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January 15, 1993     The Message
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January 15, 1993

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0 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana January Pope, in Assisi, says Europe on edge of By CINDY WOODEN CathoDic News Service ASSISI, Italy (CNS) -- Pope John Paul II, praying for peace in Assist, warned Eu- rope that its ethnic wars have pushed it to tile edge of an abvss of destruction. ;Fhe survival of European civilization, already trauma- tized by wars in the 20th cen- tury, may depend on ending the war in the Balkans, the pope said during the two-day interfaith meeting in the hometown of St. Francis. With the flames of oil lamps flickering on an altar behind him in the Basilica of St. Francis, Pope John Paul echoed the Assist-born saint's prayer: "Lord, make me an in- strument of your peace." The pope said people pray- ing for peace must "feel the wounds of war as if they were inflicted on their own flesh." During a Jan. 9 meeting with Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders, the pope said, "We are now being asked to contribute in a spe- cific way with our prayers and the offering of our fast to the rebuilding of the conti- nent of Europe and perhaps to its survival." The horror of war in Eu- rope moves believers to pray for peace while taking con- crete steps to promote negoti- ation, denounce injustice and defend human rights, the pope said. ' 'in the face 0f such a tbagedy:,e eanEo:main in- different; we cannot sleep," the pope said after listening to five people from Bosnia- Herzegovina and Croatia re- count experiences of war in their homelands. The interfaith meeting and a nighttime Christian prayer vigil later in the Basilica of St. Francis were followed by a candlelight procession of young people winding through the frosty medieval hill town to various churches, where they prayed through- out the night. The somber interfaith meet- ifig took place in the Francis- can convent attached to the basilica, where St. Francis is buried. Under the rough stone, vaulted ceiling of the meeting hall, the spiritual leader of Muslims in Sarajevo de- scribed Bosnia-Herzegovina as "'a country bathed with the blood of innocent creatures of God." Jarub Selimoski said 200,000 Muslims had died in the fighting and more than 35,000 women, as young as 7 and as old as 80, had been raped. "How can Europe allow an entire nation, a European na- tion, to disappear from its midst and how can it wash its hands of it with tranquility and indifference?" he asked. He said more than 30 Mus- lim leaders came to Assisi from all over Europe to join the pope and other Christians praying particularly that U.N.-sponsored negotiations would "bring a just and last- ing peace and not lead to the condoning of crimes, thus giving into violence and ag- gression." Selimoski said Bosnia is experiencing a "horrible apocalypse" at the hands of "the Serbian aggressors." The testimonies included demands for justice in addi- tion to pleas for peace. Archbishop Vinko Puljic of Sarajevo said: "We thank the world for its humanitarian as- sistance, but from here we cry for justice. The politicians slow down the solution of the problem, always looking for new reasons to avoid an ef- fective intervention." "Oh Lord, father of justice, awaken the conscience of the world and soften the hearts of the powerful," the archbishop prayed. At the interfaith meeting, the pope said true religion fosters life. "It fosters respect for ev'ery human being with all his or her rights and not the oppres- sion of one person by an- other; it fosters the peaceful coexistence of ethnic groups, peoples and religions, and not violent opposition or war," he said. The fighting in Bosnia- Herzegovina has pitted the mostly Orthodox Serbs against Muslim Slavs and the mostly Catholic Croatians. Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Pavle sent Pope John Paul a letter explaining his church could not be represented in Assist because of Christmas, which the Orthodox cele- brated Jan. 7, and the diffi- culty of traveling while Ser- bia is under U.N. sanctions. "Quarry First" t7 Professtonalty Decorated Cakes for Aft Occasions COOKIES BROWI* FRIFIERS DANISH MUFFINS OIqN DALLY Repeatedly Jan. 9 and 10 the pope con(lemned discrim- ination based on ethnic or re- ligious identity. The religious leaders gath- ered in Assisi "to make every- one see that only in mutual acceptance of the other and in the resulting mutual re- spect, made more profound by love, resides the secret of a humanity finally reconciled," he said. The prayer and fasting of the weekend meeting, he said, were meant as a specific contribution "to the rebuild- ing of the continent of Europe and perhaps to its survival." At Mass the next day, the pope spoke of the war in the Balkans as "a special accu- mulation of sins. Human be- ings use instruments of de- struction to kill and to destrov others like them- selves.'; The pope, who lived through the Nazi occupation of his native Poland, said wars in Europe in the 20th century were marked "by ha- tred and bv deep contempt