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August 30, 1996     The Message
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August 30, 1996

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af a win du- Fa- lser, o August 30, 1996 d 4 ink be' s of verl full -- Bishop's Forum--- The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana I I Summer vacations are over with gratitude It seems that annually I am confronted with the reflective question: "Where has the summer gone?" And, like it or not, I am re- minded that we, in our country, are so tied to the agrarian school system that it governs our lives. It seems impossible to break out of it despite the fact that for decades now, youngsters are not essential to successful farm operations. To illustrate what I mean, note the heated debate about "year-round" schooling. I don't know whether it is good or bad, but summer vacation periods do cause some upset in my own personal need for a structured life. Your experience may be totally different. Let me explain why I am grateful about resuming a calendar of routines that the school-year offers. It involves the "d" word: disci- pline. In any case, the first question gives rise to oth- ers. "How was my summer?" "Before God, am I bet- ter or worse because of it?" The beginning of another school year is an oc-. casion for us to assess our practice of daily prayer both individually and as families. It is not uncom- mon for us to slip into the unhappy practice of tak- ing vacation from daily prayer too. I need to exer- cise personal discipline to be faithful to it. Happily my life spans six decades plus one Letters By BISHOP GERALD A GETTELFINGER year. My need for a daily routine is greatly influenced by the fact that I was disciplined to follow a schedule not of my own making -- but which I accepted both obediently and will- ingly. Daily prayer was always cen- tral to those routines. Somehow early rising was closely allied to it. Farm life required early rising. The cows did not wait to be milked nor the other animals to be tended. The chores had to be done before breakfast. Only then did we board the bus to school. Prayer was al- ways included. Morning prayer at home was said around the break- fast table including the prayer before meals, the Hail Mary and the Morning Offering. We attended Holy Mass on Sundays and First Fridays of each month. We prayed the Rosary every evening during the months of October and May. Night prayer was a personal responsibility. Seminary life required early rising. The morn- ing bell (and the disciplinarian) prevented anyone from missing morning prayer and Holy Mass. Many times throughout the day we were called to commu- nal prayer and had ample opportunity for visits to chapel and were encouraged often to engage in meditation and other personal prayer. It was a structured environment and prayer was built into it. Priestly ministry required early rising. As the young assistant at St. Matthew Church in Indi- anapolis, I inherited the early morning "Commu- nion duty" followed by the celebration of Holy Mass. Later, at Chatard High School both as teacher and principal, following early Mass for the Sisters of Providence and the boarding students at Ladywood Convent, I was off to school and its highly struc- tured environment. Is it any wonder that getting out of bed early is "normal" for me? Or that sleeping late is an unreal- ized dream? Even when I have the chance to sleep a little later, wakefulness prevails. I have to face the fact that most times I must settle for remaining awake "at rest." The ease of practicing daily prayer did not follow the same pattern for me. I have to ex- ercise discipline every day to be faithful to it. When my daily routine changes for any reason, I am slower about adjusting. I find it increasingly harder. What suffers the most at those times is my "prayer" life. I find it most difficult to maintain my equilibrium in prayer when I am traveling, whether it be to meetings or on vacation. These breaks in routine are intermittent and occasional, but the structure of the days is different. Your experiences may be very different. I know that God does not need my prayer, I do. I also know that I have to work hard at being faithful to daily contact with God through prayer. Next week I will offer some further considera- tions on the daily practice of family and personal prayer as we take advantage of the beginning of the school year to assess the past. 5 Reader wants politicians to be honest, take a 'real' stand teaches is that not only is abor- ter,nables society to deal with tion wrong; it is wrong because the "real" issues of caring for our it is killing a life. Then the con- children and working to end the clusion I draw from Mr. Wein- so-called need for abortion. He zapfel's letter is that he does not implies that if abortion were to believe abortion is killing a life, become illegal again, that these therefore, whether or not it is il- issues would then go away or go Church on abortion. He also im- legal is irrelevant. "underground" as they were be- Plies that whether or not abor- Mr. Weinzapfel points out fore abortion became legal. tion is legal is not the "real" that since abortion became legal Twenty plus years ago there ]issue. My understanding of in Roe vs. Wade it brought the were people who had never What 'the Catholic Church issue to the forefront which bet- heard of abortion and did not re- I On abortion Continued from page 4 To the Editor: This letter is in response to the recent letter from Jonathan Weinzapfel. Mr. Weinzapfel States that he believes in the teachings of the Catholic cerned about issues related to human life. Nothing could be far- ther from the truth! According to the National Right to Life News, Congress- man Hostettler voted pro-life on several issues. Mr. Hostettler voted to keep abortion off mili- tary bases. Mr. Hostettler voted against federal funding of de- struction of living human em- "bryos. Mr. Hostettler co-spon- sored the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act that makes it a federal crime