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January 27, 1995     The Message
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January 27, 1995
 

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,1995 The Message --for Catholics of Southwestern indiana 5 Bishop's Forum-- Vision statement: Paragraph seven I, along With the pastoral rain- The teachings of the Second comes accountability. All structures, programs and embrace the responsibility gospel, to evange- to live Out the teachings of Itican Council in our particular we will con- to integrate the prin- subsidiarity, and account- ll our structures, pro- 3. This will be denced in our corn- to total stewardship of us. We are commit- apply Catholic social princi- m all our endeavors. ByBISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER Vatican Council present a chal- lenge to the laity to take a rightful place in the life of the church. Equally they require the clergy to enable laity to assume their re- sponsibilities, not impede them. Those of us who grew up in the time prior to the Council must ad- just both our attitudes toward and participation in the life of the com- munities in which we live. These include the faith community as well as the civic community. We must not abdicate our responsibili- ties either as citizens of this world Ge!telfinger is devoting a series of n.depth explanation of his "Vision the Diocese of Evansville," which was entirety Nov. 4. The column below the ideas contained in the seventh para- The Bishop in union With Pastoral Ministers central to the role of bishop is keeping the diocese and with the universal such unity, the mission of the OOmed to failure. This unity must be ev- in the relationship with the pastoral ministers. Such unity is es- pastoral ministers are to ning the Gospel, not the modern world, but that which Jesus us and into which we have been bap- I ministers must lead the way in whom we come in contact be faith traditions and cul- sisters in the Catholic faith, [ be most effective in evange- of our lives both individu- always reflecting unity with each other. or of the world to come. There are two key principles that describe the way in which we as pastoral leaders must engage each other in the service of the church. We are called upon to work together, to collaborate in the ministry of service. No one leader has all that is necessary, for this reason our pastoral council structure must insure that collaboration takes place for carrying out the mission of the Church. The second principle is that of subsidiarity. Decisions should be made at the level most appro- priate, at the level at which people are most af- fected by them. For example, the decision to oper- ate a parish school must be made -- and sustained at the parish level. In making such a decision, the parish pastoral council must recognize that it must comply with policies which pertain to Catholic schools in our diocese for it does not oper- ate a school in isolation. Diocesan policy is made at the diocesan level which helps to maintain unity within the diocese and addresses the issue of the common good. The Second Vatican Council, along with the revision of the Code of Canon Law in 1983, high- light the fact that responsibility for the life of the Church and the proclamation of the Gospel is a shared responsibility. Neither the clergy, religious nor laity bears these heavy responsibilities alone. It is shared. With the sharing of responsibility processes will have built into them the accountabil- ity aspect. It will be evidenced by regular evalua- tions and reports be they at the parish, inter- parish, or diocesan levels. Accountability is the hallmark of a good steward. Our Synod 1993 recommended to me that we be a diocese committed to total stewardship of God's gifts to us. Traditionally they are referred to as the gifts of time, talent and treasure. Good stew- ardship is not limited to the sharing of such gifts, but includes the conservation of those same gifts. This means that we do not waste any of these God- given resources. We also look to people, facilities, and things as gifts to be cared for in a stewardship way. For example, the number of available priests makes it impossible for us to continue providing services in the same way it was possible 25 years ago. We can no longer afford to have very expen- sive facilities sitting idle for more hours than they are used. The gifts that laity bring to the life of the Church by way of leadership must be developed so that their talents will be even more effective. Lastly, all that we do must be measured against Catholic social teaching. We must first be just before we dare speak of it to others. Living the secdnd great commandment of love allows no room for racism, sexism, physical or sexual abuse -- in- deed violence of any kind great or small. Care for the "widows and orphans" was central to the apos- tolic teachings and must be demonstrated in our care for the poor. The effort to maintain the com- mon good requires a willingness on the part of each person to give up personal wants or desires. Poverty of spirit, reflected in a detachment from material things, power and fame, is not compatible with consumerism and materialism. Respect for human life from its very beginning in the womb until the last breath allows for no compromise for life is from God. These are but a few of the chal- lenges that Catholic Social teaching places before ,. US. ART' IJ,$. Bishops' spokesman proud to be pro-life bishops of Con- of Violence We urged on "the Cost of vio- .al against vio- violence diminishes all of us especially our children. For our part, we oppose both the violence of abortion and the use of violence to oppose abor- tion. We are clear in our total repudiation of any effort to ad- vocate or carry out murder in the name of the pro-life cause. Such acts cannot be justified. They deny the fundamental value of each human life, and do irreparable harm to genuine pro-life witness. Just as clearly, a nation destroying more than one and a half million unborn children every year contributes to the pervasive culture of vio- lence in our nation. We must affirm and protect all life, espe- cially the most vulnerable in our midst. Recently some have claimed that killing We have in one ve fury has 'the per- physi. un- s cycle of BY THE BOOK that the Lord knew him before he was and appointed him to his role as prophet breath. We, too, are known and sent by the and service are mine to perform? that killing persons involved in abortion is "justifiable homi- cide." In fact, there is no justi- fication for murder. Whatever else one may do to protect one's own life or the life of another, one may never intend directly to kill another human being. Today many Americans are tempted to engage in the de- struction of unborn life. As a result, more than 1.5 million unborn children lose their lives in this country every single year, year in and year out. Some abortion advocates claim that to call abortion "killing" encourages violence. But per- mitting or encouraging a state of denial about the reality of abortion would serve only to say that it is permissible to take human life to solve one's problems. Some few who oppose abor- tion who also feel tempted to seek a violent solution to vio- lence. But attacking human life is a grave evil regardless of who does it. Violence against any human being -- born or unborn -- has no place in a civil and caring society. It leads only to more violence and, ultimately, to a culture of death. I fully support the thousands II of pro-life Americans who con- tinue to try to change hearts and minds about abortion, who provide genuine and life-af- firming help to pregnant women and children, and who continue the often frustrating but necessary work to change the law so that every child's right to live is once again pro- tected. I also admire and re- spect those who stand week after week in prayerful witness in front of abortion clinics, thereby calling attention to the horrible reality that occurs in- side. Those who equate peace- ful witness with violence only succeed in trivializing real vio- lence and the further cheapen- ing of public discourse. Following the uncon- scionable murders of two abor- tion clinic workers in Mas- sachusetts, and the wounding of five others, several bishops, including Cardinal Bernard Law, Archbishop of Boston, and other bishops in New Eng- land, asked for a moratorium on demonstrations at abortion clinics, Their best prudential judgment was that such an ac- tion might help restore calm to their area of the country which was reeling from the impact of these horrible events. I fully MILLER. & MILLER  "Funeral Pre-Planning Since 1940" '424-9274 J I[_J I I . support their decisions. At the same time, it is not the case that .the National Conference of Catholic Bishops has asked for or been asked by some of its member bishops to support a nationwide moratorium on peaceful demonstrations at abortion clinics. In such mat- ters, each diocesan bishop makes his own best prudential judgment as to whether such action would be helpful in his area. On January 22, I [joined] bishops, priests, religious and lay persona in a Mass for the gift of life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immac- ulate Conception in Washing- ton, D.C. I invite all who can do so to join us in prayer that evening. On January 23 I [walked] proudly with thousands of pro- life Americans in the annual March for Life in our nation's capital. And I urge pro-life Americans, whether in Wash- ington or in their local commu- nities, to take part in activities and prayer services planned by their dioceses, witnessing in peace and in prayer to the sanctity of each and every human life, whether born or unborn, from conception to natural death. Cardinal Roger Mahony is the Archbishop of Los Angeles and Chairman of the b: Committ.for .Pro,Life Activities.