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August 5, 1994     The Message
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The Message m for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana August ! --- Perspective-- Consistent stand: Choose life A speaker at the conference made passing reference to "the hor- rible thing" which had happened in Florida -- which many of us had not heard about. The event was the murder of two people outside an abortion clinic. My wife and I, representing the Christian Family Movement, were attending the annual confer- ence of the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers at the University of Dayton, in Day- ton, Ohio. For a few days, we were away from televisions and newspa- pers, out of touch with the daily news. The speaker was John L. Carr, secretary for Social Development and World Peace, with the United States Catholic Conference. His speech was part of a series of speeches presented in a sympo- sium sponsored by th e University of Dayton. His passing remark led to a pointed observa- By PAUL R. LEINGANG EDITOR tion, bringing into focus not only the horror of the event, but the ab- surdity of the situation. Conference participants wanted to know what had hap- pened in Florida, and Carr summed up the news events quickly. He told how a man had been arrested for killing two people outside the abortion clinic in Pen- sacola, and how the man had said he believed that killing was justi- fied in order to stop abortions. Prosecutors planned to seek the death penalty for the killer, accord- ing to news reports. So the situation came down to this, Carr said, that a man who killed to try to stop others from killing might himself be killed by the state in order to send a message that killing was wrong. There would be humor in such a message if it were not in itself so horrible. And wrong at every level, according to much of Catholic teaching. Church teaching is clear about abortion, the killing of unborn children. Taking a life is not fled, not moral, not an answer to a convenience. Church teaching is also clear about all murder. Even a good outcome does not justify action. Taking a life is not justified, not moral, notan answer to a problem or an inconvenience ................ Church teaching may not be yet as clear abou, t capital punishment, the taking of a life as ment for a crime. Within the range of Catlolic teac h ing, capital punishment has been justified b] but it is found unacceptable by many others who ro-: spect life from conception until natural death. : :: The desire for revenge is human, but to my way of thinking, killing must 1 be the answer to a problem or an inconvenience. may it be justified as a deterrent to crime. The of a convicted criminal is not an send a message that killing is wrong. It is my belief, that for the guilty as well as innocent, the Christian must always choose life and, as Jesus did, to pray for those who ...__ Vatican Cairo clash: Vatican sees overemphasis on population limits By CINDY WOODEN Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican's effort to influ- ence the U.N.'s International Conference on Population and Development isn't just about abortion and contraception. It's also about development. In much of the debate about the conference to be held in Cairo, Egypt, as well as in the bulk of the conference working document, "the development part of the equation has been pushed aside," said a Vatican official. The experience of many Latin American, Asian and Eu- ropean countries has shown that as their economy develops and the education and health of all their citizens improve, population growth slows. "But Cairo is looking for a shortcut to population stabi- lization through abortion and contraceptives," the Vatican of- ficial said. In addition to what the Vati- can sees as the moral errors of that shortcut, it questions the human impact of the approach and its long-term effectiveness for real development in poor countries. "Population policies should be part of overall policies of I I II I I I The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47720-0169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansvt#e tshe..: ..........  CakJ A. Ge;nger Edor ............................................ Paul Leingang Produgln Manager .......................... Phil Booer ..................................  Housman Ners0 .................................... P Ne.tand Sta  ............................ Mary Ann Hughes Address all communicatns to PD. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0160 Subscription rate: $15.00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2rid class matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701. Pubfica- lion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Publication  t 994 Ca Press of Evansvil i i i u socio-economic development, and not a substitute for them," said the Vatican's official re- sponse to the last U.N. popula- tion conference, held in Mexico City in 1984. "All development worthy of the name must be integral, that is, it must be directed to the true good of every person and of the whole person," Pope John Paul told the secretary general of the Cairo conference during a meeting in March. "Men and women must be active agents of their own de- velopment, for to treat them as mere objects in some scheme or plan would be to stifle that ca- pacity for freedom and respon- sibility which is fundamental to the good of the human per- son," he said. True development, according to Catholic social teaching, re- quires that individuals be given access to the tools and opportunities which would allow them to improve their own situations, that of their families and their countries in ways consistent with their reli- gious and moral values. The demographic profile of a country is an important part of its development picture, the Vatican position says, but it cannot be separated from other factors such as natural re- sources, health care, education and the presence of profession- als who can make prudent use of national resources, relations with other nations and access to international markets, a sta- ble government system and a fair distribution of wealth. The Cairo document over- simplifies development to place population growth at the cen- ter of the world's problems," the Vatican official said. "Education is a key element especially the education of women and giving them deci- sion-making positions in soci- ety and more economic secu- rity," he said. Maternal and early child- hood health are also key. Once couples no longer have to wonder about how many of their children will survive into adulthood and worry about who will care for them in their old-age, they naturally tend to have fewer children, he said. The aim of development can- not simply be to help people ac- cumulate more wealth or have access to more goods and ser- vices, the pope told Nafis Sadik, the secretary general of the U.N. conference. "Development programs must be built on justice and equality, enabling people to live in dignity, harmony and peace," he said. The key to that dignity, he wrote in his 1991 encyclical "Centesimus Annus," is a guar- antee of human rights includ- Opposes universal health care To the editor: I am disheartened by the ac- tion of the U.S. Bishops' back- ing a universal health care cov- erage for all Americans, not withstanding the abortion issue which the bishops rightly oppose. I believe that we as a responsible Christian organi- zation should oppose any such notion that gives the govern- ment control over our health care and that of one-seventh of this nations GNP. The idea of universal health care is pure socialism. The Catholic Church should be denouncing this no- tion as an encroachment of personal responsibility. We should be promoting free mar- ket competition. We as a car- ing community should be try- ing to offer a group plan to those members of our commu- nity. - We should be asking our government for tort reform so our doctors could donate their time without fear of being sued. We should be asking for our government for "tax relief" so our small business can get the same tax benefits as larger corporations. ing: the right to life, to grow up within a united family, to de- velop one's intelligence, to work and to freely establish a family. One of the Vatican's con- cerns about the proposals in the Cairo document for in- creasing the availability of con- traceptives is that other essen- tial development programs programs which are not morally objectionable to any- one -- may be cut to finance population control efforts. Many of those programs, es- pecially health and education efforts, are coordinated by the Catholic Church or development agencies. "The church has a terest . . . in seeing enormous cent health care and tors not be corn Msgr. Diarmuid Martin;i! tary of the for Justice and African synod in April. : But its deeper said, is "a concern fense of thentic values of the v cultures and for Christian heritage." There are many more solu- tions out there that use free market competition that will bring down health care cost faster and more efficient than the government could ever do. Let's not forget who gave us Medicare and Medicaid. The cost was only going to be $8 billion in 1991. Actual cost was closer to $90 billion. /. We as a caring community should look within for sugges- tions and solutions on how to handle problems like health care. We as followers of Jesus should look for solutions that rely on personal responsibili- ties not on relinq socialist agenda. I believe that ton wants to bring under government would start us on a road t recoverable damage country, just like great society of LBJ. The problem of coverage can be but it should be and with responsible tion, not le calendar. " -:, 6 :: See LETTEIIS t''av ::: Bishop's schedU The following activities and events are listed on the i : 'J schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger. at e:30