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July 25, 1997     The Message
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July 25, 1997

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1997 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana ,5 Bishop's Forum-- Marriage is sacred! Its family is too! !Help wanted' notice brings memorable fashion. I know of none after college to prepare for the other social sacra- In recent days I received several to my request for assis- that I might be a better One of those came as reflections a most anguished wedding pho- a devout Catholic, one I know personally. He respects of the moment of wrote of his grave concern he has often experienced as of couples by the pre- most sacred ing. It is indeed a most sacred when a man and a woman pledge perpetu- to each other in marriage. years, many have confided to this that the wedding was to be the last would come to a Catholic Church. his personal experience, this photograph- experience of an ordination was quite He described the awesome respect given and the assembly to a priest or dea- ;ordained -- but his perception is that the show such respect to those being mar- 0a the other hand, I hear so often from priests would much rather have a funeral than a They sense in many cases that the inci- of wedding preparation are the controlling of wedding dates. I too have felt the same in Years of priesthood. priests and deacons are vulnerable to cynical when the date of the wedding is r the availability of the reception hall the celebration of the sacrament. Or when uest their wedding to take place in a setting rather than in the ordinary place the faithful gather for the sacraments. is wrong with this picture. has happened? Why are there two so and painful experiences reported about Vaost sacred moment, the celebration of the of Macrimony? I respond to the question, allow me to I have confidence in the priests and dea- 0f our diocese who are ordinarily responsible Sacrament of Matrimony. They have proven Sensitive to the desires and emotions of those to be married. For this reason, they often find in personal emotional turmoil trying to the desires of the intended and comply policies of the Church and Diocese. priests of our diocese extend themselves to sacred moment in an appropriate and By BISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER who does not have a pastoral con- cern for those preparing for mar- riage. I am convinced that our priests work hard to have compas- sion for those to be married. I also know that they strive to be faithful to diocesan policies for marriage. When stretched for requests out- side diocesan policies, they reluc- tantly refer those to me. On these occasions I depend heavily on the pastoral recommendation made to me when granting dispensations for marriage of our Catholic faithful. In the case of marriages between a Catholic and a person of another faith, our priests are very solicitous not to alienate the spouse of another faith. That is why the Church has provided for the dispensation from Canonical Form. This allows for a couple to be married in a church, or another appropriate place, in the presence of an official witness other than a Catholic priest. Lest there be misunderstanding, I must reluc- tantly add that I do not and will not condone mis- treatment of those preparing for marriage by any priest or deacon in the Catholic Diocese of Evans- ville. Questions to be asked Now to the question I posed: What's wrong with the picture of divergent opinions about such a sacred matter? Allow further questions to be the response. What date is more important? Is it the avail- ability of the Church where the Sacrament is cele- brated or the place where the reception is to take place? What is more important? The incidentals and plans surrounding the wedding or the hours, days and months reflecting on the seriousness of the per- manence of the commitment in marriage? What is more important given the sacredness of the moment? Is the marriage to take place where the espoused "feel" good or is it to take place where people of faith gather for sacred events? What is more important? Is it the camera and video or is it the couple who in the sacredness of the moment commit themselves to a life of fidelity? What is more important? Is it the many months of preparation for this most sacred moment or is it the time spent in deciding wedding gowns, showers, flowers, and honeymoons? It is tragic that those who are preparing for the sacred moment of marriage are also saddled with all the details of preparation for its celebration. It is very understandable that priorities get lost. Candidates for priesthood spend four years ment. Marriage and family life are the source of all other vocations. Should we demand less of those preparing for marriage than those preparing for priesthood and religious life? I know of no diocese that makes such demands on those preparing for marriage. Maybe we have it backward! Marriage policy: Location is a community matter The celebration of the Sacrament of Matrimony and the marriage of those of differing faiths is a most sacred moment. It should take place in an appropriate place. Appropriateness is not to be decided by those wishing to be married. It is a com- munity matter, not a personal one. To this end, as bishop of this diocese ! reassert: 1. Marriages of two Catholics are not be wit- nessed outside a Catholic Church. The bishop may grant permission, but only in rare instances and for serious pastoral reasons. 