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June 25, 1993     The Message
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June 25, 1993
 

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4 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana , :;i --. Perspective-- Changes in life: Time to stop, retlect and celebrate About six o'clock one recent evening, as I worked in my office at the Catholic Center, a disturb- ing thought entered my mind. The circumstances were unusual. My wife was out of town that evening. Our older son had de- cided to live and work for the summer in Chicago. Our younger son had just begun a new sum- mer job in Evansville, and he was working through the evening hours. The disturbing thought was sharp and sudden: I had no real reason to go home. Not so long ago, it seems, our children were both at home, and going to ele- mentary school in Moline, Ill. My televison job required me to work through the early evening % By PAUL R. LEINGANG COLUMNIST news -- through the hours when most young families had dinner. Now, after years of feeling guilty about working late and delaying our evening meal, I had to realize that my life had been changed. Although the evening was an unusual one, I realized that it was a sign of things to come. In a few months, both of our children would be away at school and gone from home. Grade school and high school and after school schedules have come to an end for our family -- and I am not sure yet how to cope with our new life. After 21 years, the change seems so sudden. Being father and mother will always be im- portant, but being husband and wife now needs Washington Lette= Our attention. : .... There ought to be some family sacrament to mark this point in our lives. We have sacraments of initiation to mark our beginnings. We have sacraments at the be- ginnings of new roles and relationships in the life of a communty, when a couple is married or a priest is ordained. We have sacraments for the times when we need healing and reconciliation" In some ways, I suppose, each and every of us is involved in a passing over from one to another. Every change offers us an opportu" nity to stop and reflect, and to celebrate. I guess what we need is a renewed tion of the eucharist: The eucharist is the we can all come "home" to have together. We celebrate it as fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, sons and daughters -- members of a larger family: the brothers and sisters of our Lord Jesus Christ. Welfare reform: Keeping an eye on the 'carrots' and' By NancyFrazierO'Brien too hard on children and program, beginning to address the ments to certainbeh their mothers, the main recip- ients of benefits from the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program. "The bishops have always said that tile poor are not the problem, that poverty itself is the issue," said Patricia King, U.S. Catholic Conference ad- viser on health and welfare issues. "Any successful wel- fare reform must address the root causes of poverty, in a broader way than has been done in the recent past." The joint federal-state AFDC program pays out an estimated $22 billion yearly to some 5 million families Another $2.7 billion is spent annually to administer the Catholic News Service Monthly benefit levels vary widely, from $120 a month in Mississippi last year for a family of three wit]l no other income to $924 for the same famih, in Alaska. The median bene(it in 1992 was the $372 a month given in Nevada. The Clinton administration has formed a task force made up of representatives of the departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, Housing and Urban Develop- ment, Education and the White House to draw up a specific welfare reform plan by the end of the year. King is hopeful that the for- mation of the task force means that "we are at least ! WASHINGTON (CNS) -- What do an immunization, a wedding, a job search, a high school graduation and a med- ical checkup have in com- mon? They're all mentioned in state plans to reform the wel- fare system  either as a "carrot" that will give welfare recipients additional benefits or a "stick" that will punish them for failure to comply. As work begins in earnest on the Clinton administra- tion's welfare reform package, Catholic leaders are watching closely to be sure that the "sticks" do not come down 4 m ' -:, , , i J p P iI D i i i i [ i i i iii i ]1 i i i Writer questions impact of two 'life' decisions To theeditor: the mother's wishes. Re- Recently, two decisions were reached that could have a considerable impact on the pro-life movement. In the first case, in Tennessee, a higher court overturned a lower court's decision that human life begins at concep- tion and ruled that the father of seven frozen embryos arti- ficially inseminated had a "right" to destroy them inde- pendent of and contrary to every child conceived in this world. 6. Rape, adultery, pre-mari- tel sex, incest and artificial insemination by husband or donor are always objectively immoral actions. However, once a human life has been created by God, no one has the right to question its right to exist, much less destroy its existence. In a second decision, a doc- tor in New York was con- victed [and sentenced to] two and two-thirds to seven years for a "botched" abortion be- cause the child, Ana, was born with a severed arm. In light of this, several questions come to mind: Is Dr. Hayat being convicted because he didn't sever more than one arm? (Legal late-term abor- tions almost always involve the severing of body parts from the child). How can a "blob of tissue" have an arm severed? How can a "non-per- son" have standing in a court of law? When are we in the United States going to wake up and admit that an unborn child is a human person who should never be attacked, dis- membered or destroyed by any doctor, any mother or anyone? Rev. John Dowling Knoxville, Tenn. problems of welfare reform in a broad-based manner." But it is in the states, which bear 45 percent of the cost of AFDC grants, that the most innovative and, some say, the most punitive pro- grams are being tried. For ex- ample: Parents in Maryland must get proper immuniza- tions and medical checkups for their children or risk los- ing $25 a month from the family welfare check for each preschooler. Those who com- ply can get a $20 per-child bonus each year. In Wisconsin, where a proposal to reward welfare mothers who marry is still pending, Gov. Tommy Thompson is pushing a pro- posal to cut off welfare checks after two years to force recipients to find work. A veer after the checks stop, the former welfare recipients will no longer be eligible for Medicaid or child care assis- tance. Teen-age mothers in Ohio can get $62 a month added to their welfare checks if they stay in high school until graduation. The state can also reduce a teen-age mother's monthly welfare check by $62 if she does not participate. The U.S. bishops and other Catholic advocates for the poor have been wary of pro- grams linking welfare pay- Especially d church leaders are in New Jersey a that refuse ado to women who give while on welfare, the "Welfare reform at level should not be of balancing the the backs of the the USCC's King. .. with a negative children would not able." Instead, the promoted a natiana mum benefit level; such proposals as a allowance, a lowance or a come tax, which turn even if a tax withheld; better ing and educatiO people get off proved e support; and AFDC to two- who need it. welfare guided largely re' failure of state governments children from lessness and depr the bishops said in pastoral and families. our call for a tional welfare boil will permit parents to live in Bishop's sche The following activities and events are listed schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger ion of Iune 25: solw, 10:15 a.m, : western [,3 p.m. .... : follow. at Mass ,, The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47720-0169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week io Decnber by the CaPolic Press of Evansville Pubher .............. Bshop Gera!d A. Geefinger Ed:x ........................................... Paul Legang Prod Uanager ........................... Phil Ber Ccuta ................................ Amy Housman ................................... Paul Newland Wry: ......................... :Mary Ann Hughes Address all communcalJons 1o P.O, Box 4169, Evansville, tN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $12.00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd class matter at the post offce in Evansville, tN 47701, Public& tJon number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Oce of PubIca0on C 1993  Press d EvansvCle i ii cently, the father destroyed the seven embryos I believe that the following points are relevant to this particular case: 1. All human life is pre- cious in God's eyes. No one may ever directly attack or destroy an innocent human life. 2. No one has a "right" to a baby. All children are gifts from God and are to be re- ceived with gratitude. 3. No one may treat a child as a piece of property -- a thing to be possessed. Each and every child has been cre- ated in the image and like- ness of God, purchased by the precious blood of Jesus and is capable of becoming a temple of the Holy Spirit. 4. Every child has a right to be conceived and born as a result of the love expressed by a husband and wife in marital intercourse. 5. Isn't it ironic, downright contradictory, that in this country a woman can destroy her child when it is within her and the father has no say in the matter and a father can destroy his child when it is not inside the mother and she has no say in the matter. This obvious hypocrisy can be re- solved if all of us recognize the right to life of each and