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July 17, 1998     The Message
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July 17, 1998

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1998 The Message m for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 ,? ,i Midsummer check By BISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER ago it was the practice for seminari- the Minor Seminary, at St. Meinrad to address three envelopes. This was a new experi- me as I finished my first year of seminary nonetheless, I complied with the request. the practice of the spiritual director to .tters during the summer and send it to Basically, it was an opportunity for him to with us, but more to the point, a chance to of our aspirations. If we were to remain our preparation for a priestly vocation, he us to continue to practice our spiritual exercises. He knew what he was about. The first time I got a letter addressed to myself by myself, I wondered who had made a mistake, then I remembered. Frankly as the summers unfolded, I looked forward to those checkpoints along the way. So it is I Write today. Earlier I had encouraged all of us, including myself, to recognize that the patterns and disciplines so common to the school year are altered by summer vacation. The habits of prayer in place at home and in school get scrambled during vacation unless attention is given to it. Travel and unfamiliar surroundings add to the disruption. With school but a month away, it is time to renew your energies toward family and personal prayer. Prayers do not have to be complicated or long. No tools are necessary. Having a prayer book, bible, missal or spiritual book can be helpful nonetheless. A rosary does help to keep the count while praying the decades. Prayers learned in our childhood and recited so often throughout life are wonderful and should never be lost. One of the tremendous advantages of memo- rized prayer is the ability to pray them even when we feel least like doing it. Even though our mind may wander, the prayer is in the active intention to "con- verse with God." We may feel less than tisfied with our effort, but the quality of prayer is God's work, not 6urs. All God expects is our best effort which may in fact be pretty weak from our perspective due to distractions orsheer fatigue. Here in mid-July, it is good to review both family and personal practices of prayer. If your experience is like mine, it is hard to be faithful every day to this simple but all important discipline. We must keep trying to do our best. Challenge Indiana University's health care respect for Indiana in Bloomington as a : institution with )utation, students and attending IU interested in learning SOme of their monies are on campus. COMMENTARY W. McMULLEN semester each student is to pay a "student health m a mandatory $70.50. fee goes to the IU may not realize is the Health Center dispens- pills which can act as abortifacients, as well as the "morning after pill." Some methods of so-called "birth-con- trol" such as Depo-Provera and Norplant and even some birth- control pills do not always pre- vent conception from taking place but in a certain percentage of cases they cause the newly conceived child to be aborted. The "morning after pill" is an actual abortifacient drug which prevents the newly conceived fetus from implanting itself in the uterus. It should come as no surprise that The Health Center also" provides abortion counsel- ing. Despite the fact that some stu- dents have protested the mandatory fee, the administra- tor of the IU Health Center, Dr. Hugh Jessop maintains that stu- dents have no choice but to pay. (Whatever became of "choice?") He also said that use of the "morning after pill" is not abor- tion and that pro-life students define pregnancy differently than he does. According to Jes- sop, the "morning after pill" does not caus an abortion because while it does allow for fertilization to take place, it pro- hibits implantation of the newly conceived human being. Scientifically speaking Doctor Jessop is either playing stupid or he is attempting to fool the average person. When .fertiliza- tion takes place, life begins. This is a medical certainty. It is a unique creature; a new human being. Who among us have not seen the amazing photography of the developing child made famous by the Swiss photogra- pher, Lennart Nilsson and pub- lished in notable journals and magazines such as LIFE? With the recent science of fetology and fetascope photography there is no way to deny that a new human life begins at con- ception. When the sperm unites with the egg a woman becomes pregnant. And besides, if the "morning after pill" were not an abortive pill, then wouldn't they call it the "morning BEFORE pill?" No. As it is it is called the "morning AFTER pill" because it goes to work to prevent the newly conceived child from developing in uterus AFTER conception. The truth must be told about the abortive nature of some so-called birth control methods. Parents and students who are troubled by learning what some at the