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Evansville, Indiana
June 17, 1994     The Message
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June 17, 1994

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17, 1994 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 "- Bishop's Forum --- In situations where several pea- are together in good are times when that is violated. On those ' OCcasions someone calls for a "time 0 " t ut to hold the person accountable or such a violation. I feel that it is necessary to call a with the editorial board Evansville Courier. Allow o explain. nany I sat on the local chapter of the Conference of Christians in Indianapolis. Its mis- eradicate bigotry in of life. This included racial and reli- I. Because there had been such great at least openly -- the local activity of NCCJ, for all practical purposes, ceased. our community, it seems that the good faith do have, though not perfect, has been via- by the Evansville Courier. ByBISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER Time out! Although the relationship be- tween the Catholic Diocese of Evansville and the Evansville Courier has been cordial, I find it necessary to call a "time out" with the editorial board of the Evans- ville Courier in the most recent publication of the self-styled politi- cal cartoons on the editorial page. Recent cartoons have not only been insulting to members of the Catholic faith, they have been in- flammatory. It is no secret that within our community racial bigotry and reli- gious bigotry are very active just below the surface of public life. Both are intolera- ble and must be repudiated. For those who have any doubt as to what foster- ing hatred between members of different faith tra- ditions can bring about, I urge you to watch the daily for the unfolding of news in the Balkan Countries. In the African nation of Rwanda it is hatred between the oppressors and the long-time oppressed. For those who desire historical evidence I urge you to suffer through the film "Schindler's List." In all cases it is the ever present evidence of sin! There is no place in our community, nor in any other, for the nurturing of the trivialization of the faith of any worshiping community. Worse is an at- mosphere where such is the acceptable norm. As the local Catholic Bishop, I challenge the edi- torial board of the Evansville Courier to refrain from the publication of any material, whether from their "bosses" or from pure local "care-less-ness." Continued publication of such material establishes the motif that no one's expression of faith is ever above trivialization or mockery! I am compelled to pose the question as to whether or not we must organize a board of local religious and civic leaders to see to it that all races and creeds are held in esteem in this newspaper, and indeed, in all media? What a tragedy that would be! ic strip draws attention to gay advocacy history book JERRy FILTEAU News Service ceremonies of the Greek or Byzantine Church called "adelphopoiesis" -- the cre- ation of brothers or the cre- ation of brotherly relations -- can be reinterpreted as ecclesi- astical blessings of homosexual unions. Jesuit Father Robert Taft of the Pontifical Oriental Insti- tute in Rome, a leading expert on Byzantine history and liturgy, called Boswell's thesis "just plain bull--." He called it ridiculous to )N (CNS) -- new book that claims churches blessed ha- for centuries, eries of "Doonesbury" talking about that d you have a recipe what might have academic debate le talk across book, "Same-Sex Premodern Europe, Je historian John 1980 book "Chris- SOcial Tolerance and has become a reference for those :rg e the Christian to reverse their tradi- against homo- and homosexual book raises argu- certain blessing claim that the church of Byzantium was blessing homo- sexual marriages at a time when church laws imposed two to three years' penance for ho- mosexual activity and Byzan- tine civil law dealt with it as a crime to be punished by "tor- ture, castration and even exe- cution." Father Taft, who was inter- viewed by telephone June 10, said he had read key portions MERCHANTS SPONSORED LEARN TO READ" PROGRAM AT ST. THERESA SCHOOL INT tl ODY SHOP. INC. 2667 IMt. Vernon Avenue J 474-0014 Evansville. 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A "Doonesbury" series of six strips published across the country the week of June 6 fea- tured radio personality Mark Slackmeyer, who in January declared he was gay, telling a Christian fundamentalist in a bar, "For 1,000 years the church sanctioned rituals for homosexual marriages .... It's in a new book by this Yale profes- sor." In a later strip Slackmeyer took up the topic on his radio talk show, saying the book gave proof that the Catholic Church performed gay mar- riages for hundreds of years. Alan McDermott, managing editor of Universal Press Syn- dicate, which syndicates "Doonesbury," told Catholic News Service June 9 that he Medical Arts Pharmacy 3700 Bellemeade Avenue Phons 477-1532 Donald Gutzweiler City-Wide Delivery i ii i i i Duncan's Riverside Pharmacy Bob and Norma Duncan Comer Riverside and Governor Evansville 422-9981 i ii knew of only two newspapers -- the Journal Star in Peoria, Ill., and The Pantagraph in Bloomington, Ill. -- which de- cided not to run that series of strips. Several Arkansas dailies that carry the strip told the Arkansas Catholic, the Little Rock diocesan newspaper, that they were running the whole series. But Jane Trimble, edi- tor of the Pine Bluff Commer- cial, said she would not: "I don't think that it's appropri- ate for my newspaper." Mike Irwin, wire editor of the Log Cabin Democrat in Conway, Ark., said he was run- ning only the first two strips in the series, pulling the four that talked about religious blessing of same-sex marriages. The Pantagraph told its readers that Trudeau went "beyond his traditional satire into material we consider reli- giously offensive for a family newspaper." The Bloomington paper's ex- ecutive editor, Fred Kardon, said when he showed people the series around the news- room, "the same bells kept i ill i ..... j ill I YOUR : : : ' I III1[ PAUL'S PHARMACY Paul Mayer, Owner 2107 W. Franklin St, 425-4364 iiii i i i ii I Plaza Pharmacy Newburgh Plaza Shopping Center Fast Prescription Service Ken and Rebecca Hacker 853-7141 Stratman's Pharmacy City-Wide Delivery 413 Locust Street John and Judy Stratman 425-5293 |, Oak Hill Pharmacy Prescription Specialists Hwy. 62 and N. Weinbach Ave. LARRY SCHULTHEiS, Prop, 425-4422 i / i going off. I've been in this busi- ness long enough to learn to listen to the bells." The Washington Post, which published the series, reported June 10 that newspapers run- ning it were getting "angry calls from readers across the country complaining of Catholic-bashing.  Father Alkiviadis Calivas, a professor of liturgy at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Mass., said the "adelphopoiesis  blessing cere- monies cited in Boswelrs book are no longer in the Greek liturgy but are clearly a part of the history of blessings in the church. The name for the blessing comes from the Greek words for "brother,  "adelphos," and "making," "poiesis? "But there is no explicit or implicit thing about marriage" connected with the blessing, he said. =And as for a homosexual blessing, certainly not. Pn the early Christian tradition this would be an abomination? Paul Meyendorff, an Ortho- dox Church in America theolo- gian who teaches liturgy at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theologi- cal Seminary in Crestview, N.Y., compared the "adelphopoiesis" blessing to the blessing for an adoption of a child, cementing a family-type relationship between .people who were not of the same fam- ily. ". Father Taft said the blessing which makes two people who are not brothers adoptive brothers -- reflects the Christ- ian Byzantine cultural context in which close friendship Cphilia  in Greek), especially between males, was "a very high ideal7 The blessing was %he Byzantine Church's at- tempt to bring this into the church's liturgical system," he said. But to understand the friendship cited in the blessing as a sexual relationship "is a very tendentious interpreta- tion .... There is nothing in the texts of the rituals themselves that would allow this kind of interpretation," he said.