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September 27, 1991     The Message
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Them S S ACE CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF EVANSVILLE VOLUME 22 NUMBER 4 September 27, 1991 Theologian sees church Parallels in Soviet change wWASHINGTON (CNS) 7 hile changes have been going on in the Soviet Union, !here has been a coup of sorts In the Calholic Church a.gainst Second Vatican Coun- ty fl reforms, according to Uni- ersity of Notre Dame theolo- -gY professor Father Richard MCBrien. hThe parallels between t Ose events are "'too close to e denied, and too important t be ignored," he said in a eYnote address to an esti- tiered audience of 1,300 at ttle fourth annual "'Future f fee American Church" con- .erence Sept. 20-22 in Wash- mgton. ."We Catholics have been Ving these past 13 years mrough a prolonged, slow- *uOtion coup of our own gainst the reforms of Pope ha XXIII and the Second atican Council," Father M,cBrien said. . " Although no pnone lines Ve been cut and no one aced under house arrest, it a Coup nonetheless, fueled the ideology of the defeat- t rainority at Vatican II and teir heirs "t drew compar- The pneSen Soviet Presi lSOas betw dent Mikhail Gorbachev and roP e John. ,. Rorbachev, in his fourth 0 rth year of his papacy, 'n'900 POpe John spoke of "'ag- giornamento," or an updating of the church, Father McBrien said, while Gor- bachev brought "'perestroi- ka," or restructuring, into popular parlance. "'Although Mr. Gorbachev's lengthy agenda -- like Pope John's -- could not possibly have been acted upon in full at the 1988 party conference in Moscow, it really didn't matter," Father McBrien said. "'Just as it was the process that had counted most for (Pope) :ohn XXIII at the ecu- menical council, so it was the process that counted most tor Gorbachev at the party con- ference," he said. "'And like those Catholic officials who always insist on their fidelity to Vatican II while expressing concern at the same time over certain postconciliar "excesses,'" Fa- ther McBrien said, "'the ene- mies of "perestroika' and "glasnost' (openness) in the Soviet Union assured the public they were all for re- form, but were worried only about its excesses and the in- stability and confusion they were creating among the people." Father McBrien charged that the Catholic Church is in a state of "'counter-reforma- tion" characterized by the disciplining of theologians, the imposition of new cate- chisms and loyalty oaths, re- sisting "'legitimate aspira- tions of women," a "'pull-back on ecumenism" and a "'downplaying of the church's social ministry." Yeltsin used Catholic radio during coup By JOHN THAVIS Catholic News Service ROME (CNS) -- When Boris Yeltsin called Mus- covites to rally around the Russian Parliament in defi- ance of Soviet tanks sent by would-be coup leaders last August, he made his appeal on a Catholic radio station that had escaped the notice of the rebelling hard- liners. Now, as a thank-you ges- ture to the church, the Rus- sian ]resident has OK'd the broiidast of a Mass from the Marian shrine at Fatima, Por- tugal, on Russian television, said officials of the Belgian- based Catholic Radio Televi- sion Network. On the day of the coup at- tempt, the network's radio transmitting equipment was sitting in a Moscow ware- house, awaiting final paper- work and a new antenna be- fore it could go on the air, said Jean Quartemont of the Dutch foundation, Witnessing to God's Love. Quartemont, whose organization helps fund the Catholic Radio Tele- vision Network, spoke about the event in a phone inter- view Sept. 23. After Soviet coup leaders took over the national and local media Aug. 19, Yeltsin's aides asked church represen- tatives if their station could be pressed into service. Sol- diers loyal to Yeltsin loaded See YELTSIN Page 5 HUGHES, Message staff writer Catholic Re-, : the idea behind the pro- ones, Sometimes ilk about m talk2' ur: .i : ,'!7:1