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April 14, 1995     The Message
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April 14, 1995

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 " lethal injection, all capital punishment WILLIAMs Conference ic Con- 0sed a move by on April 4 to as the punishment group Ju- on would with for debate to the method of capital punishment; however the morality of using the death penalty inevitably surfaced. M. Desmond Ryan, execu- Indi=no tive director of the ICC, ex- Catholic pressed a concern for the sa- credness of all human life, though recognizing the state's right to use capital punish- ment. Ryan spoke from Catholic tradition in defense of life, which was recently strength- ened in its application to capi- tal punishment by Pope John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae, "The Gospel of Life." In the en- cyclical, the pope said "the na- ture and extent of the punish- ment .... ought not go to the extreme of executing the of- fender except in cases of ab- solute necessity: in other words, when it would not be Rep. possible otherwise to defend society. Today however, as a trict the result of steady improvements n youth, , early May, minis- Scout t leaders, in- activi- in their .and to live Eppler listen- to cre- Io. YOung the ac- Youth 'Xxxl Day at day will it has it will will in- Small pre. of ex. and corn- ments, and conclude with Mass and a dance. World Youth Day October 28 and 29 has been designated by the Holy Father as World Youth Day. The theme of World YOuth Day this year is " Called to be Peace- makers and Apostles of Hope! " There are plans for a Peace Pilgrimage among youth and young adults, concluding with a peace vigil. National Youth Convention The diocese will send two delegates to the National Catholic Youth Conference in Minneapolis, Eppler said. They will speak about the eriviron- ment they encounter in our local Church and they will bring our message of Hope to the National Forum. "While violence and its af- fects will be a portion of the discussions and the meetings, Eppler said, "the true purpose of these gatherings is hopeful- ness. The Church has a great amount of love, and support, and encouragement t offer youth and young adults. This Initiative is another way in in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare if not practically nonexis- tent." Senate Bill 383, which passed the committee 9-4, was introduced by Sen. Richard A. Thompson, R-North Salem, as a more "humane" method of ex- ecution. Ryan argued that using lethal injection, however, could make it easier for people to ac- cept other forms of killing such as abortion, euthanasia, and assisted suicide. "It makes a cruel act silent," he said. Rep. Candace L. Morris, R- Indianapolis, questioned Ryan's position asking if he supported the electric chair in- stead of lethal injection. Ryan responded that the ICC op- poses all forms of execution. Morris again pressed her ques- tion within the context of the hearing, but Ryan stood firm in opposing capital punish- ment. "We would support life without parole," he said. Some representatives agreed with the ICC's position. Rep. Mark Kruzan, D-Bloomington, said he would also support life imprisonment without parole, but it was not an option under the bill. He decided to vote for the bill in deference to the fam- ily and friends of executed criminals who "had to endure the horror stories of electrocu- tion." Rep. Douglas M. Kinser, D- New Castle, said he has consis- tently supported life without parole and opposes the bill be- cause the death penalty is "bla- tantly discriminatory." "I think it is morally wrong for the state to lower itself to the crim- inal," said Kinser. Not all committee members accepted the argument that the death penalty should be more humane and for varying reasons. "Lethal injection ap- peases the public in getting rid of terrible people," Kinser said. "It's not my position to put peo- ple to death and call myself humane," he said. Rep. Thomas J. Alevizos, D- Michigan City, said that con- stituents in his area voiced a range of opinions on lethal in- jection from its not being tough enough to making it too easy for juries to select the death penalty option. "If the stat is going to take a position of putting someone to death, it shouldn't be hypocritical about it," he said. When the bill was discussed and approved by the Senate earlier this year, Sen. Steven R. Johnson, R-Kokomo, said though he supports the death penalty, he does not want it to be too easy on the public con- science. The death penalty may be used more frequently than it should, he said. which the Church embraces and enables youth and young adults to take a leadership role in being 'Apostles of Hope.' "The key to the Initiative is that it enables youth to speak about and to be messengers of hope to the church community. Young people have a great deal to offer, and peace is a great place to begin." At the national level, about two dozen people representing 15 groups heard about the joint NCCB-NFCYM program at an April 3 meeting and were asked to contribute their own