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March 9, 2007

The Catholic News & Herald 1

www.charlottediocese.org

Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte

Perspectives David Hains examines the commercialization of doubt; Father Dietzen answers questions on penance and baptism

Established Jan. 12, 1972 by Pope Paul VI MARCH 9, 2007

| Pages 14-15 Serving Catholics in Western North Carolina in the Diocese of Charlotte

A credit to their service

Lenten messages stress ties with God, combating social problems

KAREN A. EVANS

by

staff writer

CHARLOTTE — Clients of Catholic Social Services (CSS) in the Diocese of Charlotte can now be certain they are receiving services that meet best practice standards. CSS recently received accreditation from the Council on Accreditation (COA), one of three national institutions that evaluate how organizations serve the needs of their clients and staff. COA looks at the standards for every service offered, and administration aspects from fiscal responsibility to board governance, said Elizabeth Thurbee, executive director for CSS in the Diocese of Charlotte. Over the course of a year, CSS evaluated every department to assess how See CSS, page 5

no. 21

Renewed and reconciled

CSS receives national accreditation by

vOLUME 16

CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON — Using imagery such as “spring training” and “hunger for justice,” U.S. bishops are promoting Lent as a way of strengthening personal ties with God and grappling with social problems harming human dignity. In separate messages, many bishops listed social issues for Lenten action. These included immigration reform, an end to the death penalty and helping children in need ranging from victims of sex abuse to orphans of war. Messages also emphasized the link between Lent and the sacrament of reconciliation. Bishop Peter J. Jugis said St. Paul’s reading from the Ash Courtesy Photo

Tania Castillero-Hoeller (pictured left), program director for the Latino Family Center in High Point, makes a home visit to a family in the High Point area. The center is one of the programs of Catholic Social Services in the Diocese of Charlotte, which recently received accreditation from the Council on Accreditation.

Searching for hope

Church aid officials say influx of Iraqis puts burden on Jordan by

JUDITH SUDILOVSKY catholic news service

CNS photo by Debbie Hill

Christian Iraqi refugees Nadera Mansour and her husband, Salah, are seen with their daughter, Lina, 19, in their rented apartment in Amman, Jordan, Feb. 13. Caritas Jordan provided mattresses, blankets and also the kerosene heater seen in this photo. The Catholic aid group also gave Lina care for a medical problem.

AMMAN, Jordan — The enormous influx of Iraqis over the past five years has put a large burden on Jordan, said church aid officials trying to help the refugees. Though official estimates put the number of Iraqi refugees in Jordan at about 1 million, Catholic groups working with the refugees say that number is closer to 1.5 million.

See LENT, page 12

Lobbying for life

Archbishop says vote to OK cloning of human embryos regrettable

“Overall the situation is very difficult,” said Ra’ed Bahou, director of the Pontifical Mission for Palestine in Amman. “Most of the refugees are very poor, and this country does not have the resources” to deal with the situation. The arrival of the Iraqi refugees in this landlocked nation of some 5 million people

DES MOINES, Iowa — Archbishop Jerome G. Hanus of Dubuque reacted with “deep sadness” after the Iowa House of Representatives Feb. 22 passed a bill to allow the cloning of human embryos for research.

See AMMAN, page 8

See CLONING, page 7

by ANNE MARIE COX and LISA BOURNE catholic news service

Around the Diocese

In the News

Culture Watch

Faith formation students raise funds to fight hunger

Catholic health care; legal fight over faith-based initiative

Pope’s writings to be published; musician’s faith

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| Pages 10-11


March 9, 2007

2 The Catholic News & Herald

InBrief

Current and upcoming topics from around the world to your own backyard

UNITED NATIONS (CNS) — When women are considered inferior beings, they face increased risks of exploitation, abuse and even death, said the Vatican’s permanent observer at the United Nations. “The inferior status bestowed upon women in certain places and upon female infants in particular” makes them particularly vulnerable, Archbishop Celestino Migliore told the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women March 2. “In some local traditions, they are thought of as a financial burden and are thus eliminated even before birth,” he said. “In this way, abortion, often considered a tool of liberation, is ironically employed by women against women.” Those who are allowed to live, he said, are often treated as a piece of property to be disposed of as soon as possible, contributing to a system in

Getting in their kicks

CNS photo by Tony Gentile, Reuters

Jose Modolo from the Pontifical Gregorian University shoots during the first match of the Clericus Cup tournament in Rome Feb. 24. Seminarians from 50 countries studying in Rome were competing in the new soccer tournament, in which the Pontifical North American College took the first victory March 3.

U.S. seminarians win opening soccer match amid prayers, high suspense ROME (CNS) — The goal was a bullet into the net, and as his cheering teammates mobbed Daniel O’Mullane it seemed like a World Cup celebration. O’Mullane had just led Pontifical North American College to a dramatic first-round victory in the 16-team Clericus Cup, the soccer tournament exclusively for priests and seminarians in Rome. The North American College squad beat the highly touted Pontifical Urbanian University 4-3 March 3 in a shootout after regular time ended in a 0-0 tie. When O’Mullane made the final shot, pandemonium erupted among the 60 or so U.S. flag-waving fans who watched from the sidelines. “I felt some pressure. I’d never been in that position before,” O’Mullane said after the match. The 25-year-old seminarian, a native of England and a naturalized U.S. citizen, is co-captain of the North American College squad, which calls itself the North American Martyrs. Urbanian College, an institution for seminarians from mission countries, fielded a mostly African team that was strong and swift, with several experienced players. But the Martyrs, who had trained extensively in previous weeks, seemed to play better as a team. In the first half the Martyrs had five shots on goal, including one blast that bounced off the crossbar, provoking groans from the college’s cheering section. There were fewer scoring

At U.N., Vatican official discusses exploitation of women, girls

opportunities in the second half, but the Martyrs continued to play tough defense. As Msgr. James Checchio, rector of the North American College, paced nearby, the teams lined up for the shootout of five kicks each. The first Martyrs shooter bounced one off the crossbar. Urbanian had the lead briefly, but one of its players sent a shot sailing over the net. Then with the shootout deadlocked at 2-2, Martyrs goalie Andrew Roza made a brilliant save, just getting a hand on a sharp skidding shot. O’Mullane’s winning goal came two kicks later. Fans could see this was a different kind of tournament when both teams huddled for midfield prayers before each half. Martyrs benchwarmers occasionally spent time reading from the breviary or “The Shorter Book of Blessings.” A crew from the British Broadcasting Corp. was there to film the event. The Clericus Cup, which ends in June, has already drawn an unexpected amount of media attention — something Martyrs players are happy about, in part because it reveals a different side of seminary life. “This soccer tournament is not all about winning. First and foremost it’s about evangelization,” said Josh Waltz, a seminarian from Bismarck, N.D. “The overall principle is to show the world charity through sports — and to have fun,” he said.

Diocesan planner ASHEVILLE VICARIATE ASHEVILLE — Speak the Truth in Love, a free series of classes addressing the Catholic Church’s teachings on life, love and marriage, meets at Basilica of St. Lawrence, 97 Haywood St. Classes will meet the third Saturday of each month, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. The topic for March 17 will be “A Lesson in Demography.” For more information, call Nina at (828) 2997618 or Helen at (828) 683-9001 or e-mail geodrc@aol.com. CHARLOTTE VICARIATE CHARLOTTE — St. Basil the Great Ukrainian Church will have an informational meeting on the Eastern Rite at Charlotte Catholic High School, 7702 Pineville-Matthews Rd., March 18 at 10 a.m. Mass will follow at 11 a.m. The Mass is open to anyone who would like to attend. For more information, please contact Father Deacon Mark Shuey at mshuey2@nc.rr.com or call (919) 779-7246. CHARLOTTE — St. Peter Church, 507 S. Tryon St. will have eucharistic adoration Fridays during Lent following the 7:30 a.m. Mass until 12 p.m. Benediction will follow with Mass at 12:10 p.m. and Stations of the Cross at 12:45 p.m. A sign-up book will be available in the Church narthex. Call (803) 517-2600 with questions. CHARLOTTE — St. Matthew Church, 8015 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy., will host a Christian Coffeehouse March 17, 7:30-9:30 p.m. in the Banquet Room of the New Life Center. Msgr. John McSweeney will speak on the Trinity. Single and married adults are invited for an evening of contemporary Christian music,

