"...and all the world wondered after the beast" Revelation 13:3

Ex Jesuit Priest Alberto Rivera states... "The main underlying Roman Catholic purpose is to infiltrate, and penetrate all the areas of life, were the Roman Catholic Church can have control with excess in a One World Government. ...this have been in preparation especially since the formation of the Jesuit order in 1541 to infiltrate absolutely every area of society so as to take over the world politically and religiously. The two main doctrines of Catholicism that define this are... The doctrine of the Apostolic succession, which is actually the Papacy. And the  doctrine of temporal power which is secular government.  The office of Pope illustrates this easily... The Pope is the head of the Church as well as the head of the State of Rome."

The only hope for this western world is an alliance between the Roman Catholic church which is the most commonly, influential, controlling, unifying, element, in Europe and the western orthodox church. ...The only hope for the western world lies then in a united Europe under the control of the Pope. -Charles Malik former president general assembly of the united nations. Ambassador to the U.S. from Lebanon.

Not only is it prophetically of the Beast of Revelation to look for this "One World Church" It is also totally against the Word of God to do as the Popeis doing...

2 Corinthians 6:17, "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,"
2 John 1:9-10, "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:"

Lutherans will press on toward "full communion" with Episcopalians

Multi-faith Coronation for Charles


'Earth Charter' calls for global society  


Resolution Condemns Bob Jones U.  

50,000 Christians...

National Council of Church to meet with Catholics and Evangelicals

US Lawmaker wants Hindu priest to open session

Catholics, Anglicans take next step to reunification

Hispanics seek unity

Black Church Leaders Seek Vatican link


College students plans massive rally

Pope welcomes Moroccon King as descendent of Islam's founder


Catholic and Pentecostal leaders confessed sins   



Baptists donate their $1.5 Million building to a nearby Pentacostal Church  



Eucharistic Congress opens with Prayer for Unity  

U.S. Borders 'likely to disappear'  

France to crackdown on sects  



National Council of Churches moves toward bigger tent RELIGION  


Christians, Muslims, and Jewish inmates sharing their faith

A bevy of activity  

G-8 May Reduce More Nation's Debts  

Greece looks to tax The Orthodox Church  

UN proposes Global Welfare

Pastor lures people to church with money  

UN's Charter for Global Democracy  


Treaties the "ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT" is to enforce

Italy Forgives Poor Countries of $6 Billion in Debt  


Episcopalian, Lutherans Celebrate Alliance  

Charter 99... A GLOBAL DEMOCRACY   

Episcopals Okay Full Communion with Lutherans  

News Article: US proposal approved for new world criminal court  

Pope Calls Orthodox Presence in Rome a Gesture of Hope  

The One World FLAG?   

Millennium Madness at the U.N

The U.N. and it's GLOBAL agenda

Chicago OK's Ten Commandment covers  

News Agency Discloses "New Age" background in World Summit's Organizers  

Muslims now praying to Mary  


State of the World Forum to Advance. GLOBAL GOVERNANCE for everyone 

UN Security Council set to hold summit   

Annan launches 'Global Compact'   

Fed Chairman Defends Globalization   

Lutherans will press on toward "full communion" with Episcopalians

Despite opposition, Lutherans will press on toward "full communion" with Episcopalians, an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America governing body has decided. The 5.2 million-member denomination's Church Council, meeting in Chicago last weekend, voted overwhelmingly to implement an agreement with the 
2.4-million-member Episcopal Church on Jan. 1, The Chicago Tribune said.
...Full communion means the two mainline Protestant denominations agree to share their clergy and congregations, and to express a common core theology. The ELCA Churchwide Assembly approved the agreement last summer, and the Episcopal Church is expected to approve it this summer.
...There has been persistent opposition to the pact. The agreement has been commended as an important move toward Christian unity, but a sticking point is the role of bishops.
Episcopalians elect bishops for life and believe their authority stretches back in an unbroken line of succession to Jesus' disciples. The pact requires that new ELCA bishops be consecrated by Episcopal bishops who are in that historic succession, known as the "historic episcopate," and that all clergy be ordained by the laying-on of hands by properly consecrated bishops.
...More than 1,000 Lutherans who object to the change in the role of bishops met last month in Mahtomedi, Minn., as part of the WordAlone Network (see link #1 below). They don't oppose the Lutheran-Episcopal alliance, but said they believe the historic episcopate weakens the Lutheran tradition of the priesthood of all believers, news reports said. 4-13-00 by the Editors of ReligionToday

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Multi-faith Coronation for Charles 

THE Prince of Wales could be crowned King in a multi-faith inauguration ceremony rather than the 1,000-year-old Coronation service, under proposals to tackle "religious discrimination" being considered by the Government.

A report commissioned by Jack Straw claims that the establishment of the Church of England causes "religious disadvantage" to other faiths and Christian denominations. The coronation ceremony, conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, in which the monarch swears to uphold the Protestant faith, may no longer be appropriate in modern, multi-cultural Britain, it says.

The sovereign's role as Supreme Governor of the Church of England and "Defender of the Faith" should also be reviewed. The paper, an interim report on religious discrimination, puts disestablishment of the Church of England firmly on the Government's agenda for the first time since Labour came to power.

Maintaining the exclusive link between Church and state may not be "the best or the most appropriate way forward in terms of the need to embody the principles of equity, inclusivity and participation in the contemporary plural society of the United Kingdom", it says.

Tony Blair has always shied away from the issue, insisting that he would not support disestablishment. However, he has become increasingly interested in the relationship between Christianity and other faiths. The Government would almost certainly resist severing the link altogether but senior figures think other religions should have a greater role in national life, just as representatives of other faiths are to be given seats in the Lords along with Anglican bishops.

The Church of England is itself considering ways to be more "inclusive". The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, is reported to have told an audience in his diocese that he expects the Church one day to be disestablished.

The Home Office report, by Prof Paul Weller and a team at Derby university, says the next coronation will be the next focus of controversy which the Government should tackle as a matter of urgency. It says: "Coronations are state events which, historically, have expressed the close symbolic relationship between established religion and the state.

"The religious composition of society has changed significantly since the last coronation and the next coronation will therefore highlight a series of very important issues and complexities, which it would be best to begin giving consideration to as soon as possible."

Some Anglican bishops, including Dr David Hope, the Archbishop of York, have already been considering changes to the ritual , which has been a Christian ceremony since 973, when Edgar was crowned by Archbishop Dunstan at Bath. Proposals, which include involving other religious leaders, rewriting the oath and abandoning the eucharist, have been discussed.

Senior clergymen believe the next coronation cannot take the same form as the last ceremony, in 1953, when the Queen pledged to "preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England". The Prince of Wales has made clear that he wants to be the "defender of faith" rather than the "defender of the faith", in order to reflect the number of religions practised in Britain.

The Home Office paper criticises the "historically rooted religious disadvantage" to other faiths and Christian denominations caused by the establishment of the Church of England. This includes the fact that Roman Catholics are not allowed to succeed to the Throne and that the monarch has to swear an oath of allegiance to the Protestant church, it says.

The ban on the monarch marrying a Roman Catholic - which has been the subject of debate in the Scottish Parliament and at Westminster - and on Roman Catholic priests sitting in the Commons are also highlighted.

Although the report acknowledges that establishment is supported by many other religious leaders because it raises the profile of religion generally, it says that the Church of England's "special position" also makes other faiths feel excluded from society and should be subjected to "rigorous questioning".

Christianity has had a "privileged presence, sometimes as of right and sometimes as a consequence of tradition" which Judaism, Islam or Hinduism have not had, it concludes. Mr Straw commissioned the report following calls from Muslims for the law to be changed to ban religious discrimination. At the moment, Sikhs and Jews are protected because they are classified as a "race" but Muslims, Christians and Buddhists are not.

The researchers point out that the Human Rights Act, which takes effect in October, specifically protects people from discrimination on the grounds of religion and could lead to legal challenges if nothing is done. A Home Office spokesman said the report "is being looked at very thoroughly by the Home Office but nothing has been taken on board yet".

Philip Mawer, secretary general of the Archbishop's Council, said: "Coronations are primarily a statement of the sovereign's accountability; they emphasise the duty and service of the sovereign to the nation under God." -Rachel Sylvester

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Key Is "Globalization" of Solidarity and Cooperation

VATICAN CITY, APR 7 ( Wars, poverty, natural disasters: old
problems that are taking place in a new global context and, therefore,
must be addressed from a new perspective: that of cooperation. This was,
in essence, the message that John Paul II expressed to U.N. Secretary
General, Kofi Annan, this morning. Annan arrived in the company of
officials of the U.N. Coordination Administrative Committee. Also
present at the meeting were directors of the World Bank and
International Monetary Fund.

New Situation
The Pope made it very clear that the U.N. and international institutions
must address a new reality that challenges because "unbounded expansion
of world commerce and the amazing progress in the fields of technology,
communications and information exchange are all part of a dynamic
process that tends to abolish the distances separating peoples and
continents. However, the ability to exercise influence in this new
global setting is not the same for all nations, but is more or less tied
to a country's economic and technological capacity. The new situation is
such that, in many cases, decisions with worldwide consequences are made
only by a small, restricted group of nations."

Moreover, the Holy Father stated that the "majority of the world's
nations, therefore, are experiencing a weakening of the State in its
capacity to serve the common good and promote social justice and
harmony." He concluded that the "globalization of the economy is leading
to a globalization of society and culture."

New Responses
In face of these new challenges, John Paul II also spoke about the
advent of new responses. He mentioned the importance of NGOs at the
international level. The great novelty of these institutions is their
capacity to go beyond national peculiarities and promote "a holistic
vision of development." Specifically, the Holy Father referred to "their
increasing success in creating keener awareness in industrialized
countries of their shared responsibility for the problems facing less
developed countries." This is a phenomenon that can be seen, for
example, in the campaign for the cancellation of the foreign debt of the
poorest countries, which has been promoted by these institutions. In
this way, the Pope pointed out, they have created a greater feeling of
international solidarity.

Globalizing Society
This "new awareness in society presents the United Nations system with a
unique opportunity to contribute to the globalization of solidarity by
serving as a meeting place for States and civil society and as a
convergence of the varied interests and needs -- regional and particular
-- of the world at large," the Pontiff said.

Therefore, the key, according to the Pope, lies in cooperation among the
international agencies and the NGOs. This cooperation "will help to
ensure that the different groups within them, will not be invoked or
defended at the expense of the interests or rights of other peoples,
especially the less fortunate."

The Holy Father went on to say that "political and economic activity
conducted in a spirit of international solidarity can and ought to lead
to the voluntary limitation of unilateral advantages so that other
countries and peoples may share in the same benefits."

Great Danger
However, John Paul II admitted to Kofi Annan and his collaborators a
grave concern of his at this time. International institutions are not
meeting these objectives. "I see that certain groups try to impose on
the international community ideological views or patterns of life
advocated by small and particular segments of society. This is perhaps
most obvious in such fields as the defense of life and the safeguarding
of the family. The leaders of Nations must be careful not to overturn
what the international community and law have laboriously developed to
preserve the dignity of the human person and the cohesion of society.
This is a common patrimony, which no one has the right to dissipate

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'Earth Charter' calls for global society

By Jon E. Dougherty
© 2000

In a bid to form a single global community, a group calling itself the Earth Council has drafted a new "Earth Charter" that calls for all nations to surrender their sovereignty for the "greater good" of a singular global order.

The Charter, which was finalized at a meeting held at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, headquarters in Paris March 12-14, said that in order to "move forward" as humans, "we must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace.

"Towards this end," the Charter preamble states, "it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations."

As in similar charters and global declarations put forth by other United Nations groups and affiliates, the Earth Charter claims, "dominant patterns of production and consumption are causing environmental devastation, the depletion of resources, and a massive extinction of species." The Charter also adopts a class-warfare argument, stating that "benefits of development are not shared equitably and the gap between rich and poor is widening."

Such gaps, the document claims, have led to increased "poverty, ignorance, and violent conflict" throughout the world, though the Charter's authors don't define the problem with specifics.

