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September 6, 1991     The Message
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September 6, 1991
 

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irst ton ;tan spe- _ September 6, 1991 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Bishop's Forum 9 By BISHOP GERALD A. GETrELFINGER RERUM NOVARUM Revisited '- Last week I recalled the centenary of the writing of Pope Leo XIII on social justice in the world. It is fitting to continue our thoughts along these lines as we have just celebrated Labor Day in our country. It is a day when we recall the value of work and honor all who participate in it. "It is not surprising that the spirit of revolu- tionary change, which has long been predomi- nant in the nations of the world, should have passed beyond politics and made its influence felt in the cognate field of practical economy. ,The elements of conflict are unmistakable: the growth of industry, and the surprising discover- ies of science; the changed relations of masters and workmen; the enormous fortunes of individ- uals and the poverty of the masses; the increased self-reliance and the closer mutual combination of the working population; and, finally, a general moral deterioration. The momentous seriousness of the present state of things just now fills every Soviet Continued from page 1 low. Most observers believed that meant a nuncio would be named soon for Lithuania and tile other states. The cur- rent apostolic administrator of Vilnius, Msgr. Juozas Tu- naitis, predicted a nuncio Would be appointed within a month. Lithuanian Foreign Minis- ter Algirdas Saudargas praised the 'Vatican decision and thanked the pope. "We cannot forget the great SUpport that such a presti- gious and popular authority as the pope gave to Lithuani- an independence, even in the most difficult moments," Saudargas said. While Gorbachev appeared ready to concede indepen- dence for the Baltic states, the situation in the Ukraine -- another heavily Catholic So- Viet republic -- was much less clear. The Ukraine de- clared its independence in late August, subject to a refer- endum in December. The declaration drew im- 100 years ago and today: Pope's message still applies mind with painful apprehension; wise men dis- cuss it; practical men propose schemes; popular meetings, legislatures, and sovereign princes, all are occupied with it -- and there is nothing which has a deeper hold on public attention." So did Pope Leo XIII a hundred years ago begin his letter on the condition of labor in the world. Does it not sound familiar? Today we may interpret the events in the light of "modern advances" but the message of one hundred years ago is the same. The summary of our present condition lies in the opening words of that great letter that practically changed the relationship between the working person and the managers of industry. Note the care that must be used today in reference to those who work outside the home. Although great strides have been made to abolish for the most part child labor in the industrialized world, there are still grave inequities when men are treated differently from women for the same responsibilities accept- ed and work produced. The place of woman in the working world is still that of inequality. This mediate support from the Ukrainian Catholic Church. In the United States, the leader of U.S. Ukrainian Catholics, Archbishop Stephen Sulyk of Philadel- phia, said Aug. 29 that he hoped the move would in- spire an "unparalleled reli- gious renaissance" in that re- public. But he warned of the effects of seven decades of atheistic education on the Ukraine's young and its lead- ers. "Who would have expected to see the total collapse and denunciation of atheistic communism in our lifetime "'' Archbishop Sulyk said, echo- ing the reaction of most church leaders. The churchman closest to the amazing political events in the Soviet Union, Arch- bishop Tadeusz Kon- drusiewicz of Moscow, met privately with the pope Sept. 2 to discuss the new situation in his country. No details of their meeting were made pub- lic. In a series of interviews in FAMIL Y PHARMACY PAUL'S Pharmacy Paul Mayer, Owner 2107 W. Franklin St. 425-4364 Plaza Pharmacy Newburgh Plaza Shopping Center Fast Prescription Service Ken and Rebecca Hacker 853-7141 i Oak Hill Pharmacy Prescription Specialists Hwy. 62 and N. Weinbach Ave. LARRY SCHUI.THEIS, Prop. .... 