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My People

Vol. 17, Issue 9, September 2004

"If my people, who are called by My name, humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land." — 2 Chronicles 7:14

Pope John Paul II

World Mission Sunday Focuses On "Eucharist And Mission"
Pray for Africa
Sports And Tourism Can Promote Understanding
In Defense of Life: Celebration for Life
Listening to God's Word is Priority
Just a Few Thoughts
Development Needed To Eradicate Poverty
President Bush Has Deep Roots
Light to the Nations: A Christian Perspective on World News
Pray the News


World Mission Sunday Focuses On "Eucharist And Mission"

The 78th World Mission Sunday will be celebrated on Sunday, October 17. The theme of the day is "Eucharist and Mission." The Pope's message for the day, dated April 19, follows:

"The Church's missionary activity is an urgency also at the beginning of the third millennium, as I have often said. Mission, as I stated in the Encyclical Redemptoris misso is still only beginning, and we must commit ourselves wholeheartedly to its service (cfr n. 1). The entire people of God at every moment of its pilgrimage through history is called to share the Redeemer's 'thirst' (cfr Jn 19:28). This thirst to save souls has always been strongly experienced by the Saints: it suffices to think, for example, of Saint Therese of Lisieux, patroness of the missions, and of Bishop Comboni, great apostle of Africa, whom recently I had the joy of raising to the honor of the altars.

"The social and religious challenges facing humanity in our day call believers to renew their missionary fervor. Yes! It is necessary to re-launch mission 'ad gentes' with courage, starting with the proclamation of Christ, Redeemer of every human person. The International Eucharistic Congress, which will be celebrated at Guadalajara in Mexico in the coming month of October, the missionary month, will be an extraordinary opportunity to grow in choral missionary awareness around the Table of the Body and Blood of Christ.

"Gathered around the altar, the Church understands better her origin and her missionary mandate. As the theme of World Mission Sunday this year clearly emphasizes, 'Eucharist and Mission' are inseparable. In addition to reflection on the bond that exists between the Eucharistic mystery and the mystery of the Church, this year there will be an eloquent reference to the Blessed Virgin Mary, because of the occurrence of the 150th anniversary of the definition of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception (1854-2004). Let us contemplate the Eucharist with the eyes of Mary. Confiding in the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, the Church offers Christ, the Bread of Salvation, to all peoples that they may recognize Him and accept Him as the only Savior of mankind.

"Returning ideally to the Upper Room, last year, precisely on Holy Thursday, I signed the Encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia, from which I would like to take some passages which will help us, dearest brothers and sisters, to live World Mission Sunday this year with a Eucharistic spirit. 'The Eucharist builds the Church and the Church makes the Eucharist' (n. 26), I wrote, observing how the mission of the Church is a continuity of the mission of Christ (cfr Jn 20:21), and draws spiritual energy from communion with His Body and Blood. The goal of the Eucharist is precisely 'communion of mankind with Christ and in Him with the Father and the Holy Spirit' (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 22). When we take part in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, we understand more profoundly the universality of redemption and, consequently, the urgency of the Church's mission with its program which 'has its center in Christ Himself, Who is to be known, loved, and imitated, so that in Him we may live the life of the Trinity and with Him transform history until its fulfillment in the heavenly Jerusalem' (ibid., 60).

"Around Christ in the Eucharist the Church grows as the people, temple, and family of God: one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic. At the same time she understands better her character of universal sacrament of salvation and visible reality with a hierarchical structure. Certainly 'no Christian community can be built up unless it has its basis and center in the celebration of the most Holy Eucharist' (ibid., 33; cfr Presbyterorum Ordinis, 6). At the end of every Mass, when the celebrant takes leave of the assembly with the words 'Ite, Missa est,' all should feel they are sent as 'missionaries of the Eucharist' to carry to every environment the great gift received. In fact, anyone who encounters Christ in the Eucharist cannot fail to proclaim through his or her life the merciful love of the Redeemer.

"To live the Eucharist it is necessary, as well, to spend much time in adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament, something which I myself experience every day drawing from it strength, consolation, and assistance (cfr Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 25). The Eucharist, the Second Vatican Council affirms, 'is the source and summit of all Christian life' (Lumen gentium, 11), 'the source and summit of all evangelization' (Presbyterorum Ordinis, 5).

"The bread and wine, fruit of human hands, transformed through the power of the Holy Spirit into the Body and Blood of Christ, become a pledge of the 'new heaven and new earth' (Rev 21:1), announced by the Church in her daily mission. In Christ, Whom we adore present in the mystery of the Eucharist, the Father uttered His final word with regard to humanity and human history.