Furthermore, the Charter claims that without universal participation by all nations, humanity risks "the destruction of [itself] and the diversity of life."

"To realize these aspirations," the Charter says, "we must decide to live with a sense of universal responsibility, identifying ourselves with the whole Earth community as well as our local communities. We are at once citizens of different nations and of one world in which the local and global are linked."

Other high points enumerated in the Charter include:


Making a commitment to such sweeping change, the Charter said, "requires a change of mind and heart" and a "commitment to the United Nations." Governments are chided to "fulfill their obligations under existing international agreements," and to "support the implementation of Earth Charter principles with an international legally binding instrument on environment and development."

Henry Lamb, executive director of Sovereignty International and Eco-Logic, characterized the Earth Charter as little more than a "polished" version of earlier U.N.-based documents that have also called for the creation of a "global community."

"This particular document has had a few of the words that could be considered controversial taken out of it," said Lamb, a frequent columnist for WorldNetDaily. "Other than that, it's really just more of the same thing -- more global government, more global control and less national sovereignty."

Fortunately, said Lamb, the Earth Charter, while filled with "grandiose ideals" lacks "enforcement" power, at least for now.

"Right now the only global authority that has enforcement power is the World Trade Organization," he said, adding there was talk that soon the WTO could also be used to enforce new international environmental and human rights treaties as well.

Lamb said the Earth Charter is "following the same path" as an earlier document released by U.N.-based groups, known as the Declaration on Human Rights.

"That one (the declaration) also lacked the 'hard law' and legally binding language," he said, "but the new Charter is leading another one called the 'International Covenant on Environment and Development.'"

The Covenant document is the one that "contains all the 'put-them-in-jail' requirements," he said.

Once all the appropriate agreements have been made, Lamb said, member states and signatories acting on behalf of U.N. agencies created to "try" the cases in an international court of law would handle eventual enforcement of the provisions contained in them.

In a related story, on Thursday Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C. hosted the 15-member United Nations Security Council on an unprecedented tour of Capitol Hill while urging the members to reform the world body.

Helms, a long time critic of the U.N., visited the General Assembly in January to deliver a speech rebutting the body's claims that the United States had not done its fair share to shoulder the costs and burdens of many of the U.N.'s missions, including military peacekeeping.

Some members of the Security Council criticized Helms' viewpoints and the senator's sponsorship of a bill to pay $819 million in assessed arrearages to the U.N. only if the world body makes some significant reforms as to how funds are dispersed and spent.

Netherlands Ambassador to the U.N. Arnold Peter van Walsum hinted to Helms that the U.S. was essentially blackmailing the U.N. because members know the world body cannot succeed without U.S. funding and participation.

"We are not persuaded by your arguments, but by our enlightened self-interest," van Walsum said in comments before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which Helms chairs.

Britain's U.N. Ambassador questioned why other U.N. members should pay their dues if the U.S. would only pay them under certain conditions.

"Is the United States prepared to invest in a United Nations that will not realize its full potential without that investment?" he said.

Sen. John Warner, R-Va., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, backed Helms' claims of misspent funds to some degree when he chastised U.N. Security Council members over the spiraling costs and numbers of U.N. peacekeeping missions.

"You're heavily involved in Bosnia and Kosovo," Warner said, adding, "Don't take on more than you can do, and do effectively."

According to language in the Earth Charter, however, on the surface it does not appear as though the U.N. has suddenly become less ambitious or more frugal.

Under the sub-chapter of "Social and Economic Justice," the Charter calls for "social security and safety nets for those who are unable to support themselves" -- a provision that would be funded, ostensibly, through a system of wealth redistribution outlined in earlier sections.

Furthermore, Lamb said, it was "interesting" to note the expense the U.N. shoulders to sponsor global symposia and forums, often having to fly representatives from a large number of member states to distant locations. While there, he said, it's common to see the world body spending lavishly on accommodations, which seems, he added, to belie the UN's stated goal of helping impoverished peoples.

"I've been to a great many U.N.-sponsored events," Lamb told WorldNetDaily, "and it always amazes me to see how many representatives fall for this stuff simply because they don't want to be blacklisted for the next U.N. conference.

"Sometimes it seems like it's not about getting real work done, but just about being there," he said.

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ACNS 1989 · 17 January 2000 · England


[ESBVM Newsletter] The Archbishop of Canterbury has accepted an invitation to become a patron of the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary (ESBVM). In his letter of acceptance, Dr Carey wrote: "The ESBVM has had an important place in the ecumenical landscape for many years and has made a significant contribution to the unity of God's Church. I am very pleased to be associated with this important work."

At the opening of the new Anglican Centre in Rome in February 1999, the Archbishop recalled how he had once spent three weeks at the Centre, and then later returned for private study on the Roman Catholic teaching on the Virgin Mary. He said this time had changed his ecumenical outlook.

At a reception following the opening, the Secretary General of ESBVM, Fr Bill McLoughlin OSM, was able to talk briefly to Dr Carey about the work of the Society. Further contact after the Archbishop's return to England led to the formal invitation to become a patron being issued by the Society's Council in October 1999

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Resolution Condemns Bob Jones U.
by Martha Kleder, staff writer

Thrust into the national spotlight during the South Carolina presidential
primary, Bob Jones University now faces a move on Capitol Hill to condemn
its religious views.

Sen. Robert Torricelli, D-N.J., is the sponsor of a resolution that
denounces the theological views of the private religious school.

"Christianity doesn't belong to these 'evangicals' (sic) any more than the
flag belongs to military militias," Torricelli said. "This is a faith that
belongs to everybody."

Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., said the school indoctrinates children with
hate, segregation and intolerance.

"We've seen all too often this past year the results of hate," Crowley said.
"(From) school shooting (sic) targeted at a prayer group in Paducah, Ky., to
shooting at a Jewish daycare center."

One of the resolution's sponsors even went so far as to compare the leaders
of Bob Jones University to Islam's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeni.

But Bob Jones graduate, Pastor Dale Crowley, said many politicians,
including the resolution's supporters, have sought votes from urban black
churches and Hassidic Jewish communities which hold similar views on
interracial or interfaith dating.

"It's a double standard, it's hypocrisy and I'm angry about it," Crowley


One of the chief reasons Torricelli called the university divisive was
because it's leader refused to sign onto recent ecumenical agreements.

At least one Catholic, however, William F. Buckley, Jr., has defended the
university's right to hold theological differences with his faith, saying
all Protestants hold those views.

Republican leaders doubt this resolution will come to the House floor.

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>               by the Editors of ReligionToday
> May 25, 2000
> Fifty thousand Christians walked through the Brandenburg Gate in
> Berlin May 20, praying and praising God. Their colorful
> procession was part of "Jesus Day," said idea, the German
> evangelical news agency. Tourists and Berliners "marveled at the
> happy, praying crowd," the publication said.
> ...Marchers surrounded the center of Berlin in two columns. They
> stopped to pray at sites such as the Parliament building, the
> Reichstag, Charité hospital, theaters, commercial centers,
> churches, a synagogue, and the site of the future holocaust
> memorial. The two columns rejoined in front of the "red town
> hall" in what used to be East Berlin, and despite heavy rain many
> knelt to worship, praise God, confess sins, and rededicate their
> lives. The day ended with a large party in honor of the 2,000th
> birthday of Jesus Christ, and all Berliners were invited to enjoy
> the modern Christian music.
> ...Jesus Day was organized for the first time by a coalition of
> charismatics, Pentecostals, Baptists, Methodists, Pietists,
> Lutherans, and Catholics, idea said. Traditional evangelicals in
> Germany so far have kept their distance from the Pentecostal and
> charismatic movements, the publication said. The Protestant
> bishop of Berlin, Wolfgang Huber, joined in.
> ...The march took place three weeks before the international
> March for Jesus (see link #1 below), June 10, so as not to
> conflict with traditional evangelical youth meetings at
> Pentecost. Fifteen million Christians around the world are
> expected to take part in the marches for Jesus, said Gerald
> Coates, one of the initiators of the march

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National Council of Church to meet with Catholics and Evangelicals

by the Editors of ReligionToday
> May 24, 2000
> The National Council of Churches will meet with Catholics and
> evangelicals to explore starting a new organization, The
> Associated Press said. The council's 50-member board endorsed a
> plan to pursue a cooperative effort with all major branches of
> Christianity in the United States. The NCC is comprised mostly of
> mainline Protestant, Orthodox, and black Protestant
> denominations, but Roman Catholics, Pentecostals, and
> evangelicals do not belong.
> ...The future of the existing NCC is uncertain. "Sometimes an
> organizational structure has to be willing to die. We have to be
> willing to entertain that," said Wesley Granberg-Michaelson,
> chief executive of the Reformed Church in America. A notice of
> the proposal has been sent to the National Conference of Catholic
> Bishops and the National Association of Evangelicals.
> ...NCC members at the group's 50th anniversary in November
> decided a new ecumenical venture is needed, Clifton Patrick of
> the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) said. The council also voted to
> allow Church World Service to have independent financial control.
> CWS, the council's relief and development arm, brings in 85% of
> its revenues, AP said, and its leaders have expressed
> dissatisfaction with the council's high administrative costs.

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US lawmaker wants Hindu priest to open session

WASHINGTON: An influential US lawmaker has requested the chaplain of the
House of Representatives to set aside a day for a Hindu priest to deliver
the invocation opening a daily session of the Congress.

Sherrod Brown, a ranking member of the House International Relations
Committee, asked for the opportunity to nominate a priest once a time has
been reserved.

Brown, a founder-member of the Congressional Caucus on India, said, "Freedom
of religion is a hallmark of the US. By inviting clergy of various faiths to
deliver the invocation opening the House of Representatives, we honour our
diverse religious heritage".

The House chaplain can allow clergy of any religion to offer the opening
invocation. Historically, the House has hosted members of various Christian
denominations and Jewish sects, and also recently had Muslim Imams. But it
has never invited a representative of Hinduism.

Thus far it has only been the Maryland state's House of Delegates that has
hosted a Hindu priest, not once but twice, to offer an opening invocation.
This has been largely due to the efforts of Democrat Kumar Barve, one of
only two Indian-American state legislators in the US. The other is Satveer
Chaudhary, also a Democrat, who is a representative in the Minnesota House.

Brown said, "There are hundreds of thousands of practising Hindus in this
country. We should fulfil our responsibility to represent the religious
diversity of this country by including a Hindu priest as a guest chaplain."

Because slots are reserved months in advance, Brown asked to be given three
to four months' notice once a date has been selected to nominate a priest.
(India Abroad News Service)

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Catholics, Anglicans take next step to reunification

CBC Newsworld Online, WebPosted Fri May 19 22:04:47 2000

MISSISSAUGA, ONT. - The ordination of women remains a hurdle on the long path to reuniting Roman Catholics and Anglicans, church leaders said at the end of a summit in Canada Friday.
Bishops from around the world wrapped up their week-long conference near >Toronto by calling for a joint commission to look at the possibility of  reunification.
Twenty-six church leaders from as far away as Nigeria and New Guinea took part in the meeting: 13 Anglicans, and 13 Catholics.
It was chaired by the Anglicans' spiritual leader, Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, as well as Catholic Cardinal Edward Cassidy, the president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
 The meeting was private, but it ended with a joint communique that suggested a commission further explore the possibility of reuniting both churches. 

The Anglican Church was set up in 1534, when the pope refused to annul King  Henry VIII's marriage. The monarch was furious over the extent of papal authority, which remains a sore point with some Anglicans today. 

Thirty-five years ago, the pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury decided the faiths should come together again, and the first steps towards reunification were taken.
But some major differences remain, especially over the ordination of women and whether clergy should be allowed to marry.
These disagreements are expected to be among the first issues dealt with by the joint commission, which is expected to be set up by the end of the year.

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by the Editors of ReligionToday

May 18, 2000

Hispanics seek unity, impact

Hispanic Protestants from 27 denominations are saying AMEN to a
ministry that unifies them.

