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Evansville, Indiana
March 29, 1996     The Message
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March 29, 1996

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 op's Forum m the steeple, open the there are the people!" sUSpect that most of us as game on rainy to be indoors. By a special way oar childlike under- Most of us the depth of mean- The index fingers of served as the were an- two fingers doubled eight "people" in the 'Here's the church ...' ByBISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER exercise is a clear d nature of our expression the church as a building -- a where we worshipers gather. The ;he people gathered, no matter where. we, the Church of Evansville, will gather at the Holy Rosary Parish "church house" to celebrate our unity. I will preside at the sacred liturgy of Eucharist. My brother priests, in the company of members of their respective parishes, will concelebrate, as a symbol of the unity of our diocesan church. Following the Liturgy of the Word, the solemn blessing of the oils will take place, hence the name "Chrism Mass." Sacred Chrism is used for the administration of the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders. It is also used in the anointing of new and renewed churches because the church building, made of "many stones" represents us, the faithful who are the "living stones" of Christ's Church. There is another element that we must not for- get as we gather as "church." We are not only mem- bers of the "local" church. Our church is universal. We need to acknowledge that. There is no better way than to draw attention to those lands in which our church is troubled and to demonstrate our con- cern by assisting with monetary contributions. The Holy Land is most sacred to us. It is the land made "holy" by Jesus' life, death and resurrec- tion, the most sacred mysteries we celebrate during our holy week. As you approach the cross on Good Friday, recall our sisters and brothers in the Holy Land who care for those places where Jesus walked. We are all conscious of the great tensions them. Many of these same places are held sacred by Jews, Moslems and Christians. Our Holy Father invites us through the "Holy Land Collection" to support all who strive to keep sacred those places so important to us. Be generous in solidarity with all Catholics around to world who are also being asked to help, for we are indeed "one church." /i:   nale explained for changes in priests' compensation will be Sept. 1, as approach to deter. benefits for the Diocese were pub- March second in a prepared by ittee. to the recommen- in the 'ning clergy COmmittee .OVer-riding and jus- the basis for was con- call to lp. This in- stewardship hips, and ,rs 4 .t from the SoP, aily Church, Jasper Message, SUpplements In elections Praised by the Conference the state. special this Will continue reports Nov. 10 and and a politi- the corn- about the more in | gifts of time, talent and trea- sure. Each of us, clergy or lay, is called individually, just as we are called as parish, as dio- cese and as church to be faith- ful stewards of God's blessings to us. Justice The issue of priestly compen- sation is also a justice issue. The bishops of Vatican II said, in carefully chosen words, "Dedicated to serving God through the discharge of the of- fice assigned to the, priests are worthy of receiving a just re- muneration." A document from the 1971 Synod of Bishops cautions us, "While the Church is bound to give witness to justice, she rec- ognizes that everyone who ven- tures to speak to people about justice, must first be just in their eyes." And that same document also stated, "No one would be deprived of his ordinary rights because he is associated with the Church in one way or an- other. Those who serve the Church by their labor, includ- ing priests and religious, should receive sufficient liveli- hood and enjoy that social secu- rity which is customary in their region." The call for a just wage for all who serve the Church was codified in the 1983 revision of canon law. It says, "When cler- ics dedicate themselves to the ecclesiastical ministry, they de- serve a remuneration which is consistent with their condi- tion." 1996 marks the tenth an- niversary of the bishops' pas- toral letter, Economic Justice for All. This includes our own priests as well. There has been growing con- cern over priestly compensa- tion and priestly life in our dio- cese among the priests and many of the laity. As a deeper recognition and understanding of all the issues emerges, the concern grows stronger. The laity is called to provide the means by which our priests can live a life that is consistent with their position. The consen- sus of the committee as they studied the issues and the re- sponses from the priests them- selves have indicated clearly that this is a timely issue. In writing about our Church as Sacrament in his booklet, The Payment of Clergy: a