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April 24, 1998     The Message
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April 24, 1998

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4 The Message w for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Facing injustice, finding hope By PAUL R. LEINGANG Editor Save this column. The next time the overwhelming incidents of vio- lence, anti-life measures or social injustice get you down, read this column again. It is full of hope. - Eighth grade students at Good Shepherd School : in Evansville, under the guidance of their teacher, Matthew Carey, were asked to pick a topic of injus- tice, something they felt passionate about. That's easy enough, so far, but the students were asked to do much, much more than pick a topic and gather some information. They were asked to suggest ways that the com- munity and the Church could help alleviate the prob- lems they identified. That's where real Christian hope is found. Here are some examples. Megan Gribbins writes about euthanasia, assisted suicide, and "mercy killing" accomplished legally or illegally in the United States and in some parts of the world. That's an impossible topic, you might think, one where hope will be difficult or impossible to find. Well, that's not so. What can one person do? "Candy-striping at the hospital is a way even young people can help people with serious illnesses feel loved and cared for," the eighth grader writes. What she proposes is a do-able action, something that "even young people" can do to make a difference even in the looming pervasiveness of the culture Of death. Nicholas Vogt writes about homelessness. No mat- ter how many people are homeless, or even why they are homeless, he believes that Christians can make a difference. His suggestions: Help Habitat for Humani- ty build a house. Work in soup kitchens and homeless shelters. Donate items that are needed. Homelessness is not hopelessness, if people of all ages will listen to this eighth grader. Patrick Knight writes about the lack of respect given to some of the elderly members of society. "As a community, we can volunteer to help these people get around. We can take them to the store for groceries, help out with basic chores, or simply visit them. For some elderly, a simple 'Hello' would brighten their day." There's more to his observation. "As a church, we want a greater respect for the unborn, for babies, and we fight abortion, while treatment of the elderly is not often mentioned. We, as a church, need to Concentrate more on our elderly as well." Janelle Donahue is opposed to capital punishment. She argues that society can not tell people not to kill when society sets the example of killing its members. What can anyone do about she may not be able to stop the next you can do what she has done: editor to express your convictions. Take the time today to look for your family, in your church, in Support those who are willing to ideals, who speak out against injustice, willing to take on a global a time. If you have children, ask them for tions. Read the fifth chapter of St. reflect on the reward promised and thirst for righteousness. Take the time to show love alone. Help build a house for another, work of your hands or the Write to your elected convictions of your faith in regard to and death. Take the time to make a difference. ; ; ...... Comments about this column or the Christian Familb .... Box 272, Ames, Iowa 50010. ' Women's 17-year-old murder stirring new and review the U.S. residency of Vides Casanova and Garcia. As of April 16 it had been signed by 21 House members. Besides calling for investiga- tion into allegations of an offi- cial military role in the women's deaths and into the U.S. resi- dency of Salvadorans who may have been involved, pressure is also being brought for further inquiry into other crimes com- mitted during the civil war. Robert O. Weiner, one of two attorneys from the Lawyer's Committee for Human Rights who interviewed the guards- men, told Catholic News Ser- vice that a hoped-for judicial ruling by the Organization of American States might open the door to reconsideration of the By PATRICIA ZAPOR Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Thirteen years after five Sal- vadoran national guardsmen were convicted of murdering four American churchwomen, new information about the deaths is stirring members of Congress to ask, "What in God's name is going on here?" The blunt question came from Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan, D- N.Y., in an April 15 letter to Sec- retary of State Madeleine Albright asking why two for- mer Salvadoran military leaders with ties to the murders are liv- ing in the United