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May 29, 1998     The Message
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May 29, 1998
 

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4 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana I saw what ! saw, but i didn't see it By PAUL R. LEINGANG Editor I saw it. But I didn't see it. I was rushing back to work after an outside-the- office appointment. I stopped at a fast food place for a late lunch and drove toward the office. In the left turn lane, I slowed for a red light; and approached a busy intersection. That's when it hap- pened. The cars in front of me, dozens of them, were proceeding in typical intersection fashion. That is to sa); some were crossing, some were turning, some were waiting, and some were slowing down as they approached and others were picking up speed as they moved away. It was a full 360 degrees of activity all around,me, more than any one person can see at any one time. That's when I saw the sudden crash of two cars, the front of one striking the right side of the other amid a spray of plastic and chrome pieces flying into the air at the point of impact. But what I saw, I did not understand. Where had these two cars come from? I could not tell. They were directly in front of me. One slid across my line of sight to a curb on my right. The other spun in a circle and came to a skidding stop no more than a foot in front of my car. A spray of safety glass sprin- kled from the shattered back window onto the rear seat of the car, falling onto an infant seat securely buckled in place. The faces of the two women in the front seat were full of fear as they turned toward the baby in the back seat. The driver of the other car sprinted from the curb side to see if everyone was o.k. An emergency med- ical team was there in minutes. Other drivers at the intersection I I was among them m picked our way around the crash and continued our journeys. As I drove away, I could not put the scene back together again. I wanted instant replay, another cam- era angle, a shot from the sky-cam, something to make sense of what had happened, some third per- son omnipotent view of the cars and their progress. But life's officials ruled against my request, and now I will never be quite sure of what I had seen. Among the Gospel accounts which continue to stir my thinking is the story of what people wit- nessed at a particular point in the life of Jesus. Some heard a voice from heaven, saying that Jesus was God's son. Others heard thunder. Life in the middle can be confusing. Perhaps it was so, too, in the middle of tlqe Red Sea, among the families and individuals fleeing Egypt. Was it God May 29, 'i who saved them? Or was it the down the wheels of the chariots and led of the charioteers? That close call you had on the highway that luck? Or providence? Seeing may not always be believing. may often lead to a new kind of seeing. Take the time today to look at that you probably carry with you -- the one that what to do in case of an accident. If you don't have such a card, ask from an automobile club or from the local traffics ty people. Examine the laws in your state or your obligations as a witness to an i crime. When you know what is legally things over with others in your home. morally required. If there are children in your home, learn the moral respon, If laws in your state or locale p try to help, work to change them. Take the time to make a difference. Comments about this column are welcome at prleing@cfm.org or the Christian Family Box 272, Ames, Iowa 50010. After India, religious renew call for nuclear test By NANCY FRAZIER O'BRIEN Catholic News Sentice and to make further progress" toward nuclear disarmament," said Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick of Newark, N.J., chairman of the U.S. bishops' International Policy Committee, in a letter to National Security Adviser Samuel Berger. Since its approval by the Unit- ed Nations in September 1996, 149 nations -- including nuclear powers Russia, China, Great Britain, France and the United States -- have signed the treaty. But only Britain, France and 11 other countries have ratified it. Ratification by all 44 of the countries that have nuclear power or nuclear reactors is required before the treaty can take effect. If such approval is not achieved by September 1999, the treaty calls for an inter- national conference of the rati- fying nations "to consider and decide by consensus what mea- sures consistent with interna- tional law maybe undertaken to accelerate the ratification process." But for many U.S. religious leaders, the key to worldwide approval of the treaty rests in the hands of the Senate, which has taken no action on the treaty since President Clinton sent it there in September 1997. 