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August 2, 1996     The Message
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ME S SAGE 25 years of serving Catholics of southwestern Indiana VOLUME 26 NUMBER 48 August 2, 1996 00utho., Iw..h,ngtonce.e../ F.th.ro,,ger,.00 II be Aug; 11 RU..486 : / Commentary | neral services heldfor Father Felix FATHERFELIX PRESKE Funeral services were held July 30 at Sa- cred Heart Church, Evansville, for Father Felix Preske, 74, administrator at Blessed Sacrament Church, Oakland City. He was injured in a woodcutting accident on July 23, and died July 25 at Deaconess Hospital in Evansville. His brother, Father Venantius Preske, presided a the Mass in the presence of - Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger and Bishop James S. Sullivan of the Diocese of Fargo, N.D. Bishop Sullivan gave the homily. Burial was in St. Joseph Cemetery. Father Preske was born Dec. 22, 1921, in Evansville to Felix and Mary (Kissed Preske. He attended St. Meinrad high school, college and seminary, and was or- dained at Assumption Cathedral, Evansville, on May 22, 1948, by Bishop Henry J. Grimmelsman. He served in the Diocese of Fargo, N.D, until his retirement in 1992. His first appointment was as assistant pastor at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Fargo. He also served as assistant pastor at St. Alphonsus Church in Langon, N.D., be- mstor at St. Francis i001956 Church, Verona, N.D. named pastor Sykeston, N.D. He was co-pastor at St. John list Church, In 1970, he was named Southwest Deanery, 1976. He became Lisbon; N.D., and St. Gwinner-Stirum, N.D., in 1984. He retired in 1992. ............. ministrator at Blessed 1996, Theresa Martin of I Deacon Richard Preske Preke, all of Evansville and He was very movement and Cursillo, The famil .S. bishops: Same-sex unions not marriage ly JERRY FILTEAU Catholic News Service (CNS) -- The 'Catholic bishops oppose any legal sta- relationship persons of the same :Said a statement issued the heads of two bish- on of marriage, Union of one man and one must be preserved, pro- .and promoted in both pri- vate and public realms," they said. Marriage, they added, "has a very important relationship to the continuation of the human race, to the total development of the human person and to the dignity, stability, peace and prosperity of the family and of society." Issuing the statement were Bishops Joseph L. Charron of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on ....  ..... .   , :. : : ; : : '7:::.. Who are the members of the Council of Priests? lather: David Nunning is chairman of the council of Father Joseph Ziliak is vice-chairman, and Father secretary. include Msgr. Kenneth Knapp, Msgr. Charles and Fathers Henry Kuykendall, James Koressel, John William Dietsch, James Endress and David Fleck, Benedictine Father Gregory Chamberlin. Gerald A. Gettelfinger is president of the council. Purdue Research Item important do you think the following factor is in ex- why there are poor people? Prejudice and discrim- against Blacks and other minorities. Diocese Statewide important 16% 19% important 24% 23% important 35% 34% very important 16% 17% important at all 09% 08% Marriage and Family, and William S. Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., chairman of the U.S. Catholic Conference Committee on Domestic Policy. The U.S. House of Represen- tatives overwhelmingly approved a bill July 12 that would define marriage for federal purposes as a "legal union between one man and one woman." It was await- ing consideration in the Senate when the bishops prepared their statement. Called the Defense of Mar- riage Act, the bill would bar partners in same-sex unions from receiving federal benefits that are available to spouses be- cause of their marital status, such as spousal Social Security benefits. Prompting the proposed fed- eral legislation wererampaigns in several states to give same- sex unions the same legal status as marriages, and especially a case before the Hawaii Supreme Court asking it to strike down that state's law against same-sex marriages. The bill does not ban gay mar- riages or forbid states from per- mitting them, but it says states are not required to recognize same-sex marriages performed in another state. As of July 23 legislatures in 15 states had voted not to recognize any same-sex marriage per- formed in other states, said Tony Hain, field organizer for the Human Rights Campaign, which gay and lesbian political organi- zation. Hain, said such legislation had been rejected, vetoed or killed in 18 other states and was pending in three states -- Cali- fornia, New Jersey and Pennsyl- vania. The bishops' statement said that the "lifelong union between one man and one woman, joined as husband and wife in an inti- mate partnership of life and love ... was established by God with its own proper laws." "Furthermore," they said, "we believe the natural institution of marriage has been blessed and elevated by Christ to the dignity of a sacrament." They said the legal status of marriage deserves protection and promotion by society and government "because the mari- tal relationship offers benefits, unlike any other, to persons, to society and to the church." "The principled defense of marriage is an urgent necessity for the well-being 6fchildren and families and for the common good of society," they said. "Our opposition to 'same-sex marriage' is not an instance of unjust discrimination or ani- mosity toward homosexual per- sons," they added. "In fact, the Catholic Church teaches em- phatically that individuals and society must respect the basic human dignity of all persona, in- cluding those with a homosexual orientation. Homosexual persons calls,itself the largest national have a fight to and deserve our respect, compassion, under- standing and defense against bigotry, attacks and abuse." The Canadian bishops have spoken out against proposals in their country to give same-sex unions the legal status of mar- riage. Pope John Paul II has also condemned such efforts. When the European Parlia- ment passed a resolution in 1994 urging member nations to give homosexual couples the same See SAME.SEX page 5