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Evansville, Indiana
July 16, 1993     The Message
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July 16, 1993

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16, 1993 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 -- Bishop's Forum -- Mixed messages from the Church Bishop Gettelfinger's column, July 9, dealt with the complica- tions of planning for a fiscal year Which does not coincide with a calendar year He noted that the health insurance program for lay employees in the diocese uses the nuary-December calendar year, ut premiums have to be deter- mined before the start of the Sep- tember-August fisca] year. The bishop referred to health insur- ance as "one of those difficult te- a'" P' hties that all employers -- the Church included -- must face. BISHOP RALD A GETTELFINGER I had considerable trouble in writing this follow-up to my column of last Week. There are three basic reasons. . First, the Church has been very clear about the rights of employees and their relationship with the employer Pope Leo XIII, well over one hundred years ago'wrote most clearly that em- ployees have rights in the marketplace. Forty Years later there was a restatement of those fun- ttaraental principles Vatican Council II ad- dressed the role of laity in the Church. The rights and obligations of the laity are clearly spelled out in the revision of the Universal Law of the Church of 1983 The Church has not wavered from that position from the great social letters of the church expounding on this very delicate relationship of em- ployer to employee. The Holy Father and Bishops of our country have continued to teach on this matter of the rights of the employee to just wages and benefits. Most recently, at our June meeting in New Orleans, the bishops of the United States unan- imously adopted the document, "A Framework for Comprehensive Health Care Reform: Protecting Human Life, Promoting Human Dignity, Pursuing the Common Good." That document and others proclaimed by the National Con- ference of Catholic Bishops of the United have left no doubt about the position of the Church and current Catholic teaching on these matters. Second, we the bishops and you the faithful, have held and preached one thing in a very uni- versal and national manner, yet we have failed to apply it consistently. Need I remind you of the housekeepers, jani- tors, lay teachers, and religious men and women who have received salaries over the years that were not commensurate to their services. Much has been accomplished in this area since the Vat- ican Council, yet there is much yet to be done. Some of these former practices have continued during my tenure as bishop these past four years. What is acceptable in the marketplace with respect to employer and employee does not al- ways reflect social justice. On the other hand, we are reminded in Sacred Scripture that we are cer- tainly in the world but are not to be of it. The Church, if it is to be authentic must be both prophet and subject of its own prophecy. The Church, you and I, must practice what we preach. The Church in our time can be shown to be both in the world and of it, whether we like it or not. We live and work in the public forum as we are part of it. All too often, however, when the challenge or test comes, we tend to employ the exemption we enjoy as a "not for profit" organi- zation. We ourselves have not always applied our own principles with respect to our employees as is expected of those who are "non-exempt," and of the world. Whose fault is it? Assigning fault for failure or omission is not my intent. Seeking remedies, finding resolution in those instances where we have failed must in- deed be our agenda, yours and mine. Members of our Church who are also our em- ployees find themselves caught in "Catch 22." I shall reflect on my third reason for diffi- culty in my next column. Paul was fight on sexuality, pro-life committee says By IERR FILTEAU Catholic News Service {CNS} -- Paul Vl had it right in ng about love, mar- birth control, the )s' Committee for Activities said in a raent marking the 25th rsary of "Humanae Vitae," which "of human life." was last encyclical. In reaffirmed the tradi- church teaching that auples are never to use artificial to regulate 1968 encyclical !ed a prophetic rues- people to live to welcome children PrOtect families and to treat human life as a ;," the committee ,. alizin that 25 years Prsen . - . ts the commu of a ,eneration, it is ourhope idq e new generation might t, HUmanae Vitae' and ih" " Lts gentle and loving Lge ,, the 2,500-word " eat said. 'led for new auprecia-  t f natural family plan-  a way for couples "to plan and space births in a wthWiaY that is both consistent God's law and support- ive of their own intimacy and unity." Released July 13, the state- ment was titled, "Human Sexuality from God's Per- spective: 'Humanae Vitae' 25 Years Later." The statement deplored the "pervasive and dominant" secular perspective on human sexuality, which it described as "purely pragmatic" and de- void of any understanding of God's love. "'Humanae Vitae' provides a positive and dignified un- derstanding of sexuality as a ift from God which enno- les, enriches and reconciles married couples," it said. "The teaching of the church is and has always been countercultural," said Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles, chairman of the Committee for Pro-Life Activ- ities. "Nowhere, perhaps, is this more clearly so today than in regard to the church's teaching on human sexuality and the transmission of life." Cardinal Mahony said church teaching on sexuality it too often portrayed as nega- tive. "Nothing could be further from the truth," he said. "The teaching of the church in re- gard to marital love, child- bearing and the importance of the family is a positive teach- ing, a liberating teaching." "Through sexual union," said the statement, "couples strengthen their marital rela- tionship and participate in a special way in God's creation of new life. From this follows the profound meaning of a life of intimacy -- that com- munion of two persons who must be open to each other in a mutual self-donation that reaches its apex in the loving union that bears fruit in chil- dren." In "Humanae Vitae" Pope Paul said the church's teach- ing against all forms of artifi- cial contraception "is founded upon the inseparable connection, willed by God and unable to be broken by man on his own initiative, be- tween the two meanings of the conjugal act: the unitive meaning and the procreative meaning." The only licit means of reg- ulating birth, he said, is nat- ural family planning, in which the couple "take into account the natural rhythms immanent in the generative functions, for the use of mar- riage in the infecund periods only." The bishops' committee at- tributed high rates of divorce, abortion, sexual abuse and sex outside marriage in - - |IIII America to pervasive atti- tudes of individualism, con- fusion about the meaning of sexuality and trivialization of sex. I111 I IIII I I I PRAYER FOR THE SYNOD Diocese of Evansville LET US PRAY of life and 'e, You sent Your m to Hve arr that we might know and love You, that we might 'e and p You as Your f k. Assist us in living holy lives as faithful d'ipks of Jesus, Your Son, so that Your preser may be known and fdt in our midst, that others too may come to know 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. Incase our faith. Help us to see Your plan for the Church. As we look to the future, may our plans be faithful to Yours, so that we, the Church of,Southwestern Indiana, may further Your kingdom through preaching and living Your gospel. All praise be Yours through Jesus Christ Our Lord! AMEN! I I I I I [11 II I I J I |IMClOUl HOIHMiJt I)OlflRl Ieh I nd North High School -- Evelnllvllle 15- 16- 17