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Volume 3, Issue 95

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  • John N. Lupia
    Message 1 of 1 , May 15, 2003
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      Volume 3, Issue 95

      FRIDAY 16 MAY 2003

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      • U.N. Is More Necessary Than Ever to Reconstruct Countries, Pope Says
      • John Paul II's Address to New Ambassador of Zimbabwe
      • Mary As Seen by Orthodox, Protestants, and Catholics
      • Vatican II, 40 Years Later: Inter Mirifica
      • Financial Globalization Calls For An Ethical Response

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      U.N. Is More Necessary Than Ever to Reconstruct Countries, Pope Says

      International Law Is a Means to Avoid War, He Stresses

      VATICAN CITY, MAY 15, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II says that the United Nations has a more important role than ever in the reconstruction of countries, particularly the importance of International Law for world peace.

      The Holy Father emphasized the role of the United Nations when receiving the Letters of Credence of the new ambassadors to the Vatican of 12 countries: Australia, Zimbabwe, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Ethiopia, Latvia, the Fiji Islands, Burundi, Georgia, Vanuatu, Moldavia, and Pakistan.

      "Since the period of the great world conflicts, the international community has provided itself with organizations and specific legislation so that war will never break out again, which kills innocent civilian people, devastating regions and leaving wounds that take a long time to heal," the Pope said when greeting all the new ambassadors.

      "The United Nations are called to be more than ever the central place of decisions on the reconstruction of countries, and humanitarian organizations are invited to renew their commitment," he stressed.

      "This will help affected peoples to take charge rapidly of their destinies, allowing them to pass from fear to hope, from uncertainty to commitment in the construction of their future," the Holy Father added. "Moreover, it is an indispensable condition for confidence to return to the heart of a country."

      John Paul II then made an appeal "to all persons who profess a religion so that the spiritual and religious sense may be a source of unity and peace, which never confronts men among themselves."

      "I cannot forget the children and youths, who are often the most marked by situations of conflict. As it is very difficult for them to forget what they have experienced, they might be tempted by violence. Our duty is to prepare for them a future of peace and a land of fraternal solidarity," he continued.

      In expressing these "concerns of the Catholic Church," the Pope clarified that its commitment "in international life, in relations between peoples, as well as in humanitarian support" responds to a "primordial mission: to manifest God's closeness to every man."

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      John Paul II's Address to New Ambassador of Zimbabwe

      VATICAN CITY, MAY 15, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Here is the address John Paul II delivered on Thursday to Kelebert Nkomani, the new ambassador of Zimbabwe to the Vatican, during the ceremony of the presentation of his Letters of Credence.

      Mr Ambassador,

      I offer you a warm welcome to the Vatican as I accept the Letters by which you are accredited Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Zimbabwe to the Holy See. I am pleased to receive the greetings and good wishes which you bring from the President, Government and people of your nation, and I ask you kindly to convey to them my own prayerful good wishes. Although many years have passed since my visit to your country, I still have fond memories of the days I happily spent among your fellow Zimbabweans, experiencing their warmth and hospitality, sharing their joys and aspirations. On the occasion of that visit I spoke of Africa as a "continent of hope and promise for the future of mankind" (Speech at Arrival Ceremony in Harare, 10 September 1988, 1): it is my fervent desire that, in this new millennium, that hope and promise will become a reality for the people of Zimbabwe and for all the peoples of Africa.

      Your kind tribute to Archbishop Patrick Chakaipa, who passed away only last month, are very much appreciated, and I am grateful also for your recognition of the significant contribution made by the institutions of the Catholic Church to Zimbabwean society at large, particularly in the fields of education, health care and social services. Indeed, the Church sees her apostolate in these areas as an essential element of her religious mission, and she is ever eager to carry out this work in harmony with others who are active in the same fields. Cooperation between Church and State is of great importance in advancing the intellectual and moral training of citizens, who will then be better equipped to build a truly just and stable society. This is part of the contribution that the Church seeks to make to the human development of individuals and peoples, especially those who are most in need.

      It is this same commitment that motivates the Holy See in its diplomatic activity. In working with other members of the international community, the Holy See strives to foster peace and harmony among peoples, looking always to the common good and the integral development of individuals and nations. The task of diplomacy nowadays is increasingly determined by the challenges of globalization and the new threats to world peace which this entails. The key questions no longer concern territorial sovereignty - borders and jurisdiction over certain land areas - even if in some parts of the world this remains a problem. By and large, the threats to stability and peace in the world today are extreme poverty, social inequalities, political corruption and abuse of authority, ethnic tensions, the absence of democracy, the failure to respect human rights. These are some of the situations which diplomacy is called to address.

