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Pope renews call to prayer for East Timor
September 30

Archdiocese in Brazil creates "Solidarity fund" to help the poor
September 30

Bishop asks Catholic couples to reject anti-life pressure
September 30

El Salvador: Archangel Michael named Patron Saint of Police forces
September 30

Chicago: Eucharist and pilgrimage during Jubilee celebration
September 30

Missionary congress for American Continent begins in Argentina
September 29

Holy Land: Campaign to stop "exodus" of Christians
September 29

Pope to bless restored façade of St. Peter's Basilica
September 29

Married couples reflect on holiness in families
September 29

Archbishop opposes beginning of military practices in U.S. Naval base in Puerto Rico
September 29

Pope encourages role of Catholic Universities in New Evangelization
September 28

Holy See affirms position on Family Planning
September 28

Cardinal Tomko encourages missionary drive in America
September 28

Missouri legislators ban infanticide by partial birth
September 28

More religious people killed by militias in East Timor
September 28

Pope resumes reflections about "Fides et Ratio"
September 27

Genoa Archbishop warns against "vague and generic" religiosity
September 27

Cardinal calls to respect Christian roots of Marian feast
September 27

Cuban faithful recall martyrs victims of communism
September 27

Church in Brazil joins to peace campaign in favor of East Timor
September 27

Archbishop urges to promote synthesis of faith and culture in universities
September 27

Pope to open Holy Door of the four Patriarchal Basilicas
September 24

Bishops in Colombia: "Church does not yield before violence"
September 24

Canonization of Mexican blessed will be announced in October
September 24

Church in Rome dedicated to first successor of St. Peter
September 24

Symposium on priestly formation to inaugurate seminary
September 24

Holy Father calls to live reconciliation
September 23

Pope urges Mass Media to respect truth
September 23

Cardinal Sandoval rejects pro-abortion definition in legislation
September 23

Traditional Marian procession for national reconciliation to be held in Chile
September 23

First liturgical feast day for Padre Pio celebrated today
September 23

Archive

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER 30

Holy Father highlights gift of indulgence

Vatican City, 30 (NE) "The gift of indulgence" was the theme of the Pope's catechesis yesterday during the general audience with pilgrims in St. Peter's Square. The Pope said that the theme "is a sensitive issue on which there has been no lack of historical misunderstanding". The Church feels, explained the Holy Father, "the need for this ancient practice, seen as a significant expression of God's mercy, to be well understood and received."

The Pontiff recalled that the gift of indulgence is the "'the remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church'."

He also stated that, above all, indulgences "are an aid towards a more generous and radical commitment". "It would be erroneous to imagine that this gift can be obtained simply by adopting a certain form of external behavior. Rather, (such behavior) is required as an expression and support on the path of conversion", he concluded.

 


Pope renews call to prayer for East Timor

Vatican City, 30 (NE) At the conclusion of yesterday's general audience, Pope John Paul II recalled again the tragic situation of people in East Timor, expressing his sorrow for the recent deaths of two nuns victims of pro Indonesian militias. "In these days, the tragic news of massacres against defenseless citizens, against Christians, priests and religious who have spent their lives in the service of others, continues to arrive from East Timor", said the Pope.

"In particular," he added, "I learned with profound sadness that on Saturday afternoon near Baucau numerous people were assassinated, including two Canossian missionaries." The Pope asked for prayers for "all the victims of the Timor tragedy." "Let us ask the Lord that the example of these witnesses of charity, right up to the final giving of themselves, might contribute to the birth of a future of hope in East Timor."

 


Archdiocese in Brazil creates "Solidarity fund" to help the poor

Sao Paulo, 30 (NE) The Clergy's Assembly of the Archdiocese of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, which gathered twice this year in February and August, approved the creation of a "Solidarity Fund" between parishes, that is expected to be fully operative next year around June. The fund will receive 5 % of the incomes of the parishes, aiming to finance several projects to help marginal and poor areas. Among the projects planned is the purchase of lots to build churches, the acquisition of materials and work tools, as well as the support of different pastoral and social service initiatives in these areas.

 


Bishop asks Catholic couples to reject anti-life pressure

Peoria, 30 (NE) "As we draw closer to the third millennium, many young Catholic couples can prepare for the celebration of the birth of the Christ Child by being open to receiving with love children into their own families," said Bishop John Myers of Peoria, during a recent Eucharist that gathered around 400 Hispanics in the diocese.

