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October 3, 1997     The Message
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October 3, 1997 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 1 1 A proper focus on indulgences By FATHER JOHN DIETZEN CNS Columnist Question: A recent convert to our faith asked about indul- gences, which were referred to on an old prayer card she received. I remember much being made of indulgences when I was growing up 50 years ago. But now I have no idea how to answer her. Do we still have indulgences? If so, what do they mean? It's been years since I've heard them men- tioned. (Florida) Answer: For a long time now the church has been extremely careful and quite sparing in its references to indulgences. This element of our faith life has been seriously .misunderstood in the past, so there's an effort to put it back into proper focus Traditional Catholic teaching on indulgences is based on two Christian truths. First, every sin is not only a violation of God's law, it also violates the ocial and physical harmony of creation established Y God and is at least to some degree a rejection of his love. Complete repair of sin, therefore, requires not only repentance but a reintegration of that divine order in each of us individually and in society. This process involves purification and cleansing (purgation) during this life or after, before entering the full presence of God in eternity. In tiis reform of the whole indulgence structure in 1967, Pope Paul VI pointed out that the early Christ- ian community "was fully convinced that it was pur- suing the work of salvation in community." Thus, he said, the church found various ways the faithful could cooperate with each other in preparing for the fullness of God's kingdom ("The Doctrine of Indulgence," No. 6). During the centuries, indulgences (remission of temporal punishment due for our sins) were attached to certain prayers and actions. They could be applied to oneself or to those who have died. To respond directly to your questions, indul- gences still exist, but the number of prayers and words attached to them have been drastically reduced. As Paul VI explained, "the main concern has been to attach greater importance to a Christian way of life.., rather than merely repeat certain formulas and acts" ("Enchiridion of Indulgences," 1968). Partial indulgences are granted today using only those words, with no determination of days or years as was common previously. Among other things, this avoids confusion. Con- trary to what many Catholics believed (and some still believe), an indulgence of one year, for example, did not mean "one year off of purgatory." It meant, rather, whatever alleviation of suffering might be achieved by one year of fasting or other penance. Thus, it did not directly address the ques- tion of time in purgatory. In this light, it is clear why the church exercises great care to keep the understanding of indulgences in harmony with the Gospel and with fundamental Christian doctrines. Thus, the Catechism of the Catholic Church close- ly links the doctrine and practice of indulgences to the effects of the sacrament of penance and deals with them in the context of this sacrament (Nos. 1471-1472). A free brochure answering questions Catholics ask about receiving the Holy Eucharist is available by sending a stamped self-addressed envelope to Father John Dietzen, 704 N. Main St., Bloomington, IL 61701. (Questions for this column should be sent to Father Dietzen at the same address.) Diocesan contributors acknowledged During 1996, contributions for the Society for the Propagation of the Faith totaled $69,318 from the Diocese of Evansville, according to a thank you letter from Cardinal Josef Tomko at the Vatican. Another $16,972 was contributed to the sup- port of mission seminarians and religious novices through the Society of St. Peter Apostle. ne letter, ackn : -" owledgmg the generosity of the Catholics of the diocese, was sent to Msgr. Clarence Schlachter, mission director. / Pro-life activities scheduled in Jasper The third annual Teens for Life fall banquet will be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall in JtahsP er, Sunday, Oct. 12, at6 p.m. Mike Goedde, founder of the Life Choices crisis pregnan- cy center will be the featured speaker. Ticket information is available at (812) 683-2833. A Youth Pro-Life Rally is scheduled at the Jasper Civic Auditorium Wednesday, Jan. 28, Cto7u3  p-m. The rally is open to all Dubois , Y high-school-aged students. Steve rant from the Indianapolis Colts will be the featured speaker For questions about trans- portation, call (812) 482-7910. ABC'IV 25 to broadcast program on priesthood What is the life of a Catholic priest really like? Answering God's Call: The Experience of Priesthood will be broadcast on WEHT TV Channel 25, on Sunday, Oct. 19, at 6 a.m. The one-hour documentary, produced by the Catholic Communication Campaign, pro- files two parish priests and their days full of routine and ritual, joys and difficulties Holy Rosary/St. john takes feeder league lead Holy Rosary/St. John took over the lead in the Memorial feeder school football league with a 2-0 win over St. Theresa/Good Shep- herd. A safety by David Swartz was the only score. Stand-outs in the game included John Clark for St. Theresa/Good Shepherd, and Clay Rogers who led the Holy Rosary/St. John defense with two interceptions. St. Benedict/Holy Name defeated Christ the King/Holy Spirit 6-0. Flag League winners were Holy Rosary/St. John and Christ the King/Holy Spirit. Infortmtion provided by Dave Wagner Bingo continues at Good Shepherd An advertisement about the Marian Day School banquet at Good Shepherd Church, Evansville, included the words "no bingo." The phrase referred only to the Marian Day School event; bingo continues as scheduled at Good Shepherd REGIONAL FIRE RALLY DON'T MISS FIRE LOUISVILLE 1997  Spirit Living God come afresh on us! of the "1 have - ' ' Come to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were ah'eady set ablaze" Luke 12:49 Fa!th: Intercession, Repentance and Evangelism BJeron,!he .Ftre Team of lr. Michale Scanion, T.O.R., Fr. John 9:00 :ucci_, Raph Martin and Ann Shields on SAT OCT 18th from Bird, 5.:320p.m. at Louisville Gardens, 525 W. Muhammad Ali Live .Ulsvflle, KY and spark the fire that never bums out. 9 "e- me experience that thousands of Catholics have felt these las l;rs at Fire Rallies throughout the U.S. and abroad. YouT:ean|yur Cmmitment to Christ and experience renewal of eusmai Vows nat'n Advance $12, At the doo.: $: 'or more ' Contact the Marian Center mf ,-,,._.. now to reg "ler o O,., la, tlor]" The Marian Center 165 Sears Ave., Louisville, KY 40207 (502) 899-5125; fax (502) 423-1584 hltp://www.avemaria.org Hear it from the source! Vatican Radio World News Mon. - Fri. at 5:30 p.m. 0nly on WUEV-FM 91.5 University of Evansville On the air or on your computer at www, evansville.edu/~wuevweb I FOR COMPLETE ELECTRICAL SERVICE FISCHER ELECTRIC INC. SCHNELLVILLE, IN 389-2418 BI.ack Bagg00 A,nish R;;ta;rd;t 6& Bakery Hwy 57 S. Washington Special Jubilarians Leo and Irene (Haas) Knies of Jasper will celebrate their sixtieth wedding anniversary with a Mass of Thanksgiving at 11 a.m. Oct. 12 at Precious Blood Church, Jasper. The couple was married Oct. 12, 1937, at Sacred Heart Church, Schnellville. They are the parents of nine children: Janice Mehringer, Ronald Knies, Allen Knies, Kenneth Knies, John Knies, Jack Knies, Herman Knies, Keith Knies and Lori Lueken. They have 30 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren. When you can't be there, tum to someone who can ... a companion cat.iver from Visiting Nurse Plus. They have the training, skills, and concern to care for your elderly parents: And that means peace of mind for you and your family. vnNc NU__RSE vmr, e v = aoy. 385-3717 OanK'et)