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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
November 8, 1996     The Message
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November 8, 1996
 

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana --- Taking the time to make a difference -- Reactions, right or wrong It was a small news item in a large daily newspaper, but it had an impact far beyond its size. It was a story from a distant city, about a teenage prank which began in mischievous fun and came to a sad and irrevocable end- ing. Some young persons, out at night, decided to "decorate" a friend's house with toilet paper. When the friend's parents discov- ered the kids in action, the kids drove away. The parents gave chase, to copy down the automo- bile license number, according to the news report. The car with young people in it slammed into a tree. Three teens were killed. It hurts to re-tell the stor): There's a dull ache inside, as I reflect on those brief details, and thank God that none of the foolishness I have committed in my life ever led to such a horrible conclusion. Right or wrong, mischief or crime, anger or compassion, justice or mercy -- how many momen- tous decisions can we make in a split second? I remember coming home one night, some years ago. In the glare of the headlights of the car I was driving, I spotted the startled figure of a person standing next to our second car which was parked By PAUL R. LEINGANG EDITOR street and been in the driveway. Someone was try- ing to siphon gasoline, I instantly concluded. I jumped out, shouted at the shadowed figure -- who ran through the darkness alongside of our house and toward the street in front. I ran after him -- never once thinking how stupid a thing I:was doing. Only thinking back about the incident, do I imagine what could have happened. He could have had a weapon -- a gun, a knife, a tire iron -- and I could have been hurt. Or. he could have run into the hit by heavy traffic. What was the result of your action? When is anger justified? When acceptable? And what guidance can we Gospel? I know that Jesus stopped the ed to punish the woman caught in that be told Peter to put away his that I have never resolved the qt my own mind about turning over the money changers in the temple. Take the time to reflect on the tern and your family face, to act impulsively., Perhaps there is a private, personal you feel toward an acquaintance or a Take the time to better this problem Perhaps there is someone at school But nothing bad happened. The would-be gaso- who consistently provokes the anger or line thief got away, leaving behind his gas can and a plastic hose. Worse things have happened with a lot less provocation. Talk with members of your family, or with friends and acquaintances, about their reaction to the story about the parents chasing the teens. Talk with them, too, about the gasoline siphoning inci- dent. Is there a difference in the "fairness" of the results? To the extent you are comfortable, talk about the times you have acted on impulse, or in anger. of others. Take the time to work toward -- or to accept the situation with grace. Perhaps you and your family can er with other families in your church community, to be more watchful other -- to lessen the opportunities for crime. People who support each other can ! difference. Comments about this column are prleing@cfm.org or the Christian Family PO. Box 272, Ames, Iowa 50010. ----- Vatican Letter Blessing evolution: Latest in a string of bold papal g By JOHN THAVIS Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) When Pope John Paul il gave the church's blessing to the the- ory of evolution, it was the latest in a string of bold gestures that have marked his 18-year pontif- tion of the third millennium of Christianity, the pope has asked the church to look more closely at its own mistakes over the last 20 centuries. His message to international scientists Oct. 22 aimed to bridge one of the more sensitive gaps between science and faith. icate. 8The pontiff said it was time to Although many call the pope:recognize evolution as more a conservative, he has taken a decidedly fresh approa6h to a number of historical issues, ranging from ecumenism to astronomy. He has visited a Jewish syna- gogue and called Jews our "elder brothers." He has prayed in a Protestant church and praised the religiousness of Martin Luthen He has addressed a sta- dium full of Muslim youths and referred to God as "Allah." In an important reversal in L992, he admitted the church erred in condemning Galileo Galilei, the 16th-century astronomer who maintained that the earth moved around the sun. There may be more surprises and "mea culpas" in store. In view of the upcoming celebra- than a hypothesis." Already in 1950, Pope Plus XII had allowed that evolution was a serious theory that could be studied and promoted with- 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 Pul,sher ............. Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger F.tor ...................................... Pau! R. Leingang ProducIon Technician ............... Josep Dietrich lernq ................................... Paul Newland ' Staff Writer ............................ Mary Ann Hughes Address all communicatkns to P.O. Box 469. Evar,,sville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $17.50 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as periodical matter at the post offce in Evansville, IN 47701. Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Publication C_,owdt 1996 Cattc Press  Evanse out Catholic opposition, as long as it was not presented as a cer- tainty and given in terms com- patible with the faith. Pope John Paul went a step farther, saying the evidence now clearly supports the idea that the human species developed along an evolutionary line. At the same time, he said, this also leaves room for God the Creator to breathe spiritual life -- the soul  into each person. One interesting aspect of the pope's message was that it made no claim to have all the answers to some inevitable questions, such as: How exactly does one reconcile the biblical account of creation with evolutionary sci- ence? If man evolved from apes, was divine intervention the "missing link?" The pope did say that in the church's view, evolution must somewhere along the line include an "ontological leap," a point when the human being appeared with a spiritual exis- tence and attributes like self- awareness, a moral conscience and freedom. Thanks for sharing a story of love, commitment To the Message My name is Laurette Kissel Faraone, and my parents are George and Renilda Kissel. In the Message, Sept. 27, Mary Ann Hughes wrote an article based on an interview/conver- sation with my parents. It was a fine article, with a very special picture of my parents on their front porch, one of their favorite places. I thank you and Ms. Hughes for writing this article .and pub- lishing the history of my par- ents' love. I have the article framed and hanging in my kitchen, reminding my family that "We couldn't have done it without God's help." Pray for courage to do God's will To the editor: I've put.off writing for many years, lacking in courage. I believe abortion is the ulti- mate abuse of sex. But I also believes that it begins with the original abuse, which is contra- ception and promiscuity. Pope Paul VI wrote the prophet- ic Humanae Vitae in September 1968. Pope Paul states clearly that contraception violates the nat- ural law. Pope John Paul II in Evan- gelium Vitae states in chapter 13: "But despite theirdifferences of nature and moral gravity, con- traception and abortion are often closely connected, as fruits of the same tree." Natural Family Planning should be part of marriage prepa- ration courses in every diocese. We must give our young peo- ple permission to be moral. (We must give) honest answers to what is right. We know what they are, but things (have gone) so far, that it's scary to tell it like it is. We must pray for courage if we are to do God's will. We are afraid that people won't like us, if we tell the truth. Name withheld by request Editor's note: All letters must be signed and include a daytime phone number. A writer's name may be withheld. Anonymous letters will not be printed. My parents are wonderfully dedicated, and are passing a strong legacy of love on to their children and grandchildren. More stories about other good, Catholic families should be pub- lished, helping younger families to realize the value and need of strong, Catholic family love and commitment. I am proud, and grateful, to be a part of my good family. My parents gave us many happy memories, kindness and con- cern. They taught us well, and continue in that teaching daily. Thank you again. Laurette Faraone and Family Haubstadt Bishop's The following activities and events are ule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger: " NCCB (National( inc, eral Meeting, Saturday, Nov. 9 Washington, D,C, _ Brutd Society, Solemn Ceremony Joseph Church, Evansville, Stmday, Nov. 17, He said cannot verify passage, but important signs of human develo experts, in fact, research relatively abrupt leap to An Ita tist, Francesco example, noted th being shares DNA content of a the 1.6 percent appeared on the E 40,000 years ago, according to Neandel Magnon man. "So there was leap which the about," Grianti On a messa clearly churc ist Christians resist evolution more literal of Genesis. In contrast, pope strongly faith and science ciled on this and, It's an opinion have haps when one of his favoril teachers, Father. er. Father was also a See