During the annual Hispanic Mass at St. Mary's Cathedral, the Prelate also encouraged the diocese's Hispanic couples to reject the pressure of a society that for "selfish reasons" wants to remain closed to life and family. The Bishop of Peoria also urged them especially to attend the Sacrament of Reconciliation, being conscious that "God is calling us to a deeper conversion".

Speaking in Spanish, Bishop Myers highlighted as well several gifts that the Latin culture brings to society, such as "a greater sensitivity to the presence and dignity of the human person", and a less hurried way of life.

 


El Salvador: Archangel Michael named Patron Saint of Police forces

San Salvador, 30 (NE) St. Michael the Archangel was proclaimed yesterday Patron Saint of the National Civil Police, during a religious ceremony held in El Salvador. The Mass was attended by the President of the Republic, the President of the Legislative Assembly, as well as by other civilian authorities.

"The Vatican decided to approve and to choose Archangel Michael as Patron Saint of the National Civil Police, according to article 7 of the norms to constitute patrons, emanated from the Congregation for Divine Cult, which date from the March 19, 1973," informed an official statement of the National Police.

The Chief of the National Civil Police asked the Military Ordinary to carry out the necessary procedures at the Holy See to proclaim the Archangel Patron Saint of the institution, which must fight evil in society.

Christian tradition gives to St. Michael four offices: To fight against Satan; to rescue the souls of the faithful from the power of the enemy, especially at the hour of death; To be the champion of God's people; To call away from earth and bring men's souls to judgment.

 


Chicago: Eucharist and pilgrimage during Jubilee celebration

Chicago, 30 (NE) A Eucharistic celebration, expected to gather more than 60,000 persons, will be one of the main activities for Catholics at the Archdiocese of Chicago, with occasion of the Great Jubilee of year 2000. This was informed a couple of days ago, as activities planned for the celebration of the Holy Year were made known. The Eucharist will take place the day of the Corpus Christi in June next year. As part of the plan, Catholics from the Archdiocese have also been encouraged to participate at pilgrimages during the Jubilee, and to peregrinate especially to the 43 parishes designated as "Jubilee Churches." On September, a special pilgrimage will take place to the Seminary of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein. This will be a moment to reflect on the history of the Catholic Church in Chicago.

 


SEPTEMBER 29

Missionary congress for American Continent begins in Argentina

Buenos Aires, 29 (NE) After months of preparation, yesterday begun in the Archdiocese of Parana, Argentina, the VI Latin American Missionary Congress and I American Missionary Congress (COMLA6-CAM1). The event began with a solemn Mass presided by Cardinal Josef Tomko, Pope John Paul II' special envoy for the event, who recalled that the aim of the congress is to encourage the Church in this Continent to assume "its own missionary responsibility in the task of evangelizing all peoples."

Also present was Archbishop Estanislao Karlic of Parana, together with bishops from all over the Continent. Reflections on the missionary tasks that the Church faces on the eve of the third millennium will continue until October 3. The title for this year's congress is "America, with Christ, go out from your land."

"These days will add up to the great history of missionary holiness of the Continent and of the Church; we all must be authentic protagonists of this enterprise", recalled Archbishop Karlic as he welcomed the more than 3000 participants of the Congress.

Cardinal Tomko, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, stated that it is "an encounter of the People of God, aimed to missionary leaders that must become authentic 'multipliers'." The Vatican Cardinal read the letter sent by Pope John Paul II urging "each faithful to become enthusiastic again about living Christian live efficaciously."

 


Holy Land: Campaign to stop "exodus" of Christians

Rome, 29 (NE) Urgent means to help the survival of a religious minority abandoned by official help are being encouraged by the Franciscan Order in Holy Land, in a campaign to stop the exodus of Christians in the region. The aim of the campaign, reported Madrid's daily ABC this week, is to help the Christian community at the Holy Places in order to avoid its disappearance, since many Christians are practically forced to leave Holy Land.

Economic reasons -unemployment rate reaches 50 percent in places like Bethlehem in Palestine- and a cultural vacuum, where environment is each time more Islamic, are among the reasons that have produced the progressive decline of the Christian population.

