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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
February 11, 1994     The Message
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February 11, 1994

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.... i/ The Message n for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana -- Perspective-- - L0000nt: Time to turn toward God It was an interesting piece of mail. I haven't looked inside it yet, and more than likely, I never will. The letter came a few weeks ago, and I have been thinking about it off and on ever since it ar- rived. The letter is not exactly a let- ter, and it was not addressed to me. It is an advertising piece of some kind, and it contains a piece of paper that looks like a check. The name on the check is visi- ble through the address window. It is "Mr. Francis R Publi" at the Catholic Press of Evansville. In order to be valid, Francis R Publi himself has to en- dorse that check. The Catholic Press of Evansville is real, but un- fortunately -- or, perhaps, fortunately -- there is no one at the Catholic Press of Evansville by the name of Publi. Somehow, perhaps by computer, some letters of PAUL It. INGANG EDITOR a name have been captured by the company doing the advertising. It is easy to see where it came from it is a portion of the name, "Most Rev. Francis R. Shea," who held the title "Publisher" while he was Bishop of Evansville. "Publi" was probably all that fit on one line, or in the allotted number of spaces somewhere• A mangled name seems to be one of the common quirks of the computer society. In earlier years, poor handwriting could lead to the same kind of thing. It makes little difference what technology is involved -- a wrong name is a wrong name, and it brings about a wide range of reactions, one of them very pleasant. On the other hand, remembering a person's name seems to be one of the highest compliments possible. Remembering a person's name, and making the effort to get it right, says that we re- spect and care about the other person. At least that is what it says to me. As Lent is once again upon us, that catechumens and candidates for full tion in the Catholic Church will once 'i il • by name, during the diocesan Rite On Holy Saturday, a time for Baptism! newal of Baptismal vows, they -- and we have an opportunity to acknowledge the has called each of us. i. No human or computer error can .... or take away the name of one of Go ple. Only we can do that, by turning away one who gives us life. ::! Lent is a season of penance, a time away from the things which keep us from toward God -- the one who knows us by God is the one who would open deeply into what is inside of us, and read us and over -- not like a piece of mail from tiser, but like a letter from one in love ..... _._ Washington Letter Is Hollywood's latest mea culpa on TV violence just By MARK PA'ISON Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) Doesn't this look familiar? Hollywood produces enter- tainment a lot of Americans find offensive. Viewers and lawmakers cry for change. Pro- ducers cry censorship. Holly- wood responds with voluntary self-policing. Is this a rerun? Catholic media-watchers would say if it is not quite a rerun, then it's a formula plot device that could be used on any number of shows. At the end of the episode, everyone goes away mostly happy and learns a little lesson m but not well enough it seems to keep from repeating the mistake in the future. In the latest salvos on the TV violence front, the cable TV industry Feb. 1 agreed to use an independent panel to rate its shows for violence. It also endorsed a House bill mandat- ing that new TV sets include "V-chip" technology, which would allow parents to block out violent shows. Broadcasters and cablecast- ers would send a signal with a violent show. A microchip, part of all sets sold in the United States since 1990, would store I 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 ofst .............. sbop Gera}d A. CRengef Edkor ............................................ Paul Leinga Pro Manuger ........................... Phil Boger Cccata ................................... Amy sman ng .................................... Paul Neand Slafff writer ............................ Mary/Vin Hughes AddreSs all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $15.00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd class matter at the post office in Evanswlle, IN 47701. Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office O't PublicatJoo  t,4  Pre, ss of  that information. Parents could block out single shows or all violent shows en masse. • The four commercial broad- cast networks, also on Feb. 1, said they would submit their programming for a joint quali- tative assessment once a year, also to be done by an outsider. The networks did not endorse any of the violence regulation bills before Congress. As a result, Sen. Paul Simon, D-Ill., said he would hold off, at least for now, from backing legislation intended to reduce TV violence• No other lawmaker in the debate, though, echoed Simon. Miriam Crawford, U.S. Catholic Conference director of communications policy, real- ized she sounded like a broken record when she doubted the ability of Hollywood to police itself- something she had done in 1993 during another stage of the debate. "No. No. I don't" think the industry can do it, she said. But she, like others inter- viewed by Catholic News Ser- vice, were willing to wait and see if it works. "You've got to give them a start," she said. Still, "the pressure that was heard from Congress was a good thing," Ms. Crawford said. "I think it's good for Con- gress to continue that kind of pressure.  Henry Herx, director of the USCC Office for Film and Broadcasting, has seen a lot of hand-wringing in the past, dat- ing back to the film industry's Cardinal Continued from page 1 ready on order and several co- publishers have recently said they plan to increase their or- ders. Juday also declined to pre- dict a date of publication. "We have less than half the text right now and no description of what's still to come or any con- firmation of when it will come," he said. He said the Vatican agency overseeing the catechism has indicated the rest would arrive institution of a ratings system to quell the uproar about sex on the big screen. "They're giving us more of the same," Herx said. While the broadcast initiative sounds good, he added, "there's a big difference between what they say they're going to do" and what will actually happen. The network response Herx sees as "an academic response to an immediate problem," which is "less than adequate." William Halpin, president of Unda-USA, the organization for Catholic communicators, said ratings remain king in the minds of network executives. With notable exceptions like "The Waltons," most family- geared programs centered on values die on the ratings vine. Even the rare success usually needs an orchestrated letter- writing campaign to keep it alive. "I'm always a little bit suspi- cious of the entertainment in- dustry when it tries to police itself," said Halpin, who is communications director for the Diocese of Providence, R.I. The movie industry ratings system, he added, "hasn't been terribly effective at keeping young persons from being in- fluenced by what they see." Sister Elizabeth Thoman, executive director of the Los Angeles- based Center for Media and Values, said her center's slate of 60 media liter- acy workshops is virtually booked for 1994, and was look- ing for funding for another se- "sometime in February." But after that, he said, the whole text will have to he laid out for pagination, the foot- notes rechecked and the para- graph numbers and cross-ref- erences in the margins added before anything can be sent to the printer. Once it is at the printer, the publication date will be deter- mined by the minimum of eight weeks that it will take to print and bind the cloth edi- tion, he said. ries in 1995. It costs about $1,200 per workshop, plus local setup and transportation costs• The workshops prepare par- ticipants to analyze everything from news to MTV to advertis- ing, while exploring racism and sexism in the media and promoting wise use of media in the home. "We are all illiterate in a lot of ways, because often we don't think about what we see," said Sister Thoman, a member of the Congregation of the Humil- ity of Mary. And media literacy is some- thing most Americas are "not thinking about when they see televised violence," she said. Broadcasters and cablecast- ers say they will use outside sources to rate and evaluate their programs. But the only time Herx, in his 30 years as a Catholic critic, can recall being consulted was when a Quebec provincial agency that taxes films asked for an explanation Bishop's sc 1" another of the usCC If asked to lence certainly . the occasign, sal of Dallas, a me USCC mittee, "It's a ian duty .... time, it's no ment. It's a nation." tion and a N.Y., who's the children ages from a mothe what bothers TV is not the kids don't it --but lieves is about and children (verbal) jabs getting solne most people. "It's compassionate, prevalence on added, is The following activities and events are schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger. i/j