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Evansville, Indiana
July 4, 1997     The Message
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/ 26 years of serving Catholics of southwestern Indiana VOLUME27 NUMBER43 July4, 1997 Model 00uche00 i [ Str00 ByGrace I I M arriage. I DEANeRy Ek I)EJtNERV U "ocesan priests begin new assignments FATHER THOMAS KESSLER FATHER FRANK RENNER FATHER FATHER TIMOTHY TENBARGE JOSEPH ERBACHER FATHER MICHAEL MADDEN LEINGANG e editor have been named assignments The Were announced weekend. parishes in Deanery, as Princeton, Evansville East Father Leo Kiesel was named as tempo- rary administrator of St. Mary Church, Shoals. Father Kiesel, dean of the Washington Deanery, will continue as pastor of St. John Church, Loogootee. All other appointments are effective Wednesday, July 30, at noon. Father Thomas J. Kessler, current pastor of Holy Spirit Church, Evansville, has been named to two parishes in the Washington Deanery. Father Kessler will be pastor of St. Joseph Church, Bramble, and administrator of St. Martin Church, Whitfield. Msgr. Carl Shetler, who recently retired, had been pas- tor of St. Martin since 1983. Father Gregory Spencer, who recently moved to the Diocese of Raleigh N.C., had been admin- istrator and pastor of the parish at Bramble since 1995. Father Frank G. Renner, current pastor of All Saints Church, Cannelburg, and of St. Mary Church, Barr Township, has been appointed pastor of St. Philip Neri Church, Bicknell, in the Vincennes Deanery. Father Timothy A. Ten- barge, current pastor of St. Philip Neri Church, Bicknell, will be the new pastor of St. Anthony Churv St. Anthony, . in the Jasper Deanery. Father Joseph F. Erbacher, current pastor of St. Anthony Church, St. Anthony, will be the pastor of St. James Church, Haubstadt, in the Princeton Deanery. Father Michael Madden, cur- rent pastor of St. James Church, Haubstadt, will be the new pastor of Holy Spirit Church, in the Evansville East Deanery. No appointment was announced for St. Mary Ch, Barr Town- ship. Please see page 8 for more information. rt'slast round leaves workload for Church interests (CNS) -- One SUpreme Court's rulings this June ork and public school religious rights opponents of few days of the term, the jus- or cases hav- ;ist- y funded .giOUS lreedom and censorship B tally left plenty of to those rul- and local U.S. church for administra- activists and state Catholic conference lobbyists. In the most far-reaching case, the court on June 26 unani- mously upheld state laws pro- hibiting assisted suicide, while leaving open the possibility that states might decriminalize the act. The cases arose as terminally- ill patients from New York and Washington and their doctors challenged long-standing laws making assisted suicide a crime. The 2nd and 9th U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals found a right to physician-assisted suicide under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. The nine justices rejected those decisions, saying the state laws prohibiting suicide remain valid. But within the 112 pages of main and supporting opin- Official From Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger Rev. Leo Kiesel, Temporary Administrator, St. Mary Church, Shoals; continue as Pastor, St. John Church, Loogootee, effective imme- diately. Rev. Thomas J. Kessler, Pastor, St. Joseph Church, Bramble; Administrator, St. Martin 30. Renner, Pastor, St. Philip Church, Bicknell, A. Tenbarge, Pastor, St. Anthony Church, St. 30. F. Erbacher, Pastor, St. James Church, Haub- Madden, Pastor, Holy Spirit Church, Evans- ions, they left open the possibil- ity of future rulings permitting assisted suicide under circum- stances other than those pre- sented by Vacco vs. Quill and Washington vs. Glucksberg. Some analysts say that might include upholding a law like Oregon's 1994 voter initiative legalizing doctor-assisted sui- cide, which is currently on appeal to the Supreme Court, and is again on the ballot for this November. Mark Chopko, general coun- sel to the U.S. Catholic Confer- ence, which filed friend-of-the- court briefs in favor of upholding the Washington and New York laws, said the opinion was "a better decision than I had rea- son to hope for." Despite the openings he agrees the opinions leave for state laws that might permit assisted suicide, Chopko said he was encouraged by the empha- sis in the rulings on alternatives to suicide, such as better pallia- tive care and sedation for those nearing the end of their lives in pain. In response to the rulings, pro-life groups said their focus must be on public education as states individually are likely to begin considering laws to legal- ize or decriminalize assisted sui- cide. And physicians acknowl- edged that their profession and medical schools need to work on better training about end-of-life issues such as depression, Ione- 'liness and pain that lead some people to consider assisted sui- cide. In a case likely to have more subtle but also far-reaching effects, the court on June 25 said Congress had no constitutional right to try to get around the Supreme Court's religious rights rulings by passing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. In a 6-3 opinion in a case involving a Catholic parish in Boerne, Texas, in the San Anto- nio Archdiocese, the court rebuked Congress for overstep- ping its constitutional authori- ty with the 1993 law. The case arose when St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Boerne relied on the Religious Freedom RestorationAct, known as RFRA, to challenge a historic preservation law preventing it from tearing down and rebuild- ing its church. RFRA was passed after a bipartisan, ecumenical collabo- ration to reverse the effects of the Supreme Court's 1990 Smith vs. Employment Division ruling, which said the religious rights of an employee to smoke peyote during a Native eri- can ritual were superseded by an Oregon state law making the hallucinogenic substance illegal. While St. Peter's still has legal options for pursuing its expansion plans, the Supreme Court's action quickly raised a call to arms from Congress and a diverse coalition of religious and civil rights organizations. =The Supreme Court has thrown down the gauntlet," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. "We intend to pick it up." Most congressional members of the coalition said they would seek a new law restoring RFRA's key points, but others pressed for a controversial constitution- al amendment to defend reli- gious rights. From Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony issued a statement calling for a constitu- tional amendment. See COURT page 2