'q'he U.S. Senate has within its powers the capacity to take deci- sive action on some of the most fateful issues affecting the secu- rity of our nation and the peace of our planet," said a coalition of more than 200 Christian and Jewish religious leaders in an open letter to the Senate May 18. "We assure our senators of' our determination to interpret this issue as a vital matter of religious_ conscience for our Letter to the editor Radio show 'incredibly disgusting' To the editor:. ;'one who has been paying :tention will recognize the name Howard Stern -- the serf- prodaimed "King of All Media." He broadcasts in almost 50 mar- kets in the United States and is known for his filthy talk and lewd conduct on the air. Stern broadcasts five hours daily, five days a week in most major radio markets. Recurring themes and activities of the show include undressing women in the radio studio during live broadcasts, Stem's fantasies with lesbians, incredibly disgusting scatological "humor," blasphe- m3 masturbation, violent sex, be.;;ality and sadomasochism. For almost 10 years I have been an active member of American Family Association. I invite you also to join  mini- mal annual fee (mainly to cover postage). They have successful- ly employed the program of informing its membership of such as Howard Stem (and many others) and suggesting that each of us write, fax, e-mail or phone the sponsors asking them to reconsider their support of such trash. Takes only a few minutes each month. American Family Association tele- phone: (601) 844-5036;address: PC) Draacr 2440, Tupelo, MS 38803. Jerome Schneider Jasper communities," they added. Catholic signers of the letter included Marist Father Ted Keating, director for justice and peace at the Conference of Major Superiors of Men; Mercy Sister Kathy Thornton, national coordinator of Network, a Catholic social justice lobby; Father Michael Dodd, director of the Columban Fathers' Jus- tice and Peace Office; and Father Bill Moroney of the Mis- sionaries of Africa. Pax Christi USA, the national Catholic peace organization, had a more harsh message for leaders of the United States and other nuclear powers. "While we feel it is absolutely necessary to add Pax Christi USA's voice to the chorus of world condemnation directed toward India's decision to test, we are equally compelled to cry out against the hypocrisy and culpability of the other nuclear weapons states' continued reliance on nuclear deterrence," said a statement released May 20 by Dave Robinson, program director at the group's head- quarters in Erie, Pa. World leaders must acknowl- edge that "there is no secure middle ground" between "a nuclear-weapons-free world for all, and a nuclear weapons free- for-aU," the statement said. It noted that in a joint statement two weeks before India's nuclear tests, Belgian Cardinal God fried Danneels and! Konrad Raiser doctrine of nuclear as "morally Darmeels is Christi Raiser is World Council "As an instrument ( rence, nuclear innocent peopl political and es," the two told a gathering in GeneVa the nuclear Treaty. Religious tough on India, light of its rootS in' Joan Brown secretary of the mittedly of Mohandas But in his letter Archbishop that the poor not be made bad decisionS of ment leaders. diverted scarCe develop destruction own people misery," t U.S. governrnen large numbers vulnerable ly urge itari; See WASHINGTON (CNS) India's explosion of five nuclear devices in mid-May and inter- national worries that Pakistan, China or another nation might do the same have brought new urgency to calls for U.S. Senate ratification of the Comprehen- sive Test Ban Treaty. The2Keligious community has been at the forefront of those calls, warning that the United States is losing its moral high ground on the nuclear testing issue by the Senate's failure to act on the treaty. "The moral credibility of the United States in urging India and other nations to forgo nuclear weapons depends on our nation's willingness to rati- fy the comprehensive test ban 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47711  Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville PJ,sed weeJ,/excot s't week  Oecemt by the Catholic Press of Evansville I ............. 8ist  A. Getm E .................. i .................. Paul R Lmr, gaf Proclion Tschnidan :......:....._Jo Advertising ................................... Pa Ne Staff Wrr ............................ Mary Ann Address all communications tO P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $'t850 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as petodca matter at ,'e post offr, e in Evan.sviie, iN 477C! PubtcaIlon number84380 PdmaSter.: turn POD forms 3579 to Offe of Prd,,c j ]G,yT'; i ' 8 Cr' Press of Evi!Ie Bbhop's sche Ad Limina visit in Rome, with otter bishOpS Vii, from Friday May 22. Return to Diocese oJ Evansville, June 14.