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August 27, 1993     The Message
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August 27, 1993
 

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e 4 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana August 27, -- Perspective-- - Delegates bring variety of hopes for Synod "This will be the one and only synod I will be able to par- ticipate [in] to help shape our diocese for many years," wrote Emil Altmeyer, a member of Good Shepherd Church, Evans- ville. From A to Z m Altmeyer to Ziliak -- respondents answered the question, "Why do you want to be a delegate to the 1993 Synod?" More of the answers will be published next week. In next week's issue you will also find some of the thinking of people who answered a question about their hopes for the synod. Following are some samples of delegates responses. "I want to express the desperate need for adult education of our beautiful teachings of our Catholic Faith," wrote Mary Ellen Ziliak, a dele- gate from St. James Church near Haubstadt. "God has given us a tremendous gift and so few of us appreciate its value, especially the Eucharist and Mass," she continued. William Baer, a delegate from the Pro-Cathe- dral of the Most Holy Trinity, wrote, "I was cho- sen by our pastor to express the various concerns of the parishioners of Holy Trinity -- especially relating to Catholic education and liturgical practices." Sister for Christian Community Darlene Boyd, By PAUL R. LEINGANG EDITOR from St. Mary Church, Evansville, said she wanted to be a delegate "because as a woman church leader I feel I have much to con- tribute." She continued, "I am very interested in the future of our church and want us to pray and listen to how the Spirit is chal- lenging us to be a vibrant church in southwestern Indiana. I am also interested in how we can help those who have been hurt by the church and who feel disconnected from it." James Brames, from St. An- thony Church, St. Anthony, wanted to be a delegate "because I believe I represent the views of the average parishioner." Jenny Butler, from SL Peter Celestine Church in Celestine, noted that being a delegate is "an opportunity for personal and spiritual growth" She also noted that she had "an inter- est in issues concerning the youth of the diocese." "I believe God is preparing the church to do great things in the 90s and fulfill his pur- pose in southern Indiana and I'd like to be part of it," said Cherie Davis, a delegate from St. Peter Church, Linton. Dr. Honesto Fenol, from Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Petersburg, said he wanted "to con- tribute my time and talents to the shaping of the future of the Catholic Church in southwest- ern Indiana." "I think it is important that the leaders of our church know what issues lay persons feel are most important, and which of those need the most attention," said Daniel Harpenau. He added, "I am honored to represent the parish- ioners of St. Clement, Boonville." A delegate who calls herself Grandma Giggs Hoehn, from Holy Angels Church, New Har- mony, wants "to be a positive delegate" and "to communicate to our religious and laity alike, that while we are all sinners, God does love us and there is hope." She concluded, "First the cross and then the crown." Larry Hurm, from St. Bernard Church, Rock- port, said he would "rather be part of the solu- tion than the problem." "I want to protect my church," said David Marx of St. Joseph Church, Princetori. "To get more involved in my parish and de- cisions being made by the diocese since I myself have three small children that these decisions will have an effect on," wrote Kimberly Stinebaugh, of St. Philip Neri Church, Bicknell. From just a smattering of the thoughts of del- egates, we should easily conclude that the future of our church is in good hands. The diversity of reasons for wanting to be a delegate promises to bring about an exciting interchange of ideas at Synod '93. Washington Letter Popes, presidents realize getting the message out isn't easy By MARK PATTISON Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) When Pope John Paul II and President Clinton met in Den- ver Aug. 12, "we shared many values and perspec- tives," Clinton said in formal remarks afterward. Clinton revealed a number of items they talked about, but one characteristic they both share that wasn't on the president's short list was the demanding job of getting their message across to their respective constituencies. The pope faces reluctance and recalcitrance among some of the laity on such matters as abortion, birth con- trol, women's ordination and a married priesthood. Clinton's stands on taxes, the budget, the federal deficit and health care reform have been met with resistance if not hostility in Congress and large segments of the Ameri- can public. 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 Evansville Edt ........................................... Pa taang M=wer ........................... PSo Cwcon .................................. ,ny ................................... Paul daml Stafff  .......................... Mary Ann Hughes Address all comrtcmications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $12.00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd class matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701. Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of PublCatton Copyrg I3 Cm'x Press d  i iii iii i It's not something past popes and presidents haven't faced before. Rare is the pres- ident who won with more than 55 percent of the vote, considered a landslide in po- litical circles. And popes through the centuries have had to battle against heresies, defectors and antipopes. Yet the thorny problem persists. And the parallels, while at- tractive, don't work their way through every situation. For one thing, the presi- dent, as the head of a democ- racy, presides over a "free ex- change, coalition building, 50 percent plus one," noted James Castelli, co-author with George Gallup Jr. of "The American Catholic People" and "The People's Religion." "The pope does not claim that the church is a democ- racy. That's a very big differ- ence in the way you argue with people. If you do it from the basis of authority, it doesn't work for many people as a claim," Castelli said. It must also be noted that popes have the luxury of time to instill churchteachings, while presidents must think in terms of, well, terms  the two-year and four-year kind. But that is no reason for complacency, according to Catholic University of Amer- ica theology professor Peter Casarella. "The church cannot portray or have a certain smugness just because it's survived for 2,000 years," Casarella said. "It must test its teaching in every generation"  a very different kind of testing the waters than in politics. Castelli said that with polls showing many Catholics dis- agreeing with church teach- ing on moral issues, "do you need to re-examine the mes- sage? .... If 80 percent of Catholics reject the t:hurch's teaching on birth control, then ... what do you do with that fact? How do you re- spond to it?" Similarly, Clinton, though elected with only a plurality, "had a mandate for health care reform," Castelli said. Still, when you have "73 specifics or 730 specifics on health care (reform), you couldn't possibly have a man- date on that level of detail." Clinton faltered in his mes- sage on the tax and budget package, said Frank Mankiewicz, vice chairman of the Hill and Knowlton public relations firm, when he "let the Republicans get away with saying it was the biggest tax increase in his- tory." To reverse that impression, Mankiewicz said, Clinton will have to tell Americans to "look at their taxes on April 15th when they see they're not paying any more taxes than they were the year be- fore." Clinton is doing well in getting his message out to fel- low Democrats, Mankiewicz said, but "he's not getting it across well to other con- stituencies." The budget vote was as close as it was because "all of the Republicans with- out exception and 10 percent of the Democrats were against him." "The challenge the Clinton administration has is truly a pragmatic and political prob- lem," Casarella said, while oversimplifying the church is "one of the greatest causes of misunderstanding of what the church is." Evan Zeppos, president of Zeppos Remsik Mueller, a Milwaukee- based public re- lations firm, said that Ameri- can distrust of Richard Nixon's presidency spilled over into other institutions, the Catholic Church in- cluded. But, he added, "I don't think you'll ever see that (de- gree af loss of respect Nixon encountered) in the papacy." Zeppos said Pope John Paul is "overwhelmingly" popular despite opposition to certain church teachings. The pope as symbol is crucial, he added: "Symbolism is one of the most important ways to communicate with people." Pictures humanizing the pope made the front page of newspapers nationwide. ' Be is the pope, he is the hierar- chy, but yes, the pope likes to hike, he likes to read a book, he gets tired, he likes to sit down," Zeppos said. And while Clinton has an "incredible power to inflU" ence and shape the public agenda," he added,' when you saw the photos of the pope and the president to" gether, it was the president who came in second." Bishop's schedule The following activities and events are listed on the schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger. .... !i 4 :J