to perform a partial-birth abortion. Mr. Hostettler voted to. nullify ormake invalid Clinton Admiziistration directives and court decisions that have forced states to liberalize flaeir abortion- To the editor:. In response to Jonathan Wein- Zapfel's letter in which he ex- Plained his position on abbrtion, I Vould like to come to the defense I 0fCongressman John Hostetler. Ir. Weinzapfel stated that as a human being wlet alone a polit- ical candidate -- I am simply not Vdlling to allow others to define e or my positions on important ISSues.' Yet in his last paragraph, he believes it is okay to define Mr. I'I0stettler's positions. Mr. Wein-,so states that Mr. ! I'Iostettler s votes undermine the ilOssibility to build a better life for everyone. He also implied that Mr.. Hostettler isn't con- carmelite priest enters guiRy ]Plea. to mail pornography charge Following is a statement from We learned last spring that a federal investigation was being conducted. In accordance with our written formal policy regard. ing accusations of misconduct, Father Ciganovich was placed Me Ve'ry Rev. Leo' McCarthy, Vrior Provincial of the Order of Oarrnelites, Darien, Ill. The state. ent was released Aug. 22. funding policies under Medicaid. I received a letter from Mr. Hostettler regarding his stand on abortion. I hope he doesn't mind if I quote him saying, "I believe that the practice of abortion ter- minates an innocent human being's life. Please be assured that I will continue to work hard to hasten the elimination of abor- tion-on-demand. We must begin again to instill in our people the principle that life is sacred." I believe a constitutional amendment to ban abortions would achieve this elimination by making abortion illegal:. It would allow prosecution of aber- tionists who break the law. The woman would NOT be prose- cuted because she, like' her child, is a victim. Mr. Weinzapfel Says he believes an amendment would take us back to the time before the Roe vs. Wade decision when abortions occurred frequently and we ignored that was hap- pening. Since the Supreme Court's 'de- cision to make abortion legal in 1973, there have been over one- and-a-half million abortions a year for a total of over 33 million babies killed! Our country is ig- noting what is happening now! As long as abortion is legal, there will continue to be over 4,000 ba- bies killed a day. ,Barb MdAtee Loogootee alize "back alley" abortions were being performed, but it would be naive to think that the issue of abortion will go away just be- cause it became illegal. It would also be naive to think that abor- tions will ever stop. However, is the fact that abortions will still be done justifcation for keeping it legal? Is not saving the life of one child worth it? Since abor- tion became legal, thousands, maybe even millions, of children have died that might otherwise have had a chance to live. Again, is not the life of one child worth making it illegal? Why does Mr. Weinzapfel imply that none of the social programs he advo- cates will work if abortion is made illegal? What is wrong with turning over Roe vs Wade and creating a better place for our children at the same time? The idea of keeping abortion legal, in order to control it. is ridiculous. Is not the same ar- gument being made for legaliz- ing drugs? Could nor the same argument be made for drunk drivers? Let's make all drugs legal and drunk driving legal so that as a society we can educate and provide social programs so that people won't abuse drugs or drive while intoxicated. See how ridiculous Laws are put in place to control bad behavior and protect society. Whose be- havior is abortion controlling? Who is "really" being protected? I do not understand how, in this country, we advocate protecting the rights of all human beings not discriminating against race, religion, gender or sexual pref- erence but protecting innocent children is not the "real" issue. The bottom line of Mr. Wein- zapfel's letter was political and he was smooth. He was trying to appease the Catholic vote, while securing some votes from "middle of the road" pro-lifers, and not making pre-abortionist too mad. Personally, I hope he made them all mad. Why can't politicians be honest, take a "real" stand and let the voters decide. Beth Lancaster Washington Washington ..... = ather Mark Ciganovich, a under Carmelite supervision in [ember of the religious Order of a Carmelite house and removed | armelites, whahad served as a from public ministry. We cooper- [lrofessor at St. Meinrad School ated fully with the investigation, lTheology in Southern Indiana as outlined in our policy. ir almost 18. years, has pleaded Clearly, this is a sad time for i'ti'Ity to one federal charge ofre- Father Ciganovich and for all ng child pornography in the members of the Order of 1 ............. Carmelites, ................ Continued from page 4 He does have a problem with scientific theories of evolution, though, becatlse "science means what we know to be true and evolution ,occurred in the past but no one actually saw it ocvur.  He is encouraged by the cur- rent use of textbook disclaimers because they show =a large amount of society doesn't believe that people share common an- cestry with wornm.  Father Skehan, who has writ- ten and spoken extensively on the subject, vows to never use scientific arguments with cre- ation proponents, saying their scientific interpretations are "nonsens Instead, he relies on religion and biblical theology. "You have to go back to how Genesis was put together. It's easier to say, 'Accept the Bible as it is without worrying about subtleties," he told CNS in a telephone interview. Instead of looking at the Book of Genesis as a text dictated by God to one man, he said he fol- lows modern biblical scholarship which maintains that human writers assembled the first book of the Bible as,a religious mes- sage of God's dealings with peo- ple. "For the most part, highly ed- ucated Catholics do not go along with creation science and bihli. cat scholars certainly would re- Pudiate the creation science po- siti'on,  Father Skehan added.