which marriage is simply a cover for “sexual exploitation and slave labor.” The phenomenon of “mail-order brides” is similar, he said. Any circumstance in which a girl or woman is treated as property and given or sold is a violation of her basic rights to dignity, freedom, health and security, the archbishop said. “Raising awareness is a simple and effective means to combat this phenomenon at the local level,” he said. “Rural villages where the search for employment impels girls to seek work elsewhere need to know as a community how to deal openly with risks to their young people,” said Archbishop Migliore. Archbishop Migliore said that recognition of the dignity and equality of women cannot be achieved without “a fresh appreciation of authentically feminine values in the heart of our societies.” food and fellowship. For more information, call Kathy Bartlett at (704) 400-2213. CHARLOTTE — The South Charlotte Cursillo movement welcomes all to join us for faith, fellowship and food at our Weekend Ultreya in the family room of St. Matthew Church, 8015 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy., March 18, 12-2 p.m. Lisa Wilson will give an inspirational talk on “Practicing Holiness in Everyday Life.” There will be a potluck lunch. Babysitting will be available with early reservations. For more information, call Paul Mitchell at (704) 841-9441. CHARLOTTE — Recharge with St. Peter Church’s weekday lunchtime spirituality program, 12-12:45 p.m. in the St. Peter’s Annex, 507 S. Tryon St. The program for March 15 will be “With Jesus in the Desert: Praying through Darkness into Light.” Bring your lunch, hear a short talk on spirituality and participate in a short prayer session — a great way to recharge during the workweek. Sessions are free and everyone is invited. For more information, call the church office at (704) 332-2901. CHARLOTTE — The St. Matthew Columbiettes will be awarding a $1,000 scholarship in memory of Gene Marie Alfaro to a graduating high school senior who will pursue a career in the nursing or health care field. The application deadline is April 10 and the scholarship will be awarded in May. For more information, call Diana Congdon at (704) 814-0624.

GREENSBORO VICARIATE GREENSBORO — All practicing Catholic women of Irish birth or descent, or who are the wife of a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians are invited to participate in the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, a social, cultural and charitable group for an ongoing series of fun and informative activities. LAOH will meet March 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the Kloster Center of St. Pius X Church, 2210 N. Elm St. Please join

MARCH 9, 2007 Volume 16 • Number 21

Publisher: Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis Editor: Kevin E. Murray Staff Writer: Karen A. Evans Graphic DESIGNER: Tim Faragher Advertising MANAGER: Cindi Feerick Secretary: Deborah Hiles 1123 South Church St., Charlotte, NC 28203 Mail: P.O. Box 37267, Charlotte, NC 28237 Phone: (704) 370-3333 FAX: (704) 370-3382 E-MAIL: catholicnews@charlottediocese.org

The Catholic News & Herald, USPC 007-393, is published by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte, 1123 South Church St., Charlotte, NC 28203, 44 times a year, weekly except for Christmas week and Easter week and every two weeks during June, July and August for $15 per year for enrollees in parishes of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte and $23 per year for all other subscribers. The Catholic News & Herald reserves the right to reject or cancel advertising for any reason deemed appropriate. We do not recommend or guarantee any product, service or benefit claimed by our advertisers. Second-class postage paid at Charlotte NC and other cities. POSTMASTER: Send address corrections to The Catholic News & Herald, P.O. Box 37267, Charlotte, NC 28237.


March 9, 2007

The Catholic News & Herald 3

FROM THE VATICAN

Cardinal: Antichrist tempts Christians to place dialogue above Jesus VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians tempted to set aside their belief in Christ as the only savior in order to promote dialogue with others are being tempted by the Antichrist, retired Italian Cardinal Giacomo Biffi told Pope Benedict XVI. Cardinal Biffi, who has been leading a Feb. 25-March 3 retreat for the pope and top Vatican officials, cited as “prophetic” a warning about the modern guises of the Antichrist presented in the work of Vladimir Solovyev, a 19th-century Russian philosopher. The cardinal, who wrote the introduction to an anthology of Solovyev’s work, said the philosopher’s most important message was that Christianity cannot be reduced to a collection of values. In one of the philosopher’s works, Cardinal Biffi told the pope, “the Antichrist presents himself as a pacifist, ecologist and ecumenist. He convokes an ecumenical council and seeks the consensus of all the Christian confessions, conceding

something to each one. The crowds follow him, except for tiny groups of Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants. Chased by the Antichrist, they tell him, ‘You have given us everything except for the one thing that interests us, Jesus Christ.’” Cardinal Biffi said the account should be taken as a warning. “Today, in fact, we run the risk of having a Christianity that puts Jesus with his cross and resurrection into parentheses,” he said. The cardinal said that if the church were to speak about only those values that it shares with others it would find great acceptance “on televisions shows,” but “we would have renounced Christ.” If Christians set aside their belief that salvation comes only through Christ, he said, they may find dialogue with others easier, but they will have denied their obligation to share the Gospel and will have placed themselves “on the side of the Antichrist.”

us for refreshments and to learn more about our group. Any questions can be directed to Mary Driscoll at (336)785-0693.

MOORESVILLE — A Support Group for Parents Who Have Lost a Child of any Age meets the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at St. Therese Church, 217 Brawley School Rd. We draw strength from others’ experience of loss and grief. For more information, call Joy at (704) 664-3992.

GREENSBORO — St. Pius X Church and School, 2210 N. Elm St., are sponsoring a series of workshops for women called Wisdom of Women. Sessions will be held on the first Thursday of the month, 9:30-11 a.m. in the parish center. The group will be facilitated by parishioner and life coach Lucy Wellmaker. The purpose of the group is to create a time and a space for women to better connect with their inner wisdom and move forward on their journey in life. For more information or to register call Lucy (336) 632-1940 or email coachw@lucywellmaker.com.

HICKORY VICARIATE HICKORY — Father Robert Ferris leads a Lectionary Bible Study at St. Aloysius Church, 921 Second St., Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. in the parlor. Anyone interested is welcome to attend. This study prepares participants for the following Sunday’s Mass by reading and studying the liturgical readings for the next week. For more information on this study, contact Kathy Succop at (828) 327-2341 or stalscoordinator@charter.net. HICKORY — St. Aloysius Church, 921 Second St. NE, is offering a weekly Catholic Scripture Study. Catholic Scripture Study is a program whose members not only learn the Scriptures, but come to a deeper understanding of their faith in a setting that builds Christian fellowship. Evening and daytime classes meet at the church, Wednesdays, 6:45-8:30 p.m., and Thursdays 9:30-11:15 a.m. For more information, call Ann Miller at (828) 441-2205, or e-mail stalscss@charter.net. SALISBURY VICARIATE MOORESVILLE — St. Therese Church, 217 Brawley School Rd., will have a parish mission March 12-14 at 7:30 p.m. Father Fred Pompei will present “Who We Are,” focusing on Catholic identity. For more information, call the church office at (704) 664-3992.

Episcopal

calendar

SMOKY MOUNTAIN VICARIATE MURPHY — A Charismatic Prayer Group meets Fridays at 3:30 p.m. in the Glenmary House of St. William Church, 765 Andrews Rd. join us for praise music, witness, teaching, prayers and laying on of hands for those in need. For more details, call Gery Dashner at (828) 494-2683. WAYNESVILLE — Adult Education Classes are held the first three Wednesday evenings of each month beginning at 6:45 p.m. in the St. John the Evangelist Church Social Hall, 234 Church St. For more information, call Charles Luce at (828) 648-7369 or e-mail luce54@aol.com.

Women chip Vatican’s glass ceiling with increased numbers, influence VATICAN CITY (CNS) — While the number of women working in the Roman Curia has steadily increased, with rare exceptions they have not broken through to the upper levels. Six months ago Pope Benedict XVI said that, leaving aside the ordained priesthood, women need to “make their own space” in the church and that the hierarchy shouldn’t stand in their way. The pope expressed satisfaction that women today were “very present in the departments of the Holy See.” But he noted one problem: The power to make legally binding decisions in the Roman Curia is linked to holy orders. That means the top two positions in each Vatican agency are filled by cardinals and bishops. In a 2004 breakthrough, Salesian Sister Enrica Rosanna was named an undersecretary of the Vatican congregation that deals with religious orders. That’s No. 3 in the chain of command, and it made her the highestranking woman at the Vatican. But it didn’t settle the question of whether she could exercise the power of governance in her role. In general, the presence of women at the Vatican has increased dramatically over the last 30 years or so. Since the beginning of Pope John Paul II’s pontificate in 1978, the percentage of women employees in the main Roman Curia offices — Secretariat of State, congregations and councils — has approximately doubled, from 11 percent to 21 percent. But most women are in support staff

Going green A statue of St. Patrick holding a shamrock is seen inside St. Patrick’s Church in Victor, N.Y. Legend says that he used the shamrock to describe the Trinity to those he sought to convert.

