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November 22, 1996     The Message
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November 22, 1996
 

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MESSAGE 26 years of serving Catholics of southwestern Indiana VOLUME 27 NUMBER 12 November 22, 1996 to Get to hrch for Life Bishop's Forum: 111 [ AGolden / A Note ofThanks I / Celebr?tion ,n Rome I =} J OAISI IMJIrbl CO'l"t "'tV IEVANS Brutd initiates Art and Jean Stanley, at left, enjoy the reception following the Brtttd Society initiation, with their pastor, Father Kenneth Graehier, of St. Maw Church, Sullivan. Abeve, Ann Gries enjoys what may be an unprecedented distinction; her mother and mother-in-law were both initiated into the society on the same day. Celebrating the moment are Bob and Ceeella Gries, from St. Jomph!Oh,i dict Church, Evansville. With 110 new'members, initiation ceremony since its inception in 1990. Ceremonies were held, with Bishop Gerald A. Gettelflnger presiding, at St, Joseph Church. Evansville, Nov. 17. --'Message photosby Paul R. Leingang nal Bernardin hailed for witness in life and death PILTEAu Service (CNS) Inal Joseph L. pre- leader said Cardi- of Los He cut ' ISSues. He had There is no Place," said John R. death 14 at the age Outpouring of atholic inals, bish- were at Holy in Chicago Lo represent Were Vice and U.S. ambassador to the Vatican Ray- mond Flynn. Cardinal Mahony was to be chief celebrant with Msgr. Kenneth Velo, president of the Catholic Church Exten- sion Society, as homilist. Cardinal Bernardin's most lasting and profound impact on the U.S. Catholic Church might be seen in three phrases: "The Challenge of Peace": He headed the committee that wrote that 1983 national pas- toral letter on war, peace and nuclear defense -- arguably the most widely read and most effective pastoral letter ever issued by the U.S. bishops. He earned the Albert Einstein Peace Award and was featured on the cover of Time magazine for his role in the pastoral. -- "A consistent ethic of life": In a series of addresses begin- ning at Fordham University in 198a he developed the consis- tent ethic theme -- that the to Know are there in the United States? (1996) edition of The Official Catholic 49,009 U.S. priests, including retired, or working in foreign mis- total number dropped by 938 from the newly ordained priests numbered 520. intrinsic dignity and value of human life must be protected at every stage and in every aspect as a fundamental framework for the church to address public policy issues in a pluralistic society. -- "A Catholic common ground": He announced the Catholic Common Ground Pro- ject just this past August, only two weeks before he learned he was dying from cancer, but the underlying concept of reconcil- iation of Catholics of different viewpoints was a hallmark of his whole life. The project itself immediately provoked nation- wide reaction and some pre- dicted that it would be his final legacy. Just the day before Cardinal Bernardin's death, the National Council of Churches at its gen- eral assembly in Chicago con- ferred on him the first Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Common Ground Award. The council's new tribute for outstanding ded- ication to the unity of people was inspired by the cardinal's lifelong work of reconciliation. Protestant and Orthodox leaders attending the council's assembly left their meeting the afternoon of Nov. 14 to join in a prayer vigil for the cardinal at Chicago's Holy Name Cathedral. Pope John Paul II praised the cardinal's "untiring work" and "dignity and hope in the face of the mystery of death." The president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Francis J. Spence of Kingston, Ontario, called the car- dinal "a giant among us, a wise leader, a teacher in word and deed. His 'consistent ethic of life' has become a guide for all of us." Cardinal Bernardin may have been best known to most Amer- icans for his work for peace and human life and dignity, but to the U.S. bishops he was the man who knew most intimately the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and U.S. Catholic Con- ference and the one they had turned to repeatedly over the years to resolve their most thorny problems. He was the only man to have served as both general secretary and president of the NCCB- USCC. In the last five years of his life, he headed a committee charged with proposing ways of restructuring the conferences. As he lay dying, the bishops were meeting in Washington and reviewing the proposals his committee has made. They are to vote on those proposals when they meet again next June. President Clinton conferred the Presidential Medal of Free- dom, the nation's highest civilian honor, on Cardinal Bernardin in a White House ceremony in Sep- tember. The cardinal had surgery in June 1995 for cancer in his pan- creas. He learned this August that his cancer had recurred in his liver and was inoperable. He later abandoned chemother- apy and on Oct. 31 announced that because of constant fatigue and fever from the disease, he was handing over his day-to-day arch- diocesan responsibilities to Auxil- iary Bishop Raymond E. Goedert, See BERNARDIN page 8 {D O} D o illSlm J I " [ I I .....