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March 20, 1998     The Message
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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 We have been honored by our own By BISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER L that the Catholic Church of the Dio- national honors. When it , indeed we are all honored. It explain. Committee on Catholic Scouting has Scout Troops and Scouts to of Catholicism possible in :did not originate as a uniquely ut its principles certainly youth ministry. The scouting as a vital ele- and has created symbols of ue to Catholics. That is why the Catholic Scouting has a liai- .rence of Catholic Bishops. Even though I have recently been appointed by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops as the official liaison to the National Committee on Catholic Scouting, I was unaware of a new recognition made possible for Catholic scout troops. It is a Gold Medal- lion Award given to the troop that best exemplifies promotion of Catholic values in the scouting move- ment. Any Catholic Scouting Troop may apply for it demonstrating exemplary efforts to pass on the Catholic faith through scouting. Three of our Boy Scout Troops applied for this new honor. All three were national finalists. They were Nativity Parish, Scout Troop #312, St. John Newburgh, Scout Troop #335, and St. Theresa, Scout Troop #318 I was greatly impressed at the conclusion of the Scout Retreat at St. Meinrad on March 8 to learn that three of our own were finalists for this national recog- nition. I was inspired by the fact that one was named as the winner of this National Gold Medallion award. Our Nativity Parish Scout Troop #312 was named the winner of the National Gold Medallion Award for exemplifying Catholic values in scouting. Needless to say, I am most proud of Scoutmaster Keith Gehlhausen and all the adult leaders for hold- ing high our Catholic values and passing them on to our Catholic boys of toda); our Catholic men of tomorrow. Congratulations to Scoutmaster Gehlhausen and each member of Scout Troop #312. You bring honor to yourselves, indeed, but you also bring tremendous honor to the Catholic Diocese of Evansville. I am especially proud of all of you. I am confident that the rest of our sisters and brothers in the Diocese of Evansville share mypride. Congratulations to the Scout Troops at St. John and St. Theresa for your exempla D, achievement in being named national finalists. To all of you, keep up the good work. You give the rest of us very good example! ground Disagreeing without being disagreeable n [EHANSEN tiative Shortly before his death ities ought to be obeyed even Given that histo, is "replete sought, he said. in 1996 as part of an effort to when they don&apos;t give reasons." with mistakes," the chance to Father J. Bryan Hehir, a pro- Service end polarization among U.S. He added, however, that "it offer a dissenting opinion that fessor of religion and society at Catholics and revitalize the certainly works better" when could leadtoneededrevisionof Harvard Divinity School in (CNS) Catholic mainstream, reasons are given. He said Pope church teaching is crucial, corn- Cambridge, Mass., commented meeting in A major part of the conference John Paul II g/ves many reasons mented Judge John T. Noonan, that the Vatican commission prominent U.S. focused on four papers on "but they don't get heard." 'Jr., of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court established in the 1960s to study ,gies church authority that were dis- Marianist Father James L. of Appeals in San Francisco. the question of contraception agreed tributed to participants before Heft, chancellor of the Univer- Richard R. Gaillardetz, a the- was "exactly what the (Second dis- the weekend, sity of Dayton, Ohio, and chair- ology professor at the Universi- Vatican) Council called for," The papersweresubmitted man of the Association of ty of St. Thomas in Houston, said noling that it included laity, the- Oconomowoc by Jesuit Father Avery Dulles, a Catholic Colleges and Universi- "the same Spirit animates the ologians and scientists who annu- theologian at Fordham Univer- ties, commented that reasons people of God" that animates the took part in structured dis- Confer- sity, New York; Father Joseph may not need to be presented bishops. He said that while a course. Common A. Komonchak, a theology pro- for mysteries like the Resurrec- "highly technological, con- Even though its majority find- um ' " ' .... debated, fessor at The Catholic Universi- tion or the Trinity. Distinctions s erlst society can obstruct rags were ove.e. ....... the Spirit, so can the church analysis,::"i'Siimar[|::: :<;'::!" topic, clerical culture, example" of conSultation, he ?:'7 "If we don't look at both said. isten in such a way that we enter into intandem, we,o00c,00b.