Nation and World News

Important events in the life of Pope John Paul II

Important events and dates in the life of Pope John Paul II.

  • Born Karol Wojtyla in Wadowice, a city in southern Poland, on May 18, 1920.
  • Saw his mother, Emilia, die in 1929, elder brother Edmund, a doctor, die in 1932, and his father, also named Karol, die in 1941.
  • Enrolled in Krakow’s Jagiellonian University in 1938 to study drama. The university was closed the following year by the Nazi invasion that began World War II, and Wojtyla worked in a quarry, then a chemical factory.

Biblical cure for depression noted

The Bible contains evidence that depression was experienced in ancient times and outlines the kind of spiritual activity needed to combat it, a Vatican official said.VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Bible contains evidence that depression was experienced in ancient times and outlines the kind of spiritual activity needed to combat it, a Vatican official said.

In particular, the hope of everlasting salvation offered by Christianity is an antidote to the fear and anguish that leads to depression, Portuguese Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins told a Vatican conference Nov. 13.

Papal Audience

VATICAN CITY (CNS) - Here is the Vatican text of Pope John Paul II's remarks at a recent general audience.

Dear brothers and sisters,

Psalm 148 is a great cosmic "alleluia." All creation - everything in the heavens, on the earth and under the earth - is called upon to sing praise to God, the maker of all that exists. Our voices, too, join this immense chorus in praising the Lord. He is above all creation, and his love for us is without end.

Bishop Curry named ombudsman for Catholic News Service

The chairman of the U.S. bishops' Subcommittee for Catholic News Service will serve as a year-round ombudsman through which bishops can channel any comments about the news agency, Bishop Joseph A. Galante announced June 15.

ATLANTA (CNS) - The chairman of the U.S. bishops' Subcommittee for Catholic News Service will serve as a year-round ombudsman through which bishops can channel any comments about the news agency, Bishop Joseph A. Galante announced June 15.

Bishop Galante, coadjutor bishop of Dallas and chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Communications, made the announcement at the bishops' spring meeting in Atlanta during a 30-minute discussion by the bishops on the role and mission of CNS.

Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Curry of Los Angeles is current chairman of the CNS subcommittee.

The role of ombudsman "is an accepted one in journalistic practice," Bishop Galante said, adding that giving bishops a chance to raise their concerns at any time - instead of only before the subcommittee's annual meeting in March - will provide quicker responses to questions raised.

The Bishop said CNS has operated with "editorial freedom" and as "a genuine news service" since its founding in 1919. He told the bishops that CNS' primary service is to "our newspapers," with 156 out of 169 diocesan newspapers subscribing.

"Given the reliance of so many Catholic media organizations on CNS, any change in its mission and function" could also affect the bishops' own newspapers, Bishop Galante said.

Each bishop at the meeting also received a packet of materials about CNS, including a report from the subcommittee's most recent meeting, a historical overview of the news service, statistics about the stories it uses, and a talk by and letter from Archbishop John P. Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, praising CNS' role in the U.S. Catholic press.

At its June 7 meeting, the subcommittee expressed "unanimous support for the current mission of CNS," Bishop Galante said.

After his presentation, some bishops expressed concerns about the news service while others took the occasion to praise its unique role.

Bishop John J. Myers of Peoria, Ill., said CNS editors "have a great deal of control" in the selection and editing of stories.

But Bishop Galante responded that "the biggest control comes from your own diocesan newspapers" whose editors decide whether to use or reject a particular story. "It remains for the (diocesan) editors to decide," he said.

Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan of Albuquerque, N.M., said having an editorially independent news service "helps our credibility to the rest of the media."

"American society today requires openness and honesty," he said. "To have the openness and honesty our news service provides is a very great resource ... to us and to the Church in the United States."

Cardinal Bernard F. Law of Boston said CNS should be "a news service that functions in the culture of the Church, the moral teaching of the Church."

Papal Audience

VATICAN CITY (CNS) - Here is the Vatican text of Pope John Paul II's remarks at a recent general audience.

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today's canticle is a joyous hymn to the Lord, who cares for his people and protects them in peril and difficulty. The canticle can be read as Moses calling on the elements of the universe - the heavens and the earth - to testify to God's unfailing love.

The canticle is a lively expression of Israel's faith in God who is always "just and right," even when his fidelity is met with indifference. For us today it can become an examination of conscience to see if we respond with love to God's enduring goodness toward us.

Papal Audience

VATICAN CITY (CNS) - Here is the Vatican text of Pope John Paul II's remarks at a recent general audience.

Dear brothers and sisters,

Psalm 92 (91) is a hymn of praise to God the creator. In it, the figure of the wicked person and that of the righteous are presented in stark contrast. The wicked have hearts and minds filled with evil. In the end they are destined to perish.

The righteous, on the other hand, are filled with strength by the Lord. They will flourish and sing forever the praises of God, who anoints them with the oil of gladness and enlightens them with the knowledge of salvation. The hope of the righteous finds its ultimate foundation in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the source of new and everlasting life for all who believe.

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