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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
November 26, 1993     The Message
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November 26, 1993
 

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" 4 / The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana Perspective tr m m ....... - "v, ............... .............. " . s ; T hanKsgl, 00tng.00 00.cknowledging,the hol,nes I Suspect the phrase "Turkey Day? originated with the same kind of discomfort which led to the phrase, "Happy Holidays." It's a phrase of weakness, not of strength. I say, if we really want to show respect for our neighbors of other faiths, we should learn about the holidays they celebrate and call them by their right names. If you mean "Merry Christmas," say "Merry Christmas." If you want to show sensitivity to our spiritual ancestors, then learn about Chanukah -- the eight, day festival observed by Jews. This year, Chanukah begins at sundown Dec. 8 and continues through Dec. 16. It is not a "Jewish Christmas" but a "Festi- val of Lights" which celebrates the Jewish victory over the Syrian Greek oppressors in the year 165 be- fore the Christian era, and the re-establishment of their political and religious freedom. And be aware PAUL R. INGANG EDITOR that Yom Kippur -- which was cele- brated Sept. 25 -- is in fact the holi- est single day of the Jewish year. Somehow, "Happy Holidays" seems far too bland to acknowledge the importance of our holy days -- or the holy days of any faith. "Turkey Day" is o.k. in a breezy, colloquial sense -- but what k we celebrate on the last Thursday of November is in fact a day of Thanksgiving. And our expression of thanks is factually and histori- cally a day of thanks to God. There. I said the G-word that you won't find in many places. The entertainment arts -- for the most part -- use the G-word only in exclamations, like, "Oh my God!" or in other exclamations unprintable in this newspaper. Advertisements and articles about Thanksgiv- ing tend to focus on the turkey and trimmings, on stuffing first the turkey and then ourselves, on football and travel. In fact, Thanksgiving is a day -- not just to each other, or to our counti  turkey who died to fill our bellies -- but t know there are people who do not believe 1 but I do believe -- and I feel no need lief so as not to offend persons belief. Mind you, I am not calling and fasting. Far from it, I am edgment of the truth that where gathered in the name of Jesus, sent -- and that is cause for gre thanksgiving. It is time for us to acknowledge feasting and football and our families practice. Whether ' tel is not part of your own family t acknowledge that the gathering of the ( fact holy. Thanksgiving is not only a day. It is a holy day of the domestic celebration of the family, and it is in where we first experience the love III Vatian Letter Protecting papal privacy from the probing press By JOHN THAVIS Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- After 15 years of navigating thousands of stairs, ramps and runways, Pope John Paul II fi- nally missed a step. The result was a dislocated right shoulder -- the pope's blessing arm, unfortunately -- and, a new wave of concern for papal well-being among the media and the faithful. The episode Nov. 11 demon- strated that the 73-year-old pontiff, arguably the most pub- lic pope in history, enjoys a limited "right to privacy." As the pope grows older, his health and stamina are coming under the same glare of atten- tion that has accompanied his pontificate from the start. For obvious reasons, how- ever, the Vatican is trying to protect whatever private realm remains. In the days following his stumble, there seemed to be a conscious effort to avoid putting a bandaged pope on display. After an overnight stay in the hospital, the pope was back at work within 48 hours of his misstep. But during the next week, most public appearances were canceled, including the general audience, his weekly tt The MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47720-0169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press of Evansville Publisr ............ Bishop Gerald A, Gcltelfinger r .............................. ,..,..,.P I. Proiotl Ma2OL;....:.:..:,.; ........... Phil Boger .:...:...  ............... ,,,Amy Housman Advertising ........ ; ................. :.,,.....Pa Newland $tafff ter.,.:. ...................... Mary Ann Hughes : ...... .,$J2.00 per year ..... .... Single Copy Pri: $.50 ...... ._ . ,  .... ;nterel as 2hd class matter at the post office3q, E,vaosville, .. 47701. Publica-. i ..Psa,=r, :Rtum POD forms 3579 I I to Office of Publication II " 1993 Caeli l=i i Eva'vie encounter with the faithful. The pope made a brief ap- pearance at his apartment window and issued a left- handed blessing, his right arm immobilized in a well-con- cealed sling. But for many of the several thousand pilgrims who showed up, it just wasn't the same. "He looks good, but he's so far away: We had good seats, and I hoped to get really close," said Sis Adamo from Pennsyl- vania, who stood in St. Peter's Square still clutching her audi- ence tickets. The Vatican said the audi- ence was canceled to avoid placing additional strain on the pontiff, who usually shakes hands with many in the crowd and spends about 90 minutes reading a talk and greetings. His absence at a commemo- rative Mass the day before was later the pope appeared on TV likewise explained, but officials also cited "aesthetic" reasons. The idea of the pope pronounc- ing "Oremus" with only one arm outstretched apparently bothered some people. Whatever the explanation, the reaction in the Italian media to the papal nonappear- ances was predictable: instant speculation that the pope was more seriously ill than offi- cially disclosed. On a recent morning in the Vatican press office, for exam- ple, a cabal of Italian re- porters, working by intuition and rumor, diagnosed hyper- tension, low blood pressure, high blood pressure and stress. "Just look at him. He's stressed out," said one overex- cited hack. It didn't seem to matter when a few minutes Share your Christmas memories " . . . my fondest memory was the year I received my very own first camera." "With blankets bundled around us, we four children nestled in the warm straw. My father sat hunched on the wagon seat and my mother sat with her back to the wind, sheltering my baby brother born in October." Send your memories to Christmas Memories, The Mes- sage, P.O. Box4169, Evansville IN 47724.0169. The Dec. 24 issue of the Message will include a sam- pling of readers' Christmas memories. Responses received by Dec. 13 will be considered for publication. Following are excerpts from early letters: * "Our family was a large one; but on Christmas Eve there was always more since relatives and friends always came by to join the family cele- bration. Sometimes we had 30 to 60 people in our home." was no looking upbeat and rosy- cheeked. "Alarm for the Pope: Faint- ings and Amnesia," said a headline in Rome's most popu- lar daily, La Repubblica. The article cited unnamed sources as saying the pope had had episodes of "blackouts" and memory lapses even before his fall. He even forgot the name of his first encyclical in a con- versation, it said. This report was dismissed as "fantasy" at the Vatican, which said the pope had never suf- fered fainting spells or loss of memory. After his fall, he con- tinued to work a 17-hour day with no extra rest periods, a papal spokesman said. The one difference was that instead of writing, he was dictating his letters, talks and sermons to a staffer, he said. The Vatican has been backed up by U.S. and Cana- dian bishops who have visited individually with the pope in recent weeks and found him as sharp as ever. Much of the press specula- tion was fueled by the fact that no journalist was there to wit- ness the pope's stumble, which occurred as he descended a few steps during a Vatican audi- ence with members of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organi- zation. Oddly, in this most docu- mented of pontificates, there pope's fall, ei can's own switched off its into place for a session, a The V managed to film. Audience brought pher, who Vatican to of the papal plied and penance; he eral th, pictures the sources said. To many amazing thin John Paul haS: feet for so steep altar popemobile, floors and plane aisles. Doctors slow down. In a benign surgically doctors can't The pope ment and than I aires months later, his tors know prefers ways  eveIl to the rocking' Bishop's sch The following activities and events schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger. ::