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August 26, 1994     The Message
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August 26, 1994
 

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5 lust 26, 1994 The Message -- for Cathollcs of Southwestern Indiana -- Bishop's Forum -- The communion of saints The summer of 1994 has been a difficult one for us here in the Diocese of Evansville. If we could have done anything about it, things would have been different. On the other hand, we must be grateful that such decisions are not ours to make. There has been much sadness and many tears. There are healing and sustaining memories of those who have left us. Nonetheless their leaving so suddenly and without notice has left us stunned. Many of us are be numbed by the shock of news, Much like deep anesthesia, it will take time for our sadness to wear off. It is no secret that Bishop Shea's death has compounded our sadness which I am sure would have embarassed him. Bishop Shea lived and preached throughout his life; in his leaving us, he ByBISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER continues to teach. Although his towering presence will be absent from our midst, the hope with which he lived his life will abide in this Church he so loved and served. Always filled with hope, he lived simply and gatefully. Bishop Shea was a faithful shepherd and was unafraid to con- front the challenges of turbulent years within the Church. Standing very tall in the midst of the Church, he gave courage to the timid and consolation to the down- hearted. His compassion was most evident and felt by priests who were struggling in their commitments to priestly life. His greatest pains came when he felt he had failed one of his priests. Death is inevitable. None will escape. Bishop Shea was certainly prepared for it, however, even. he would have changed the timing. His prayers for a happy and peaceful death were answered. He and I had often talked about life and death in the hours we spent going to and from our annual bishops' retreat in Chicago. It is fitting that our retreat this year begins with his funeral with so many of the bishops from our retreat pre- sent. In reciting the Apostles' Creed we profess our faith in the Communion of Saints. The deaths of our loved ones serve as a reminder that there is an unbreakable bond each of us shares with Christ. Whether living or dead we remain in union with each other. Indeed we will miss all of those whom we have lost this summer. We rejoice nonetheless in the knowledge that Jesus, the Good Shepherd, has bonded us to Himself and each other with an unbreakable bond that death itself cannot destroy! id td not /' she send atlse, par- what Despite dangers, Pope wants to visit Sarajevo celebrating an outdoor Mass during a brief vacation. The spokesman's reiteration of the pope's strong wish to make the trip came after Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and Serbian Orthodox Metropolitan Jovan said the pope risks death if he goes to Sarajevo. Karadzic said Serbs oppose the trip because the pope's safety cannot be guaranteed. Serbian Orthodox Metropoli- tan Jovan told Italian televi- sion Aug. 21 that "the risk is great" to the pope. "The threats to the pope should be taken seriously," he said. "An accident could represent a nightmare," he said, men- tioning several recent bomb- ings of public places that caused numerous deaths. A Italy (CNS) -- John Paul II is firm in his to visit the Serb-be- Bosnian capital of Sara- re despite warnings from Serb and Serbian Or- i0dox leaders that his life uld be in danger. i'The desire of the pope to sit Sarajevo is irrevocable," id papal spokesman, Joaquin tvarro-Valls. The main threat would come from the Muslim-led Bosnian troops who would try to blame the Serbs for the attack, he said. "The Muslims can shoot him down and abuse the Serbs. That would be terrible for the i The Vatican is weighing the l hation and is awaiting a de- 'ion by U.N. military com- tnders whether a plane car- hg the pope on Sept. 8 will able to safely land and take iseveral hours later, he said. Navarre-Vails spoke Aug. 21 tentative Vatican schedule of papal events lists a Mass at a sports stadium. "The .Serbian Orthodox Church is not opposed to his trip," said Metropolitan Jovan, head of Serbian Orthodox in Croatia, Slovenia and Italy. after- !the northern Italian alpine Catholic world," added But if the pope's visit is to be 'of Cogne while the pope was Iradzic. ;in to "a mission of peace," the pope rents J/atican denies reports about , par-i 0 pe s deteriorating health IES COMBES, Italy (CNS) The Vatican denied reports The Italian bishop who was with the pope on the altar in the Aosta Valley said the pope later confided that he had forgotten about his recovery and placed too much weight on the leg. "It's true there was a diffi- cult moment. I noticed because I was next to him, and he placed his full weight on me for support," said Bishop Ovidio Lari of Aosta. The two later joked about it, with the pope explaining that he normally steps forward with his stronger left leg but simply for- got this time, Bishop Lari said. "You got off on the wrong foot. It can happen to anyone, even a pope," the bishop