Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Volume 3, Issue 105

Expand Messages
  • John N. Lupia
    Message 1 of 1 , May 29, 2003

      Volume 3, Issue 105

      FRIDAY 30 MAY 2003

      * * *


      * * *

      • Pope Encourages Creativity of New Urban Missions
      • Colin Powell Will Visit Pope to Discuss Mideast
      • Islam Sees Mary as a Model for All Believers
      • Lourdes Shrine Accepts Prayer Petitions Via E-mail
      • Draft Preamble of Euro-Constitution Omits Mention of Christianity
      • Political Groups Assail 4 Mexican Bishops for Speaking Out
      • Bishops Asking G-8 Summit to Help Africa
      • Uganda's Forgotten War

      * * *

      Pope Encourages Creativity of New Urban Missions

      Sends Message On Occasion of First Event, Held in Vienna

      VATICAN CITY, MAY 29, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II encouraged the urban mission under way in Vienna, the first in a series of unprecedented evangelization initiatives in Europe.

      In a letter addressed to Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna, the Pope requests the new "missionaries," the majority of whom are laymen, "to give a clear and attractive testimony of the strength and beauty of the Catholic faith."

      The Austrian capital is the first of a series of innovative international congresses for evangelization, which will be held eventually in Paris (Oct. 23-Nov. 1, 2004), in Lisbon, Portugal (in 2005), and in Brussels, Belgium (in 2006). The Vienna mission runs until Sunday.

      The idea came from the cardinal-archbishops of these cities: Cardinals Schönborn, Godfried Danneels of Malines-Brussels, Jean-Marie Lustiger of Paris, and Jose da Cruz Policarpo, patriarch of Lisbon.

      In the letter sent on his behalf by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Pope expresses the hope that "these population centers important for their countries and for the whole of Europe will shine with a new radiance in their efforts toward holiness and the love of their inhabitants for God and men."

      The Holy Father asks the missionaries to "have a profound love for the people and families they will meet. Humanity has need of God, of his love and of his forgiveness, which he offers us in Jesus Christ."

      In particular, John Paul II recommends that they be close to "families that must face difficulties, either in the area of faith, in their life as a couple, or in their existence crucified by suffering."

      "Each family must recognize in your deeds and words a sign of the nearness of divine mercy," he concluded.

      The Vienna mission seeks to invite residents to rediscover the Catholic faith in streets, schools and stores, thanks to activities planned by Catholics in Vienna, and by 400 Catholics who have arrived from elsewhere in Europe.

      Coordinated by the Emmanuel Community and by the Katholische Aktion of Vienna, the mission's motto is "Open the Doors to Christ."

      * * *

      Colin Powell Will Visit Pope to Discuss Mideast

      ROME, MAY 29, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II will receive U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in audience to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and the Mideast situation in the wake of the Iraqi war.

      The news was published Wednesday by U.S. sources and confirmed later by the Vatican.

      Powell on Monday will inform the Pope on the state of contacts to begin the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians, following the "road map" supported by the United States, Russia, Europe and the United Nations, the U.S. sources stated.

      Discussions will also be held on the process of reconstruction and pacification of Iraq following the war, on which Rome and Washington held different positions.

      Papal envoy Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum," arrived in Iraq on Wednesday to coordinate Catholics' contribution to the country's reconstruction, including a donation from the Holy Father.

      Powell is due to spend only a few hours of meetings with the Pope and Vatican officials and later with Italian authorities before leaving Italy, the sources said.

      * * *

      Islam Sees Mary as a Model for All Believers

      Mentioned 34 Times in the Koran, Observes Archbishop Gioia

      ROME, MAY 29, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Mary has a place in Islam too, says a Vatican aide.

      "God is the only point of reference for the Muslim believer, but next to him are those who reflect his holiness. Mary is one of them," Archbishop Francesco Gioia, president of the Pilgrimages to the See of Peter.

      The archbishop expounds on that point in a book, "Mary, Mother of the Word, Model of Dialogue Between Religions," published by Città Nuova.

      "Mary occupies an outstanding place in Islam," he said. "She is the only woman whose name the Koran mentions -- up to 34 times."

      Mary is particularly fascinating to Muslims. "She is the model of all believers because of her absolute faith and perfect 'submission' to the will of God," he added.

      "Vatican Council II took note of the benevolent attitude of the Muslims toward Mary, and in the declaration 'Nostra Aetate' one reads: 'They honor Mary, the virginal mother (of Jesus), and at times invoke her with devotion," the archbishop observed.

      Muslim faithful's affection and devotion for Mary is reflected in the pilgrimages they undertake to Marian shrines, especially Fatima, and in the fact that many Muslim women are called Mary, he added.

