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November 10, 1995     The Message
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November 10, 1995

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November 10, 1995 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 5 -" Bishop's Forum .-- Part Two Memory and its liabilities o"- The memory of my home, in all ns aetail, was both consoling and uplifting for me -- first, when I was !onesome and homesick, and again m anticipation of vacations at Christmas and summer. My leaving home to go to the seminary affected me in a measure that I am not sure of even now. I Would in no way want to alter it for it Was my choice. My dad and morn Were willing to grant me permis- ::n !Hw fa!th-filled must have - nelr risk-taking!) They gave nee. ded support, both human -u Spiritual, in my youthful search. The decision about priesthood? That was left up to me COmpletely In m se aratlon fr e rniliar T_ . , Y p " omth.fa- -, ' arrlvecl at self-knowledge. From my roots my family _ I drew untold strength. ByBISHOP GERALD A. GETTELFINGER The cycles of life that I learned as a child are an integral part of my formation as an adult. I cherish the clearly defined seasons. Winter was the time to clean the stables and thereby fertilize the fields. It was also a time when the warmth of the animals made the barn a place of pleasant respite and comfort. Barn smells, particu- larly the fragrance of newly-har- vested hay, are still poignant re- minders of the hard work required of farmers -- and are renewing for me. February brought the flow of the sap. Maple sap particularly! It provided the moment for kids to learn the lesson of maple syrup. It was the harbinger of Spring. In spring farmers broke the ground for planting. Of course, we were aware of the wheat planted in the fall. We worried about the damage a hard winter could cause to tender plants. The change of seasons gives to us farmers an occasion to recall annually the cycles of life. A farmer must till the field. He must be sensi- tive to the fertile mother and make circumstances hospitable for the seed of life to be planted. The seed must be planted. Farmers must wait for the results of their ef- fort. They welcome, with great joy and even sur- prise, the birth of new life. They tend the young plants and animals after birth. They nurture them to maturity. That's the work of the farmer. Jesus knows farmers. He knows planting. He taught us waiting. He told us the price of harvest- ing. He shares with us the need to be good stew- ards. That sums up the physical nature of the place I remember as home. Within that place relationships were established, learned, nurtured, and practiced. Next time, I will relate those significant relation- ships beyond the boundaries of our home. YSALEM (CNS) leaders joined some ff state and digni- Herzl Military Nov. 6 to mourn the of Prime Minis- Were shocked by the ter- put an end to nister Yitzhak e because of his Ous action for peace. OUr COndolences to minister's family, to and the whole said Latin- arch Michel Sabbah will re- in order to be ;SUrae its march to- Peace ... with the and all the Arabs t he said. "We ant this land of region of the one day enjoy and prosperity of Loufti called ation "a huge in "a demo- Christian leaders join mourning for Rabin "Violence and the seed of non-tolerance is spreading more and more in Israel," he said. "Prime Minister Rabin changed from a person of war to a person of peace, and he dared to make peace with the Palestinian. We have come here to show our solidarity." Among other Mideast Chris- tian leaders who attended the funeral were the papal nuncio to Israel, Archbishop Andrea Cordero Lanza di Lontczemolo; Franciscan Father Joseph Nazarro, custodian of the Holy Land; Melkite Archbishop Maximos Salloum of Akka (Haifa); Syrian Catholic Bishop Pierre Abdel-Ahad; and Armenian Patriarch Torkom II of Jerusalem. Bethlehem Mayor Elias Freij did not attend the fu- neral, but called Rabin a peacemaker he respected. J "I have known him for 25 years. I know him very well. He came to my house, he would eat lunch at my house," Freij said in a telephone inter- view with Catholic News Ser- vice. "Every member of my family and most people in Bethlehem are shocked," he said. "It was the work of extremists, who oppose the peace process, who brainwashed (the assassin) to act in such a violent way. "The initiators of such hate in both camps should be qui- eted," he added. "If young peo- ple are filled with hate, some will act crazy, like our young boys who go to Israel with bombs to kill people, and they know they will die. It is the same thing with the man who killed Rabin." In order to show respect for Rabin's memory, the peace talks must continue, he said. In'fact, said Paulist Father Thomas Stransky, director of the Tantur Ecumenical Insti- tute, Rabin's assassination might have the opposite effect than the one intended. "This will strengthen the will for peace," said Father Stransky. "No matter how