...The National Alliance of Evangelical Ministries, or AMEN,
promotes unity among diverse Latino subcultures and develops
leaders, director Jesse Miranda told Religion Today. The
denominations and about 70 parachurch groups belong to the
six-year-old California-based group, called Alianza de
Ministerios Evangelicos Nacionales in Spanish.

...Hispanics are the fastest-growing ethnic population in the
United States - increasing almost four times as fast as the rest
of the population. They comprise people whose ancestries range
from pure Spanish to mixtures that include Native American,
African, German, Italian, and other European cultures, U.S. News
and World Report said. Most speak Spanish, but many speak only
English. There is no all-encompassing Hispanic subculture, but
rather a mixture of some 17 dominant subcultures, the report

...Most people think of Hispanics as Catholic, but a growing
number are Protestant, said Miranda, a professor at Azusa Pacific
University. Of the more than 27 million Hispanics in the United
States, 6.2 million are Protestant, surveys show.

...AMEN's ultimate goal is to unify the church as a whole,
Miranda said. "We envision the unity of the Spirit among all
believers, and to do that we must see unity among ourselves
first," he said.

...More leaders are needed to evangelize Hispanic communities,
Miranda said. The ministry holds regional seminars and national
convocations that have trained thousands of Hispanics in the
United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and northern Mexico to
identify and meet the needs of their communities, he said.

...Hispanics need better teaching materials and opportunities for
higher education. "Hispanic churchgoers don't have the same
opportunities and materials that Anglos have" because they are
poor and may not read English well, Miranda said. Few publishing
companies produce study materials in Spanish and none are as good
as English materials, he said. Sunday school teachers are not
well trained and only about 2% of seminary students are Hispanic.

...Hispanic evangelicals "feel they are on the outside looking
in," Miranda said, "because the mainstream church does not
embrace Hispanic immigrants." Because of their darker skin,
Hispanics don't assimilate as easily as earlier European
immigrants, he said. They have maintained a separate language and
culture, making it more difficult for mainstream churches to
minister in their neighborhoods and include Hispanics in
services, he said.

...Increased Hispanic immigration could be a sovereign move of
God to bring revival to the United States, Miranda said. Churches
that reach out to Hispanics are blessed by their lively worship
style and an infectious enthusiasm that enlivens the "stale and
over-religious services in the average church," he said. Because
many live in poverty they have a greater need of God than others
and "may be closer to Him."

...Hispanics want more than just a token participation in
churches. An integrated church will reflect Spanish culture in
its services and include Hispanic leaders, Miranda said. "It's
more than just cosmetic changes and all being under one roof."
Such churches are likely to attract young Hispanic professionals
who are looking for a deeper spirituality and are leaving other
churches, he said.

...AMEN is studying successful evangelistic outreaches in U.S.
cities in order to replicate them, Miranda said. The ministry
will conduct national surveys to assess the impact of the
Hispanic church on individuals and public life, and understand
what Hispanics think about social and political issues. Other
surveys will poll Latino elected officials, clergy, and lay

...The group is the brainchild of Hispanic evangelical leaders,
Miranda said. It was formed in 1994 during a convocation in Long
Beach, Calif., of 500 Hispanic leaders from the United States,
Puerto Rico, northern Mexico, and Canada.

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By Steve Kloehn
Tribune Religion Writer
February 3, 2000

Black Pentecostal church leaders say that with the turn of the century, the time has come to recover some of the ancient Christian traditions embodied in the Roman Catholic Church, and they are going to the Vatican next week for some first-hand study.

Bishop Larry Trotter, senior pastor of Sweet Holy Spirit Full Gospel Baptist Church on Chicago's South Side, will lead a delegation of more than 50 black Pentecostal church leaders from around the nation in an unusual pilgrimage that he said could include a meeting with the pope.

It is the first such effort for the Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops, an interdenominational body formed in 1993 to promote Christian unity and study church traditions. While the group does not include representatives from the largest black Pentecostal denomination, the Church of God in Christ, it does count leaders of 27 smaller denominations among its members.

"I think we can learn from each other," Trotter said of Pentecostal-Catholic relations. "We come with a fervor and a fire they may be missing, but they come with an order and structure we may be missing."

Pentecostalism emerged from Methodist roots early in the 20th Century. It emphasized a direct relationship with God and the ability of all believers to employ the gifts of the Holy Spirit, including healing, prophesying and speaking in tongues. Pentecostalism grew quickly among African-Americans and rural whites and remains one of the fastest growing segments of Christianity.

Pentecostalism's emphasis on experiential religion also spread to other branches of Christianity, feeding Charismatic movements in mainline Protestant and Roman Catholic churches.

Departing from Chicago next Monday, the delegation from the Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops plans to spend a week in Rome, including a three-day seminar at the Pontifical North American College, an elite seminary for Catholics from the U.S., Trotter said.

The bishops are also scheduled to attend the pope's general audience on Wednesday and a mass for the sick with the pope on Friday. Bishop J. Delano Ellis of Cleveland, president of the bishops' group, said that he has been informed that the group may have a brief private meeting with the pope.

"The shock to me was that these Pentecostals--these charismatic, tongue-speaking people--all wanted to go to the Vatican," said Ellis, whose friendship with Catholic Bishop Anthony Pilla of Cleveland helped create the foundation for the pilgrimage. "We're more than just people with tambourines, speaking in tongues. We are part of the body of Christ, and we want to grow closer to other parts of the body of Christ."

Trotter said that after a century of remaining apart and sometimes mistrustful of other branches of Christianity, Pentecostals in the pews are also interested in closer relations. Trotter recalled that when he announced to his own congregation that he was making the trip to the Vatican, the news was received with a standing ovation and a collection that covered the trip's expenses.

"That was the people's way of saying, `We're with this. It's time to build some bridges and tear down some walls,' " he said

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United Religions Initiative SM


URI News

Cooperation Circles Accepted for Membership

The United Religions Initiative moved closer to its official birth
last week as members of the international Board of Directors, now
called the Interim Global Council, approved for Cooperation Circle
(CC) membership, the applications of interfaith groups from around
the world. CCs are the fundamental organizing unit of URI and are
created by people who come together to initiate acts of interfaith
cooperation. They are self-organizing and each determines its own
unique purpose, membership and ways of making decisions that are
relevant to and consistent with the Preamble, Purpose and Principles
of URI.

The approval process began with a Council member reading aloud each
application in which the Preamble, Purpose and Principles were
affirmed and confirming that there were at least seven members from
at least 3 different faiths. Forty-nine applications from local
communities in Africa, Europe, Asia, North and South America were
approved and the number of members in each CC ranged from 7 to over
1,000. Council itself is composed of members from all over the world
and members from outside the United States read the requests from
their own CC groups in their own home countries. After each approval,
all of which were unanimous, the entire Council repeated in unison,
"May the people of (the regional CC was named) fulfill their
aspirations and live in peace." This was a very meaningful step in
the Chartering process for the United Religions Initiative.
Applications for CC membership continue to arrive daily. For more
information or to download an application, see the URI Charter
<../charter/index.htm> section on our Web site.

URI's official birth takes place in Pittsburgh, PA on June 26th, the
first day of its annual Global Summit. Participants in the Charter
signing will include religious leaders representing the world's faith
traditions as well as representatives from URI Cooperation Circles
around the globe. Some of the faiths represented include: Hindu,
Zoroastrian, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Taoist, Wiccan,
Baha'i, Sikh, and Indigenous Peoples. Those involved come from
countries such as Argentina, Sri Lanka, England, Israel, Ethiopia,
the Philippines, Canada, India, Belgium, Indonesia, the Netherlands,
Pakistan, Mozambique and others. URI is an organization where people
act from their deepest values and claim their right and
responsibility to do extraordinary things to serve interfaith
cooperation on a local and global level.

This conference marks the 5th Global Summit for the United Religions
Initiative, which was conceived by California Bishop William E. Swing
to bring together people of different religions and spiritual
traditions to, "stop killing in the name of God and start learning to
live together." URI is a growing global community dedicated to
promoting enduring daily interfaith cooperation, ending religiously
motivated violence and creating cultures of peace, justice and
healing for the Earth and all living beings.

Links of interest:



Fundamental Evangelistic Association Viewpoint

Pro United Religions article

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by the Editors of ReligionToday

May 10, 2000

College students plan massive rally

Tens of thousands of college students will camp out in a park to
pray and worship together May 20 in Tennessee, organizers of the
event say.

...The rally for people 18-25 years of age is called OneDay. It
takes place at 4,000-acre Shelby Farms in suburban Memphis, the
largest urban park in the United States. Other related events
occur May 19 and 21.

...Forty thousand students are expected to attend, but
contingency plans have been made for a much larger gathering,
organizer Jeff Fountain told Religion Today. About 1,500
volunteers will help at the event.

...The rally is the result of a movement that is stirring young
people. It began in 1996 when several college ministers from
across the country prayed together, focusing on Isaiah 26:8,
which includes a phrase saying that God's "name and renown are
the desire of our heart."

...One of those at the prayer meeting was Louie Giglio, who says
he felt God leading him to inspire college and university
students to develop a holy passion for God. With six months
preparation, he organized a gathering in 1997 in Austin, Texas,
that drew 2,000 students to worship and receive spiritual

...The next year, Passion '98 doubled in size to 5,000 students,
and last year's event drew 11,000 with 3,000 turned away because
of lack of space.

...Regional and local rallies have been held this school year to
lead up to the OneDay national gathering in Memphis. Twenty-four
thousand students attended eight regional rallies from fall 1999
through March in cities including Minneapolis, Atlanta, Austin,
Tulsa, and Seattle, organizers said. The Austin rally Jan. 21
drew 6,000 students at the Erwin Center at the University of
Texas. Other rallies were held at colleges in the Eastern United
States, Texas, Colorado, and the Midwest.

...A worship band has been traveling in a bus to college campuses
holding worship services and telling students about the OneDay

...In addition, Brad Horton, 26, and John Mark Seelig, 23, who
work for OneDay, have been traveling in a recreational vehicle to
as many campuses as they can to talk about OneDay. They show
videos and talk to ministry groups, pastors, and student leaders.

...The rallies have included modern worship music, speakers, and
prayer. They also challenge students to start Lighthouses of
Prayer (see link #1 below), small groups of Christians who pray
together regularly, do acts of kindness, and share their faith.
There is an admission charge to the rallies; those interested can
register at the Internet site at

...If God manifests His presence at the OneDay conference, Giglio
says, "new visions for campuses, churches, and ministries will
propel people from that field to places they have never dreamed
of to this point," he told Echo magazine (see link #2 below).

..."The darkness is growing darker, thus the true light is
getting brighter day by day," Giglio said. He said he hopes the
United States "will not miss the wave of what God is doing
throughout the world.

..."Out hearts are still not broken. There is an absence of
weeping in the church. Things may have to get a lot worse before
this sleeping giant awakens. But this generation of students is
different. They may just rise up and lead the whole nation to

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Pope welcomes Moroccan king as descendant of Islam's founder 

Copyright 2000 by Agence France-Presse

VATICAN CITY, April 13 (AFP) - Pope John Paul II on Thursday welcomed
King Mohammed VI of Morocco to the Vatican as the descendant of
Mohammed, the Arab prophet and founder of Islam. 

"You must be the descendant of the prophet Mohammed?" the pope said,
shaking hands with the monarch at the entrance to the Vatican's private

"Yes, Holy Father," Mohammed VI replied with a smile. 

No official statement was made on the content of the 30-minute meeting
which included a 15-minute one-to-one. 

But church sources said the Middle East peace process, the status of
Jerusalem and cooperation between Christians and Muslims were at the
center of their talk. 

The monarch offered the pope a scimitar, the traditional Arab dagger. The
pope reciprocated with a statue of the Virgin Mary. 

Mohammed's visit to the Vatican was the second by a Moroccan king, after
his late father Hassan's in 1991. During a visit to Morocco in 1985, John Paul
II, for the first time, spoke to thousands of Muslim youths in Casablanca. 

Mohammed VI arrived in Italy Tuesday for a two-day visit, focusing mainly on
economic cooperation. 

