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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
April 14, 1989     The Message
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April 14, 1989
 

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4 Editorial By PAUL LEINGANG Message Editor The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana I I I Taking time to tell a story about Bishop Shea April 14, 1989 ii This is a column about Bishop Shea. About you. About me. First comes the part about the bishop. Bishop Francis R. Shea spent last Friday and more time on the weekend removing personal items from his office at the Catholic Center. Bishop Shea, the Third Bishop of Evansville, was the first bishop to use the office at the Catholic Center -- building which used to'house high school seminarians. The first and second bishops had maintained offices in downtown Evansville -- first at Bishop Henry Grimmelsman's home and later at the Pro- Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity. Bishop Shea was standing in the middle of a room full of boxes, cartons, pictures, statues and books. He joked about the captions we might give to a pictures of his activity: "Bishop beats retreat" was one that seemed to have multiple meanings, describing his departure from the office. After getting his O.K. to take pictures of the packing, I returned to the Message to load film in- IIIII to my camera. While I was gone, two other people at the Catholic Center suggested to the bishop that it was time to have lunch. As I came back down the hall with my camera, the bishop was walking toward me, preparing to leave for lunch. Without weighing my words, I asked the bishop if he would stay a few minutes so I could take a few pictures. The photo opportunity could easily have been delayed until after lunch; the in- convenience to me would have been minor. Without hesitation, the bishop turned around and returned to his office. He changed his plans, for my convenience. On the last Friday before the ordination of the next bishop, Bishop Shea acted with characteristic courtesy. I thanked him for h. is kindness; he said it was just the way he had been brought up. The bishop took off his jacket, loosened his collar, and began taking items from a book shelf. He spent a moment or two holding and looking at objects which had earned a place in his memory, II I I I while I took the pictures that I wanted. These few minutes will hold a place in my memory. What happened at noon last Friday is a story which I will remember. It is a story I will enjoy telling. It is short, but to the point. The story has few details, just enough to relate one small incident which captures a much larger truth: Bishop Shea is a man who would change his plans in order to help somebody else. That's the part about Bishop Shea. Now the part about you and about me. The story I told about Bishop Shea is one of the stories that can be told about his years as priest, shepherd and teacher. It is the kind of story that would be nice to tell whenever people get together to celebrate an event of some achieve- ment. It is good for extraordinary celebrations and ordinary events: the kind of story that would be nice to tell at the dining room table, What kind of stories will others tell about me? What kind of stories will others tell about you? Washington Letter Taking th,00 views of Church fathers to the Supreme Court By LIZ SCHEV'rCHUK NC News Service WASHINGTON (NC) -- As the U.S. Supreme Court wrestles with its latest abortion case, both sides in the dispute are citing the views of early church fathers -- people like St. ' Thomas Aquinas and St. John Chrysostom -- to uphold their points of view. On April 26, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case, Webster vs. Reproductive Health Ser- vices Inc., a dispute over a Missouri anti-abortion law scut- tled by lower federal courts. Pro-life groups hope -- and abortion rights groups fear -- that the high court will use the case to either seriously limit abortion or go even further and overrule the Roe vs. Wade rul- ing that legalized abortion na- tionwide in 1973. Since one contested provi- sion of the Missouri law was a declaration that life begins at conception, friend-of-the-court briefs submitted by advocates on both sides explore -- Tb00MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47724-01 69 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville PulNihed weekly except Iet week In December by the Catholic Pfeu of Evansville, Publisher .... Bishop Gerald A. Gettelflnger Associate Publisher .... Roy. Joseph Zlliak Editor .................. Paul Lelngang Production Mgr ............... Phil Boger Cir./Adv. Mgr ........... Paul A. Newland Addreu all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 477244)169. Phone (612) 424-5536. Subscription rate: $17.50 per year Entered as 2nd class matter at the post of- fice';In Evansville, IN 47701. Pub(cation number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to the Office of Publication. Copyright 1989 Catholic Press of Evansville sometimes with different con- But another brief, this one clusions -- the Christian signed by some individual understanding of the beginning Catholics and eight bishops of of human "personhood" and the Episcopal Church, among the role of conscience in the others, stated that an end to abortion decision, abortion would violate In a brief urging the court to religious freedom and that strike down the