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January 3, 1997     The Message
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January 3, 1997

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12 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana World News Continued from page 1 Cleveland, president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, vowed to fight his veto, saying the procedure the legis- lation sought to ban bordered on infanticide. In a series of high-profile actions -- including national days of prayer, a grass-roots mailing campaign that brought millions of postcards to Con- gress, and an unprecedented prayer vigil of all U.S. cardinals and dozens of bishops on the steps of the Capitol -- the bish- ops waged a public campaign of extraordinary proportions to get Congress to override the veto. The override vote succeeded in the House but failed in the Sen- ate. A government order barring U.S. military chaplains from participating in the postcard campaign provoked wide contro- versy and a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of such an order. Despite the clear, ongoing con- flict between the bishops and Clinton on abortion, in his November re-election the presi- dent had a stronger showing among Catholics than among the general populace. He got slightly under 50 percent of the total vote but 53 percent of the Catholic vote. More than most years, for Catholics 1996 was a time when the death or illness of leading church figures was often in the neWBo ..... ".. MilliOns: mourned' Chicago Cardinal Joseph Bernardin's death Nov. 14 at the age of 68. His serenity in facing terminal cancer capped a long career as one of the most notable U.S. Catholic leaders in the 20th cen- tury. Only months before his death he launched the Catholic Com- mon Ground Project, an effort to overcome divisions among U.S. Catholics through dialogue, rec- onciliation, and a restored sense of common ground centered on Jesus Christ. Only a week before his death, he wrote to the Supreme Court urging it to reject legalization of physician-assisted suicide. Other leading church figures who died in 1996 included: Belgian Cardinal Leo Jozef Suenens, 91, a leader at the Sec- ond Vatican Council and in the postconciliar Catholic charis- matic renewal. -- Philadelphia's Cardinal John J. Krol, 85, one of Vatican II's undersecretaries and the sec- ond president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Fat r Max Thurian, 74, a theologian and liturgist of the ecumenical monastic communi- ty of Taize, France, a Calvinist who in 1987 became a Catholic and was ordained a priest. -- Uruguayan Jesuit Father Juan Luis Segundo, 70, one of the originators of liberation the- ology in Latin America. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the Nobel Peace laureate who is world-renowned for her work with the poor and dying, spent her 86th birthday Aug. 26 in a Calcutta hospital recovering from a combination of malaria, heart problems and pneumonia that nearly killed her. It was one of two severe health crises during the year for the nun who has headed the Missionaries of Charity since she founded the order in 1950. In October Mother Teresa became the fifth person in histo- ry to be named an honorary U.S. citizen and only the second, after Sir Winston Churchill in 1963, to be so honored while still liv- ing. The following month she was hospitalized again in criti- cal condition and had angioplas- ty to open restricted arteries. Pope John Paul II, 76, faced several bouts with fever during the year and in October was hos- pitalized to remove his appendix, which his doctors called a source Of recurring infections. Thse illnesses, coupled with the pontiff's increasingly notice- able hand tremor and his issuance of new papal election rules, helped fuel new rounds of speculation about when the next papal election will occur and who will succeed him. In November some 1,600 car- dinals, bishops and priests ordained in 1946joined the pope in Rome to celebrate his and their 50th anniversary of priest- ly ordination. The pope took the occasion to write a hook of per- sonal reflections on his own priesthood, published in English in the United States under the title "Gift and Mystery." Despite his age and health problems, as the pontiff com- pleted his 18th year in the papa- cy he continued to be an active international traveler. He visited Guatemala, Nicaragua, E1 Sal- vador and Venezuela in Febru- ary. He went to Tunisia in April, Slovenia in May, Germany in June, and Hungary and France in separate trips in September. In his annual address to the world's Vatican diplomats in January he urged a total ban on nuclear testing. When the test ban treaty was approved in Sep- tember, the Vatican was among the first to sign. In February he issued new rules for future conclaves of car- dinals to elect a new pope. In March he published an apostolic exhortation on consecrated life in which he called for greater decision-making roles in the church for women religious. In April, as a conference in Geneva prepared to discuss updating an international con- ventional weapons convention, he called for a global ban on anti- personnel land mines. In June, on the eve of a new internation- al conference on housing, Habi- tat II, he decried the economic inequities fostering rapid growth of urban slums around the world. In July he condemned the massacre of 300 Tutsis in a Burundi refugee camp. In October Pope John Paul said in a message to the Pontiff- cal Academy of Sciences that the theory of evolution must be rec- ognized as "more than a hypoth- esis." The message was part of a series of papal efforts in recent years to promote closer dialogue and cooperation between the worlds of science and faith, but it drew strong opposition from those who view divine