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March 18, 1994     The Message
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March 18, 1994

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18, 1994 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana : :" Bishop's Forum --- may or may not have no- not write last week. ! Was a reason, and it was not with my work, like the busy-body no focus. I was not able to sit L and reflect in such a way as fruitful idea. When I something, to drift off to the "busy-ness," blocking forum did or did s not the issue today. [ that tripped in the way of other sig- of my life, most notably, daily ' me, the discipline of a very structured gives rae the security of being faithful to When unexpected events, travel, tnd unwelcome interruptions inter- becomes dissipated, flag- occasions, daily life feels to me disconnected moments Stumbling blocks ByBISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER coming sometimes in slow motion, and then again, not so slow mo- tion. Some of the first casualties of such "busy-ness" for me are the im- portant contacts with others that take only a few moments of con- sciousness. Notes of congratula- tions, anniversaries, gratitude, birthday cards, letters to friends, phone calls of caring are among these casualties. Prayer suffers the most. Al- though it is not appropriate for you or me to evaluate prayers -- that's God's business -- when I stumble over the "busy-ness" of a day, I know the attention I give to prayer is, at best, distracted. I fear that the quality of my private and public prayer is lacking too. My personal struggle helps me to appreciate the lives that so many of you lead. You who are husbands and wives must attend to so many de- tails of daily living. Your efforts at prayer are in- spirational when measured against all the de- mands for your attention. You who are parents are heroic in your fidelity to daily prayer both privately and with the family. Not only do you have your marital commitments competing for your attention, you have the parental commitment to your children as well. Your faithful witness to those of us who are called to be leaders of prayer is humbling. Pain and suffering make prayer most difficult. When the distraction they bring persist, prayer can feel so futile. At those moments, we must re- mind ourselves that God, who hears our prayers, will judge their value. Should your life feel fragmented as mine does from time to time, take heart. Even the Lord Jesus found it necessary to get away to the mountain in order to find silence and solitude to pray. Although we cannot always "get away" for prayer, we must keep trying. The Lord's words to his disciples the night before He died are for us too: "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation." Lent is a time for all of us to be renewed in our efforts to pray! May our stumbling blocks be few. 4 since Continued to .the Message. the Grand had at least Pers, none of to the quality We have noted Ps/Retreats, Enrich- appear to be We find that the have fallen as so many Orders, i.e. the ere in Grand offer heretical POwers that aware of what under at Aquinas Is this at Kordes all of those nearby, sir lives to rch, who to our mocked. weathered and Protestant re- Revolu- marxism, through. the ill Survive any souls, e or pride, many New Age as- creation. many is just radical been "en- need and Holy :he average Itnough psychol- Padnthe- to rec. rayths and Well as philo- sophical and theological errors. Catholic Christians must wake up and realize the threat New Age poses to us, and avoid New Age seminars that offer the aforementioned nonsense. Reli- able books that expose the fal- lacy of this movement are available, one of which is by Father Mitch Pacwa, S.J., of Loyola University in Chicago. "Catholics and the New Age" would be a great help for the average to scholarly reader. Jerry and Lee Zimmer Grand Rapids, Mich A closer look at Haiti To the Editor, I am writing to shed some light or truth to the front page article in the Message on Feb. 18 entitled "Catholic Groups, Others Urged More Attention be Paid to Haiti." The article states that the "Catholic Relief Services and other relief agencies, a Catholic social justice organi- zation are pressing for outside attention to the worsening po- litical and social conditions in Haiti." To this I heartily agree, and I also agree that the 1991 embargo is adding to this suf- fering of Haiti's poor. The article states that a House hearing was held during a week of activities in Wash- ington marking the third an- niversary of Father Aristide's inauguration to encourage world leaders to restore the country's elected government. Much of the news media, in- cluding the Message article, refer to him as Father Aristide. But how many of us know that he was expelled from his Sale- sian order in 1988 for inciting political violence. The Wash- ington Post reported on Dec. 14, 1990, "at his masses, Aris- tide would often bandish a ma- chete from the pulpit and de- mand revolution, not elections." While Vatican officials have not publicly gone as far as the CIA in trying to