IU Health Center regard as "health-care" might consider conscientiously objecting to paying the fee. Exercise your "freedom of choice" by refusing to pay for abortion. John W. McMullen is a Religion Instructor at Mater Dei High School in Evansville. He has a Master's Degree in Theology from St. Meinrad School of Theology. The conversion of Norma 'Jane Roe" McCorvey "Jane Roe" in the Supreme decision, Roe v. Wade, was Christian several years she announced plans Catholic. sin have very little but there is one they both seem to Start flirting with either they draw you in. COMMENTARY FATHER FRANK PAVONE McCorvey's life and powerfully sum- in her recent book Won truth dra- deceit of the abor- drew her in and her to the depths of with the here and a little t6 my good Rev. Flip Benham, admit f that he too needs and thus she her of pro- ghteous" to to a little her to come to and finally (after many thought it would do . to check it out. Little by drew her in and proved itself more attractive than the abortion industry. She finally accepted Christ in faith, was baptized, and became a believer. At the beginning, however, she still thought some early abortion would be accept- able. She was open to truth, however, and truth did not let her go. It drew her further, and she quickly became convinced that abortion is wrong at any stage, no matter what the rea- son. She even wears a tee-shirt at pro-life gatherings that says "100% Pro-life, Without Excep- tion, Without Compromise, Without Apology." The truth has continued to draw Norma further. In my con- tacts with her over recent years, I noticed her interest in Catholi- cism. Shortly after her baptism, she asked me to bless her home. (Not being used to the custom of Holy Water, she and her friend inadvertently drank the entire spare supply I left with them.) She attended with inter- est a Mass I celebrated in Dal- las, and the following summer came with me to EWTN to tape a television interview. In the course of that interview, she asked me to bless the cross she wears, a cross which was made out of what used to be a pro- choice bracelet. Some months ago, Norma asked me to teach her to say the Rosary. As we continued to talk about her faith, I realized she felt very strongly the call to fully embrace Catholicism. I simply answered her questions, which she raised in her own time and her own way. Then one day she sent me an e-mail in which she told me that "The Big Boss" told her she was to join the Church. I look forward to welcoming Norma here to Rome to com- plete her initiation. The warm embrace which the Church extends to her is a sign of hope to everyone, but I especially see it as a sig n of hope to our broth- ers and sisters who are still enmeshed in the abortion industry. We vigorously oppose what they do, but we do not hate them. We embrace them, too. The door of the Church is open. Truth continues to lead her children forward. Continued from page 4 ty, is aimed at helping legisla- improving the financing and him more than three years ago. tors make informed decisions availability of care for terminal- After hearing that case, Hogan about bills affecting end-of-life ly ill patients." ruled in August 1995 that the decisions, pain management, According to Dr. Joanne Oregon law was unconstitu- advance care planning, health Lynn, director of the Center to tional because it violated the services for the terminally ill, Improve Care of the Dying, equal protection clause, and assisted suicide, state legislatures should "take The 9th U.S. Circuit Court Dick Merritt, program direc- the lead in innovation and of Appeals later overturned tor at the National Conference reform so that Americans can Hogan's ruling, however, say- of State Legislatures, said the count on the highest quality of ing that the plaintiffs then in the guidebook will help legislators life possible, up to their last case did not have legal standing "reach beyond the narrow and days." to sue because they would not controversial debate over physi- be harmed by the new law. The cian-assisted suicide and exam- Contributing to this story was Supreme Court ruled to hear an ine the full range of options for Ed Langlois in Oregon. appeal of the 9th Circuit's deci .... sion on standing, but offered no comment on the constitutional- CPC SU life ity of the Oregon law. Many believe that the ulti- The Catholic Parishes Campaign provides funds mate solution to the assisted to support the Indiana Catholic Conference and suicide debate will come not at the federal level, but in the the National Conference of Catholic Bishops for states, their pro-life efforts and other issues. A new policy guide for state The Catholic Parishes Campaign also bands the legislators, prepared by the Christian Sharing Fund and the Ministry of the National Conference of State Deaf, and provides major support for the offices of Legislatures and the Center to Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Evansville. Improve Care of the Dying at George Washington Universi- ........... .;, ....... rr i i, t i,i r : ] ..............