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January 21, 1994     The Message
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January 21, 1994
 

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The Message m for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 ANALYSIS By CINDy WOODEN Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS The 10 ) di ' th anniversary of formal thl atic relations between aired States and t $ee was - he Holy quiet l celebrated with a bassy.Uncheon at the U.S. Era- personnel and Vat- the tenor atican relations the quiet, low profile, the United States and n formally estab- Jan. 10, the move as but others de- of the U.S. Vatican diplomacy: Important developments unfolding quietly ur ambas- Vatican and U.S. Stress the impor- tance of their ongoing dialogue, particularly on issues of peace and social welfare. Both sides have grown com- fortable with the improved channel of communication and the opportunity it gives them to explain their concerns and actions. Fears that diplomatic ties would drill a one-denomination hole through the wall of sepa- ration between church and state seem to be unfounded. Vatican and U.S. diplomats in- sist their discussions do not in- clude theological questions, the appointment of bishops or any other internal church matters. "What is the Vatican? Most people think it's a place to visit or pray," said the current am- bassador to the Vatican, Ray- mond L. Flynn. But the Holy See is more role in the world community, and we profit from our rela- tionship with the Vatican's highly professional diplomats." Flynn, the former mayor of Boston, said that in politics a person takes big credit for small achievements. His experience with Vatican diplomacy, he said, is just the opposite: Important develop- ments -- most to the benefit of the poor, the disadvantaged and the refugee -- unfold qui- etly. "The Holy See has a reli- gious identity, but its prestige and proper contribution to the international community is its moral voice, interested in the good of human beings and the way human beings interact," said a Vatican official. "Diplomacy is dialogue, not intrigue," he said. Full rein- than that, he said. "It plays a tions allow the dialogue to be backs bill enabling working reci pients to keep wages Iianacat._,W LIAMS working their way out of lobbyist for the Legal Services -v,c Conference poverty. HB 1142 would allow working keep their woi'king faro- be estab- legislation Catholic session. introduced ASSelTI- ] of because the best ever ere- said M. executive te, the House Committee to re- to Fatal- Children persons currently on AFDC in three pilot counties to keep their wages and continue to re- ceive benefits until they reach minimum federal poverty level. "The basic AFDC grant is not sufficient to meet most families' basic needs," said Ryan in a statement to the committee. "Yet many recipi- ent parents who try to get off welfare through work have to get back on the program be- cause of child care expenses and the loss of medical benefits for themselves and their chil- dren." Indiana recipients are only allowed to keep $288 per month of their earnings, whereas the federal poverty level is $732 a month, said Ju- s face in dith M. Haller, attorney and Can Campaigns to focus ion on Balkan war As sis and said it was a "crime" to 94, and the Vat. the world's calls for and in. Vatican deep dis- znterna. s failure to Lg in Bosnia rnediation ef- the church papal ini- in the Jan. 23. to a simply allow the ethnic popula- tions to keep waging war upon each other. It shows "utterly shameful cowardliness" to allow the problem of ethnic minorities to be solved by expulsions, trans- fers and "extermination" as has happened in the Balkans, the council said. While the pope and the Vati- can have made innumerable appeals for a peaceful solution to the Balkan fighting, the re- cent declarations were unusu- ally blunt regarding the failure of international mediation and pressure. Organization. "Indiana is fifti- eth in the nation for the amount of wages an AFDC re- cipient can keep," she said. "The bill is likely to pass the House this week and crossover to the Senate." Over 180,000 Indiana tow-in- come working families would benefit from an earned income state tax credit through HB 1092, initiated by the ICC and authored by Rep. John J. Day, D-Indianapolis. Families with incomes below $11,000 would receive a five percent refundable tax credit, and those between $11,000 and $15,000 would earn a three percent credit. "This proposal brings much- needed fairness to our tax sys- tem and helps hard-pressed low-income working families," said Rep. Day. "It rewards and encourages those in the low-in- come group to continue to work and avoid welfare." The idea of a state earned in- come tax credit is not unique to