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May 24, 1996     The Message
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May 24, 1996

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10 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Bishop expects pope would back him on excommunications WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Bishop Fabian W. Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Neb., said he expects that Pope John Paul II would back him up in the bishop's con- troversial move to excommuni- cate Catholics who are members of any of a dozen organizations operating in his diocese. In an interview broadcast May 14 on "Dateline NBC," Bishop Bruskewitz also said, however, that "if the bishop of Rome, who's the supreme bishop of the Catholic Church and the vicar of Christ on earth, the suc- cessor of St. Peter, were to tell me to rescind or amend any- thing in this legislation I would do it immediately." NBC News' John Hocken- berry then asked him, "Do you expect that will happen?" Bishop Bruskewitz replied, "No." A transcript of the "Dateline NBC" segment was furnished to Catholic News Service by NBC News. The program aired the day be- fore Bishop Bruskewitz's "extra- synodal legislation" took effect May 15. On March 22, Bishop Bruske- witz announced he had formally warned Catholic members of groups supporting legal abortion or euthanasia that they would be automatically excommuni- clted if their membership con- tinued after May 15. Groups the bishop named in- cluded Planned Parenthood, Call to Action and its recently formed Nebraska chapter, the Hemlock Society, Ca'tholics for a Free Choice, the Freemasons or four affiliated groups, and two groups that oppose the liturgi- cal reforms of the Second Vati- can Council and celebrate Mass in the Tridentine rite without the permission of the local bishop. His ruling said any Catholics "in or of the Diocese of Lincoln who attain or retain member- ship" in any of the organizations after April 15 were automati- cally "under interdict and are absolutely forbidden to receive holy Communion." Excommunication would re- sult one month later if there was "contumacious persistence in such membership," the legisla- tion said. In the NBC interview, Bishop Bruskewitz said, "There are peo- ple today, of course, who might just be cultural or nominal Catholics. I suppose there have been many through history. "I am sure that Mafia dons think that they're good Catholics when they're really vile people in grave violation of the principles and teachings of the Catholic faith." Bishop Bruskewitz said he does "not necessarily" think Catholics under threat of ex- communication in his diocese were, in Hockenberry's words, "vile people at odds with the Catholic Church." He did say that Planned Par- enthood, one of the groups listed in his legislation, "is the largest Washington Auto Trim 27 Years Service i D'O.W'N.T-O'W'N 301 MAIN ST. VINCENNES, IN 47591 abortion purveyor in the coun- try. It's an organization that's inherently evil." He said that some principles of" Call to Action, a national group, "are opposed to the Catholic faith." Call to Action seeks the ordi- nation of women, an opening of the priesthood to married men, and urges a change in Catholic teaching on birth control. About one-third of its 15,000 members are priests and nuns. "It's an organization that in some of its activities is probably post-Christian and New Age," Bishop Bruskewitz said. But he stopped short of threatening excommunication of Catholics who practice artificial birth control. "No. No," he told NBC. "I wouldn't, no. I think that artificial birth prevention of course is sinful." At St. Bernard's Church in Wauwatosa, Wis., Bishop Bruske- witz was the focus of a special Mass of support May 13. Offered at his former parish, it drew 20 priests and about 1,000 lay peo- ple, who prayed for the Lincoln bishop and also for the Catholics affected by his ruling. In the Chicago area, where Call to Action was founded, prayers were offered in support of those threatened with excom- munication. More than 100 members and supporters of the organization gathered May 14 at St. Nicholas Church in sub- urban Evanston for a special service. In the opening prayer, Sara Sullins called upon the Holy Spirit to "send into your church the spirit of unity and remove all fear, hatred and division." "'I believe in prayer," said Mercy Sister May Lou Hogan. "But sometimes I also beli.eve in confrontation." : i'qi TEC #17 Participants gather for a group photo, at the Teens St. Mary Church, Ireland, Feb. 3. They inlcude, Craig Fehrenbacher, Matt Miller, Missy Moehlenkamp Byers; second row, Karl Felix, Jennifer Angle Helming, Jen Gaesser, Lisa Harder, Dressel, Emily Fabiana, Father John Breidenbach Killebrew; third row, Andie Herr, Sarah Spear, Ashley Uebelhor Brames, Lesley Drury, Katie Kramer, Sister '"I?' Teresa Gunter Strathmann, Alena Stransky, Greg Uebelhor, Dianne Ziemer; fourth row, Elizabeth Drury, Dianne Klein, Jennifer Schultheis, Jill Bridgewater, Krista Wagner, Ryan Cathy Russell, Branda Harder John Zito; fifth row, Barb Barnett Williamson, Doug Burek, Sarah Schnapf, Julie Hilderbrand Schmitt, Jared Burgdorf, Marla Williams, David 1 Mike Oberst, Matthew Wichman, Sarah Chappell, Zach Etienne, Ryan Hochgesang; not pictured, Kathy Wilmes, Staci Williams, Lisa Ziemer. LinCo Coffee Services Total Beverage Distributor Indiana-Illinois-Kentucky 46 Varifies of Coffees and Teas L_"  WHATEVER YOUR TASTE, E an'\\; illc 422- l if,".3 I"JL0000 Now Open .-- . SUPPLIES MATERIAL PATTERNS BOOKS BASKETS HERBAL WREATHS .. SEEDS Open Tue. 2-8 p.m, Fri & Sat. 10-4 p.m. Located 1/8 mile west of water tower Haubstadt, IN AUTO TOPS, SEAT coVEF STEREO SALES & 254- HWY 50 EAST, EUGENE St. Ben's Pre-SchO is offering a special summer for 8 weeks starting June 10 for ages 3-5 (Pre-K). Full- and part-tie are still available. For more call the school office at: 425-4596 Position Available Liturgist/Music Director Parish of 700 households seeks combined liturgist and music director with knowledge and love for Roman Catholic/Vatican II Liturgy. Demonstrated management skills for volunteers. Degrees or certificates in liturgy and music preferred but not mandatory. Compentency in voice, choral direction, organ and cantor training. Experience in coordination and formation of liturgical ministries. Salary and benefits commensurate with training and experience. Position available Julyl, 1996. Send rdsumd and three references to: Search Committee St. Thomas More Church 209 Wallace Lane Paducah, KY 42001 Please reply by July 31, 1996 Comfliment of Home Beve Washington, IN /,