The two countries signed an agreement converting Morocco's total debt to
Italy into aid loans. Rabat owes Rome some 100 million dollars (105 million

Under the accord -- the first of its kind under which Rome wipes out a third
party's debt -- Morocco will provide resources in its own currency to help
develop its infrastructure and  environment.

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ROME, APR 3 ( Today Mikhail Gorbachov, the last president
before the fall of the Soviet Union, spoke about John Paul II as a model
to be kept in mind by Socialist Parties worldwide in their attempts to
address the phenomenon of globalization.

When meeting the students of "La Sapienza" university in Rome, the
former Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party acknowledged that
wherever "John Paul II goes on his trips, he always talks about the poor
and solidarity."

"Globalization can also have destructive effects, but we must pursue the
positive effects, as the Pope says." Gorbachov advocated a "just"
globalization that will not widen the gap that separates the North from
the South. He stressed that in order to achieve this, the principles of
political and economic liberty and social justice must be respected.
According to him, these are also the ideals of socialism.

In regard to the current Russian situation, Gorbachov stated that
Vladimir Putin, the new President, must put a full stop to the "savage
capitalism" of Boris Yeltsin's period and begin a policy of change based
on "faithfulness to liberty," in the market economy and in dialogue with

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Catholic and Pentecostal leaders confessed sins 

     by the Editors of ReligionToday
> April 3, 2000

> Catholic and Pentecostal leaders confessed sins and asked
> forgiveness from each other at a dramatic meeting March
> 16-18.Catholic priest Kilian McDonnell read a "Confession of
> Sins" to a plenary session of the Society for Pentecostal Studies
> meeting in Kirkland, Wash., Religion News Service said. He is
> founder and president of the Institute for Ecumenical and
> Cultural Research in Collegeville, Minn.
> ...Speaking as an individual, not as a representative of the
> Church, McDonnell confessed the sins of Catholics against
> "classical Pentecostals" such as the Assemblies of God and the
> Pentecostal Holiness Church. Catholic arrogance led to
> "intolerance, discrimination, and exclusion" against
> Pentecostals, he said. Catholics have used the government to
> harass and oppress Pentecostals and to deprive them of their
> civil rights, particularly in Latin America, he said.
> ...Assemblies of God minister Frank Macchia extended forgiveness
> to McDonnell and confessed Pentecostal sins against Catholics. "I
> know that I speak for many in the society in offering forgiveness
> in response to Father McDonnell's confession," said Macchia,
> saying he was not speaking in his official capacity as an
> assistant professor at Vanguard University, an Assemblies of
> God-affiliated school.
> ..."I ask that Catholics forgive the Pentecostals who have
> cherished visions of the end of time that condemn the Catholic
> Church for spiritual harlotry and idolatry," Macchia said, and
> for those who assume that Catholics "advocate salvation by works,
> denying the grace and truth of the Gospel."

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VATICAN CITY, FEB 15, 2000 (VIS) - The Basic Agreement between the Holy See
and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, signed this morning in the
Vatican by representatives of each side, consists of a Preamble and 12
Articles. Article 11 states: "Done in two original copies in the English
and Arabic languages, both texts are equally authentic. In case of
divergence, the English text shall prevail."

   The Preamble states that both sides: are "deeply aware of the special
significance of the Holy Land"; have "reviewed the history and development
of the relations between the Holy See and the Palestinian People";
re-affirm "the need to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle
East"; and call "for a peaceful solution of the Palestinian-Israeli
conflict, which would realize the inalienable national legitimate rights
and aspirations of the Palestinian People."

   It also affirms: "Declaring that an equitable solution for the issue of
Jerusalem, based on international resolutions, is fundamental for a just
and lasting peace in the Middle East, and that unilateral decisions and
actions altering the specific character and status of Jerusalem are morally
and legally unacceptable."

   In conclusion the Preamble says: "Calling, therefore, for a special
statute for Jerusalem, internationally guaranteed, which should safeguard
the following:
a. Freedom of religion and conscience for all.
b. The equality before the law of the three monotheistic religions and
their institutions and followers in the City.
c. The proper identity and sacred character of the City... .
d. The Holy Places, the freedom of access to them and of worship in them.
e. The Regime of 'status quo' in those Holy Places where it applies."

   The two parties then list the 12 Articles upon which they agree. Article
1 includes the PLO's "permanent commitment to uphold and observe the human
right to freedom of religion and conscience," the Holy See's affirmation of
"the commitment of the Catholic Church to support this right" and a
reiteration of the Church's respect "for the followers of other religions."

    Articles 5 and 6 affirm that the PLO recognizes both "the freedom of the
Catholic Church to exercise her rights to carry out ... her functions and
traditions," and "the rights of the Catholic Church in economic, legal and
fiscal matters." Article 7 says: "Full effect will be given in Palestinian
Law to the legal personality of the Catholic Church and of the canonical
legal persons."

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"It Is Important for Us To Share the Joy of Catholics"

ROME, JUNE 11 ( Although they arrived late because of air
traffic problems, 42 Buddhists came to Rome to pray with the Pope in St.
Peter's Square during the Pentecost Vigil.

The groups was composed of Japanese Buddhist laymen, known as Eissho
Kosei-kai, founded in 1938 by Nikkyo Niwano, one of the few
non-Christian observers invited to Vatican Council II. He was
responsible for the establishment of the World Conference of Religions
for Peace.

Niwano, who died in 1999, had a dream: that the Pope would attend the
Conference's World Assembly. This dream came true when John Paul II took
part in the opening of the 6th World Assembly, which was held in the
Synod Hall in the Vatican.

Referring to the Pentecost Vigil, the Buddhists said: "We wanted to be
here at all costs. It is important for us to share the joy of the Pope
and of Catholics."

In 1975, these Buddhists participated in the opening of the Holy Door.
Since then, virtually every year the association has sent delegations to
Rome and other parts of Europe, to deepen the dialogue with Christians.
After their visit to Rome, the group went to Assisi, for exposure to St.
Francis' charism

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Baptists donated their $1.5 million building to a nearby Pentecostal congregation.

 The pastor of the Baptist church in Merced, Calif., telephoned Harvey Mitchell, pastor of First Assembly of God, and told him that he and his board felt their congregation had "grieved the Spirit of God" by splitting from another church and wanted to set things right. They planned to move to a new part of town and rename their church New Beginnings, Assemblies of God News Service reported.
...The Baptist pastor offered to donate the facility to First Assembly if First Assembly would pay for a $70,000 parking lot loan. In January, the 10,000-square-foot facility was turned over to First Assembly of God, which gave the Baptist church $100,000 to pay off the parking lot loan.
..."We did not get the building because we deserved it," Mitchell says. "God is the only One that got glory for this." First Assembly now has a second sanctuary seating 300, 15 new classrooms, a fellowship hall to seat 100, and a kitchen, and has grown 20 percent since moving into the new facility. Both churches enjoyed a celebration service praising God.

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Unprecedented Event

SEOUL, MAY 29 ( For the first time in history, South
Korea's public television broadcast the Vatican message to Buddhists on
the occasion of their Vesakh feast. The message, sent on May 11 and
entitled "Christians and Buddhists: Pilgrims in Dialogue Towards a New
Millennium," was signed by Cardinal Francis Arinze, president of the
Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue.

Inter-religious efforts between Buddhists and Christians made headlines
on May 11, the Buddhist feast of Vesakh, a national holiday (as is
Christmas). For the first time, the message of the Pontifical Council
for Inter-Religious Dialogue, sent every year to all Buddhist friends
since 1995, was aired on national TV News.

Three Korean Bishops, Archbishop Nicholas Cheong of Seoul; Bishop Choi
Ki-san of Inch'on, and Bishop Augustine Cheong of Pusan, also sent
congratulatory messages to Korean Buddhists, wishing them God's

Bishop Augustine Cheong visited Pomosa temple in Pusan, and exchanged an
amicable dialogue with Song-oh, the chief monk. In his message, Bishop
Cheong hoped that "for people who live in a world ruled by materialism,
the wisdom and teaching of Buddha would be guide to a new lifestyle."

In addition, Bishop Cheong called on all believers to work in
collaboration "to heal the wounds of society and neighbors by expressing
love and mercy beyond the walls of religions."

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Virtually All Countries Have Signed Concordats with Rome

ROME, JUNE 20 ( The desire of countries around the
world to maintain stable relations with the Vatican is greater
than ever. This is reflected in the extraordinary number of
"concordats" that Rome has signed with other capitals over the
last few years. From 1950 to 1999, 128 concordats were signed
between Rome and different States. This figure was disclosed
during an international congress organized by the Pontifical
University of the Holy Cross in Rome, which presented in one
volume all the concordats signed over the last 50 years.

In the past 9 years, 43 concordats were signed between the
Vatican and other States. In part, this significant figure is due
to the fact that, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, the former
communist countries hastened to establish diplomatic relations
with Rome, in order to change the Church's illegal status. This
has led other nations of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa to
knock on Rome's door and enter judicial agreements. This marathon
has implied an average of 19 concordats a year. Prior to 1989,
the Vatican signed international agreements primarily with
European and Latin American countries.

A "concordat" is a genuine international contract, which binds
the two parts and guarantees Catholics in various countries the
right of freedom of religion and worship.

"Contrary to what might be thought, we are witnessing  a real
flowering of agreements by 'concordat,'" Bishop Celestino
Migliore said, during a congress held on June 15, to present the
book "Collection of Concordats" ("Raccolta di concordati
1950-1990"), prepared by Joseph T. Martin de Agar. Bishop
Migliore is Vatican Under-Secretary for Relations with States.

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19-Jun-2000 -- EWTN Vatican Update


VATICAN ( -- Pope John Paul II made an "urgent appeal for reconciliation and unity among all believers" as he presided at the solemn Vespers ceremony that opened the 47th International Eucharistic Congress, which will be celebrated in Rome from June 18 to 25, began with the evening service on Sunday night.

"Divisions and divergences still unfortunately disfigure the Body of Christ, and prevent Christians of different confessions from partaking in the one Eucharistic bread," the Pope said. As the Eucharistic Congress invites Catholics to "renew our faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the sacrament of the altar," the Holy Father continued, it should also renew the desire to see all Christians to share in that banquet.

During the Vespers ceremony, Cardinal Roger Etchegaray-- who joined Pope John Paul in leading the opening prayer service, along with Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the Pope's vicar for Rome-- added his own prayer for Christian unity, noting that Christ's disciples must "purify their memories and recognize their own faults" in order to be ready for unity.

At least 50,000 people, many of them members of ancient lay organizations devoted to Eucharistic adoration, were on hand for the opening of the Eucharistic Congress. They participated in a procession through the streets of Rome prior to the formal opening ceremony. Then, along with Pope John Paul II, they knelt in silent homage before the Body of Christ displayed on the altar. At his regular Angelus audience, held at noon in St. Peter's Square, the Pope had said that he looked forward to the week of prayer and festivity associated with the Eucharistic Congress. The central focus of that week, however, must be the Eucharist itself, he said. "Here sense and reason lose their power, and it is faith which must sustain man in his confrontation with the mystery," he said

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Border with U.S. 'likely to disappear'

North America urged to integrate immigration, customs and security Jim Bronskill and Mike Blanchfield

WASHINGTON -- An American think-tank is calling on Canada, the United States and Mexico to combine customs, immigration and security functions to the point at which borders become almost irrelevant. A study released yesterday by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace urges the three countries to explore whether a North American "integration project" is worth pursuing and to develop a strategic plan for rethinking border relationships. A decision to proceed would trigger bilateral negotiations with the aim of agreeing on the border relationship each pair of neighbouring countries wishes to see in 10 or 15 years.

"For the U.S.-Canada border, this means ever closer and organic co-operation, an ever more explicit focus on understanding and addressing differences and ever greater experimentation," says the study, prepared by the endowment's International Migration Policy Program. "It is in fact our contention that, substantively at least, the U.S.-Canada border is likely to disappear before any politician finds the political courage to negotiate its removal."

