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November 29, 1996     The Message
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November 29, 1996

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4 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana ---Taking the time to make a difference-- The words of a song keeping running through my head. Maybe that happens to you, too. Sometimes, indifferent phras- es and inconsequential lines repeat themselves over and over, maddeningly. Sometimes, the  words have more meaning than I care to think about. The words that I have been hearing lately, in odd moments : when not paying attention to : something else, are from a song I recall from the Sixties.. , I think they were prompted by some connection made deep inside me by a recent conversation I had with a few friends about the Thanksgiving holiday. We had been talking about growing up, and having large family gatherings, and moving from the "little table" to the "big table." ', Th small bit of a song that keeps wandering through,the'phrases of my mind come from a Bob Dylan song, "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Car- roll." It is about a woman, a serving woman, who was struck and killed by a man in a fit of violent reaction to some trifling complaint. The song describes the life of the serving woman, who helped to keep and clean the houses of others, for little pay and no respect -- a woman who "never sat once at the head of the table." Thanksgiving: A song for the table By PAUL R. LEINGANG EDITOR I keep thinking about that line, and about all the ways we use the dining table in our society. From my own experience, I know what it means to sit at the "little table" and at the "big table." Others among us may know from their experience what it means to wait on tables, and to sit at none of them. How deep in our very existence is the establishment of "order" at the table? Is there a "pecking order" at every table, identifiable equally among a cluster of free-range chick- ens and among those who gather at the company cafeteria? Who is seated in a place of prominence? Who serves the others? Who gets to sit at the head of the table? In our Christian heritage, we have some images, startling to me, of Jesus at the Last Sup- per. They are startling in their contrast -- or at least, they ought to be. Jesus and his disciples "reclined at table"- and in our western sensibilities, we often picture Jesus with his disciples gathered around him at a table. Jesus is at the center in our mind's eye. Jesus is the one who is seated at the head of the table. We don't even see the others who might be at the "little table," if there was one -- and we have no image at all of those who are serving tile meal. .: Yet this Jesus who sits at the center is who washed the feet of his disciples. He is ! ter who takes upon himself the role of the He is the king, the lord, the head of the -- who shows his disciples that they must.] life of a servant, one who would never head of the table, or perhaps, one sit at any table. Talk with family members or friends your holiday traditions, your family your festive meals -- past and F tions do you preserve? What traditions rejected? If you have made changes in rituals, why have you made them? Take an objective look at sits at the "big table?" Who sits at the Who never gets to sit at the head of the Invite someone to your table. Prepare a meal for another. Welcome a stranger to your cc Reach out to an immigrant. Find a way to wash the feet of s has just come in from a long and dust Give thanks to God. Comments about this column are or the Christian FamiZ. P.O. Box 272, Ames, Iowa 50010. ------ Vatican Letter Anglican-Catholic dialogue: Search for unity a slow, tough By CINDY WOODEN Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope John Paul II and Anglican Archbishop George C. Carey of Canterbury, England, will meet in early December as a sign they have not abandoned the search for full, visible unity. No one knows how Roman Catholics and Anglicans will ever be able to share the Eucharist when they disagree over whether a woman can legit- imately celebrate the sacrament and even over who has the authority to make that decision. But church leaders and ecu- menists continually stress one point: the two communities can never settle for just being friend- ly when the Gospel calls them to be visibly one. Pope John Paul and Arch- bishop Carey cannot and have not ignored the obstacles, but both have said repeatedly that progress toward unity is the will of God and an essential part of the Christian mission. Archbishop Carey, who has i i i 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 Publisher ........... :,Bishop Gerald A. Gettetfinger Eter ...................................... Paul R. Leingang Production Technician ............... Joseph Dietrich Adverting ................................... Paul Newland Staff Writer ............................ Mary Ann Hughes Address all communications to RO. Box 4169, Evansvifie, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $17.50 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as periodical matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701. Publica. tion nurffoer 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Publication  1996  Press o Emvae led the worldwide Anglican Communion since 1991, will have his second private meeting . with.Pope John Paul during a Dec. 3-5 visit to the Vatican. But beyond the symbolic importance of presiding togeth- er at an evening prayer service, many people wonder what a meeting between the pope and the archbishop can accomplish. After 25 years of statements of agreement, the dialogue seems to have stalled as the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion solidify their positions on women priests. However, the official theolog- ical dialogue established by the churches continues to search for agreement in areas of belief and practice." The seriousness with which the churches treat the dialogue is seen in its current topic: the exercise of authority in the church, particularly in light of Scripture and tradition. The question obviously under- lies the issue of women priests and is central to finding ecu- menical agreement on the role of the papacy. Archbishop Carey's first meet- ing with Pope John Paul, in 1992, came just months before the Church of England --Angli- can's mother church -- opened the way to women priests. The world's largest Anglican churches ordain women -- and several of them, including the U.S. Episcopal Church, have women bishops. The Roman Catholic Church insists it does not have the authority to overturn the unbro- ken tradition of a male-only priesthood. In addition, it cites the fact that Christ chose only men as his Apostles and that in celebrating the Eucharist, the priest acts in the person of Christ, who was a man. Archbishop Carey supported Thanks given for parish pastor To the Editor, We would like to write this letter as pstatement ofappreci- atmfi .for our pastor, Father David Martin, and his pastoral team, . For his reflective homilies, sincere liturgical Style, and per- sonal dedication ,to his responsi- bilities as pastor, we are deeply grateful. His efforts encourage us as parish to celebrate as a true community of faith, and his personal commitment to quali- ty prayer in the praying of the Mass helps us to realize that he is on our level, walking the path of faith to God. He is also a very spiritual man, dedicated to preaching and living the Gospel, serving the immediate needs of the parish family; he also engages in plan- ning and thinking ahead, chid- ing us forward when necessary, lest we become too comfortable in our cozy little world. He has developed a very capable, ener- getic, and resourceful staff who contribute to the concept of faith community. For them we are also very grateful. We realize that many others may feel about their pastor as we do about ours; we offer this letter as public testimony of our awareness of God's goodness in giving us this pastoral team, and we pray that they may be blessed in the great work that God is accomplishing through them. AI and Betty Simon Washington the move toward ordaining women and said in 1992 he had told the pope it was "a possible and proper development of the doctrine of the ordained min- istry." The pope told Archbishop Carey at the time what he had told the archbishop's predeces- sors: The ordination of women "constitutes a grave obstacle to the whole process of Anglican- Roman Catholic reconciliation." Officials from both communi- ties understand how observers might view the Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue as an instance where ecumenical relations actually have gotten worse in the past five years. But they are riot so pes- simistic in their appraisal. "I simply believe the agenda has become tougher," said Angli- can Father Bruce Ruddock, director of the Anglican Center, which represents the Anglican Communion in Rome. "What happens as we grow closer? It's easy at the begin- ning, but when it comes to the point when we have to change, then it's more difficult," Father Ruddock said. Cardinal Edward I. Cassidy, president of the Pontifical Coun- cil for Promoting Christian" Unity, frequently dialogue to getting over tively easy, but er and more higher. While Anglic Cath61ics with what 30 have accom Ruddock said, ne: they forget the which has been on theological personal re Anglicans As the encounters and Anglicans attention to joint ct evangelization which Pope Johrl in a recent message cal leaders. "Despite the some of them gin -- which Catholics have yet am heartened by fial growth in tion which has ta recent years," the leaders markirg anniversary of Roman Catholic' In addition to See Bishop's The following activities and events are ule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger: