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Evansville, Indiana
January 11, 1991     The Message
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January 11, 1991
 

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4 Editorial The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana January 11, 1991 By PAUL LEINGANG Message Editor In all circumstances, a prayer for peace I am sitting less than six feet from the furnace in my basement as I write this column. But I have to wear a coat to keep comfortable in the chill of a January night, in the basement of my house. The furnace provides heat to the rest of the house, but the basement is chilly. Maybe "chilly" is not accurate. Maybe the better word is "cold." On an old desk in my basement is a terminal compatible with the equipment at the office of the Message. On the terminal I am able to write my column or any other item for the paper that may be necessary to complete at home. My basement terminal is next to the gas meter and below a basement window. From the chair in front of the desk I can watch the dials of the the gas meter turn when the furnace goes on. Out of the window I can see the Christmas lights which are plugged into the same electrical circuit as my terminal. Having a terminal at home helps me meet newspaper deadlines. Even if I have to wear a coat while I do it. As I write this column, I am aware that the calendar of the world is rushing headlong toward a deadline that is infinitely more serious than the weekly deadline of our diocesan newspaper. We rush toward Jan. 15, the international deadline for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait. So closeto a furnace, the air is cold. So close to peace, the world is full of the threat of war. Beneath the lights of Christmas decorations, I read the news of threatened violence. The Christmas lights celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace. But I fear the decisions of the Masters of War. There are calls for peace, and calls for prayer -- "pray for peace" is the call I hear and ask you to follow. Whatever your hope, whatever your belief, please pray for peace. Whether you are in the right, or uncertain of what's right, pray for peace. If your sons and daughters are 18, or already grown and gone from home, pray for peace. If you lead or follow, pray for peace. We are all so near the furnace of God's love for all humankind, but the winter of our own reality seeps into us, and we are cold. We sit beneath the lights of Christmas, but it is death, not birth which rules our thoughts, as we leave Christmas and approach Jan. 15. Perhaps the words of a prayer from Pax Christi USA may give us guidance: "O God, you fill the universe with light and love. In you we live and move and have our being. We pray for Saddam Hussein and George Bush. Enlighten their minds and fill their hearts with the power ot your creative love. Guide their actions so that all civilians and soldiers in the Gulf area are protected from the sufferings of war. Inspire their decisions so that the crisis in the Middle East is resolved peacefully, and all peoples of the world learn to walk in ways of justice, love and peace. Amen." Washington Letter Issues in 102nd Congress return from the past By NANCY FRAZIER Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS} -- When the 102nd Congress con- vened Jan. 3, some of the major issues drawing the attention of Catholic groups had the echo of years past. "Civil rights and parental leave legislation are going to be significant issues for us, as will be the broader issue of budget priorities," said John L. Carr, secretary of the U.S. Catholic Conference Department of Social Development and World Peace. In 1990, President Bush vetoed legislation that would have required businesses with 50 or more employees to grant workers up to three months of unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child or when a family member is ill. The House failed to override the veto. "We have followed that for seven.years and we'll be work- ing on it again," said Sister of St. Joseph Catherine Pinkerton of Network, a lobbying organization founded by nuns. "rh:MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47724 .0169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evans,,Jlle Published weekly except Is:t week In December by the Catholl,; Press of Evansville. Publisher.. ;. Bishop Gerald .. Gettelfinger Associate Publisher .... Rev Joseph Zlliak Editor .................. F lul Leingang Production Mgr ............... Phil Boger Cir./Adv. Mgr ........... Pe JI A. Newland Address till communic&tlon= to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47,'2,1-0169. Phone (812) 424-5536. Subscrlptlor] rate: $1 7.50 par year Single Copy Price: 50 Entered as 2nd clau matte at the post of. rice in Evaneville, IN 4'/7(J1. Publication number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to the Office of Publication. Copyright 1991 Catholic Prem of Evansville Joe Heiney-Gonzalez, deputy executive director of Catholic Charities USA, said