WINSTON-SALEM VICARIATE WINSTON-SALEM — The Spirit of Assisi hosts a Wednesday Lunch & Speaker Series each Wednesday, 12:30-1:15 p.m., at the Fatima Chapel, 211 W. Third St. Anne Gannon will speak on “Companions on the Journey” at the March 14 program. The sacrament of reconciliation will be offered at 12 p.m. in the chapel. For more information and to RSVP, call Sister Kathy Ganiel at (336) 624-1971 or e-mail kganiel@triad.rr.com. Walk-ins are welcome.

His feast day is March 17. The 11th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and “Charlotte Goes Green” festival will take place in uptown Charlotte March 17. Many local Catholic schools and organizations typically participate in the parade. The festival will feature Irish music, food and culture, among other attractions.

Is your parish or school sponsoring a free event open to the general public? Deadline for all submissions for the Diocesan Planner is 10 days prior to desired publication date (Fridays). Submit in writing to Karen A. Evans at kaevans@charlottediocese.org.

F o r m o re i n f o r m a t i o n , www.charlottestpatsday.com.

Bishop Peter J. Jugis will participate in the following events:

March 13 — 11 a.m. Presbyteral Council meeting Catholic Conference Center, Hickory

March 17 — 5 p.m. Sacrament of Confirmation St. John Baptiste de la Salle Church, North Wilkesboro

March 15 — 5 p.m. Respect Life Mass Immaculate Conception Church, Hendersonville

March 18 — 10:30 a.m. Sacrament of Confirmation Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Lexington

positions and have little decision-making input. And there are whole sectors of the Vatican that still have no women: the tribunal system, for example. The Vatican’s diplomatic corps also remains all-male and all-clerical. The thinking is that these men are not only diplomats, but personal representatives of the pope to the local church and therefore should be ordained. Among the top curial departments, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments is the only one with no women employees. The agency with the most significant female presence is the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers, where women make up about half the staff and fill some of the most important positions. Strangely, women remain a small minority — about 10 percent — in the ranks of consultors to Vatican agencies. These are experts around the world who advise the congregations or councils on matters under study, and who generally come to the Vatican once or twice a year for meetings. Some sources noted that while attention is often given to the menwomen ratio at the Vatican another slow but significant shift has occurred in the number of lay employees in the Curia. Laypeople now represent about 38 percent of employees in major curial agencies, numbering close to 300 people. Fifty years ago, half of the 12 Vatican congregations had no laypeople on their staffs; among the handful of laity who did work there at the time, none were women.

visit

CNS photo by Mike Crupi, Catholic Courier

Correction

The March 2, 2007 issue stated that St. Pius X School is in Winston-Salem. St. Pius X School and Church are in Greensboro. The Catholic News & Herald regrets the error.


4 The Catholic News & Herald

around the diocese

PB 146B ad_advertorial

Children raise funds to fight hunger

MINT HILL — Children in Mint Hill are doing their part to fight hunger. The fourth-grade faith formation class at St. Luke Church in Mint Hill recently raised $75 for Heifer International, a charitable organization based in Little Rock, Ark., that works in 50 countries throughout the world. The charity provides livestock to the poor, offering a sustainable resource for individuals, families and villages to support themselves. Recipients are required to share some of the offspring of their animals with their neighbors in community-building gestures. During Advent, the class raised the money to help purchase a “hope basket” of rabbits, chickens and a flock of ducks to provide food and income for a family. The gifts provided by Heifer International are varied and tailored to the locale. They include honeybees, water buffalo, heifers, llamas, goats, sheep and silkworms, among other food and income-producing animals. The third-grade faith formation class is working toward buying a goat from World Vision, a Christian relief and development organization, to help an

impoverished family. “The children are performing chores and jobs to earn money to collect this money,” said Martha Hannah, parish faith formation coordinator. By the end of February, the children had already collected $50 toward their $120 goal.

2/21/07

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March 9, 2007

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Members of the fourth-grade faith formation class at St. Luke Church in Mint Hill, along with their teachers Chris Mann and Robert Blasko, are pictured Feb. 14 with a catalog for Heifer International. Children pictured are Devin Way, Wesley Mullen, Cayman Starnes, Logan McMahan, Nicole Jarvis and Jenna Marrocco.

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March 9, 2007

from the cover

The Catholic News & Herald 5

CSS receives national accreditation CSS, from page 1

attuned it was to clients’ needs. “Accreditation shows that CSS is an agency that makes providing the highest possible quality of services a top priority,” said Ann Kilkelly, director of development for CSS. COA is an international, independent, not-for-profit, child- and family-service and behavioral health care accrediting organization. It views accreditation as a catalyst for change that builds on an organization’s strengths and helps it achieve better results in all areas. “The whole process gave the staff the tools to look at the programs and services offered in context of best

DID YOU KNOW?

— CSS is one of 1,600 accredited agencies in the U.S. — CSS is one of 60 accredited agencies in North Carolina — CSS serves about 18,000 clients each year in the Diocese of Charlotte — CSS serves people of all ages, religions and races — CSS services include: Domestic adoption International adoption Pregnancy support Counseling Hispanic services Immigration services Youth services Elder ministry Marriage preparation Respect life Natural family planning Refugee resettlement Justice and peace education and advocacy Economic development

“Accreditation shows that CSS is an agency that makes providing the highest possible quality of services a top priority.” — Ann Kilkelly, CSS practices to ensure that clients receive the best service possible,” Thurbee said. As part of the accreditation process, CSS developed a system to allow clients to give feedback about their experiences with CSS. For one week each quarter, clients are asked to fill out a survey that is printed in their native language. The results are then given to staff and board members. “We use this information to make improvements and changes,” Thurbee said. In addition, staff members have had the opportunity to receive outside recognition for and evaluation of their work, she said. CSS is one of very few accredited agencies in North Carolina that offer so large a scope of services, Thurbee said. “We are meeting a standard of excellence in terms of confidentiality and outcomes,” said Lori Fox, counseling supervisor for CSS in the Diocese of Charlotte. “We’re now able to judge the effectiveness of our work and whether or not we are meeting our goals,” Fox said.

Courtesy Photo

Karen Clanton, a counselor with New Horizons Program for Children and Families, tells stories to children during a cooking class for guardians enrolled in New Horizons, one of the many services offered by Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Charlotte. The next step for CSS will be applying for accreditation by the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. The Hague convention is an international treaty created to ensure that intercountry adoptions are in the best interests of children and to prevent abduction, exploitation, sale or trafficking of children. The United States signed this treaty in March 1994.

CSS applied for Hague accreditation in November 2006 and expects to be accredited by December 2007. Contact Staff Writer Karen A. Evans by calling (704) 370-3354 or e-mail kaevans@charlottediocese.org.

WANT MORE INFO? Go online at www.cssnc.org

Sponsored by CSS Elder Ministries

Two dates and locations to choose from!

Thurs., April 26th – St. Mark, Huntersville 10 am to 4 pm: Closing Mass with Bishop Jugis Registration deadline: April 18th Thurs., May 3rd – Catholic Conference Ctr., Hickory 9 am – 3:30 pm: Closing Mass with Fr. Edward Sheridan Registration deadline: April 19th Your day will be filled with live entertainment, fellowship, Mass, lunch with friends, chair massages, line dancing, crafts, bingo, door prizes and more! Call Sandra Breakfield (704) 370-3220 or Sherill Beason (704) 370-3228.

Cost: $12 includes lunch. Limited space available. Register NOW!

Photo by Karen A. Evans

Catholic Social Services provides a variety of services to about 18,000 clients in western North Carolina, including pregnancy support and domestic and international adoption.