s3n- bol of changing self-images of the church, Rev. Stephen DeLeers says, "In this era of the church's self-awareness as sacrament, then, we have re- turned, in a sense to where we began, with the first commu- nity of disciples. There has been crucial development, how- ever. At least in theory we have passed beyond the established church and the Tridentine church, with their shared view of the kingdom -- indeed, the Kingdom on earth. No longer are the clergy supported as manorial lords, but as workers deserving a just salary. Today's church is aware of its imperfec- tion and incompletion. But it is also aware of its mission as sacramental to the world. Today's 'community of disci- ples' no longer supports its clergy out of Christian love, but out of justice as well, that God's kingdom might be made in- creasingly manifest." Next week: A brief history of compensation for priests in the Diocese of Evansville. Reader: Article needed comment To the editor: I am writing in regards to the article in the March 15 issue of the Message entitled, "Italian Cardinal says issue of women priests needs more study." Just four months after the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith re- leased a statement on Nov. 18, 1995, saying the Church's tra- ditional ban on women priests "required definitive assent... and has been set forth infalli- bly by the ordinary and uni- versal Magisterium." The very first paragraph of the Italian cardinal says, "The issue of women priests needs further study so that a future ecumenical council of the world's Catholic bishops could reconsider the question." The last paragraph says, "At some point in the future a Vatican council could consider the problem, rethinking the whole question." He also mentions that we must keep in mind "that the Catholic Church can't ordain women priests." The article seems to contradict itself and conflict itself with the Congregation for the Doc- trine of the Faith's statement of Nov. 18. Just what is the ordinary Catholic in the pew to believe? Is the issue still open for us to decide what is best for the church or should we listen to what the Vicar of Christ teaches? This article is very confusing and lays the founda- tion for schism within the church. It is not so much what n stance 'seems uncharitable' March 22 on the of a minister to should Pause Cer- the nisters to o the article, more than 50 married Episco- palian ministers are now cele- brating Catholic Mass in the United States. The point is this: What about the celibate priests who may want to marry and the many who have left the priest- hood from the diocese during the last 25 years? It seems un- charitable to welcome married ministers from other denomi- nations and turn our backs on those who served us so well in the past and those who are presently serving the Church. The Church, which is suffering from a clergy shortage, should change its stance on an unmar- ried clergy. Edmund A. Sullivan Evansville the article said but what it didn't say, an editorial com- ment would certainly be in order to say the least, just what Bishop Gettelfinger said in the Dec. 1 issue of the Mes- sage in the Bishop's Forum, "The response of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to the question of doubt was one of certitude. It allows for no difference. The Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith re- sponded that it is not in the competency of the Roman Catholic Church to ordain any woman to the Holy Order of Priesthood .... The issue of the ordination of any women to the Holy Order of Priest- hood is most divisive in our time. To deny that fact would be delusional." Thank you, Bishop Gettelfinger! It was a coincidence that just after I read the Italian Cardinal's article in the Mes- sage that I opened my March- April issue of SOUL Magazine. It was there that I found an article about St. Catherine of Siena. The very first sentence says, "St. Catherine of Siena deliberately told popes, queens and kings how to behave." She had numerous visions and long ecstasies, but was most remembered for her writings, which eventually led to her being declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI in 1970, a span of 623 years after her birth. During the Great Western Schism, in defense of Pope Urban VI, she rebuked three Italian Cardinals who were supporting the anti-pope. Writing to them she said, 'hat made you do this? You are flowers who shed no per- fume, but stench that makes the whole world reek." When Pope Urban VI was elected she wrote to him and told him he needed to control his temper. Pope Urban VI appreciated her counsel and invited Catherine to Rome where she prayed endlessly for Church unity and died at age 33. I know there are many in our diocese who receive the Fatima Apostolate SOUL Magazine, please read this amazing story about St. Catherine of Siena and then follow her example by praying for Church unity and hopefully we can avoid a schism in the church. Richard Vieck Vincennes