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Evansville, Indiana
November 3, 1989     The Message
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November 3, 1989
 

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4 Editorial By PAUL, LEINGANG Memm0e Editor The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana November 3, 1989 ,= Finding holiness in hills, valleys of western Kentucky Inside the stone monument is a log cabin. The monument building is near Hodgenville, Ky. It is the birthplace of President Abraham Lin- coln. Logs from the original structure are said to be a part of this reconstructed house, which is itself housed in a building of stone and steel. Clay from the farm once owned by the Lincoln family was used to fill the spaces between the logs of the cabin, according to a sign posted in the monument. Another sign instructs the visitor not to touch the cabin. My family visited the Lincoln birthplace last weekend. It was one of several stops we made in western Kentucky during a two day vacation. The birthplace monument is on a hill in a qaiet park; leading up to it are 56 steps -- one for each year of Lincoln's life. Nearby, on another hill, is the visitors' center to which all new arrivals are first directed. Between the buildings, a stairway descends a stone-lined path to a fresh water spring. Water trickles over a rocky ledge. It flows continually, but never fills the chamber beneath it. That chamber is the water's entry into a cave, one of the many secret places in a land of of limestone caves and caverns. Not far from the spring is a stump, all that is left of the boundary oak which once marked the end of one family's land and the beginning of another's. Boundaries have always been important. A spring, a stump, a walk through tangled grass in late October -- here is peace. Paved roads and printed signs are unimportant. Here is a feast of the simple and ordinary -- a fence, some walnut trees, the warmth of the morning sun. Inside the visitors' center, safe inside a glass enclosure, is the Lincoln family bible. If there is holiness in this book, so too is there holiness in these hills and valleys of western Kentucky where such a one was born. A visitor can not touch the bible inside its case nor the log cabin inside its monument, yet somehow the visitor can not avoid the touch of holiness and humanity. After all, we did not come to see the stone or the steel or the glass cases -- although they help to preserve what is fragile. Nor did we come to see the reconstructed log cabin, although it adds to our understanding of what such a life was like. We came to try to touch a portion of that life itself -- and all the buildings and the things that are there must be judged by how they contribute to that experience. Somehow, in touching the life of a great man, we also touch the life of the God in whom he believed so strongly. The word of God is printed not only on fragile paper pages but also in the life of one who tried to live them. Washington Letter Changing votes By HZ SCHEVTCHUK Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Last June, 154 members of the House of Representatives pledged to cast votes upholding President Bush's veto of bills that "subvert" America's "strong pro-life policies." By Oct. 25, some had changed their votes -- if not their minds. Ten of the 154 voted to over- ride Bush's veto of a bill that liberalized federal abortion funding. As explanations, some cited such reasons as a "change of heart," fairness and duties to the folks back home. "We ... wholeheartedly sup- port the strong pro-life policies" currently reflected in law, the 154-member, bipar- tisan contingent wrote Bush on June 13. "We are deeply con- cerned, however," about possi- ble efforts "to subvert these policies," they added. Urging Bush to veto such legislative efforts, they added that "we pledge to you our presence and our votes to uphold any such veto on the floor of the House of Represen- tatives." II I "ram ESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47724-0109 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week In December by the Catholic Pru$ of Evanavtlle. Publisher .... Bishop Gerald A. Oettelftnger Almoctmta Publisher .... Ray. Joseph ZIIlak Editor .................. Paul Lelngang Production Mgr ................ Phil Boger Cir./Adv. Mgr ........... Paul A. Newlaud Address all communications to P.O. Box 4189, Evanavflle, IN 47724-0160. Phone (812) 424-5536. 