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July 17, 1998     The Message
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10 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana July 17tlf Priest addresses spirituality's role in By TRACY EARLY Catholic News Service NEW YORK (CNS) -- Medical professionals are becoming increasingly open to recognizing the religious dimension of health care, according to a Jesuit priest who is a psychiatrist. Father Edwin H. Cassem, chief of psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and profes- sor at the Harvard Medical School, told Catholic News Service he now receives more invitations to speak about the topic at medical conferences than in past years. Among the groups he addresses regularly are residents in the Air Force medical corps, he said. However, he said receptivity varied according to region. "The Northeast is the most resistant," he said. Father Cassem spoke to CNS in New York at the con- clusion of an interreligious conference June 26 on "Reli- gion, Spirituality and Medicine" at St. Vincent's Hos- pital, an institution of the Sisters of Charity and the Archdiocese of New York. Father Cassem made a presentation on "alleviation of psychosocial and spiritual suffering at the end of life," and he participated in a panel that commented on the approach of four religious traditions to the relation of religion and health care. Other panelists were the Rev. Harvey Cox, a Baptist minister and author who teaches at the Harvard Divin- ity School; Rabbi Simkha Weintraub, rabbinic director of the New York Jewish Healing Center; and Imam Yusuf Hassan, a chaplain at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York who also serves at a Harlem mosque. Father Cassem, a 1966 graduate of Harvard Med- ical School, told conference participants that he received his education in an environment generally hostile to religion. And he found the field of psychi- atry "most overtly hostile" because of Sigmund Freud's influence. But he noted that surveys show 95 percent of have some kind of religious belief that gives "meaningful inner life." For the sake of their there is "a need to have that explored," he said.  Father Cassem said he asks his patients talk to God, and whether God also speaks to While traditional psychiatry might look ing such questions seriously, he found "the with people who try to discern God's will." In talking about care at the end of life, criticized the debate for focusrag on talk out considering what was really involved for ple who contemplate suicide. Only a very small percentage of those who about ending their lives do so because of the are suffering, he said. Most ask for various forms of "psychosocial and spiritual" ing, he said. i The Secret's Out A Generation Later ! Thirtieth anniversary of the landmark Church document on human sexuality July 25 marks the thirtieth anniversary of Humanae Vitae (pronounced oomah-" nay veetay), a papal encyclical released by Pope Paul VI in 1968. Humanae Vitae clarified the stand of the Roman Catholic Church against contraception when Dr. Ginter: His name was Giovanni Bautista Monfini before his papacy. Under his predecessor, Pope John XXIII, he acted as a bishop in Italy in the diplomatic corps, which gave him a familiarity with the univer- .............................................................................................................................................................. sal Church. He was a mem- NEWS AND COMMENTARY ber of the Second Vatican Pope John XXlll announces new Papal Commission. Vatican U publishes two documents on birth regulation without a definitive statement on contraception. Majority on Papal Commission advocates the use of contraception. Pope PaulVl relse Humanae Vitae, a ' definitive statement against the use of contraception. Timeline highlighting events that influenced the climate around the Catholic Humanae Vitae was published. By SOOZI SCHELLER Contributing Writer many believed the Church would and should change her age-old teaching on the appreciation of fertili- ty. Dr. Mark E. Ginter, Assistant Professor of Moral Theology at Saint Meinrad School of Theol- ogy, recently gave an interview offering infor- marion about this impor- tant anniversary. Humanae Vitae has been an impor- tanffocus of his teaching career for the last 15 years. He completed his Ph.D. in Theology and Society at Marquette University in January 1997. He and his wife, Diane, have three children, Katie, MicheUe and John, and are expecting a new baby early next year. Dr. Ginter wel- comes invitations to speak on this teach- ing or other Church issues dealing with morality and ethics. DR. MARK E. GINTER - What is a papal encyclical in lay per- son terms? Dr. Ginter. Encyclical comes from the Latin word for circle. Originally an encyclical was a letter sent from the pope around to the bishops. Thus, it took a cir- cular journey. Each bishop read and signed the letter and passed it on to the nexl"bishop until finally it returned to the pope with all of the bishops' signatures. Pope John XXIII began, with his encycli- cal Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth), to use it as a means to address the bishops and the world. Generally now, an encyclical is an open letter from the pope to the world. Pope Paul Vt operled his encycli- cal Humanae Vitae with an opening address to "the faithful and to all men of Council [Vatican II] con-._ .... vened by Pope John XXIII in 1962. Pope John XXIII organized the Second Vatican Council to renew th Church and to seek greater unity with all p egple, He led the. Church in taking a dos- er look at herself and enacting important changes. Because of his age and health, Pope John XXIII did not expect to complete the Second Vatican Council himself. He chose Bish- op Montini and made him a Cardinal to carry on his agenda for the Second Vatican Council after his death. Pope John XXIg died in 1963. Cardinal Montini was elected pope and led the Second Vatican Council to completion in 1965. He released his encyclical Humanae Vitae in 1968. What was the climate around the Church when Pope Paul VI released Humanae Vitae? Dr. Ginter: The release of Humanae Vitae came as a sudden unexpected ges- ture in a climate of calamitous change. Like a wall it rose up against the torrent of opinion that contraception would benefit our society. The torrent hit the wall with such momentum it splashed far and poured over. A generation later, we're still picking up the pieces. Events pertaining to the Second Vatican Cohncil influenced the climate around the Church when Hurnanae Vitae was released. First in t961, the year good wi!l.'" before the Second Vati- :Wh 9,'asPgpeau_lyJ? .............. can C=qunci!. 5hegan:. Pope John XXIII announced the mem- bers of a new Papal Commission on Mar- riage, Family and Birth Regulation, which did not meet until after the Sec- ond Vatican Council finished. The fact that Pope John XXIII had called an offi- cial commission to discuss the issue raised hopes that the Catholic Church would change her thinking on contra- ception. Secondly, on closing in 1965, the Sec- ond Vatican Council published one doc- ument that concerns marriage, family and birth regulation callehl Gaudium et Spes (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modem World). Gaudium et Spes states, "For in the view of the inalienable right to marry and beget chil- dren, the question of how many children belongs' to the honest judgment of par- ents. The question can in no way be com- mitted to the decision of government." However, this document from the Sec- ond Vatican Council never explicitly for- bids the use of contraception. After the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI increased the number of people on the Commission on Marriage, Family and Birth Regulation and it final- ly met in 1966. From 1959 through 1966, the whole thrust of intellectual, econom- ical and pharmaceutical enterprises had gained momentum in epectation that the Catholic Church would change her position on the birth regulation issue. Since Gaudium et Spes did not respond definitively to the modem questions on birth regulation, anticipation of Church changing her mind about traception grew even stronger. growth of ideas on sexual tion, part of the cultural context early 60s, fueled this push . traception as an ideal. In 1966, the Papal Marriage, Family and Birth gave three reports the minority report and response to the minority majority report approved the use, traception. The minority tained the traditional [ . , traception. Pope Paul VI remained silent, thrust and momentum toward ception grew, especially based 0a, presumption that ple in and around the Pope Paul VI would adopt the position favoring year gap of silence Paul VI released his encyclical Vitae, his definitive statement o I. gal freedom without contraceptl Next week: The role Wotyla (Pope John Paul II) in the t ment of Humanae Vitae and the, cance of Humane Vitae today. For more information about NFP, confidentially with a trained (812) 485-4110. Information and gift certificates is also available. "ea't"an ST. MA medical news from a Catholic Health Care perspective is a courtesy of Services ' i[!!;i!