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October 28, 1994     The Message
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October 28, 1994

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana October -- Taking the time to make a difference-- A death in the family: An experience of faitll We were in a limousine behind the hearse, following the Mass of Christian Burial for my father-in- law. We were about to begin our journey to the cemetery. This event, more tahn a year ago, re- mains strong in my memory. In the limousine were surviv- ing members of the immediate family. Following our car were other cars with pall bearers and family members, and friends and acquaintances. In the days before the funeral, many words had been spoken. Family memories and photographs provided endless topics for conversation. By PAUL. R. LEINGANG EDITOR Now, in the cushioned quiet of the limousine, words did not flow as easily as they had in the loudness of the family arrivals and the busy-ness of doing what had to be done. We, in the car together, had come from our own families of origin, but we had become con- nected to each other -- related by blood or by mar- riage to the man whose time among us had ended. Sons and a son-in-law. A daughter and daugh- ters-in-law. A wife, now a widow. A daughter-in-law leaned forward to say -- in words that were blurted out in a mixture of emo- tions, "I feel so privileged to be a part of this fam- ily." My father-in-law was a college professor, a chemist, an artist, a calligrapher, a musician. More important that all of that, he was a loving husband, father, father-in-law, friend. It is a privilege to be connected with him and with the others whom he touched, and to be part of his fam- ily. What one had spoken, we oth- ers affirmed. We others were the ones who were not born into this family, but who had become con- nected with it by marriage. "I feel so privileged." That was a statement of love and respect, but it was much, much more. It was an act of faith. All things happen within a family -- life and death. Death had not put an end to our relation- ships. Death had only been the occasion to make them stronger, and all of us could celebrate the lasting connection we had made. Death was only a beginning, as was it was with the death of the one who redeemed us -- the one who was sent to live among us to bring us unity, the one who came to welcome us into the family of God. It is the unity of a family that reveals a por- tion of the truth about our salvation. It is within the relationships of our family that we first find love. It is here where we are first called upon to love another. In family relationships, we are called to be : Christ to one another. We welcome'into our some who are newly born and some who are grown. Within the family is nourishment, reconciliation. It is within the family that death is for what it is -- a moment marking the this life to the next. Our relationships will end. * * * Reflect on the moments of life and death in own family. Discuss them with others. How your relationships changed? Are there things you wished you said to some one? Take the time to say them and as you do, consider this: i Our God is a forgiving father of a prodigal God is a mother hen protecting her brood. And one who was sent to bring us back into God is Jesus our brother. Human words will never our relationship with God, but human words of revelation. We are privileged to be a part Take the time to reveal God's love to ber of your family -- in forgiving, or blessing. It will make a difference. Questions and comments are Christian Family Movement, P.O. Box 272, Iowa 50010. -..-- Vatican Dialogue on the tough issues: Is candor welcome at the Vatican By JOHN THAVIS Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Is dialogue a dirty word at the Vatican? You wouldn't think so, lis- tening to Pope John Paul II. He's called for dialogue to re- solve virtually every kind of conflict, ranging from civil wars to ecumenical disagree- ments. But events in mid-October left some wondering the extent to which candid exchanges are welcome in sensitive areas of church debate. At the Synod of Bishops on religious life, the Vatican sec- retary of state, Cardinal An-- gelo Sodano, delivered a speech that effectively ruled out criti- cism of the hierarchy. "One who loves does not crit- icize,  the cardinal told the synod Oct. 13. "One who loves prays, works and collaborates with the bishop and with the pope." 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 Punisher .............. Bishop Gerald A. Gettetfinger Editor ............................................ Paul Leingang Product_,n Manager ........................... Ptl Boger CiroJ(aon ................ : ................. Amy Housrnan Advesing .................................... Paul Neand Stafff wrrter ............................ 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 2rid class matter at office in EvanSville, IN 47701. Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Publication  1994  Press of Ewdnsv ii iii He referred to "painful cases" in which criticism has been aimed at leading church officials. He said it was the duty of all Catholics -- and es- pecially religious -- to be united with the pastors of the church. His comments echoed those of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican's top doctrinal offi- cial, who said in a 1989 inter- view that "the right to criticize ends when faced with the duty to love the church and to re- spect its teaching authority." The day after Cardinal So- dane's speech, a different note was struck by Colombian Bishop Hector Lopez Hurtado. He was appointed by the pope in 1991 to oversee the work of the Confederation of Latin American Religious, following two years of tensions between the religious and the Latin American Bishops' Council. Bishop Lopez told the synod that honest dialogue was a key element of love in the church A 'thank you' is in order To the editor:. It was good to learn of the re- cent Lilly Grant for continued work at the Brute Library. I remember the dedication in 1969. Msgr. Leo Conti, then rector of the Cathedral, should be credited for obtaining the initial Lilly Grant which made the library possible. His farsightedness and hard work in planning for and build- ing the library is certainly commendable. Then, in 1970, his efforts at the Vatican secured the mak- ing of the Old Cathedral a Minor Basilica. For both of these great ac- complishments, a hearty thank you is in order. Sincerely, Rollie and Fiore Merpi Evansville le; serving Catholic households in 12 ndiana counties:Sullivan, Greene, Knox, in;:Gibson, Pike' DUbois, Posey, Vander- )fthe individual or and said he thought both sides were well on the way toward a better relationship. Quoting Pope Paul VI, he said: "Dia- logue is the new name for love today." Does dialogue, then, include criticism? Pope John Paul appears to believe it does. At a general audience more than a year ago, he said constructive criticism. was good for the church, as long as it was not made with bitterness or disrespect. He even cited "prophetic" fig- ures from the past, including saints, who had leveled criti- cism at the hierarchy and eventually helped the church. "This demonstrates the pos- sibility and the usefulness of freedom of speech in the church: freedom that can also be manifested in the form of constructive criticism," the ca not receive Comm .| pope said. ; came after morl The same point was made at logue between the co a synod press conference Oct ee VATIC S % Th t schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger. : schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger.  14, when bishops about Cardinal marks. Bishop Assis, secretary Latin American cil, said there logue to resolve: church problems. "We must avoid an end in itself ... criticize when too, means loving he said. But how does all late in real ecclesial dialogue runs into doctrine and Even as Bishop speaking, Cardinal Congregation for the of the Faith was , ter to the world's bi:m sisting that divorced!! married Catholi unapproved second