Newspaper Archive of
The Message
Evansville, Indiana
December 9, 1994     The Message
PAGE 4     (4 of 16 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
PAGE 4     (4 of 16 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
December 9, 1994

Newspaper Archive of The Message produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2020. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.

The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana --- Perspective- " Somebody really important is calling A young voice answered the phone. "Hello," the voice said. I paused, just for a split sec- ond, before deciding what to say next. The phone call I was making was to a city at the far end of the United States, to a family I had never met. I was calling to talk with them about the Christian Family Movement. The family was involved in CFM, so we had something in com- mon. But we had never met before. Not in person. Not even on the telephone. The voice of the one who answered sounded young- but I could not be too sure of that judg- ment. After all, I had only heard the one word, "Hello." This must be a child, I thought. Not a parent. The voice is very young, I thought, continuing my analysis. So this is probably not a baby sitter, who is answering the phone. Baby sitters like to seem and sound grown up, you know. When you call the house where a baby sitter is employed, you generate good feelings if you think the sitter is the parent. Usually. The voice on this occasion, however, had to be younger than a typical baby sitter, so I made a rapid decision to proceed. By PAUL R. LEINGANG EDITOR "Hello," I said. "May I speak with your mom or your dad?" I had guessed correctly. The young, small voice said, "Just a minute," and the next sound I heard was the sound of the telephone being put down on a desk or a table. "Daaaad," the voice called. "Dad," the voice repeated. "It's for you." Then the voice continued, "It sounds like somebody important." I thought that the child was certainly being very perceptive. Just by the sound of my voice, this child could tell that I was an important person calling. Then I heard the next sentence. "It sounds like somebody really important," the child clearly stated. "And you will probably be talk- ing for a long, long time." Suddenly I felt very unimportant, because I knew what the child was thinking. What I heard in the child's voice was very clear: as long as dad was on the phone talking with ' "someone important," dad could not be spending any time with the child. As quickly as I could, I completed my phone call. I wanted to make it possible for dad to spend time talking with someone really important -- the child who answered the phone. * * * Which of the many voices in your home do you listen to? The television? The Or someone who loves you and depends on J Who is "important" in your life? What is the policy at the place client in person, in order to answer the Do you interrupt a conversation son at a party, when "somebody comes into the room? Do you listen more carefully to an a child? Talk with others in your home about t they handle situations when several people get their attention at the same time. Ask yourself-- and others -- would do in the kind of situations or at home each day. How can you show concern for others? What would it take possible for you to really listen to each wanted to talk with you? Take the time in the next few days tention to the people who talk with you. Try to listen each day to someone would consider to be not important. !i Take the time to listen. You can ence. Questions and comments are Christian Family Movement, P.O. Box Iowa 50010. By CAROL ZIMIE Catholic News Service Washington School prayer revisited: Does it have a leg to kneel against it in Congress 20 years tended "to ban any overt form Kapp said his firm has been director for the WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Voluntary schoolprayer is back on the congressional agenda, right up there with the economy and government re- form. While it is touted by some as a means to reverse the nation's moral decline, not everyone sees it as the country's salva- tion. The issue gained momentum just days after Republicans won control of Congress, and House Speaker-to-be Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., announced support for a constitutional amendment permitting prayer in public schools. He promised a House vote by July 4. The U.S. Supreme Court banned prayer in public schools in 1962. And Jesuit Fa- ther Robert Drinan, former congressman and Georgetown University law professor, said he feels the same about it now as he did when he voted TheMESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47711 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Publtshed weeldy except last week tn December by the Catholic Press of EvansW ..............  GeraU A. Geaeer Edor ............................................ Pa Lgang Produon Manager ........................... Ph .................................. ,o=man /lve ................................... Paul Newland Stwr ............................. Mary/qn Hughes Address all communications to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Subscription rate: $15.00 per year Single Copy Price: $.50 Entered as 2rid cass matter at the post office in Evansville, IN 47701, PubliCa- tion number 843800. Postmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to Office of Publication Col 1984  Press t E i i i i ago. He believes the "difficulties (of school prayer) would out- weigh the benefits.  His view, he said, echoes the stance the U.S. Catholic bishops last took publicly on the issue in 1983. That year, when a proposed constitutional amendment for school prayer went before Congress, Msgr. Daniel Hoye, then U.S. Catholic Conference general secretary, told mem- bers of the Senate Judiciary Committee that prayer without instruction in religious tradi- tion was not sufficient. "For many children, prayer alone will not necessarily lead to a deeper understanding of faith, or even to the signifi- cance and importance of prayer itself," Msgr. Hoye said at the time. The proposed amendment had "symbolic value and only minimal pedagogical value," he said, and could not "justify the problems it might create in terms of the American diver- sity of religious beliefs and tra- ditions and the right of reli- gious minorities in our pluralistic society." In lieu of prayer, Msgr. Hoye recommended public schools promote values consistent with the nation's religious heritage. "There are alternatives," Fa- ther Drinan told Catholic News Service. "It's not prayer or nothing.  For example, he said, schools should teach about religion so students could learn about faiths other than their own. Jesuit Father F. Michael Perko, professor of English and history at Chicago's Loyola University, also emphasized a middle ground, such as the re- inforcement of values. But, he said, "I'm not per- suaded historically" that the Constitution's founders in- of religion in schools. Yet the issue is what to do in a society that's increasingly pluralistic." Father Perko sees the dan- ger of "religion neutral" schools, but also is uneasy about "those pushing school prayer," saying they tend to view America as "a homoge- neous society where everyone shares the same values." According to the Anti- Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, supporters of the pro- posed amendment are not pro- moting religious freedom, but "are seeking to intrude their religious views into the school, and to do so in a way which would inevitably make chil- dren in the religious minority feel conflicted or outcast." The ADL joined other reli- gious groups at a Nov. 22 press conference in Washington to oppose the prayer amendment. "I don't think Catholics should forget," warns Bill Bas- sett, professor of law at Jesuit- run University of San Fran- cisco, "that Catholic schools developed and became as large as they dd precisely because Catholic sfudents were subject to many proselytizing influ- ences in public schools from reading the King James ver- sion of the Bible or saying Protestant prayers," he said. But those who support a school-prayer amendment con- tend it is not to make others feel left out, but rather to guar- antee students' freedom of speech. "There is still an amount of hostility on behalf of courts and. schools treating students of faith," said Gene Kapp, spokesman for the American Center for Law and Justice, a public-interest law firm in Vir- ginia Beach, Vs., founded by religious broadcaster Rev. Pat Robertson. "actively involved in working out the language of the pro- posed amendment" with Rep. Ernest Istook Jr., R-Okla., who initiated it in October. "We are opposed to anything requiring people to pray, but at i graduation or in another set- ting, they should be able to," he said, adding that the "mar- ketplace of ideas should in- clude religious speech." According to a release from Istook's office, 78 percent of Americans support school prayer. Istook, in a column he wrote for USA Today, said: "We hear 'diversity,' 'tolerance' and 'in- clusion' as buzzwords. Then we're told not to tolerate some- body else's prayer, that some- how it is a danger to us." Helen Hull Hitchcock, direc- tor of Women for Faith and Family, said that "banishment of religious expression seems unfair discrimination against religious believers." She sup- ports a movement to restore school prayer. Russell Shaw, public affairs Columbus, saic have historica restoring prayer legislation." .,i "While fide prayer o basis is ideal, Knights would least a lence." But even lence, already abama ArkanS! South is contentious. According ing is wrong silence, unless attempt" to religious valueS: Others say ments are alwaYS students and particularly for a "If you complex so noted, "look at ics ... as America pluralistic, confusion so far comparison." Bishop's sc The following activities and events are schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger