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In the News: Briefs
Updates about the Holy Father and news from Marians Worldwide.

"Mobilize consciences" against war, pope urges

On Jan 1, Pope John Paul II proposed a "global mobilization of consciences" against negative forces that "are bent on making the world a theater of war."

The pontiff made his proposal at the end of Mass on the World Day of Peace. This year the motto for the day was, "No peace without justice; no justice without forgiveness."

"In a globalized world, where threats to justice and peace have large-scale repercussions to the detriment of the weakest, the global mobilization of consciences is an imperative," he said during his Angelusmessage after Mass.

"Unfortunately, at this time of history, preoccupations and difficulties place obstacles on this road," the pope said. "However, it cannot and must not be abandoned. There must be a response of justice and love to negative forces, guided by perverse interests, which are bent on making the world a theater of war."

The Holy Father emphasized, "In fact, there is no possibility of re-establishing the broken order if justice and forgiveness are not combined. Together, we must be firmly opposed to the temptation to hatred and violence, which only gives the illusion of resolving conflicts, but ends in real and permanent losses."

At Mass, John Paul II ended his homily by joining his voice to those who appeal for peace in the Holy Land. "The voice of blood cries out to God from that land -- the blood of brothers shed by brothers," he said.

During the Prayer of the Faithful, a young woman spoke in Hebrew and called for prayers for "the family, states, and the international community," and for "understanding that the ability to forgive is the foundation of all plans for a society of fraternity, justice, and solidarity." A Portuguese youth invited the faithful to pray "for the men who are committed to terrorism" and asked the Lord "to show them the truth and deliver them from their spirit of vengeance."

Pope Paul VI established the World Day of Peace 35 years ago.

(Based on a Zenitnews story, Jan. 1.)

Brit Hume: "Sept. 11 a clarifying moment" for U.S.

At a benefit for Friends of the Needy, held on Nov. 9 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Pittsfield, MA, Brit Hume addressed the topic of faith and politics in Washington, DC. The chief Washington correspondent for Fox News emphasized how Sept. 11 had brought this topic into "sharper focus" for the entire nation.

"September 11 was a clarifying moment in American history," he said. "We're talking about acts of evil -- pure, unmitigated evil -- when it comes to these terrorist attacks on our land. This day in infamy has marked a change in our national discourse. And since then, Americans, by the millions, have turned to prayer."

Hume believes that our country has been blessed with strong moral leadership in confronting this evil. "President George W. Bush sees this evil for what it is, is willing to name it, and to fight it," said Hume.

"This is because he is a man of faith," Hume explained. "I discovered that when I interviewed him shortly after he was inaugurated and asked him about his faith. The president said that he reads the Bible every morning and frequently prays when he is in the Oval Office. Faith is an integral part of his routine."

In summing up his thoughts on Sept. 11, Hume said, "There's something biblical about a man of faith serving in the White House after being elected by the narrowest of margins and now our nation turning back to faith and bedrock values in a way unprecedented in contemporary history. Can anyone imagine a nation better equipped to wage this fight against terrorism?"

A crowd of nearly 100 gathered to hear Hume speak, according to Fr. Shaun O'Connor, MIC, master of ceremonies for the evening and founder of Friends of the Needy. The benefit included a tour of Convent Gardens -- the facility being renovated to provide affordable housing for low-income seniors in Pittsfield. Among those attending was Stockbridge-based Provincial Superior, Very Rev. Fr. Walter M. Dziordz, MIC.

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