efforts. "We're doing different things, and they're all valu- able, but if we can find one or two things to do in common maybe we can have a greater impact," said Paul Henderson of the NCCB Secretariat for Family, Laity, Women and Youth. The joint NCCB-NFCYM ef- fort was announced in March. The first fruits of the effort was an NFCYM resource man- ual with perspectives on vio- lence, a philosophy of preven- tion for parishes and schools, views of why violence is corn- mitted by and against youth, and resources to aid in the anti-violence effort. A copy has been given to each U.S. bishop. It is being made available to diocesan and parish youth ministry workers nationwide. "It is a document that will primarily connect folks with the National Youth Congress," which will be held in Novem- ber, focusing on youth violence, said Father Len Wenke, NFCYM executive director. One of the next projects in the effort is a booklet of selec- tions from the 1995 World Youth Day resource manual, titled "Called to Be Peacemak- ers and Apostles of Hope." Scheduled for publication in June, it will contain a "promise card" that youths can sign to affirm their stand against vio- lence. It says in part, "I believe that each person, created in the image and likeness of God, is a gift from God and that re- spect for human life is essen- tial to lessen violence. There- fore, I accept our Holy Father's challenge to 'become a commu- nicator of hope and a worker for peace." World Youth Day-related ac- tivities are something the other Catholic organizations can easily join, Henderson said. Father Wenke cautioned against expecting a joint inde- pendent effort coming immedi- ately from the meeting. "That's not the end result at this point," he said. "But we're hoping the initiative is some- thing that will take root lo- cally." Henderson said thero waa "a lot of support" from thoaeat the meeting that the youth anti-violence effort "not be a one-year project but a multi- year project, which is what we see it as." Groups represented included the Conference of Major Supe- riors of Men, the Leadership Conference of Women Reli- gious, the National Catholic Educational Association, the National Catholic Committee on Scouting, the National Con- ference of Catechetical Leader- ship, Don Bosco Multimedia and the National African- American Catholic Youth Min- istry Network. 1 Jesus and re- suffering, a celibate :roubled irn- should himself as sis- Women life, the pope said, but he also urged care on the part of priests and women so that nothing threat- ens the commitment to celibacy made by Latin- rite and many Eastern-rite priests. "The vocation to celibacy needs to be consciously pro- tected by keeping special watch over one's feelings and over on"s whole conduct," the pope wrote. "If in a relationship with a woman the gift and the choice get after Students she achers of get other cost i iii i! $i00 a month to pay off, and at the time, she said, "it was all the money in the world.  She doesn't see how today's stu- dents make their payments. "If I had to pay interest dur- ing school, it would be really rough," said Lynda Ziemski, a sophomore at Marymount Uni- of celibacy should become en- dangered, .the priest cannot but strive earnestly to remain faithful to his own vocation." While marriage is a true vo- cation, the pope said, it is not the path for a celibate priest. "For him to abandon that path would be to break the word he has given to God." Pope John Paul offered spe- cial prayers Jror "our brothers in the priesthood who meet with difficulties in this area, i i ] i iiiiiii versity in Arlington, Va." Ms. Ziemski, a biology major who hopes to be a pediatrician, is one of seven children. Her mother is a Catholic school teacher and her father has been in and out of work be- cause of having health prob- lems and being laid off. and to all those who, precisely because of a woman, have abandoned the priestly min- istry." At an April 7 press confer- ence, Archbishop Crescenzio Sepe, secretary of the Congre- gation for Clergy, said the pope was not blaming women in such situations, but was saying "they can be the occasion" of a priest's decision to leave. "The Lord, when he calls a young man, does not call him "Next year, five of us will be attending college," she said at the rally. "The total amount of tuition will be $60,000, (but) the total income of my parents is only 63,000.  She hopes more students will speak up about proposed student aid cuts, especially 4 ! because he is an angel," the archbishop said. "In calling some to celibacy for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, the Lord calls men of flesh and bone with all of the limits and weaknesses belonging to every ! human creature." i The pope's letter said seeing women as sisters to priests reaffirms that "they are in a i sense 'set apart," that the rela- tionship has clear limits from the start. I ] i i those in high school who will be affected by future changes, I "T--hey are not aware of it new, but if they were, they'd say, i 'Wait a minute, this 1 hurt US. Contributing to this column was Patricia Zapor in Wash- i ington.