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February 4, 1994     The Message
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February 4, 1994
 

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana You never know what you&apos;ll fincl when you read statistics. A report from the Bureau of the Census is a good example. It's the kind of report Dan Quayle could have used when he was criti- cized for his comments about Mur- phy Brown. Here is what it says, plain and simple: "Children living with mar- ried couples live in better condi- tions." The information released by the U.S. Department of Commerce Feb. 4 goes on to provide some de- tails from the new report, which is entitled Housing America's Children in 1991. Children of married couples generally live in better housing than children who live with other arrangements, according to the Bureau of the Cen- sus. What is "better" housing? The report deals only with material things, not loving family relationships or such qualities as faith or hope. "Better" housing -- Perspective--- Census confirms value of marriage, chil ,,, To be specific, the census report noted __. Washington Letter PAUL R. INGANG EDITOR according to the report means ma- terialistically better. Children of married couples live in affordable houses that were in good physical shape. Children living in other settings tended to live in older, smaller, rental units that had more physical and struc- tural problems. Who are these households with children? Thirty-five percent of white households include chil- dren, 47 percent of African-Ameri- can households have children and 55 percent of Hispanic-origin households included children• Most African-American families lived in cen- tral cities. Many Hispanic families lived in central cities or metropolitan areas. Half of the white families lived in the suburbs. That may not be surprising, you say, but here's a fact from the sur- vey data that should make everyone take notice: Households with children feel good about where they live. majority of households with children, their living arrangements, held • S" their homes and neighborhood • :. Among the facts of good news is an fact. For a substantial number of children, housing has become an modity. Approximately 2.4 million incomes below the poverty levels spent: of their incomes for housing. : What should we conclude from figures? That stable family life -- even any mention of faith or morals -- is dren than any other arrangement, in 0ur: world. That's what the facts seem to saY benefits of having married parents. And what about the parents? say that having children improves their lives -- since households with ally have a favorable opinion of their neighborhoods. If stable marriages and c tive influences on society, why are preach about the Christian values i!::i Judicial activism: Judges weigh beliefs against the laW By PATRICIA ZAPOR Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The most responsible way to serve as a civil court judge may be to ignore most influences in one's life except those related directly to interpreting the law. But Judge James L. Buckley of the U.S. Circuit Court of Ap- peals for the District of Colum- bia believes when religious be- liefs lead a jurist to a different moral conclusion than does legal interpretation, a judge should be prepared to drop out of the case rather than jeopar- dize the requirements of the of- rice. As courts are increasingly involved in deciding about abortion, where public law and church teaching are at odds, Catholic judges throughout the country each day face the pos- sibility of being assigned a case in which their moral standards conflict with what their jobs re- quire of them. In Massachusetts, for exam- ple, many Catholic judges de- cline to take cases in which they might be compelled to au- thorize abortions for minors who fear having to tell their parents. i i ill ii The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47720-0169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville Publisher .............. Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger Editor ............................................ Paul Lengang Production Manager ........................... Phil Beget Circulation ................................... Amy Housman hdvesing .................................... Paul Newland Stafft wnter ............................ Mary Ann Hughes Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscdption rate: $15•00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd class matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701. Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Publication Cq3yrkjtt 4994 C.nhdJc P  E'am,.lle In a Jan. 26 speech at The Catholic University of America in Washington, Buckley, a Catholic and former U.S. sena- tor from New York, described the role of his religious beliefs as significantly different now that he's on the federal bench• "When I took my oath of of- fice as a federal judge, I solemnly swore that I would 'administer justice ... according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the Constitution and laws of the United States,"' he told a forum sponsored by the univer- sity's Catholic Lawyers Guild. Unlike his time in elective pub- lic office, service in the judi- ciary means sometimes "the justice I am sworn to adminis- ter is not justice as I might see it." Cases before the Court of Appeals present significantly fewer personal moral chal- lenges than what faces lower court judges, Buckley acknowl- edged. Boston attorney Joseph I. Mulligan estimated that as many as 20 percent of Superior Court judges in Massachusetts decline to take cases of minors seeking a judicial bypass to get around the requirement they notify a parent before having an abortion. Mulligan, a member of the Catholic Lawyers Guild, said one result )f so many judges refusing such cases is that those jurists who do hear them are seen as likely to approve any waiver requests. In eight years on the appeals court, Buckley said, he has yet to be given a case in which his sense of morality conflicted with legality. "Should I ever be asked to hear a case in which the appli- cation of the law might result in my material complicity in an immoral act, I would have to examine my conscience and, if it so dictated, recuse myself," he explained. "What I may not do is bend the law to suit my conscience•" Texas state Judge Alonzo T. Rodriguez, a permanent dea- con in the Corpus Christi Dio- cese, doesn't have to consider approving abortions for minors the state has no such parental notice law -- but he occasionally does preside over cases in which a conviction might bring the death penalty. Capital punishment cases in Texas are fairly narrowly de- fined, however, requiring con- viction by a jury and strictly setting out criteria jurors fol- low in recommending a sen- tence. If the law left the decision up to judges, Rodriguez said, he would "have to disqualify myself every time." In his talk at Catholic Uni- versity, Buckley differentiated between the role religious be- liefs may play in the lives of public servants who are elected and those who are appointed. Public servants who are elected or are otherwise ac- countable to voters, such as po- litical appointees who serve at L:?:: ¸ ! / :!<:? : /; !i;  ) i  :: •  A self-evident truth: Abortion is not healthcare To the editor: Our Declaration of Indepen- dence says, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Cre- ator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Would you look up in a dic- tionary (I did) the words, "en- dowed," "certain" and "inalien- able?" Then please call or write your three Congress persons and let them know that you do not want abortion to be part of any health care program. Abortion is not health care. (This too is self-evident!) Mary Rita Crowe Rochester, N.Y. the pleasure of the president, should be comfortable relying on their religious convictions in decision-making, said Buck- ley. "It is, quite simply, fatuous to suppose that a public official can check the religious compo- nents of his convictions at the door before entering the coun- cil chambers of government," he said. "It follows, then, that under our constitutional arrangements, a Catholic pres- ident and Catholic members of Congress need never apologize for the fact that their recom- mendations or votes may re- flect their religious beliefs." North Carolina District Court Judge William Con- stangy learned the hard way that the policy of church-state separation clearly applies to conduct in a courtroom. Constangy, a Catholic, opened daily courtroom pro- ceedings by reciting a prayer aloud. In June 1993 the U.S. Supreme Court refused to re- view a federal appeals court rulirng of October 1991 that said Constangy violated the separation of church and state• ,t the time the court's solutely the the "Every ds court are dr message; e message sexual sity," said time that we to change Buckley University gious p judge's beliefs ultimately has the final For necessarily his role as a from his ample, he that parents tenced in his their children moral And "in for spiritual "Sometimes cisions that they come fro1 only explanatior' Bishop's sc The following activities and events are schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger" Confirmation at St. Benedict Saturday, Feb. 5, 4:30 p.m. CST. Confirmation at Holy ville, Sunday, Feb. 6, , Catholic Schools Sing, St, Evansville, Sunday Feb. 6, 3 p.m. Catholic fast, Sarto Retreat House, CST. Confirmation at Resurrection ville, Wednesday, Feb. 9; 7 p.m. CST. Installation of Bishop Ill., Thursday, Feb. 10. Ministry Appreciation Mass John Church Supper with Pre-sems, Feb. 13, 4:45 p.m. CST. Joint meeting of Priests' Council, budget planning, TuesdaY,