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Evansville, Indiana
April 17, 1992     The Message
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April 17, 1992

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Perspective By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message Editor 1 was puzzled one clay as ] waited for the car ahead of mine to pull out into the street frmn the parking area. The right signal light was flashing, both right lanes of the street were clear, but the car did not move. Several minutes later, the driver pulled tbr- ward and turned left. As I was driving to work one morning early this week, a school bus came towards me: Yellow lights on top of the bus were flashing, back and forth from side to side. Signal lights flashed too, clearly indicating that the bus was about to come to a stop. I slowed down and prepared to stop, even though I saw no children waiting at any cor- ner nearby. The bus approached at a constant speed, and continued down the street, lights flashing block April ! " IIii Signal lights and other signs at Easter time long straight furrows had replaced the lush green grass that used to wave and shimmer in the morning breeze of a bright spring day. It was a sure sign that something else would soon be planted in the field. If construction had been planned, bright-painted stakes and lines might have squared off an area of the field -- but plowed ground means crops are intended to grow here. We judge the world around us by the signs we see. Not all of the signs are reliable. Some signals are false -- on cars and buses and even in nature. Warm winter weather fooled trees and plants into early blooms -- not a true sign of spring this year. Late cold weather brought an early end to some of nature's beauty. J dicates a right turn is planned -- only because we have agreed that is what it should mean. Flashing lights on a school bus mean the bus will be stopping for children -- at least that'S what it says in the "Rules of tim Road." We may think we know what to expect, trot the best ad- vice is still the skeptic's comment: "I'll believe it when ] see it." Holy Week and Easter time are full of signs -- waving palms of jubilation, a sky turned dark, a temple curtain torn in half. We see bread and wine, foot washing and annoint" ins, water and fire and new life. The clays are full of signs, signs of sinfulness and brokenness' and even the foolishness of the cross  the death of a common criminal for one who said he was God. I i I I It( I It I ti I 1st I tl I d, If ! I1! I II, 18 lY I . And ultimatel we see the sign that is be- after block. For as long as I could see it m the rear All signs, after all, are subject to interpreta- ,,nl 1! o, t, ,mnt, t,,h that iS the sig view mirror, it did not stop. tion and understanding. And even more so, each of'ourownresnr--re'ction( r': ............ Closer to work, I passed what on the day be- sign requires a certain amount of faith. What a joyful sin it is for those who I fore had been a grassy field. It was plowed, and A flashing light on the right side of a car in- believe! " -  0 we.h, ., i i !!: " " " " "ghtf re,_,o,, l" Deserting a sinking sh00p or clearing a path for a bn utu By PATRICIA ZAPOR matic difference in the way rest of the Congress," Wayne public participation, cam- after tile elections of tn^'[l-o( | ." Catholic News Service Congress operates, but it said. "Now maybe even in- paigns without substance and Despite his prediCt-lltig ! ( could herald a period of "tin- cumbents can't win." winners without clear man- some minor changes refflar0 I lize WASHINGTON (CNS] -- If kering with the constitutional A few men:tbers of the dates " from the turnover, de ff:,e " ". ,, . " ' e la; i the recent wave of reslgna- framework of government, House have stepped down in Wayne and de Alvarez pre- said candidates to r 0f tize tions from Conoress contin- believes Leo Paul S. de Al- response to the unroar over dict that when Con-ress con outgoing memOer,, have ues and votersrefuse to re- varez, a. _.. politics. rofessor at .... the oeration of he Housep . . venes in" January there could Cngress in 1992 dn-'se- I -r-   rV , faces will ' -Ue to c u .... Some of the recent resigna- bank was making it impossi- - ..... " tB0' I u du -,- ...... members aria lu senators u 0 i much is a m"or of de{, hans are rooted m practmal ble to address legslahve s- . ,, have not made P -t s M , u..., ste ea aown waz ...... ' financial or family considera- sues. PP minds what they , b0tl , ! ";;of'A ril 10 at least tions, but de Alvarez said the they're going to got h P seven senators and 48 mem- bers of the House had de- cided not to seek re-election. Another five representatives and one senator were de- feated in early primaries. The tally of who's retiring, who's running for another of- fice and who's been cut out of a job by redistricting changes so often that even the Senate Press Gallery, usually the most up-to-date source of such details, has trouble keeping up. A likely 100 or more new members of the House and Senate may not mean a dra- The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47720-0169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville Publisher .............. Bishop Gerald A. Gettelflnger Associate Publisher ............... Rev. Joseph Ziliak Editor ............................................ Paul Leingang Production Manager ........................... Phil Beget Circulation .................................... Susan Winiger Advertising .................. : ................. Paul Newland Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, iN 47724-0i69 Subscription rate: $12.00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd class matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701. Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Publication  1992 Catholic Press of Evansvile main factor seems to be sim- ple frustration. "Our system of separation of powers is not working," de Alvarez theorizes. Legislators feel stymied by an inability to get their policies through. "There's no consensus in fundamental areas like educa- tion, health care, what to do about abortion," said de A1- varez. Until basic agreement (:an be reached on such issues even within the Republican and Democratic parties, get- tins any meaningful legisla- tion through will continue to be an exercise in futility, he predicted. Several of the resigning leg- islators have cited just such a feeling of powerlessness. Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad surprised his colleagues April 3 by saying he would honor a pledge to North Dakota voters to quit if he couldn't help control the national deficit. "I have done everything I could do," Conrad said. But still, the deficit is "com- pletely out of control." Stephen J. Wayne, a gov- ernment professor at Jesuit- run Georgetown University in Washington, said some in- cumbents are quitting be- cause they're afraid of losing after redistricting changed their constituencies or be- cause of the "general sour mood" of the public. "It used to be the way to win was to run 'against' the Neither Wayne nor de AI- varez believes the wave of In what de Alvarez called ] '% Alvarez thinks. resignations has much to do with any great sense of ethi- cal responsibility, however. "If it did, that would be a more hopeful sign," said de Alvarez. Wayne believes the bottom line is simply: "No politician wants to lose." And some in- cumbents prefer to bail out rather than face tim possibil- ity of falling victim to voter wrath. Although he downplays the importance of the House Bank scandal in forcing in- cumbents out of office, Wayne said the whole issue of perks and abuses of privi- lege is uniting voters who "don't want their representa- tives and the administration acting as if they were kings." In their political responsi- bility statement issued last October, the U.S. Catholic bishops commented on the increasing disinterest and disenchantment of Americans with politics. "This alienation is a dan- gerous trend," they said, "threatening to undermine the heart of our democratic traditions." Citing changes in politics ranging from the increasing reliance on sophisticated media tactics to public pre- occupation with self- inter- ests, the bishops noted the re- sult is "elections without full "a revolution" within Congress, the entire system of seniority in committee as- signments was overhauled ,, p types. ' .... kel" to be. 0 tne resmt is n  .o Congress that's even " J deadlocked than it is oV, Bishop's schedule The following activities and events are listed on th schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger