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Voices Online Edition
Summer 2000
Volume XV, No. 2 - Jubilee Year

Inside Voices...

Christ's Peace!

Do you remember Corpus Christi processions? Most Catholics today have only heard of them. Although the feast of the Body of Christ has been celebrated by Catholics in Europe and the Americas for 750 years -- until recently, with solemnity and festivity -- this festival of the Church seems most directly to contradict the "Spirit of the Age". Some would say it is so "out of synch" with contemporary culture that it cannot be revived except as an exercise in anachronism or nostalgia.

Is the Body of Christ, truly and materially present in the consecrated Host under the appearance of bread, something we contemporary Catholics, as members of the "mystical Body of Christ", are willing to celebrate?

This June 24 many Catholics in the United States will be participating in a genuine "revival" of the Corpus Christi celebration, first established by the Church in 1247. May these celebrations deepen the faith of Catholics everywhere.


Conference 2000?
The staff decided not to hold a national conference during the Jubilee year, in part because there are already so many other such activities scheduled.

In 1985, when we held our first conference, there were relatively few national gatherings for faithful Catholics -- and none for Catholic women, lay and religious, who are explicitly faithful to all the teachings of the Church. Happily, this is no longer the case. For example, as noted in our last issue, a conference co-sponsored by Women Affirming Life and the US bishops Pro-life Activities Committee was held in Washington, DC on March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation in observance of the "Jubilee Day for Women".

Internet and the "New Evangelization"
Does this mean WFF is doing nothing to observe the Jubilee? Well, no.

Special pages for the observance of the Jubilee Day for Women were added to our website. Perhaps because of this and other additions, the "hits" on our site increased tenfold during March of this year. WFF's increased Internet presence -- and the resources we provide on our web site -- is a way we are using this latest medium of global communication to help accomplish our purposes. (You will see evidence of the effectiveness of this expansion of our apostolate in the Letters column in this issue.) We hope you will make use of this effort on the Web.

Jubilee Penance
Pope John Paul II has stressed the need for Jubilee reparation. One doesn't have to look far for a reason for prayers of reparation for the world's present evils and for our own sinfulness. But everyone knows that fewer and fewer Catholics regularly receive the Sacrament of Penance -- and this is due, at least in part, to mixed signals coming from some within the Church. Our generation tends to reject authority outside the self, to deny personal sin, thus to rebel at the idea of confession or receiving absolution from a priest.

The Holy See's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments recently issued a "Circular Letter" to the bishops of Australia clearing up some confusion about this Sacrament. (Complete text here.)


WFF and the United Nations
Much of this issue is devoted to the appalling advances of feminist ideology through the agency of the United Nations.

WFF has finally received status as a Non-governmental Organization (NGO), making us eligible to attend the UN Special Sessions. Credentials for two of WFF's representatives (Mary Jo Anderson and I) to attend the June 4-6 meeting in New York were received May 28. Unhappily, neither of us were able to attend this meeting. (The Session is in progress as we write.)

God willing, however, we will attend the meeting in September on global ecology issues (read "population control").


UN contra women
On May 25, 2000, WFF issued a critical Statement on the United Nations "Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women" (a/k/a "CEDAW"). The WFF Statement was sent to the President of the United States, the Secretary General of the United Nations, the Vatican delegate to the United Nations, and a select list of congressmen, bishops, other leaders of pro-life, pro-family movements, and, of course, to the press, both Catholic and secular.

Can the voices of WFF's 50,000 Catholic women change anything? It seems unlikely, considering the pervasive anti-Catholic, anti-family atmosphere now at the UN. However, we are the women with children and grandchildren to be concerned about. The future matters to us.

We also know that whatever the outcome of a particular conflict, the root problems will not disappear. So we must be vigilant. (Mothers are used to this!)


A Gentle Reminder
If you have not sent us a donation recently (suggested $35/year), please do so now. We very much need your financial support. The envelope enclosed is for your convenience. Please be as generous as you can. We're counting on you!

As we go to press, Susan Benofy and I will be attending the "Spring Meeting" of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in Milwaukee.

During this Pentecost season in the Jubilee Year, we pray that the Holy Spirit will inspire and encourage you in all your efforts to serve the Lord and his Church.

Sincerely in Our Lord,

Helen Hull Hitchcock

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