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in the news

Panelists at ethics meeting discuss what makes health care Catholic St. Thomas Aquinas Academy, PO Box 672, Arden, NC 28704

CHICAGO (CNS) — A declining number of vowed religious in the hallways or fewer crucifixes on the walls do not make Catholic hospitals any less Catholic, as long as they continue their mission to serve the least among us, according to panelists at a conference in Chicago. Leaders in Catholic health care and ethics discussed “Catholic Health Care as Mission” Feb. 28 to open a three-day conference on “Catholic Health Care Ethics: The Tradition and Contemporary Culture” at Loyola University Chicago in suburban Maywood. With health care “a multibilliondollar business,” some might wonder “if we look a whole lot different than forprofit hospitals,” said Brian Yanofchick, senior vice president for mission services at the Catholic Health Association. “But we still offer a lot of services that others don’t want to touch these days” because they are not profitable, he added. “Caring for the poor is an integral part of what we do, but it creates a lot of struggles,” said Patricia Cassidy, senior vice president for system development and strategy at Loyola University Health System. “The burden is on us to make sure we give people an opportunity to understand what we are about,” she said. Listing the “unmet needs for us today in Catholic health care,” Yanofchick

called for greater efforts to achieve “trusting relationships” with patients, employees and other health providers in the community. “Every horror story about how someone was not taken care of was an issue of trust,” he said. The CHA official also urged Catholic health providers to work for greater influence at the national level on issues such as the uninsured and ethics, while also working with others in the local community to provide better care for the poor. On ethical issues, Cassidy worried that “technology is zooming ahead of ethical conversations.” “We are not ready to deal with that issue,” she said, adding that everyone in Catholic health care needs to know how to respond when a specific procedure is not available to a patient because of ethical concerns and the patient says, “I can go across the street and get that done.” She also urged a greater advocacy role for Catholic health care at the national and regional level and said everyone in the workforce must be given “an opportunity to absorb our mission and to feel it and to live it.” “We are people of such privilege; it’s a God-given gift to be in Catholic health care,” Cassidy said. “We have to put that face on, and not (look like) the wolf is at the door.”

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March 9, 2007

Freedom from faith?

Court case could open door to legal fight over faith-based initiative WASHINGTON (CNS) — In a case that hinges on procedural questions of when a taxpayer has the legal standing to challenge how the administration spends money appropriated by Congress, the Supreme Court is being asked to open the door to legal fights over President George W. Bush’s faith-based initiative. The only question before the court is the fairly dry issue of whether taxpayers have standing under the Establishment Clause of the Constitution to challenge actions of the executive branch that are only indirectly financed through general appropriations by Congress. During oral arguments Feb. 28, Solicitor General Paul Clement argued that taxpayers only have the legal standing to challenge how the administration spends money when the funds are going directly to an outside source. Attorney Andrew Pincus, arguing on behalf of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a group of Wisconsinbased atheists and agnostics, argued that because the meetings organized by the White House were religious in character it was unconstitutional for them to be paid for with U.S. government money. Because the funding came from Congress and the events were religious in character, it’s fair to expect taxpayers to have the right to challenge the expenditures, he said. The foundation argues that the administration organized events as part of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives to advance funding for faith-based organizations, to the detriment of nonreligious community groups that also were eligible to participate. The complaint argued that the administration’s programs to promote its faith-based and community initiatives served as “propaganda vehicles for religion,” and that events were little more than religious meetings. But a federal district court in Wisconsin dismissed the lawsuit, saying the Freedom From Religion Foundation

lacked legal standing, or the right to appear in court. The ruling said the Establishment Clause claim failed to show that the activities of the executive branch were “examples of congressional spending power,” and therefore denied standing to the foundation. A three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, and reinstated the lawsuit. “Taxpayers have standing to challenge an executive branch program, alleged to promote religion, that is financed by a congressional appropriation, even if the program was created entirely within the executive branch,” wrote Judge Richard Posner. The current case at the Supreme Court is the federal government’s challenge to that 7th Circuit ruling. In the oral arguments at the Supreme Court, discussion alternated between analysis of previous court rulings on the legal standing of taxpayers and often light-hearted banter among the justices and the attorneys about exactly what sorts of expenditures might constitute sufficient government involvement to warrant the court’s intervention. In the case of a prayer breakfast in which the administration is involved, for example, said Pincus, “The challenge is to the discriminatory purchase. It’s not about the prayer breakfast; it’s about the idea that the government is purchasing bagels in a religiously discriminating way.” The court’s decision could affect other efforts by taxpayers to sue over how federal funds are used by the administration. In his decision for the 7th Circuit, Posner wrote that limiting who can sue the administration in such cases could lead to violations of the Establishment Clause “because there is so much that executive officials could do to promote religion in ways forbidden by the Establishment Clause.” A ruling in Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation is expected before the court adjourns for the summer.


March 9, 2007

Catholics lobby for more pro-life legislation CLONING, from page 1

“With deep sadness, I regret the recent action by the Iowa House and Senate to change Iowa’s law which banned human cloning,” he said. The measure, H.R. 287, passed with a 52-46 vote. Fifty-one votes were needed for passage. One Republican apparently accidentally voted for the bill. A week earlier the legislation moved swiftly through the Senate, passing with a 26-24 vote. The bill moves to Gov. Chet Culver’s desk. He has said he will sign it. “In recent weeks and months, I strove to explain Catholic teaching,” the archbishop said. “This teaching is inspired by Jesus’ call to respect every human being, especially the most vulnerable among us. Catholic thought also supports scientific research based on sound ethical principles. “Experimentation on nonembryonic stem cells has produced many medical therapies which have helped persons suffering from a wide range of ailments. Let us pray that Iowa tax dollars will be used only for these efforts,” he said. “This was a hard-fought battle,” said Tom Chapman, director of the Iowa Catholic Conference. “We were up against a governor who made it a top priority to drop the ban on cloning,

RESPECT LIFE

and leadership in both houses who also wanted to drop the ban.” Chapman thanked all the people who were involved in the fight. Many people lobbied legislators. Others sent e-mails to their legislators, and supporters packed the House chamber the night of Ash Wednesday for a public hearing. The House vote was preceded by hours of debate, during which Republican Rep. Dave Heaton read from the floor a recent opinion article written by the archbishop. At the Feb. 21 public hearing, which lasted three hours, Archbishop Hanus delivered his testimony in person. It was his first appearance at a legislative hearing in almost 10 years. Although most legislators were not present, there was a standing-room-only crowd of people in the balcony. Many wore pro-life shirts, a sticker encouraging legislators to vote no on the bill, and Knights of Columbus pins or emblems. Archbishop Hanus asked state lawmakers to preserve life and to focus state resources on adult stem-cell research, which has proven results. “The respect for human life is fundamental to every other liberty that we enjoy, every other blessing that comes to us from God and that is protected by the rights of our Constitution and our way of life,” he said. He received applause at the

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The Catholic News & Herald 7

CNS photo by Lisa Bourne, Catholic Mirror

Archbishop Jerome G. Hanus of Dubuque, Iowa, testifies at a public hearing in the Iowa House chambers on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 21, opposing a bill that would allow the cloning of human embryos for research. conclusion of his testimony. At least three former legislators who were instrumental in passing the ban on cloning in 2002 made the trip back to the Capitol for the public hearing. Former Democratic Rep. Mark Tremmel asked what had changed in the five years since the cloning ban had been passed that would make the legislators think the law ought to be changed. He pointed out that embryonic stem-cell research was still possible in the state, that the proposed bill would legalize human cloning, and that not one medical treatment had been derived from embryonic stem-cell research. Tremmel said his mother suffered from juvenile diabetes and his father has a rare blood cancer. “We can cure human beings without cloning human embryos,” he said. “By allowing cloning of embryos for research, science moves further away from respect for life,” Maggi Nadol, director of Catholic Social Service’s Respect Life Office, commented on the subject. “There are many attempts to cover the fact that life will be sacrificed for the possible benefit of another. God, the Author of Life, places equal value on his creations, including the smallest and most vulnerable,” said Nadol.

