

      The document refers to the most important issues addressed during the last plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family, held from Oct. 17-19, which focused on "Family Pastoral Care and Couples in Difficulty."

      Noting the growing "divorce mentality" that "weakens spouses," the council's statement explains that "that to give up without a struggle is something very frequent."

      "Divorce is not just a legal question; it is not a passing 'crisis,' but affects the human being," the document says. It is a problem "of a destroyed relation,"which will "forever mark" each member of the family, it adds.

      "It is the cause of financial, emotional and human impoverishment," the note states.

      In particular, the Vatican statement tries to protect children, who are the most vulnerable in these ruptures.

      The council attributes the situation to the increasingly secularized world, and the disintegration of the family because of financial difficulties. It also attacks the "false idea of freedom, fear of commitment, the practice of living together, the 'trivialization of sex.'"

      The council believes that this culture promotes "lifestyles, fashions, entertainment," which cause doubt about the "value of marriage" and "propagate the idea that the reciprocal gift of spouses until death is something impossible."

      Thus, the family institution is disqualified, in favor of "other pseudo-family 'models,'" which even find legal expression in some states, including homosexual unions that ask for the right to adopt children.

      The Pontifical Council for the Family calls for a re-evaluation "of love not as happiness-passion, but as a plan of life of integration and openness."

      This requires an effort of reflection and formation at the parish and diocesan level, but also of future priests in seminaries.

      The council summarizes this commitment of the ecclesial community with three verbs: "anticipate, support, pacify," then "start again."

      All these energies, the council's statement concludes, must be "renewed and directed," because "for the couple, a crisis that is overcome might be the starting point of a new stage in their history."

      * * *

      Church's Problems with Media Tied to a Lack of Commitment

      Don't Blame Lack of Resources, Say Conferees

      VATICAN CITY, NOV. 11, 2002 (Zenit.org).- A key problem in the relation between the Church and the media isn't a lack of means but a lack of commitment, a bishops-sponsored congress concluded.

      Dino Boffo, director of the Italian Catholic newspaper Avvenire, emphasized that point in an address during the closing ceremony of the congress "Media Parables: Creating Culture in the Era of Communication," held at the Vatican.

      Addressing some 8,000 media professionals gathered Saturday in Paul VI Hall, Boffo said, "Beginning today, we would like the Italian Church to not be the same anymore. She must be seized by a kind of vertigo to put an end to her timidity and absence, as well as a certain apprehension and arrogance -- offspring, with different manifestations, of the same sense of incapacity, the same fear."

      Boffo rebuffed one of the most common excuses for the absence of Catholics in the media: lack of means.

      "The problem of the relation between the media and the Church is not resolved by multiplying the instruments, the media, or, with naive impetus, seizing completely the latest instrument to appear," he warned.

      "We have abundant means," he said. "It is one of the sectors in which we have received most in the past. However, we must ask ourselves if we have understood the reason why we are present in them."

      "We must ask ourselves why, in practice, these instruments are undervalued, why there is a certain skepticism, a certain coldness," and an "inexplicable attitude" of "cultural obstinacy" in many Catholic environments, Boffo continued.

      It is "as if independent judgment and professionalism can only be found in principle in publishing businesses that are not our own," he added.

      In order to overcome these prejudices and foster awareness, "the whole community must have its own directors of the information culture" so that "a critical, intelligent and adequate judgment of the media" can be promoted among Catholics, Boffo said.

      He hinted that the Church has a good chance to do this: "Marketing experts of the sector whisper that if Catholics knew the potential they have, the resource in their network, ... then yes ..."

      On Friday the director of La Croix,.a French Catholic newspaper, addressed the congress. Bruno Frappat encouraged Catholic communicators to handle the news with enthusiasm and professionalism.

      For Frappat, who worked for France's Le Monde newspaper for 26 years, the Christian journalist faces a dilemma: to believe in the Good News, but to show interest in the bad news.