      There is no country in the world which does not face one or more of these problems. For this reason, the values of democracy, good government, human rights, dialogue and peace must be close to the heart of leaders and peoples. The more these values form a fundamental part of a nation's ethos, the greater will be that nation's capacity to build a future worthy of the human dignity of its citizens. Moreover, the globalization of these values represents the globalization of solidarity, which aims to ensure that economic and social benefits are enjoyed by all on a planetary scale. This is a sure way of working for peace in today's world. Conversely, when these values are neglected or, worse, actively violated, no program of economic or social reform will enjoy long-term success. Instead, social and political violence will eventually increase, the gap between rich and poor will grow ever wider, and government leadership itself will be unable to create an environment that fosters truth, justice, love and freedom.

      Utmost vigilance is therefore called for in safeguarding the rights and protecting the welfare of all citizens. Public authorities must refrain from exercising partiality, preferential treatment or selective justice in favor of certain individuals or groups; this ultimately undermines the credibility of those charged with governing. In his famous Encyclical Letter Pacem in Terris, my predecessor Blessed Pope John XXIII, quoting Pope Leo XIII, summed up the situation thus: "The civil power must not serve the advantage of any one individual or of some few persons, inasmuch as it was established for the common good of all" (par. 56). In fact, when everyone is treated on an equal basis - a sine qua non for a society firmly based on the rule of law - the value, gifts and talents of each member are more easily recognized and can be more effectively tapped for building up the community. As traditional wisdom handed down in an African proverb has put it: Gunwe rimwe haritswanyi inda (many hands make lighter work).

      Making reference to your Government's land reform program, Your Excellency has remarked that this is a vehicle for improving the people's standard of living, achieving equity and establishing social justice. In many countries, such agrarian reform is necessary, as noted in the document "Towards a Better Distribution of Land" published in 1997 by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, but it is also a complex and delicate process. In fact, as this same document points out, it is an error to think that any real benefit or success will come simply by expropriating large landholdings, dividing them into smaller production units and distributing them to others (cf. No. 45). There are first of all matters of justice to be considered, with due weight being given to the various claims of land ownership, the right to land use and the common good. Moreover, if land redistribution is to offer a practical and sustainable response to serious economic and social problems in a given country, the process must continue to develop over time and must ensure that the necessary infrastructures are in place. Finally, and no less important, "indispensable for the success of an agrarian reform is that it should be in full accord with national policies and those of international bodies" (ibid.).

      Feelings of disenfranchisement or of being unjustly treated only serve to foment tension and discord. Justice must be made available to all if the injuries of the past are to be left behind and a brighter future built. Insofar as the authentic common good prevails, the fundamental causes of civil strife will disappear. The Catholic Church pledges her full support for all efforts to construct a culture of dialogue rather than confrontation, of reconciliation rather than conflict. This in fact is an integral part of her mission to advance the authentic good of all peoples and of the whole person.

      Mr Ambassador, as you enter the family of diplomats accredited to the Holy See, I assure you of the ready assistance of the various offices and agencies of the Roman Curia. I am confident that your mission will strengthen the bonds of understanding and friendship between us. Upon yourself and the beloved people of Zimbabwe I cordially invoke the abundant blessings of Almighty God.

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      Mary As Seen by Orthodox, Protestants, and Catholics

      Round Table Reflects on "Mary and the Churches"

      ROME, MAY 15, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Virgin Mary has become more of a link between the Christian Churches than a point of departure, a fact that became the subject of a round table discussion in the Pontifical Marianum Faculty in Rome.

      Though Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants believe in Mary, there are differences in devotion. These differences were highlighted at a round table May 14, on "Mary and the Churches," organized by the chair "Woman and Christianity," of the Pontifical "Marianum" Faculty in Rome.

      Vladimir Zelinski, member of the Russian Orthodox Church and professor at the University of Florence, referred to Mary as "the only being who is between the created and the uncreated." For the Russian Orthodox, "every prayer to God is also a prayer to Mary," he said.

      For Orthodoxy, "Mary is omnipresent in prayer, the liturgy, iconography and above all in the Eucharist: she is always next to her Son," he added.

      Giancarlo Bruni, professor of ecumenical Theology of the Pontifical Marianum Faculty, explained that the manifestations of Catholics' relation to Mary varies according to geography and sensibilities.

      Although he acknowledged that in the past there were excesses, today "we witness a Mariology of normality: Mary is accepted within the Judeo-Christian experience, which includes the call from on High."

      For the Catholic representative, "Mary is the being in whom the Father, through the Son, sole Mediator, continues to console and give grace."

      Protestant Pastor Fulvio Ferrario said that in Protestantism, "Mary is important to the degree that she helps to understand better the central character of Jesus Christ, sole Mediator."

      Ferrario, a professor at the Waldensian Faculty of Theology (Protestant) said "the fathers of the Reformation, from Luther to Zwingli, wrote many pages on the Virgin Mary, always in a Christological context, namely, so long as the treatise on Mary had some meaning related to Jesus Christ."

