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January 13, 1989     The Message
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January 13, 1989

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4 Editorial The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana January13,1989 By PAUL LEINGANG Message Editor Winter is time to prepare for life that is to come I found a cow in the back yard last week. It was a little plastic one. Somehow the plastic cow had emerged from the depths of a sandbox, obviously used and en- joyed by the youngest family member of the former owners. The sandbox is not a real box; it is just a square depression in the lawn, filled with sand. The sandy area is edged with grass and some weedy plants pretending to be grass. The vegeta- tion is doing its best to cover the sandy area, send- ing pioneering plants into the desert, trying to establish roots deep enough to find living water beneath it all. The cow had not been there before, I know, because each time the grass is mowed, the sand box is mowed, too. It looks better if the weedy plants pretending to be grass are trimmed at the same height as the real grass. In the course of mowing the lawn (and the sandbox), I have gotten accustomed to looking out for plastic cows. And confederate soldiers. There must have been hundreds of such small toys, at one time or another. They are soldiers and circus animals and farmyard beasts, the ones I have seen so far. They somehow managed to run away from their small owner, to hide in the grass, behind the bushes, and even beneath the sand. Lawn mower wheels used to flush them from their hiding places, in the summer and in the fall. Now, in winter, frost and snow and other natural forces must shake the ground enough to push them to the surface of the sand. Each day may bring forth a new surprise, to follow the plastic cow which last appeared in the sandbox. Spring may bring us greener grass, budding flowers and leafy trees. Winter brings us cows and soldiers and circus beasts. It may be easy to see signs and symbols of new life in lush greenery and verdant pastures -- a World resurrected from the dark and cold of winter. It is, perhaps, harder to see that even the dark and the cold of winter are involved in the preparations for the life that is to come. Signs in winter are often signs of pain -- the upheaval of freezing and thawing. Such a sign might not be visible on the grand scale of an entire lawn bursting into springtime green; such a sign may be seen more easily in a small sandy area of a yard in winter, where grass and other plants sur- round the sand and prepare to probe for a foothold. Such a sign may be found in the sandy earth which must eventually give up all of its secrets. Even plastic cows and toy soldiers bear witness to the forces at work. The forces of winter give us the reassurance that all that is lost or forgotten upon the earth or within the earth will one day be returned to the light. Nothing will escape into the darkness behind the bushes or beneath the sand. All the earth cries out in winter, preparing the way for new life in spring. Washington Letter President Reagan and issues of concern to Catholics By LIZSCHEVTCHUK measure of hope for peace. His developed regulations to pro- -- usually modified by Con- bishops. NC News Service INF treaty made progress tect handicapped newborns gress- repeatedly called for "The policy has clearly toward the nuclear non- from denial of medical treat- increased defense spending, violated laws and treaty obliga- , WASHINGTON (NC) -- proliferation that was envis- ment; and picked judges who especially for such items as his tions-- and thus can be termed Sometimes praised, sometimes ioned by the U.S. bishops' war were assumed to be critical of space-based Strategic Defense illegal -- and fails on most criticized and often controver- and peace pastoral, abortion for the Supreme Court Initiative, and decreased alloca- criteria required to justify arm- sial, President Reagan compil- While Reagan frequently and other federalbenches, tions for programs for the disad- ed aggression -- and thus can ed a mixed eight-year record on espoused anti-abortionand pro- During his tenure, Reagan vantaged, be termed immoral," said the issues ofconcerntoCatholics, private education views, his. also met with or issued "Military spendingshouldnot U.S. Catholic Conference, the When it cameto such matters eight years in office produced messages of support for par- be insulated when plans for bishops' nublic policy agency as outlawing abortion and pro- neither a ban on abortion nor a ticipants in pro-life activities reducing the deficit are for- While he SCC and other viding parental choice in tuition tax credit, commemorating the Jan. 22 an- mulated," Cardinal Ioseph L. religious groups c)ften criticized education, his views concurred It was on what he called niversary of the Supreme Bernardin of Chicago warned in Reagan's foreign aid policies, with those of numerous "social" issues that then- Court's 1973 abortion ruling. 