Missouri law, Christian views on the morality the National Coalition of of abortion differ drastically. American Nuns and Catholics According to the National for a Free Choice stated that Coalition of American Nuns' Catholic theologians have long brief, uncertainty about ensoul- been uncertain about the begin- ment or the beginning of per- ning of "personhood" and the sonhood is important to the exact time the soul begins to ex- abortion issue because "posses- ist. sion of a soul is the But their scholarship and opi- characteristic that distinguishes nions were attacked as "scan- persons from non-persons." dalous" bya spokesman for the "There is no constant National ConferenceofCatholic teaching in Catholic theology Bishops. on the commencement of per- "The brief abounds in errors sonhood," the brief maintain- of fact and logic," said Richard ed. "The teaching of Aquinas Doerflinger, associate director and others, and the scientific for policy development of the evidence regarding fetal NCCB Office for Pro-Life Ac- development, provide 'good tivities. "In the final analysis, it and solid' reasons for believing is difficult to decide what is that the early embryo is not en- more scandalous: the brief's souled and thus not a person." lack of appreciation for Catholic "Aquinas. held that 'the teaching or the incoherence of human soul was infused into its arguments." the body only when the latter Meanwhile, a brief filed by began to show a human more than 40 bishops and other shape,'" said the brief. officials of the Orthodox Therefore, for some "serious Church cited early Christian Catholic believers, the embryo leaders such as St. John is certainly not a person during Chrysostom and St. Basil in de- the early stages of pregnancy nouncing abortion and urging and that consequently it is not the high court to overturn Roe immoral to terminate pregnan- vs. Wade. cy during this time provided II Special issue date delayed A special commemorative Gerald A. Gettelfinger as issue of the Message will be Fourth Bishop of Evansville. published in early May, not April 28 as earlier reported Pictures of the new bishop and advertised. A publica- and of the ordination tion schedule has not yet ceremonies will be pro- been determined, minently featured in the P 1 a n s w e r e r e v i s e d special issue. Also planned because of unavoidable are stories and photos from delays in production of the the Bishop Shea years, and s p e c i a 1 i s s u e c o m - brief histories of the parishes memorating the ordination and institutions in the and installation of Bishop Diocese of Evansville. I II I II I there are serious reasons" for doing so, said the brief. But the NCCB's Doerflinger said that "the old theories ... proposing that a human soul is infused at some intermediate stage of fetal development were never official church doctrine and were based on biological ideas of the fourth century B.C. which were exploded over a century ago." He also said that when the brief "argues that a finding of 'personhood' for the unborn would violate the First Amend- ment's religion clauses" it "ignores several facts." He said the Missouri law "does not rely on the concept of 'personhood' but finds that the life of a human being begins at conception." Beyond that, he said, "neither Missouri nor any other state demands proof that a human being has an immortal, soul before recognizing him or her as a 'person' in other con- texts." For its part, the Orthodox Church in its brief asserted that "the early church recognized that life begins at conception and rejected distinctions based on fetal development or viabili- St. Basil, discussing unborn life, "wrote that 'any hairsplit- ting distinction as to its being formed or unformed is inad- missible with us,'" the Or- thodox bishops said. Reliance upon limited sources such as Aquinas is "misplaced" and "serves only to underscore the danger in- herent in drawing broad-based' conclusions based upon ex- cerpts of writ!ngs from selected theologians," they added. Native of Washington, Ind., Archbishop Borders, retires WASHINGTON (NC) -- Pope John Paul II has accepted the resignation of Archbishop William D. Borders of Baltimore and named Bishop William H. Keeler of Har- risburg, Pa., to succeed him as head of the nation's oldest See. Archbishop Borders, who has headed the Baltimore Arch- diocese since 1974, submitted his resignation to the pope when he turned 75 last fall. In accepting his resignation, Pope John Paul named him ad- ministrator of the archdiocese until Archbishop Keeler is installed. William Donald Borders was born in Washington, Ind., Oct. 9, 1913. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Baton Rouge, La., on May 18, 1940, after studies at St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana and Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. After ordination he earned a master's degree in education at the University ofNotre Dame and later studied church history and psychology at the Universi- ty of St. Louis. He was an armed forces chaplain during World War II, and in the years that followed served as an educator, seminary official, university chaplain and parish priest. He was both pastor of St. Joseph's Cathedral in Baton Rouge and rector of St. Joseph Preparatory Seminary there from 1965 until 1066, when he was named first bishop of the newly formed Diocese of Orlan- do, Fla. He was bishop of Orlando from 1968 until 1974, when he became 13th archbishop of Baltimore.