"How could the Church fulfill her vocation without cultivating a constant relationship with the Eucharist, without nourishing herself with this food which sanctifies, without founding her missionary activity on this indispensable support? To evangelize the world there is need of apostles who are 'experts' in the celebration, adoration, and contemplation of the Eucharist.

"In the Eucharist we relive the mystery of the Redemption culminating in the Lord's sacrifice, as it is said in the words of consecration: 'My body which will be given for you . . .; . . . My blood which will be poured out for you' (Lk 22:19-20). Christ died for all; and for all is the gift of salvation which the Eucharist renders sacramentally present in the course of history: 'Do this in memory of Me' (Lk 22:19). This mandate is entrusted to ordained ministers through the Sacrament of Holy Orders. To this banquet and sacrifice all men and women are invited so they may share in the very life of Christ: "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood lives in Me and I live in him. As I, Who am sent by the living Father, Myself draw life from the Father, so whoever eats Me will draw life from Me' (Jn 6:56-57). Nourished by Him, believers come to understand that the missionary task means being 'acceptable as an offering, made holy by the Holy Spirit' (Rom 15:16), in order to be more and more 'one, in heart and mind' (Acts 4:32) and to be witnesses of His love to the ends of the earth.

"Journeying through the centuries, reliving every day the Sacrifice of the altar, the Church, the People of God, awaits Christ's coming in glory. This is proclaimed after the consecration by the Eucharistic assembly gathered around the altar. Time after time with renewed faith the Church repeats her desire for the final encounter with the One Who comes to bring His plan of universal salvation to completion.

"The Holy Spirit with invisible but powerful working, guides the Christian people on this daily spiritual itinerary on which they inevitably encounter difficulties and experience the mystery of the Cross. The Eucharist is the comfort and the pledge of final triumph for those who fight evil and sin; it is the 'bread of life' which sustains those who, in turn, become 'bread broken' for others, paying at times even with martyrdom their fidelity to the Gospel.

"This year, as I already mentioned, will be the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Mary was 'redeemed in an especially sublime manner by reason of the merits of her Son' (Lumen gentium, 53. I said in the Encyclical Letter Ecclesia de Eucharistia: 'Gazing upon Mary, we come to know that transforming power present in the Eucharist. In her we see the world renewed in love' (n. 62).

"Mary, the first 'tabernacle' in history (ibid., n. 55), shows us and offers us Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life (cfr Jn 14:6). If 'the Church and the Eucharist are inseparably united, the same ought to be said of Mary and the Eucharist' (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 57).

"I hope that the happy coinciding of the International Eucharistic Congress with the 150th anniversary of the definition of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, may offer the faithful, parishes, and missionary institutes an opportunity to strengthen their missionary zeal so that in every community there may always be 'a genuine hunger for the Eucharist' (ibid., n 33).

"This is also a good opportunity to mention the contribution offered to the Church's apostolic activity by the worthy Pontifical Mission Societies. They are very dear to my heart and I thank them, on behalf of all, for the valid service rendered to new evangelization and the mission ad gentes. I ask you to support them spiritually and materially so that also through their contribution, the proclamation of the Gospel may reach all the peoples of the earth.

"With these sentiments, invoking the maternal intercession of Mary, 'woman of the Eucharist,' I gladly impart to you my Apostolic Blessing."


Pray For Africa

Pope John Paul II called Christians to pray for Africa in the July 25 Angelus message at his vacation home in Castel Gandolfo.

In his message, the Pope said: "During these days of rest and relaxation, I often think of the dramatic conditions in various regions of the world. Today I would like to draw your attention in particular to the tragic events that for some time now have marked certain countries on the beloved continent of Africa.

An end to war and suffering in Uganda and Sudan

"For more than 18 years, North Uganda has been embroiled in an inhuman war that involves millions of people, especially children. Many of them, in the grip of fear and deprived of any kind of future, feel forced to 'become soldiers.' I appeal to the international community and to national political leaders to put an end to this tragic fighting and see that real prospects of peace are offered to the entire Ugandan nation.

"Equally disturbing is the plight of the beloved peoples of Darfur, the western region of Sudan that borders on Chad. The war, which has gathered momentum in recent months, has brought ever greater poverty, desperation, and death. At least 20 harsh battles in Sudan have resulted in vast numbers of dead, evacuees, and refugees. How can we remain indifferent? I address a heartfelt appeal to the political leaders and international organizations not to forget these harshly-tried brothers and sisters of ours.

All Christians, pray for our brothers and sisters in Africa

"The Christian community is striving to meet the needs of these emergencies. The Bishops in Uganda, with the help of other dioceses of the world and volunteer organizations, are working generously to achieve national reconciliation and provide assistance to those in difficulty. Just a few days ago, I decided to send Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, to Darfur, to bring those troubled peoples the spiritual and material solidarity of the Holy See and of the universal Church.