      According to the Koran, "an angel, by order of God, announced to Mary that she would give birth to a most pure son, a message that disturbed her. She gave birth under a palm tree that nourished her miraculously. She was a virgin and pure. She safeguarded her virginity and God infused his Spirit in her, making her and her son a sign for creatures," Archbishop Gioia noted.

      "In the Koran it is stated that Mary 'is one of the devoted women and is a saint. She is preferred, purified and chosen by God over all the women of creation,'" he added.

      "In the Koran, Mary has a decided Christological function, underlined by the prevailing designation of Jesus as 'son of Mary,'" he continued.

      Biographical and spiritual elements of the Koran on Mary differ from Christian tradition, however.

      "Muslim Mariology is irremediably conditioned by the Koran's explicit denial of the divinity of Jesus Christ," he said.

      On the figure of Mary there are "points of convergence and of divergence between Christians and Muslims," Archbishop Gioia said. "[But] the fact must not be minimized that Muslim tradition proposes Mary as a model to the faithful of Islam."

      * * *

      Lourdes Shrine Accepts Prayer Petitions Via E-mail

      LOURDES, France, MAY 29, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes offers an online service that lets people send their petitionary prayers via e-mail. The intentions are then placed in the Virgin's Grotto.

      Prayers sent by e-mail are read every day at 3:30 p.m. in the cave.

      E-mail can be sent via www.lourdes-france.org/bonjour.htm. A faster way is to send them to: intention@....

      The petitions are placed in the cave where the Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous in 1858. The apparitions and message of Lourdes are recognized by the Catholic Church, but are not a dogma of faith.

      * * *

      Draft Preamble of Euro-Constitution Omits Mention of Christianity

      Refers to Religion Generically

      ROME, MAY 29, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The draft Preamble of the future European Constitution fails to mention the Christian roots of the Old World.

      The draft, published Wednesday, refers to "the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe which … [was] nourished first by the civilizations of Greece and Rome" and "later by philosophical currents of the Enlightenment."

      According to the document, this foundation "has embedded within the life of society its perception of the central role of the human person and his inviolable and inalienable rights, and of respect for law" (see European Convention's Web page at

      Thus, there is a more explicit religious reference than in the Charter of the Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which alludes to the Union's "spiritual and moral heritage," denying a reference to religion.

      However, the draft does not include other possibilities defended by some members of the European Convention; they proposed that reference be made to the "religious heritage, especially Christian," which forged the continent. This proposal was supported by Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, Vatican secretary for relations with states, in an interview Sunday with the Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera.

      A press statement published Wednesday by representatives of the churches and Christian communities of Europe expressed their concern about the draft Preamble.

      "A Europe which disavowed its past, which denied the fact of religion, and which had no spiritual dimension would be greatly impoverished in facing up to the ambitious project which calls upon all its available energy: constructing a Europe for all" (see the Web site of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community, http://www.comece.org).

      Josep Miro i Ardevol, president of the Convention of Christians for Europe, said in a statement that the draft Preamble "is totally unsatisfactory and might generate a factor of additional division to the already damaged political unity of Europe."

      "It borders on the ridiculous that the Preamble should make nominal reference to the Hellenistic and Roman component and jump directly to the 'philosophers of the Enlightenment,' omitting the Christian reference without which the Enlightenment is incomprehensible," Miro stated.

      "To ignore, as the text does, the reality of European identity, which has Christianity as one of its basic components, constitutes an ideological imposition and expresses the political will that exclusive laicism constitute the sole cultural category and possible reference, thus marginalizing the religious factor," he said.

      In an interview on Vatican Radio, Cardinal Roberto Tucci, a member of the executive council of the radio, said that the members of the Presidium did not understand the meaning of the proposal.

      "It was not a question of adherence [to Christianity], but of recognizing the historical fact of the enormous influence that Christian culture has had on European culture," the cardinal explained.

      "The most unifying factor of Europe, which has been Christian culture, is missing" in the Preamble, he said.

      The resulting draft "stems from a secular tradition" as well as from "a certain loss of the religious practice of faith" in Europe, the cardinal added.

      "This must not make one forget that hundreds of millions of Europeans identify with Christian values, although perhaps they are not believers. Moreover, there is a great number of people who believe," he added.

      Giorgio Rumi, professor of contemporary history at the University of Milan, told the Italian newspaper Avvenire: "I feel profoundly offended as a European citizen and as a historian."

      "I think that between Athens, Rome and the Enlightenment -- the three mentioned -- there is something decisive in-between," he said. "I am not speaking of confessional pretensions, but of that name in which whole generations have lived and hoped. Is it possible that the mention of Christ causes so much fear still today?"