The initiative of the traditional Custody Order -which administers more than 80 percent of the Holy Places-, includes the construction of houses in impoverished areas and, on the other hand, the distribution of scholarships to allow young Arabic Catholics to have a degree without needing to emigrate.

According to the Spanish newspaper, "due to the absence of Israel State's subsidies and the existence of 'other priorities' within the Palestine National authorities, where all the the official European and American aid is concentrated, this campaign is carried out with internal financing only."

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Michael Sabbah stated earlier this month that "being Christian in Holy Land is a vocation, a calling to live a difficult life." In that occasion, the Patriarch said that the problems of the Christian community are usually caused by the political, economic and social unstableness of the region.

"Fifty years ago there were 6 thousand Christians from 8 thousand people in Bethlehem, now they are 12 thousand from 40 thousand," stated the Patriarch. These are some of the worrying numbers that reveal the "exodus" of the Christian community from the Holy Places. The Patriarch also stressed the need of a fund to buy and maintain lands, as well as to guarantee proper places where Christians may live during a time of general unstableness.

 


Pope to bless restored façade of St. Peter's Basilica

Vatican City, 29 (NE) Pope John Paul II will bless tomorrow the restored façade of St. Peter's basilica, in a ceremony to take place in the afternoon. Details of the work that has restored the original splendor of the impressive façade were presented and explained yesterday during a press conference. It was informed that the works of restoration and cleansing of the façade -designed by Carlo Maderno at the beginning of the XVII century-, were finished after two years and a half. The works that involved more than 150 scientists, technicians and restorers have given back the façade, measuring 115 meters wide, 45 high and with 7000 square meters, its original appearance and colors.

 


Married couples reflect on holiness in families

Lima, 29 (NE) With the theme "Family, school of holiness", members of Nazareth, an association of the Christian Life Movement formed by married couples, gathered together last Sunday for a day of reflection and prayer in the Archdiocese of Lima. Activities along the day involved group and personal work, as well as discussions and conferences to reflect about holiness in marriage, having as a model the Family of Nazareth.

The General Coordinator of the Christian Life Movement, German Doig Klinge, invited participants to reflect over the responsibility and importance of family these days. "Family, said Doig, must be a place where life is transmitted and where sons learn to live life in a human sense, as was revealed to us by the Lord Jesus". The event ended with a closing Mass, where couples renewed their commitment to make of their families true schools of holiness.

 


Archbishop opposes beginning of military practices in U.S. Naval base in Puerto Rico

San Juan, 29 (NE) Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez Nieves of San Juan, expressed his disapproval for the beginning of military practices by marines in the U.S. Naval base in the municipality of Vieques, Puerto Rico. The Prelate said that the military practices were a violation to local people's human rights, expressing his opposition to the beginning of such activities. Military practices had been suspended on April after a private guard was killed.

The presence of a Naval base in the municipality of Vieques has aroused opposition several times in the lasts months among local people. On May a special commission was designated to analyze the effects of the base on the area. Apparently, bombing practices carried out by the American Navy would be a reason for serious contamination in the area.

 


SEPTEMBER 28

Pope encourages role of Catholic Universities in New Evangelization

Vatican City, 28 (NE) "To continue to shape and implement the vision of a truly Catholic university in your culture, especially at this time" was the task entrusted by Pope John Paul II to the board of trustees and students of the Catholic University of America, during an audience held yesterday in Castelgandolfo.

"At the threshold of the third millennium the Church is deeply committed to the new evangelization, and Catholic universities have a specific role and a great task", said the Pope. He also encouraged harmony between faith and reason, which "are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth".

"Reason can help faith avoid the dangers of myth or superstition, and faith can open reason to the fullness of truth which of its nature it always seeks". "The entire Catholic tradition -he said as well- bears witness to this mutuality, and the Catholic University of America can make no greater contribution to the work of the new evangelization than to stand as a witness to this deep harmony of faith and reason."

 


Holy See affirms position on Family Planning

Vatican City, 28 (NE) In a declaration made public yesterday, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls stated that the Holy See has never altered its well-known opposition to abortion or to family planning techniques and policies as proposed by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

In response to opinions expressed last week in London by the director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Nafis Sadik -who affirmed that the Holy See no longer opposes the techniques and policies of 'family planning' as propagated by this same U.N. agency-, Navarro-Valls clearly stated the Church's position regarding this issue.