The study's authors, Demetrios Papademetriou and Deborah Waller Meyers, spent two years researching the issues, paying special attention to life in border communities. The study acknowledges the sensitivities around fostering closer ties between sovereign countries and insists the proposals would not lead to the creation of a new political entity, nor a continental capital akin to Brussels in the European Community.

The study says U.S. interest in the integration project is "likely to be tepid" unless the proposals can help Washington accomplish its own goals less expensively, more efficiently and much more effectively. Nixon, an assistant deputy minister with Canada's Immigration Department, does not believe the sort of changes outlined in the report would water down sovereignty or lead to erasure of the border. "I think we can do a whole lot without sacrificing or challenging our identity at all." She pointed to a pilot project that will allow people crossing the Bluewater Bridge at the Canada-U.S. border near Sarnia, Ont., to fill out forms at just one stop instead of two. "Why do we have two places to go to?" she asked. "Why don't we have one pass between two countries?"

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France to crack down on sects

The Guardian
June 14, 2000

PARIS - France will defy President Clinton's appeal to be more tolerant of religious sects and introduce draconian laws, including an offense of "mental manipulation" - brainwashing - which will carry a two-year prison sentence. President Jacques Chirac has told Clinton that religious freedom will no longer be a subject for bilateral presidential talks in the light of what has been officially described as "shocking" White House support for Scientologists and Moonies. The French government has also complained that Congress's introduction of laws protecting religious freedom internationally is "an unacceptable intrusion into internal affairs." The French senate has approved legislation reinforcing the right of victims to take action against marginal religious groups. The national assembly plans to toughen the measure even further when it debates the measure on June 22.

Legislators on both the left and the right are expected to vote in favor of authorizing the courts to forcibly dissolve sects after two complaints, and to forbid them operating in the neighborhood of schools, hospitals and nursing homes. They also intend to make sects responsible for acts considered to be a provocation to suicide or incitement to abandon families.

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This September the United Nations will hold its Millennium Forum and People's Assembly, the purpose of which is to create a global parliament. To start with, the parliament will only be advisory in nature but the long-term goals are to make it into a world parliament in its own right.  Over the last decade, the United Nations has unabashedly been reinventing itself into a global government, striving to obtain the legal teeth and financial resources to implement its policies. In  1995, the United Nations Commission on Global Governance published a report entitled, Our Global Neighborhood. The Commission made a number of recommendations for changes to the United Nations, including:

-- A system of global taxation; 
-- A standing U.N. army; 
-- A Court of Criminal Justice; 
-- Expanded authority for the Secretary General.
-- An Economic Security Council; 
-- U.N. authority over the global commons (especially the oceans and all areas of sovereign territories that influence the oceans.); 
-- An end to the veto power of permanent Security Council members 
-- A new parliamentary body of "civil society" representatives (NGOs)

Since then the U.N. has been plugging ahead with these recommendations Millennium Forum will be a fulfillment of the last item. Currently it is uncertain how members of the world body will elected. Several proposals have been placed on the table:

-- Establishing some kind of consultative assembly of parliamentarians to which parliaments all over the world would appoint representatives.

-- Creating a consultative assembly consisting of unelected NGO organizations, which already provide input to the U.N. major conferences.

-- An assembly directly elected by all the people of the world.

-- Direct democracy by way of the Internet, so that any "world citizens" could vote on any items they could so choose at any time. This would probably be an electronic form of the ancient Greek "mob-ocracy."

Global government has been a long time in coming, supported by a wide panoply of luminaries over the years. Our Global Neighborhood said the surrender of sovereignty is "a principle that will yield only slowly and reluctantly to the imperatives of global environmental cooperation."

The foundation of global governance does not rest in the same set of core values and protections the American system contains. These values are not new. They have been tried, under different names, in other societies; often with devastating consequences." Legal safeguards against government abuse do not exist at the international level nor are there plans to create them. The rights enshrined in the U.S. Bill of Rights -- property and financial rights, freedom of speech and religion, the right to bear arms against invaders and abusive government, protection against double jeopardy, trial by a jury of one's peers, right to petition for redress of grievances, et al. -- do not exist in the same form at the U.N. level. Where the U.N. appears to guarantees rights, there are often "weasel words," which allow the so-called rights to be set aside at the will of government.

The entire push to globalism has tremendous significance for Christians for several reasons. First, we are witnessing the formation of what the Bible predicted 2,000 years ago: a (somewhat) unified universal political, financial and religious system. Christians note that the new global paradigm has a moral and religious component that will not tolerate opposition or dissent by religious factions that do not agree with it! To reiterate: the new globalism will not leave the Christian church alone. It will use legal and other pressures to co-opt, coerce, or eliminate religious groups to force them into conformity to the new ideals or go out of business. Unlike secular humanism, the new global pantheistic socialism will not leave the church alone! No clearer warning can be sounded as to the dangers to faith on the road ahead.

Thus our closing caveat: no matter how slow the implementation, given the current course, when the changes are all done, they will be binding on all by artifice of law, international treaty and internal regulation conforming to the dictates of the United Nations, against which citizens of the world will have little establish methods of recourse or redress.

For more information on United Nations policies and how they will affect us, we recommend the following sites:

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John Paul II Said During Sunday Meeting with Pilgrims

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 11 ( The challenge posed by this Jubilee
feast of Pentecost is how to proclaim Christ's message to all, while
respecting the different religions; a challenge that the Pontifical
Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue hoped that Catholics would reflect
on and pray about today, in connection with their duties toward others
in announcing Christ, in witnessing, and in dialogue.

John Paul II addressed the question during his Sunday meeting at noon
with thousands of pilgrims from all over the world, who crowded into St.
Peter's Square on an overcast Roman day. The Holy Father referred to
this same question yesterday during the Mass celebrating Pentecost

According to the Pope, on that day when the Apostles received the Holy
Spirit, the "One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church was born."
Therefore, this day is a call to "every baptized person and every Church
community to reflect on how they can work increasingly to announce and
witness Christ to all, while respecting the different religious

"It is more important than ever, to collaborate with every man and every
woman of good will to construct a more just and fraternal world," the
Pope explained.

But, "this plan of authentic spiritual and social renewal" can only be
carried out in Christ. "Jesus, who was born 2000 years ago in Bethlehem
of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, remains in our midst
through the sacrament of the Eucharist, living Bread come down from
heaven, Bread of the way and of hope," John Paul II said. Because it is
true, this hope cannot  be only for Christians but for all men and

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"When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America willl have formed an image of the Roman hierachy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result." Great Controversy Page 445 

National Council of Churches moves toward bigger tent RELIGION: 

In a step toward unity, the new body would try to include all major branches of Christianity in the U.S. May 24, 2000 By RICHARD N. OSTLING 

The Associated Press WASHINGTON -- The National Council of Churches is going to try to form a new organization that would for the first time include all major branches of U.S. Christianity, its board decided Tuesday. If successful, the new ecumenical body could spell an end to the council, which is now made up of mainline Protestant, black Protestant and Orthodox denominations. Most Christians in the United States are currently outside the council, in the Roman Catholic Church and in Evangelical or Pentecostal groups. Under the deliberately vague plan approved by the 50-member council board, a task force will hold preliminary talks with Catholic, Evangelical and Pentecostal leaders, invite them into a joint process and propose next steps to the council's national assembly in November. 

"Sometimes an organizational structure has to be willing to die. We have to be willing to entertain that," said the Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, chief executive of the Reformed Church in America, part of the task force that will contact the other Christian groups.

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Warm Messages Sent to John Paul II

JAKARTA, MAY 26 ( On behalf of "Madia," the Indonesian
Association for the Inter-Religious Dialogue, Muslim Amanda Suharnoki
sent the Vatican agency "Fides" a congratulatory message and
encouragement to the Pope for his work and his 80th birthday. "The Pope
has done a lot for reconciliation in the world; may he continue to do
so," she said. "Maida" is a forum of Muslims, Hindus, and Christians,
including a representative of the Indonesian Bishops Conference.

"His path toward progress is sure and planned and not hasty." Moreover,
"he acts not only with words but also with deeds and examples." The
Pope's visits to controversial areas are "very edifying to the people of
the world." Specifically, the trip to Jerusalem "was a brave move
forward to reconciliation of deep-rooted religious conflicts between
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam," Suharnoko said.

Amanda Suharnoko, a Muslim, "was surprised that a religious leader might
have such a strong positive motivation to visit a country with an
acclaimed non-supportive regime in regions like communist Cuba." She
also said she was profoundly impressed with the Holy Father's humble
request for forgiveness for Christians faults of the past, including
offenses against Jews and women. "Such gestures, more heart-touching
than driven by reason, are very strong examples that step up the process
of reconciliation," she said.

Congratulatory messages also arrived from Buddhists and Hindus.
Indonesian Buddhist leader Bhikku Sri Pannyvaro wrote a personal letter
wishing the Pope "long life and good health."

Mrs. Gedong Nagoes Oka, a Gandhian follower, president of the Hindu
peace Brigade Foundation in Bali, also wrote a message sent to "Fides."
"May the superior power that guides life give your Holiness good health,
wisdom and whatever is needed to inspire your flock with loving kindness
and faith in your leadership," she said.

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Christians, Muslims, and Jewish inmates sharing their faith

July 25, 2000 Christian, Muslim, and Jewish inmates are living together and sharing their faith in an Ohio prison. Inmates teach each other about their faith as part of the Horizon program at the Marion (Ohio) Correctional Institution, a medium-security state prison. The purpose is for each inmate to deepen his faith while learning about other faiths, prison officials said, according to the Columbus Dispatch (see link #1 below). The program is modeled after a similar project at Tomoka Correctional Institution in Daytona Beach, Fla.
...Prison staff, inmates, and clergy started planning the program a year ago. A state grant pays the salaries of a program coordinator and another person who recruit volunteers to meet each week with inmates of like faith. Eight "families" - six Christian, one Muslim, and one Jewish - with six inmates each live together in compartments separated by partitions, the Dispatch reported. New inmates are selected for the program every  10 months. ...Prison Fellowship Ministries (see link #2 below) started the country's first Christian program at a minimum-security prison in Sugarland, Texas, and operates programs in Iowa and Kansas.-by the Editors of ReligionToday

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A Bevy of Actvity

Three conservative Episcopal bishops are getting an ultimatum. They have held out against ordaining women into the priesthood, and their denomination thinks it is time to put a stop to that. The denomination at its Denver convention ordered a task force to visit the bishops of San Joaquin, Calif., Fort Worth, Texas, and Quincy, Ill., and direct them to develop a plan for compliance by Sept. 1, 2002, news reports said.
...The church authorized ordination of women 30 years ago. Today there are about 2,000 women among the 15,000 priests and eight women bishops, The Los Angeles Times (see link #1 below) reported. The conservative holdouts share a belief similar to leaders of the Roman Catholic Church and Southern Baptist Convention, that since Jesus did not choose women as His apostles, today's churches have no right to ordain women.
...John David Schofield, the bishop of San Joaquin, has said his diocese already is in compliance because a woman priest is working as an assistant rector. The other two dioceses have taken a harder line, saying they will not comply. "You can't legislate matters of faith, and we'll go to the wall on that," Charles Hough III, an aide to Fort Worth Bishop Jack Leo Iker, told the Times.
...If Iker does not comply, he faces the possibility of a church trial and the potential of being ousted as a bishop, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram (see link #2 below) reported. "Ultimately, that could happen," Hough said. "But there are bishops in the church who are allowing the blessing of same-sex unions [which is prohibited under church teachings], and no one is stopping them from doing it."

Samoa seems like a Christian paradise - but is it? Most residents of the South Pacific islands call themselves Christians and the government has declared that all households should have a daily "quiet time" for praying and reading the Bible, according to DAWN Fridayfax (see link #3 below).
...But churches are not growing. Although tens of thousands of residents became Christians after missionaries arrived on the islands, 2,200 miles south of Hawaii, "we have seen nothing like it since," church leader Le Tie told a group of Canadian evangelists. Only about 11 percent of the country's 178,000 people are evangelical Christians and 25 percent are Mormons, Fridayfax reported.
...More than 3,000 people took part in evangelistic meetings in May. The team of Canadian evangelists spoke and many people professed faith in Christ, according to Fridayfax. The events were broadcast to the entire country on state television.