4254422 .... Medical Arts Pharmacy 3700 Bellemeade Avenue Phone 477-1532 Donald Gutzweiler City-Wide Delivery Duncan's Riverside Pharmacy Prescription Service Drugs-Sundries-Cosmetics Magazines - "We Deliver" Corner Riverside and Governor Evansville 422-9981 Stratman's Pharmacy City-Wide Delivery 413 Locust Street John and Judy Stratman 425-5293 poses grave burdens since so many women are the sole earners for young families. Yes, we have made great progress, but we have not kept pace with the changes facing us today. Forty years after Pope Leo XIII wrote his memorable letter to the world, Pope Pins XI com- memorated it by calling all the faithful of the Catholic World to reconstruct the social order and to perfect it in conformity to the precepts of the gospel. Consistent with the teachings of the univer- sal church, the bishops of the United States wrote on the economy in our country and its implica- tions for us all. They translated the language of a hundred years ago to the language of our own time. Let there be no mistake about it, grave prob- lems still prevail so long after Pope Leo XILI brought the issues to the attention of the Catholic World. Nonetheless we must not lose hope. There has been much progress. Why is there still so much more needed? What is the difference? The world has shrunk! Italy Aug. 28-30, Archbishop Kondrusiewicz predicted that the wave of political reform touched off by the failed coup would increase the church's pastoral and social role. The events of August "have enormous significance for the church" as well as for the democracy movement in the country, he said. "The sentiment of liberty is, by this point, something that people are breathing in the air, and they are by no means going to lose it. This marks a paint of no return," he said. Archbishop Kondrusiewicz gave support to Gorbachev but said Russian President Boris Yeltsin was enjoying greater popularity. "In this moment, the most important fact is that Gor- bachev has separated himself from these people (who led the coup attempt), and that he has taken certain political decisions and recognized his own errors," the archbishop said. Gorbachev took the crucial step of resigning as head of the Communist Pirty, and his new Cabinet-level appoint- ments since then have "met with favor among everyone," he said. Gorbachev, presiding over a shrinking central govern- ment, and Yeltsin have pro- posed shifting power to a new national authority, com- posed of themselves and the leaders of 10 of :he republics which formed the Soviet Union. Archbishop Kondrusiewicz praised Yeltsin for sticking to his principles and resisting THE UNION BANK A FULL SERVICE BANK Member F.D.I.C. 295-2624 the coup attempt, even in the face of army tanks. "In that moment, he showed the stature of a true leader," he said. He said he and Archbishop Francesco Colasuonno, the Vatican's representative to the Soviet Union, met shortly after the coup attempt with the Russian foreign minister for talks. The official told them Yeltsin would be com- ing to Italy soon and would like to meet with the pope, he said. Archbishop Kon- drusiewicz, like other Catholic leaders, also praised the role of the Russian Ortho- dox Church during the abortive coup and its after- math. The archbishop said he expected Catholic-Orthodox relations to improve as a re- sult. The collapse of the Com- munist Party was unanimous- ly hailed by churcll people in the West. Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, the former Vatican secretary of state who negotiated with communist regimes for decades, said a number of popes -- including John Paul II I had helped bury com- munism. But the world owes a special debt to Gorbachev, he said. Gorbachev was someone who "understood the situa- tion, who had the courage to denounce it publicly and the energy to change it," Cardinal Casaroli said. G0rbachev alone among Soviet officials had the intelligence to under- stand that "something was changing," he said. According to the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Re- mane, counnunism's sudden collapse in the Soviet IJnion was a "sentence" imposed by history: that scientific mate- rialism has completely failed to meet its objectives." At the same time, the newspaper warned that Western-style ,,pra.cticl materialism -:- Which ils0 tends' tdvhrd 'd16-: : pression, it said  is still alive and well. In a separate editorial, the newspaper also cautioned that even as the communist system is being dismantled, the "temptation to violence" is re-emerging occasionally, provoking apprehepsion and fear. Nationalistic agitation in the wake of communism's de- feat requires political intelli- gence and a willingness to face complex problems that involve minorities and human rights, it said. In the United States, church leaders enthusiastical- ly welcomed the news of communism's demise. Archbishop John L. May of St. Louis said the changes in the Soviet Union were "absO- lutely phenomenal" and gave him' hope that "democracy and tile freedom of the vari- ous republics" would be strengthened, Archbishop Renato Marti- no, a U.N. observer for the Holy See, participated in an interfaith prayer service for Soviet peoples Aug. 28 in New York. He prayed that government leaders would have the "wisdom and courage" to place the well- being of their people "above all partisan interest or ideo- logical consideration." Some saw Marian influence in the Soviet turnaround. In Florida, Bishop John C. Favalora of St. Petersburg wrote in his diocesan news- paper, The Florida Catholic, that it was "not a (:oinci- dence" that the Soviet coup collapsed on Aug. 22, the feast of the Queenship of Mary. Father Robert 1. Fox, founder of the Fatima Family Apostolate, said he thought Our Lady of Fatima's promise in 1917. of the conversion of Russia was responsible for the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union. Since (he conversion of Russia is  ,,.t. e only beginning, he sam, u, 'b'e's{|s ybf tO c6flie." '. ', :