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Evansville, Indiana
April 26, 1996     The Message
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April 26, 1996

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana ( 's Forum-- '1 am sad!' . April 19. It was a moment"_ the bombing I am sad, when I could escape and the deep sorrow of all those who cne it was sudden. A nature of it Their lives an instant. have died slowly, drained out of trauma inflicted by R Bishop pleads for override ByBISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER the Murrah Federal Building. Yes, I was sad when I heard her story. I am sad for those who have given their very lives. I am sad for those" left behind, those who must deal with their deaths, deprived of their physical presence. I am sad for you and for me. No, we are not personally responsi- ble for pulling triggers or exploding bombs in far off lands. But we must take responsibility for life and death issues here at home. We must take responsibility for colleagues or strangers, their deaths brought sadness to the president. And yet, that very same day, my President ve- toed Congressional action that would have protected the lives of unborn children. He has, in effect, al- lowed the killing of human life. I am deeply con- cerned that he does not have the same "sadness" for the silent and powerless unborn. Are you truly committed to life? If you are, then you personally and unequivo- cally must allow God, the author and arbitrator in all life, to be in charge. Decisions of others and the power of machines cannot -- and must not -- take away your responsibility. Our President has made a grievous mistake. may have had an time to suffer in a conscious way. As Cross, they knew the outcome. They there was no help forthcoming, or is unimaginable for us. up in my eyes at the recollection of caring fireman cradling the body Twenty-one children died. They are will never be told. he National Youth Congress sat and listened to young people tell These stories were real. These "kids" their loved ones had died in vio- other human beings. I was mes- told stories of moments when their d by another's act of terrorism. I student tell how her day had :n forever altered in one mo- April 19! Her mother was killed in those in government who enable the taking of the life of the unborn or who flirt with the acceptance of euthanasia under the rubric of "reliev- ing pain." Yes, I am sad and I carry a deep-seated worry. I watched my President of the United States express emotion at the death of a valued appointee, Ron Brown. My President spoke words appropriate for the moment. I was moved with grief, when I heard how Brown's plane had crashed in Croatia. Citizens of the United States died on a flight that would never have taken place except for the violence of a civil-religious war. My sorrow intensified when I saw televised pic- tures of the burial plots of the victims of genocidal cleansing. My president expressed deep sorrow at the loss of life of his cherished colleague. I am confident that he was also saddened by the deaths of those others who died in that same crash. Known or unknown, His motives are not the central issue. Our Congress has power to do something about it. Its membe'rs can overcome that error. Will our representatives who voted for this leg- islation allow the arrogance of power to prevail? Or, will they tacitly agree with President Clinton? Is Congress truly committed to life issues? Or, is the legislation forbidding "partial birth abortions" an ex- pediency of politics? It is one thing to accuse the incumbent presi- dent of irresponsibility. It is quite another when the body of Congress allows the error to prevail. The President's decision does not have to stand. It can be defeated. Lives of the unborn can be pro- tected. Those lives, no matter how short they may be, can be protected. Join me. Protest the action of the President. Challenge our representatives in Congress to override his veto of legislation to protect the unborn. ' )i! Bishop's letter to the president text of a let- Gerald A. President 23. express ray YOur veto of re Which the lives Voiceless chil- Your action them, your not political life itself. You had the opportunity to affirm a measure which sought to protect both the mother and the child. H.R. 1833 sought to prevent a direct and brutal at- tack on the health and life of a child almost fully delivered. Mr. President, you said the reason for your veto was your concern for the health of the mother of an unborn child. Yet, by your veto, you put the power of your presidency above the questions of health. You put the government in God's place, when you decided that you had the power to chose life for one and death for another. Are there no boundaries, no limits, to your claim that you have the right to make a choice over the life of another? No one questions the difficulty of the decision with