"I ask all Christians to pray for our brothers and sisters in Africa, on whom I invoke the maternal protection of Mary."


Sports And Tourism Can Promote Understanding

In his message for the 25th World Day of Tourism, which was dated May 30, the feast of Pentecost, Pope John Paul II discussed the positive impact of sports and tourism. His message follows:

"On the occasion of the forthcoming World Day of Tourism that will be celebrated on September 27, I am pleased to address all who work in this sector of human activity to offer them several thoughts that highlight the positive aspects of tourism. As I have already pointed out on other occasions, tourism improves relationships between individuals and peoples; when they are cordial, respectful, and based on solidarity, they constitute, as it were, an open door to peace and harmonious coexistence.

"Indeed, much of the violence that humanity suffers in our times is rooted in misunderstanding as well as in the rejection of the values and identity of foreign cultures. Therefore, it would often be possible to get the better of these situations thanks to a better reciprocal knowledge. In this context I am also thinking of the millions of migrants who must play a participatory role in the society that hosts them, which is founded above all on appreciation and recognition of the identity of each person or group.

"The World Day of Tourism, therefore, not only offers a fresh opportunity to reinforce the positive contribution of tourism to building up a more just and peaceful world, but also to a deeper reflection on the concrete conditions in which tourism is organized and practiced.

"In this regard, the Church cannot fail to repeat once again her essential views on humankind and on history. Indeed, the supreme principle that must govern human coexistence is respect for the dignity of each person, created in the image of God and thus a brother or sister to all.

"This principle must guide all political and economic activity, as the social teaching of the Church has demonstrated. It must also inspire cultural and religious coexistence.

"This year the theme of the World Day is 'Sport and tourism: two living forces for mutual understanding, culture, and the development of societies.' Sport and tourism refer first and foremost to free time, in which activities must be encouraged that foster both physical and spiritual development. There are, however, many situations in which tourism and sport are specifically interrelated and condition each other, for instance, when sport actually becomes the main reason for travel at home or abroad. In fact, sport and tourism are closely linked in the great sporting events in which the countries of one or other region of the world compete, such as, for example, the Olympic Games, which must not relinquish their lofty aim of arousing ideals of coexistence, understanding, and friendship.

"This also applies, however, in many other less spectacular cases, such as in school sports or the sports events organized by local associations. In other cases, the practice of a specific sport is the precise reason for planning a journey or holidays. Moreover, the phenomenon affects both elite sportsmen and women, their teams and their fans, as well as modest social clubs and numerous families, young people and children, and lastly, those who make physical exercise one of the important reasons for traveling.

"In addressing a human activity that involves so many people, the occurrence of abuse and corruption is not surprising, despite the nobility of the objectives proclaimed. Among other phenomena, we cannot overlook exacerbated commercialism, aggressive rivalry, violence to individuals, and things even to the point of the degradation of the environment or offense to the cultural identity of the host of the event.

"St. Paul the Apostle proposed the image of the athlete to the Christians of Corinth in order to illustrate Christian life and as an example of effort and constancy (cf. 1 Cor 9:24-25). Indeed, the correct practice of sport must be accompanied by moderation and training in self-discipline. It very often also requires a good team spirit, a respectful attitude, appreciation of the qualities of others, honest sportsmanship, and humility in recognizing one's own limitations. Sport, in brief, especially in its less competitive forms, is an invitation to a festive celebration and friendly coexistence.

"The Christian can also find sports helpful for developing the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance in the race for the wreath that is 'imperishable,' as St. Paul writes.

"Of course, tourism has given a powerful impetus to the practice of sport. The facilities it offers, including many activities that it promotes or sponsors itself, have in fact increased the number of those who appreciate sports and practice them in their leisure time. Thus, there are more opportunities for encounter between different peoples and cultures in a climate of good understanding and harmony.

"Therefore, without ceasing to pay due attention to the irregularities that regrettably continue to occur, I would like to urge you warmly and with renewed hope to promote a form of 'sport that protects the weak and excludes no one, that frees young people from the snares of apathy and indifference, and arouses a healthy sense of competition in them; sport that is a factor of emancipation for poorer countries and helps to eradicate intolerance and build a more fraternal and united world; sport which contributes to the love of life, teaches sacrifice, respect, and responsibility, leading to the full development of every human person '(Homily at the Mass for the Jubilee of the World of Sport, October 29, 2000, n. 3; L'Osservatore Romano English edition, November 1, 2000, p. 2). . ."



Man Never Becomes A "Vegetable"

Fred H. Summe
Fred H. Summe, vice president of Northern Kentucky Right to Life
by Fred H. Summe

"God has uniquely created woman to share in His most sovereign act — the bringing of life."