"Children's churches" are popping up across Cuba. A network of lay workers is starting congregations for teen-agers and preteens who are "hungry for God" but whose parents aren't Christians, according to Compass Direct News (see link #4 below).
...The churches meet in lay leaders' homes and reach out to their neighborhoods, bringing children to services each week. More than 
170 children have professed faith in Christ through a church that started in January, Compass reported.

Evangelicals and Catholics in France are growing through cooperation. Charismatic Christians in both churches consider each other as allies, according to Renewal, a British charismatic magazine. Some conferences include Catholics and Protestants, as do prayer groups, which are considered to be embryonic churches, Religion Watch (see link #5 below) reported. In joint events called Embrace Nos Coeurs (Light the Fire), participants pray for revival. Introductory courses in Christianity, called Alpha courses, also are becoming popular as outreaches in both churches.
...It is a time of increasing government pressure on minority religions, including evangelicals, as the government tries to monitor groups that it considers cults. Evangelicals have faced restrictions, harassment, and disruptions in using meeting spaces, Religion Watch reported.

"Oneness" Pentecostals are holding a convention in Cincinnati.
The 1.5 million-member Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, the nation's second-largest black Pentecostal denomination, will conduct church business, hold worship and concerts, and do street evangelism during the weeklong meeting, according to The Cincinnati Post (see link #6 below). About 10,000 church members are attending at the Sabin convention center.
..."Oneness" churches baptize in Jesus' name only because they do not accept the doctrine of the Trinity as defined by the fourth-century councils of Nicea and Constantinople. Denomination members sometimes are called Pentecostal unitarians or "Jesus Only" Christians. Christians historically have held that God is both one and three -- Father, Son and Holy Spirit - and most Christian baptisms are done in the name of the Trinity.
...The subject of the Trinity proved divisive for the early Pentecostals, causing some believers to shun membership in the Assemblies of God and to form the Pentecostal Assemblies in 1916, says David Bundy of Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. -by the Editors of ReligionToday July 24, 2000

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G-8 May Reduce More Nation's Debts
July 21, 2000 10:17 am EST

Critics Say G-8 Plan Still Doesn't Go Far Enough

OKINAWA, JAPAN JULY 21, 2000 (CBS News) - Leaders of the world's richest nations, meeting at the Group of Eight Summit, are agreeing that they must do more to help nations left behind in the wave of technology-fueled prosperity. The annual G-8 summit brings together the leaders of the U.S., Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia. The trip represents double duty for President Clinton, who also is seeking to soothe nerves in Okinawa, where there is considerable opposition to the continued U.S. military presence there.

CBS News Correspondent Barry Petersen reports Mr. Clinton went straight from marathon peace talks at Camp David to a grueling flight to Japan, got right off the plane and headed to a speech to the people of Okinawa. Dripping with sweat under the hot sun, Mr. Clinton stood by the Okinawa War Memorial with the names of 234,183 killed in Japan's worst World War II land battle to make an appeal for continued friendship between the U.S. and Japan. Mr. Clinton assured the people of Okinawa that the U.S. is committed to reducing its "footprint on this island...I know that the people of Okinawa did not ask to play this role, hosting more than 50 percent of American forces in Japan on less than one percent of its land mass." Almost 30,000 demonstrators ringed Kadena Thursday to protest continued U.S. military presence on Okinawa.

In a communique issued Friday, G-8 leaders agreed they need to breathe life into a stalled initiative to reduce the debts of the world's poorest states but refused to ease the strict conditions on the scheme. The leaders at the same time are refuting criticism that they had dragged their feet implementing the plan. They insist that progress has been made. The G-8 said nine countries had already qualified for debt reduction that would eventually exceed $15 billion. They are Benin, Bolovia, Burkina Faso, Honduras, Mauritania, Mozambique, Senegal, Uganda and Tanzania. The G-8 said as many as 11 more countries could become eligible for debt reduction by the end of the year. The relief is a far cry, however, from the ambitious target of $100 billion that the leaders trumpeted when they drew up the plan at last year's summit in Cologne, and they admitted on Friday that new efforts were necessary.

Aid campaigners wanted the G-8 to order a streamlining of the tortuous processes that countries must go through to become eligible for debt relief. Instead, the leaders, who heard impassioned eve-of-summit appeals from a quartet of developing-country leaders to deliver debt relief more quickly, said they would continue to take "due consideration" of the conditions they have laid down. As well as implementing tough economic reforms supervised by the International Monetary Fund, countries must prepare elaborate poverty reduction strategies to make sure the benefits of debt reduction flow to the most vulnerable members of society.

Campaign group Jubilee 2000 was scathing in its criticism of Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and his fellow leaders for failing to match words with deeds in the past year. "I hear Mori saying they intend to speed up the Cologne initiative. But they're still catching up," said Jubilee director Ann Pettifor. "The debt crisis and emergency that is emerging can't wait for the rich, the powerful and the complacent," she said. "They must stop retreating to islands and stop taking the money." The leaders gathered at the plush Busena Terrace Beach Resort on a remote peninsula on this southern Japanese island, protected by more than 20,000 police and guarded by a one-mile nautical no-go zone patrolled by eight navy ships.

Japan has splashed out $750 million on the summit and two preparatory meetings of finance and foreign ministers - a sum that aid campaigners say would have been better spent on debt relief. The G-8 welcomed an improvement in global growth prospects over the past year and said their economies were headed for more balanced, sustainable growth. But they expressed concern that growth could be dampened by volatile crude oil prices, which have been bouncing between $29 and $32 a barrel in recent weeks on mixed signals about output plans from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The G-8 underscored the need for stability in the oil markets, which it said would contribute to sustained growth and prosperity in oil-producing as well as in oil-consuming countries.

The G-8 endorsed reports by their finance ministers on ways to root out abuses of the global financial system and confirmed that they would be ready to block loans from agencies such as the International Monetary Fund if countries do not cooperate on money laundering. The G8 will be joined for the rest of the three-day summit by one of the countries singled out for not clamping down on money-laundering - Russia. While affirming their backing for debt relief for the poorest states, the seven others are expected to reject Russian overtures for a write-off of $42 billion in debt owed to rich-country governments that it inherited when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. They are likely instead to give Putin more time to repay the debts, which Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said on Thursday were stunting Russia's development of the fully-fledged market economy the G8 would like to see.

Putin, making his debut on the G-8 stage, is sure to be quizzed about his landmark talks in Pyongyang on Wednesday with enigmatic North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, who is gradually opening up his impoverished Stalinist state to the outside world. The highlight of the Pyongyang visit was a promise by Kim to halt North Korea's missile development program if other countries provided it with rocket boosters for space exploration. Putin will be counting on the offer to help him in his drive to get the United States to drop plans, still on the drawing board, for an anti-ballistic shield against missile attacks from nations such as North Korea that Washington deems "rogue states." The U.S. national missile defense is expected to top the agenda when Putin holds bilateral talks with President Clinton. The White House said Mr. Clinton, who had already delayed his departure by a day, might leave Okinawa a few hours early to return to the talks, which are poised on a knife edge.

The summit is scheduled to end early on Sunday afternoon.
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Greece Looks to Tax Orthodox Church

Greece is considering taxing the Orthodox Church. The government has announced plans to study taxation and ownership of church property, further worsening relations with the powerful Greek Orthodox Church.
...Church and state already are at odds over the state's removal of religious affiliation from national identity cards, which everyone over 14 carries. The government went ahead with the cards despite massive protest rallies. It insists that it followed the findings of a human rights commission which said any declaration of religion on identity cards would discriminate against Greece's 2 percent of non-Orthodox adherents, including Moslems, Jews, and other Christians.
...The Orthodox church suggested the new government is trying to undermine the church's traditional role in Greek society.

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UN Proposes Global Welfare

For Immediate Release June 30, 2000
UN NGOs Propose UN Currency, Banks and Global Computer to Implement Plan for Welfare Check  for Every Person

Geneva, Switzerland --- As government leaders from 170 nations deliver their official addresses on social development needs and progress at a special session of the
UN General Assembly in Geneva, across the street thousands of other UN delegates are discussing ways to meet those needs through
UN agencies.

Thomas Jacobson, senior policy analyst for Freedom Alliance, attended a session today, titled, Basic Income For All People. "While well-intentioned," Mr. Jacobson said,
"the UN delegates are proposing systems that would give the UN a measure of control over every person, nation and economy in the world. Plus the UN would have its own currency and banks, and have a gigantic computer with information about every person on the face of the earth. That is alarming!"

The idea of giving every person in the world a basic income, or yearly welfare check of approximately  250 UN dollars, was invented by the late  Pieter Kooistra, an artist from the Netherlands.  His idea is being passionately promoted by others before the UN and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that work closely with the UN.

 Here are some of the basic elements of the proposal:

The money: 250 UN dollars to each person each year (may be in UN currency or UN bank debit card); For 6 billion people, the cost would be at least
1.5 trillion UN dollars per year;

 People in poorer countries would receive more, which would increase the cost;

Funds could be used to buy food and necessities, but the "rich" could not use funds for food;

The "people of the world would decide what goods and services could be purchased";

 Over 15-20 years, the amount would be increased to about 3,500 UN dollars.

UN Banks,
"Supplemental Economy" & "Field  Representatives":

UN would have a central bank and local banks;

An entirely separate "supplemental economy" would be developed using the UN currency;

There would be a central computer system that would know how much each person may spend;

 Every 1,000 people would be represented by a UN field worker, who would, for each person, enter into the global computer personal information and items approved for purchase;

Those who are found guilty of any type of coercion or fraud would be banned from the system.

Mr. Jacobson concluded, "What is being proposed by these UN delegates is nothing short of global government with great potential for misuse."

 **COPYRIGHT NOTICE** In accordance with Title 17 U. S. C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for nonprofit research and educational purposes only. [Ref. ]

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Italy Forgives Poor Countries of $6 Billion in Debt


ROME (AP) - Italy is canceling $6 billion in debt owed by 62 developing countries, the Foreign Ministry said Friday, and intends to push other rich countries to do the same.  
The measure absolves 41 of the countries, including Uganda, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Angola, of all of their debt to Italy.  The debt relief stems from an agreement reached at last summer's summit of the leaders of the world's seven largest economies.  The accord came in response to an aggressive global lobbying campaign led by a coalition of religious groups. The seven rich countries - Italy, the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, and Canada - have another summit July 21-23 in Okinawa, Japan. Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini said that Italy is the first of the group to cancel debt and it intends in Okinawa to push its summit partners to follow suit. The Italian relief package includes several formulas.  Some countries will get partial debt relief combined with aid packages.  Others get only debt relief.  The measure includes the equivalent of up to $2 billion in aid money. The package passed its final parliamentary hurdle Thursday, winning the unanimous approval of the Senate. Italian missionary groups hailed the measure, but said it was just a start. The afterthought of the creditor nations must not be:  OK we did our part and now they can't ask for more," said the Rev. Francesco Marini, general superior of the Xaverian missionaries.


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Larry Witham


     A global summit bringing 1,000 religious leaders to the United Nations will disclose some participants next week, good news to U.N. officials eager to plan security and
protocol for the unprecedented Aug. 28-29 event.   The "working list" to be issued Tuesday will not include personages such as Pope John Paul II and probably
not the Dalai Lama, who reports no invitation.
      But the Vatican's Cardinal Francis Arinze, a Nigerian, will make the trek to New York City as will spiritual leaders from countries such as Peru who have never before left their native soils.   "The leaders we've met in Africa, and Europe and Asia and Russia understand the opportunity," said Dena Merriam, a vice chairman of the summit.      "The challenge is to have so many top leaders, and they all have something to say," she said.      Miss Merriam, who has traveled with the summit's Secretary-General Bawa Jain to enlist participants, noted that even heads of state are given no more than five minutes to make remarks at the United Nations.   The Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders is organized by an "independent coalition" of interfaith leaders, and is being held in a year when nongovernmental organizations, or NGOs, are seeking use of the General Assembly chamber more than usual.      "We're hoping in the next two weeks that their program will begin to gel," a U.N. official said.  "Any event that takes place in the General Assembly room requires major concern for security, protocol, the political [aspects], and making sure the program is compatible with the work of the United Nations," he said.  NGO use of the chamber averages about four times a year, but this year it will be roughly 10 times.      The Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders opens Aug. 28 with an afternoon procession into the General Assembly and sessions all the next day.      It moves for two more days to the nearby Waldorf Astoria hotel.

