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April 5, 1991     The Message
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April 5, 1991

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A! 5, 1991 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana i i i I Bishop's Forum II I / [ 11 By BISHOP GERALD A. GETTELPINGER Welcome to new members and celebration of the Red Mass Congratulations and Welcome Congratulations to all the newly initiated members of our Church, the Church of Evansville Biocese. Congratulations go to you because of your perseverance during the long period of waiting and study. You have indeed borne witness to your desire to belong to Christ. It will stand you in good stead as you now begin to live the fullness of membership in the community of believers. Welcome! As Christ has welcomed you, so the Community welcomes you. As Jesus has adopted you, we too claim you as brothers and sisters. You, the newly initiated, should feel free to call upon any of the brothers or sisters for assistance on this journey of faith. You have a right to expect good example from all of us. Once again, in the name of all, I welcome you! Red Mass The celebration of the Mass of the Holy Spirit invoking God's blessing on all public officials has a long history. It is called the "Red Mass" for the color of the vestments the priest wears, the tradi- tional vesture worn in Masses in honor of the Holy Spirit symbolizing the tongues of fire mentioned in scriptures describing the first Pentecost. The Red Mass is a traditional celebration par- ticipated in by government officials and lawyers representing the various branches of government including the executive, legislative and judicial. The first time the Red Mass of record was celebrated was in the year 1245 in Paris, France. In England, the tradition began around 1310 whereas in the United States, it was inaugurated in New York City as recently as 1928. Most recently, the Red Mass has come to be celebrated either on or around the national celebration of "Law Day." Law Day in this country falls toward the end of April. One year while I was at St. John's Parish in Indianapolis where the Red Mass was usually offered, it was celebrated on May 1. The publica- tion of the event caused a stir since some misunderstood its meaning. Not knowing its origins the coincidence that May Day in Russia fell on the same day gave them reason to think that somehow it was tied to a celebration of atheistic communism. Needless to say, that was quickly cleared up. Members of the Evansville Bar Association have asked me to celebrate the "Red Mass" in con- junction with the annual celebration of Law Day and Law Week. I am pleased to be able to offer this Mass of the Holy Spirit at St. Mary Church in Evansville on Thursday, April 25, at 8 a.m.. Although the celebration of Mass is Roman Catholic, all public officials and lawyers from across the Diocese of Evansville are invited to at- tend. Members of our own Tribunal, our Church court, are to be included. A Media report Study finds secular news media critical of Catholic Church WASHINGTON (CNS) -- U.S. secular news media por- tray the church as "coaser- vative, oppressive, and out o! touch with the modern world, Said a study of television and Print coverage of the church OVer the last three decades. The study, "Media Coverage of the Catholic Church," was released in Washington March 26. It was commissioned by the fiKnights of Columbus and the atholic League for Religious arid Civil Rights. It was conducted by S. Robert Lichter, Daniel Amundsen and Linda Lichter of the Washington-based Center for Media and Public Affairs, a non-partisan, non-profit Organizxtion. The center arlalyzes scientifically how the media treat social and political issues. EVANSVILLE SERVICE AND SHOPPING GUIDE The study found news media In the overall reporting, have emphasized criticism "sourcessupportingthe church more than support of church were in the minority on the teaching when reporting on broad range of debates involv- Catholic issues, ing sexual morality and church Findings were based on a authority that dominated the sampling of the "CBS Evening coverage," the study said. News," Time magazine, The Coverage grew increasingly New York Times and The negative over the decades as Washington Post. Analysts "official church teachings were studied coverage in three five- promoted less frequently and year blocks, 1964-68, 1974-78 were challenged more often and1984-88, when they did appear," the "On most controversies," in- studysaid. cluding birth control, priestly The study found the church celibacy, role of women and depicted as "a beleaguered minorities, and dissent, "the authority struggling to enforce church came out on the losing its traditions and decrees on a side of the issue debate," the reluctant constituency." study said. The 93-page study said The exception was reporters often covered religion ecumenism, which th*e news as if it were politics and treated media treated as an issue "sup- controversies "as conflicts be- ported by all people of good tween the church hierarchy, on will," it said. one side, and lower-level ,, clergy, lay Catholics and non- Catholics on the other." i Sex was the leading con- troversial topic in every time period studied and in coverage by every outlet except The Washington Post, where sex came in second to power strug- L FOR THE BEST PLUMBING SERVICE RESIDENTIAL COMMERCIAL (FREE ESTIMATES) GRANT PLUMBING CO. 484 S. GOVERNOR AT CANAL Ph. 424-2441 Spaldings rood Land 2100 Stringtown 1 713 E. Morgan 411 S. Barker Visit Our Complete Delicatessen Prime Cuts of Beef Evansville Wet Heat & Piping Co. Inc. New & Used Boilers, Furnaces Repair & Replacement 424-0991 800 E. 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Father Charles Curran and Time magazine was the Archbishop Raymond Hun- "most preoccupied" with sex, thausen" of Seattle, and "the it said. push for greater theological Time and The Washington orthodoxy" by Cardinal Joseph Post gave significantly heavier Ratzinger, head of the Vatican emphasis to people opposed to Congregation for the Doctrine church teachings on sexuality of the Faith, it said. than did The New York Times "Church decisions were re- and CBS. The effect overall was jected or criticized in 63 per- "to present the debate over sex- cent of all opinions," the study ual morality as a split between said. the church hierarchy and On church-state relations, everyone else," the study said. news media showed the church The study found a shift in in a positive light when it treatment of abortion, presented the church's anti-war In the 1970s, when coverage positions, the study said. centered on the U.S. Catholic However "few sources sup- bishops' response to the 1973 ported churcll involvement in Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court political affairs" when the decision legalizing abortion, issues were domestic matters, most "published statements such as public funding for supported the church," the private schools, abortion study said. By the 1980s, "the legislation and other "per- amount of debate bad nearly ceived threats to "separation of doubled; opinion was now church and state," it said. slightly opposed to the In social controversies, CBS church," it said. stories "were consistently more It attributed the change to favorable to the church's secular groups campaigning for teachings" than the others and abortion rights and coverage of were least likely to "use the controversy surrounding a judgmental language, which 1984 New York Times adver- tended to depict the church in a tisement seeking a change in hegativelight." church abortion policy. By contrast, Time, which has News media gave "heavy analytical and regular coverage coverage" to power and of the church by a religion authority issues too, and "opi- writer, "paid the most attention nions in news stories con- to dissidents and focused most sistently favored decentralizing heavily on conflict," it said. power," the study said. Such coverage increased in It had "the most frequent use the 1980s, "largely due to of judgmental language" and discussions of academic "led the pack in depicting the freedom and dissent connected church as irrelevant," the study to such high-profile figures as said. DEWIG BROS, PACKING CO. FRESH MEAT BEEF AND PORK HAUBSTADT, INDIANA