for human{ty, a hatred and contempt which did not forego any means or method of annihilation and destruc- tion." In an apparent reference to World War II, he said the atrocities had gone so far as to make Europeans wonder whether they "would be able to lift themselves out of this abyss into which a mad crav- ing for i)ower an(t dominion had pushed them .... " "That tragic experience sadly seems to have been re- bor]l in some way in these last few years; it continues to make headway in the Balkan Peninsula," he said. The pope prayed that Christ would "destroy the hate which divides the na- tions." At the end of the Mass, the pope gave each of the bishops from the Balkans an Easter candle, telling them he hoped Easter 1993 "can be cele- brated in your churches in the joy of rediscovered and re-established peace." Most of the Muslim and Christian leaders attended the Mass with the Catholic bish- ops and delegates. The official Jewish, Mus- lim, Catholic and other Chris- tian delegations included more than 125 people. Repre- senting the United States and Canada were Cardinal An- thony J. Bevilacqua of Philadelphia and Archbishop Alovsius Ambrozic of Toronto. At the same time, in the Assist bishop's residence, the two Jewish delegates and sev- eral guests prayed for peace. Rabbi David Rosen, direc- tor of interfaith relations for the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith in Jerusalem, prayed for those who have died in the former Yugosla- vian republics and those live and suffer there "We ask you to grant all the peoples of Eut, this time, and all your power of and your gift of faith s0t fear and animosity wi] overcome and bigotry tred will be vanql rabbi prayed. In the morning Mass, the pope held meetings with some ligious leaders takin the meeting, limoski, Rabbi Rosen and glican Archbishop good of York, Englm After a 15-minute meeting with the Mu leader, the pope entire Muslim dele which included deleg from Italy, Germany, i gium, Albania, Turkey, England and Herzegovina. The pope said the Mu presence i n Assisi that genuine religious is a source of mutual un standing and harmony, that only the p ligious sentiment leads to i . , " crimination and confhct, "To use religion as an cuse for injustice and lence is a terrible abuse, I it must be condemned true believers in said. Youth Day 'rises above issues,' prelates say of By NANCY FRAZIER O'BRIEN Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) Despite calls for a boycott of Colorado because of the state's passage of a referen- dum against civil rights legis- lation for homosexuals, World Youth Day '93 events will continue as scheduled in Denver next August. Archbishop William H. Keeler of Baltimore and Arch- bishop J. Francis Stafford of Denver, president and vice president respectively of World Youth Day '93, made that announcement Jan. 11 in a joint statement issued in Washington. "This special celebration Of the world's faith and bright future rises above political and social issues," said the two archbishops in their statement. "World Youth Day '93, which will bring together young people of different na- tions, views and political per- suasions, will be an opportu- nity to celebrate what all men and women have in common the right to be respected as persons created by a loving God," they said. "It is our hope that no one would try to use the event for any other purpose," they added. Nearly 54 percent of Col- orado voters approved the so- called Amendment 2 in November which prohibits civil rights protections based on sexual orientation. Gay rights organizations have called for a boycott of the state's billion-dollar-a- year tourism and convention industry, and several national groups including the U.S. , i 3 JASPER SERVICE AND SHOPPING GUIDE , -. . i i i i Buehlers I.G.A. KREMPP "THE THRIFTY HOUSEWIFE'S |_| IIMfI:IFR On SOURCE OF SAVINGS" WHOLES-"ALE BUI--""DI"N MA"'TE'RI'AL DIS- QUALITY FOODS ANO MEATS TRIBUTION & GENERAL CONTRACTING YARD CONS?RUC'I1ON Also Huntingburg and Oakland City 4..1sl -tq I ii j l i BECHER & KLUESNER JASPER FUNERAL HOME LUMBER CO. COMPLETE BUILDING Downtown Chapel, 214 E. 7th SERVICE North Chapel, 33rd Newton Ph: 482-1125 RT. 4, JASPER L I = i Conference of May( National Org Women and the Amer Association of Law have moved their tions out of the state. The Colorado ference had remained on Amendment 2, and bishops Keeler and made no direct commerl its merits in their Jan, statement. But, they said, ,,thi should be no question orJ ther the church's clear unequivocal teaching human sexuality or the nity and worth of every vidual." Archbishops Keeler Stafford repeated Pope Paul II's message to people when he anno the event himself on Sunday 1992: "In the mi great historical with epoch-making and serious, unreSO doubts, there is so for your emerging sire there is need for your to build -- on that stone' -- new forms o: which are more worthy 0 human person." World Youth Day, those aged 13 to 39, uled for Aug. 11-15, wii participation of Pope Paul the last two days. |t will be the fifth gathering of young with the pope. Previous (;ring were held in Cze chowa, Polan(l; Conq)ostela, St)ain; Aires. Argentina; and (