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Evansville, Indiana
May 24, 1996     The Message
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May 24, 1996
 

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana op's Forum-- ,respect those who witness to a different belief? morning, I was very hard week. I was ltrate on the who had bothered to I administer sacrament of confirma- r at Holy Name in of them was my tte concern. I each proper focus doorbell rang. it. I didn't want to! I Was "busy" ! nan. There was a d in suit and tie. Each had a not kno w them. them into the diocesan house, my We visited for awhile in the warm room." I noticed that the hibiscus there was one bloom on the gar- to myself that this, an unsched- Important. Why am I doing this?) act on my thoughts that the identified himself and the boy Witnesses. It was then I knew the The man spoke of the beauty of the to the name plate on my front was visiting the "expert." I him that, although I had studied extensively, I did not consider myself an ByBISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER "expert." I did, however, register a fear that I had. For so long in the Catholic Church we did not encourage the popular study of the scriptures as did other religious sects. For us there has been the revival of that interest. Most of us can now read well and in- deed do much personal study of the bible. M; fear is rooted in the fact that the scriptures are both complex and simple. For the untrained in bib- ' lical literature, harm can come to "interpreting the meanings of pas- sages" as they immediately appear. When this takes place in popular study groups without someone who is prepared to lead, shared ignorance can lead well intentioned stu- dents of scripture into a dangerous self-righteousness that becomes very narrow and very brittle. In our conversation, we talked of our mutually "brief' residence in the Evansville area. They live in Paradise. He works at Deaconess Hospital, the lad attends Castle Junior High. We swapped notes about the parochialism we have both experienced and a lack of openness to oth- ers who are "different;" who are not like us, or not one of us. I shared that for us Catholics, we had come a long way since the Second Vatican Council in working hard at showing respect for people of differ- ing beliefs. I confessed that we had a long way to go. He confided that they too had made similar efforts to instruct their members about respect for others who believe differently. Our visit was short, but most pleasant. I left it with nothing but deep respect for this father and son who were spending their "free" time reaching out to share their beliefs with others. Did any of you spend last Saturday with your son or daughter going door to door in neighborhoods sharing your Catholic faith? Have you ever done it? Lest you think I am trying to lay a guilt trip on you, be reassured that I am not. I will suggest to you the same that I did to the young men and women  who were confirmed at Holy Redeemer and Holy Name this weekend. Most of us are known as Catholics -- unless we work hard at hiding it. Although we do not go door to door confessing our faith, we profess the depth of our faith by the very way we conduct ourselves. We do it every day, all day! So, I will change the ques- tion. Were you conscious of the fact that you were a Catholic Christian when you went shopping, espe- cially as you stood impatiently at the check-out counter? How did you handle the bad situation at the restaurant when the waiter was either too slow or got your order all mixed up? With your children in the car, how did you address the other driver who cut in front of you? How did you resolve the spousal "difference of opinion" in your home with your chil- dren all present and listening? How compassionate were you to your adolescent son or daughter strug- gling to gin independence? How patient were you with your parents? You can think of a myriad other moments when you consciously or unconsciously profess how deeply you really believe the teachings of Jesus. How do you respect others who believe differ- ently? I do not believe as do the Witnesses of Jeho- vah. I do have great respect for their persistent ef- fort to share it with others. te priest at St. Meinrad investigated for child pornography A Carmelite of Theology is Under inves- receiving through the a state- Ociety of Mt. Ciganovich, who is a member Chicago includes d States (with the exception of a portion of new York State), and has ap- proximately 300 priests and re- ligious brothers among its mem- bers. Following is the text of a statement, in its entirety, from the Carmelites: Rev. Mark Ciganovich, O. Carm., a professor of theology at St. Meinrad School of Theology in southern Indiana for the past 20 years, is being investigated for allegedly receiving child pornography through the United States mail. Father Ciganovich is a mem- ber of the Chicago province of the religious Order of Carmelites. Immediately following notifica- tion of this allegation, Rev. Quinn Conners, O.Carm., Chicago provin- cial, discussed the matter with officials at St. Meinrad Semi- nary and the school accepted Fa- ther Ciganovich's request to withdraw from teaching and go on a sabbatical for health rea- sons for the remainder of the academic year. He also was re- moved from active ministry and any pastoral responsibilities. Father Ciganovich is now under supervision in residence in a Carmelite facility while these allegations are being in- vestigated by federal authori- ties. The Carmelites also are conducting their own investiga- tion of the allegations following the guidelines of an established policy to deal with allegations of sexual misconduct matters by its members. The Carmelites take seriously: : any allegation involving possi- ble criminal activity. We are co- operating with all authorities and responding with compas- sion and in justice to all con- cerned. 