Indiana. Minnesota, one of six other states with an income tax credit, has found the credit gives an extra boost to people who may earn too much to re- ceive other forms of govern- ment assistance but who still struggle to support themselves and their families, according to the Minnesota Department of Revenue. Other advantages to the program include utilizing the existing tax system for fil- ing, and those who earn too lit- tle to file may still claim a credit. HB 1092 was assigned to the House Ways and Means Com- mittee and awaits a hearing. re I o"'O00S0000OT I the pope I1 ELECTRIC i I Trust Licensed, Bonded. Insured | | #",,.Fm,,J=..ttn continuing Industrial, Commercial andp.o.ResidentiaiBox 405 II II SOUTH 1,,st,,# aMAIN STREET = epca= =If Bosnia and TONY NAZARiO Haubstad, IN 47639 | i P.O. BOX 191 War could 812-700s207 000078627871 I LINTON: INDIANA 4744"1 of Europe ......... n alined at COMPLETE INSURANCE SERVICE Pontifical and Peace s of a cri- Auto! Horne! Fire & Life! Your Personal Service Agent James L. Will Ins. Agency Inc. 1925 W Franklin Street 425-3187 I . I I II III II maintained and grow over time. Cameron Hume, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See, said Vatican and U.S. diplomatic ef- forts share the same persis- tence and farsightedness. Their "firm moorings," power and stability allow them to pursue goals which may seem impossible at the moment, but will bear fruit a decade from now, Hume said. The payoff can be seen in the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, he said, something for which Vatican activity and U.S. Cold War policies share credit. Without dramatic emer- gency interventions, commu- nism crumbled from within rather than being crushed from abroad. The goal of diplomacy for the United States and the Vatican, Hume said, is to make sure that "the next century will be less tragic than this one." As with any relationship, the 10 years of formal U.S.-Vatican ties have had.their ups and downs. During that time, Pope John Paul II had public meetings and private discussions with U.S. Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton. The pope and presidents have had an oppor- tunity not just to share con- cerns about specific world trou- ble spots, but to get to know a little bit about the personality behind the diplomatic commu- niques. A highlight of the relations, according to U.S. and Israeli officials, is the U.S. Embassy's efforts m under presidential order  to encourage the es- tablishment of Vatican-Israeli diplomatic relations. An agree- ment leading to the exchange of ambassadors was signed in late December. The tense times in the rela- tionship proved the importance of having an established link for discussions. When former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega holed m iiii i i i up inside a Vatican nunciature as invading U.S. forces tried to arrest him in December 1989, the U.S. ambassador had re- peated meetings with Vatican officials. After assurances that Nor- iega would receive a fair trial in the United States, the Vati- can nuncio in Panama con- vinced him to surrender. One of the lowest points in the decade-long relationship was when the United States led a multinational force in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. The Vatican had repeatedly called for caution in getting Iraq out of Kuwait, and Pope John Paul asked President Bush to "avoid decisions which would be irreversible ahd bring suffering to thousands of fami- lies." As the 10th anniversary of Vatican-U.S. diplomatic rela- tions came and went, the chan- nels of communication were filled with concerns about an- other war  the continued fighting in Bosnia- Herzegov- ina. Joint efforts have included cooperation in delivering hu- manitarian aid  usually paid for by the United States and distributed by local Catholic charities  and helping reset- tle refugees. Staff members at the em- bassy have kept Washington informed about papal and other Vatican statements about the international com- munity's response to the con- tinued fighting, and they have briefed Vatican officials on the U.S. positions and plans. As Pope John Paul told Pres- ident Reagan in 1987 on his first visit to the United States after ambassadors were ex- changed: "Diplomatic relations are meant to facilitate a more fruitful dialogue on the basic questions facing the interna- tional community." II I HAUB STEAK HOUSE PRIME STEAKS - SEAFOOD - CHICKEN {1} 78a.rsz LARGE PARTY ROOMS I IIII Haubstadt, Ind. I lUl, .i i MILLER & MILLER ",4 family name you can trust" 424-9274 II [ I IIII [ I I I I AUTO TOPS. SEAT COVERS , BOAT COVERS Washington Auto Trim 27 Years Service STEREO SALES & INSTALLATIONS 254-3943 HWY 50 EAST. BEHIND UPS CENTER EUGENE WELP, OWNER III IIII II I Four ZIEMER'SHEARS Convenient Locations EASX CHAP[L 800 S. HEBRON AVE.