      This requires creativity, responsible freedom and professionalism, Frappat said. The task of Christian media is not to paint a rosy picture of the world but a realistic one, giving the Good News a chance to express itself. This might mean that the journalist is forced to write against the current to be able to inspire hope in others, he said.

      "Professionalism, network culture, talent and creativity are absolutely necessary in a Catholic journalist," he emphasized.

      A journalist, he added, must have "enthusiasm and passion for the real world, not for a nostalgic world."

      * * *

      Papal Envoy Urges Mexican Indians to Keep Christian Values

      Cardinal Re Tells Them They Have a Role in Building the Nation

      MEXICO CITY, NOV. 11, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Only by being faithful to their identity and Christian values can the Indians of Chiapas contribute to a more-just Mexico, says a top Vatican official.

      Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops, made that observation so as to encourage the Indians "to contribute to the construction of a more fraternal, just, supportive and reconciled Mexico."

      Cardinal Re, who has been in Mexico since Saturday, visited the Diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas to "reinforce ecclesial communion between the Holy See and the diocese, expressing the special interest of the Holy Father, John Paul II, to the youth and native peoples."

      The cardinal's visit in Chiapas is "a signal of that predilection that the Holy Father has for the Indians," Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, primate of Mexico, explained Sunday.

      "He also comes especially to be with the bishops, because as prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, one of his most important tasks is to visit conferences, to be in touch with the bishops of the whole world," Cardinal Rivera Carrera told reporters.

      Addressing some 2,000 Indians, the Vatican official said that "hatred, division and rancor lead nowhere"; on the contrary, "they profoundly break up the human family."

      Accompanied by Bishop Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel of San Cristobal, Cardinal Re added in his homily that the Indians "are protagonists of their future." He emphasized that the Church knows their anxieties and sufferings, and embraces them with a mother's love and repeats to them, like St. Paul, that they must not live "like men without hope."

      Cardinal Re reconfirmed the Holy See's suspension of ordinations of new permanent deacons in the diocese.

      "In the other 85 dioceses of Mexico there are fewer deacons than in Chiapas," he said. What is lacking, Cardinal Re said, is an effort to encourage deacons' children to follow the call to the priesthood, in order to relieve the region's shortage of priests.

      Cardinal Rivera Carrera noted that the problem is not unique to Chiapas. There is a lack of priests "in the whole of the Mexican southeast and the promotion of priestly vocations is important," he said.

      Cardinal Re told the Indians: "The Church is with you, encourages you, and accompanies you. Always keep the lamps of faith burning."

      Today, Cardinal Re was scheduled to attend the opening of the 74th assembly of the Mexican bishops' conference in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

      * * *

      A Bishop-Physician Critiques Euthanasia

      Klaus Küng Calls It a "Mistaken View of Compassion"

      VIENNA, Austria, NOV. 7, 2002 (Zenit.org).- A request for euthanasia is often a cry for help, Austrian Bishop Klaus Küng told the Van Swieten Scientific Congress here.

      According to the SIR agency, Bishop Küng of Feldkirch, himself a medical doctor, said, "A society that kills the disabled, the sick, the elderly and the dying is inhuman."

      While concepts such as "autonomy" and "freedom of choice" are invoked in favor of euthanasia, Bishop Küng observed that "without faith in God, many succumb to the temptation to shorten or put an end to life when overcome by painful experiences."

      "Only faith in God and in life eternal can reveal human life, from conception until natural death, as an opportunity for development, even including pain," Bishop Küng explained in his address Nov. 1.

      "Assisting in suicide can never be a service of love," because "to kill is always contrary to love, and involves a mistaken view of compassion. Real compassion involves care," the bishop emphasized.

      In any case, the use of extraordinary means to preserve life is not considered an obligation by the Church. Rather, the bishop said, first place should be given to "palliative medicine," directed "to making pain more bearable in the final stages of illness" and "to offering patients human companionship and, for believers, religious support, as well."