4 Because the such a pol- te necessary or may observe orga- par- ,. That decision accept politi- s necessary Slag from all an equal Political ad does not -- and can not -- indi- cate endorsement of a candidate nor support of an issue. Why does the Message ac- cept any political advertising? Because it is one means among many by which readers may gain information from those who seek to gain their support. Among other means of provid- ing political information are candidate questionnaires, which have been a traditional part of election year coverage in the Message, and news reports and commentary on political candi- dates and issues. hops to take action about the sex being pot- movie menace. It that has become behavior. drug abuse entertain: ., to rnemoran. l to lSOry Coun- Say that it I'm greeted with enthusiasm. I'm terribly concerned with this serious problem and ask you to discuss it with your friends and your parish priests. Ask them to preach on this from their pulpits. . Also, it would be helpful if you would write the Bishops' Agenda Committee. Remember, they not only have tremendous power but also a terrible obligation. Their address is National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 3211 4th Street, N.E., Washington, DC 20017-1194. Jack Lavens Evansville Abortion ban veto is a 'wake-up call' To the editor: President Clinton's veto of a bill banning partial birth abor- tions should be a wake-up call to our nation. It shows how far we've sunk that such a ghastly procedure is accepted by a ma- jority of the people. No one would have thought this possi- ble a few years ago. Now the next logical step is to allow the killing of completely delivered "fetuses" as long as the umbili- cal cord is still attached. The courts will uphold that also be- cause as long as the "fetus" is still sustained by its mother's body it has no rights. How did we sink to this state of savagery? Because we've swal- lowed the "pro-choice" reasoning that abortion is everyone's pri- vate decision even though we wouldn't do it ourselves. We must not be intolerant of others "rights" goes the reasoning. And tragically we dupe ourselves into salving our consciences with this argument. So we uneasily walk down tlie path not looking into the bushes to see what's going on even though we know. We don't want to see the beasts that look like us with blood on their snouts, fearfully devouring our own young. We reluctantly agree, "Yes, we're overpopulated. Yes, that one would have been de- formed. Yes, that female wanted to finish school. Yes. that one's mate didn't want it. Yes, yes, yes." And the longer we allow this to happen the more we share re- sponsibility. How do we get out of this na- tional nightmare? By clearing our mind of contorted reasoning. A teacher wouldn't accept an an- swer of "green" for the question of "What is two plus two?" Yet we accept the answer "choice" for the question "Is an unborn child a human being or not?" When we allow this answer we join in the death of that child. By full exposure of what abor- tion is. If you haven't seen an ul- trasound video of a pre-born child do so at once. If you call yourself pro-choice but haven't seen a graphic video of an abor- tion you're a coward. The most striking feature may not be car- nage done to the "fetus" but the mother's violent twitching as the unnatural act is carried out against her body. If you support abortion be open and proud. De- mand publicity. If it's legal why be ashamed of it? By demanding our civil and re- ligious leaders focus on abortion. Do you have a strong pro-labor voting record? What about 4,400 dead unborn babies since yester- day? Unemployment down? What about the 4,400? We need to raise money for that new church wing. But what about the 4,400? We must save the spotted owl. The 4,400? If there is no God and eternal life for us, the killing of the un- born is the most despicable act, since that person will not be al- lowed life. Ever. Ifthere is a God abortion is the ultimate act of re. jection. It is the reaching into the very cradle of creation and vio- lently pulling His new child from His hands and destroying it as He watches. That's about as hateful as one can act towards Him. Our collective guilt is greater than that of the German people under Hitler, the Russians under Stalin or the Cambodians under the Khmer Rouge. They saw the holocaust, the planned starva- tion of millions and the death marches. If they didn't speak up it was because they would have been killed too. But we don't speak-up because we might be called religious fanatics or intol- erant of other's rights. We have the power to stop the killing. If we don't, God have mercy on us. Michael A. Goedde Evansville