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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
June 26, 1992     The Message
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June 26, 1992
 

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4 The Message m for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana June 26, Perspective What's new? By PAUL R. LEINGANG _ii MessaoeEditor It depends. Several hundred magazines lined the wall when I left home this morning• The magazines are to be delivered to subscribers by my son Matt. There must be hundreds, maybe thousands, of different magazines in the world• There must be at least 15 or 20 different ones in our living room. Some are popular, some are not so popular, judging by the size of the stacks• Each of the magazines seeks to fit a niche• The cover gives you a pretty good idea of the con- tents, and about the target audience• One has a glamor photo. Another has a jet fighter. A newly decorated house is displayed on a third. One magazine can't serve all readers. Neither can one newspaper• A recent caller wondered why a story printed in the Catholic newspapers of Indianapolis and Louisville was not printed in the Message. I am sorry we did not print the story -- it was a good one, but we did not have the space, and some- body has to decide what goes in and what does not. We printed some items about people and events in the Diocese of Evansville -- stories that were not in either of tile other two papers men- tioned by the caller. A source of almost all of our not-local stories is Catholic News Service, a source common for most diocesan newspapers. Ten stories are planned for today (it is Tuesday as I write this column). Nineteen stories were listed on the ad- visory schedule for yesterday. Some are more important than others. Some are important, but there will be no space in this issue for them• Here is a quick overview of some of the sto- ries available the last two days: eight reports on various topics discussed by the U.S. bishops at their spring meeting, a report that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger will have a news conference to present background information about the new universal catechism, and a story about Bosnian and Croatian refugees. CNS stories the last two days have reported tile pope's actions and comments: he encourage.d democratic reforms in Cameroon, called for morality in public life, and prayed to God to comfort nuns tortured and raped by Serbian militia. Some stories on the wire come from the ef- forts of diocesan newspapers. One today is hetidlined, "Indiana bishop joins volunteers to help build house in Habitat for Humanity pro- ject." That story came from our own Mary Ann Hughes, who sent it to the wire service to share it with others. Another story comes from a Chicago reporter, about two Haitians who de-. scribe the abuse their loved ones have received. I wish we had more pages for more stories from the larger Church• But wishes are not horses, and they're not newspapers either• If I thought one newspaper could do it all, I would be extremely unhappy about what we can't put in the Message. If one newspaper could do it all, I would pity the person who had to deliver it. I have two suggestions for everyone who who wants to learn more about the local and universal church. Continue to make your re- quests known with calls and letters. And read two or lnore papers -- at least one national and one local. Vatican Letter By JOHN THAVIS Catholic News Service Vatican's financial gospel" Pinch pennies and pass the plate • cent s endin is of a hidd0rJ out of papal strongboxes . ,p . g • atiO variety: for computerkZ., of of offices and updatW., new offset presses at filled with gold coins. When ' VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- With a worldwide papal col- lection approaching, the Vati- can recently offered a peek at its financial books to show why it holds out the alms cup year after year. As usual, the 1992 ledger is awash in red ink. Income will cover only about half of ex- penses, leaving a shortfall of about $80 million• To help make up the gap, the Vatican relies on Peter's Pence, the annual collection that was once dedicated to the pope's charities• When the plate is passed at the end of June, officials expect to take in about $60 million -- but this year, that's not enough• That explains why the Vati- can has been shaking its alms cup a little louder, stressing the "duty to contribute" to the needs of the universal church. In past centuries, the Vati- can ran its operating budget The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47720-0169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville Publisher .............. Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger Associate Publisher ............... key. Joseph Ziliak Editor ............................................ Paul Leingang Production Manager ........................... Phil Boger Circulation .................................... Susan Winiger Advertising .................................... Paul Newland Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $12.00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd class matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701. Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Publication Copy 1992 Catho Press ol EvansviUe the coffers emptied, there were always new taxes to im- pose or ecclesial favors to sell• Today, shrunk to a tiny city-state, the Vatican's eco- nomic clout is relatively fee- ble. Its investments and real estate holdings amount to armmd $350 million and re- turn a net $40 million a year -- small change for an insti- tution with hundreds of of- rices and 3,400 employees. So it bothers Cardinal Ros- alie Jose Castillo Lara when he hears a cleric ask: "Why doesn't the pope sell the Vati- can and move into an apartment?" "How unrealistic, when you consider not only what the Vatican is, but the func- tion of papal government of the church," retorts the cardinal. Cardinal Castillo Lara, the son of a Venezuelan coffee producer, oversees adminis- tration of the Vatican's eco- nomic patrimony. He gave a June interview to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera and provided a break- down of expenditures and in- come for 1992. "This is not a rich church," he stated bluntly and pulled out the figures to prove it. The Vatican receives little income from its various con- gregations, councils and com- missions -- $2.2 million in 1992. That's not surprising, since these are basically ser- vice organizations. Income at Vatican Radio, the Vatican newspaper L'Os- servatore Romano, the Vati- can's printing house and bookstore were all up this year, totaling nearly $30 mil- lion. But they're still net losers  the Vatican poured in twice that much money to keep them operating. Vatican officials reason that although these media are in the debit column, the return comes in the form of evangelization. Salaries continue to be the biggest single expense: more than $100 million for Vatican and city-state employees ilx 1992. It cannot hearten Vati- can planners to know that its lay employees want salary scales, set in 1985, revised upward. The Vatican will spend more than $40 million this year keeping its city-state running smoothly -- items include fixing the roof on St. Peter's Basilica, trimming the gardens, installing a new tele- phone switchboard and ex- panding the clerical guest house. The Holy See spends another $12.5 million to oper- ate the 100 or so papal nun- ciatures around the world. Cardinal Castillo Lara is eager to deflate several myths about Vatican finances. One is the common view that the Vatican owns half of Rome. In fact, he said, most church property is held by the hundreds of individual religious orders headquar- tered in the city. Almost all Vatican-owned office build- ings are being used for Vati- can business. It's true that the Vatican owns about 850 apartments, a potential mother lode in Rome's inflated housing mar- ket. But it's wealth only on paper, the cardinal said -- the Vatican rents nearly all of them out to its employees at fair-rent prices. "This is a social function, not an expression of rich- ness," he said. Another myth is that of the Vatican's art treasures, Cardi- nal Castillo Lara said. "They are an incalculable treasure, but economically they do not represent real wealth: They're not convert- ible." The works are "more a source of expense," he said. The cardinal likes to quote a fellow Latin American arch- bishop, who states: "I can do more with one dollar than the pope can with Michelangelo's Pieta." Of course, Michelangelo's famous statue is in St. Peter's Basilica, where entry is flee. Most of the Vatican's art works are in the Vatican Mu- seums, which now charges $8 to get in. Last year, the muse- ums yielded $21 million, the biggest in-house source of Vatican income. For years, rumors have had the Vatican as the controlling interest in multinational com- panies. Cardinal Castillo Lara pointed out that Vatican in- vestments today are small- scale and do not amount to more than a 7 percent share in a single company. Pope John Paul II's most visible activity -- his interna- tional trips -- cost the Vati- can practically nothing, con- trary to popular opinion, the cardinal said. They are fi- nanced by local churches. Much of the Vatican's re- printing plant• Perhal)s the bigges! myth r } one fueled by tile sple, nood. a al ceremonies, . , witla u .o., .P.. P . aroq u hghts dancing off.a  ,, st" • 'll .O altarpiece and goldt  frO" ments. The ' 1 nressl°  , m r d tlw quently beamed aroUn world is one of splm.ld°r'bara Cardinal Casti.llo -.., with an old rug "It's a dump. It's run shoestring," said employee. :t oot . • . . thVtt; n °fflc ]alss ,Ptlk°tr have asleu Og , Y s erd own offices to hold P ,,oeal to a minimum, as they 'orrtri. to local churches f°r cial butions. The new two . it Gospel at the VatiC°p'icl seems, is a dual one: "e pennies and pass the Bishop's schedule The following activities and events are listed on the schedule of Bishop Gerald A, Gettelfinger