revelation in ScriptUre and evolutionary theory as fundamentally opposed to each other. In a radio broadcast to China in December he urged Chinese Catholics in the government- approved church, which is not united with Rome, to reunite with those loyal to Rome. Sever- al reports from China during the year indicated that government authorities were waging a new campaign to force underground Catholics, who remain loyal to Rome, into the government- approved church. In early December the pope met with the primate of the Anglican Communion, Arch- bishop George R. Carey of Can- terbury. The two expressed a continuing commitment to advancing ecumenical relations but called the opposite stands of their churches on ordination of women an obstacle to Catholic- Anglican reconciliation. Earlier in the year the Catholic Theo- logical Society of America asked its members to embark on a yearlong study of the status of Catholic teaching on women's ordination, based on a paper that expressed strong skepticism about the claims of authority in the latest Vatican document on the issue. The pontiff set off a wide range of church activities all over the world with his initiatives to pre- pare for the start of the third mil- lennium of Christianity through a series of regional bishops' syn- ods in Rome, a three-year spiri- tual preparation focusing on the persons of the Trinity, and a dec- laration that the year 2000 will be celebrated as a special year of jubilee. In a long series of Wednesday audience talks on Mary through- out the year, he called attention to Catholic Marian beliefs. He devoted many of his Sun- day Angelus talks to the spiritu- al riches of the East in an effort to deepen Catholic-Orthodox dia- logue and understanding. Catholic-Orthodox tensions in Eastern Europe and Russia con- tinued, however, as Orthodox officials objected to Catholic activities in the region. The pope's own 1995 call for ecumenical discussion of how his ministry, as bishop of Rome and successor of Peter, can serve Christian unity drew numerous responses in 1996. Several U.S. and internation- al bilateral dialogue commis- sions agreed to address the issue of Petrine ministry as a service of unity in the near future. The world's top two non- Catholic ecumenical leaders said in July, in response to questions from a leading Polish Catholic weekly, Tygodnik Powszechny, that the current exercise of the pope's office within the Catholic Church poses a "decisive obsta- cle" to Christian unity. The two-- the Rev. Konrad Rais- er, secretary general of the World Council of Churches, and Ecu- menical Patriarch Bartholomew [ of Constantinople, first among all the Orthodox patriarchs -- said there is a desire among the churches for a universal office of unity and leadership, but not in the form that the papacy is cur- rently understood and exercised. The pope, in a message to a December conference on papal primacy convened by the Vati- can, ical one for sion. Several sies occupied t U.S. cont the debate in! what is what is and approprit! sion dom. In Bruskewitz attracted tion when law in his and later Catholics tions such group which at counts full least members. In groul Are seeking, more lay voice sions, changeSl ings and priests campaign ducive to re4 church. Later Canadian similar drive Retired bishop John 29 address ty, called Roman Curia' stantive world's which the teaching a] He said e and other closer to full New York'S O'Connor with devotin dioce critique of the In Bernardin, tee of di' the Catholic Project. was to open I overcome U., WASHINGTON (CNS) Catholic editors voted the abor- tion issue as the top religious news story of 1996, and named the death of Cardinal Joseph L. Bernardin of Chicago as the year's second most significant story. Cardinal Bernardin also emerged as the top newsmaker of the year in the annual year- end poll conducted by Catholic News Service among subscrib- ing editors. Runners-up in the newsmak- er category were Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa of Calcut- ta. .The poll was the 35th annual survey of editors of CNS client newspapers. This year's ballots were distributed Dec. 6 and the deadline for returns was Dec. 13. Editors were asked to vote for the top 10 news stories from a list of 39 selected by ONS staff and the top five newsmakers from a list of 17. Votes were weighted by the rankings edi- tors gave -- 10 points for a first- place vote, nine points for sec- ond, etc., and five for top newsmaker, four for second, etc. With 38 editors submitting ballots, the maximum points a story could have received was 380. The most a newsmaker could receive on the five-point scale was 190. Fractions in the point count are the result of an editor ranking two Or more sto- ries as a tie. When the first editors' poll was conducted in 1962, the over- whelming choice for top story for that year was the opening of the Second Vatican Council. Last year, editors voted the October visit of Pope John Paul to the United Nations and four U.S. dioceses as the top religious news story. Here is the editors' choice of top 10 Stories and top five news- makers of 1996, followed by points received in the weighted ballot count and, in parentheses, the number of first-place votes received. Stories: 1. Abortion, especially the campaign on the partial-birth abortion legislation, 302 (16 first-place votes). 2. Death of Cardinal Bernardin, 275 (10). 3. Elections, 223 (5). 10. 4. Assisted suicide, 159 (1). 76. 5. Papal health and succes- sion, 142 (2). 6. Common Ground project, 1. 125.5 (2). (24). 7. Africa, 123 (1) 8. Welfare reform, 118 (1). 3. 9. Mother Teresa's health, 4. 108. 5. Sister Miller & Colonial Supp( Knights MEMBERS Bernie Miller Geral Jon Miller Greg Top stories: Catholic editors list abortion, cardinal's By NANCY FRAZIER O'BRIEN Catholic News Service extremes See