many fights they have, when the Israelis (are'faced with a tragedy), they solidify. They will still disagree on some key points, such as the issue of refugees, water rights and Jerusalem, but the will for peace will be solidified; how the enfleshing of that will be done is the question." Father Stransky said the as- sassination has forced the Is- raelis to realize that there are more extremist elements within their society than they would like to admit. "It has made them more aware that they can't just talk about terrorist or Palestinian suicide bombers. They don't only have to be concerned with one lone person; it is within their society, just as it is within American society, ex- cept here it has a religious ele- ment," he said. Rabin was gunned down by 25-year-old law student Yigal Amir after a peace rally Nov. 4. He was shot twice, at close range, with a gun loaded with bullets designed to explode in- side the body. Police said Amir's brother designed the bullets. Amir allegedly was active in an extreme right-wing organi- zation called Eyal. He said he was following an edict by a group of right- wing rabbis that it is permissible to take the blood of anyone who gives away the land of Israel. Amir has expressed no re- morse for the assassination and said he had planned also to shoot Foreign Minister Shi- mon Peres, now acting prime minister. Stewardship by the book Stewardship is a life style which involves a deeper under- standing of our relationship to God, to ourselves, and to oth- ers. It is a free and joyful response to the Gospel invitation to recognize our responsibility over God's many gifts. Yitzhak Rabin: A Catholic journalist's memoir Calif. during his ninister of that I met had a repu- ler brusque in COnversation. a certain seldom of a editors under le Catholic Associa. tnon, civil war laid coD.n- Jordan, arriving in Is. there of and fate apucci  a in been .s of gun viola- tions in secret dealings with the Palestine Liberation Orga- nization. Tried and convicted, he was serving his sentence in an Israeli jail. The Arabs suggested that the archbishop was being tor- tured and degraded by his jail- ers and said we ought to protest his sufferings. When we arrived in Jerusalem, we editors discussed it for some time. However, the leader of our delegation proposed we leave it to church authorities who would brief us later. This didn't satisfy me and I set about making contact with a couple of friends I had in the Rabin government. I wanted to go and see Archbishop Capucci in his prison and find out for myself what his condition was. The initial response from gov- ernment sources wasn't hope- ful. Nobody was allowed to see the prisoner except relatives and the apostolic delegate. I urged my friends to try harder and said I was only in town for 24 hours. I said it was important to Israel not to allow the Arab charges to go unanswered  presuming they were untrue. That evening we attended a reception in a Jerusalem hotel, hosted by residential corre- spondents of major American newspapers. We exchanged views on the imprisoned prelate and were told that even these American journal- ists, representing prestigious newspapers, weren't allowed to visit him. It looked bleak for my chances. But the impossible hap- pened. Just before the recep- tion broke up, I was paged and went to the phone. It was the ministry of police. They in- formed me that the prime min- ister had approved my visit to the archbishop -- "but he might not want to see you." I said I would take my chances and arranged a suit- able time the next day. I went back to the reception a happy man but mentioned it to no one, until we got back to our own hotel. The next morning we all turned up at Prime Minister Rabin's office for a group inter- view and I sat next to him. About an hour later, I asked to be excused. He said, "Oh, you must be the one who is going to visit the prisoner Capucci. All I ask is that you see for yourself and tell the truth." It was said in the same grav- elly voice that Israelis heard at the fateful peace rally in Tel Aviv two decades later. The text of his speech contained a good measure of brusqueness for his critics but also an ex- pression of tenderness for the peacemakers, both Arab and Jew. Washington Continued from page 4 yond religious activism, he said. Recent attacks by some Republican religious leaders on the suitability of Gen. Colin Powell as a potential presiden- tial candidate indicate that in- ternal conflicts within the Christian- Republican coalition are heating up, Leege believes. He said the time is ripe for a broader religion-based ap- proach to politics, such as that recommended in the bishops' political responsibility state- ment. But after one group has gained political power by claiming the religious high ground, any effort to bring in candidates of different moral values is likely to be even nas- tier," Leege said. "When religious people get heated up, they're likely to call down all sorts of divine inter- vention in their own defense."