      "The Christian factor is the most unifying" of Europe, he insisted.

      The Presidium also rejected a generic reference to "believe in God," presented by former Irish Prime Minister John Bruton, member of that body.

      In a statement to Avvenire, Bruton explained that "it is only the first draft of the Preamble, and over the next few days there will be a full debate by the convention. Therefore, there is a possibility and time to modify it."

      The text of the draft will be debated by the convention and then presented to European leaders at their summit June 20 in Athens, Greece. They will have the last word on the document.

      * * *

      Political Groups Assail 4 Mexican Bishops for Speaking Out

      Prelates Urge Voters to Shun Pro-Abortion Candidates

      MEXICO CITY, MAY 29, 2003 (Zenit.org).- A new political party, México Posible, has sued the bishops of Queretaro, Tlaxcala, Cuernavaca and Acapulco for expressly telling the electorate not to vote for its members.

      A wing of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) also asked the bishops to withdraw from politics, although it hasn't filed a lawsuit.

      In their complaints, México Posible and the PRD wing cite the statements and writings of the bishops on the forthcoming July 6 elections. The bishops ask that votes not be cast in favor of parties or candidates that promote abortion.

      México Posible and the PRD wing, grouped around their national leader Rosario Robles, have called for the decriminalization of abortion. The former also supports the legalization of homosexual unions, euthanasia and the use of marijuana "for recreational purposes."

      The Federal Electoral Institute only recently approved México Posible.

      Forces of the left, center and even the ruling National Action Party (PAN) have asked the bishops to set aside their role as moral guides and dedicate themselves strictly to worship.

      The government secretariat, in charge of religious affairs, sent a notice to the Mexican episcopal conference requesting that it "restrict" the bishops' participation in politics.

      The episcopal conference responded by supporting the work of the bishops and stating that "we are not going to remain silent" when it comes to "denouncing anti-moral values," said its secretary-general, Bishop Abelardo Alvarado.

      In statements published Wednesday in La Jornada, Bishop Alvarado lamented that some political parties gain publicity at the expense of the Catholic Church hoping to "win the votes of alleged minorities."

      Monsignor Guillermo Ortiz, spokesman of the episcopal conference, said that the bishops' right to set forth Church doctrine "ends when there is a desire to support, reject or attack some specific party, and there was not fault committed in this respect."

      "From my point of view, [the lawsuit] will not go forward because what the bishops have done in general, and what the Church does, is to defend life, the family," Monsignor Ortiz told the newspaper Reforma.

      Mexico is preparing for intermediary elections on July 6, which will renew municipal executives and state governments in some states, and the country's Chamber of Deputies, which to date is headed by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

      The world's second largest Catholic country, Mexico has about 90 million faithful.

      * * *

      Bishops Asking G-8 Summit to Help Africa

      Cite Need for Progress on Agricultural Trade and Access to Medicines

      BRUSSELS, Belgium, MAY 29, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Catholic bishops of Europe and Africa have made a joint appeal to the summit of the most industrialized nations for a new effort to help Africa.

      The proposal is included in a letter sent by Bishop Josef Homeyer, president of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (COMECE), and Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, president of the Symposium of Bishops' Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), to the G-8 summit in Evian, France. The summit will run June 1-3.

      In the letter to President Jacques Chirac of France, host of the summit, they ask that practical support be given to the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) by increasing development aid and reducing the debt of developing countries.

      They also ask the G-8 to help African countries meet their obligations under NEPAD in order to improve their internal governance.

      The bishops welcome the initiative of the French presidency to invite the leaders of several developing countries and international organizations to take part in a joint session with the G-8, which they say would be a step toward the sort of "Global Governance Group" -- advocated in a report to the bishops of COMECE in October 2001 -- which is needed to make globalization an opportunity for all and not just for the wealthiest.

      The prelates also call on the European Union and the G-8 countries to overcome the impasse on negotiations within the World Trade Organization on agricultural trade and access to medications -- issues of top importance for Africa.

      During their meeting the presidents of COMECE and SECAM approved the conclusions of a joint seminar in Lisbon on Feb. 27-28, on "Africa and the European Union: Partners in Solidarity -- Contribution of the Church."

      They expressed their hope that an Africa-Europe summit would take place at the earliest opportunity. The summit, which was due to take place in Lisbon in April, was postponed indefinitely due to the situation in Zimbabwe.

      Archbishop Monsengwo of Kisangani, in Congo, reported on the crisis in the region of Ituri. The bishops called on the international community, and particularly European Union countries, to do everything in their power to prevent a further escalation of the violence and to avert the risk of genocide.