"The Holy See has not, in fact, changed its well-known position" said Navarro-Valls, who also recalled several principles which were constantly affirmed by the Holy See delegations in the diverse international meetings and reunions.

"Concerning abortion and access to abortion, the Holy See affirms that human life begins at the moment of conception and that it must be defended and protected. The Holy See can never excuse abortion and policies in favor of abortion, which it considers to be a crime", he declared.

Navarro-Valls also explained that " some programs promoted by the United Nations are inspired by a vision of sexuality which does not give due consideration to the dimension of reciprocity that is constituted by the expression of mutual love. ... (and which) denotes an individualistic and permissive approach to sexual behavior which damages proper understanding of human dignity, and of the moral responsibility of each individual."

 


Cardinal Tomko encourages missionary drive in America

Buenos Aires, 28 (NE) During a press conference held yesterday in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Cardinal Josef Tomko, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples highlighted the Missionary Congress COMLA6-CAM1 as an important event to enlarge the missionary horizon to the "whole world."

The Cardinal, Pope John Paul II' special envoy for the congress that will begin today in Parana, also emphasized the need of collaboration and complementation to foment the evangelizing efforts. Among other themes, Cardinal Tomko spoke about the problem of sects, recalling that the best defense against them is "catechesis." The Church, he stated, must carry out its missionary role "not as a political power nor with a will to colonize, but from the inner strength of faith."

He also informed that bishops from the other continents will also be present at the encounter, as well as more than 3300 delegates from the American continent, among them 200 bishops and 300 children from the so called Missionary Childhood.

The title of the VI Latin American Missionary Congress and I American Missionary Congress (COMLA6 - CAM1), that will begin today Tuesday, is "America, with Christ, go out from your land." Each day prayers will be specially raised for a continent. During the event, 10 working themes will be discussed. Each commission will discuss the theme and at the end a conclusion will be drawn. The Congress' activities will finish on Sunday morning. The closing Mass will take place in the afternoon.

 


Missouri legislators ban infanticide by partial birth

Saint Louis, 28 (NE) The Infant's Protection Act is now law in Missouri, after the annulment of the veto imposed by Governor Mel Carnahan to the laws that prohibit infanticide by partial birth. The voting, carried out by the General Assembly of Missouri, amply supported the measure in favor of life.

"I rejoice and give thanks with many, many Missourians for the decisive vote" stated Archbishop Justin Rigali of Saint Louis. "I commend the members of the legislature, many of whom had to withstand enormous political pressure, for remaining resolute in their determination to ban from Missouri this new form of infanticide," he added.

The Archdiocese's weekly informed that the day of the voting between 5000 and 7000 persons gathered before the Capitol to support with their prayer and presence the option of life that legislators took.

The Infant's Protection Act specifically makes it illegal to kill a baby while it is being born, what is sometimes called "abortion by partial birth." The approval process will finish with the approbation of the Federal Courts. In view of this final step, Missouri bishops have urged faithful to persevere in prayer.

 


More religious people killed by militias in East Timor

Rome, 28 (NE) At least 9 persons, -8 belonging to the Catholic Church- were killed during the last hours in East Timor by Indonesian troops, reported Misna press agency. The news were confirmed by Bishop Basilio do Nascimento of Bacau, who explained that in total, 9 persons were killed and then thrown to a stream on Saturday, victims of pro Indonesian militias.

A priest, two seminarians, a theology student and two religious women were among the killed. Bishop do Nascimento urged the multinational forces at East Timor to make greater efforts to stop new attacks and to establish a definitive peace. The Prelate will assist to the funerals today.

Meanwhile, the Apostolic Nuncio in Indonesia, Bishop Renzo Fratini, regretted the incident. "In this sad moment, we pray for violence to cease. We pray for a future reconciliation between East Timor and Indonesia", he said.

 


SEPTEMBER 27

Pope resumes reflections about "Fides et Ratio"

Castelgandolfo, 27 (NE) Pope John Paul II resumed yesterday his reflections about the encyclical "Fides et Ratio" during his brief allocution before Sunday's Angelus prayer. The Holy Father centered his meditations on the role reason has in the ambit of the path to mature faith. The Pope recalled that reason is "implied in this path in different levels."

