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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
November 1, 1996     The Message
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November 1, 1996

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana --- Taking the time to make a difference -- " . - Election eve questions The caller was disappointed, f The threat of the loss of tax- principle. Frustrated. Upset. Angry. exempt status is a serious threat. Our teacher -- our savior, Jesus He had called to talk about Most persons do not seem willing to head of this body -- chose to answer the approaching election, and he give up that tax exemption, more questions. He could have said he was! said that the people at the place he Another reason for not endors- of God; instead, he chose to ask Peter, "Who! worked had recently been engaged ing candidates is the complexity of say that I am?" : in a lot of discussion about the the political process, with votes Why did he not tell us directly candidates and their stands on life taken at various points for various Why do we, his followers, have to be issues, reasons. A candidate's position on proclaim him to the world? We talked about the various an issue is also often complicated, Frustrating as it is, at times, this statements made by the U.S. bish- By PAUL at times favoring some concerns of to profess our own faith -- aloud, in ops, and by individual bishops and R. LEINGANG the Church and not others, of other people, at work, in the cardinals, and about the pope's EDITOR The caller expressed his frus- party. But then, it is exhilaratin insistence on the "culture of life." tration as we discussed the matter, and acknowledged, this faith of an The caller seemed to be famil- He wanted clearer, more direct gone outside of us, leaping forth into action! iar with the writings and teach- guidance, and he was disappointed * * :/ ings of the Catholic Church, and continued to ask a that it was not forthcoming. Take the time available to inform question for which I could not give an answer which I have been thinking about that phone call for others in your household about the issues would satisfy him. several days now. I understand the frustration that coming election. Where does the Church stand on a particular resulted, but I believe there is a way to acknowl- Use the principles available. candidate? I said that the Church did not endorse edge a challenging reality, to establish a culture of life. Exercise a candidates. Why not? Because Congress has forbid- What I concluded in my reflection, I under- option toward the poor. den churches and other tax exempt organizations to stand, may not be very comfortable, but it is clear. Read the statements made and engage in any political activity -- that's one reason. The Church is not only a hierarchy, not only an answers given by candidates for office. "Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue institution. The Church is the Body of Christ, made their views aligned with Gospel values? Code prohibits churches from supporting or oppos- up of many members, each of whom must be Vote your conscience. ing candidates for public office in national, state or responsible. Guide family and friends with your local elections and from supporting any political The Church is you. principles, applied in daily life. party," according to a set of guidelines issued by the The challenge is no different now from what it Indiana Catholic Conference (which accurately was in the beginning. We have been given the guid- Comments about this column a reflects the advice of the United States Catholic ance to give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God or the Christian Family Conference). what is God's -- but each of us must apply that P.O. Box 272, Ames, Iowa 50010. -----Washington Letter Economic justme: Achieving it harder than slogans would i By MARK PATTISON Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Four years ago the mantra was "It's the economy, stupid." It joined the question "Are you bet- ter off now than you were four years ago?" as an election-year catch phrase. But the economy isn't as sim- ple as such slogans would make it seem. If it were, then a lot more people would be better off than they are today. Instead, the reverse is true: Through no fault of their own, many people are running harder just to keep from falling further behind. It's a situation that mystifies religious and government lead- ers and tugs at the purse strings of millions of people in the Unit- ed States and many millions more worldwide. "The questions should not just be 'am I' better off than I was four years ago, but 'are we' better off- all of us, especially the poor and vulnerable," said Bish- op William S. Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., chairman of the U.S. bishops' Domestic Policy Committee, in the bishops' Labor Day statement this year. If Bishop Skylstad's question is asked, the answer is likely to be a "no" from many sectors. The U.S. economy has contin- ued to grow, according to a report by the Institute for Innovation in Social Policy at Jesuit-run Fordham University in New York. But since 1977, the aggre- gate level of 16 social health fac- tors has been in an unrelenting descent. Bread for the World's annual report "What provides a While U.S. increased, so too from 2( million to between the years Poverty and trcably linked, Marc Cohn, a associate with World. Taking a closer look at Congressman Hamilton's voting To the editor:. I feel that our Catholic news- paper was exploited by Lee Hamilton in last" week's edition. His ad was only half true. Several times within the last nine months Congressman Lee Hamiliton has broadcast infor- mation in which he brags on what he considers his pro-life voting record of 1995. Along with this he drops names such as National The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47711 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville Publisher ............. Bishop Gerald A. Gettinger F.dr ...................................... Paul R. Leingang Production Tsdnkan ............... Joseph Dietrich AdvertiJng ................................... Paul Newland Staff Wnter ............................ Mary Ann Hughes Address all communications to P,O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $17.50 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as periodical matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701, Publica- tion number 843800, Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Publication  1996  Press  E Right to Life, and the U.S. Catholic Conference in order to establish some type of credibility or alliance with those two groups. It should be noted that neither National Right to Life nor the U.S. Catholic Conference endorses Congressman Hamilton, although their names were used in his let- ter. Quite the contrary, an article this summer in the Evansville Courier stated that Planned Par- enthood (the nation's largest abor- tion provider) considers Con- gressman Hamilton one of only three representatives in the sate of Indiana who is on their side. A close analysis of those three Hamilton letters shows that he did vote 12 times on the pro-life side in 1995, but didn't mention that there were actually 20 abor- tion-related votes that year -- eight of which he voted pro-abor- tion. Specifically, these eight votes included Title 10 funding (where Planned Parenthood received $33 million to provide An election year vote? To the editor: Congressman Lee H. Hamil- ton had an ad in last week's October 25 Message stating that he voted against Partial Birth Abortion -- not much to brag about. I would expect any- one of reason to do this. Don't forget that this same Congressman Lee H. Hamilton found it necessary to vote for fetal experimentation in May 1992, himself expressing that it was a necessary evil. What makes the fetal experimentation issue any less abhorrent that partial birth abortion? Being an election year, was his vote against partial birth abortion only a cover for his previous pro- abortion votes on similar legis- lation? How can anyone seriously vote for an official such as Pres- ident Clinton or Congressman Hamilton who promote and sup- port legislation that does not respect life in all stages, the most basic instinct of humanity. In conclusion, I feel that this type of ad should have been scrutinized before being placed in a Catholic newspaper. Would you accept an ad from an abor- tion clinic or Planned Parent- hood which is the largest abor- tion provider? Mona Wagner Huntingburg See LETTERS page 5 abortion services throughout the United States) and foreign aid appropriation bill {H.R. 1868) in which Planned Parenthood again received money for their international activities. Along with this, a look at the Hamilton letters shows some striking contradictions to votes on similar legislation in previous years. In particular, one should note his previous votes in May 1992 for fetal experimentations (forerunner of Partial Birth Abor- tions) as well as District of Columbia abortion funding, and funding personnel (H.R. Isn't it strange erals from Bill tion president) Hamilton have ]y pro-lifb, last several one to recognize obvious correlation scare they received the upcoming I believe Bob Leising deserve the' Steve Bishop's sc The following activities and events are listed on ule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger: Certification Leadep Conference, day, Nov. 5. Catholic Foundation  Retreat, Mass and reception, Wednesday, Council of Priests agenda meeting, Thursday, Nov. 7, 1:30 p.m. National Conference of Catholic meeting, Washington, D.C., depart Nov. 9.