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September 4, 1987     The Message
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September 4, 1987
 

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4 Editorial The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana September 4, 1987 " " .The Message offers or Beginnings: a new look in Its presentation This issue of the Message marks the beginning of Volume 18. We begin more than a new series of numbers on the top of the first page. We hope you enjoy "a new look" in our presentation. We hope you enjoy the new features that begin in this issue. In the center of the paper, you will find our regular supplement, "Faith Today," which is designed to be pulled out and saved, revealing the first of our center spread parish features. It is our intention to feature each parish in the diocese, during the next 18 months. The first parish chosen for the feature is the oldest in the diocese, The Basilica of St. Francis Xavier, the Old Cathedral, Vincennes. In the next issue, you will find a story and photographs from the second oldest parish in the diocese, St. Peter, Montgomery. Wth exceptions for the Christmas and Easter issues and perhaps some extraordinary events, each succeeding issue will feature another of the parishes of the diocese, from the oldest to the newest. We hope the parish features will bring about increased communication within the diocese, as we all get to know a little more about each other. Another new feature is "The Question Cor- ner," written by Father John Dietzen, a priest of the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois. When Father Dietzen is introduced at newspaper gatherings, he is usually termed "the most widely syndicated col- umnist in the Catholic Press." We hope you agree that the questions to him are challenging, and that the answers are informative. An interesting story accompanies the introduc- tion of another new feature in this issue. Don Dilger once told me he did not subscribe to the Message because it did not contain a regular col- umn on the scriptures. Don 1311ger is now a subscriber; he is also the author of a weekly col- umn of commentary on the Scriptures for Sunday liturgy. As you read his thoughts and reflections on the Gospel this week, we hope you will discover not only the thoughtfulness of his com- mentary but also his love for the living Word of God. Volume 18 of the Message will continue to bring you information about events "Around the Diocese." With this issue, Mary Ann Hughes adds more news in the "School Notebook" and in a sec- tion specifically about "People" making news. She welcomes your letters with information for the page. Information is also welcome at Mary Ellert's desk for the Bulletin Board, a page of information about events planned throughout the diocese. Our goal is to continue to serve the Catholic Church in Southwestern Indiana, to provide a newspaper which will inform, inspire, and involve our readers. In praise of the One who makes all things new, we want to add some newness to our service, and we hope you will begin a new look at what you find in the Message. Washington Letter Closing the door on plant closings By LIZ SCHEVTCHUK NC News Service WASHINGTON (NC) -- The. Senate wants to close the door on companies' chances to close their doors and dismiss workers without warning. Before the August recess, the Senate approved an Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act that includes demands that larger firms notify workers when a plant is closed or undergoes a lengthy employee layoff. Such plant closing notifica- tion proposals have been pro- posed in Congress for the last several years, without much success. The concept has been backed by a broad coalition of church social justice groups, including the U.S. Catholic Conference and Catholic Charities USA, but opposed by organized business, the Reagan administration and both Republicans and Democrats in Congress. This year's Senate victory for plant closing notification might not be final. The House of Representatives version of the bill differed, and the legislation went in early August to a House-Senate conference com- mittee, which could delete such 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 4771 1 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week In December by the Catholic Press of Evansville. Publisher ........ Bishop Francis R. Shea Aasoclate Publisher .... Rsv. Joseph Zllisk Editor .................. Paul Lelngan9 Circulation r. . . . Mr=. Rose Montrastella Production Mgr ............... Phil Boger Advertising Mgr ............... Dan Hetty Addr=as all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47711. Phone (812) 424-6536. Subscription rate: $15 per ye,Rr Entered Is 2nd ckum matter at te poet of- floe In Evansville, IN 47701. Puldlcaflon nunVeer 843800. Postmalter: Return POD formll 879 to the Offioe of Publlr.tlon. controversial provisions as the plant closing requirement. Both Catholic Charities USA and the U.S. bishops in their 1986 pastoral letter on the economy have argued that workers deserve to be notified if they are going to be out of work. In its 1987 legislative goals, Catholic Charities recommend- ed "pre-notification of plant or office closings, incentives for plant stability, and incentives to enable companies to provide for the relocation of workers." The pastoral on the economy voiced similar sentiments. "When companies are con- sidering plant closures or the movement of capital, it is patently unjust to deny workers any role in shaping the outcome of these difficult choices," even