Carolina asked Catholics in their dioceses to learn more about embryonic stem-cell research and to join them in defeating pending legislation that will likely recommend state funding. Both Bishop Peter J. Jugis of Charlotte and Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Raleigh sent joint letters to all pastors in the state urging them to acquaint their parishioners with the Catholic Church’s teachings on stem-cell research, especially those aspects that violate the church’s moral teaching. The letters were sent with a threepart document on the teaching on stemcell research to be included in parish bulletins distributed at Masses. In their letter, the bishops asked their pastors to help educate and mobilize Catholics on stem-cell research so they can “voice their opposition to embryonic stem-cell research and any proposal to fund it using taxpayer dollars.” Over the past two years, the N.C. General Assembly has been studying House Bill 632, which would provide taxpayer funding for embryonic stemcell research within North Carolina. The bishops stated that the voices of the more than 400,000 Catholics in North Carolina “can make a difference on behalf of the unborn.”

Local legislation In January, the bishops of North

Contributing to this article was Kevin E. Murray.

New York Catholic official assails $2.1 billion stem-cell bill Richard Barnes, executive director of the ALBANY, N.Y. (CNS) — The executive director of the New York State Catholic Conference urged the state Legislature Feb. 28 to ban any form of “taxpayer-financed human cloning” and to reject Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s $2.1 billion Stem Cell and Innovation Fund as proposed, with its major emphasis on funding research on human embryonic stem cells. “The governor’s stem-cell research proposal is devoid of any moral consideration whatsoever for the living human embryos who will be subject to experimentation and destruction,” said

conference, which is the public policy arm of the state’s Catholic bishops. He made the remarks in testimony before a joint meeting of the Senate Finance Committee and the Assembly Ways and Means Committee. The proposed fund calls for spending $100 million in New York’s public funds next year and $50 million a year for the next 10 years after that on “stem cells, other life sciences and emerging technologies.” In addition, it calls for a $1.5 billion bond act, subject to voter approval in 2008, for such research.


8 The Catholic News & Herald

March 9, 2007

iraqi refugees

Aid officials: Iraqi influx burdens Jordan AMMAN, from page 1

— more than half of whom are former Palestinian refugees — has caused prices to skyrocket, making the cost of living for the average Jordanian almost prohibitive, said Hania Bsharat, assistant manager of the Extremely Vulnerable Individuals project of Caritas Jordan, the local church’s charitable aid agency. “Most Jordanians don’t welcome the Iraqis,” she said. “We are a poor country. We need a solution — resettlement in Jordan or in a foreign country, and we hope that they will be allowed to work and send their children to school. There is no way they can go back to Iraq.” The only escape routes left open to Iraqis trying to flee their war-torn country lead to Syria or Jordan, but the regulations for entering those countries fluctuate, sometimes daily, leaving people bewildered and unsure of how to proceed, aid workers said. For example, recently the minimum age for males permitted to enter Jordan was raised from 35 to 40 for “security reasons,” and Syria also recently imposed a similar directive. When they manage to cross into Jordan, the Iraqis arrive in Amman with no legal status and no rights, having escaped from threats of kidnapping, murder and daily bombings that leave hundreds of people dead every week. The refugees lack health care, employment and educational opportunities for their children. The Extremely Vulnerable Individuals project, which provides funds for health care, food and humanitarian assistance, has seen an increase in the number of people turning to it for help in the past year; many have chronic diseases that went unchecked in Iraq. “Most of the people who come seeking our help are (also) depressed,” she said, sitting in the Caritas offices in downtown Amman. “They don’t want just health care.” The elderly, young mothers with babies, women in wheelchairs — their faces all darkened by the same grim resignation — line the walls in the reception room as they wait for social workers to do the initial assessment. Later, they will sit with one of the seven caseworkers, who will then visit their homes to help determine the degree of need and amount of help Caritas can provide. Each caseworker sees about seven families a day, said Bsharat. Caritas also runs an informal school project and a community clinic for the Iraqi refugees. “There is too much demand and too little resources, especially for the chronic disease cases which need treatment every month,” Bsharat said. Growing needs Iraqi refugees also receive treatment, partially funded by the Pontifical

“Most Jordanians do not welcome the Iraqis.” — Hania Bsharat, Extremely Vulnerable Individuals project Mission, in a hospital administered by the Comboni Sisters. The refugees hear about the hospital through word of mouth, said Sister Kudassti Tekle, the hospital administrator who is originally from Eritrea. Patients are asked to pay a symbolic amount for their own treatment in order to maintain their dignity and self-respect, she said. “We have many new refugees coming, and that is part of our mission. We as Christians can never refuse anyone,” said Sister Tekle. The hospital and its clinic are also open to Jordanians and other foreigners living in Jordan. Five years ago the hospital had to expand the building for its outpatient clinics because of the substantial increase in patients, said Sister Tekle. “Now more and more refugees are starting to come with more sick conditions. They are very depressed and have hypertension” due to their situation, she said. Cathy Breen, a member of the Catholic Worker Movement in New York and researcher on Iraqi issues for Voices for Creative Nonviolence, said the most basic need of Iraqis in Jordan is to have their legal status clarified so they can work, send their children to school and be free from fear of deportation. Currently, she said, one of the requirements for becoming a legal resident is to have $100,000 frozen in the bank — a clear impossibility for the majority of refugees who have had to leave almost all they own in Iraq. Another, less-publicized problem facing Iraqi refugees is the cancellation of the “S” series passports they were required to have as a travel document following the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Some 1 million Iraqis left the country with this document, said Breen, but since their departure it was determined that the passports were too easily forged, so the series was made invalid. In order to receive new documents to be able to travel abroad, the refugees must return to Iraq, she said, because Iraqi embassies have not been authorized to issue the new passports. This leaves most refugees stranded, since returning to Iraq is not a viable option for them, she said.

CNS photo by Debbie Hill

Iraqi teacher Manal Lutef talks to children during class in a special school for Iraqi refugee children at the Franciscan Sisters of Mary convent in Amman, Jordan, Feb. 14. Nuns at the convent started the school to help Iraqi children whose education had been interrupted by war.

Confusing regulations keep Iraqi children away from Jordan’s schools by

JUDITH SUDILOVSKY

catholic news service

AMMAN, Jordan — Like most things relating to Iraqi refugees in Jordan, the regulations pertaining to the schooling of some 600,000 children are unclear. Starting in September, Iraqi children were supposed to be permitted to attend Jordan’s public schools, but the reality is different. “We have many children not attending school,” said Ra’ed Bahou, the Pontifical Mission for Palestine’s regional director for Jordan and Iraq. According to a Human Rights Watch report issued last fall, the Jordanian government does not bar Iraqi children without residency permits from going to school, but “its deliberate policy of misstatements and mixed signals has left Iraqis without residency permits confused and apprehensive about their children’s rights. This has deterred them

from enrolling their children in school.” Even Interior Ministry government officials “were unable or unwilling” to specify the government’s policy for the 2006-07 school year in a meeting with their representatives, said the Human Rights Watch report. The government officials said the approximately 60,000 Iraqi students who had attended public school last year caused “severe overcrowding in classrooms,” with up to 50 students in a classroom. Though some Christian families send their children to private Christian schools, most cannot afford this option. Parents find it difficult to keep track of the ever-changing regulations and are wary of sending their children to school. A number of churches and religious orders have stepped in to provide some sort of informal education classes for the children in basic subjects such as Arabic, English and math, said Bahou.

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March 9, 2007

Father of the flock

The Catholic News & Herald 9

iraqi refugees

Priest finds strong faith among Amman’s Chaldean Catholic refugees * the breathtaking countryside * the traditions of our Catholic faith * the legends of her people by

JUDITH SUDILOVSKY catholic news service

AMMAN, Jordan — At dusk, a handful of men and women begin to trickle into a stone-faced apartment building in Amman’s Jabal Lweibdeh neighborhood. At the staircase leading to the entrance of the building a small sign proclaims “Chaldean Catholic Vicariate.� The people have come to attend the Wednesday Sacred Heart devotion and Mass said by Father Raymond Moussalli, patriarchal vicar, who was sent by the Chaldean Catholic Church in Baghdad five years ago to minister to the burgeoning Chaldean community in Jordan. “Orthodox Christians go to (the) Orthodox church. I am Chaldean. I want to go to a Chaldean church,� said Maisoun Gerdis, who has been in Jordan for seven years and regularly attends the Wednesday services in addition to Sunday Mass. Praying her own liturgy strengthens her, she said. Father Moussalli is the sole Chaldean priest permanently assigned to Amman, although occasionally a priest is sent from Iraq or Syria to assist him. The refugee population is always in transition, and the number of the faithful

under his pastoral care can reach as high as 10,000 or fall to 8,000, Father Moussalli said. Every Wednesday about 20 people come to the apartment — where a chapel has been set up in the living room — for the devotion and Mass, said Father Moussalli. Once a month he conducts a Bible study for the community. He describes the spiritual faith of his flock as strong. “The people feel their faith and like to be safe with us,� said Father Moussalli. “But what they really want is (to get) a visa and go abroad. Here they have no house, no work, no studies. It is terrible ... We don’t understand the war.� Many Iraqi families have been separated because of the situation in their country, he said, and they face great emotional strain and come to him asking for material and spiritual help. “They ask why this is happening to them,� he said. While he can’t give them material help, he tries to “give them Jesus.� “I answer them that we need to have patience, that Jesus is with us all our lives. Maybe this is a temptation from the devil. We have to be very strong in our faith,� he said. “The situation here really affects people. ... I try to visit them in their houses, but I can’t visit them all. I am alone here.

