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Evansville, Indiana
December 6, 1996     The Message
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December 6, 1996

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The Message m for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana --- Taking the time to make a difference -- Of saints and superheroes "Right up there with Super- man and Batman" -- that's where author Bert Ghezzi puts others who have joined the ranks of his boyhood heroes. Who are the others? They are the saints. Really• Ghezzi has written a book, which was recently published, enti- fled, "Miracles of the Saints: A Book of Reflections." It promises to tell "True Stories of Lives Touched by the Supernatural." I found out it also tells something about the author. Ghezzi writes with a sense of humor, even about such topics as martyrdom. In the introduction to the bdok, for example, he admits that as a child he was especially attracted to the martyrs, perhaps because their heroic sacrifices appealed to his youth- ful idealism. "I think I even wished that someday I, too, could be a martyr," but he quickly notes that even with such a wish, he was pretty safe. "the newspapers were not reporting any martyrdoms in the south hills of Pittsburgh, where I lived." When Ghezzi was older, he told a friend he once had wished to be like the ancient martyrs who were stripped and left to freeze on an icy lake. The friend retorted, "You think God heard your prayer .... That's why you moved to Florida!" By PAUL R. LEINGANG EDITOR But back to Batman and Super- man days. Ghezzi writes thathe gradually came to admire the saints even more than the superheroes. "Super- man, after all, was so far beyond anything I could ever aspire to. He was invincible and never got injured, but the saints, on the other hand, were mere humans. Some- times they got hurt and did wrong or even evil things, and they were no strangers to failure." Ghezzi draws a conclusion that should leap from the page into the head and heart of every believer. "So the saints seemed to be a lot like me, and occasion- ally I thought that maybe someday I could be like them." Heroes are hard to find these days. That at least, is a common view. We know too much about kings and Camelot. An occasional sports figure rises above the crowd. A political leader here and there rises to what historians used to call "statesmanship." The most troublesome judgment, to my way of thinking, is that a human hero is not enough. We tend to demand that our heroes be invincible, never injured, able to do what no other human being can do. I am convinced that we need heroes who are ;f:' i 'ill "mere humans" m who sometimes get sometimes do wrong or even evil are no strangers to failure. Talk with your friends or the membe family about their heroes. Who do What qualities are important? If your viewa changed over the years, talk about that, Re-read the New Testament, sins and failures of those who were to saintliness. Read a book about the saints. (A might be Ghezzi's "Miracles of the from Zondervan Publishing House, Mich.,1996.) Take the time to find the heroes your own family. Who are the ones who leap of faith to immigrate? Who kept the failed, and rose again? Who has shown another? Help a Child to know about the human holiness. Take the time to honor the saints and ] your church or in your community. Encourage and support a "mere has a leadership role, in your family or Comments about this column or the Christian P.O. Box 272, Ames, Iowa 50010. --Washington Letter Building in Rwanda: How to bring back a shattered By PATRICIA ZAPOR Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Roger P. Winter can't shake the vivid images of hacked-apart bodies piled in churches during massacres in Rwanda 30 months ago. If he still gets stirred up about what he saw as an after-the- fact observer, the director of the U.S. Committee for Refugees can understand why the 600,000 Rwandan refugees who went home in mid- November proba- bly won't find it easy to return. And it explains why the relief agencies working in the region see peace-building as a major goal in providing housing, food and agricultural tools. "Our question in every project is: 'Is it being implemented in a way that brings people togeth- er?" said David Palasits, direc- tor of Central Africa operations for Catholic Relief Services. "We're not going to build houses in one part of town for Hutus and in another part of town for 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. Gettelfinger Editor ...................................... Paul R. Legang Productn Technan ............... Joseph Dietrich Advertisi ................................... Pau Ne,and Staff Writer ............................ Mary Ann Hughes Address all communications to P.O, Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $17.50 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as periodtca! matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701. Publica- tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return'POD forms 3579 to Office of Pubhcation CowrigN 1996  Press o( Evansv Tutsis." CRS, the U.S. bishops' over- seas relief and development agency, and the U.S. Committee for Refugees are among dozens of international organizations in Rwanda trying to help the peo- ple and the government rebuild infrastructure, replant farms, construct new housing and heal a nation's emotional scars. As an American traveling with troops of the Rwandan Patriotic Front in the spring of 1994, Win- ter was a fairly safe and detached observer to the after- tt00.,r to the editor math of the grotesque murders of half a million Rwandans by their fellow countrymen during a brief but gruesome war of retal- iation. Today, Winter still is haunted by mental images of babies hacked in two with machetes, of corpses with chopped out and young Rwandan came upon the mangied bodies  tives and friends. : It helps him See Reader finds Kervorkian less than To the Editor, I have just finished reading the book "Prescription Medicide: The Goodness of Planned Death," by Dr. Jack Kevorkian. Anyone who has even considered that Dr. Kevorkian's methods are a pure- ly humanitarian response to pain and suffering should read his book. Kevorkian has stated that his primary aim is not to alleviate suffering: "I emphasized that it is oot simply to help suffering or doomed persons kill themselves p that is merely the first step, an early distasteful professional obligation.., that nobody in his right mind could savor. I explained that what I find most satisfying is the prospect of... the performance of invaluable experiments or other beneficial medical acts that this first unpleasant step can help estab- lish -- in a word, obitiatry... ". (p.214) Dr. Kevorkian has big plans• His goal is experimentation on living, breathing, anesthetized human beings to their deaths. This new "medical specialty", called obitiatry, would allow "any person of majority age may • . n  participate in expemmentatlo (p.253) either alone or in a group of "physicians, scientists, or trained laymen," also "a solo experimenter may be assisted by untrained laymen at his or her own discretion" (p.254). In an earlier scenario in the book, the trained layman was an hos- pital orderly. (Chapter 8) Dr. Kevorkian's major push t;or 25 years has been to gain access to death-row inmates for experi- mentation. He has, by his own admission, been rebuffed by prison wardens, legislators, judges, fellow doctors, and the prisoners themselves• He would also extend his experiments to "the following prospective sub- jects: all brain dead, comatose, mentally incompetent, or other- wise completely noncommunica- tive individuals. All neonates, infants, and children less than ? years old (age to be set by arbi- trary consensus). All living intrauterine and aborted or deliv- ered fetuses"• (p. 255) Kevorkian suggests that the experiments can begin while the subject is still conscious, but that if the subject becomes "dis- tressed," the experiment will con- tinue aiter administering a "stage ill general anesthesia". (p.255) Nowhere does he allow for a sub- ject to change his mind once the experiment has begun. Kevorkian further requires that all experiments to the death will occur in the presence of a doc- tor or nurse, a judge or lawyer, a clergyman, an administrator of the facility where the experiment takes place, and a fellow inmate if the experiment occurs on death row. (p.255) Kevorkian assumes he will find such people who will approve of hig experiments -- including the clergy! Kevorkian states that "if the subject's body is alive at the end of experimentation.., death may be induced by . . . removal of organs for transplantation," mas- sive dose of an untested drug, or a proven drug. (p.255) Kevorkian believes that the rise in the cost of medical care and a rise in demographics (read • sick and aging baby-boomers) will create a demand for his doctor- assisted suicide wants to be In conclusion, Kevorkian's boot Our pub of which less than the county remember that n't really want to suffering, but access he can deaths. Bishop's The following activities and events are listed ule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger: Iili ¸¸¸¸1 • : Dedication oiSt, Ntchola ,'  Sundy, Dec, 8, 10 a,mi Mass with students, the Immaculate. ConceptiOn, Monday, CST Mass, Monastery Immaculat Monday, Dec. 9, 11:30 a.m, EST. Deans Meeting, bishop's house, 1:30 p.m. CST. Bishop,s staff meettng, Dec. 12, 9 a:m: to noon, CST Staff Renewal Day, Catholic Centex noon to 5 p.m, CST,