1985. "Programs for the poor they also welcomed the INF -- Catholics -- many of whom candidate Reagan won much of His other meetings included have been cut enough. The Intermediate-range Nuclear voted for himtwice--and with his initial backing from pro- several conversations -- in burden ... should not be borne Forces -- treaty that he and the official policies of the U.S. liters and from Americans wor- Rome and the United States -- by the most vulnerable among Soviet leader Mikhail Gor- bishops, ried about a decline of tradi- with Pope John Paul II and with us." bachev signed in June 1988. Yet, on a range of other tional values in the schools and various U.S. prelates. Under his Reagan's offhand comments Such a treaty had been urged domestic and foreign issues, elsewhere, administration, the United sometimes drew flak as well, by the bishops in their 1983 from programs for the poor, Expectations arose early that States and the Vatican also such as when, in 1986, he sug- pastoral letter on war and i homeless and hungry to nuclear some form of tax relief for revived official diplomatic rela- gested that the hungry merely peace. weapons spending and support parents of non-public school tions and exchanged am- are too ignorant to know how to The treaty represented "a for Nicaraguan rebels, his students would be enacted into bassadors, find food assistance, very positive breakthrough," ' policies clashed repeatedly law during his tenure. On other domestic issues, "It's quite obvious the presi- said Cardinal Bernardin, who with those backed by the In April 1982, only a little and on foreign policy matters, dent is out of touch with his headed the committee that : church and other social justice over a year after taking office, Reagan often differed with own programs, and that's one wrote the pastoral. i advocates. Reagan outlined a tuition tax religious groups, of the great tragedies of the As a result of the Reagan- At the same time, however, credits proposal to the National After Reagan's 1984 State of Reagan administration," said Gorbachev treaty initiative, Reagan's rapprochement with Catholic Educational Associa- the Union message, for exam- Mathew Ahmann, Catholic "we seem to be fashioning a the Soviet Union -- coming tion. A year later, he promised pie, leaders of the National Charities' associate director of more constructive, candid rela- from a president who had he would"chargeupthathill" Conference of Catholic governmentalrelations, tionship ... one that'sgoodfor i earlier expressed vehemently to win support for it. Charities (now Catholic A favorite Reagan proposal -- the United States, the Soviet anti-Soviet views- provided a But little concrete action on Charities USA) termed the aid to the "contra" rebels Union and the whole world," .... that or subsequent proposals president's goals "totally unac- fighting the Marxist govern- said John L. Carr, USCC ever occurred, ceptable." merit of Nicaragua -- also drew secretary for social develop- TI .. |S ' "(TI  Efforts to outlaw abortion Reagan's proposed budgets objections from the U.S. ment and world peace. during his two terms also fell U IL"n 4,..O01%.K?r .... :..cAve. short ofgoals. While many pro- Prayer is source for Christian Evansville, IN 47724-0169 liters were pleased with Reagan's record, others began GRAYMOOR, N.Y.. (NC) -- stitute, a project of the Atone- apostle recognized that amidst Weokly newspaper of the saying, during the latter part of Prayer "infuses spiritual energy ment Friars, a Catholic our rich diversity we are in- Diocese of Evansville his second term, that his record into the work of promoting religious order. The weeklong dividually members of one had been more talk than ecumenism in all our church- celebration was initiated in the another because of the over- Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of substance, es," said a statement for the an- United States in 1908 by the riding unity of life and purpose e...v.,. "I do not see the babies as nual Jan. 18-25 Week of Prayer founder of the Atonement we share in Christ," said the Publisher ........ Bishop Franci, R. Shas having gained much under for Christian Unity. Friars, Father Paul Wattson. statement from Archbishop Aasoclate Publisher .... Rev. Joeeph Ziliak Editor .................. Paul Lolngang Ronald Reagan," said Judie The statement, by Arch- May andMs. McClurg. CirculationMgr .... Mrs. aoseMontrastolle Brown, president of the bishop John L. MayofSt. Louis, The theme for the 1989 Production Mgr ..... ' .......... Phil Boger AdvortisingMgr ............... DanHorty American Life League, in 1987. president of the National Con- celebration is "Building Corn- "Progress in the ecumenical Atldrotm all communications to P.O. Box "There's a lot he could've terence of Catholic Bishops, munity: One Body in Christ," movement has brought'a new 4t69. Evansville. IN 477240189. Phone done." and the Rev. Patricia McClurg, taken from the 12th chapter of sense of our oneness in Christ," (s2) 425s. On the plus side, the Reagan president of the National Coun- St. Paul's Letter to the Romans. they said. "As the dialogue ex- Subscription rate: =15peryoar administration took steps to cil of Churches, encouraged The chapter contains Paul's pands and churches deepen Entered as 2nd class matter at the post of- deny federal funds to family continued support for the unity teaching that although relationships through shared rice in Evantwille. IN 47701. Publication planning agencies that provide week observance, members of the church have service, we are increasingly number 84.3800. abortion referrals and to inter- The message accompanied different gifts, they all are im- aware of our identity as the Postm.stor: Return POD forms national family planning resource materials published by "portantpartsofChrisrsbody. body of Christ and the com- 3579 to the Office of Publication, Copyright 1989 Calholic Press ol Evansville groups backing abortion; the Graymoor Ecumenical In- "The unity envisioned by the munity of his disciples."