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CNS photo by Debbie Hill

Iraqi refugee Sabria Yousef Nona prays during Mass in the Chaldean Catholic Vicariate in Amman, Jordan, Feb. 14. A sole Chaldean priest in Amman looks after the spiritual needs of 8,000-10,000 Catholics, including many refugees from Iraq.

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Before, many people would send their dead back to Iraq for burial. Now it is terrible and not possible,â&#x20AC;? he said, adding that he expects to be performing more funerals and burials in Amman.

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March 9, 2007

10 The Catholic News & Herald

Culture Watch

A roundup of Scripture, readings, films and more

Collection of Pope Benedictâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;essential writingsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; to be published SAN FRANCISCO (CNS) â&#x20AC;&#x201D; A new book to be published in March by HarperSanFrancisco brings together what its editors call â&#x20AC;&#x153;the central writings and speechesâ&#x20AC;? of Pope Benedict XVI. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Essential Pope Benedict XVI: His Central Writings and Speechesâ&#x20AC;? opens with then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzingerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sermon at the funeral of Pope John Paul II April 18, 2005, and closes with his first encyclical, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Deus Caritas Estâ&#x20AC;? (â&#x20AC;&#x153;God Is Loveâ&#x20AC;?), dated Dec. 25, 2005. Edited by John F. Thornton and Susan B. Varenne, the 464-page hardcover book will sell in the United States and in Canada. Major subject areas in the book include Christian relations with Islam, Christian values, birth control and abortion, sexual misconduct in the priesthood, the ordination of women, anti-Semitism and the Catholic Church, and ecumenism and interfaith dialogue. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Now that a leading Catholic theologian has assumed office as pope,

Photo by CNS

This is the cover of â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Essential Pope Benedict XVI: His Central Writings and Speeches,â&#x20AC;? edited by John F. Thornton and Susan B. Varenne. many are eager to get an overview of his theology,â&#x20AC;? said Cardinal Avery Dulles in a back cover comment on the book. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The present selection, drawn largely from his shorter writings, gives an excellent sampling. It will provide a first orientation to beginners and will enable veterans to supplement their familiarity with this important thinker,â&#x20AC;? said Cardinal Dulles.

Rome office inundated with requests for JPII prayer cards, relics

States. CNS had published a story about the cards and relics Feb. 26 and dozens of Web sites and blogs ran links to the story. The prayer cards and relics, a small piece of one of the white cassocks worn by Pope John Paul, always will be distributed free of charge, but without an increase in donations the office cannot afford to mail them, Brother Gaffrey said. Several options for sending donations can be found on the official Web site of Pope John Paulâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sainthood cause â&#x20AC;&#x201D; www.JohnPaulIIBeatification.org â&#x20AC;&#x201D; which was experiencing interruptions in service because of the increased traffic in early March.

ROME (CNS) â&#x20AC;&#x201D; The Rome diocesan office charged with promoting the sainthood cause of Pope John Paul II has exceeded its postage budget because of increased requests for prayer cards and relics of the late pope. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We were getting about 50 requests a day, but overnight it grew to between 500 and 1,000 requests,â&#x20AC;? an office spokeswoman said March 2. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We could not have foreseen this demand.â&#x20AC;? Franciscan Brother Chris Gaffrey, who assists the office with English translations, said the vast majority of requests in late February and early March were coming via e-mail from the United

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WORD TO LIFE

Sunday Scripture Readings: march 18, 2007

March 18, Fourth Sunday of Lent Cycle C Readings: 1) Joshua 5:9a, 10-12 Psalm 34:2-7 2) 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 3) Gospel: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

God helps us discover unconditional love by JEAN DENTON catholic news service

Like most others, our family has its share of psychological and emotional baggage. A particularly difficult part of it is in the story of our own prodigal son. It would have been easier if it had been only half a chapter long, as it was in Lukeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gospel. But itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lasted 15 years. Now that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re almost there, I realize that a journey to wholeness is like following switchbacks up a mountain. In our case it began with a serious trauma and five people, including the injured one, ill equipped by our human weakness to recover quickly. Unlike Lukeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lost son, ours was agonizingly slow to even begin the return home. The home front wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t particularly

welcoming either. But step by step, back and forth, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d try and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d try. Even with predictable fallbacks and periodic failures, we progressed. Mostly, I think, it was because we all wanted to so badly. We just didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have it within our capabilities to make full reconciliation happen. But we all continually sought Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s help and strength. Through it weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve grown in understanding; weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve learned to love with patience and selflessness; weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve matured and rediscovered the unconditional love at the heart of us. In the last year something happened: I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t explain it, but without us knowing how, the slow, arduous journey broke into a trot. Now we find ourselves embracing in the road. The words of Paul explain what has happened for us through the constant saving act of Christ: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.â&#x20AC;? We have a new relationship, a new family life, and Paul reminds us too, â&#x20AC;&#x153;All this is from God.â&#x20AC;? It wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have been otherwise. Questions: What relationships in your own life need reconciliation? What attitudes of the loving father in Lukeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s story of the Prodigal Son are required to make it happen? Scripture to be Illustrated: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Your brother was dead and has come to life againâ&#x20AC;? (Lk 15:32).

WEEKLY SCRIPTURE Scripture for the week of March 11-17 Sunday (Third Sunday of Lent), Exodus 3:1-8, 13-15, 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12, Luke 13:1-9; Monday (Lenten Weekday), 2 Kings 5:1-15, Luke 4:24-30; Tuesday (Lenten Weekday), Daniel 3:25, 34-43, Matthew 18:21-35; Wednesday (Lenten Weekday), Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9, Matthew 5:17-19; Thursday (Lenten Weekday), Jeremiah 7:23-38, Luke 11:14-23; Friday (Lenten Weekday), Hosea 14:2-10, Mark 12:28-34; Saturday (Lenten Weekday, St. Patrick), Hosea 6:1-6, Luke 18:9-14. Scripture for the week of March 18-24 Sunday (Fourth Sunday of Lent), Joshua 5:9-12, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, Luke 15:1-3, 11-32; Monday (St. Joseph), 2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16, Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22, Luke 2:41-51; Tuesday (Lenten Weekday), Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12, John 5:1-16; Wednesday (Lenten Weekday), Isaiah 49:8-15, John 5:17-30; Thursday (Lenten Weekday), Exodus 32:7-14, John 5:31-47; Friday (Lenten Weekday, St. Toribio), Wisdom 2:1, 12-22, John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30; Saturday (Lenten Weekday), Jeremiah 11:18-20, John 7:40-53.