if "such decisions may sometimes be necessary," the bishops said. "As a minimum, workers have a right to be informed in advance when such decisions are under consideration, a right to negotiate with management about possible alternatives, and a right to fair compensation and assistance with retraining and relocation expenses should these be necessary." THE SENATE provision does not seem to go that far. The measure says that a firm employing 100 or more workers may not close the plant or order a massive layoff-- one affecting at least 50 workers for 30 days or one-third of a total work force -- without giving workers 60 days' notice. Sixty days' notice must also be provided to the state agency dealing with dislocated workers and to the local govern- ment. But opposition forced ad- vocates of the bill to drop tougher proposals, such as those that demanded up to 180 days' notice and forced com- panies to make financial records available to workers and local governments seeking to find alternatives to closings. And exemptions were provided for companies that are sold. According to backers of the bill, some 11 million U.S. workers have lost their jobs in plant relocations between 1981 and 1986. On the average, they said in Senate debate, workers get seven days' notice that their jobs are ending. Yet, the advocates said, workers who are notified of im- pending plant closings adjust better and have an easier time in retraining programs and in finding new jobs, in part because it is easier for local governments and social service agencies to help them. That all means that less unemployment compensation is needed, sup- porters said. "Think of the cruelty ... think of the shock of working for a company 20 and 30 and 35 years, and being told 'you are on the streets in seven days,'" Sen.Howard M. Metzenbaum, D-Ohio, told his colleagues. "I say that this provision is not only a matter of common decency, it is critical to the ef- fectiveness of our billion dollar worker readjustment effort," Metzenbaum added. "I do not know why anybody would op- pose this provision." Opponents responded that the measure threatens American competitiveness and could harm workers. "This proposal is not good economic policy and it is not fair to the workers who would lose jobs as a result," said Sen. Robert Dole, R-Kan., suggesting the measure might prompt a company to "give up on a plant two months earlier than it otherwise would." Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, describing the measure as "gar- bage" and "unfortunate, misguided policy," warned that President Reagan is likely to veto any bill with a plant closing notification. Vatican plans document on Holocaust By JOHN THAVIS prove Jewish-Vatican contacts, mission for Religious Relations NC News Service Before meeting the pope, the with the Jews and the Interna- statement said, the group also tional Jewish Committee on In- VATICAN CITY (NC) -- The discussed the "dismay and con- terreligious Consultations. Vatican will prepare an official cern" felt by Jews over a recent Other topics covered included church document on the meeting between the pope and the Vatican's policy against full Holocaust and anti-Semitism, Austrian President Kurt diplomatic recognition of Catholic and Jewish leaders an- Waldheim, who is accused by Israel, Catholic teaching on the nounced at the end of a two-day some Jewish groups of involve- Jews and contemporary anti- series of meetings at the ment in Nazi war crimes. The Semitism, the statement said. Vatican. Aug. 31-Sept. 1 meetings were C a r d i n a I J o h a n n e s In a joint statement issued at sought by Jewish leaders to Willebrands, head of the the Vatican, the group said the help clear up the Waldheim Catholic delegation, said the document would help combat issue and other questions before upcoming document would attempts to "trivialize" the the pope'sSeptembertriptothe deal with "the Shoah, the religious significance of the United States. historical background of anti- Holocaust -- the murder of Catholic participants, the Semitism and its contemporary several million Jews by the statement said, "acknowledged manifestations," according to Nazis during World War II. the seriousness" of the Jewish the jointstatement. Pope John Paul]] "affirmed the concerns over the Waldheim The Jewish delegation importance of the proposed audience. They also "set forth "warmly welcomed" the in- document" during an hourlong the serious reasons" behind the itiative, it added. Catholic and meeting with the participants, Holy See's decision for the au- Jewish leaders had already the statemantsaid, dience, agreed to study the religious The statement also said a The nine Jewish and nine aspects of the Shoah, or "special mechanism" is being Catholic leaders included Holocaust, during a scheduled considered at the Vatican to ira- members of the Vatican's Corn- meeting in Washington next December. Cardinal Willebrands also said he foresaw development of a "special mechanism" to follow Jewish issues and con- cerns more closely, hnd im- prove contacts between Jewish leaders and the Vatican. Such contacts would include the Vatican Secretariat of State, the statement said, in cases where "religious and political issues intertwine." In a separate meeting with Vatican Secretary of State Car- dinal Agostino Casaroli, the statement said, Jewish leaders were told that diplomatic rela- tions with Israel had not yet been "perfected," but that "good relations" already exist on many levels. Full diplomatic recognition of Israel by the Vatican has been a major-con- cern among Jewish groups worldwide. [.at