replied. Bishop Lari said that "on a physical level, the pope is fine;- he just has some difficulty walking." Navarro-Valls said episodes of discomfort were normal for someone who had had partial reconstruction of the thigh bone a few months earlier. He noted that the pope's personal Being ve so yoU. t Pope John Paul Irs health other  deteriorating and said the ople, Year-old pontiff was taking ;very ntain walks and preparing thole najor events this fall. Phe pope, on vacation in rthern Italy for 10 days, ap- ed to some observers to be l and in discomfort during iOutdoor Mass Aug. 21. He m pain at one moment stepped down from altar. papal spokesman Navarro-Valls told re- the following day that ! pope's general condition He said the pope's broken in a fall last was healed. reading newspaper ac- of suspected ill health, jokingly suggested spokesman ask the "if any of them have grimaced in pain," said. le pope strolled for an mlf in the moun- 22, using a cane for the spokesman said. doctors performed re- surgery to repair bone. The pope's re- has been described as 1, but his movement has since then. physician did not accompany the pontiff to northern Italy, and that the papal apartment at the mountain retreat had not been moved to a lower floor to eliminate stairs. The spokesman said the pope was spending much of his annual vacation reading and preparing for several key events beginning in Septem- ber: his visit to former Yu- goslavia; the meeting with families from around the world; the synod on religious life; the trip to the United Na- tions and three U.S. cities in October; and the trip to the Far East for World Youth Day next January. In the months following the pope's operation, the Vatican has several times issued state- ments denying papal ill health. In July, the Vatican press of- fice and the pope's surgeon dis- missed speculation that the pope may have been suffering from bone cancer. must condemn all those re- sponsible for crimes committed during this war," he said. Serbian political and reli- gious leaders often have said that the Vatican supports the mostly Catholic Croats in the fighting in the former Yu- goslavia. In Bosnia, Crests are in a loose alliance with the Muslim-led government. Meanwhile, Navarre-Vails said that the pope is studying Serbo-Croat, the language spo- ken in Bosnia, during his Alpine vacation. "It will not be the pope's leg that prevents him from visit- ing the Bosnian capital," Navarre-Vails said, referring to the pope's recent operation to repair a broken thigh bone. While the pope was on vaca- tion, the Vatican listed a pre- liminary schedule for the pope's Sarajevo trip. Plans call for the pope to cel- ebrate Mass in a sports sta- dium and meet the Catholic bishops and other religious leaders. The Aug. 19 Vatican sched- ule also lists a meeting with President Alija Izetbegovic, head of the Muslim-led govern- ment of Bosnia-Herzegovina. According to the schedule, the pope would arrive by air- plane from Rome at 10:30 a.m. and leave for Rome at 7 p.m. Vatican trip organizers said that the basic decision to open or close the Sarajevo airport to the papal flight will be made by U.N. commanders, since the airport is in a U.N.-controUed zone. A decision may not be made until the night before the trip, said papal organizers. Once the pope leaves the air- port, security would be the joint responsibility of U.N. troops and the Bosnian govern- ment, they said. Security for the pope, the people accompanying him and the people attending his public events is also a key worry of local organizers, said Auxiliary Bishop Pero Sudar of Sarsvo. The bishops said the Serbs would le the main threat. The pope's safety hinges on a security agreement between U.N. commanders and Bosnian Serb leaders, he said. Bosnian Serb leaders "can say 'no' and it would be a deci- sive 'no," he said in an Aug. 19 interview in the Italian Catholic newspaper, Awenire. Without Serb approval "not even a plane with humanitar- ian aid can land in our air- port," he said. Bishop Sudar said that U.N. commanders "are not in a posi- tion to guarantee anything" and are trying to set up talks with Serb leaders, who fear their enemies "want to at- tribute a partisan political sig- nificance" to the papal trip. The pope's intentions are "spiritual and ecumenical" and Serbs living in Sarajevo "are not against the visit," he said. The papal trip is supported by Muslim leaders, and the city's two Serbian Orthodox priests are "surely in agree- ment on the important spiri- tual significance of the visit," Bishop Sudar said. "There is joy and enthusi- asm among Catholics," and .he majority of the population prays so that the miracle will happen," he said. If the pope comes, he will see a city'which looks like a con- centration camp," he said. Planning for the papal trip involves finding a church or another place where several thousand people can gather and "are not exposed to the danger of an attacker," he said. A plaza or an open field would be "too risky," he said. We must avoid any tempta- tion for sniper fanatics," he added. The bishop said that a maxi. mum of 6,000 people could at- tend a papal event given u. rity problems. I I I I I I I "Funel Pre.Planning 1' .......... 4249274 I