      * * *

      Uganda's Forgotten War

      Missionary Appeals Urgently for Prayer

      KITGUM, Uganda, MAY 29, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The international press has shown indifference to the "forgotten war" bloodying northern Uganda, says an Italian missionary.

      Comboni Father Tarcizio Pazzagia, 69, of the Kitgum parish in the Archdiocese of Gulu, described one of the most difficult moments in the civil war that has hit hard in the Gulu, Kitgum and Pader districts of the Acholi ethnic group.

      "In face of the continuing violence afflicting north Uganda, I feel the need to turn to the Italian Church, which I serve as missionary, for prayers," he said by phone.

      Father Pazzagia told the Misna missionary agency: "Every day, I repeat, every single day, there are rebel ambushes against the poor people."

      "The last ambush," he said, "was conducted yesterday afternoon in Lanyatido, a location of the Pader district, 5 kilometers south of the Catholic mission of Pajule. A pickup truck was intercepted by the rebels of the LRA. The driver miraculously managed to escape, though some of the passengers suffered gunshot wounds." The LRA is the Lord's Resistance Army.

      "A similar episode, with other wounded, occurred near the center of Pader last Sunday," he said. The priest said the situation degenerates daily.

      "Ours is a forgotten war, a war that is not unfolding under the limelight of the international press and in which the highest price is being paid by women, elderly and children," he added. The LRA has abducted numerous minors and turned them into child-soldiers.

      Father Pazzaglia explained that his mission of Kitgum is the destination of "continuous pilgrimages of displaced people in desperate need of food, blankets and medicine."

      "I ask the Italian Church for prayers, because here in north Uganda, in all these years of violence, many promises have been made by politicians to resolve this crisis, without however ever obtaining any results to speak of," he said.

      "Only the religious leaders -- Catholic, Protestant and Muslim -- are acting decisively in favor of peace," he added. "I am ever more convinced that the prayer of intercession is the only weapon we have, along with evangelical solidarity, to give back hope to our people. Pray for us!"

      * * *


      1. HOW TO USE LINKS -- RealPlayer

      Roman catholic News is very happy to announce new exciting links available to you, our fine subscribers. Some links require Realplayer a software program that allows you to see live television and hear audio recordings as well as listen to live radio. The software is free. To obtain your free copy go to EWTN Live TV and Radio on the link below and scroll down until you find the Download Free RealPlayer link and click it on.

      2. Live EWTN TV and Radio


      • Live EWTN TV - English • EWTN AM/FM RADIO
      • Live EWTN TV - Spanish • Catholic World Today Radio
      • Today's Homily (Video) • Audio of Today's Homily
      • Pope's Wednesday Audience Audio • Radio Catolica Mundial
      • EWTN's The World Over • Mother Angelica Live Video
      • Audio Library • Life On The Rock (Video)
      • The Journey Home (Video) • EWTN Religious Catalogue

      Send EWTN donations online:

      * * *

      3. Today's Lectionary Readings Text

      Biblica Online

      * * *




      Monks of Adoration:

      * * *

      5. Polish Rosary Hour by the Conventual Franciscans

      * * *



      Our Father Movie

      * * *


      * * *

      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

      * * *


      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.

      Sample Newsletter

      Abbey of Saint-Joseph de Clairval


      Phone.: 03 80 96 22 31
      Fax: 03 80 96 25 29
      Email: <englishspoken@...> or <stjoseph.flavigny@...>


      * * *


      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."

      * * *


      "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."

      * * *

      To gain access to all of the Roman Catholic News archives go to the URL:

      This will give you the archive of all of the articles in all issues. There are four ways to access archived articles: (1) Go to the Home Page panel on the far left and click on the word "Messages" just below the word "Home"; (2) then click on the articles posted by date; (3) or click on the blue Arabic numerals in the box for the month in the yearly calendar window at the bottom of the page; (4) or type in a keyword in the long rectangular white box alongside the long rectangular button that reads SEARCH ARCHIVE, and then click that button.

      © Copyright 2003 John N. Lupia for Roman Catholic News at the URL: <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Roman-Catholic-News>, unless specified otherwise. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owners. All articles from VIS, VID, Zenit, Associated Press (AP), Reuters, and Noticias Eclesiales are republished by approval and courtesy of these news agencies. We encourage our readers to send financial support to Zenit, a private news organization in Rome. Zenit (www.zenit.org), VIS (V.I.S. - Vatican Information
      Service) Zenit, Associated Press (AP), Reuters, (VID) Vidimus Dominum, and Noticias Eclesiales own the original copyright for their news releases as credited. All copyright materials copied in any form must include the appropriate copyright owner; for Roman Catholic News use our URL as follows:


      All correspondence should be sent to:
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.