"The gift of our womanhood brings not only physical life, but spiritual life as well. This is the call of woman: to infuse all the world with life," explains Johnnette S. Benkovic, the founder and director of "Living His Life Abundantly," a non-profit Catholic communications ministry.

"Everything about woman has been created by God to bring life," she writes in her book Full of Grace: Women and the Abundant Life. "From the delicate intricacy of the female body to the complex artistry of our emotional makeup, women have been chosen by God to participate in His exquisite and sovereign act of bringing, nurturing, and sustaining life."

Northern Kentucky Right to Life is indeed proud to invite Johnnette S. Benkovic, an articulate spokeswoman for authentic Christian feminism, to address the 31st Annual Celebration for Life. This pro-life event, co-chaired by Rev. Dennis Cole, Pastor of the Covenant Christian Church in Newport, Kentucky, and Fr. William Fitzgerald, O. Praem, Director of Liturgy and the Office of Worship of the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky, is scheduled for Sunday, September 26, at London Hall, Drawbridge Estates in Ft. Mitchell (I-75, Exit 186).

The doors will open at 1:15 p.m., followed by the showing of a pro-life film at 1:30 p.m. Refreshments and exhibits will be available at 2:00 p.m. with the program commencing at 2:30 p.m. (Free baby-sitting is provided.)

Tickets ($10.00) and additional information can be obtained from Cathy Smith, Northern Kentucky Right to Life, 1822 Madison Avenue, Covington, KY (859-431-6380).

The Miracle of Physical Motherhood

"In an act of self-donation, a woman gives her whole person for the benefit of the other growing within her," observes Mrs. Benkovic, who hosts a weekday radio program and a number of TV programs in association with EWTN. She continues: "In the midst of all the physical and emotional change, the woman gives still more. She gives her child the gift of love.

"As time goes on, the woman grows ever more involved with this child whom her body bears. She loves the baby completely and totally. She lives no longer for herself, an autonomous being, but rather for another, her child."

The Reality of Spiritual Motherhood

Johnette Benkovic
"A profound unity exists between the soul and the body. They are not two separate natures joined together in the human person, but rather they are an integrated union that forms a single nature," states this wife and mother.

"This means that our femininity is as inherent to our souls as it is to our bodies. Our gender defines us not only physically, but metaphysically as well. We are women completely — in body and soul. Thus, our gender reveals and defines the innermost aspect of who we are."

"If the preeminent function of our womanly bodies is to bring life, the preeminent function of our womanly soul — our feminine spirit and psyche — must be to bring life as well, writes this author of numerous books.

"By virtue of the gift of our gender, each of us is intended to be 'mother.' Our souls have been especially created by God to bring spiritual life to the world. Thus, our call to motherhood is in no way diminished or negated by a life of celibacy or an inability to physically bear children. All women are meant to bring life.

"Her body, her psyche, and her soul equip her to be a nurturing influence in family life, in professional life, through her religious vocation, and in the world at large."

The Secret Beauty of Authentic Femininity

Mrs. Benkovic explains that the Blessed Mother is the perfect model of womanhood. In her book, she quotes Mother of the Redeemer, the encyclical of Pope John Paul II, in which he states:

"In the light of Mary, the Church sees in the face of women the reflection of a beauty which mirrors the loftiest sentiments of which the human heart is capable: the self-offering totality of love; the strength that is capable of bearing the greatest sorrows; limitless fidelity and tireless devotion to work; the ability to combine penetrating intuition with words of support and encouragement."

"As we pattern ourselves after the Blessed Virgin Mary," expounds Mrs. Benkovic, "the perfect handmaid of the Lord, we will discover what it means to abandon ourselves to the grace of God through receptivity, trust, and surrender.

"Woman, fully surrendered to the grace of her gender, is called to be a redeeming and sanctifying influence in the world. An influence that preserves and protects the physical and spiritual well-being of the human race."

Please encourage other pro-lifers to join you to hear this dynamic and informative speaker whose most recent initiative, Women of Grace, addresses the incomparable beauty of true Christian feminism.


Listening To God's Word Is Priority

CASTEL GANDOLFO, ITALY — At the July 18 Angelus message from his summer residence here, Pope John Paul II stressed the importance of listening to the Word of God. The Pope said: "Christ is always in our midst and desires to speak to our hearts. We can listen to Him by meditating with faith on Sacred Scripture, by recollection in private and communal prayer, by silent meditation before the Tabernacle, from which He speaks to us of His love.

"Christians, especially on Sundays, are called to meet and listen to the Lord. This happens most completely through participation in Holy Mass, during which Christ prepares the banquet of the Word and of the Bread of Life for the faithful. But other moments of prayer and reflection, of rest and brotherhood, can also be profitably combined to make the Lord's Day holy.

