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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
April 19, 1996     The Message
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April 19, 1996

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op's Forum-- I wrote, I related for the family. We so take for granted. We ; that we indeed have at all. And even more presumption that good relationship careless about good you asked "How could I tly?" or say that?!" or "Are you what I said?" often have you engaged "if' state- more carefully Spoke, I woulcl I have handled it differ' Ifonly , and statements sound fa- are to me because I have lived I Past winter I wrote in this column my re- article published in the public media of an "independent Catholic not mention the names of individuals, I was nonetheless piqued about read in the papers for I had not given new school to be called the law of the church. that article that I had met with and that "they they could not call it did not wish to comply com- policies. It was not because to be at variance with the diocese, but The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana ByBISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER Regrets! • schooling" which is not governed by diocesan policy. Well, I thought I had communi- cated clearly that their "home school" could not be called "Catholic" if it did not comply fully with diocesan policies for Catholic schools• In my certitude about how clearly I communicated, I did not check it out before reacting publicly. I regret that. I discovered that I had not been as clear as I had thought. My lack of clarity resulted in unnecessary tension between the leadership with whom I had met and me, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Evansville. I had met with the four leaders alone and in my recollection I had spoken clearly that the pro- posed school could not be called "Catholic" since they had made it clear that they did not wish to be in full compliance with the policies of the diocese. They heard me differently and, indeed, indicated that I had communicated otherwise. What is my point? I handled thesituation very badly. I regret that. If only I had contacted the leadership with a single phone call and indicated my concern that there had obviously been misunderstanding, I could have prevented some very hard feelings between those leaders of the proposed new independent school and myself. They are responsible Catholic parents who are all in very good standing in the Church. This is not to mention the public embar- rassment they felt as a result of my public stand• They sought some redress from me. I offered to and to arrive at a clear and mutual understanding of the:issues in question. I have since met with the leadership of the new school under the name of Anima Christi. I have apologized to them for not having "made that single phone call" which could have clarified the matter in a simple and effective manner. These men and women in no way intend o be at odds with me as their bishop. For my part, I cer- tainly do not wish that either• Their single com- pelling concern is for the education of their children in an environment of Catholic values and teaching. They wish to accomplish that in the context of home schooling. I commend them for their concern and their ini- tiative. I have also offered that in the years to come, should they desire to be affiliated as a "Catholic" school, I am more than willing to welcome their compliance with all diocesan policies. In the meantime, know that I have apologized personally to the leadership of Anima Christi for ad- dressing a simple "family matter" in a most public fashion• They deserved better. Their intentions and parental concern are at the heart of their desire for home schooling of their children. I surmise that many of you have similar mo- ments of regret that you prefer not to recount. May my failure be a "freebie" lesson for you. Don't copy the details, learn the moral. As we look to our celebratio n of family mo- ments especially those involving the sacraments, let each of us pledge that we will not publicly, inten- tionally or otherwise, embarrass our sisters or brothers for lack of good communications. Rather, let us be known by the scriptural description of ideal followers of Jesus: "See how they love one an- preferred to follow the format of "home meet with them to help to clarify my statements other!" 0000Omance: The secret to a great marriage date. ha00, where h?r,lover went. She real- _She feels over,whelmed w,th Two Zo00er00 dow,= the "We aivorce00 an00, ,oun00 a ., tl,;,' q k restauran˘ ana izes tna˘ sne naSlog:r .ainea anus- all the things sne nas to do street woman who really approcmtes ;.h01diarrangements. band but lost a The duties of working, mother- She trips, he murmurs, "care. me. She doesn't nag me and I  an..g hands and en- He has taken to heart the re- ing, keeping house, cooking ful, sweet." enjoy doing things for her." l mUrnated con a father and socml lann n seem to be Now wed the t ad t i€, liat,., versa- sponsibilities of being " p i g y re he self- This sad ending is pre- " ' ' lnt .... • g lat o t ently while and good prowder. He works too much to bear. In additmn, same street; rentable. If he would court hm adtells' r eyes. She hard and turns his paycheck she can't seem to get him to She trips, he growls, "pick up wife again like he is romancing ra how happy over to his wife on Fridays. He is help