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Evansville, Indiana
April 23, 1993     The Message
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April 23, 1993

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23, 1993 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 -" Bishop's Forum --- Reflection on the tragedy in Waco Yesterday, Monday, April 19, at home. After a t week and weekend, I of some time and space alone for and rest. Early in the prayer morning I heard reporting activity the Branch-Davidian in Waco, Texas. He of rising expectations that siege would come the surrender of Koresh and his followers. noon, my secretary and left word on my an- machine that govern- begun to move compound. By the time I got the mes- turned on the television, the first few 3 Were emerging from the buildings. a a very few minutes the entire compound engulfed in flames. There were explosions Visible and audible on the small screen .... .,.I had an instantaneous flashback to 1992 when we saw the fireball rise crater left by the C-130 crash here in As then, I was horrified at what I was wit- BISHOP RALD A GETTELFINGER nessing at that moment in Waco, Texas. There in front of me was the obvious. There was the known. There was the unknown. There was the hoping. There was the denial: "It can't be happen- ingt" There were reports that the members of the cult had torched the buildings. There was a rush of informa- tion that had become lodged in my brain from all the reports of promises made and promises un- kept throughout the siege. The denial led to the angry feeling of outrage at anyone who would do such a thing to himself, let along his faithful followers. There was the feeling of utter helplessness. Of deep sadness. Of emptiness. A temptation to hopelessness. Then came the second-guessing. I began ap- plying 20-20 vision in hindsight to all the deci- sions leading up to what ended in a holocaust. Remnants of personal prejudice and cynicism to- ward government law-enf0rcement agencies, against politicians and those who are elected to exercise sound judgment rose within me. Very quickly, being one who must make dif- ficult decisions at times, I remembered the sage counsel not to make judgments of others until you have had a chance to "walk a mile in their shoes." Then there was the resignation that, except for nine, all the rest of the members of the Branch-Davidian cult had been incinerated on the "altar of insanity." Or, could it be from their point of view, they may have sacrificed them- selves on the "altar of righteousness." Finally came the acceptance that "it" had come to an end. I mourn for all who died. I pray for them. I feel compassion for those whose decisions accelerated the "end of it all." I suffer with the families who lost loved ones be they cult members or government agents, In my confusion, I turn to God who has un- bounded in love for us all and whose mercy is limitless for all who seek it. Somehow the Easter Mystery alone provides true hope. The catastrophe of Good Friday was indeed followed by Easter Sunday. It is so! postage rates on the budget debate table again ZAPOR News Service INGTON {CNS)- organizations are a decision from the Postal Service House about mtentially costly their discounted [zations as varied as newspapers, environmental and state universities are anxiously watching nego- tiations among the three players. "It appears that increased postal rates for second- and third- class nonprofit mail are inevitable," said a memo from Frank Monahan, direc- tor of the Office of Govern- ment Liaison for the U.S. Catholic Conference. The memo was sent to state Catholic conference directors. A Postal Service economist said that while there are a va- PRAYER FOR THE SYNOD US PRAY Diocese of Evansville f life imd love, You sent Your SOn to live among us, e sht know and love You, .;be ght serve and worship You as Your faithful people. .. s in living holy lives as faithful disciples of Jesus, Your Son, may be known and felt in our midst, too may come to know and love You YOU. Your Spirit to use fully the many gifts You have given us. Your plan for the Church. to the future, may our plans be faithful to Yours, of Southwestern Indiana, Our kingdom through preaching and living Your gospel. ours through Jesus Christ Our Lord! riety of proposals being con- sidered, there is no timetable for resolution of the situation. And with the variety of possibilities to consider, mailers such as members of the Catholic Press Associa- tion are trying to plan bud- gets in a vacuum, not know- ing whether to prepare for relatively minor or huge postage cost increases, said CPA executive director Owen McGovern. Monahan's memo to Catholic conferences referred to a report from the Nonprofit Mailers Federation on a Postal Service proposal to eliminate reduced postage rates. The Postal Service plan would end use of nonprofit mailing status by trade asso- ciations, social clubs, advo- cacy groups, fraternal soci- eties, and political parties and election committees. Or- ganizations that lose eligibil- ity could face 40 to 100 per- cent higher postage bills, according to the Nonprofit Mailers Federation. It also would limit advertis- ing in publications using third- class mail to "church suppers, car washes and char- ity bazaars." Publications using second-class mail could contain no more than 10 per- cent commercial advertise- ments. Rates would increase for el- igible nonprofit organizations in increments over the next three years to eliminate the difference between cammer- cial postage rates and lower prices paid by eligible groups. Increases for the first year would range from I to 10 per- cent for second-class mail, with total increases from 3 to 29 percent and from 6 to 19 percent for third-class mail in the first year and equal in- creases the next two years, the federation reported. Postal Service economist Ashley Lyons said the agency's proposal was writ- ten to accommodate congres- sional requests for a plan to do away with the subsidy paid by the federal govern- ment to finance lower rates for nonprofit groups. Known as-revenue forgone, the amount of the subsidy has steadily decreased in recent years and rates have regularly increased to make up the dif- ference. Nonprofit groups have been forced to stream- line their mailing processes, reduce the amount of mail they generate or cut else- where in their budgets to cover higher costs. The Postal Service proposal is only one of many recom- mendations on the table, however. Lyons said various interest groups, members of Congress and the administration are all pushing their own ideas about how to get the federal government out of the busi- ness of subsidizing the Postal Service while not forcing enormous rate incr6ases on charitable organizations. Lobbying efforts which have helped stave off or limit rate increases in the past have resumed in force, with groups like the Nonprofit Mailers, the National Catholic Devel- opment Conference and the Catholic Press Association urging their members to press their elected representatives for a moderate approach. Sean Dolan of the National Catholic Development Con- ference said most nonprofit organizations acknowledge the federal subsidy of their lower rates will inevitably disappear. Mailers may be willing to accept small, regular price in- creases to keep up with cost- of-living increases, said the CPA's McGovern. But editors of Catholic papers are strug- gling with whether to support a proposal like that backed by the Nonprofit Mailers Federa- tion before they know if that plan also would require that they stop carrying advertising to qualify for cheaper mail rates. "We have to be very careful if the nonprofits have to give up something" in return for the Postal Service retaining the lower rates, he said. "We don't know what to fight or support yet." "The question is whether there is another alternative for the nonprofits," Dolan said. "The system was cre- ated because Congress recog- nized the benefits of non- profit groups to society. That hasn't changed." ;E SERVICE yoAUtt Home! Fire & Lifel ur Personal Service Agent L. Will Ins. Agency Inc. Franklin Street 425-3187 MILLER & MILLER "4 family name you can trust" 424-9274 Message postal impact not determined By PAUL R. LEINGANG Message editor The impact of any pro- posed postal changes on the Message will not be deter- mined until a change in the rate structure is actually en- acted. The Message is mailed each week, paying second- class postage rates. Current postage fees are determined by several variable factors including the Weight of the newspaper and the amount of advertising in each issue. Postage charges for the month of March, for example, ranged from a low of about $645 to a high of almost $2200. The lowest carge was for a 12-page issue mailed to about 9.500 subscribers. The highest charge was for a 16-. page "Special Synod Issue" i mailed to more than 30.000 Catholic homes in the diocese. Postage paid over a year for delivery of the Message, at the current rate, will be ap- proximately 17 pen:ent of the entire budget of the diocesan communications office. By comparison, priuting s0-- including the paper itsetf: will account for approxi- mately 15 perc6nt of the budget. "