RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service Charles Colson’s Civil Rights Reinstated By Florida Gov. Bush (RNS) Former Watergate figure-turned-evangelical activist Charles Colson was given his civil rights back 25 years after he was sent to jail for his role in the Watergate coverup. Colson, 68, was the special counsel to former President Richard Nixon and spent seven months in federal prison for his role in the Watergate scandal. After his release in 1975, Colson founded Prison Fellowship, an evangelical prison ministry based in Virginia. Florida Gov. Jeb Bush restored Colson’s civil rights _ including the right to vote, practice law and serve on a jury _ after his name and 21 others were sent to him by the state’s Parole Commission.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service Charles Colson’s Civil Rights Reinstated By Florida Gov. Bush (RNS) Former Watergate figure-turned-evangelical activist Charles Colson was given his civil rights back 25 years after he was sent to jail for his role in the Watergate coverup. Colson, 68, was the special counsel to former President Richard Nixon and spent seven months in federal prison for his role in the Watergate scandal. After his release in 1975, Colson founded Prison Fellowship, an evangelical prison ministry based in Virginia. Florida Gov. Jeb Bush restored Colson’s civil rights _ including the right to vote, practice law and serve on a jury _ after his name and 21 others were sent to him by the state’s Parole Commission.

NEWS STORY: Pope Names Drexel, Chinese Martyrs New Saints

c. 2000 Religion News Service VATICAN CITY _ Putting aside a bitter attack by Beijing and ignoring rainy weather, Pope John Paul II elevated 120 Chinese martyrs, Philadelphia heiress Katharine Drexel, a former slave from Sudan and the Basque founder of a nursing order to sainthood Sunday (Oct. 1) at an outdoor Mass attended by 100,000 pilgrims. The Roman Catholic pontiff praised the new saints as “models of sanctity” and linked their canonizations to appeals for an end to conflict in Sudan and Spain’s northern Basque country. He praised Drexel for combating “all forms of racism” and said Josephine Bakhita, known as “the holy slave,” showed victimized women the way to “genuine emancipation.” The 80-year-old John Paul, wearing green and gold vestments, concelebrated the three-hour Mass with 53 green-robed prelates, including Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua of Philadelphia , Archbishop Francis Schulte of New Orleans and the Rev. Giovanni Munari, an Italian priest who was Bakhita’s confessor. Among the pilgrims sitting under a sea of umbrellas on long rows of plastic chairs set up on the cobblestones of St.

NEWS STORY: Pope Says Chinese Saints Honored for Faith, Not Historical Reasons

c. 2000 Religion News Service VATICAN CITY _ In an attempt to placate an angry Beijing, Pope John Paul II said Monday (Oct. 2) that in proclaiming 120 Chinese martyrs as saints he sought not to make judgments about history but rather to highlight the martyrs’ “heroic fidelity” to their faith. Addressing pilgrims who came to Rome for the canonizations Sunday of the Chinese martyrs and three nuns from the United States, Sudan and Spain’s Basque country, the pope also appealed for an end to violent clashes in Jerusalem that have taken at least 47 lives and jeopardized the Middle East peace process. “Spiritually close to the families of the so many who have lost their lives, I direct my grieved appeal to all in responsibility that the arms may fall silent, provocations be avoided and the road of dialogue be taken once more,” John Paul said of the Mideast fighting.

NEWS STORY: Pope Takes Responsibility for Controversial Salvation Document

c. 2000 Religion News Service VATICAN CITY _ Taking full responsibility for a controversial Vatican document on the primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II expressed hope Sunday (Oct. 1) that it will serve to clarify the position of the church and prevent dialogue with other faiths from degenerating into “empty verbosity.” In reporting the pope’s statement on Monday (Oct. 2), L’Osservatore Romano leveled a highly unusual attack on Cardinal Edward Cassidy, the prelate in charge of ecumenical and interfaith dialogue, for criticizing the language and tone of the document in interviews last week. Without mentioning Cassidy by name, the newspaper said strong reservations had been expressed within the church about the “Declaration Dominus Iesus,” issued Sept.

NEWS FEATURE: Jewish New Year Ushers in `Jubilee’ Dilemma for Israeli Farmers

c. 2000 Religion News Service MOSHAV BEIT ZAYIT, Israel _ Young lettuce shoots are pushing up from pots in Eldad Avidar’s greenhouse, corn silks are turning dark on the stalk, and the fruit trees are heavy with big red pomegranates whose ripening signals the Jewish holiday season marked by Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Succot. But the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashana, which began at sundown Sept. 29, also signals the start of Israel’s special “shmita” year when farmers like Avidar, 73, will be confronted with the modern dilemma of an ancient biblical tradition commanding them to cease farming and observe a “sabbatical.” According to ancient biblical law, Jewish farmers tilling the land of Israel were commanded to observe the sabbatical for one year out of every seven, abstaining from sowing, cultivation and weeding. During the year, animals were grazed on the uncultivated pasture, and the poor were granted access to the produce that grew spontaneously from fields and orchards belonging to wealthier landowners.

NEWS FEATURE: Jewish New Year Ushers in `Jubilee’ Dilemma for Israeli Farmers

c. 2000 Religion News Service MOSHAV BEIT ZAYIT, Israel _ Young lettuce shoots are pushing up from pots in Eldad Avidar’s greenhouse, corn silks are turning dark on the stalk, and the fruit trees are heavy with big red pomegranates whose ripening signals the Jewish holiday season marked by Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Succot. But the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashana, which began at sundown Sept. 29, also signals the start of Israel’s special “shmita” year when farmers like Avidar, 73, will be confronted with the modern dilemma of an ancient biblical tradition commanding them to cease farming and observe a “sabbatical.” According to ancient biblical law, Jewish farmers tilling the land of Israel were commanded to observe the sabbatical for one year out of every seven, abstaining from sowing, cultivation and weeding. During the year, animals were grazed on the uncultivated pasture, and the poor were granted access to the produce that grew spontaneously from fields and orchards belonging to wealthier landowners.

NEWS STORY: Pleas to End Palestinian-Jewish Violence Going Unheeded

c. 2000 Religion News Service JERUSALEM _ A few lone Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious and lay leaders on Monday (Oct. 2) made isolated calls for a halt to the Jewish-Arab violence that has wracked Israel and the Palestinian territories over the past five days. But the peace calls were largely drowned out by rounds of mutual recriminations between Jews and Arabs over the issue of who bore responsibility for the clashes that have left nearly 40 Palestinians and two Israelis dead, as well as hundreds wounded. One 30-year-old Arab Israeli demonstrator was killed Monday in a second day of violent battles with Israeli police in the Galilee city of Nazareth, which was the focus of a pilgrimage tour by Pope John Paul II last March.

NEWS STORY: Pleas to End Palestinian-Jewish Violence Going Unheeded

c. 2000 Religion News Service JERUSALEM _ A few lone Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious and lay leaders on Monday (Oct. 2) made isolated calls for a halt to the Jewish-Arab violence that has wracked Israel and the Palestinian territories over the past five days. But the peace calls were largely drowned out by rounds of mutual recriminations between Jews and Arabs over the issue of who bore responsibility for the clashes that have left nearly 40 Palestinians and two Israelis dead, as well as hundreds wounded. One 30-year-old Arab Israeli demonstrator was killed Monday in a second day of violent battles with Israeli police in the Galilee city of Nazareth, which was the focus of a pilgrimage tour by Pope John Paul II last March.