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April 10, 1998     The Message
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April 10, 1998

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} The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana f Taking a stand against violence By PAUL R. LEINGANG Editor You can make a difference. The thought struck me as I listened to the latest , report of another wave of violence in southern Indi- ana and southern Illinois. Five people are dead, a sus- pect is in jail, and the families and friends of each and every one of them will never be the same. Those who died included a mother, a young i farmer and a man who apparently just happened to get in the way of two young killers on a country road. Senseless, people call it. Senseless violence is distin- guished from other acts of violence that many find i justifiable. There is plenty of blame to go around. Society. The media. Violence on television, in the movies, in music and in videos. There is no doubt that we have devel- oped a "culture of death," as Pope John Paul [I calls it. , It seems clear that the legalization of a violent ; solution to a problem pregnancy contributes to our culture of death. So does the rise in demand for assisted suicide. In more and more states, the answer to violence is more violence. Kill the killers. But what do you do when the killers are 11 and 13? The hardest question of all, though, is this: What can I do to make a difference? The greatest tempta- tion is to avoid the question, or to answer it by saying nothingwgiving in to the frustration and the fear that nothing can be done to change the world, or make a difference. At Easter time, we celebrate the victory of life over death--and the call to all believers to have hope. Among the areas where hope is found is the growth of a group known as the Families Against Violence Advocacy Network. The network has pub- lished a pledge of nonviolence, available for use in the homes and in the schools of people who want to bring about a change in a world full of violence. "Making peace must start within ourselves and in our family," according to the published pledge. If it is used in a family, each member of the family is asked to sign the pledge and to check up regularly on how the promises have been lived out. If it is used in a classroom, each student is asked to sign the pledge, and to make regular examinations of the successes and failures to keep its provisions. Simply stated, the pledge is this: To respect self and others. To communicate better. To forgive. To respect nature. To play creatively. 3 To be courageous. :: Being courageous means in all its forms whenever I encounter i home, at school, at work, or i stand with others who are treated One way to make a difference own personal pledge of pledge and suggestions for small cost from the Parenting for Network, 4144 Lindell Blvd., 63108. Telephone (314) 533-4445, or e-maih Take the time today to the latest seeks revenge? Who seeks justice? : i What was the reaction of lence which was done to him? ian's reaction be? If we truly seek what we peace, and that we want it to making a personal or one action available to make a Comments about this or the Christian Box 272, Ames, Iowa 50010. Assessing King's legacy 30 years after his By MARK PATTISON Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Unerringly, black Catholics can tell you where they were when they first heard of the assassina- tion of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. They can recall gathering around television sets to hear the news bulletins about the fatal shooting April 4, 1968, in Mem- phis, Tenn. They can remember seeing federal troops moving into their neighborhoods. They can still see cities aglow from rioting. Just as unerringly, they can tell you where America stands today in terms of honoring King's legacy. For Sister Patricia Chappell, head of the National Black Sisters Conference, the answer, after 30 years, is "there have been good intentions, but I think we are far from equality for all. [ don't 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47711  Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in Oecember by the Catholic Press of Evanswl/e Putsh ............. Bhop Gad A Gett F.tor ...................................... Paul R. Lc4nganO Productron Tochnian ............... Jo, Dietrich Aoertsing ................................... Paul New.el Staff Writer ............................ Mary Ann Hughes Address all ommunations to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, tN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $18.50 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as periodical maser at Me post offce n Evasw, IN 47704 Pu0icatton number 38 Postmaster: Re,'um PO0 forms 3579 to Office of n 998 ,a: Press ol Evant',e believe that discrimination has does business the same way it been erased from our society always does. It banks the same Children of color are receiving a way it always does, it hires the substandard education, not being same way it always does." given the skills that they need as Conrad said he believed minor- they enter the 21st century." it), bishops are "pressured" to not Both Sister ChappeU and Joseph "make waves if you want to suc- Conrad; a permanent deacon who ceed," adding that new leaders of is head of the National Catholic all types face similar pressure. Conference for Interracial Justice, After King was killed, no one spoke strongly against what they black leader seemed to step in to called "systemic discrimination" fill the void he left. But such a within the Catholic Church itself, conclusion is inherently false, Sister Chappell noted the Conrad said. lack of African-American voca- "We don't expect white Ameri- tions and the closure of ca to have one leader," he Catholic schools in the inner explained. "But it's easier to deal cities, "and yet we speak about with one black leader, one His- evangelization." panic leader, one Asian leader. With the exception of appoint- Martin Luther King was the one ing a few more black bishops, the who got the ink and the TV time." church is "hoping the problem is Joseph Hubbard, head of the going to go away without the National Office for Black church doing anything signifi- Catholics, pointed to the voter cant," Conrad said. "The church repeal of affirmative action in CaP Friday abstinence not foolish To the editor:, to unite themselves more close- I would like to respond to a ly with the sufferings Jesus letter to the editor in the March endured for all sin. 27 issue written by E. A. Sulli- Maybe meatless Fridays aren't van concerning meatless Fri- a real sacrifice for some, but I days as reparation for abortion, certainly don't think we should Mr. Sullivan states that "Giving negate the efforts of those who up meat in the United States is choose to do so. Let us not forget no real sacrifice" and that it is a that what is "no real sacrifice" "foolish cause." for some may require heroic I know may people, both effort on thepart of others, par- young and not so young who ticularly those with special for years have faithfullycontin- dietary needs and/or medical ued the practice of abstaining conditions. from meat not only on Fridays Our Lord himself was urged but on Wednesdays as well. by the Spirit to go into the desert Some of these same folks also where he fasted for 40 days. fast on bread and water one day Would his ather in heaven label a week as reparation for the sin these efforts a "foolish cause?" of abortion, and as a means of Denise Corressell disciplining their bodies to try Evansville ! ifornia and a similar referendum in Washington state as evidence that King's work will tak longer to finish. Many use King's axiom that "we should judge a man not by the color of his skin but by the content of his character" to bolster their arguments against affirmative action, but Hubbard said that was an incorrect reading. "King's thing was, let's make the Constitution work, and the Bill of Rights," Hubbard said. Affir- mative action is not about lower- ing standards but providing opportunity, he added. And with- out "selective certification" in such fields as law and medicine, blacks will be indefinitely kept down eco- nomically, he said. Bishop Wilton D. Gregory of Belleville, Ill., said he saw a corre- lation between the 30th anniver- of the "It is a time tion cy of Dr. time," ph) ...... Left da, in "a We can cum been The by on good steps, We should openly steps, even we Bishop's sch, Easter Vigil, St. Joseph Church, Evansville" 11, 8 p.m. Easter Sunday Mass, St. Mar day, April 12, 10 a.m. Rogation Service for Gardeners and nand Church, Ferdinand, Tuesday, Personnel Board Meeting, bishop'S April 15, 1 p.m. Finance Council Meeting, Catholic April 15, 4 p.m. Deanery Assembly, Old Cathedral, day, April 15, 7 p.m. Mass at Wabash Valley Co 7 Thursday, April 16, 8 and 9:30 a.m. -o Confirmation at St. Philip Cht da}; April 16, 7 p.m. Community Marriage Initiative Office, Evansville, Friday, April 17, noon. Diocesan Pastoral Council Coordina Agenda Meeting, Ca tholic Center, Frida) St. Vincent Day Care Annual ville, Friday, April 17, 6 p.m.