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February 20, 1998     The Message
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February 20, 1998

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4 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Feb Li!i!i It was a pun. Taking time for each other By PAUL R. LEINGANG Editor He said they had had many a cross word between them. As he continued the story, he quick- ly revealed that he and his wife worked the New York Times crossword puzzle together daily, or almost daily. A word play is the kind of joke you'd expect from people who work crossword puzzles together every day. Their comments were among the person- al examples and responses made recently to a ques- tion I had asked of couples: How do you find the time, or make the time, for each other?. Another couple said they deliberately sched- uled their time as a couple and as a family. Hus- band and wife meet regularly to go over their calen- dars. They plan a family outing every three months or so, for the whole family --mom, dad and three children. They also schedule a "date" every month, for husband and wife only. "It is easy to be spontaneous," they say. But true and lasting love requires a commitment, discipline and for them, a schedule. After all, love is an act of the will, not just a mushy feeling. A pop song a few years ago, by Sting, suggested that, "If you love somebody, set them free." For many couples, the words should say, "If you love somebody, schedule time together." Another couple told me about the way they found time for each other. Now retired, they explained the ways their lives had changed over the years. With young children growing up, the mom and dad found a few minutes of time together only at the end of the day. Exhausted by work and parent- ing demands, they talked briefly, a few minutes, before they fell asleep, exhausted. Later, a half-hour before the evening meal was a time to share the day for them. Now retired, they had plenty of time together-- a frightening possibility for many couples who have focused on their children and forgotten about each other. But this couple had built a connection over the years: "He called me every day at noon," she said. "He did that for about 30 years." With a foundation established over that many years, the retired couple certainly had the basis for a continuing relationship throughout any season and schedule that human nature could toss to'them. at at d As a husband and wife, how do you find the time for each other? Or as a single person, how do you find--or take the time-- to connect with someone important in your life? And what about your To paraphrase some words from you made for the schedule, or is the for you? Recent news reports indicate working longer than they used to, and working longer than their countries. Once upon a time, intruded on the workaday world; of work are intruding more and the family. at at Take the time to schedule time important in your life--your wife or a child or a parent, a friend or a nel ten attentively to the God who made Take the time to help a child a child, away from the demands of sports, part-time jobs, school and ities. Find someone who needs ly parent, perhaps, or a newly Spend a little time with much of it, alone. Take the time to retreat, to your creator. Make a difference. Comments about this column or the Christian P.O. Box 272, Ames, Iowa 50010. .T Cloning legislation: Getting stuck in an ethical By CAROL ZIMMERMANN Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Theological questions about when life begins and if people can "play God" have been played out in an unlikely arena these days as Congress grapples with details of human cloning legislation. Cloning discussion came to life last year when Scottish sci- "entist Ian Wilmut announced the creation of the first cloned adult mammal, Dolly the sheep. But the deeper ramifications of such a procedure really hit home when Richard Seed, a Chicago- area physicist, announced in December his intentions to open a human cloning clinic for child- less couples. Since then, Congress has introduced or revived seven anti-cloning measures, but the bills have been stuck by ques- tions of where to draw the line between potentially helpful bio- medical research and potential- ly harmful ethical practices. The gray area keeping legis- lators in a quagmire, ultimately caused the Senate to put off a decision on a bill to ban human cloning Feb. 11, despite over- whelming initial support in its favor. The ban's opponents, includ- ing many groups in the scientific community, said the legislation would go too far in restricting vital medical research that might play a role in curing diseases. "The Senate vote was a prod- uct of enormous confusion," said Richard Doerflinger, associate director for policy development for the U.S. bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities. "Senators were told the bill would ban vast areas of impor- tant medical research," he said, adding that most of the claims were untrue. But no senator, except Bill Frist, R-Tenn., a heart transplant surgeon and the only physician in the Senate, would be in a position to judge these daims, he said. As it stood, the Republican bill, sponsored by Sens. Frist and Christopher Bond, R-Me., wouldhave permanently banned a procedure known as "human somatic cell nuclear transfer," where a nucleus from a person's cell would be intro- duced into a human egg to cre- ate a human embryo. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration has said it has the authority to block anyone who attempts human cloning. An alternative anti-cloning bill gaining support has been offered by Sens. Dianne Fein- stein, D-Calif., and Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. Their bill would permit the cloning of human embryos for research purposes but forbid the implan- tation of the cloned embryos into a woman's uterus. Such a bill holds up a red flag for religious leaders concerned about the prospect of creating unlimited human embryos for experimentation who must later be destroyed. "Enactment of such a propos- al would mark the first time in history that the U.S. govern- ment defined a class of human beings that it is a crime 'not' to destroy," Baltimore Cardinal William H. Keeler told a House committee Feb. 12. "To claim that one is banning human cloning by simply ban- ning the nurture or live birth of human embryos already pro- duced by cloning is to distort language and common sense," the cardinal told the House Commerce Committee's sub- committee on health and envi- ronment. His comments brought up the questions from committee members, who seemed to res- olutely agree that cloning human beings was reprehensi- ble, but were not clear on if an embryo could also be consid- ered a human being. Rep. Michael Bilirakis, R-Fla., subcommittee chairman, said he understood Cardinal Keeler's consistent point of view "that from the moment of conception you have a live human body." But in his statement before the committee, the cardinal pointed out others who placed intrinsic value on the embryo. In 1994, the National Insti- tutes of Health's Human Embryo Research Panel called the early human embryo a "developing form of life," thus inspiring the ban on federal funding for the creation of embryos for research purposes. And findings last year of a White House-appointed Nation- al Bioethics Advisory Commis- sion said that somatic cell nuclear transfer involved the creation of an embryo, which it called "a form of human life worthy of serious moral consid- erations." According to Doerflinger, leg- islators are "going to have to deal with the embryo -- . . . that's where it starts. That's how Dolly was made." "If in the process of using this (cloning) technique at any time you have a human embryo, then yoL and the Father research Cancer ola Universit And the appease said, prove :hat nuclear without "Then lem," he vice. "It's But neither Congress of that would research. As it said yc in the bills 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47711 of the Diocese o Evansville Pubashed weekly except /a week m OecemOer by the C.a#c Prea= of Evansvme PuUw ....... Ger Ea ................................... Pa n. L.a Pmdu== Tchr= .............. Uo. 0r,, .............................. P= Nta=d SWr ......................... Um /ruclOess all Oor to P.O. Box 4189, Evanwt, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $t8.50 per year Se Copy Price: $.so ErKI as pemdic ma al e post office m Ens-lte, FN 47701.  'ffoer 843800. : R,m PO0 rr 3579 to Off of Pubtca t9 Catt Press of E,,'ansve Diocesan Pastoral Council, Catholic 21, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. CST. Confirmation at ,St. Joseph Church, Feb. 21, 4 p.m. : Confirmation at St. Ferdinand Church, day Feb. 22, 10:30 a.m. EST. Diocesan Finance Council 23, 4 p.m. CST. Confirmation at St. Boniface day, Feb. 23, 7 p.m. CST. Ash Wednesday, Mass, Holy Trinity Wednesday, Feb. 25, 12:05 p.m. CST. Ash Wednesday, Mass, ville, Wednesday, Feb, 25, 5:30 p.m. cST. Meeting with Freshman Theology School, Thursday, Feb. 26, 9:15 a.m. National Seminarian Conference, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 27 and 28.