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August 19, 1994     The Message
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August 19, 1994

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19, 1994 The Message --for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 --- Bishop's Forum- Reflecting on the Feast of the Assumption Today (August 15), we honor Mary. We be- lieve that following her death she into heaven, body and oul. We recall that it was her free- dom from sin from her conception which made possible Jesus' death 0n the cross. Because she did not have to suffer the effects of sin, namely the decaying of the body after death, she is in heaven body soul. Our Blessed Mother Mary said her song of praise that genera- tions to come would call her and indeed we do. And, that is most fitting and proper. The highest of esteem with which we honor is confusing to others not of our faith. They Sometimes mistake our filial piety and popular de- as adoration or worship. This confusion has been compounded in re- ByBISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER cent years with reports of visions, messages and miraculous interven- tions attributed to our Blessed Mother. For those of our faith, such reports may be a curiosity to some, but an obsession to others. The new Catechism of the Catholic Church is very clear about how we are to revere Our Blessed Mother and the exalted place she holds with respect to our redemp- tion. It also points out the meaning of popular piety and devotions among the faithful. I am anxious that some, even in their goodness and devotion to our Blessed Mother, may have lost balance in plac- ing popular devotion ahead of the sacred liturgy. For this reason following is paragraph 1675 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: ... expressions of piety extend the liturgical life of the Church, but do not replace it. They "hould be so drawn up that they harmonize with the liturgical seasons, accord with the sacred liturgy, are in some way derived from it and lead people to it, since in fact the liturgy by its very na- ture is far superior to any of them." I certainly encourage the renewal of filial de- votion to our Blessed Mother. The recitation of the Rosary with meditation on the mysteries of our faith is a most wholesome and rich devotion. How- ever, we should keep before us the words of Jesus to John the Baptist when asked if he was the one to come or should we watch for another for it is Jesus who must remain the center of our lives. "Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind regain their sight again, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, te dead are raised, the poor have the good news pro- claimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me." U.S. church law changed to ease laicization for sex abuse By JERRY FILTEAU Catholic News Service NGTON (CNS) -- John Paul II has ap- two U,S. modifications law to make it easier to impose penalties, laicization, on clerics guilty of sexual abuse of page 4 Pope John Paul has given ll speeches, homilies and on those trips. all together, he has 417 days, 21 hours and traveling abroad or 'the first 15 years pontificate, according to compiled by Jesuit Rynkiewicz. almost 540,000 miles the has traveled in his foreign rs, Father Rynkiewicz out, would be equal to ling the Earth along the times, or going to the a minor. Laicization, or returning an ordained person to the lay state, involves loss of all cleri- cal rights and privileges. As modified, U.S. church law now says: The penalties for clerical sexual abuse of a minor apply up to the age of 18. moon and back -- and still hav- ing some miles to spare. It's clear the 74-year-old pope does not intend to make staying at home a habit. First there is the September trip to Croatia and possibly Bosnia-Herzegovina, and an Oct. 20-23 trip to the United States. Then, Vatican Radio re- ported Aug. 9, bishops' confer- ences in the Pacific have an- nounced that Pope John Paul will make a Jan. 12-21 trip to the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Australia and Sri Lanka. -- The statute of limitations for prosecuting such a crime is extended until the victim's 28th birthday -- or until a year after the crime is reported if the first report is made after the victim's 27th birthday. The changes, resulting from requests by the U.S. bishops to Rome last November, took ef- fect April 25. The bishops' Of- fice for Media Relations an- nounced the changes Aug. 12. They will remain in effect fbr five years but can be reviewed for possible renewal at that time. A transitional statute of lim- itations, affecting any crimes against a minor committed be- fore April 25, extends the statute of limitations for prose- cution to the victim's 23rd birthday instead of the 28th birthday. The bishops had sought the changes to make ecclesiastical law governing clerical sexual offenses against minors more compatible with U.S. civil