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October 13, 1995     The Message
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October 13, 1995
 

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October 13, 1995 5 --- Bishop's Forum -- I suppose everyone experi- ences random moments when emo- tions from deep inside rise to the surface for no apparent reason -- at least, not then. It happened to me on Sunday morning during Holy Mass with the Holy Father in Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore• The bishops boarded buses at the hotel for a short trip to the park at 7 a.m. in order to provide time for all of us to go through se- curity checks including metal de- tectors. We did so after vesting for Mass. The two hundred bishops from all over the United States and an even larger number of vested priests waited in the tunnel below the stands for about an hour. We visited with one another so the time seemed short. Upon cue from masters of ceremonies, we en- tered the field in procession and took our places to the right of the altar just below the large Jum- botron TV screen The priests took their places on the other side of the altar. We waited further for the arrival of the Holy Father. A monumental cheer rose when on the large efnr apPeared the jetliner bringing the Holy Fa- om New York. When the plane touched down with its tell-tale puff of smoke from the wheels, the screen flashed: "He is here!" Another The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Unity exemplified at papal visit burst of excitement. We watched the motorcade on the screen as the Holy Father ap- proached while singing groups led us in gospel songs• Just as he en- tered the track around the field, the musical group "Boyz to Men" began singing. The Holy Father was half-way round the track be- fore many folks realized he was there and before the large screen came alive with his presence. In any case, for me at least, there is always a surge of excitement when I see the Holy Father in person, even at a distance. It was during Mass, however, that I was sud- denly struck with a flood of emotion including the lump in the throat and a moistening of the eyes. It came at a most unexpected moment. There they stood• Eleven men and women of our land. From the large screen, and in close up, the handsome and sharply chiseled features of each one communicated a different nationality. They stood facing the stands in the heart of center field while standing with their backs to the altar. Each in turn took the microphone. Each prayed in a different tongue, each in his or her native lan- guage. Each concluded the prayer with "Let us pray to the Lord." The Holy Father prayed the closing in English, not his native tongue, but in the By CHRISTOPHER GUNTY Catholic News Service PHOENIX (CNS) -- Calling Past incidents of s COnduc, L .. exual mis- _ .  oy diocesan personnel cantlalous and -hi •. rhoraao  ,,_ ,- nful, Bshop ......  u. u/hrien of Phoenix tuvelied a new dlo to ,^. cesan nohcv • v-vent .- - ralsco. ^, Sexual abuse and ,_ ,,u m the future. ts church, we we can ,_ _ must do what -, u make SUre that ev- er ne Who ch "ch,^ Works for the Vic s .u'.V°lunteers their ser- • untterstands that the hol, a sa - Y • crett osi" wit L t),- - , p tmn of trust the  "_'= people they serve an  exua -. . d m- -- • mlsconauct is ally wrong,, he said S_ t Lshop O'Brien spoke at a a:l° ;2, news conference to an- ue release o Poll ,,, _  f the new I)io es:n a exual Misconduct by al "' rersonnel The n st  .... • policy, Will k^_ '*U Years in the makin. , :c° e official in Novembeg. " thr,:,t tlae past 10 ears - "saout-t ... Y , us Well o me Umted States of t)L "° acre in the Diocese "uoealx, the Cathohc ByBISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER local language of America. It was during this prayer that my emotions ebbed and flowed. They were not reasonable. They did however give me pause to consider the magnifi- cent mystery of our faith. In faith we are unified. In prayer, and particularly as we gather around the table of the Lord, we are bonded so intimately as one, having been "washed in the blood of the Lamb" in baptism. My experience also reminded me of some- thing that may have become so routine for all of us that we forget it. Do you realize that we pray for each other every time Holy Eucharist is cele- brated? Indeed in the Eucharistic prayer we always remember the Holy Father, the bishop, the clergy and all the faithful. What you may not realize is that the Holy Father, the bishop and pastors have accepted the happy obligation to offer Mass at least once every week for those for whom they have accepted pastoral care. Some of you may even remember the mass "Pro Populo" (for the people) from your bulletins. For my part, I remember each of you at every Mass I celebrate as you do for me. Our unity in faith is daily expressed in prayer. The universality of our faith comes alive in the Eu- charist whoever we are and wherever we might be in the world! Let us rejoice in it. II Phoenix Diocese announces new policy on sex abuse, misconduct deacons and for lay employees and volunteers. In late 1993, Bishop O'Brien appointed a commission to re- view these policies and to ex- pand on them to better re- spond to the issue and to include sexual misconduct in- volving diocesan employees and other adults. Highlights of the new policy include: -- An investigatory committee to handle allegations quickly. A community response team to provide pastoral sup- port to a community, such as a parish or school, affected by the allegation. A victim support coordina- tor to provide pastoral support for both victim and accused• -- A reinstatement committee which would evaluate and make a recommendation to the bishop as to whether a cleric who has engaged in certain types of sex- ual misconduct could be consid- ered