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Evansville, Indiana
September 25, 1987     The Message
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September 25, 1987
 

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4 Editorial II I II i 3 00,P,uL :i ' ' LEINGANG Message Editor I spent some time waiting for traffic, in the middle of a construction zone, the other day. If you have ever waited for traffic to move, and wondered why it did not, you have shared a por- tion of my thoughts and feelings at the time. Two lanes of traffic merged into one lane of traffic, in the construction zone at the center of this afternoon experience. A warning sign had been very clear, indicating to drivers in the right lane that the only way to make forward progress was to merge left. Another sign had been equally clear, indicating that the remaining portion of the right lane was to be used for turning right. It seemed clear that there were only two possibilities for drivers in the right lane -- merge left at the point indicated, or turn right at the next intersection. What soon became clear to me was that many drivers in the right lane were ignoring the first sign to merge left. I had done what was expected; I had courteously checked the left lane, found an opening, and eased into it. Car after car sped ahead of my practically parked car, and few were turning right. They took advantage of the con- gested left lane to pass on the right and hurriedly squeeze past barricades into the left, hundreds of feet ahead of us careful and courteous drivers. It was not a pretty sight. i The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana September 25, 1987 Turning the other fender along the way to our destination efforts in the cool of the evening. I have heard that story countless times. I don't remember when I first heard the story, but I have a vague -- but nonetheless persistently disturbing -- recollection that I felt it was grossly unfair of the Master of that vineyard. Over the years, I must have become increasingly unaware of those once disturbing thoughts. Familiarity had not bred contempt, but rather, numbness. An afternoon in traffic had brought about a rebirth of indignation. It had produced what is needed to hear the word of God -- an ability to listen, as if it were the first time. The feeling of disturbance has returned to me, as I hear the Gospel again. A thoughtful explana- tion will not satisfy the feeling of uneasiness. I may not know what it feels like to spend the day at work in a vineyard, only to watch latecomers receive the same payment for their effort. I do know what it feels like to crawl in traffic, while latecomers breeze by on their journey. If such an experience has awakened an ability to see things new, then such an experience was worthwhile. It may seem odd at first, but I realize that uneasiness is a gift from God, who makes all things new. i Light after light changed as we crept forward. car length at a time, in the left lane. Car after car shot jack rabbit past us in the right lane, only to swerve at the last second in front of our slow, coordinated crawl. It was not fair. We in the left had obeyed the rules. We had changed lanes early, carefully, defensively, on this road through a lengthy patch of construction dif ficulties. We had "turned the other fender," so to speak, in this dispute along the way to our destination. Meekness and humility had not been reward- ed, unless you consider it a blessing to be able to spend more time looking at mounds of concrete rubble. Courtesy had been repaid with the oppor- tunity to count rust spots on the car in front, not with the pleasure of steady progress. Half a day later, I realized how ironic had been the frustration of the afternoon. Half an hour earlier, I had been at Sunday liturgy, with the Gospel reading about the workers in the vineyard. I thought I knew all about that story, of how some workers in the vineyard spent all day on the job, through the heat of the midday sun, toiling without complaint for their meager pay. I knew what happened, that the workers who came in the last hour had been given a full day's pay for their i i Washington Letter Taking "first steps" toward disarmament" By LIZ SCHEVTCHUK NC News Service WASHINGTON (NC} -- Four years ago in their pastoral letter on war and peace the U.S. bishops called for each side in the arms race to take some "first steps" for peace. U.S. and Soviet negotiators may have begun taking some of those first steps Sept. 18. After three days of marathon sessions between Secretary of State George Shultz and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze, the two sides announced a framework for abolishing short-and intermediate-range nuclear missile forces. They also announced a new round of negotiations on the issue of nuclear tests, which the Soviets want to ban but which the United States and its Western allies have argued must be retained as long as the nuclear arsenal remains a part of defense. 0000[,0888,00 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47711 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Prea# of Evansville. Publisher ........ Bishop Francis R. Shoe Associate Publisher .... Ray, Joseph Zlliak Editor .................. Paul Lelnosn9 Circulation Mgr .... Mrs. Rose Montrestella Production Mgr ............... Phil Boger Advertising Mgr ............... Den Horty Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47711. Pllona (812) 425536. Subscription rate: $15 per year Entered tuf, 2nd c|u matter at the post ot- rice in Evansville, IN 47701. Publication number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to the Office of Publication. i According to a joint state- ment, the testing negotiations -- the first in seven years -- would focus on efforts for mutual verification of nuclear tests, with the intention of allowing each side to scrutinize the other's test sites to deter- mine the nature of the nuclear tests undertaken. They said their goal is "intermediate limitations on nuclear testing, leading to the ultimate objective of the com- plete cessation of nuclear testing as part of an effective disarmament process." More work to draft the wording of the intermediate nuclear force accord awaited, too, but the superpowers sounded optimistic as they an- nounced plans for President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to meet this fall to sign the new agreement. Although the two nations still "have serious dif- ferences," Reagan said, "notable progress was made." Shevardnadze noted that he and Shultz spent more than three days hammering away at a tentative plan. "The road to an agreement ... turned out to be more difficult than anyone had thought," he explained. THE FIRST SUCH nuclear arms control agreement of Reagan's term, the plan offers glimmers of hope that some goals envisioned in the U.S. bishops' 1983 war and peace pastoral could be realized. The bishops had backed nuclear disarmament, through verifiable agreements and an end to nuclear testing. "While we do not advocate a policy of unilateral disarma- ment, we believe the urgent need for control of the arms race requires a willingness for each side to take some first steps," the bishops said in their pastoral. The pastoral, "1"he Challenge of Peace: God's Promise and Our Response,'! called for "negotiations to halt the testing, production and deploy- ment of new nuclear weapons systems." "Not only should steps be taken to end development and deployment, but the numbers of existing weapons must be reduced in a manner which lessens the danger of war," the prelates said. "Arm control and disarma- ment must be a process of verifiable agreements especial- ly between two superpowers," they advised. If Gorbachev and Reagan do sign an accord on intermediate nuclear forces -- missiles with ranges of approximately 300 to 3,000 miles -- it won't mean all nuclear weapons disappear. Long-range, intercontinental nuclear weapons remain part of the defense arsenal. However, there might be breakthroughs ahead on those as well. As Shultz and Shevardnadze conferred, Gorbachev issued a policy statement that: -- Discounted the concept of nuclear deterrence, terming it "the road to an abyss," and suggesting that "it is more cor- rect to say that a world war has been averted despite the ex- istence of nuclear weapons" than to credit deterrence with preventing war. -- Suggested it may be-possi- ble to reach agreement for a 50 percent reduction in long- range, strategic nuclear forces by the middle of 1988. -- Cited a Soviet study claim- ing that both the U.S. and Soviet arsenals could be reduc- ed 95 percent without threaten- ing the security of either. "We believe that the 5 percent should not be retained either," Gorbachev added. White House Chief of Staff Howard Baker concurred Sept. 17 that "there is reason to Letters to the editor i Thanks To the editor, Thank you for sending me the Message last week with the ex- cellent article about St. Peter's Church and our good Father Clauss. He is really a friend of everyone. Veronica Zinkan Washington, Ind. Ashamed To the editor, A woman once said to my mother, "Some women mak me ashamed that I am a woman." That is the way I felt as I watched the TV broad- casting of the woman telling the Pope how American women think the Pope should legislate. Some American women may think after that fashion, but all American women do not. I am writing to the Pope to tell him just that. Evelyn Waldron Evansville, Ind. believe that progress can be made" on the long-range, inte- continental missile disarma- ment as well. Whether he and the Soviets were correct remained unclear. Arms control agreements fre- quently have been advocated over the last 25 years, so far without ridding the world of nuclear armaments. And according to one official, missiles that would be covered by the intermediate nucleai: force agreement were only add- ed to the nuclear shield in the last' three years. That, of .course, is after the bishops' peace pastoral was promulgated and well after worldwide interest in disarma- ment began. Nonetheless, as British Foreign Secretary Sir Geoffrey Howe said Sept. 17, the Shultz- Shevardnadze framework "is an important beginning .... The achievement of an INF agree - ment will certainly be signifi- cant but it won't open the road to Utopia." Ill Letters welc0me Letters to the editor are welcome. Brief let- ters are preferred. The Message reserves the right to select letters for publication. Letters may be edited according to need, taste and length. Only signed letters will be considered for publication. Send letters to: The Message P.O. Box 4169 Evansville, Ind. 47711