brand Aristide as mentally unstable, the Times article began, "the de- posed Haitian leader has long been seen by Roman Catholic leaders as an advocate of polit- ical violence .... the rift be- tween the Vatican and Father Aristide dates to his 1988 ex- pulsion from his order, the Salesians, and a Church deci- sion to bar him from publicly carrying out the duties of a priest." The article continues, "Like some other priests in the Caribbean and Latin America, he fell afoul of the Vatican's rigid opposition to so-called lib- eration theology, a blending of Christianity and Marxism. Those charges resurfaced shortly after Father Aristide's election as President in De- cember 1990 when mobs burned down the Catholic Cathedral in Port-au-Prince and humiliated the Vatican representative Archbishop Washington Continued from page 4 aid bill might signal more at- tempts to amend appropria- tions bills with similar restric- tions. Also of concern is that pro- posals such as one to make noncitizens ineligible for Sup- plemental Security Income have the initial support of the White House, Bau said. That proposal aimed at cutting wel- fare costs would mean nonciti- zens who live in the United States legally no longer could receive SSI benefits. hat kind of extremist pro- posal would never have been taken seriously six years ago," Ban said. Micheal Hill, who monitors immigration legislation for the U.S. Catholic Conference Of- fice of Government Liaison, said such amendments are particularly worrisome. For example, an expected ef- fort to amend an upcoming crime bill to require police agencies to monitor individu- als' immigration status could discourage people from report- ing crimes or from acting to protect themselves from abu- sive situations because of fear they might be deported, Hill said. Likewise, attempts to Francois Ligonde by stripping him to his under-shorts and beating his assistant. Vatican officials regard the attacks as being orchestrated by Father Aristide to hit back at the Church for his expulsion and suspension. Some of Aristide's speeches and sermons captured on video tapes reveal his fondness for Cuba's Fidel Cas@o and the good work that the revolution is doing in Cuba. Papal Nuncio Archbishop Francois Ligonde accused Aris- tide in a New Year 1991 homily, of installing a "Bolshe- vik government in Haiti." According to the New York Times (Oct. 28, 1993) article Vatican officials "have ex- pressed doubts about our cur- rent United Nations and Orga- nizations of American States embargo as a means of rein- link legal residency to eligibil- ity for immunization programs could discourage some parents from having their children im- munized against deadly dis- eases rather than risk deporta- tion. "Many of these proposals make no sense from a public policy perspective," he said. Despite the abundance of ex- isting bills, seven California Democrats introduced a pack- age March 11 that would em- phasize border controls and en- courage noncitizens to go through the naturalization process. One of the seven, Rep. Xavier Becerra, said unlike many of the other bills floating around the halls of Congress, the group's proposals are aimed at controlling illegal im- migration at the source and at bringing noncitizens already in the United States into the mainstream by becoming citi" "r zens. Th problem is, immigra- tion is a very good issue to use in an election year," Becerra, a freshman, acknowledged. The package he was promoting might stand a better chance than some because many oT California's members of Con- ii stating Father Aristide be- cause . . . it only hurts those who have been hurt already." The Nov. 12, 1993, Wall Street Journal said that Aris- tide is collecting a 1.8 million dollar monthly paycheck with no requirement "to account to the U.S. how the funds are spent." And a former Democra- tic congressman from Mary- land is paid $55,000 a month to help end Aristide's exile. Just think how much good that money would do to alleviate hunger and sre in that p dominantly Catholic country where Christopher Columbus landed 500 years ago. Let us pray that the em- bargo will end and a peaceful settlement will be achieved in Haiti. Richard W. Vieck Vincennes. gress support it, he said, but also because it aims at enforce- ment of immigration laws in- stead of punishing people who are already a part of American society. In the meantime, organiza- tions such as Bau's Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and several groups affil- iated with the Catholic Church are working at countering a tendency to turn immigrants into scapegoats by recession- weary and crime-weary citi- zens. As Bau noted, California's bishops have been particularly vocal about encouraging people to understand and welcome immigrants. "The point is, Ctatholic parishes are becoming immi- grant communities again," Bau said. rhis isn't just an 'us-or- them' issue for Catholics. When you talk about taking away someone's eligibility for SSI, you're talking about re- tied parishioners." i H '  AUBSTADT H i i "jl ELECTRIC Ins.  and n P.O. Box 405 TONY NAZARIO blattaci. IN 47639 8t2-768-5207 !-800-766-2787 III II "