her without a major dis- your feet. his new girlfriend, neither he 1 ellta  her he loves her, c y knows that be- ells her twl  l: "ce per and now- ,e,. u°t their future , - are ha .dia,  PPY. h  uay Comes and  uay she wonders and sort of more coffers but tax falls on t able said. Statistics people partici- ties, she why: It's it big, problems," finds ob- mt the state operators in these er to keep It's very • ex10itative,  pro- research in a longtime also rather handy around the house, mowing the lawn and doing other minor repairs. He feels that this proves his love so he doesn't have to say it. He has focused on moving up in the company so that someday they won't have any financial worries and he can spend more time at home. When she talks about just the two of them going out on a date he thinks, "Been there; done that--once was enough!" agreement. She doesn't want to be a nag, but he won't do any- thing on his own, and most of the time it is easier for her to do it than start an argument. He thinks that from the minute he comes home from work she is on him constantly. She says he doesn't listen, but he thinks he does. He feels that he can't please her no matter what he does and that she doesn't ap- predate what he already does. friend of Pope John Paul II, says the compulsive aspect of gambling should not be under- estimated. According to some recent studies, up to half of gambling revenues come from the 4 percent who are problem gamblers. Zubrzycki first noticed the problem when running a help line for suicidal persons in Australia; a large percentage had gambling problems. :At that time, "one-armed bandits" were popular in hotels, and "you could see people going there on pay days and spend- ing an appreciable part of their income,":he said. He later commissioned a study and found that per capita spending on gambling in Australia -- on such things as gotten "much worse," he said. The church in Australia re- cently fought losing battles against construction of huge casinos that draw gamblers from all over Southeast Asia. Father Cottier said he thought the Vatican should probably take a closer look at the morality of all this, espe- dally given the effects of gam- bling on vulnerable sectors of society. • One way in which the issue might be advanced, he said, is for a bishop to pose formal questions for response by the doctrinal congregation. But none of those inter- viewed was proposing a ban on gambling. The question is more complex than that, they said. As Ms, Glendon said, =When poker mChines, horse racing we address the moral iuue we and lottery tickets  outdis- ha;e io make sure that we bre tanced spending on health and not trying to eliminate things education by 3-1. that make life pleasant and Since then the situation has fun.? Same couple, same street, same incident, but the hus- band forgot what the lover once knew; how to cherish her and show love, kindness and respect. Instead of having a re- lationship of lovers it has now become one of mother and child. This type of relationship resembles one between a ten year old boy and his mother. She is constantly reminding him of things he should or shouldn't do because he seems to not do them on his own. She needs to remind him to take his pills, get a haircut, put his tools away, bring in the trash cans, mow the grass, put the dirty clothes in the hamper and not to wear that shirt with those pants• While this is oc- curring she thinks, "This is worse than having another child; at least a child isn't sup- posed to know better." When this happens he resists just like he did when he was a pre-teen. It is an act of rebellion against mother in an attempt to show her that she isn't the boss He is thinking, "I won't do that just because she wants me to." The ultimate outcome of this type of relationshipis either an unsatisfactory marriage or sep arati0n and divorce. As one di- vorced woman said, =I didn't need another child to take care  was more trouble than he was worth. As long as he sends- the supper check every month I am better off WithOUt him." A man in a similar situation said, nor his wife would be looking elsewhere. Most people don't re- ally want a divorce but feel like they don't have any other choice. In this situation, even a little effort in the right direction can usually save the marriage. Men need to take the lead in this situation. If they will just do the same things in the same way that they did in the begin- ning, they will get their lover back. It worked before and it will work again. The key is to react to her requests with joy be- cause this is his chance to please his lover. Do what she asks. Ask "How can I help you? or "How can I pray for you?" Let your wife know that she is at the top of the list of your priorities. Make her feel special and impor- tant. Give her your time andre- ally listen. Maybe even set aside one night per week for just the two of you to be together. A wife can help her trans- formed husband. Tell him you appreciate what he does for you. Appreciate his providing for the family. Thank him for the other things he does around the house and with the children. Try to always be on his side when dealing with oth- ers. Most importantly, don't nag, but tell him how to please ybu. Be responsive as a lover and you will get a lover back. Courting skills are never lost; they just aren't Used enough. Men: if youromance .ybur wife you will have a lover; if you act like a child you will. get a mother. ..............