The Catholic News & Herald 11

March 9, 2007

Fame and faith

Embracing his Catholic faith changed pop music star’s life by LINDA REEVES catholic news service

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Fame brought drugs and the fast life for many pop stars decades ago, but for the singer known as Dion it also came with an emptiness and a voracious hunger for more. “I was always seeking,” said Dion DiMucci, now 67 years old and a member of St. Jude Church in Boca Raton. “In the ’60s, I used to pray, ‘God, I want to know the truth. Why am I here? I am open and I am ready,’” he said. “I had a powerful religious experience. It changed my life and I have never been the same since.” DiMucci believes that experience has given him the secret to peaceful living and a good life, and he wants to share his insights with men and teen boys. So the artist, who was nominated for a 2006 Grammy for his latest album, “Bronx in Blue,” does so at events in the Palm Beach Diocese, such as a Spiritual

CNS photo courtesy of Dion DiMucci

Dion DiMucci, star of the 1950s pop group Dion & the Belmonts, is pictured in an undated file photo. DiMucci, a parishioner of St. Jude Church in Boca Raton, Fla., says his faith has changed his life. Rally for Men planned for March. DiMucci tells the story of how he began to reap great rewards along with

career success when he slowed down and began to pray and study the teachings of the church and Christ. “To know Christ is very freeing and empowering,” he said. “In my case, it has kept my family together.” DiMucci, a lifelong Catholic from New York City, began his music career in the 1950s with Dion & the Belmonts, racking up hits including “I Wonder Why” and “A Teenager in Love.” He went solo in the early 1960s, rising to the top with hits such as “Runaround Sue” and “The Wanderer.” He landed a spot on the album cover of the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in 1967. Once he embraced his Catholicism, his love of the faith led him into Christian music and five gospel albums. He was inducted into the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. Today, he pursues prison ministry and reaches out to men going through addiction recovery. “I love working with men,” he said. “They are in search for truth but coming to accept it and living by it is a whole different thing. “Faith helps you focus, and prayer is the substance of my life. It is what keeps me on track. It keeps me hopeful and centered, and it gives me wisdom,” he said.

‘I realized I could do something big to help others in the world’ After hearing a presentation at his church six years ago about Christian Foundation for Children and Aging, William J., 13, of New Hampshire, began sponsoring a boy from Costa Rica. Soon he and his family sponsored another child from Costa Rica, and orphans from Kenya and Bolivia. “CFCA is a true blessing to me,” he said. “I realized I William J., 13, could do something big to help others in the New Hampshire world. I could change the lives of other people.” William contributes half of his allowance and also hosts events such as walk-a-thons to raise money for his sponsored friends. “Kids can make a difference, too,” he said. “I am a regular 13-year-old teenager but I also include helping others in what I do.”

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Movie Capsules

NEW YORK (CNS) — The following are capsule reviews of movies recently reviewed by the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Into Great Silence” Poetically filmed documentary about a Carthusian monastery in the French Alps, which follows the cloistered monks in their daily (mostly silent and solitary) routines. German filmmaker Philip Groning’s respectful no-frills approach utilizes no narration or background music, but by combining alternately a painterly formality and a verite intimacy, skillfully captures the textures and rhythms of their highly structured existence, resulting in a rewarding — and, due to the film’s austerity and nearly three-hour length — somewhat demanding cinematic and spiritual experience. In French and Latin. Subtitles. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-I — general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. “Two Weeks” Heartfelt yet unflinchingly frank story of a dying mother (the transcendent Sally Field) and the four adult children who’ve come to be with her in her last days including her eldest son, a filmmaker (Ben Chaplin), who hopes to tape her for posterity. First-time director Steve Stockman accomplishes the near-impossible in mixing naturalistic tragedy with genuine laughter that rises from the human condition, generating tears from each. Some rough and crude language and a graphic depiction of the ravages of cancer. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. “Zodiac” Solid, well-acted crime story about the hunt for San Francisco’s so-called Zodiac killer who terrorized the region beginning in the late 1960’s, focusing on an investigative reporter (Robert Downey Jr.) and cartoonist (Jake Gyllenhaal) at the San Francisco Chronicle and two police detectives (Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Edwards) whose obsession with catching the killer wreaks havoc on their personal lives. Director David Fincher handles the murders, horrific though they are, with admirable restraint and minimal onscreen gore and though the plot, which spans a couple of decades, is at times complex, the nearly three-hour film holds one’s interest. Rough and crude language and profanity, brutal — though brief and non-graphic — shootings and stabbings, a vulgar gesture, alcohol and drug use, reference to child molestation and fleeting images of porn magazines. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.


12 The Catholic News & Herald

March 9, 2007

FROM THE COVER

Lenten messages stress ties with God, combating social problems LENT, from page 1

Wednesday Mass — “We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled with God” (2 Cor 5:20) — offers Catholics a good theme for Lent. “Confession refreshes the soul and renews our relationship with God,” said Bishop Jugis. “It should be a regular part of our program of spiritual growth throughout the entire year.” During Lent, he said, many parishes offer additional times for reconciliation beyond the regular confession schedule, as well as plan parish penance services. “I encourage everyone to enter into the spirit of reconciliation that the church asks of us this season, and make plans to use the sacrament of reconciliation during Lent,” said Bishop Jugis. Being reconciled to God should produce the good fruit of works of charity to benefit our neighbors, said Bishop Jugis. “As a sign of our being reconciled to God, will we comfort the sick? Will we visit the lonely? Will we be reconciled with those from whom we are estranged? Will we be helpful to those in need?” asked the bishop. “These works will demonstrate that the heart has been reconciled to God, and that Jesus has entered front and center into our life once and for all,” he said. “During this season, may we present to the Lord a heart renewed with love for him and love for our neighbor,” said Bishop Jugis. Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl accompanied a Lenten pastoral letter with a major campaign encouraging Catholics to receive reconciliation. Bishop William F. Murphy of

Rockville Centre, N.Y., issued a similar pastoral letter and called on pastors in all parishes to set up an extra hour each week during Lent for confessions. Archbishop Wuerl of Washington on Jan. 25 made public a Lenten pastoral letter which said that by using the sacrament of reconciliation each Catholic becomes “a witness to God’s wondrous mercy.” To encourage greater use of the sacrament, the archdiocese also initiated a campaign called “The Light Is On for You.” The campaign includes a userfriendly brochure, which offers a guide on how to go to confession and a walletsize card with an act of contrition on it. The archdiocese was promoting the initiative in ads on buses and subway cars. Parishes also were instructed to make confession available each Wednesday in Lent starting Feb. 28. In Rockville Centre, Bishop Murphy warned that there is a tendency today to forget about the reality of sin. “I pray that this will change because ultimately this constant act of individual censorship by which we repress the acknowledgment of sin in our lives and pretend that ‘all is well’ will destroy us,” he wrote. He reaffirmed the diocese’s tradition of hearing confessions in every parish from on Monday of Holy Week and asked pastors to institute, in addition to regular Saturday afternoon confessions, another regular hour during the week to invite people to come and celebrate the sacrament. “No Catholic should ever fear entering the confessional,” he said. Other Lenten messages Detroit Cardinal Adam J. Maida likened Lent to “spring training” when baseball players limber up their bodies

CAMPUS MINISTER We are currently accepting applications for the position of campus minister in the Diocese of Richmond for 2007-2008. Positions are available for priests, religious or laypersons. Pastoral experience and a graduate degree in theology or a related discipline required. For further information about this ministry, visit the Web site at www.richmonddiocese.org/cyam and contact Sr. Diane Guy at 804.359.5661.

Principal – Catholic Elementary School Chantilly, Virginia St. Veronica Catholic School, a K through 8th-grade school located in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, is currently seeking a principal starting in the 2007-2008 school year. St. Veronica is a medium-size parish with a growing school population. Candidates for principal must be willing to assume responsibility for the day-to-day administration of the school, as well as assist in developing long range goals. For more information about this exciting opportunity and for instructions on how to apply, please visit the St. Veronica parish website at: http://www2.stveronica.net/principal.