the family leave legislation is among several proposals his group is advocating as ways of "helping families to be able to provide for themselves" in these economically troubled times. Another bill vetoed by Bush last year was the Civil Rights Act of 1990, which would have reversed six Supreme Court decisions limiting the impact of federal laws against job discrimination. A Senate at- tempt to override the veto failed by one vote. On Jan. 3, House Speaker Thomas S. Foley, D-Wash., an- nounced that the vetoed civil rights bill would be given the number HR 1 in the new Con- gress, designating it as the Democrats' top priority. In addition to the USCC, organizations like the National Catholic Conference on Inter- racial Justice, the National Black Catholic Congress and the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus have vowed to renew the fight for civil rights legislation in 1991. The 101st Congress failed to override any of Bush's vetoes, but the group sworn in Jan. 3 includes nine more Democrats than the previous Congress, giving the Democrats a 266-168 advantage in the House and a 56-44 majority in the Senate. Catholic organizations will not restrict their lobbying to domestic issues. In the international arena, Network plans to work this year for withdrawal of all U.S. military bases from the Philip- pines, continued conditioning of aid to E1 Salvador on the country's human rights record, and an increased focus on Guatemala, "where there has been as much oppression if not more than in other Central American countries," said Presentation Sister Richelle Friedman, a Network lobbyist. Carr said the USCC will look at congressional action on the Central American peace pro- cess, assistance to Panama, China's most-favored-nation status and its human rights record, sanctions against South Africa and Third World debt. On the abortion front, the "top priority" for the Catholic Church will be to "maintain all federal policies that prevent government support of abor- tion," said Richard Doerflinger, associate director for policy development of the U.S. bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities. Among current policies aimed at "keeping the govern- ment out of the abortion business," he said, are the Hyde Amendment, which pro- hibits federal funding of abor- tion, except when the mother's life is endangered; restrictions on foreign aid spending on abortion; and prohibitions in the District of Columbia on abortion fu.nding. Doerflinger said he did not think two pro-abortion bills before Congress -- the Freedom of Choice Act, requiring state to allow abortion throughout pregnancy, and the Reproduc- tive Health Equity Act, requir- ing abortion funding -- have any chance of passage. A wide range of funding issues -- from the Persian Gulf to foreign aid and domestic pro- grams by the score -- promises to get attention from Catholic groups during this legislative session. The Citizen's Budget Cam- paign, a coalition of 150 groups -- including peace activists, low-income groups and religious organizations -- was formed about 18 months ago to "look at the priorities on federal funding," said Sister Pinkerton. The campaign, in which Net- work plays a central role, has been working for "more pro- gressive taxation, deeper cuts in military spending, despite the Persian Gulf situation, and deficit reduction, but with an increase in programs for domestic human needs," she said. Network's top priorities in- clude funding for the National Affordable Housing Act, passed by Congress last year without any appropriations; support for various initiatives toward universal access to health care; backing of campaign finance reform efforts; and the promo- tion of plans for "economic conversion" to a post-Cold War United States, such as retrain- in$ civilians working in I military-related fields. I Carr said the USCC efforts on funding questions will center on "how people of modest t means do in the budget pro- cess. ' ' I Letters to the editor A 'Thank You' and 'Goodbye" "The poor don't have the loudest voices or the most ac- tive PACs (political action com- mittees)," he said. "But cam- [ mitments have been made, and tt they need to be kept." , i{ Considering that our skills and talents were only mediocre at best our faithful attendance and kind remarks to us inspired us to continue providing liturgical music for these eight years. Therefore, please know that we consider all the volunteer hours and financial sacrifices well worth the cause and we greatly appreciate the years we were allowed to musically serve you, the Church. See LETTERS page 11 I To the editor, Upon many happy reflections during this season of "giving thanks", my husband and I pause now to thank a large number of you, including those from other parishes and towns who for the previous eight years supported and encouraged our ministry of music at the Holy Rosary 5:15 Sunday Liturgy. Bishop's schedule The following activities and events are listed on the schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger: I l r L ti L