"When, through the action of the Holy Spirit, God takes up His dwelling in the heart of the believer, it becomes easier for him/her to serve the brethren. This is what happened in a unique and perfect way in Mary Most Holy. . ."

(Source: L'Osservatore Romano English edition)


Just A Few Thoughts

Ray Grothaus
Ray Grothaus
by Ray Grothaus

Just a few thoughts on arguments.

From time to time, all of us get into a disagreement of some type. It might be about what color shoes should be worn or who the best hitter in baseball is or who was the most successful president. No matter what, though, everyone has their own idea of what's right. And since you think you're right, that must mean your companion in the discussion is wrong; hence the argument.

Here's a little secret I'd like to share with you on this topic. It's not earth-shattering information, and it's certainly nothing new, but here it is: you can't win an argument. No matter what the outcome of the debate, you won't win. Oh, you may prove your point on the issue and even convince your opponent that you are right, but it will be a cheap victory indeed.

You see, if you lose, you lose and if you win, you lose. What?! Suppose you triumph over the other person and prove that his stance is full of holes. Then what? You will feel fine but what about him? You have made him feel inferior and hurt his pride. He now resents you. So what did you win? A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.

Do you know someone who you'd like to tell a thing or two? Most of us know people who seem to be headed down the wrong path and would benefit from our vast knowledge. But if you tell them they're wrong, it will just raise their neck hair. They might not completely believe they're headed in the right direction either, but if you tell them that, the defenses will come up. Nine times out of ten, an argument ends with both parties being more convinced than ever they are absolutely right.

I know a man who lets his kids run all over him. They treat him poorly and take advantage of him in every possible way. The children have no qualms about inviting dad out for supper and making him pay for not only himself but for them too. I've talked to him about it many times, always to no avail. Every time we have the discussion, he has another reason why he should let them do these things to him. Convincing him to put his foot down isn't going to happen because a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.

We need to avoid arguments like we avoid poison and sharks. There is no way under the sun to get the best of an argument. The human mind isn't changed that way. Benjamin Franklin said, "If you argue and rankle and contradict, you may achieve a victory sometimes. But it will be an empty victory because you will never get your opponent's good will. So what would you rather have, a selfish feeling of importance by winning an argument or another's good will and respect? You can seldom have both.

So what should you do to get someone to come over to your side? Start by listening to their side of the story. Agree with them on some of their points. Tell them everything about which they are correct on the topic. This will help them lower their guard and they will see you as a contemporary, not a rival. Whenever you tell someone they're right, it builds up their ego. If they believe you think they're important, they'll be more inclined to soften their stance. It will also make it easier for them to hear you when you eventually go back to your point. By listening, really listening, you might even find out that they're more right than you!

Don't argue because you can't win. Yield a little to your adversary and you may find that you win a bigger prize. Abraham Lincoln said that it would be better to give the path to an angry dog than be bitten by him contesting for the right of way. Even killing the dog wouldn't heal the bite. Remember, the only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it. Just a few thoughts.


Development Needed To Eradicate Poverty

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, C.S., head of the Vatican's delegation at a June meeting of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), stressed the importance of developing human resources to eradicate poverty in an address to the conference.

He said: ". . . Globalization is indeed a reality. Over the past 15 years this process has been further accelerated by changes in international geopolitics, by the rapid fall in transport costs and, in particular, the spread of information and communication technologies.

"Many of the world's economies are increasingly integrated. With regard to advantages and challenges, costs and benefits, each society and each economy must come to terms with the global markets.

"The importance of the economic dimension, based on market integration, is such that many international institutions consider it to be the salient feature of globalization. But globalization has other facets, such as the cultural and the ethical. Faced with problems like poverty, protection of the environment, security, and the right to development, the global community is beginning to set itself common goals which are shared by all States and by civil society as a whole. The acceptance of the right to development and the importance of everyone's participation as the means of achieving it are some of the steps in the development of a common awareness of the ethical and cultural aspects involved in the process of integration.

"As Pope John Paul II states: 'The Church on her part continues to affirm that ethical discernment in the context of globalization must be based upon two inseparable principles: First, the inalienable value of the human person, source of all human rights and every social order . . . Second, the value of human culture which no external power has the right to downplay and still less to destroy' (Address to the Seventh Plenary Session of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, April 25-28, 2001).

"We must recognize that present gains are far below what might have been and that the dynamics of globalization have led to the marginalization, if not the impoverishment, of many people in the world.

"For this reason the different aspects of globalization, be they positive or negative, must be confronted by the various actors with shared responsibility. In different contexts globalization yields different results.