"It is already present in the maturation of the act of faith, for this act, even though it is founded on the authority of God that reveals, develops in a deeply reasonable way trough the perception of the signals that God has offered about Himself during the whole history of salvation." "Obviously, he later added, these are not 'proofs', as in the field of experimental science. The signals of God take place 'in the context of interpersonal communication."

Similarly, "mature faith incorporates reason, urging it to commitment, as Saint Anselm expressed, at the 'search of that which it loves.' Faith becomes in this way not only reasonable, but also 'reasoning'. This is the task theology is called to accomplish. It must gather the data of Revelation and carry out a systematic reflection, in order to deepen into their different dimensions, to understand the harmony between the different aspects of truth, or to answer to the new challenges that culture and history present."

"A vital relationship between intelligence and faith begins. One could even say that 'one is within the other:' It is necessary to believe in order to perceive something of the mystery that transcends us -'credo ut intelligam'-; and it is also necessary to understand -'intelligo ut credam'- to make our faith reasonable and each time more mature."

 


Genoa Archbishop warns against "vague and generic" religiosity

Genoa, 27 (NE) "The Trinity is not an intellectual statement, it is presence and concrete action in history," stated Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, Archbishop of Genoa, in his last Pastoral Letter titled "In the heart of Trinity." The pastoral document of the Italian Cardinal aims to introduce faithful to the Jubilee 2000 encouraging a deep encounter with the Persons of the Trinity.

In our curent situation, where "there is a nameless and faceless religiosity: a vague and generic divinity," Cardinal Tettamanzi states that the Jubilee is "an opportunity to find the meaning of life", considering that "life has no sense without realizing and understanding that there is a personal Being upon us that accompanies us."

The Pastoral Letter recalls the Vatican II Council as one of the most important events of this century. It contrasts the spirit of the Council with the reality of numerous Christians that are "indifferent and who almost don't believe anymore", urging them to make a true "spiritual leap" founded on an authentic conversion.

The Cardinal also states that in order to live the fraternal love to which the Jubilee of Incarnation calls us to, "it is necessary the courage of forgiveness. Without forgiveness, the efforts of justice and social service won't reach their objective." "It is the heart that must change. It mustn't close within itself".

 


Cardinal calls to respect Christian roots of Marian feast

Madrid, 27(NE) Cardinal Ricard Maria Carles, Archbishop of Barcelona, stressed the need to respect and highlight the Christian roots of the people of Barcelona during the feast of the Virgin of La Merced. While presiding a Eucharist celebration, the Cardinal specially regretted the absence of Christian symbols in the poster of this major feast.

"I would like that in the future some of the public signs and the advertising of our major feast speak more clearly of its unequivocal Christian roots", said the Archbishop. He referred to the feast's main poster, which showed a clear arabesque inspiration. Celebrating this traditional Marian feast, Cardinal Carles recalled that "every person, people and institution has the right to its identity."

During Mass, attended by many civil and military authorities, he stated that Christianity tries to alleviate segregation and welcome every culture, but he added, "respect and welcome must be mutual." He asked other creeds and cultures for reciprocity, to have "the same respect and welcome that Christianity has with them."

The Archbishop of Barcelona emphasized the diversity of influences that collaborated in the formation of the identity of Barcelona's people through history. He also pointed out the need to create a "new culture of international solidarity and cooperation for an economy at the service of man." He recalled the importance of the devotion to the Virgin of La Merced, and said that the message of the "Merced" is "deeply human and Christian."

 


Cuban faithful recall martyrs victims of communism

Miami, 27 (NE) In a letter sent to Pope John Paul II, a group of exiled Cubans, gathering hundreds of signatures, expressed their desire to recall the witness of numerous Cuban martyrs victims of the communist regime in the Island. In their missive, they remember the Pope's last visit to Poland, where the Pontiff recalled the martyrs victims of the Second World War and communism.

"They are not very well-known martyrs, almost as unknown soldiers of the great cause of God. The time has arrived to remember all of these victims and offer them their deserved honors," they affirm in their message.

The letter, upon talking about Cuban reality, specially recalls "young people who in the first years of the communist revolution died under the firing squadron exclaiming 'Viva Cristo Rey!'" After that, explains the letter, the strategy of the communist party changed its aims, "encouraging apostasy and not martyrdom. At the same time, a heavy mantel of oblivion fell, within and outside Cuba, on those heroes of faith."

