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January 18, 1991     The Message
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January 18, 1991

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E S S CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF EVANSVILLE VOLUME 21 i I NUMBER 18 JANUARY 18, 1991 March for Life Tens of thousands expected in Washington, D.C. Jan. 22 By NANCY FRAZIER O"BRIEN Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Tens of thousands of people from around the" country were expected in Washington Jan. 22 for the March for Life, marking the 18th anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade decision legaliz- ing abortion. Nellie J. Gray, president of the March for Life, declined to make a specific estimate of the number of marchers, saying, "Heaven only knows what will happen that day." The march has taken place over the years in weather conditions ranging ',: from a near blizzard to springlike temperatures. Miss Gray estimated the crowd last year at 200,000 but the U.S. Park Police put the number at about 75,000. Miss Gray said the march's most im- portant feature is the "absolute per- sistence" of the participants, "no mat- ter what the weather." "We're not going to let this issue go away until we save all those babies," she said. Theme of the 1991 march is "No Waf- tfling on the 'Life Principles.'" The principles state, in part, "The life of each human being shall be preserved , and protected from the biological begin- ning throughout the natural continuum of the human being's life by all available ordinary means and reasonable efforts." ' President Bush, who addressed the march last year via a radio-telephone hookup from the Oval Office, has been invited to address the crowd this year bur has not yet responded, Miss Gray said. In past years, arrangements for presidential participation have not been made until the day before the march, she added. Bishop Thomas V. Daily of Brooklyn, N.Y., was scheduled to give the closing prayer at the rally, which will take place on the Mall at Seventh Street uefore the march down Constitution Avenue to the Capitol and the U.S. Supreme Court. After the walk, march participants are scheduled to lobby their senators and , representatives on the abortion issue. ..... At least a dozen red roses are to be delivered to each member of Congress that morning before the marchers' at- rival. Cardinals John J. O'Connor of New York ahd James A. Hickey of Washington also have agreed to attend the march, as have Archbishops An- thony J. Bevilacqua of Philadelphia, Joseph T. Ryan of the Archdiocese for the Military Services and Adam J. Maida of Detroit and Bishops Rene H. Gracida of Corpus Christi, Texas, and James C. Timlin of Scranton, Pa., Miss Gray said. As in previous years, the March for Life has purchased three hours of radio time on WOL, an AM station in Washington, to allow all participants to hear the rally speakers and to coor- dinate songs and chants during the march, Miss Gray said. Marchers have been encouraged to bring portable radios with them. An overnight vigil, co-sponsored by the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the U.S. bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Ac- tivities and the Archdiocese of Washington, will be held at the shrine beginning at 7 p.m. Jan. 21. Cardinal O'Connor, chairman of the bishops' pro-life committee, will be principal celebrant and homilist at an 8 p.m. Mass Jan. 21 and Cardinal Hickey will be principal celebrant of a 7 a.m. Mass Jan. 22. Bishop Michael J. Dudick of the Byzantine Diocese of Passaic, N.J., will celebrate a Divine Liturgy at 4 p.m. Jan. 22 at the shrine. Overnight, the vigil is scheduled to include a National Rosary for.Life, led by the Mothers of Mary, a pro-life lay group from Grosse Pointe, Mich., at 10 a.m.; night prayer at 11 p.m., followed by exposition of the Blessed Sacrament; holy hours led by seminarians from midnight to 5 a.m.; and morning prayer at 6 a.m. Also scheduled for Jan. 21 are after- noon workshops sponsored by the March for Life Education and Defense Fund and an evening supper program in the gym of Gonzaga College High School in Washington. After the march Jan. 22, the ninth an- nual Rose Dinner will be held at the Hyatt-Regency Capitol Hill in Washington. Bishop Gracida is to give the opening prayer and Nassau County (N.Y.) District Attorney Denis Dillon will be the speaker. Haitian crowds burn Vatican nunciature WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Catholic Church remains "well- respected" in Haiti, said the founder of a Haitian food program a day after Hai- tian crowds humiliated the papal nun- cio and destroyed church buildings in the nation's capital. "Haitians are a very religious people. Ninety percent of the people are .Catholic, with 30-40 percent practic- ]ng" said Ferdinand Mahfood, who ine years ago founded Food for the oor, a non-profit organization aimed at urbing poverty in Haiti that is based in Ompano Beach, Fla. "There is great respect for priests and rtuns, who are seen as persons that heln bail out the poor," he told Catholic News Service in a Jan. 9 telephone in- terview. "I think it's amazing that God has opened the door for a priest to rule," said Mahfood. "To have a man trained in the ways and teachings of Christ could be fantastic for Haiti," he said. The violence against the church came Jan. 8, the same day the Haitian army quashed an attempted Duvalierist coup. The coup attempt by Roger Lafontant, the reputed head of the former dic- tator's paramilitary thugs, the Tonton Macoutes, aimed to short-circuit the election of Father Jean-Bertrand See HAITIAN page 15 Nation's religious leaders oppose war in Persian Gulf WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A Persian Gulf war could be the first U.S. military engagement in this century authorized beforehand by Congress but strongly opposed by much of the nation's religious leadership. As the final days of deadlocked diplomacy wound down and Congress tossed a resolution approving use of military force if necessary to drive Iraq out of Kuwait, a chorus of religious voices rose at home and abroad urging the president to wait for international sanctions to work. Across the country prayer vigils for peace .were held in the days before the Jan. 15 deadline'for Iraqi withdrawal See Nation's page 3