      "In the Reformation, we accepted the virginity of Mary in the birth of Christ and we consider those called Jesus' brothers as his cousins," he clarified.

      "We pray with Mary, as Mary, but not to Mary," Ferrario explained, stressing that for followers of the Reformation there are no mediators between God and humanity, only Jesus Christ.

      Cettina Militello, who heads the Chair "Woman and Christianity," stressed the need to "give more space to Mary in the framework of the Chair dedicated to study in-depth the relation between woman and Christianity."

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      Vatican II, 40 Years Later: Inter Mirifica

      Colin Donovan on the Decree on the Means of Social Communication

      ROME, MAY 15, 2003 (Zenit.org).- For its series on the documents of Second Vatican Council, ZENIT turned to EWTN's Colin Donovan about "Inter Mirifica," the decree on the means of social communications.

      Donovan is vice president for theology at EWTN and has a licentiate in sacred theology, with a specialization in moral theology, from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas, the Angelicum, in Rome.

      Q: What were the most important points of "Inter Mirifica"?

      Donovan: "Inter Mirifica" was a prophetic document. Issued second by the council fathers, in December 1963, after the landmark constitution on the sacred liturgy, it appealed to both the Church and the world.

      First, it reminded the children of the Church, indeed all men and women, that the social means of communications are not exempt from the moral law. Both the production and use of these means -- publishing, radio, television and, in our day, the Internet -- must be guided by what is morally good for individuals and society at large -- the common good. Otherwise, such means become the instruments of propagating evil, manipulating public opinion and other unworthy purposes.

      Second, the council fathers called the Church to a more effective use of these means in carrying out her mission of evangelization and service to mankind.

      There were at that time, and even much earlier, individuals who were engaged in doing just that: St. Maximilian Kolbe and Father James Alberione in publishing; Fathers Rumble and McCarty in radio; Archbishop Fulton Sheen on television; as well as grass-roots apostolates such as the Catholic Truth Society in England.

      But as a whole it cannot be said that the local and universal Church effectively used social communication; rather, that this was generally the province of individuals with foresight and zeal. The council fathers clearly and forcefully called the Church to utilize all the available means of communication to carry out her divine mission.

      Q: Has the Church used the media the way it should?

      Donovan: In many respects, yes. Many dioceses, bishops' conferences and some religious communities have departments devoted to social communications. These may be on a simple scale, as a voice for the bishop or superior to communicate, or on a grander scale, with a newspaper or magazine or even a TV or radio station.

      Certainly, the Holy See has embraced the print and electronic technology in her own unique mission. So the desire to implement "Inter Mirifica" is certainly there. It is certainly far from universally and effectively implemented, however.

      Q: Why did the media -- movies, television and music -- become so bad after Vatican II? Was there something the Church could have done better?

      Donovan: To a large extent there were cultural trends outside the influence of the Church that acted like a steamroller running down hill -- the pill, the sexual revolution, a general crisis of respect for authority among the young -- often owing to authority's moral lapses. However, neither was there a great deal of resistance to this tide by many in the Church.

      Internally, of course, there was the crisis of dissent surrounding "Humanae Vitae" which had a decisive influence on the willingness of Catholics to defend Catholic moral teaching to each other and the world.

      One can only speculate on the role that fidelity to Church teaching by Catholics, and God's grace, could have played in changing the direction of the entertainment industry 30, 20 or 10 years ago. I do not think that this opportunity, however, has entirely passed. All members of the Church, hierarchy and laity alike, just need to resolve to do it.

      Q: What are the bright spots in the Church's use of the media?

      Donovan: I would have to say that today, as before the Council, God continues to inspire individual Catholics, lay, religious and clerical, to make use of the means of social communications to reach the world.

      These efforts include everything from Mother Angelica's founding of EWTN, which has grown in just 22 years to include all the means of social communications, to the many radio stations, TV and print ventures and Web apostolates around the world.

      These are generally lay run and faithful to Church teaching. Since the council also taught that the primary role of the laity is secular, not ecclesiastical, this seems to me to be entirely providential, as well as a fulfillment of the council's vision.

      There are also efforts, such as the international organization SIGNIS --sponsored by the Holy See -- and NEA -- New Evangelization of America -- which give hope of more effective networking among Catholic media apostolates, both official and lay-run.

      As dioceses and bishops' conferences, as well as the laity, get more deeply into media apostolates, it will be increasing important to learn from each others' mistakes and successes.

      Q: Where are the biggest weaknesses in the Church s use of the media?

      Donovan: Unfortunately, some Church-run media seem as open to dissenting views as they are to Catholic teaching. This seems to me to be a lapse into the prevailing secular model that all opinions are equal. To that extent there is an identity crisis in Catholic media, somewhat similar to the identity crisis in Catholic higher education.