      In this way, one can "help the dying, those most conscious of the proximity of death, to arrange their affairs, attain inner peace, bid farewell to their relatives and friends, and prepare themselves for the final encounter with God," Bishop Küng concluded.

      * * *

      Swiss Guard's New Leader Hopes the Members Stay Longer

      Elmar Theodor Mäder, Father of 3, Takes Over Papal Corps

      VATICAN CITY, NOV. 11, 2002 (Zenit.org).- The Swiss Guard's new leader hopes he can encourage his men to stay on for longer tours of duty.

      Until Saturday, Elmar Theodor Mäder, 39, a native of the canton of Saint Gallen, was vice commander of the world's smallest military corps. Now he is its new commander.

      The Vatican preferred to promote a Swiss guard from the same corps, rather than a member of the Swiss Army or police, as was the case of Mäder's predecessor, Pius Segmüller.

      Segmüller, who for personal reasons handed in his resignation to the Pope last September, has been appointed chief of police of the Swiss canton of Lucerne, his native city.

      He led the Swiss Guard after the murder of his predecessor, Alois Estermann, on May 4, 1998. Estermann and his wife were killed by Chief Corporal Cedric Tornay, who then committed suicide, according to Vatican reports.

      Under Segmüller's command, the Swiss Guard was given new disciplinary, promotional and organizational rules.

      Mäder, married and father of three, has clear ideas about the future of the corps.

      "There is no need for big changes," he said. "We must foster formation and education for recruitment, thus encouraging the new guards to stay among us one more year." At present, Swiss Guards offer their service for two years. "Experience counts a lot in our work, and it is too bad to form a young man and then to see him go," he added. Among other things, the Swiss Guards are now trained in information technology.

      Mäder, who has a degree in law, and was a former fiscal agent in Switzerland, said that "to protect the Pope is a most exciting -- a new challenge every day, which requires sensitivity and great commitment."

      Mäder is already planning festivities for 2006, when the Swiss Guards, founded by Pope Julius II, will celebrate their 500th anniversary.

      "It will be an important moment; we will celebrate it accordingly," he said.

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      3. Today's Lectionary Readings Text

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      Monks of Adoration:

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      5. Polish Rosary Hour by the Conventual Franciscans

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      Then once inside click on

      Cause of Mama Gili as Servant of God (Part 1)

      Cause of Mama Gili as Servant of God (Part 2)

      Need a Miracle?

      Dolores Immacolata "Mama" Gili (1892-1985)


      The Mama Gili Guild was established several years ago to gather, collect, and
      publish information on Dolores Immacolata Gili (1892-1985) for an investigation into her cause as a Servant of God, as well as to promote her cause and to perpetuate her cult by directing prayer groups assembled in her honor. It has continuously enjoyed the ecclesiastical approval of Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, and the Most Reverend John Joseph Myers, Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey.

      Call or write today regarding favors granted through the intercession of Dolores Immacolata "Mama" Gili, or, for more information about the cause of her investigation for canonization to:

      Rev. Dante DiGirolamo, Director
      Mama Gili Guild
      P. O. Box 455
      Kearny, New Jersey 07032
      Phone (973) 412-1170
      Fax (973) 412-7011

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      When the Eucharistic host is elevated at Mass say:

      "Eternal Father, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you the crucified Body of Your dearly beloved Son, Jesus Christ, in reparation for all the sins committed against you and for the conversion and salvation of the whole world."

      When the Eucharistic chalice is elevated at Mass say:

      "Eternal Father, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you the precious Blood of Your dearly beloved Son, Jesus Christ, in reparation for all the sins committed against you and for the conversion and salvation of the whole world."

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      "during this important time, as the eve of the new millennium approaches unity among all Christians of the various confessions will increase until they reach full communion." John Paul II, Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 16

      "Keep close to the Mother of God as if you were the child Jesus clinging to her robes while walking down a dusty and busy crowded street and you'll always be safe."

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      © Copyright 2002 John N. Lupia for Roman Catholic News
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