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October 27, 2003

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International Briefs
From Catholic News Service

Bishops must be authoritative teachers: Pope

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In societies where public life seems to have lost all reference to faith and values, bishops must redouble their efforts to be authoritative teachers, Pope John Paul II said. "England and Wales, despite being steeped in a rich Christian heritage, today face the pervasive advance of secularism," the pope told bishops making their "ad limina" visits to the Vatican. Bishops make such visits every five years to report on the status of their dioceses. The growth of secularism leads to extreme individualism, a loss of a sense of right and wrong, the disintegration of families, racial tensions and divided communities, the pope said in his Oct. 23 message to the bishops. "A vision of humanity apart from God and removed from Christ" promotes an idea that each individual can define right and wrong and, "consequently destroys the mutual bonds which define social living," the pope said.

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Bishop honoured for stance against Iraq war

NOTRE DAME, Ind. (CNS) -- The U.S. bishop who instructed Catholics that the war in Iraq was unjust and that cooperation in the war was a mortal sin was honored Oct. 11 by the Catholic Peace Fellowship at a conference at the University of Notre Dame. The Catholic Peace Fellowship, originally founded in 1964 with the help of Dorothy Day and Fathers Daniel Berrigan, a Jesuit, and Thomas Merton, a Trappist, gave its first St. Marcellus Award to Bishop John M. Botean of the Romanian Diocese of St. George in Canton, Ohio. In a letter issued last Lent, Bishop Botean instructed the Catholics in his care that "any direct participation and support for this war against the people of Iraq is objectively grave evil, a matter of mortal sin." The bishop concluded "with moral certainty" that the war does not meet the minimum requirements of the Catholic just-war theory. The award was given in "grateful recognition of his courageous moral leadership as a true peacemaker in the Catholic Church."

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Actor Montalban gets Catholic group's award

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (CNS) -- Catholics in Media Associates honored actor Ricardo Montalban with a lifetime achievement award Oct. 19 at the group's 11th annual Mass and awards luncheon in Beverly Hills. It was "my tenacity and faith that has seen me through my many years in entertainment," said Montalban, honored for his body of work including "Fantasy Island," "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" and more than 50 performances in movies in Mexico, Europe and the United States. The veteran actor was also recognized for his years of philanthropic activity, including the founding of Nosotros, which seeks to improve the image and employment of Hispanics in the entertainment industry. Receiving the award for motion picture was the producer-writer-director of "Seabiscuit," Gary Ross. The award for television series was presented to NBC's "American Dreams" and its executive producer, Jonathan Prince.

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Pope creates 30 cardinals

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In a ceremony that combined solemn tradition and the cheers of the faithful, Pope John Paul II created 30 new cardinals and asked them to be "fearless witnesses of Christ and his Gospel" on every continent. The liturgy Oct. 21 in a sunlit St. Peter's Square highlighted the international mix of the College of Cardinals, the group that will one day elect a new pope. New members from 22 countries were added, including Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia. The pope said the new cardinals reflected the "multiplicity of races and cultures that make up the Christian population." He also created one cardinal "in pectore," or in his heart, withholding publication of his name. In his sermon and prayers, the pope emphasized the cardinals' special duty to preach the Gospel and serve others. "Only if you become the servants of all will you complete your mission and help the successor of Peter to be, in turn, the 'servant of the servants of God,'" he said in his sermon, which was read by an aide.

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Mother Teresa's rapport with the Pope

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- When Pope John Paul II beatified Mother Teresa of Calcutta, he advanced the sainthood cause of a dear friend. Blessed Mother Teresa, the Missionaries of Charity founder beatified Oct. 19, and Pope John Paul knew each other before he became pope in 1978. In 1973, the two attended a eucharistic congress in Melbourne, Australia. In his private notes from that time, then-Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Krakow, Poland, mentioned that the presence of Mother Teresa at the congress, in a location close to the problems of the Third World, "was very significant; her congregation is actively involved in the problems of the poverty of that society." Early in his pontificate, the two had a relationship such that Mother Teresa was welcomed in 1982 when she arrived at Castel Gandolfo, the summer papal residence, and interrupted a conversation between the pope and an Italian youth organization. News clips over the years paint a picture of the pope and Mother Teresa's regular visits with each other, often with Mother Teresa leaving Rome with something she needed.

Copyright (c) 2003 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The CNS news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed, including but not limited to such means as framing or any other digital copying or distribution method, in whole or in part without the prior written authority of Catholic News Service.

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