     The summit was announced last October after "conversations" between media mogul Ted Turner and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who will address the session
of "the world's pre-eminent" spiritual leaders.      One casualty of the inevitable political delicacies may be the Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibet. China holds one of five permanent seats on the U.N. Security Council and long has opposed his speaking at the United Nations.      "His Holiness has not been invited to the summit," an
Office of Tibet spokeswoman in New York said Thursday.      The religious leaders are expected to issue a Declaration for World Peace and agree to some form of a
permanent International Advisory Council of Religious and Spiritual Leaders.      Mr. Turner, the summit's honorary chairman, has promised full live coverage by CNN.

     The chairman of the top advisory board is Canadian businessman Maurice Strong, who ran the U.N. Earth Summit in 1992, and a vice president of the summit's executive counsel is former Sen. Timothy Wirth, Colorado Democrat, who now heads Mr. Turner's grant-giving United Nations Foundation.      Other vice presidents are Gillian Sorenson, assistant to Mr. Annan, and the Rev. James Morton, an Episcopal priest with the Interfaith Center of New York.      A midtown Manhattan office near the United Nations has been the hub of the yearlong effort inviting notable peoplefrom 12 world traditions, from the monotheistic faiths to Zoroastrianism, indigenous religions and Confucianism.

     Funding comes from 11 sponsors, which include the Better World Fund of Mr. Turner and the Templeton, Carnegie and Rockefeller Brothers foundations. Summit organizers
would not yet disclose a budget.

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Sean Scully


     The House yesterday overwhelmingly came out against efforts by international family planning groups to reduce Vatican influence at the United Nations.  The vote was 416-1, with only Rep. Pete Stark, California Democrat and an avid supporter of abortion rights who takes a tough line on separation of church and state, voting against the non-binding resolution.  Supporters of the measure said Congress will not stand idly by while the hundreds of organizations assail the Vatican.

     "The Vatican is under attack by pro-abortion extremists, and Congress will not let that attack go unchallenged . . . we will not tolerate this effort to silence the Vatican," House Majority Leader Dick Armey, Texas Republican, said after the vote.

     "If anything," said Rep. Christopher H. Smith, New Jersey Republican and sponsor of the resolution, "the Holy See deserves a more prominent role at the U.N."

     For three decades, the Vatican has enjoyed "observer" status at the United Nations, meaning it doesn't have a full vote like most nations, but it can participate in debates
and conferences and can join international treaties. Only neutral Switzerland has similar status.

     The Vatican is the central governing body of the Catholic Church, but unlike other religious institutions, it is also an internationally recognized sovereign nation. The
Vatican has diplomatic relations with 169 nations, including the United States.   A coalition of 70 organizations, led by Washington-based Catholics for a Free Choice, began a drive early last year to reduce the influence of the Vatican in the United Nations, taking away its ability to participate in most official functions. At least 300 more organizations,
including Planned Parenthood and Republicans for Choice, have since signed the anti-Vatican petition.

     "The question of the appropriate role for the Roman Catholic Church in the U.N., whether it is called the Holy See or the Vatican, is a legitimate question of the
separation of church and state that deserves serious consideration by both the United Nations and the U.S. Congress," said Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for
a Free Choice, in a statement released after the vote.

     "Non-binding jingoistic apple pie resolutions that mistake questions of law and policy will not make the real issues go away."  Catholics for a Free Choice and its allies object
particularly to the strict Catholic position against birth control and abortion. Ms. Kissling has repeatedly dismissed the Vatican as nothing more that "100 acres of office space
and tourist attractions" and not a legitimate nation state.   Mr. Smith warned that relations between the United States and the United Nations will become more strained "if
this anti-Catholicism succeeds."   The House resolution is non-binding, but it is an important political signal from both parties to Catholic voters. Catholics are an important voting bloc in key states, including Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.

     During the primary season, candidates of both parties courted Catholics. The battle became particularly heated on the Republican side, where Sen. John McCain, Arizona
Republican, accused Texas Gov. George W. Bush of being anti-Catholic for having given a speech at Bob Jones University in South Carolina. The Protestant institution is
sharply critical of the Catholic Church.  So sensitive to the criticism was Mr. Bush, now the likely Republican nominee, that he is considering prominent
Catholics to be his running mate, including Gov. Frank Keating of Oklahoma and Gov. Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania.

     The issue may also come into play in New York, where first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton is running for Senate. Many of her prominent female supporters sit on boards of
organizations asking to reduce the Vatican's influence. Mrs. Clinton has declined to denounce those efforts, a fact that the Republican National Committee occasionally points out in critical press releases.
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Episcopalian, Lutherans Celebrate Alliance

By Judith Kohler

Associated Press Writer


DENVER (AP) - The presiding bishop of the country's largest Lutheran denomination helped celebrate communion at the Episcopal national convention Wednesday to mark the churches' new alliance. "This day is the goal of a long journey," said Bishop H. George Anderson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. After four decades of talks, Episcopalians approved an alliance last week that allows the churches to share clergy, sacraments and programs.  The pact was approved by the Lutherans last year and takes effect Jan. 1. The Lutherans have 5.1 million members and Episcopalians have 2.4 million members. Anderson shared the altar with Frank Griswold, the presiding Episcopal bishop, in the Colorado Convention Center where about 1,000 people attended Wednesday's communion service. "Each of us brings our passions, our expertise, our resources to support each other in the challenges God has put before us," Anderson said. Griswold said the alliance is a chance "to share the best in both traditions." Griswold, in purple, and Anderson, in white and black, exchanged communion chalices to mark the new partnership.  Griswold handed Anderson a crystal cup and Anderson offered a ceramic cup, which was used during the service. Those gathered gave them a standing ovation. The churches have similar theologies and sacraments and share pastors in areas where there are shortages, and Episcopalians have hailed the alliance as a way to fortify a strong relationship

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Episcopals Okay Full Communion with Lutherans
July 8, 2000 9:51 pm EST

By Keith Coffman

DENVER (Reuters) - After 30 years of debate, the U.S. Episcopal Church approved a historic pact on Saturday that would allow it to share clergy, sacraments and mission work with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the largest U.S. Lutheran denomination.  Bridging a centuries-old gap between the two denominations, an overwhelming majority of 860 Episcopal clergy and lay delegates at the 73rd annual Episcopal General Convention here approved a resolution allowing full communion with the ELCA. Resolutions in the 2.5 million member Episcopal Church must be approved by both "houses" of the church's bicameral system. An overwhelming majority of the 200 bishops at the convention approved the measure Friday. Leaders of the 5.2 million strong ELCA approved the measure last year at their churchwide assembly. It is expected to go into effect in January. "Besides allowing an interchange of ordained ministers this agreement gives us confidence to go forward together in a sharing of our resources and traditions for the sake of a greater good in evangelism witness and service," the Most Rev. Frank Griswold, the Episcopal Church's presiding bishop, said in a statement Saturday. The pact could be a model for other ecumenical efforts, said Episcopal Bishop Chris Epting of Des Moines, Iowa, one of the drafters of the pact. "If we Episcopalians who are in the Catholic heritage and the Lutherans in the Protestant heritage can come together then this could be a sign even in Rome that rapprochement can be possible without losing a church's identity," the bishop said. The controversial measure, which is not supported by all Lutheran denominations, is a revised version of a proposal that was approved in 1997 by Episcopalians but struck down by the ELCA. Despite differing styles of ministry, the two churches share similar worship patterns, church leaders said. The pact will benefit communities where churches have sparse congregations, low income, and clergy shortages. "Be it urban ministry, be it rural ministry, be it campus ministry or other situations of ministry, this agreement of mutual recognition will prove to be highly constructive for both of our churches," the Rev. Lowell Almen, secretary of the ELCA, told reporters at a press conference Saturday. Officials noted that Lutheran clergy would be allowed to serve in Episcopal churches and vice versa but the Episcopal church and the ELCA would retain their differing methods of clergy formation. In addition, the pact includes compromise that would require new Lutheran bishops serving in Episcopal churches to be reordained in the Episcopal fashion. Episcopalians install their bishops in ceremonies that involve a laying-on of hands by three other bishops. This, they believe, signifies a direct link to Jesus Christ and his apostles.

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News Article: US proposal approved for new world criminal court

By Evelyn Leopold
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - With some reluctance, delegates planning the world's first permanent criminal court  Friday approved a provision the United States called a step towards possible exemption of U.S. soldiers from prosecution.     "It is a gateway to the discussion that we need to hold in November on the protection we need for our armed forces," said David Scheffer, the U.S. ambassador at large for war crimes.     At issue are complex rules for a new International Criminal Court that would prosecute individuals for the world's most heinous atrocities -- war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.     But several legal experts and delegates, including New Zealand and the Ivory Coast, criticized Scheffer's reading of the deal, saying a procedural rule, adopted formally at a legal conference  Friday, would not create privileges for one country only.    

"The interpretation that this rule allows the court to enter an agreement granting the exemption for U.S. nationals is wishful thinking at best," said Richard Dicker, associate
counsel for Human Rights Watch.     With some 300,000 soldiers abroad, the United States wants airtight guarantees its soldiers and officials would not be
subject to politically motivated or frivolous prosecutions. Proponents of a strong court say its statutes include numerous safeguards to prevent this.    

Some 120 countries approved a treaty establishing the court at a 1998 conference in Rome. Under pressure from the Pentagon, the United States was among seven nations that voted "no."     Since Rome, 97 countries have signed the treaty and 14 states had ratified it. A total of 60 ratifications are needed for the treaty to go into force, which most experts believe will happen within three years.    

Canada announced on Friday its foreign minister, Lloyd Axworthy, would deposit ratification papers at the United Nations next week. France and Belgium have already done so.     Under the treaty, the court steps in only when nations are unable or unwilling to pursue an alleged crime that involves systematic attacks against a population.    
European delegations, particularly Britain, helped the United States get language that would keep it in the next round of negotiations. Without it, the U.S. delegation would have
ended its participation.     

Scheffer, in a Thursday interview, admitted he was facing an uphill fight in November, when he intended to present "the larger part" of his proposal for the court, which is expected
to be up and running within five years in The Hague.     The discussion in November will concern the relationship between the court and the United Nations, the area Scheffer
believes will open the door to a broader agreement on an exemption for U.S. nationals. His new proposal raised the general question of international agreements outside the court's statutes.     No one expects the United States to sign or ratify the treaty for many years to come, if ever. Instead Scheffer is arguing for a close U.S. relationship with the court as a "non-party."    

"If we cannot achieve this in the end, then the risk increases considerably for a conflict between the United States and this court and with our allies over this court," he said.    
But Scheffer, who help set up U.N. tribunals on the Balkans and Rwanda, said the world needed a permanent criminal court.     "We need it because the perpetrators of these heinous crimes must be brought to justice. And we need it as a deterrent over the generations that follow," he said.     "The international system simply cannot continue to deal
with these problems in an ad hoc manner indefinitely," he said. "If we can just get by this one issue (this) court has tremendous potential for being a vehicle for intentional
justice, and we want to be able to see that potential."     Pressure on Scheffer increased earlier this month when North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms, introduced a bill barring the United States from any ties with the court until the U.S. Senate ratified the treaty, which Helms opposes on principle.     "This is clearly a locomotive coming down on us," Scheffer said. "But I would hope the locomotive stops because it's recognized that we are making progress in these negotiations to achieve the very objective that is behind this legislation."     The delegates from more than 100 countries ended a three-week meeting on Friday after they formally approved rules of procedures and a document on "elements of crimes."     "Never before have war crimes and crimes against humanity and genocide been defined with such precision as we now have in
the elements of crimes," Scheffer said.     Calling the document "truly historic," Scheffer said it would serve as a guide for years for prosecutors and defense
lawyers in national and military courts "for decades to come."

