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March 1, 1991     The Message
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March 1, 1991
 

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Editorial The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana March 1, 1991 By PAUL LEINGANG Message Editor Knowing when to stop a war seems to be as difficult as knowing when to start. If there ever was a time to pray for peace, now is the time. It is late Monday as I collect thoughts and words for this column. It is Friday as you read them, or perhaps Saturday or later. It is not too late to pray for peace. Monday afternoon brought word of a Scud at- tack and reports of U.S. deaths in a makeshift bar- racks. It is not too late to pray for peace. What is the news today? Monday night brought confusing word from the Middle East. What news have you heard today? Monday night brought word of meetings at the White House and at the United Nations. It is not too late to pray for peace. What news have you Pray for peace for them, for us heard today? Tuesday morning brought a flood of images from the desert. Retreat. Surrender. Withdrawal. Liberation of Kuwait City. Continued air war against the Iraqi army. It is not too late to pray for peace. What have you heard today? The news of Wednesday and Thursday and Friday will be reported beyond the time lock of this editorial. What happens between the time this column is written and the time you read it is beyond the borders of prediction or understanding. It is not too late to pray for peace. Details will change. Our knowledge will in: crease. The number of facts will accumulate. Data will be gathered and reported. Battlefield damage reports will fill our screens and our pages. It is not too late to pray for peace. Our prayers must be for the allied troops and for those on the other side. All are children of the same God. Our prayers must be for all humanity. Not for retaliation and revenge, but for peace. Pray for those who are killed. Pray for those who have killed. Both of them must find peace. Those who have died, we pray, will find eternal life. Those who live must face themselves. Starting a war is a horrendously difficult deci- sion. Ending a war is just as hard. Building peace in what must follow. A just peace in the world. Peace in the Middle East. Peace in our own hearts. Washington Letter Urban neglect: supermalls and su'0000standard housing By LAURIE HANSEN Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- New theater districts and enclosed supermalls have pop- ped up in cities nationwide, but the boarded-up storeffonts and substandard housing of adja- cent neighborhoods haven't gone away. Their continued presence suggests that downtown redevelopment efforts haven't been enough to restore the health of ailing U.S. urban L centers. Cries of urban neglect from city mayors and leaders of ur- ban neighborhood organiza- tions continue to be volleyed at the Bush administration just as they were at the Reagan ad- ministration. "We need a whole revolution in terms of our cities," says Vincent P. Quayle, director of St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center, part of Associated Catholic Charities of the Arch- diocese of Baltimore. "Our cities are dying. Other than the downtowns and wealthy areas, our older cities are becoming havens for the poor and elderly," he told Catholic News Service in a Feb. 21 telephone interview. The same day, the U.S. Cen- sus Bureau released figures vh'bIESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky ..ve. Evansville, IN 47724,.O1 69 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholk" Press of Evansville, Publisher .... Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger Associate Publisher .... Rev, Joseph Ziliak Editor .................. Paul Leingang Production Mgr ............... Phil Boger Cir./Adv. Mgr ........... Paul A. Newland Address ell communlcatiom to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville. IN 4772,-0169. Phone (812) 424-5536. Subacrlptlon rate: $1 7.50 per year Single Copy Price: 50 k Entered as 2nd classmatte, st the post of- rice In Evansville, IN 47701. Publication number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3679 to the Office of Publication. Copyright 1991 CathoJ Press o! Evansville showing that half of the na- tion's population lives in large metropolitan areas. While less than 30 percent of the nation's residents lived in such metro areas in 1950, that number has grown ste.adily, moving from about 46 percent in 1980 to just over 50 percent today. But do the nation's priorities reflect the urban growth? The Washington-based Urban Institute reports that revitaliza- tion of downtown areas of cities across the country has been part of the nation's agenda for 40 years. During this time 3,000 communities have participated in one or more revitalization strategies. Baltimore's Quayle says that city's redevelopment of its waterfromt "resurrected our in- ner city. It used to be downtown closed at 5 p.m. Now there are tens of thousands of people down at the Inner Harbor every evening -- tourists and suburbanites spen- ding money." But working to the detriment of the city, says Quayle, are low-interest loans from the state of Maryland giving recent col- lege graduates incentive to buy homes in the suburbs instead of renovating older houses in the city. "And if you compare the amount of money going to the city school system to the amount going to suburban schools, it's natural to see why middle-class people concerned about their children's educa- tion are pulling them out of old city schools," said Quayle. In Philadelphia, according to Patricia De Carlo, director of the Norris Square Civic Association in north Philadelphia, downtown redevelopment hasn't benefited many of the city's residents. "They say Philly now has a skyline ... How has (downtown redevelopment) helped the city? I guess it employed peo- ple. I hope some of them were from Philadelphia. "Most were from the New Jersey suburbs. People in New Jersey need to work too, but it's a pretty funny thing to do in a job-starved city," complained Ms. De Carlo, whose organiza- tion receives funding from the Campaign for Human Develop- ment, the U.S. bishops' anti- poverty program. To ensure that downtown redevelopment benefits city residents, federal and local governments need to "make a commitment, do recruitment of our skilled and semiskilled workers and provide some level of job training," she said. Downtown redevelopment does not have to compete with neighborhood revitalization ef- forts, according to Tom Broden, director of the Institute for Ur- ban Studies at the University of Notre Dame. But, he said, if there's an un- Letters to the editor I Quagmire To the editor, An open letter to President Bush, Senators Lugar and Coats and Congressman Hamilton: Although I have had neither the time nor the energy to publicly demonstrate my op- position to our beginning a war, I deplore: -- The power we have given Saddam Hussein, letting his decisions dictate whether or not we have a war (while proclaim- ing we are not going to let one man stop us from having the Super Bowl!); -- The massive bombings which are raping the land and displacing people depriving them of safe water, and causing increasing numbers of civilian casualties; -- The environmental damage caused by both Iraq's intentional and our uninten- tional oil spills; -- The increase of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere caused by Iraq's intentional See LETTFJCS page 5 willingness by the public to pay more taxes, government of- ficials often are forced to establish priorities. In some cities, "the downtown has been given priority at the expense of neighborhoods." In certain urban areas, Broden said, "the new face of downtown" has meant destruc- tion of low-income persons' rental units or the homes they own. As a result, downtown redevelopment has "con- tributed to tremendous growth in homelessness," he said. Barbara Schneider, develop- ment manager of the Capitol Hill Housing Improvement Pro- gram in Seattle, told CNS that her organization fights downtown developers' demolishing of low-income housing by buying up the pro- perty before they do. The program, also funded by the Campaign for Human Development, has paid general contractors to rehabilitate 224 low-income housing units since the early 1980s. Bishop's schedule The following activities and events are listed on the schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger: m