      It will be the task of the years ahead for the Church to attain to a clear Catholic media identity that is both authentic and appealing. Both are necessary for a Catholic media apostolate to be successful.

      Q: What advice would you give to a family trying to raise children in a media culture?

      Donovan: As both the Church and sociologists have warned, due to the impersonal nature of all electronic means and their overuse in contemporary society, parents have to ensure that their children develop the interpersonal skills that come from human interaction with other children, siblings and the parents.

      There is nothing sadder than a child with his Walkman locked into his own little world, oblivious to everyone and everything around him.

      The family rosary, the family dinner without TV, game night, sports and other wholesome activities will help provide a balance. So, on the one hand they must be careful about what TV, Web sites, books and games their children use, and on the other, they must not let them have even a steady diet of even safe media, as even the means themselves contain some inherent dangers.

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      Financial Globalization Calls For An Ethical Response

      Interview with President of Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences

      ROME, MAY 12, 2003 (ZENIT.org-Avvenire).- Edmond Malinvaud, president of the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences, finds that "there are many ethical rules in economics, but it is important that the Church express its own on the morality of financial operations."

      Professor Malinvaud, of the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies of Paris, addressed the 9th Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Academy, which met from May 2-6. The title of his talk was: "Towards Some Ethical Principles for the Governance of Financial Globalization."

      "When there is talk of globalization," Malinvaud said, no one is opposed to the need to make reference to ethical principles. But when a debate starts on what is more or less correct, things get complicated."

      "A similar argument is applied to the Church: its duty to uphold and promote ethical values is not in question; but it is different, and more arduous, to point such values out and to specify them, keeping in mind, as well, that the Social Doctrine of the Church has kept absolute silence for more than a century about financial operations."

      Q: Therefore, there is a need to inject ethics into the world of finance, dominated as it seems by the law of profit.

      Malinvaud: There already are some ethical rules. To grant and obtain loans, for example, are operations that are considered legitimate. But the legitimacy is conditioned by respect for the right of the debtor not to be exploited. Because of this, when a contract is signed, there must be explicit clauses that prohibit the imposition of usurious interests that take advantage of the lack of experience or care of the debtor; moreover, if at the moment the contract is executed a very different situation is verified than the one expected by the contractual terms, a general sense of equity should prevail over formal justice.

      Similarly, insurance contracts are considered legitimate. But, to obtain advantages, the one insured must be exposed to the risk in question; while the insurer cannot increase the risk artificially.

      Q: In other areas, however, there is an urgency to offer incisive rules.

      Malinvaud: With the development of financial markets, new types of responsibilities are increasingly important where exchanges are anonymous: responsibilities to maintain transparency -- on the part of the one who emits shares or obligations -- especially when it might influence the equity of the transaction. A just balance must be found between the legitimate right of the individual to discretion and the duties of transparency. States and markets have provided themselves with instruments to ensure the respect of these rights and responsibilities: laws on bankruptcy and usury, anti-trust measures, norms to safeguard the security of transactions, etc.

      It would be interesting to know which one of these can be approved by the Church. It would be important and plausible for the Church to manifest its judgment on the morality of financial operations and the norms and laws that govern these operations. It would be a precious basis for discussion on the adoption of ethical principles to regulate financial globalization.

      Q: You have insisted much on the need to introduce new norms in the markets of the developed countries.

      Malinvaud: Different things have to be done. To begin with, there is the need of counter-powers to address the prevailing positions and international authorities must be reinforced in the matter of financial governance. We must insist on greater transparency in technical operations, abolish tax havens; the laws and regulations must be in step with financial growth, especially to protect those who might be left without their profits.

      Q: In regard to the external debt of poor countries, you have suggested a different attitude.

      Malinvaud: The Church has always been in the front line to denounce -- unfortunately, without being listened to --, the sudden decline in international aid to less developed countries and the need to re-establish it at the highest levels. When it expresses concern over the intolerability of the burden of the external debt, when it calls for cancellation, the Church puts its finger precisely on the sore, creating a strong echo at the international level. But I think that the question must be evaluated not only from the point of view of providing help to the poor, but rather from the perspective of Natural Law, which would require that the insolvent countries receive more equitable treatment.

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      3. Today's Lectionary Readings Text

      Biblica Online

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      Monks of Adoration:

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      5. Polish Rosary Hour by the Conventual Franciscans

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      Our Father Movie

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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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      The Benedictine monks of Abbaye Saint-Joseph de Clairval mail a free monthly newsletter to anyone who requests it. Also free of charge are: the tract about the divinity of Jesus Christ; tract about the Truths of the Catholic Religion; scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, with explanatory notice; the promises of the Sacred Heart; the mysteries of the Rosary.

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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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