8ubacrlptlon rate" $1 7.50 per year Single Copy Price: 50 Entered as 2nd cla matter at the poet of- rice in Evansville, IN 47701. Publication number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to the Office of Publication. Copyright 1989 Catholic Prelll of Evansville -- ff not minds -- on abortion issue "Current law," they wrote, "underscores our commitment to the sanctity of human life by prohibiting the use of congres- sionally appropriated funds ... to provide or encourage abor- tions where the life of the mother is not at stake." Since 1981, under the Hyde amendment, federal law has forbidden use of Medicaid to pay for an abortion except when the life of the woman is in danger. Medicaid is the govern- ment health program for the poor. This year though, Congress attempted a major change. Overturning its previous position, the House Oct. 11 agreed to adopt a Senate provi- sion allowing abortion funding in cases of rape and incest, as well as when the woman's life is endangered. The provision was attached to a $150.7 billion appropriations bill, funding health and human services, labor and related programs. Bush vetoed the measure. On Oct. 25, the House took up the issue again, voting 231-191 to override Bush's veto but failing to do so by the re- quired two-thirds majority. Joining the veto override forces were 10 of the 154 House members who had signed the June letter to Bush. Two of the 10 had voted just two weeks earlier -- on the Oct. 11 vote -- to retain theban on abortion funding in rape and in- cest cases. "My responsibilities as a public official demand that I take this step," said Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., who an- nounced Oct. 24 that he is "now on the pro-choice side of the issue." Pallone said that "govern- ment cannot and must not im- pose a view of morality not shared by the majority of our citizens. It is difficult to make such a major reversal of a policy position that I have espoused nd supported throughout my tmtire cer;" he added:"It is even more difficult to go against certain religious and moral convictions that have ex- erted a strong influence on me." "I was raised a Ctholic and have tried my best to adhere t% the teachings of my religion, in- cluding the sanctity of human life," added Pallone. He had voted Oct. 11 to retain the ban on rape and incest funding. "He had been in the pro-life camp throughout his public career," Pallone's press secretary, Ted Loud, told Catholic News Service Oct. 26. "Basically, in the last few weeks he'd been rethinking his position. He is now pro-choice. He still considers himself a Catholic and doesn't necessari- ly believe there is a contradic- tion." Rep. Carl Perkins, D-Ky., like Pallone, had voted to retain the ban on rape-incest abortion fun- ding Oct. 11 but voted two weeks later for the veto over- ride. "It was very much something he had to do for eastern Ken- tucky," said his press secretary, Treeby Williamson, citing the importance of projects funded through the appropriations bill. "I want to assure you that my views on abortion have not changed. As you know, I have consistently supported the pro- life movement because I simply do not believe in abortion," Perkins said. "This was not a vote on abortion, however. This was a vote to preserve and in- crease funding for programs that are absolutely crucial to our efforts to provide better education and health care to eastern Kentucky." Other congressmen ex- pressed concern about a "dou- ble standard" under which poor women who are pregnant as a result of rape or incest can- not get abortions but more af- fluent women can. One was Rep. Doug Ap- plegate, D-Ohio. "I don't think Mr. Ap- plegate's views on abortion-on- demand have changed what- soever," said James Hart, his press secretary. "His main con- corn was a double standard." Rep. Carroll Hubbard, D-Ky., underwent a "change of heart, change of position," said Lawrence Ford, Hubbard's press secretary. Hubbard "has been a sup- porter of the pro-life position throughout his 15 years in Con- gress," and still personally op- poses abortion, Ford said. But Hubbard decided Oct. 11 to support the rape-incest abortion funding "on the basis that it was a double standard," Ford said. "To discriminate against poor women who couldn't af- ford abortions is a double stan- dard." Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee, expressed satisfaction that most of the 154 signers of the letter did not join the other 10 in abandoning their position. Johnson's organization had helped organize the campaign to get signatures on the June letter. Along with Applegate, Perkins, Hubbard and Pallone, letter-signers who voted to override the veto were: Richard H. Baker, RLa.; Arthur Ravenel, R-S.C.; James H. Bilbray, D- Nee,; Tim Johnson, D-S.D.; Gerry Sikorski, D-Minn.; and Solomon Ortiz, D-Texas. "Those 10 members clearly violated an explicit commit- ment they'd made to tLe presi- dent of the United States," Johnson told Catholic News Service Oct. 26. "It (the letter) explicitly applied to the situa- tion that arose yesterday." Bishop's schedule The following activities and events are listed on the schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger: _ I II