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Pope Calls Orthodox Presence in Rome a Gesture of Hope
By Frances D'emilio
Associated Press Writer

VATICAN CITY (AP) - In a ceremony involving New York's new archbishop, Pope John Paul II welcomed Orthodox Christian delegates to Rome on Thursday with a call for Christian unity. Orthodox leaders in Istanbul, Turkey, sent a delegation to attend the Vatican's traditional ceremony to mark the June 29 feast of Saints Peter and Paul. The event involved an ancient rite in which new archbishops from around the world received the "pallium," a band of white wool decorated with black crosses. The pallium symbolizes the archbishops' bond with the Vatican. Among those who knelt before the pope Thursday evening was New York Archbishop Edward M. Egan, who has succeeded the late Cardinal John O'Connor. As he did for each of the 23 other new archbishops, John Paul slipped the band over Egan's head and offered a few words in private. After hearing their names called out in Latin, the bishops pledged loyalty and obedience to the pontiff. In the past, the ceremony has been held in the morning, but the Vatican has been scheduling some events in the evening when it is cooler to help the frail 80-year-old pope better withstand the rigors of the Holy Year. Nevertheless, the pope appeared tired in during the ceremony in St. Peter's Square, where the evening air was humid after a heavy but brief shower earlier in the day. During his noon appearance at his studio window to greet pilgrims gathered in the square, John Paul said he was offering the Orthodox delegates his "cordial greeting and a brotherly embrace in the peace of the Lord." "The meaningful presence of these brothers in faith is a gesture that invites one to hope and to follow without ever being discouraged the path of ecumenical dialogue," John Paul said. He prayed so that "the Christians of the East and the West can experience the joy and grace of full unity" and communion in faith. John Paul said Christian unity was a goal particularly dear to his heart. The collapse of Soviet-bloc communism raised hopes among some that newly found religious freedom would foster brotherhood among Christians. But the new era has seen some bitter disputes among Catholics and Orthodox over new converts and property formerly confiscated by communist regimes.

AP-ES-06-29-00 1834EDT

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17-Aug-2000 -- Church News   




New York, 17 (NE) The "UN News" informed in its latest edition that a "World Summit of Spiritual Leaders and Religions for Peace" will start on August 28 in New York, convened by the United Nations (UN).  The "United Initiative of Religions," a group which "condemns the traditional notion of Christian evangelization "is in charge of organizing the summit.  The UIR, meant to be the spiritual arm of the UN, "declares itself to be against the 'dogmatic' religions, as promoters of 'fundamentalism,' as well as in favor of abortion, sexual freedom for adolescents, legalization of homosexual unions and against the 'unsustainable' population growth."  The agency also indicates the search for a "new ethical code" that, based on the New Age syncretism, can serve as the "spiritual foundation of the new world order."

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Thousands of Muslims Participate in Early Harvest Blessing

EPHESUS, AUGUST 15 ( The feast of the Assumption, which for centuries has been celebrated with great solemnity in Ephesus, the shrine next to the house in which, according to one branch of the tradition, Mary spent the last years of her life, has taken on special importance during this Jubilee year.

The Church in Ephesus has been declared a Jubilee Church by the Turkish Episcopal Conference. More than 2,000 people attended Mass there today, celebrated by Archbishop Luigi Conti, Apostolic Nuncio in Turkey. Among the faithful were pilgrims from the United States, France, and Italy.

A liturgy of the Word was also celebrated, under the direction of diocesan Archbishop Giuseppe Bernardini, during which the first fruits of the harvest were blessed. It is interesting to note that Turkish Muslims, who are a majority in the country, attach great importance to this blessing. Consequently, thousands of them went up to Meryem Ana to pray to the Virgin, for whom they have a special devotion.

The Qu'ran mentions Mary 44 times in delicate poetic terms. The Ephesus shrine is one of the few where Muslims and Christians pray together daily. Devotees arrive from all over the world, numbering over one million annually.

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7-Aug-2000 -- EWTN Pro-Family News




* International leaders from government, business and civil society will meet in New York for seven days in September to muse about mankind and his future.  Founded in 1995 by former Soviet Communist leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the "State of the World Forum" meets regularly to advance a bundle of mostly far left ideas.


*The State of the World Forum "was founded with the explicit purpose of gathering together the creative genius of the human family, its elders and innovators, in a search for solutions to the critical challenges facing humanity in the 21st century."  Organizers call it "a powerful common evolutionary enterprise for our species."


* Three main principles drive the State of the World Forum; "ecological sustainability" as opposed to the "generation of wealth," "global governance" rather than "national sovereignty," and  "compassionate society" as opposed to the "global flow of capital."


* What is most striking about the Forum is the long list of international heavyweights who participate.  Even conservatives have turned up, such as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brezinski, and new Mexican President Vincente Fox.  Sprinkled with world leaders has been a large number of New Age proponents, including author Marianne Williamson, guru Deepok Chopra, and "mythologist" Jean Houston.


* The seven-day meeting beginning in New York on September 4 is intended to coincide with a number of other important conferences attached to the United Nations.  The UN will convene a Millennium Summit of up to 150 heads of state and the World Peace Summit of religious and spiritual leaders meets just before the Forum begins.


* This State of the World Forum will address "Shaping Globalization:  Convening the Community of Stakeholders."  Forum organizers contend the violent riots that occurred during the last meeting of the World Trade Organization in Seattle last December highlighted "the inadequacies of the current system of global governance."  This session of the State of the World Forum is being pitched as a "global town meeting in which the private sector and civil society can come together for substantive dialogue with selected heads of state."  Speakers include Earth Council Institute Chairman Maurice Strong, UN Population Fund Executive Director Nafis Sadik, and Haitian President Jean Bertand-Aristide.


* The Forum will feature major sessions on business, children, education, sustainable development, globalization, global governance, global security, health, science and spirituality, and social development.  While the Forum is viewed as a democratic meeting, it is unlikely that most people will have ever heard of the terms "global governance" and "sustainable development."  It is also unlikely that most people have ever heard of those from civil society who will represent them at these meetings.  At some point it is likely that large new programs and new laws will evolve from the State of the World Forum and other such bodies.


Copyright -C-FAM 

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E n g l i s h E d i t i o n
Sunday, August 6, 2000

UN Security Council set to hold summit


UNITED NATIONS - For only the second time in history, the leaders of the 15-member UN Security Council will meet for a summit, council president Hasmy Agam of Malaysia said Friday.

The topic of discussion for the September 7 meeting will be "Ensuring an effective role of the Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security, particularly in Africa."

"The members of the Security Council believe that such a meeting will make a valuable contribution toward achieving the major purpose of the Millennium Summit aimed at strengthening the United Nations," Hasmy told reporters.

The summit will take place during this year's annual session of the 188-member General Assembly, dubbed the Millennium Assembly, which opens on September 5. It will include a three-day Millennium Summit, from September 6 to 8, to be attended by the heads of state or government of most UN members.

The first Security Council summit was held on January 31, 1992, presided over by then-British prime minister John Major.

It ended with the reading of an 1,800-word statement declaring the Cold War dead and endorsing what was intended to be an emerging new world order in which the United Nations would head off crises before they exploded.

The council asked then-secretary-general Boutros Boutros-Ghali to prepare recommendations on ways to strengthen the world body's capacity "for preventive diplomacy, for peacemaking and for peacekeeping."

The council comprises five permanent members - the United States, Russia, Britain, China and France - and 10 members who each serve two-year terms. They are currently: Argentina, Bangladesh, Canada, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mali, Namibia, Netherlands, Tunisia and Ukraine.

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Annan launches 'Global Compact'   

Wednesday, July 26, 2000


By WILLIAM M. REILLY UNITED NATIONS, July 26 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan Wednesday launched his Global Compact, a coalition of world business, labor and civil organizations he hopes will embed shared values and practices reflecting global social needs in a global market.


High-level representatives of nearly 50 businesses, labor and non-governmental, or "civil," organizations and businesses associations joined Annan and representatives of U.N. agencies at the meeting in the Economic and Social Council Chamber.


Annan first warned international business leaders at Davos, Switzerland in January 1999, before the anti-World Trade Organization demonstrations in Seattle, about a mounting backlash against globalization.


What is necessary, he said, is "to ensure that the global market is embedded in broadly-shared values and practices that reflect global social needs, and that all the world's people share the benefits of globalization."  Annan said the United Nations was working with corporations in appreciation of the influence and reach they have.


"Some believe that one should not engage companies," he said.  "The companies are part of our reality.  I think it's important that we engage with them, that we work with them, to improve conditions."  But others don't agree.


"The U.N. should serve as a counterbalance to corporate globalization rather than a booster for it," said Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, of the Philippines-based Tebtebba Foundation, the Indigenous People's International Center for Policy Research and Education.


"It is extremely disappointing to see this most important institution moving in a direction which seriously compromises its stated primary objective of working for the well-being of the world' poor."  Kenny Bruno, U.N. Coordinator for Transitional Resource and Action center, said:  "The secretary-general seems to think the U.N. can help 'fix' the problems of globalization by getting serial violators of human rights, labor rights and the environment to declare that they won't be bad anymore.  But the ongoing actions of Nike, Shell, Novartis and other continue to speak louder than words."  Asked by reporters whether corporations could use the United Nations to improve their image, the Secretary-General  said:  "Nobody is creating a sham operation here.  There will be transparency in the participation by businesses in support of the Global Compact.  The trade unions are involved, (and) civil society is involved" in monitoring the progress made in upholding the nine principles of the Global Compact, he said.


Annan said that if corporations believe in those values, they should plug them into their operations.


"You don't have to wait for laws to do some of these right things," such as allowing unions and decent wages, combating pollution and prohibiting child labor.  "Companies have great influence, great reach and they can set very good examples."  The Secretary-General said the United Nations was trying to implement values that already have been negotiated and agreed to by businesses.  "We are not trying to create a new code of conduct," he said, but to put teeth into existing standards.


Annan said the recent work by the United Nations and corporations to limit the sale of diamonds originating from Angola and Sierra Leone "give an indication on what corporations and the United Nations can do " to avoid doing business with war profiteers.


Annan said the United Nations in general tries to "stay away from companies that are acting in a manner that goes completely counter to our own practices.  However, he added, some companies may try to improve their own practices.


"The public also has choices," Annan said.  "We make choices by our individual purchases," he said.  "As the world becomes much more open, this is also a very powerful tool." -- Copyright 2000 by United Press International


All rights reserved.

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Fed Chairman Defends Globalization       


By Martin Crutsinger

AP Economics Writer

Tuesday, July 25, 2000; 11:36 a.m. EDT


WASHINGTON --- Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan strongly defended the process of globalization on Tuesday, warning that efforts to halt the growing economic connections between nations would disrupt the effort to spread prosperity worldwide.


"The bottom line of all the evidence we can marshall is that (globalization) has been a major force in increasing living standards in the United States and around the world,"  Greenspan told the House Banking Committee.


Greenspan said policy-makers must "avoid like the plague" doing anything that would undermine this process because trade barriers or other government intervention in the operation of free markets would hurt the effort to boost living standards.


Greenspan's comments came during his appearance before the House Banking Committee to deliver the Fed's updated economic forecast.  His prepared testimony was identical to remarks he made last week before the Senate Banking Committee.


In those remarks, Greenspan said he believed America's record-breaking economic expansion may be slowing to a more sustainable pace.


Those comments were seen as lessening the chances that the Fed will boost interest rates at its next meeting on Aug. 22.


The Fed has raised interest rates six times in the past 13 months to slow growth and keep inflation pressures in check, but it passed up the chance to raise rates for a seventh time at its last meeting on June 27-28.


Greenspan repeated in his comments Tuesday a belief that the pace of spending by consumers on goods and services may be moderating, helping to bring demand more in line with the economy's ability to produce.


"It is clear that, for the time being at least, the increase in spending on consumer goods and houses has come down several notches, albeit from very high levels," Greenspan testified.

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