- No00a00dCatho0000.00r00.- ity," he said. lives have that tion Retreat mind and heart of the other rather Michael Novak, religion often "ends up in conformism," miles west and public policy scholar at with findings mimicking what the- than hunt for an opening in which we can the American Enterprise the consulting body wanted in Onecar- insert our argument. Institute in Washington, also the first place. praised consulting process MilwaukeeArchbishop Rem- judge, ty of America, Washington; need to be made about the behind the U.S. bishops' pas- bert G. Weal<land noted that in bishop- Philip Selznick, a professor kinds of church statements for toral letters. "The bishops really visits to monasteries around the emeritus of law and sociology, which reasons are necessary, he listened" and modified the let- world during his years as Bene- to the University of California-Berke- said. ters in light of the criticisms, he dictine abbot primate, he of the ley; and a canon lawyer, Father Another topic of discussion said. learned "it was most important r col- . James A. Coriden of Washing- throughout the weekend was But Father Dulles said he did- to listen to those who weren't Consulta- ton Theological Union. when or whether church n't think the bishops' consulta- selfish, who had the communi- arouses The four spoke as panelists authority should seek out the tion could be described as seek- ty at heart; they werelnot always are diffi- twice during the weekend, cri- "'sensus fidelium" before deci- ing "sensus fidelium." "Whether the most glib or the brightest." 'Consensus was tiquing their own and each sion making, the minimum wage should be In terms of consultation, ed. other's papers, then responding In his paper Father Dulles lowered or raised" is not the determining "whom do you lis- " the confer- to the critiques, asked whether papal teachings kind of topic about which the ten to is more complicated than . too One topic of debate was against artificial contraception "sense of the faithful" should,be we think," he said. and whether church authorities and female priesthood were But should provide reasons for deci- suspect in terms of the "sensus Jesuit sees challenge in were sions they make. fidelium" since many Catholics life other the Father Dulles said in many disagreed. He rejected that possmm on planets with cases it isn't a good idea to give view, saying secular mentality, ;Viewpoints m different they ,}: H. Lip- that mind and than which "an for the legacy the lni- reasons. "Many times they can't be articulated well," he said. Giving reasons, he said, raises questions, then counter-reasons. "Faith is an acceptance of authority," he said. "If we don't accept authority we're not Catholics any more." Father Komonchak said even if they are not rtKluired to, those in authority should want to set out reasons. He saidone reason might be that "behind this deci- sion we have a long, long tradi- tion" that shouldn't be over- turned. Dominican Father Benedict M. Ashle); a tleologian from St. Louis University; said, "Author- rather than a Christian ratio- nale, lay at the root of this dis- sent. In the discussion he added that the traditional concept of "sensus fidelium" presupposed a Christian community where religion permeated life, not a society dominated by secular views. Father Komonchak said the consultations that the U.S. bish- ops undertook before writing their pastoral letters on the economy and on war and peace were "a perfect example of what ought t0,be done." "It's hard to consult the faith- ful but it can be done," he said. By TRACY EARLY Catholic News Service NEW YORK (CNS) -- Dis- covery of intelligent life on other planets is a possibility; but not one that should cause anxi- ety among theologians, accord- ing to the director of the Vatican Observatory. Jesuit Father George V Covne said in a New York appearance that absorbing the implications of such a d L-x)verv weafld be "a challenge." found to have fallen into sin, orthodox theolty could allow for God to have acted in an infi- nite number of ways to save them, he said. Father Co}ae, who is based at the University of Arizma in Tucson and serves as a member of the astronomy department there, .spoke March 12 at St, John's University, a Vinouatian institution in Queens.', .... "  b " His wasspo nsored Y the philosophy _department under an arrangmnt with the "But I don't see any reas to f(naation of financier John M. be afraid," he id. Tempteton, who alg) sponsors if extraterrestrial beings with the annual prize for progrts in souls were discovered, and religion.