"For this reason -it continues-, we wish that the Church begins the process of canonization of our heroes of Faith, so that we could have them as official celestial intercessors in favor of our dear dying homeland." Through their letter, the exiled Cuban faithful express their confidence that the words of the Holy Father "will undoubtedly constitute a factor of perseverance for all those brothers in faith, living martyrs, today persecuted."

 


Church in Brazil joins to peace campaign in favor of East Timor

Rio do Janeiro, 27 (NE) The Church in Brazil called the international community to take the necessary measures in order to establish a definitive peace in East Timor. It was also made public that a campaign of prayer will be carried out as well as a collect to gather material help for victims.

Through a statement made public Friday by the Brazilian National Bishops' Conference, the Bishops pointed out the necessity that Indonesia cease the violence in the island, accepting the conclusions of the past referendum in which the people of East Timor voted massively for independence.

"East Timor, a brother nation, suffers a true genocide perpetrated by the paramilitaries, under the care and collaboration of the Indonesian armed forces," the message points out, in which a request is also made to Indonesia for the ceasing of military help.

"The international community -the Brazilian Bishops continued- can not tolerate that the plebiscite democratically carried out be ignored through such a cruel blood shed. In this moment, the people of Timor should have the security that they will not be abandoned."

 


Archbishop urges to promote synthesis of faith and culture in universities

Bogota, 25 (NE) "Universities are at the heart of the evangelizing task of the Church," stated Archbishop Pedro Rubiano Saenz of Bogota. The Colombian Prelate presided last week a Eucharist of thanksgiving for the 20 anniversary of the founding of the University of Sabana, created "to become a place of encounter, bridge for the dialog between faith and culture."

"A university must recreate, here in Colombia, at the end of this century, the aspiration of the Church. That is, that faith must impregnate the intelligence and heart of man, -fides quarens intellectum- to become life. In each moment of history this faith aims to become a synthesis with the culture of a people, in which it becomes incarnate," stated the Archbishop in his homily.

Archbishop Rubiano recalled the teachings of Pope John Paul II and emphasized the importance of this synthesis of faith and culture. "A faith that doesn't become culture is a faith that is not fully received, nor entirely meditated nor faithfully lived. A University of Christian inspiration is the adequate place for the fulfillment of this synthesis", he stated.

 


SEPTEMBER 24

Pope to open Holy Door of the four Patriarchal Basilicas

Rome, 24 (NE) As part of celebrations to begin the Holy Year, Pope John Paul II will open the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica on midnight December 24, as it is traditionally done in Jubilee years. This jubilee, in which the Church celebrates the 2000 anniversary of the coming of the Lord, the Pope will also open the Holy Door of the other three Patriarchal Basilicas in the Eternal City.

The Pope himself will open in Christmas the Holy Door of Saint John Lateran's Basilica, "Mother and Head of all the Churches of the City and the World," as it is inscribed on the frontispiece of the temple. On January 1, Solemnity of Blessed Mary, Mother of God, he will open that of the Saint Mary Maggiore.

He will finally open the Holy Door of Saint Paul Outside the Walls on January 18. Formerly it was a Cardinal who presided over the ceremonies at the other Patriarchal Basilicas.

The first Jubilee of the Church historically documented took place in the year 1300, convoked by Pope Boniface VIII. After that there have been more than 25 Ordinary or Major Jubilees. There have also been extraordinary or minor Jubilees. In this century two minor Jubilees have taken place, in 1933 and in 1983.

For some time it was believed that Pope Alexander VI instituted the rite of opening of a Holy Door in 1500. Actually there are several references to the "holy door" or the "golden gate" in connection with the Jubilee long before the year 1475. The most ancient of these references seems to be that of a Spanish pilgrim, in the year 1437.

 


Bishops in Colombia: "Church does not yield before violence"

Medellin, 24 (NE) "In Colombia, nobody must be deceived; he who is Christian must be, by nature, non violent. Instead, he must be committed with the causes of reconciliation and peace with social justice". Auxiliary Bishop Dario Monsalve of Medellin recalled with these words the role of the Church in Colombia in the areas where violence and armed conflict are alarmingly present.

