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Evansville, Indiana
October 8, 1993     The Message
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October 8, 1993
 

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4 The Ikmsage -- for Catholics of Southwestlmt Indiana October 8; ---. Perspective We must have vision before we can connect I always used to wonder how they did it. Just about everyone could do it, but I didn't understand how. One by one, they would walk up to the plate, "choke up" on the bat, look confidently out toward the playing field, and wait for the pitcher to throw the ball. Coaches would coach, with . time-honored words they probably heard from coaches before them. "Make 'era throw strikes," some one would call. "Wait for a good one," a voice would ring out. One by one, the players would do their best. There were strike outs, followed by the coach's consolation, =You'll get 'em next time." There were pop-ups: "Way to go, you got a piece of it!" There were financially-troubling broken bats: "Keep the label up, you gotta keep the label up, how many times do I gotta tell you to keep the label up." There were occasional singles. And some times PAUL R. INGANG a ball would even be hit over the heads of the infield players, all the way into the outfield. But I never hit the ball that first year of organized baseball. Not in practice, not in a game. And I al- ways wondered how those other kids did it. My first year of baseball was my last. But the end of the summer did not bring an end to my season of self-doubt and embarrassment. A year or so later, the parish grade school scheduled an event which interrupted the normal course of school day work. Oae by one we all went to the school basement for Vision testing. A woman in awhite dress put a card over one of my eyes and asked me a question about the chart on the screen. I asked her, What chart?" and she told me to step acting like a smart aleck. I wasn't any good at hitting baseballs -- but while the vision-checker hadn't even arrived at the ballpark, so to speak, I had already connected. "Connected" is how a coach would describe what happened when a batter managed to make solid contact with the ball. In the school basement, mond, I suddenly knew why step up to the plate and get a hit. ball. Perhaps it is the playoffseason which prompted these memories of mine -- or perhaps it is the current season of synodal planning in our cese. Before I started wearing my vision, I had no idea that I needed them. Per- haps there are people among us who do not yet see the reasons why planning for the future tant for the diocese. The team is changing, so to speak. More lay persons are involved than in life any of us can remember. There are fewer priests, but an expanded expectation of what ministry should include. There is much more to discover, if only we could see how the Spirit is working among , Washington Letter Court's first Monday bell: Just a faint tinkle of interest By PATRICIA ZAPOR Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) Most years, the first Monday of October rings the starting bell of a new season of legal debate on subjects near and dear to the hearts of attorneys in- volved in religious rights and abortion law. As the Supreme Court opens for business this month, how- ever, its load is lighter overall, particularly in those areas. Only 50 cases were accepted before the start of the term, compared to 65 in 1992 and 69 in 1991. The past few Supreme Court terms have been laden with cases that had the attention of U.S. Catholic Conference attor- neys. In the 1989 term, Smith vs. Oregon Employment Division changed the way religious rights are weighed against civil law. Last year, Lukumi Babalu Aye vs. Hiahleah set a church that engages in animal sacrifice against local zoning ordinances. The 1991 and 1992 terms raised questions about church-state separation at schools in Lee vs. Weisman, Lamb's Chapel vs. Center The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47720-0169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in Decen'dJer by he Ca&olic Press of Evansville str .............. Bshop Gealfl A. C,tloSrf E@tor ............................................ Paul Lngang F, oax Uana ........................... Pi So Crculat ................................... Amy Housman Ao,erksinq .................................... Paul Newland Stafff wner ............................ Mary Ann Hughes Address all communications to P.O Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $12.00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd class matter at the post offme m Evansville, IN 47701. Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Pubimation  1993 C, aSf Press of Ev'amu Moriches Union Free School District and Zobrest vs. Catalina Foothills School District. Major rulings about state authority to regulate abortion came in the 1988 and 1991 terms: Webster vs. Reproduc- tive Health Services and Casey vs. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Rust vs. Sullivan in the 1990 term debated how much the staff at a federally funded clinic can discuss abortion with patients. Abortion-related statutes from Guam, Hawaii, Utah and Louisiana have all been on appeal recently, though not all got hearings at the Suprerhe Court. Only one case accepted for the 1993 session promises to bring out the usual cast of ad- vocates involved in abortion debates. But National Organi- zation for Women vs. Scheidler et al. is technically about rack- eteering law, not abortion. NOW claims that criminal acts directed at abortion clinics are really organized to put them out of business while organiza- tions such as Operation Rescue financially benefit from dona- tions to support their protest activities. And there's nothing else on the Supreme Court docket and little pending appeal from the lower courts that seems likely to hold the attention of reli- gious rights or abortion law at- torneys. "This is the first summer in a long time that we haven't even written one amicus brief," said Phil Harris, solicitor for the U.S. Catholic Conference. Typically, the court accepts cases throughout the spring for consideration during the term beginning in October. During the summer, briefs are filed for the parties involved in the cases and by groups interested in making known their related interests in "amicus" or "friend of the court" briefs. On the court's first day in session a new lengthy list of cases ac- cepted or rejected is published. Still, while the current docket may be lacking in cases of obvious interest to the church, this term has plenty of raw material for important de- cisions, according to Robert Destro, constitutional law pro- lessor at The Catholic Univer- sity of America in Washington. Of particular interest are cases involving voting rights, em- ployment discrimination, the 1991 Civil Rights Act and other subjects that should re- flect how the court's newest member, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, will rule. "(Mrs.) Ginsburg approaches cases through a lens of equal- ity," Destro said. How she di- rects that lens "will distinguish her as either a moderate-to- conservative or as a screaming liberal." For instance, NOW vs. Scheidler asks whether anti- abortion efforts violate laws against racketeering. As Har- ris said, the legal question could as easily have come up over attempts by animal rights activists to disrupt business at cosmetics laboratories or by environmentalists to stop tim- ber harvests by damaging trees. Mrs. Ginsburg sees legal abortion as one of the special prerogatives women are enti- tled to as a way of putting them on an equal footing with men, Destro said. "The question is, would she bend the normal rules -- (thereby approaching the NOW case as being about abortion instead of as a racketeering question) -- to go after abor- tion rights?" he said. The absence of cases that more specifically relate to abortion law means simply that lower courts are still working out how to apply the Supreme Court's last major abortion ruling, in which it up- held most of Pennsylvania's abortion law, including parental notification and wait- ing period prerequisites. The Casey ruling has been called "a lawyer's relief act for the next 30 years" because the complex decision left so much up to interpretation, Destro said. Laws based on Casey will be debated in lower courts for years to come, he predicted. Destro also sees plenty of in- teresting religious rights cases working their way through the lower courts. Many may never make it out of state jurisdic- tions, but some seem destined to be appealed to the Supreme Court. Among those cases: The Minnesota Supreme Court recently ruled that po- tential jurors may be elimi- nated from consideration on the basis of their religious be- liefs. The state of is arguing that its allows public schools to a different standard eral law for whether religious clubs may facilities. -- The 9th U.S. Cii Court of Appeals has that a private school in is not exempt from quiring equal gardless of religion. in question was founded the terms of a will fled only Protestants be hired as teachers. The found that the school religious enough in claim exemption from the Bishop's The following activities and events are listed schedule of Bishop Gerald A: Gettelfinger.