" 'Globalization, a priori, is neither good nor bad. It will be what people make of it. No system is an end in itself, and it is necessary to insist that globalization, like any other system, must be at the service of the human person; it must serve solidarity and the common good' (ibid., n. 2).

Uneven economic progress

"The number of people who live below the threshold of one dollar per day per capita has decreased since the 1980s. This positive result has been attributed to the process of economic integration implemented by certain countries.

"There is, however, a marked regional imbalance. While some countries have significantly reduced their absolute number of people in poverty thanks to strong growth, in other regions, notably sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, this number has increased.

"In overall terms the relation of economic openness to poverty reduction does not seem to be a solid one. Increased participation and integration represent an important avenue towards a more dignified life. At the same time the understanding of the relation of economic integration to poverty reduction must be deepened and improved.

"It has been observed that economic integration in some of the present modalities has led to greater inequality. The gap in pro capita income between the richest decile and the poorest has grown significantly and there is no indication that this trend will be reversed.

"Furthermore, the process is often associated with increased inequality within countries. We see countries with strong economic growth accompanied by growing inequality of income and an increasing gap between sectors of the population due to other aspects of poverty such as market access, health conditions, mortality — in particular child mortality — and education.

"Increased inequality, if permanent, leads to the firm exclusion of whole sectors of the population and may result in a structural dualism difficult to tear down once in place. An example is the marginalization of vast rural areas and the increase in the numbers employed in the informal sector as compared to those in the formal sector in the urban areas of developing countries, structural problems which must be appropriately addressed.

"This type of marginalization violates human dignity and deprives people of their right to full participation in growth opportunities, and it stifles growth, thus creating a vicious circle: many countries are prevented from staying apace with the complex dynamics of the global economy and they are led to new forms of poverty.

"Inequality is a source of conflict. Denied expectations in certain cases and under certain conditions generate social unrest and even the acceptance of violence as a form of social expression.

Power of 'poverty eradication'

"In short, although economic integration may lead to increased growth and 'through growth, trade is good for the poor,' care is required before the unevenness of the development process. Since opening up the economy is not, per se, an anti-poverty policy, we must develop an understanding of how trade integration policies can be real poverty reduction policies.

"The elimination of poverty increases social cohesion and becomes a means for sustainable growth. To this effect we must forcefully stress the importance of 'poverty eradication' as a common goal, and the road to achieve it passes through the strengthening of national markets and, above all, through investment in the development of human resources and through improving the capacity to participate in the opportunities offered by economic integration to the active population at first and then to the whole community. Together with infrastructure investment, investment in human capital is the decisive factor to ensure sustainable, rather than volatile, growth.

"The sole goal of development is not to make persons 'more productive' but rather to guarantee their dignity and improve their capacity to act freely.

"To speak of human capital and human resources means identifying the central element in the development process. Development is not only the elimination of poverty, but also better health and education, inclusion in society, and the full enjoyment of civil and political rights. The economic, social, cultural, and political dimensions of development are indissolubly linked. The nexus of these dimensions is the human person in all his or her relations.

"If men and women are to become protagonists, they need above all a family and social context in which they can be educated to meet the challenges of life with responsibility. Development policies then should become more creative in taking these aspects into account.

"Of equal importance to guarantee balanced development is the gender issue. Dealing with gender issues means adopting policies and behavior patterns which ensure the full integration of women, particularly young women, in the social fabric, thus guaranteeing them equality of rights and of access to education, health, and growth.

"The empowerment of women contributes to change and brings about immediate results as regards effectiveness, income growth, and enhanced investment in human capital.

Concrete support policies

"All actors, national and international, public and private, can guarantee better success if in their common goal they embrace a concept of development which deals simultaneously with the microeconomic aspect of assistance to the growth of individuals and of civil society and the national and international macroeconomic support policies.

"At the international level, support policies include: renewing the flow of ODA, adopting more advanced forms of debt relief to ensure social development, adopting common rules to control the volatility of financial markets, reviewing trade rules on markets which are crucial to the development of the poorer countries. The private sector, on the other hand, should feel a greater awareness of its responsibility to become involved as a protagonist in the pursuit of this development goal.

"In the present context of interdependence, States must engage in dialogue in order to identify the particular ways and means of their individual national development. Within this fine-tuning of the process, the basic responsibility rests with the individual government. Access to education and health, a better quality in public administration, good governance, education of public officials, inter alia, are all elements indispensable to ensure a sustainable development.

"It is not merely a matter of striking a balance between national and international responsibility but rather a matter of re-directing the joint action of the protagonists, simultaneously and coherently, towards the same goal: development widely shared by all elements of society and an equitable and fair international trade system . . ."


President Bush Has Deep Roots

by Michael Halm

Pollsters say that the American people know quite a bit about President George W. Bush. You likely know that he married his wife, Laura, in 1977, the same year he unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Congress. You likely also know their twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara, who have joined in his re-election campaign.

