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Evansville, Indiana
June 18, 1993     The Message
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June 18, 1993

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18, 1993 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 "- Bishop's Forum 1 The horrible sin of child abuse BISHOP RALD A GETTELFINGER irreparable. As sin has a way of doing, what is lost by it can never be replaced either for the victim or for the sinner. Innocence lost -- is lost! The moral weakness and sometimes psychiatric illness of my brothers which led to their sin against children causes anger to rise up in me. Yet, their weakness gives me pause to ponder my own weaknesses and, yes, my own bro- ken nature. I know of no other moment in my memory when personal sin of individuals has so clearly and bru- tally demonstrated its effect on the whole community. Consider its effect on each one of us in the Catholic faith. The Catholic com- munity suffers. It too has become a victim. If I am embarrassed and ashamed and tempted to feel, somehow, responsible for the sinful acts of my brothers, so too are my faithful brothers who serve each of you in our parishes. Have you been as troubled with the latest national reports of child abuse by clergy? About this painful issue, I like a boxer reeling to rope in the ring first and then on offense. I ed from one emotion another and back again. From to shame, to compassion, assment, from forgive- vengeance, from confused c clarity of Jesus' un- 0nditioned command to "love 0ae another as I have loved you." am a priest. I am a bishop. verified reports that of mine have violated children and fie. What my brothers have done is I have a deep concern for those suffered abuse. I anguish with them families. I reach out with compassion. The rain suffered by those who are violated rable. The damage done is sometimes Their self-confidence is shaken. They become vulnerable to unfounded suspicion and false ac- cusation. As you, they too have become victims through no fault of their own. But then... Consider the other side of sin and its effects: goodness. Count the number of minutes in each of your own parishes when so many faithful lay persons, priests and religious care for your chil- dren and young people and keep them free of harm. These uncounted moments of service are unsung reasons for hope. These acts of goodness can so easily be taken for granted. We all have reason to be thankful. Let us reach out to those who suffer with caring compassion. Let us be reaffirmed that God indeed holds us all in love. Let us pray unceas- ingly for God's help for us all. Pray for all of us who dare to put our lives and reputations on the line in faithful service as ministers of Jesus Christ in our broken world. R. LEINGANG Message editor is another in a articles about people toward Synod '93. are responses to a questions from the ia A. "Pat" Koch Synod '93 "will and increased he people of the said it was a to serve as a room- Synod central Plan- "I wouldn't it!" is a member of St. Church, Santa her husband, W. and members of are active in the and civic commu- Koch Sr. is CEO of Land, Inc. have five chil- e are involved in is president of Another son, for the Synod: Patricia A. Koch Philip, is executive vice pres- ident of Santa Claus Land, Inc., and manager of Christ- mas Lake Golf Course and Club. Daughter Natalie is working on her master's de- gree at Indiana University, and is director of Splashin' Safari Water Park. Dr. Kristi Koch George is a resident at Indiana University Medical Center. Her field is neurology. Daniel Koch is an attorney with a law firm in Miami, Fla. Pat Koch is involved in her parish and community. She is a member of the Santa Claus Chamber of Commerce, the Santa Claus American Legion Auxiliary, and of the Lincoln Club of Southern Indiana. She is president of Santa Elves, Inc. -- which facili- tates answering children's let- ters to Santa. At St. Nicholas Church, Pat Koch is president of the Parish Council, co-chair of the Planning Committee for Church building, secretary of the Liturgy Committee, a can- tor and eucharistic minister. Why did you say "yes" to involvement in synodal plan- ning? I said "yes" to involvement in synodal planning because I felt it would be a privilege to serve on a committee that could make decisions to facil- itate positive direction in the Diocese of Evansville. I was and still am excited about the possibilities for the future of the Church in our area. I wouldn't have missed it! Describe your synod plan- ning committee experience: The planning committee experience has allowed me to learn to know and work with some very wonderful, bril- liant and holy people. It has taught me much about the Catholic faith. The prayer and reflection times have been wonderful. It has also im- pressed on me how different gifts can bring about a certain decision or plan, since all of Pat Koch smiles as she listens to the response to a point she made during discussion at a recent meeting of the Synod Cen- tral Planning Committee. -- Message photo by Paul R. Leingang us think differently. hat are your hopes for Synod '93? My hopes are that Synod of the diocese. I hope that the two pastoral issues chosen by the people will be addressed and developed through the years. I hope that the priests '93 will produce a plan for ER ASSISTANTS NEEDED the Diocese of Evansville that ely Redeemer Parish School is will bring unity and in- Hing applications for Teacher creased strength to the people ants. Please call 424-8344 or stop PRAYER FOR THE SYNOD 0 Parish office to pick up an appli- Diocese of EvansviUe ,n before June 25th. The parish LET USPRAY e " i ! -- ----- - -- WHATEV YOUR TASTE. 1  WHKil ! I ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PRINCIPAL I " w,,==s.o= I School, 950 E. Church Ave., Jasper, IN of the diocese will sense the importance of the effort that is being made to hear their concerns and the concerns 8 elementary school Enrollment of 276 of 22 Support staff State of Indiana PBA RESTAURANT bate: '93-'94 school year. Salary commensu- and experience. must be a practicing Roman Catholic and eligible for a valid Elementary School License. For application please contact: ears, Office of Catholic Education, P.O. t .2 I ll i Ule, Indiana 47724-0169. Phone: , " ' I I ;I i Intervlewlng . m  M, a,..,, ,. I II ! II SFC-G/,ZJNG W DEL GUEF FO00 PR FU8 c SrF.3 CO FREOC . S/U.N) BAFI  ROOM FOA PI:INATE PNTrlE8 F0e J. (a CSmUN0/m, CALL I I II God of life and love, You sent Your Son to live among us, that we might know and love You, that we might serve and worship You as Your hith people. Assist us in living holy lives as faithful disciples of Jesus, Your So so that Your presence raay be known and felt in our midst, that others too may come to lmow and love You so they may begin to serve and worship You. Empower us with Your Spirit to use fully the many gifts You have given us, Increase our fai Help us to see Your plan for the Church. As we look to the future, may our plans be |aithiul  Youn, so that we, the Church of Southwesk'vn Ind may her Your .k,m =, wad =  Ymu S=Ca All prai I Yours lhrough Js Chr Ow Lent! I I" " I I I III I