for reinstatement in min- istry of any sort. All those committees will in- clude representatives of the laity who are not employed by the diocese, the bishop said. A key to this new policy is an extensive educational com- ponent which has prevention at its goal, Bishop O'Brien said. "Just having a policy on paper isn't enough. We have to take that additional step and give life to the policy•" The bishop appointed Janet Hrncir as the full-time trainer/coordinator for the edu- cational program. In November Ms. Hrncir will begin training 400 diocesan, parish and school staff members as train- ers. They in turn will conduct workshops at parishes and schools for paid employees and volunteers. "We estimate that -- at a minimum -- 10,000 paid em- ployees and volunteers will participate in these sexual misconduct prevention work- shops," Bishop O'Brien said. The diocese employs be- tween 1,800 and 2,000 work- ers. Volunteers -- from cate- Church has been through some very difficult times as a result of allegations of sexual abuse and sexual misconduct by rep- resentatives of the church," the bishop said. "These incidents have been very scandalous for the Catholic Church and painful for everyone, especially vic- tims, because the church has been a vocal advocate for the responsible use of human sex- uality in a society that too often finds fascination and glamour in sexual irresponsi- bility," he added• Bishop O'Brien emphasized that the church "will not toler- ate sexual misconduct by any diocesan employee or volun- teer -- whether it be priest, re- ligious or laity -- nor will the church tolerate the evil of the Sexual abuse of children•" The Diocese of Phoenix was among the first in the country to have a policy on this sub- ject. In 1990, policies regard- ing the sexual abuse of minors were written for priests, for chists to school helpers to youth group leaders -- number in the hundreds at many large parishes. The diocese has 88 parishes, 30 missions, 24 grade schools, four high schools and eight preschools. l believe this is one of the most extensive programs ever initiated by any institution, whether it be a religious institu- tion, government, business and so on," the bishop said. "Our goal is to raise the awareness of em- ployees and volunteers about their own behavior and their re- sponsibilities as representatives of the Catholic Church." As for reassignment to min- istry after eases are resolved, Bishop O'Brien said the work of the reinstatement commit- tee will be crucial. "I'm going to be very, very tough in looking at any rein- statement," he said. "to be fair, to be just, I have to allow for the possibility- not necessar- ily the probability but the pos- sibility -- that,the person can return to ministry." porter "tried to do a very honest job with great integrity." Cardinal O'Connor said that if Bishop Moore had AIDS, it was more likely contracted through drug use than through sexual activity. "I would be absolute in say- ing no one ever came to me, no one ever wrote me a letter, say- ing, 'I had some kind of sexual activity with Emerson Moore,' or that Emerson Moore en- gaged in sexual activity," he said. "If there was any kind of sexual activity, homosexual or heterosexual, it was something that was totally beyond my knowledge." The cardinal said that "through a number of years there were many stories that and if he had AIDS, then in my judgment the drugs could well explain the AIDS," he said. If Bishop Moore had AIDS, it might also be a first for the Catholic hierarchy. Cardinal O'Connor, who is a member of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops, said he had never heard any reports about any other bishop having AIDS. The Times reported that Bishop Moore received treat- ment at the Hazelden Founda- tion drug and alcohol treat- ment center in Minnesota and =checked in as a long-term- care client in early 1994." Cardinal O'Connor said Bishop Moore had a long his- tory of recurrent illnesses and periods of improvement. , )  Cardi- O Connor of New 9 that he hoped .rOUbled by reports Emerson AIDS would "he was a lan he never failed cardinal said his residence. that some Were confirmed by or had received or pastoral him might be ow. they will realize to be true after With Bishop Moore Is Was a human Bishop Moore died Sept. 14 at age 57. He had been pastor of a Harlem church visited by Pope John Paul II in 1979, St. Charles Borromeo, named the first black monsignor in the United States in 1975 and in 1982 consecrated as the first black auxiliary bishop in the New York Archdiocese. The New York Times re- ported that many people knew the bishop had a drug problem. It said they also suspected he had AIDS and that when the of. ficial cause of death was listed as being from unknown natural causes it confirmed their suspi- cions. The newspaper also said that op church officials did not dispute that conclusion." Cardinal O'Connor told merits because of the pastoral relationship he has developed with the Moore family. "I am in this particular in- stance in the peculiar circum- stance that I am a priest for the family first and foremost," he said. "I am trying to respond to questions with that in mind." He said he did not know the cause of Bishop Moore's death and could not go beyond the statement on the death certifi- cate of =natural causes." "Categorically, if he died of AIDS, I do not know that," he said. "I do not know what he died of. I know only what was on the death certificate written by the doctor." However, the cardinal did not raise arguments against the Bishop Moore described as 'a man of constant struggle'  .TtACY EARLY being who tried to do what he Catholic News Service he felt supposition that Bishop Moore he had a drug problem," CatYh°lic News Service should do," he said. obligated to limit his com- had AIDS. He said the Times re- "If he had a drug problem,