You know his father and mother, President George Howard Bush and Barbara Bush, and his brother, Florida governor Jeb Bush. The more well informed may even know that he has other brothers, Neil and Marvin, and a sister, Dorothy, and another sister, Robin, who died at age three from leukemia.

You might not know that his grandfather, Prescott Sheldon Bush, was elected to the Senate from Connecticut in 1952.

Going back down the family tree through Prescott's grandfather, Rev. James Smith Bush, we reach back through Harriet Eleanor and Samuel Howard Fay, Harriott Howard, Anna Lillie, Abigail Breck, Margaret, William and Nathaniel Thomas, and Deborah Jacobs to Mary Gilman. Mary was a sister-in-law of Edward Lincoln, President Abraham Lincoln's fourth great grandfather. That makes President George W. Bush and Abraham Lincoln seventh cousins five times removed.

That is not his only presidential root. His family's web-posted genealogy proves that "George W." is also related, on his mother's side, to at least 19 other presidents. Going back 15 generations, we reach the common ancestors of presidents Monroe and John Adams. Going back 16, he is descended from ancestors of John Quincy Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and William Henry Harrison. At 17, is George Washington's and William Harrison's, at 18, Millard Fillmore's, Grover Cleveland's, Teddy Roosevelt's, and William Howard Taft's. At 19, we reach Zachary Taylor's, FDR's, and Hayes'. At 21, Grant's and Nixon's, and at 23 through 25, Coolidge's, Ford's, and Pierce's.

This is about the distance of George W.'s common ancestor with his 20th cousin Queen Elizabeth II. So he is slightly more closely related to his 17th cousin three times removed, Princess Diana, than to Prince Charles.

He is a direct descendant of many warrior — and peacemaking — kings, such as Edward I (24 generations back), who took part in the 7th crusade and then fought rebellion in Gascony, Scotland, and Wales. Edward was able to make peace with France by marrying Margaret, Phillip III's sister and called the first Parliament.

Edward's father Henry III signed the Magna Charta. His grandfather, Henry II, developed the common law administered by royal courts and applicable to all of England.

His 28th great grandfather was called Edgar the Peaceful, and his 29th, Robert the Pious. His 31st, Alfred the Great, made peace with the Danes, codified laws, and promoted education. His 35th, Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne united Christendom and promoted education. His 36th, Louis the Pious, tried to reform both his court and the clergy. His 44th, Clovis, king of the Franks, helped spread the faith through Northern Europe. Between his 46th great grandfathers, Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity, while Emperor Theodosius the Great was excommunicated and then required to do public penance. His 63rd great grandfather was Mattahias, father of the Maccabees.

Bush's call to world leadership perhaps came from his (and America's) ethnic diversity — from Edward's wife, Eleanor of Castile; from 25th great grandfather, Louis VII of France; and 27th, Malcolm III of Scotland; 29th great grandmother, Ogive of Luxembourg; 30th great grandparents, Viking Sweyn Forkbeard and Gunhilda of Poland; 32nd great grandfather, Heinrich of Germany; 33rd, Hugh the Black and Bernard of Italy, 46th, Eoghan Owen Muinrevar of Ireland; 52nd, Frosti of Finland; 43rd great grandparents Huneric, king of the Vandals; 44th, Emperor Valentinian III; 59th great grandfather Hyrcanos, king of Judea; and 60th, Philopater Ptolemy IV, king of Egypt.

His call to righteousness may come from his praying ancestors. He is the direct descendant of several well-known saints. He is 22nd great grandson of St. Ferdinand III of Castile, founder of the University of Salamanca and fighter of the Moors. He is 27th great grandson of both Sts. David and Margaret of Scotland, and the 29th of St. Stephen of Hungary. St. Clotilda, queen of the Franks, who led her husband Clovis into the Church is Bush's 44th great grandmother, and St. Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine and discoverer of the true cross, is his 47th.


Light to the Nations

(A Christian Perspective on World News)

Africa Needs Justice and Peace

VATICAN CITY — Pope John Paul II called for Catholics to support their African brothers and sisters in a message to Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. The message dated May 21 stated: "On the occasion of the meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace on the theme: 'The economic and social development of Africa in the age of globalization,' I address an affectionate greeting to all the participants. Numerous hotbeds of violence are bathing Africa in blood, besides which AIDS and other pandemics, tragic poverty, and injustice still threaten the continent's future. Their negative consequences sign away the development of solidarity in Africa and the establishment of lasting peace in a just, equitable society. The continent is in urgent need of peace, justice, and reconciliation as well as the assistance of the industrialized countries, called to sustain the continent's development so that the African peoples may truly be the active subjects and protagonists of their own future. It is important, therefore, to train the young generations for their future responsibilities since they will be entrusted with society's organization. May the international community contribute with determination and generosity to promoting a society of justice and peace on the African continent! Catholic communities across the world are asked to support their brothers and sisters in Africa to enable them to lead a more human and fraternal life. As I entrust all the participants at this meeting to the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Africa, I impart a special Apostolic Blessing to them all."

