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April 15, 1994     The Message
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April 15, 1994

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M E S S AGE he Message for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana VOLUME 24 NUMBER 33 April 15, 1994 ,u EJ3T DEANERY i i i I , :ill il  / conference trek provides an experience of learning and beauty for area scouts By MICHAEL K. WOOLSEY, Special to the Message SCOUTING, REAL YOUTH M|NlS ]Rf Newburgh, diocesan chaplain diocesan scouting activities during a national confer- N.M., Message photo by Michael K. Woolsey ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Somehow the Sandia Mountains that line the eastern side of the valley city of Albuquerque brought back memories of the Papal Pilgrimage of 1993 for sev. eral representatives of the Diocese of Evansville. Five members of the Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting attended the week-long thirty-third Biennial Conference of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting. The conference  "Sixty Years of Multi-Cultural Youth Ministr)   commemorated the sixtieth anniversary of the U.S. bishops' recognition of Boy Scouting as a program of Catholic youth ministry. Participating from the Diocese of Evansville were John E. "Jack" and Emily Thompson, Michael andPatricia Woolsey, and James Schmitt. They set up a display in the halls of the con- ference hotel with news clippings, scout retreat patches, photos of scouting religious activities and memorabilia from World Youth Day J3. The display was a popular spot for the 264 conference participants. The Diocesan Catholic Committee from southwestern Indiana has always been noted as one of the most active and highest in attendance nationwide. Conference participants attended workshops on religious emblems, public relations, reli. gious training certification and Good Turn service projects. Conference delegates voted on the new Ad Altare Dei Religious Emblem Program  the results of which are expected to be re- leased to all dioceses July 1. Bishop Robert J. Carlson of Sioux Falls, S.D., the new national bishop advisor, addressed the conference participants at a luncheon. Bishop Carlson promised that numerous national youth programs will be implemented through 1995. Paul ed coordinate the events oI '93 in Denver, also could ever know. "Vie, as youth ministers, must never underestimate the power of our youth's faith ituality," Henderson said. Conference delegates also participated in liturgies with local and Native music; they enjoyed ranch cooking and Southwestern style entertainment, and experienced a fire dance and other aspects of the Native American culture. A trip to "Old Town" Albuquerque provided an opportunity to negotiate for handmade jew- elry and giRs, and to tour the historic Saint Filipe de Neri Church founded in 1706. II tican approves use of female altar servers TIAVIs existing church law and not a local pastoral needs. The the decision, rants it and when ministers sWs Service major innovation by the bishop, after hearing the ad- Msgr. Robert N. Lynch, gen- are lacking, lay persons, even Y f ,10 f, # | CITy (CNS)- approved the altar Servers, .PaStoral needs of bishops, confer- e.wrld dated[ Service at :..Perfermed by eel_ er they are ,,ae ruling on ? Clarified the tirrned by Pope ' said the docu- Its of the letter available to s SerVice by in- !s at the Vatican. Y Cardinal An-  (hs, prefect of ;h liaS for Divine " acrarnents. ra IdA. Gettelfin.  qs to COmmu .'i ;ion ,- .- re .-  the Dio- Vlle wh o: , en ae aal Cornmuni. s Varies..) e't tsh.e:new policy, an Joaquin i,'t:!d it Was the retation of church. He emphasized that the decision resolves a pastoral question, not a doctrinal one. "It may be that one bishop says yes for pastoral reasons, while another says no," he said. Navarre-Vails also pointed out that the question has no connection with the church de- bate over ordained ministries. Service at the altar has a much different canonical and doctri- nal nature, he said. The Vatican's letter ex- plained that the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts had de- cided the basic question in 1992 with a one-sentence rul- ing on Canon 230 of church law. The ruling was "affirma- tive  regarding female altar servers but said there was a need for further instructions on the matter by the worship and sacraments congregation. It apparently took another 18 months to draw up the in- structions, which were in- cluded in Cardinal Javierre Ortas' letter. They highlighted four points: The policy is optional for each bishop, depending on vice of the national bishops' conference, must make his own decision in order to best pro- mote "an ordered development of liturgical life in his own dio- cese." Altar boys represent a "noble tradition  that has led to priestly vocations and must continue to be supported. Any decision to use fe- male altar servers should be explained well to the faithful. Pastors should note that women already perform such tasks during Mass as reading from Scripture and, in some circumstances, distributing Communion. Liturgical ministries exer- cised by lay people are tempo- rary tasks subject to the bishop's judgment and do not imply a right held by either men or women. U.S. bishops have been par- ticularly eager for a clarifica- tion of the policy on female altar servers. Several bishops raised the issue during their "ad limina" visits to the Vati- can in 1993 and were told that the question had virtually been decided but that the Vatican was not yet ready to publish eral secretary of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, told Catholic News Service April 12, "Noth- ing has been received here, and I'rsure it has not been re- ceived in other English-speak- ing conferences, or we would have' heard of it." He added, however, that the content of the CNS report from Vatican City "is substantially what I've known for about a year .... There are no surprises here." The role of lay people in liturgical ministries is gov- erned mainly by Canon 230 in the 1983 Code of Canon Law. It says that properly quali- fied lay men may be perma- nently installed as lectors and acolytes, the technical terms used in church law for readers and altar servers. It also sys lay persons men or women can act as lectors "by temporary deputa- tion  and "all lay persons can fulfill the functions of commen- tator or cantor or other func- tions, in accord with the norm of law." Finally, it says: "When the necessity of the church war- if they are not lectors or acolytes, can also supply for See VATICAN page 2