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October 21, 1994     The Message
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October 21, 1994

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana --- Taking the time to make a difference-- Truth discovered on an answernng maching iii| It was a prank call. Several messages were on my home answering machine one evening, and I sat down to play them back and jot down notes. One message needed no re- sponse. Another left a number for me to call. The third was the prank call. In what was clearly and indis- putably the voice of a child -- per- haps 10 years old -- came the en- thusiastic announcement that I had won a prize on a local radio station. The voice continued -- in obvi- ous imitation of a radio deejay -- with details of the time limit for me to respond, and the number I was supposed to call to claim my prize. It was harmless enough, but it stuck in my imagination. Later that evening, I listened again to the phone messages, just to hear the prank call. Its enthusiasm and silliness made me smile. I played it several times, listening to the inflection, the de- livery, the words spoken in imitation of a real radio contest -- which is often full of that same kind of enthusiasm and silliness. I became curious about the phone number the caller had given me. If I were going to make such a prank call, I thought, I would leave the number of the zoo, or a psychiatrist, or maybe even the real number of the radio station I was pretending to By PAUL R. LEINGANG EDITOR represent. I could not resist the tempta- tion. I called the number, and lis- tened in great surprise: the kid had given his own home phone number! When a woman answered, I tried to tell her the story -- that a child playing a prank called my an- swering machine, and left your number. I asked her if there might be some one at her house who might do such a thing. Without hesitation, she said there was such a person -- her son -- and that she intended to talk with him about it. The way she said, "talk with," I knew that she intended a form of parent-child communication that might include a little more than just talking. I tried to soften her certainty, but she would have none of it. I said I wasn't sure that it was her son who had called, but she was convinced it was. Perhaps she had "talked with" him before about such matters. I begged her not to be too harsh with the kid, since no harm had been done. She made no promises one way or the other, and we ended our conversation. I will probably never know what happened. I erased the recording and I no longer have the num- ber. I hope the boy did not get into too much trou- ble -- maybe just the little bit he deserved. That's the end of the story--except for this thought. How many times do the words we speaki on to cause an impact on trol? Words spoken in a joke, words Words spoken without thought of their such words some times take on a life of their as if they were recorded on a stranger's machine. You can't take them back again. * * * Ask some one close to you if he or she said words that should have not been spoken. haps the two of you can work out a was ..... forgiveness for cruel words, or a way true words. Or perhaps you will have to admit what you have said can never be called back that you will try harder in the future to speak ways with Christian charity. Here is a harder task. Take a your family or community and find someone calling out for attention. Is there a child, ing out to strangers? Is there a family whose played over and over on the tape recorder of conscience? Take the time to listen to that Take the time to pay some attention to those are calling you for help. Questions and comments are welcome at Christian Family Movement, P.O. Box 272 Iowa 50010. ...---Washington I, etter i] Making splash at the Synod: The case for women cardnnals a B By JOHNTI'[AVIS the pope on important church cardinals, they are to be or- 1,000 years. It has been re- the synod on religiouS=.. Catholic News Service business but meet, when a dained bishops. The priest re- formed, remodeled and re- one was lining up for I pontiff dies, to elect his succes- quirement was introduced in arranged many times, and the hats.  VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- sor. , 1918, and it was Pope John rules -- like the current re- "Being a cardinal, Y Into calm waters a rock is And didnt Pope John Paul II XXIII in 1962 who said cardi- quirement that all cardinals be meet on the death of; The sometimes thrown, and at this himself say, in a recent audi- nals should be bishops, ordained bishops -- are some- and the rest of the i 8ubzil fall's Synod of Bishops the ence talk, that the church Moreover, said one curial of- times bent or waived, kind of honorary. Being: ItiUlle biggest splash occurred when needs the gifts and talents of ficial, Bishop Kombo's proposal Some point out that in the i 1 official or a dioceS St. l an African bishop stood up and women as consultants at all ignores the fact that most if 15th century, Giovanni de' aal ' a vicar or soe Will bq suggested that women be made levels? not all of the church s so-called Medici (the future Pope Leo X) could be much more :!l cardinals. But throughout its long his- lay cardinals were actually was made a cardinal at age 13. cant," said Mercy Sis Excuse me? tory" from papal court to chief either deacons or sub-deacons. Would a woman cardinal today Gottemoeller, an Ame i Yes, a woman cardinal. Her advisory body, the College of In other words, they said, the beany more shocking? server at the Oct. 2-29' eminence. One in a scarlet Cardinals has been all-male, position of cardinal was always The same church that One of the Vatican'S dress and a tasseled four-cor- and remains perhaps the most tied to the sacrament of orders, makes the rule can make the ranking female officia| nered hat. exclusive men's club in the which is open to men only. exception," wrote Father Larry asked not to be world. How did church leaders "These people are lookingfor Lorenzoni, a San Francisco A "lay cardinal," to be sure, not a priest  just like the many "lay  male cardinals who served the church until the rules were changed earlier this century. Congolese Bishop Ernest Kombo told the synod Oct. 10 that it could be a prophetic gesture and demonstrate that the church really does want to name women to positions of re- sponsibility. The world's cardi- nals, after all, not only advise The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47720-0169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville. Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville PubPohe .............. ishop Gerald A. GettelfinOe EtOr ............................................ Paul Leingang Production Manager ......................... ;;Ph/Boger Cimula',on ................................... Amy Hot,,man Advertising ................................... Paul Newnd Staffl writer ............................ Mary Ann Hughes AddreSS all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $15.00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2nd class matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701. Publw, a- lion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Offce of Pubicam  1994 C,f Press o Evansv _ rl L I iiii I react to the idea of breaking that barrier? The pope, who frequently read his breviary during synod proceedings, was said to have looked up briefly. He didn't grab the microphone and bare his soul on the subject, how- ever; he kept his thoughts to himself. The Roman Curia, as might be expected, quickly weighed in with some collective head- shaking. Officials pointed out that canon law says cardinals are to be "men freely selected by the Roman pontiff' who are at least priests. If selected as loopholes. But they're missing a main point: that authority in the church is connected to or- ders," the official said. But others greeted the pro- posal with mild enthusiasm or at least openness. Italian Car- dinal Silvio Oddi, for example, commented: "Why not have women electors for the head of the church? Where there are no theological objections, noth- ing should be considered im- possible." In fact, the College of Cardi- nals is not an institution of di- vine origin, but one that has steadily evolved over the last Salesian, in a recent letter published by the English Catholic weekly, The Tablet. "Is it unreasonable to wish that some day there might be women to represent over half of humankind in the pope's council, even to help elect the pope of all?" he said. The letter drew appreciative comments, he said, particularly from African Catholics. But whether Catholic women really want to be cardi- nals is another question. At identifi she thought advanciS - the College of Cardila!!,,  "not the ne to ta / women in he churCh'imli*'lrult are other, more use I., " I "Inc enues of collaborati. I _"" said. :, Sometimeinthe)] [:: months, the pope is eX L name about 25 new c bringing membershi2 Sacred College up to: 160. The heavy bettl its male-only status  jeopardy. Bishop's sched