(Source: L'Osservatore Romano English edition)

Sudan Causes Great Concern

VATICAN CITY— Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Papal Secretary of State, sent a letter, dated July 16, to Archbishop Paul Cordes, the Holy Father's envoy to Darfur, Sudan. The letter stated: "The recent agreement between the Government of Khartoum and the Sudanese People Liberation Army — Sudanese People Liberation Movement (SPLA-SPLM) — have opened some good possibilities for peace and development for the entire country. However, the serious humanitarian situation in Darfur, which has recently stirred up a public outcry, is a cause of great concern for Pope John Paul II. Through Your Excellency, the Holy Father wishes to send his greetings to the beloved Catholic community and to all people in Sudan who are in distress and in need, especially in the region of Darfur, and to assure them of his closeness, solidarity, and prayer, in particular for the refugees, who suffer on account of the ongoing conflicts and their grave consequences.

"It is the hope of the Holy Father that the people in Darfur will be given all necessary humanitarian aid, especially in the upcoming rainy season, during which time their survival will become even more difficult. He trusts that the Sudanese authorities, in partnership with the international community, will intensify their efforts to reach a just solution for Darfur. This will happen when the voice of the peoples of Darfur is heard and recognized, and when their fundamental human rights are respected, especially the right to life, to political and religious freedom, and to a peaceful existence in their own territories.

"The recognition of these rights of the various peoples of the Sudanese population will allow all citizens of the country, without distinction, to offer their own contribution to the building of a just society, based on solidarity and the good of each and every member. In particular, respect for the legitimate local authorities will ensure that the contrasts and problems of Darfur will not extend further or deepen, thus threatening to render vain the results of the peace accords between the North and the South, reached after prolonged and difficult negotiations. . ."

(Source: L'Osservatore Romano English edition)

New Creativity in Charity Needed

VATICAN CITY — Pope John Paul II addressed issues caused by extreme poverty in a letter to Cardinal Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. The letter, dated July 5, was sent on the occasion of an international initiative on poverty and globalization.

The Pope stated: ". . . The conditions of extreme poverty afflicting many millions of people are a cause of grave concern to the international community. The Church, committed to a 'preferential option for the poor,' naturally shares in that concern and strongly supports the Millennium goal of halving the number of people living in poverty by the year 2015. Through the many Catholic aid and development agencies she makes her own contribution to relief efforts, thereby continuing the work of Christ Himself, Who came to bring good news to the poor, to feed the hungry, to serve and not to be served. What is needed now is a new 'creativity' in charity (cf. Novo Millennio Ineunte, n. 50) so that ever more effective ways may be found of achieving a more just distribution of the world's resources.

"Much work has already been done to reduce the burden of debt afflicting poor countries, but more is needed if developing nations are to escape from the crippling effects of underinvestment and if developed countries are to fulfill their duty of solidarity with their less fortunate brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. In the short to medium term, a commitment to increase foreign aid seems the only way forward, and the Church, therefore, welcomes the search for innovative solutions, such as the International Finance Facility. She also encourages other initiatives being sponsored in many parts of the world both by various organizations of the United Nations and by individual governments. At the same time, financial support from wealthy nations places an obligation on the receiver to demonstrate transparency and accountability in the use made of such assistance. I am confident that the governments of rich and poor countries alike will take seriously their responsibilities towards each other and towards their people. . ."

(Source: L'Osservatore Romano English edition)


Pray The News

Because we are sons and daughters of God, saved by Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we do not merely read the news but make the news. We direct the course of world events by faith expressed in action and intercession. Please pray for the stories covered in this paper. Clip out this intercessory list and make it part of your daily prayer.

  • We pray that we will thirst for the salvation of souls and reach many with the Gospel.
  • We pray that the Church will grow around Christ in the Eucharist.
  • We pray for the peoples of Africa, and especially for peace, justice, and reconciliation.
  • We pray for a just distribution of the world's resources.
  • We pray especially for the peoples of Sudan and Uganda and for an end to war, violence, poverty, and starvation, and for the needs of refugees. We pray for the world to respond with compassion and assistance.
  • We pray for the annual Celebration For Life to touch many hearts and minds and to result in the saving of many lives.
  • We pray that sports and tourism will be vehicles for promoting understanding.
  • We pray that we will love and obey the Word of God.



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