States. It followed the news a few days earlier that four of the men convicted of killing three U.S. nuns and a lay worker on Dec. 2, 1980, were finally acknowl- edging they acted on the orders of superior officers. Previously, the guardsmen, as well as the Salvadoran and U.S, govern- ments, maintained they acted on their own initiative. Although it was unofficially presumed in both countries that the guardsmen killed the women under orders, their recent statements to U..S. inves- tigators and The New York Times opened the door to reviewing the conclusions of the two governments and raised other questions about crimes against church workers during El Salvador's 12-year civil war. Those questions touch on: How two high-ranking Sal- vadoran military officers impli- cated in at least covering up the women's murders came to live in the United States. Evidence of participation in crimes is sup- posed to exclude applicants for U.S. residency. The content of U.S. docu- ments about the women's deaths that have never been declassified. A U.S. report said still-secret "special embassy evi- dence" proved the guardsmen acted on their own. The constitutionality of E1 Salvador's amnesty program, which precluded prosecution for many actions taken during the civil war that ended in 1992. And, renewed hope for prosecuting those who ordered the murders of six Jesuits, their housekeeper and her daughter at Central American University in 1989. What particularly distressed Moynihan was learning that former Salvadoran National Guard director Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova and Defense Minister Jose Guillermo Garcia, 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47711  Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville Pubsher ............. r, hop Ger A. Geinger Edt, or ...................................... Paul R. Leingang Prod, JcOon Tectioan ............... Joseph Oietrich Advertising .......... . ........................ Paul Newland Staff Writer ............................ Mary Ann Hughes Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $18.50 per yar Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as periodical matter at the pest office in EvanSWl]e, IN 47701 Publication number 843800. Postmaster: Reurn POD forms 3579 o Office of  1998 Catho Press of Evansville who were linked in U.S. and Salvadoran investigations to a cover-up of the women's mur- ders, are now living legally in Florida. "It has been responsibly argued that these men.., were complicit in the decision to kid- nap, rape and murder four U.S. citizens -- two MaryknoU nuns, (Sisters Ita Ford and Maura Clarke) an Ursuline nun (Sister Dorothy Kazel) and a lay work- er (Jean Donovan)," wrote Moynihan. "At a minimum they acquiesced in the attempt to cover up the atrocity. What in God's name is going on here?" Moynihan's letter was one of several circulating in both hous- es of Congress in mid-April, asking the State Department, the CIA, and the Defense Department to declassify evi- dence about the women's mur- ders, the investigations and the cover-u[). "There is no limitation on the pursuit of murderers and cer- tainly no limit to our outrage and the continued outrage of our constituents and the nation to this heinous crime," said a House letter to Albright origi- nated by three Massachusetts Democrats, U.S. Reps. Joe Moakley, James P. McGovern and Joseph P. Kennedy II. "Given the history of the United States in this case and in E1 Salvador over the past two decades, we believe you must give the mosf serious and thor- ough attention to this new infor- mation," the House letter reads. It calls for the Salvadoran gov- ernment to pursue the new information and asks that the United States declassify and release all pertinent materials 1989 dence Archdiocese, Salvador mental Lawyers the OAS to vador's 1993 amnesty the c Weiner said, An OAS binding, pressuring the Supreme law, he previous questioning its was opt bility of such a ru | Bzshop s schedul :ii:  Diocese Convening on and Family Life, Sts. Peter and Paul Church, urday, April 25, 11:30 a.m. Confirmation, St. Peter Celestine Church, urday, April 25, 5 p.m Confirmation, St. John the Baptist Sunday, April 26, 11 a.m. Confirmation, St. Rupert Church, Red 26, 2 p.m. Priests" Personnel Board Meeting, bishop s day, April 27, 1:30 p.m. Washington Deanery Assembly, St. ington, Patrician Room, Monday, April Right to Life Banquet, Roberts Stadi . day, April 28, 6 p.m. Council of Priests, Catholic Center, 1:30 p.m. Teacher of the Year Banquet, The Manor, ical Center, Wednesday, April 29, 6 p.m. Princeton Deanery Assembly, Holy CroSS Branch, Thursday, April 30, 7 p.m. ., Frida)5 IVIaY Red Mass, St. Mary Church, EvansvilJe, a.m.