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November 14, 1997     The Message
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November 14, 1997

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6 The Message for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Bishops accept study of Friday fasting for life and By NANCY FRAZIER O'BRIEN Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- lhe U.S. bishops agreed Nov. l0 to explore ways to revive the tradition of fasting and absti- nence on Fridays to counteract uch "attacks against human life and human dignity" as abortion, euthanasia, war, vio- lence and drugs. The proposal, passed unani- mously by voice vote, will go to an as-yet-unspecified commit- tee of the bishops to be shaped into concrete recommendations for consideration by the full body of bishops next year. Cardinal Bernard F. Law of Boston presented the idea in his role as chairman of the bish- ops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities. He noted that under current church law, all Fridays which are not solemnities are "peni- tential days" that should be observed with fasting, absti- nence or some other form of penance. "But our pastoral experience has shown that the sense of Fri- days as penitential days has waned significantly in recent years," the cardinal said. Bishops commenting on the plan were supportive, but many had ideas to flesh out the proposal. Cardinal Law said those ideas will be passed on to the com- mittee or committees to which the proposal is referred by Bish- op Anthony M. Pilla of Cleve- land, president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and U.S. Catholic Conference. Bishop James A. Griffin of Columbus, Ohio, urged that the proposal be viewed "in the con- text of the culture of life, rather than the culture of death." "A negative approach ... puts us in jeopardy of being in a ter- rible PR morass," he said. Car- dinal Law immediately accept- ed the recommendation and changed his motion to reflect it. Bishop Edward J. O'Donnell of Lafayette, La., expressed hope that the plan eventually brought to the bishops would not be "a lot of laws that peo- ple would try to find a way around." Instead, he said, it should set the tone for a proper under- standing of penitence. Archbishop Francis E. George of Chicago said he was "pleased that this has been sug- gested" but noted that the 1983 peace pastoral had made a sim- ilar call for voluntary fasting and abstinence on Fridays against violence, including abortion. "I haven't seen a great deal of evidence" that the 1983 call has taken root in the church, he said. Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilac- qua of Philadelphia urged that penitential practices include both fasting and abstinence, expressing doubt that "a good lobster meal" would be consid- ered a big sacrifice by most people. But Bishop Sean P. O'Malley of Fall River, Mass., said a call to both fast and abstain would "limit the number of people who could participate," since many cannot fast for health reasons. Abstaining from meat once "gave strong identification to the Catholic people',': be "a ness" to 1 Although proposal had asked the bishops by Bishop Pilla said for a report to the tive Board in March, sible submission body of bishops meeting in June. Bishops reject lraq WASHINGTON (CNS) -- By . ence of C a five-vote margin Nov. 10, the U.S. bishops turned down an effort to add a statement against the Iraqi embargo to the agenda for their fall meeting. With 163 bishops in favor of revising the agenda and 89 against, the vote was five short of the 168 needed for a two- thirds majority. But after the close vote on the first day of the National Confer- Catholic Conference Washington, the bishops' Committee would raise the in the meeting. Auxiliary Bishop Gurnbleton of the agenda the bishops' own war and condemnation of the Consultation on The Order for Celebrating Marriage Following the 1992 publication of the second typical edition of the Ordo Celebrandi Matrimonium (Order for Celebrating Marriage), the Committee on the Liturgy of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (BCL) formed a task group for the adaptation of this important sacramental ritual. Before beginning its work, the task group decided to conduct a survey of married couples, pas- tors, diocesan directors of offices for worship and family life ministers concerning its work. Your assistance in reproducing and distributing this form would be appreciated by the task group. Please ask the members of your staff and all with whom you work to assist us by helping us to understand what is happening with the present Rite of Marriage and what needs to happen in the adaptation of this rite. All responses (you may use separate sheets of paper) should be returned to: OCM Task Group Secretariat for the Liturgy National Conference of Catholic Bishops 3211 Fourth Street, N.E. Washington D.C. 20017-1194 Fax 202-541-3088 e-mail: 1. What do you want us to know about what is happening in marriage liturgies in our country today7 2. Whatadvice do you have to offer us in the adaptation of the marriage rite for our country? 3. What specific contributions does American culture have to make to the Catholic Rite of Marriage? I am a:  married person  single person  priest  deacon  other:. I am involved in helping with:  liturgical ministries  family life ministries  other:. Most of my work is for a:  parish  diocesan office  other:. The above survey is re-printed in the Message, at the request of Father William Deering, diocesan director of Worship and the RCIA. Clip the surv form and return it directht to the OCM Task Group, or send it to Father Deering, P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169. PI!otocopies of this form may be used. Wi , the leaders of religious communi n Indiana, believe in the and dignity of life. s women of faith, we believe we love our neighbor, not to kilb to one another, not to seek retribution with vengeance and further violence for the evil done to us. W: believe capital punishment de nd brutalizes the society which practices it. Therefore, we oppose the use o capital punishment in all cases. lease join us as we pray for Death inmates and their families, especially Gary Bun'is, who was convicted in the murder of Kenneth W. Chambers of Indianapolis, and who has been execution Nov. 20, 1997. oin us, too, as we pray for all victims violence and their families, especially Kenneth W. Chambers and his family. Carmelite Monastery of Indianapc Daughters of Charity, Evansville Our Lady i Victory Missionary Sisters, Hunlintlton Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, Sisters of the Holy Cross of Notre Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-c Sisters of St. Benedict, Beech Grove 4" Sisters of St. Benedict, Ferdinand Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg Sisters o Joseph, Tipton + Sisters of St. Joseph of the  ........ Order of St. Francis