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Evansville, Indiana
January 6, 1989     The Message
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January 6, 1989

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The Message --for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 11 January6,1989 198 Continued from page 10 life. At the bishops' November meeting Archbishop John L. May, president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, summarized the pope's com- ments during the year and told reporters, "The pope is bullish on the church in the United States." However good the relations with Rome, there were tensions and controversies as well, which also came out during the * November meeting. The U.S. bishops, in a politely phrased but highly critical report, told the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops that its draft document on the theological and juridical status' of bishops' conferences was so bad that a completely new one should be written. One bishop compared the Vatican paper to a used car which would take so much fixing to make it run that it would be cheaper to junk it and buy a new one. Another controversy arose when the Vatican's doctrinal congregation sent some last- minute criticisms of a docu- ment on bishop-theologian rela- tions which the bishops had planned to vote on during their meeting. The committee that wrote the document withdrew it from the agenda. On another front -- Vatican rules for Catholic colleges and universities around the world -- the Vatican indicated that it does pay attention to criticisms of draft documents. It issued a revised draft in November of a working document which had been criticized by bishops and Catholic educators in the United States and elsewhere. The revised draft version was hailed by U.S. education leaders as vastly improved and far more sensitive to the diversi- ty of Catholic higher education. In comparison with 1984, when there was a major election-year debate over religion, morality and public policy, the U.S. bishops' political role in 1988 was relatively quiet. Their low-key stance was reinforced by a legal memo from their national head- quarters warning against any activities that could be inter- preted as politically partisan. But their religious positions on U.S. policy issues, notably on abortion and capital punish- ment, played a role in the debates between presidential contenders George Bush and Michael Dukakis. Two bishops -- Auxiliary Bishop Austin B. Vaughan of New York and Archbishop John F. Whealon of Hartford, Conn. -- publicly resigned from the Democratic Party in 1988 because of its pro-abortion stance. Bishop Vaughan was arrested four times during the year -- and served a two-day jail sentence in November -- for his participation in a series of Operation Rescue demonstra- tions aimed at blocking en- trances to abortion clinics around the country. The Operation Rescue cam- paign hit numerous cities but focused especially on Atlanta, site of the Democratic National Convention, where hundreds of people were arrested for block- ing abortion clinics during the convention and in the months that followed. In other abortion-related news: -- The National Conference of Catholic Bishops in June won a Supreme Court ruling requir- ing the federal appeals court in New York to take another look at the bishops' arguments for not obeying subpoenas to turn over internal records in a lawsuit stemming from alleged political activity against abor- tion by church officials. In the 8-year-old lawsuit, Abortion Rights Mobilization is seeking to force the Internal Revenue Service to revoke the Catholic Church's tax-exempt status on grounds that church agencies and officials have violated IRS regulations banning certain forms of partisan politics. -- In quick succession in Oc- tober the French phar- maceutical firm Roussel-Uclaf released a new abortion pill, HAVE WE FORGOTTEN WHAT ABORTION IS? Sixteen years and 22 million dead babies later... Some people are tired of hearing about abortion. They wish the "problem" of abortion would just go away. But, it won't go away. Until we make it go away. We must pray and work and give of our time and money today, tomorrow and every day until we have restored the paramount right to life for each and every one of God's children. Because each abortion means one more dead baby. An innocent human being scraped, burned or sucked to shreds in a horribly brutal and painful death. You have a choice: You can join American Life League today and work with others dedicated to the Life Principles, the Paramount Human Life Amend- ment and the total protection of ALL of God's children. Or: You can turn the page and TRY to forget the haunting picture of an innocent child -- after all; he is just one more dead baby. AMERICAN LIFE LEAGUE-PUTTING LIFE PRINCIPLES INTO ACTION! ,MIh( I I 1 ,,\\;NI ()1 , Mrs. Judie Brown, President American Life League, P.O. Box 1350, Stafford VA 22554 (703) 659-4171 WATCH FOR OUR INSERT IN YOUR PAPER IN TWO WEEKS. RU-486, then withdrew it because of what it called adverse public opinion, then re- released it under orders from the French government. -- The Vatican, in a binding legal interpretation that was sparked in part by the marketing of RU-486, declared that the general church law ex- communicating anyone who obtains or performs an abortion applies to all abortions, even those in the earliest stages of pregnancy. Abortion was also the key moral issue in debates by a federal advisory panel on the use of fetal tissue for research or medical purposes. In December a majority of the panel agreed that the government should be allowed to fund projects using fetal tissue if there are safeguards to separate tissue use from abortion. Two panel members, including Holy Cross Father James T. Burtchaell, a moral theologian, dissented sharply, saying it was impossi- ble to separate fetal tissue use from complicity in abortion. The pope and many bishops and theologians used the 20th anniversary of "Humanae Vitae," Pope Paul VI's 1968 en- cyclical that reaffirmed church teaching against artificial con- traception, as a focal point for renewed efforts to battle con- traception and promote natural family planning. Pope John Paul called the encyclical a "prophetic" document, and the U.S. bishops' Committee for Pro-Life Activities called it a "defense of the dignity of Christian marriage and family life." At the other end of the life spectrum, issues of euthanasia and withdrawal of food and water from dying persons were raised in several ways. Chicago's Cardinal Joseph L. Bernardin, head of the bishops' pro-life committee, spearhead- ed U.S. Catholic efforts to fight a growing campaign by pro- euthanasia groups to legalize physician-assisted euthanasia and so-called "rational" suicide. In a major speech in May he urged a "nuanced" public policy that would neither "open the door to euthanasia" nor keep alive terminally ill pa- tients who "should be allowed a natural death." Message Classifieds GOVERNMENT HOMES FROM $! (U repair). Delinquent tax property. Reposessions. Call (1) 805-687-6000 Ext. GH-7984 for current repo list. THANKS TO ST. JUDE, and the Sacred Heart of Jesus for a pretty good doctor's report. B.B.. James Jett & Associates, Inc. " life " health ,=, h:)re ,.. IRA retirement pD=nning 514 S. Green River Road P.O. Box 8104 Evansville. Indiana47715 Phone: (812) 473-4005 II