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Evansville, Indiana
January 30, 1998     The Message
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January 30, 1998

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Extraordinary events, ordinary By PAUL R. LEINGANG Editor The front page stories were surprising at first. But when I thought about what I was seeing, everything started to make sense. It was a daily newspaper, delivered in the morn- ing to my home. I unwrapped it and unfolded it to take my first look. At the top of the front page was a story about President Clinton and the scandal swirling around him. There were no pictures, but the text of the story evoked images that could not be depicted in a daily newspaper. Below the Clinton story, with a large headline and an even larger photograph, was a story about Pope John Paul II in Cuba. It was eye-catching, and I read portions of the Cuba story before I read any- thing else. To the right of the Cuba story was a significant news story from the local area. As I reflect on the front page of that paper published just a few days ago, I have to admit I cannot recall the content of that local story. At the bottom of the page, however, there was a story that I do recall. It gave some details about the first few people to be waiting in line to buy tickets for a concert which uses Elvis video tapes and live music. At first I was surprised by what I saw there. But half-way through the article about the Elvis people standing outside in the cold weather, I began to real- ize that it was a good choice. As much as I want to affirm the notion that I read the paper to be informed and enlightened, I have to admit that I want to be entertained, too. That acknowledgment, though, is just the begin- ning of what began to make some sense to me. The other stories on that page, on a significant day in Jan- uary, were almost overwhelming in the details told and not-yet told. By reading the accounts printed there, I could know more -- but not all. The account of the presidential investigation was disturbing, and I could only wonder where it would lead. The papal trip to Cuba was good news, but here too was the beginning of a story which has just begun to unfold. The Elvis Concert story was fun to read. As part of the news for the day, it was inconsequential. My conclusion? In the midst of disturbing news, just as in the midst of glorious news, there is a need to remain anchored in ordinary life. Daily life goes on. I have seen the proof of it, at funerals and wed- dings. Families sharing grief pause for lunch, and even, perhaps, for a story or a joke. A bride and groom chat with a friend at their wedding reception, and talk about the ordinary events of an otherwise extraordinary day. Take the time today to look at in your daily life. Recall a da' you took part in something e friends and family members about it. Take the time to listen to a child haps have quite a different view nary and what is not. Examine the life of your ty. Has the extraordinary event of ordinary? ; Examine the daily events in your city borhood. What is ordinary and lence become ordinary? Ange on the Homeless people at the public dilapidation and decay? Take the time to make a take care of the ordinary needs dinary circumstances. Help serve a funeral. Pick up the trash on the sidewalk a neighbor's house. Get to know someone in need that you can talk about more than Become enough of a friend so that you ordinary events of daily life. Comments about this column or the Christian Box 272, Ames, Iowa 50010. Demanding abortion rights: 25-year feminism By PATRICIA ZAPOR Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Roe Vs. Wade was about legal- izing abortion, right? But some of the leading pro- tagonists for and against abor- tion agree that in the 25 years since the landmark Supreme Court ruling, one of its most dramatic effects has been on the very nature of women's roles in society. Of course, they disagree about Whether its effect has been ultimately good or bad. One side says Roe vs. Wade freed women from limits on soci- etal achievement imposed by their reproductive cycles -- per- mitting them to enter the work- place without having to make allowances for child-bearing. The other side maintains Roe set back the feminist cause by 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47711  Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except lastweeklnDecember by the Catholic Press of Evansville Pv=tr ............. apC,Ur Ed ................................. PrtW=, jkfam Nit  m P, O. Oox 41(i0, b",SViI, IN 41F14-,01 W} rate: $1 8.50 per year SmOe Cop/Pr: $.50 r:td u po mm0 =t  post omce in [v,.cmv, tx 4Tt01.  numt 943. Pmamc Iam PO0 items 357 to Off of Puicam @ convincing women they need to percent think abortion is about act like men to get ahead in the the life of the fetus, compared to world- encouraging women 44 percent who said it's about to dodge child-rearing instead women controlling their bodies. of pressing society to support At a Jan. 13 press conference, responsible parenthood. Kate Michelman, executive direc- Serrin Foster, executive direc- tor of the National Abortion and tor of Feminists for Life, holds Reproductive Rights Action the latter view. League, insisted that Roe vs. She argues that by insisting Wade was as much about pro- women's rights begin with and tecting a woman's right to decide hinge on access to abortion, groups to have a child as it was about such as the National Organization being able to end a pregnancy. for Women have hamstrung the Nevertheless, NARAL's agen- broader feminist agenda, da, as Michelman and the orga- "They've replaced the patri- nization's literature spell it out, archy with a matriarchy, by say- concentrates on opposing abor- ing 'we are more important than tion restrictions and improving children are,"' Foster said. access to various forms of con- Like Foter, Helen Alvare traception, including "emer- resents that the word"feminist" gency contraception," the so- and the goal of achieving equal called "morning after" rights for women have become concentrated dose of a contra- entwined with promoting the ceptive administered within a availability of abortion, day or two of unprotected sex. "I choose to use the word for At the same press conference, myself because I want to take it Donna Wells, who operates an back," said Alvare, spokes- abortion clinic in Kentuck said woman on pro-life issues for the before Roe, women's freedom U.S. Catholic bishops, was inextricably tied to their She said emphasizing abortion reproductive cycles. Legal has pushed aside feminist goals access to abortion leveled the such as equal pay for equal work, field in a way no other law the right to not be penalized in could have, she maintained. the workplace because of preg- According to Foster, that's nancy or motherhood and access where the problem lies for fern- to medical coverage, inism. "It makes (groups that pro- "Instead of saying we're equal mote an abortion-based agenda) as women, they said we have to irrelevant in people's Eves," become equal asmen,: which inpeople'Sminds." -  : . 'womeifleyiu abor- A new CBS News/New York ion" to effeivinate a r.,,es po, fo00n.00 the cart public is almost evenly divid- sexes, she said " ed on whether abortion is about Women would have been bet- a woman's ability to control her ter served if the leading feminist body or about the life of a fetus, organizations had concentrated The poll of 1,101 adults inter- on securing maternity leave and viewed in January showed 45 other benefits that indicate "families are not an obstacle," and encouraged women to demand equal treatment no matter what their family cir- cumstances, Foster believes. She noted that the nation's early feminists saw abortion as an evil inflicted by men to pro- tect themselves from responsi- bility for unwanted children. "When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to womeo that we should treat our children as prop- erty to be disposed of as we see fit," wrote Elizabeth Cady Stan- ton, who in' 1848 began a cam- paign for women's property and voting rights, along with Lucretia Mort and Susan B. Anthony. Victoria Woodhull, the first female presidential candidate, wrote in 1875: "Every woman knows that if she were free, she would never bear an unwished- for child nor think of murdering one before its birth." Nearly 130 years later, the abortion-related i nists has degrees, that sa, can women cerned about A 1992 poll dation abortion rightS" and family, job equity and ranked as bi A 1996 pol Group issues most Crime was to get more response, but less m and just 1 per opposition Foster thirks doning the spectives ofearly temporary have sold Confirmation, St. Anthony, 10:30 a.m. CST. Confirmation, St. Joseph, day, Feb. 1, 2 p.m. CST. Bishop's staff meeting, Catholic Feb. 4, 9 a.m. to noon CST. The Catholic Foundation of Inc., hoardmeeting, Catholic Center, coimrmmt00, ;'tA with  "*" ..... Wednesda) 6".30 p.m. . Catholic Education breakfast, Sarto Retreat House, Confirmation, Resurrection, 5, 7p.m. Diocesan Pastoral Council, Catholic Feb. 7, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. ,.