law. They were concerned about cases where a priest could be tried and convicted by the state for a sex crime against a minor, but no church penalties could be applied. Where general church law sets out the penalties for a priest or deacon who commits a sexual offense with a minor, it defines a minor as someone who has not yet turned 16. Since most state sex abuse laws in the United States de- fine a minor as anyone under 18, the bishops had asked Rome to apply the same age to ecclesiastical law in the United States. Many U.S. states have modi- fications in their statutes of limitation for cases of sexual abuse of a minor in order to take account of the many psy- chological and emotional condi- tions that may prevent a child from coming forward to report an abuser until many years later. ile the state laws are not uniform, many make some pro- vision to start the limitation clock ticking only after a child- hood abuse victim first reports the crime -- often many years after the event. The church's general law says prosecution for most ec- clesiastical crimes cannot begin more than three years after the last offense. It raises the limit to five years for cer- tain crimes including clerical sexual offenses against minors. The U.S. modification basi- cally delays the start of the limitation clock until the vic- tim reaches the age of 18. From that age, the statute of limitations will run 10 years for any new crimes. The transi- tional norm sets five years after the victim  reaches 18 for any such crimes already com- mitted prior to April 25, 1994. The U.S. bishops had also asked the pope to make the re- gional or metropolitan church court the required court of ap- peals if a laicized priest wanted to appeal the laiciza- tion order. The pope did not ac- cept that request. Father Trosch's comments should be ignored By LARRY WAHL Catholic News Service Ala. (CNS) -- Ex- g Father David would not change his or his teaching and could to fuel further publicity controversial priest who the killing of abor- b doctors, said Archbishop H, Lipscomb of Mobile. am not out to wreak him. I'm out to il- correct teaching and ender it," he told re- during an Aug. 9 press in Mobile. Trosch is a friend of who was charged in 29 murders of Dr. Britton and his escort, !es H. Barrett, at The es Center, an abortion in Pensacola, Fla. The is also on a list ion militants who a declaration say- the killing of abortion- justifiable homicide." te priest had been sus- pended from all priestly min- istry since last August, when he first argued publicly that church teaching permits the killing of abortionists. He is no longer in good standing and is currently listed as absent with- out leave. In interviews since the Pen- sacola killings, Father Trosch reiterated his position and said Hill deserved a medal for his actions. He also reportedly pre- dicted "the beginning of mas- sive killing of abortionists and their staffs" in a circular letter he sent out a week before the killings, but he denied in inter- views that there was any con- spiracy to commit violence. When Archbishop Lipscomb was asked if he would charac- terize Father Trosch's state- ments as paranoid, the arch- bishop replied, =I'm not a psychiatrist." But he went on to say that the priest's comments =betray a terrifying use of logic without the refinements and nuances that result in wisdom. He has a lot of knowledge, but it does not add up to wisdom." The archbishop said he re- sented the way the media ex- ploited Father Trosch's priest- hood and represented him as a "priest in good standing." "I think that if he is ignored, quite honestly, he will have less influence than he has al- ready been given by the (media's) highlighting of his ideas, his appearances on talk shows, etc.," he added. The archbishop mentioned an interview that appeared in the Aug. 6 issue of the Mobile Press Register where Father Trosch called himself'a "full- fledged Catholic priest, with- out assignm.ent, without remu- neration" and who had not received any formal action of the church against him. Archbishop Lipscomb re- sponded to the article by say- ing, "The expression 'full- fledged' has no canonical or even clear meaning with re- spect to a priest's status. Trosch's ordination is not in question. His ability to func- tion as a priest has been re- moved by the withdrawal of the faculties of the Archdiocese of Mobile." He also said that the priest's assertion that "silence from Rome" somehow means ap- proval is "utterly gratuitous." "There has been no indica- tion from any authentic source of magisterial teaching that the view proposed of justifiable homicide is sound moral teach- ing," he added. "Similarly, the use of iso- lated texts from sacred Scrip- ture that so characterize Trosch's writings are entirely out of context and foreign to the explanation for God's word as offered by the church as teacher," he said. i i1[ i ] it j AUTO TOPS. SEAT COVERS. 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