The Catholic Church has committed herself in the last years to achieve peace in a country largely struck by violence. Several Bishops have stated that the Church's position will not be altered after recent guerilla attacks on faithful, including the kidnapping of Tibu's Bishop, released this week after being held captive for 30 days.

Archbishop Alberto Giraldo Jaramillo of Medellin, President of the Colombian Bishop's Conference, declared recently that none of the bishops will retire from the zones of conflict. The Archbishop referred specially to the region of Catacumbo, dominated by the armed forces of the EPL.

"The Church and we Catholics have the freedom to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We mustn't be submitted to any political nor armed power," recalled the Prelate.

From Cali, Archbishop Isaias Duarte Cancino acknowledged the risks that Church members run when proclaiming truth and peace. He emphasized that "in this, we must accomplish our mission: Bishops, as pastors, cannot abandon their flock."

 


Canonization of Mexican blessed possibly announced in October

Mexico City, 24 (NE) The ordinary consistory that will take place October 5 will be the last step before Pope John Paul II declares the date of Canonization of blessed Jose Maria de Yermo y Parres, Mexican priest beatified by the Holy Father in 1990. Born in Puebla (Mexico) in 1851, he was ordained priest in 1879 in Leon, and exercised his ministry in the Diocese of Puebla. Due to his concern and service of the most needy, Father Yermo y Parres was known as the "Giant of Charity." He created houses to receive poor people and excelled in his great labor of assistance, helping more than 3 thousand persons during the flood of the city of Leon in 1888. He also was concerned with the life of the Church and created the first ecclesiastic magazine of Mexico.

 


Church in Rome dedicated to first successor of St. Peter

Rome, 24 (NE) A new temple dedicated to the first successor of the Apostle Peter, St. Linus, was dedicated yesterday in the city of Rome. The dedication ritual of the new parochial church was presided by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Pope's Vicar for the diocese of Rome.

After forty years, the more than ten thousand Roman faithful belonging to this parish will now have a parochial temple where to carry out their diverse celebrations. When the parish was built in 1959, the church could not be built, so parishioners had to use one of the rooms in the parish to hold celebrations.

The Mass and dedication rite presided by Cardinal Ruini were carried out yesterday afternoon. The Italian Cardinal thanked God, together with the faithful, for the blessing that the new temple means for the community.

The church, that is capable of gathering approximately 500 people seated, was designed by the same architect that projected the parochial complex. It counts with a square from which one can sight the impressive dome of St. Peter's Basilica.

 


Symposium on priestly formation to inaugurate seminary

Seville, 24 (NE) Sacerdotal formation will be the theme of a symposium to be held in Seville (Spain) on occasion of the inauguration of the new Metropolitan Seminary for this archdiocese.

The symposium, that will take place September 27 -30, will be attended by Cardinals Dario Castrillon Hoyos, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clery, and Pio Laghi, Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education.

The event will be inaugurated by the Archbishop of Seville, Carlos Amigo Vallejo and will be directed to priests and seminarians, as well as those responsible for the formation and professors of seminarians. The Metropolitan Seminary will be inaugurated October 1.

The inaugural conference will be given by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, in which he will lecture on the "Agents of Sacerdotal Formation." Cardinal Laghi will give the closing conference on the "Areas of the sacerdotal formation."

 


SEPTEMBER 23

Holy Father calls to live reconciliation

Vatican City, 23 (NE) Pope John Paul II invited pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square to live reconciliation during yesterday's general audience, speaking on "Reconciliation with God and with our brothers and sisters." Reconciliation is a "gift of the Father", he explained, that God offers us through "the mystery of the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" and his Resurrection.

The Holy Father said that conversion must "becomes a life-long path in which the mystery of reconciliation, fulfilled in the sacrament, becomes both the point of arrival and of departure." Reconciliation in Christ, he stated, "particularly comes about in celebrating the sacrament of Penitence."

He also emphasized the need to overcome a certain individualism when considering reconciliation: "The whole Church cooperates in the conversion of sinners through prayer, exhortation, fraternal correction, and the support in charity".

Moreover, the Pontiff recalled that "the teaching of the Church and the penitential discipline promulgated after the II Vatican Council call for a rediscovery and a restoration of the communal and ecclesial dimension of reconciliation, while still respecting the doctrine on the necessity of individual confession".