2. Marriage of a Catholic and another Christ- ian requires permission, since the Church requires Catholics to marry members of the Catholic Church. Ordinarib; such marriages are to take place in a Catholic Church. However, for pastoral reasons, the Church allows for a dispensation. 3. Marriage of a Catholic and another Christ- ian in a place other than a Catholic Church is granted only for pastoral reasons. Such a place must be appropriate and sufficient reason must be provided. Neither home nor outdoor marriages meet this requirement. 4. In the case of Marriages of Mixed Religion (that era Catholic and another Christian sect), or of differing faiths (that of a Catholic and a non-Christ- ian believer}, dispensations from Canonical Form can be granted. This means that the official witness to the marriage is not the priest, but the minister of the "other faith" and the marriage takes place in a suitable location other than the Catholic Church. The priest may be present and participate, but the official witness to the marriage is the officiant of : the "other" faith. The Sacrament of Matrimony and the natural bond of marriage are sacred. The commitment of a man and woman in marriage is a community mat- ter, not merely a personal one. Let us rejoice and be glad for all those who fol- low this sacred vocation, Let us pray daily for all who are married. We too pray for the families springing from married love. Persons who wish to receive a copy era brochure providing details of diocesan policy in regard to marriage preparation, may contact Catholic Charities, (812) 423.5456. us ministry-- Helping students find mature, adult faith student why they attend college and get a response Wanted a better edu- that I can get a high- purpose of high- is to get a good job COOK and CHRIS ItOEHN 3us Ministers drives our political systems. It is the Our framework. terms of "how far up the corpo- rate ladder can you climb?" or "how much earning potential will you have after five years?" The academic world puts great emphasis on the economic sphere. Universities boast of their job placement rates, or of how many of their students enter graduate programs after earning their degrees. For the Christian, human ful. fillment does not stop at one's earning potential. Jesus Christ is the perfectly fulfilled human being. His Spirit, poured ouL hrough his death and resurvec- teenth-century Cardinal of the Church. John Henry Newman wrote extensively in his day, and many of his works are cited in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. His best-known work is entitled, "The Idea of the Uni- versity." In this work, Cardinal New- man details what "higher edu- cation" should be for the indi- Vidual. It is the notion of a fully-rounded and universally- educated person that Cardinal Newman has in mind. Higher education should,hep the stu- dent reach his potential through and of the individual's potential. At the University of Evans- ville, campus ministry attempts to facilitate personal develop- ment through a sacramental life, retreats, and pastoral counsel- ing. The Newman Center has sponsored a retreat in the fall and the spring, and hosted the Busy Person's Retreat last Octo- ber. The Busy Person's Retreat was put together by the Dioce- san Vocation Team, headed by Father Bernie Etienne, with assistance from Benedictine Sis- ter Rosemary Rexing. This retreat was held on cam- ed a penance service. Mass, and evening prayer. At the University of Southern Indiana Catholic campus ministry students are encouraged to recog- nize their gifts and strengths through weekly student meetings, retreats, weekly Sunday liturgies and evenings of reflection. Stu- dents are challenged to engage the scriptures in their daily lives through bible study opportunities. Developing the whole person, we come together to socialize and strengthen our knowledge and commitment to following Christ. Campus ministry must keep that might other- potential only way of deter- worth. is understood in tion, energizes us for the task of: a deeper appreciation of the sci- pus in the midst of the students' alive the ideal of Christ's life .: developing our, own human enceshumanities; and religion, everyday lives: StUdents gave and lovesb thai; personal devel- i that the potential, The Christian under- academi World that con, an hour  day, toprayerand, opment ,not slip into Belf ,' r, Lhe higher stmulingoffull human:develop-," tinua!ly: narrows its focus to. another hour to,mting wth  fulfillment anti,selfish didU-: more you mentmrootedtn the sacrednesa .splalzatmn, :campus ram- one of  spm d roe.tore ahem. A mature :adttlt fai system: of theiberson. Th6 reiationaliip;: lstry m challenged to prowde t' who hetped rn where must he goal:ofCh; > Corn- that each:iumin has to,God faithl with amOre complete God was leading then Evening tianastheysathfbtlgh  s frees himto pursue his fullest's meaning sessiomduringtlmweekinclud, the coilegeyears, i  potential, This personal freedom .  , W the Christian human fulfillment is strengthened when it con- ', ..... " . sents to the demands of social life, human partnership, and or 1. does not stop at one's earning potential Catholic campus ministry takes its name from a nine- , ............ .....