which yh)u were faced. Nortetheless, you have made a grievous error. Un- less you reverse your position, your decision will contribute to the increasing level of violence in our society.. You are partici- pating in the construction of a culture of death in which human life is a discardable commodity. You have not chosen the \\; health of the mother. You have chosen violence. You have cho- sen death. I urge you to undo your mis- take. Acknowledge your error, and encourage Congress to override your veto. I am enclosing a column that I wrote for our Catholic paper here in Southwestern Indiana. Please know that I and other Catholic bishops are resolved to "be unremitting and unambigu- ous in our defense of human life. Please know that I will urge my fellow Catholics and other citi- zens who care about the lives of mothers and children to work to override your veto. You must also know that regularly in our parishes we pray for you, our President. We indeed recognize your need for God's assistance in such an awesome position. Respectfully yours, Most Reverend Gerald A. Gettelfinger, Bishop of Evansville children continue tradition of prayer and sacrifice Windows let because frames the place get on and but in the bus 4 aid, "We struc- In order to ef- l, he said, Which to that can fully "The could r,  she with some hanging out the windows and others sitting in the aisles. The driver will only be going twenty-five miles an hour down dirt roads, and there won't be any other traffic since no one else nearby owns a vehicle. It's several hilly miles to school for most of the children in the village of Sri Vichein, Thailand, and the bus is the only form of transporta- tion besides walking. Life in the small thatch huts of Sri Vichein and its tiny sur- rounding villages is not compli- cated by telephones, comput- ers, or microwave ovens. In fact, most of the village fami- lies don't even have electricity or running water. And there is something else about Sri Vichein -- it's a leprosy village. The first people to live there were outcasts because of the disease, and since then people with Hansen's disease, as it is now called, have continued to live there. Fortunately, Hansen's dis- ease can now be arrested through medication. Father Gi- anna della Rizza, a Camillian brother who works among the hill people in this remote area of Thailand, is especially glad he can tell the children who catch the disease that; it no longer means they will be dis- figured. Father Gianni pro- vides other medical care too. The treatment for parasites and malnutrition make a real difference for youngsters who would otherwise suffer during their growing years and be continually at risk of illness because of a weakened resis- tance. The good work Father Gi- anni is doing among the young of Thailand is made possible by a Catholic mission organiza- tion that this year celebrates the 150th anniversary of its founding in the United states: the Holy Childhood Associa- tion. Particularly remarkable about HCA is that it is a chil- dren's mission organization. The funds it provides mission- aries to help children in devel- oping countries themselves come primarily from children in the United States. In 1846, U.S. children began giving "a penny and a prayer" each month to help children in China. Today that spirit con- tinues through HCA as young- sters in our Catholic schools and parish religious education programs pray and sacrifice for children in other countries, many of whom have yet to hear the good news brought by Jesus. With so much negative news what the next generation is about, isn't it good to know our Catholic young people are involved in something of such value? You can help them make a difference for other children living in our world's poorest area. To find out how, contact your HCA director. Re- cent donations received: St. John, Loogootee, reli- gious education: $101 Resurrection School, Evansville: $25 St. Celestine, religious edu- cation: $247 Msgr. Coati: $100 ST. Mary, Evansville, reli- gious education: $100 Father Henry Sztuczko: $10 Father John Emge: $10 St. Mary, Huntingburg, reli- gious education.: $373.69 St. Joseph, Evansville, reli- gious education.: $22.60 Gentleness-- not a weakness The Lord was gentle . . . "Come to Me... for I am gen- tle and humble of heart.  No one would accuse Jesus of being weak! Commentary By MSGR. CLINTON HIRSCH i i Gentleness demonstrates a confident strength, whereas explosiveness usually is a cover-up for insecurity. In song, Mary is addressed as "Gentle Mother," and cer- tainly she showed her strength as she stood leneath the Cross of Christ on Good Friday. The term "gentleman  is com- plimentary, and describes a man whose conduct conforms to a high standard ofcorrect behador. Along that line of thought, "a gentlewoman" does not indi- cate a weakness, but describes a woman of refined manners a Lady! .... md remember, we call Christ's Mother  Our Lady! L