 


Pope urges Mass Media to respect truth

Vatican, 23 (NE) "The steady development of mass media influences people and public opinion constantly. This increases the responsibility of all those who directly work in this area," recalled Pope John Paul II in a message sent to the President of the Catholic Union of Italian press and made public yesterday.

The Pope especially urged to pay attention to the danger of the "distortion of truth." In many Mass Media institutions, he regretted, "the parameters to value the events" are based "more upon commercial criteria than upon social criteria." "There is a tendency to privilege that "which is popular", which is "sensational", against that which could help to give a better understanding of the world's events."

In his message, the Holy Father emphasized the important task of Catholics involved in Mass Media. The "courageous witness of faith that each of (the Catholic professionals) offers in the field of the mass media, constitutes a precious service in guarding and promoting the true welfare of the individual and the community", he affirmed.

"It is urgent," he underlined, "for Christians employed in the information sector to work with all people of good will towards a greater respect of the truth." He also emphasized the need to collaborate to "guide in a positive sense" the informative options of the social communication media, promoting "respect for men and women and their consciences."

 


Cardinal Sandoval rejects pro-abortion definition in legislation

Mexico City, 23 (NE) Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iñiguez, Archbishop of Guadalajara, sent State's Secretary of Health Juan Ramon de la Fuente Ramirez a letter firmly criticizing the attempt to modify the definition of pregnancy in Mexican legislation.

These modifications of the Health Code pretend to "define pregnancy based on the implantation of the fecundated ovule in the uterus," which, as the Cardinal said, "is a falsehood and a measure that tends to leave a gap for the use of contraceptives and abortive methods".

The manipulative initiative was discussed yesterday at the Union's Congress. "It surely has the intention to follow the path of birth control without regarding which kind of means they use, even if they are abortive," he added.

He also explained that the Church "and true medical science teach that pregnancy begins with the fecundation of the feminine ovule; from then on the unique characteristics of the individual's genes are already given."

The Church has expressed criticism to this distorted alteration of the Mexican Code. Civil associations such as "Pro Vida" (Pro Life), have also expressed their disapproval. The President of "Pro Vida" association declared that the new definition of pregnancy pretends to introduce contraceptive methods with the fallacious name of "alternative hormonal methods", which impede the implantation of the fecundated ovule, when it is known that the fecundation occurs even 7 days before the implantation.

 


Traditional Marian procession for national reconciliation to be held in Chile

Santiago, 23 (NE) With special prayers in favor of national reconciliation, the economic situation of the country, and the promotion of family, this year's "Day of Prayer for Chile" will be held Sunday September 26. On this same day the traditional procession of the Virgin of 'El Carmen' will take place.

The procession -which this year has the motto "Virgin of 'El Carmen', unite Chile in God our Father"- will begin at 4 p.m. in the Square of the Tribunals of Justice. There, a Liturgy of the Word will take place presided by Archbishop Francisco Javier Errazuriz of Santiago, who will later also preside a Mass in the Metropolitan Cathedral.

The devotion to the Virgin of 'El Carmen' is deeply rooted in Chilean identity. The first official brotherhood of 'El Carmen' of which there is evidence dates back to 1603, in the city of Concepcion. In 1923, Pope Pius XI proclaimed Our Lady of 'El Carmen' as Patroness of the Republic of Chile. In 1926, on behalf of the Holy Father, the image of the Virgin of 'El Carmen' was crowned officially proclaiming her Queen of Chile.

 


First liturgical feast day for Padre Pio celebrated today

Rome, 23 (NE) Today the first liturgical feast day remembering Blessed Padre Pio will be celebrated. The day commemorates the 32nd anniversary of Padre Pios's death. A special celebration will take place today in the Sanctuary of St. Giovanni Rotondo (Italy) where the capuchin friar raised to the altars by Pope John Paul II lived most of his life at the service of the Gospel. Celebrations here began yesterday night, with a Mass and a vigil of prayer. Today, several masses will be celebrated in the sanctuary. At 6 p.m. Mass will be presided by Archbishop Giovanni Battista Re, Substitute of the Secretariat of State. Pope John Paul II proclaimed Padre Pio of Pietrelcina Blessed last May 2, during a Eucharist celebration held in St. Peter's Square attended by thousands of pilgrims from all over the world.

 


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