CNS photo from Crosiers

A church window in Minnesota with the Latin words “Miserere Mei Deus” (“May God Have Mercy on Me)” depicts symbols associated with the penitential season prior to Easter. before the regular season. “Lent is about learning to stretch — reaching out toward the God who is already reaching out toward us,” Cardinal Maida said in a statement in the Feb. 16 issue of the archdiocesan newspaper, The Michigan Catholic. “Through prayer, fasting and almsgiving, we also ‘stretch’ ourselves by reaching out to our neighbors in need,” he said. The Diocese of Orange, Calif., launched a “Hunger for Justice” campaign asking Catholics to fast for one day during the week of March 26 and to send cards to their elected representatives calling for comprehensive immigration reform. “For many of these people (immigrants), hunger is not a choice. Their hunger moves them to look for a better life,” said Auxiliary Bishop Jaime Soto of Orange, in announcing the campaign Feb. 21 during an Ash Wednesday Mass homily. “Together we can hunger and pray for justice. We are all invited to ask our elected representatives to work for an immigration reform that is just and humane,” said Bishop Soto. Los Angeles Cardinal Roger M. Mahony asked Catholics to help ease the pains of “children in special need.” These include victims of “neglect and abuse, even within the church,” said the cardinal during an Ash Wednesday Mass homily. He also listed “children without a father or mother because of their death while serving in our military,” orphans and refugees of the fighting in the Darfur region of Sudan, victims of forced labor and human trafficking, and “children left behind as undocumented parents are deported to their country of origin.” The cardinal asked Catholics to

dedicate prayers and charitable activities to one of these groups during Lent and said that his efforts would be aimed at helping the children of immigrants. Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput asked that Lent be a time to reinforce the church’s “culture of life,” especially its efforts to abolish the death penalty. Regarding the death penalty, he said that “we don’t need it. It does not deter crime.” In a column on Lent appearing in the Feb. 21 issue of the Denver Catholic Register, his archdiocesan newspaper, Archbishop Chaput called the death penalty “gravely flawed and unworthy of a civilized culture.” San Antonio Archbishop Jose H. Gomez said that the church’s emphasis on forgiveness and reconciliation during Lent offers society a countersign to “an emerging culture of revenge” in which stirring up divisions takes precedence over dialogue. “So much of our politics is polarized and angry,” he said in a Feb. 21 pastoral letter on Lent. “Instead of trying to settle differences through conversation and compromise, more and more people are turning to the legal system, seeking to have judges and juries punish their adversaries or push their legal agendas,” he said. Archbishop Gomez criticized a “terrorist mind-set” that opposes forgiveness. “The terrorist instead harbors anger and bitterness for the wrongs he believes Ad – Rich to have been done to him. He seeks not reconciliation but violent revenge, even against the unsuspecting innocent,” Dis clas he said. Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali 2x2 said Lent is a time to use the “arms of Christian penance,” defined as prayer, fasting and good works. These “attune us more closely to the workings of God’s grace in us,” he said in a Lenten letter to distributed in ThebeCatholic Miscellany, an parishes during the Feb. 24-25 weekend. applicants for the position of Archbishop Edwin F. and O’Brien design writing of of the We areweek cu the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Richmond Services said that Lent is a special time to experience renew the promises made at baptism. Candidates must have strong about this “Prayerfully concerned as weand are design literate able to wo at 804.359 about the war that engages us across issues related to the Catholic ocean, Lent directs our concern to thebe able to attention to detail, war within, where theofflesh wars against journalism experience are re the spirit,” he said in an Ash Wednesday letter. negotiable, “May the prayersSalary on is our lips — based on prayers for peace and for our military peace-seekers — find a hearing in the generous heart of our Father in heaven,” said Archbishop O’Brien. The military archdiocese includes all U.S. military personnel and their families. Contributing to this story was Editor Kevin E. Murray.

Classifieds Classified ads bring results! Over 135,000 readers! Over 50,000 homes! Rates: $.70/word per issue ($14 minimum per issue) Deadline: 12 noon Wednesday, 9 days before publication How to order: Ads may be E-mailed to ckfeerick@charlottediocese.org, faxed to (704) 370-3382 or mailed to: Cindi Feerick, The Catholic News & Herald, 1123 S. Church St., Charlotte, NC 28203. Payment: For information, call (704) 370-3332.


March 9, 2007

in memorium

A life of service and ministry

Father Patrick Gavigan, retired priest of diocese, dies at 81

HIGH POINT â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Father Patrick Paul Gavigan, a retired priest of the Diocese of Charlotte, died March 4 at Maryfield Nursing Home in High Point. He was 81. Father Gavigan came to the Diocese of Charlotte after 16 years as a Trappist monk and three years as a diocesan priest in Tennessee. Born March 12, 1925, in Dodgeville,

Wis., he decided to become a priest while in high school and began his studies in a Maryknoll junior seminary in 1941. In 1947, he transferred to the Trappist seminary at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers, Ga., where he was ordained a Trappist priest May 3, 1953. Desiring more active ministry after almost 16 years as a monk, Father

Gavigan transferred to the Diocese of Nashville in January 1969 and served in several parishes. In July 1972, then-Bishop Michael J. Begley granted Father Gaviganâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s request to serve in the then-6-month-old Diocese of Charlotte, and he became an assistant pastor at Our Lady of Grace Church in Greensboro. Father Gavigan served as pastor of St. Mary Church in Shelby and Christ the King Mission in Kings Mountain from November 1973 until March 1976. He then served as pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Brevard until September 1980, when he became pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in High Point.

The Catholic News & Herald 13

In 1985, he became pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in Tryon until 1989, when he took a sabbatical. He became pastor of St. Dorothy Church in Lincolnton in June 1990 and then parochial vicar of St. Benedict Church in Greensboro in August 1991. In February 1992, Father Gavigan took early retirement due to health reasons. For much of his life, Father Gavigan maintained an interest in photography, tennis, swimming and horticulture. He was fond of travel and occasionally led tours to shrines in Canada and Europe. A funeral Mass was held in Maryfield Chapel March 9.

Archive Photo

Father Patrick Gavigan blesses a kindergarten class taught by Martha Moran at St. John the Baptist Church in Tryon in March 1987.


March 9, 2007

14 The Catholic News & Herald

Perspectives

A collection of columns, editorials and viewpoints

Commercializing doubt Media interpretations confuse true Christian message

Over the last couple of years I have noticed a new tradition that is taking hold during Lent. Call it the Doubting Thomas Syndrome, after the apostle whose skepticism about the Resurrection was dispelled by Christ. Thanks in large part to the media hype engine, our religious holidays have been co-opted. Take the Nativity of the Lord, which to save billboard space is often referred to as “Xmas.” It is saturated with commercial messages that usually enter our collective consciousness soon after the Fourth of July fireworks. Credit card fatigue soon follows. Except for candy makers, Easter is a tougher holiday for the world of commerce. How do you urge people to excess during Lent? An effort at wholesale revelry pops up around St. Patrick Day, but it is short-lived. The season of the fasting, abstinence and introspection culminates with a fairly bloody account of an execution. Easter Bunny aside, it’s tough to dress up this holiday. So, instead of selling us computer gizmos and iPods, what is sold during Lent is doubt. Two years ago this commercialization of doubt came from the National Geographic Society, which gave us the Gospel of Judas. This “gospel” was a translation of a second century gnostic text in which Judas is Jesus’ closest confidant rather than his betrayer. The translation of the Gospel of Judas was financed by the society and heavily promoted with tie-in books and a TV documentary. Interesting stuff, but even in the second century it was characterized as false. Judas’ so-called gospel was forgotten faster than you can say “Easter Triduum.” Last year the media whale Sony Pictures brought us the film “The DaVinci Code,” based on the international bestseller by U.S. author Dan Brown — basically a snoozer of a detective story about whether or not Jesus was married and had children. The Tom Hanks movie didn’t meet its hype projections, and by Oscar time it wasn’t nominated for anything because there isn’t a category for biggest dud. This year the Discovery Channel stooped to sow the Lenten seeds of doubt with “The Lost Tomb of Jesus.” One of the themes of this documentary questions the divinity of Jesus by suggesting he did not ascend into heaven. By using new technology and DNA studies, the film claims that among 10 ossuaries — burial boxes used in biblical times to house the bones of the dead — found in a cave in 1980 are those of

Catholics & the Media DAVID HAINS communications director

Jesus, his brothers, Mary, another Mary whom they believe is Mary Magdalene, and “Judah, son of Jesus.” The fact that in the first century these names were as common as Smith and Miller didn’t deter “Titanic” director James Cameron from lending his name to the project. Jimbo, I gotta be your iceberg here. He seems to think that Jesus was unknown two millennia ago and that his bones could repose undisturbed beneath the streets of Jerusalem for centuries. The fact is, during Jesus’ lifetime and after his death, there were a lot of people who were pretty uncomfortable with his claim of divinity. Give those skeptics a little credit; don’t you think they would have been glad to expose the bones as a way of proving Jesus a hoax? The reason skeptics didn’t expose Jesus as a fake is because he wasn’t and isn’t. Scholars — with the exception of James Tabor, chairman of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte who claims Jesus is not the Son of God but the child of a Roman soldier — have said for decades that these ossuaries are not significant artifacts. The bones of Jesus, along with the rest of his body, ascended into heaven. There is a 2,000-year-old account of this in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Doubt as the apostle Thomas expressed it isn’t a bad thing. When we ask questions about the divinity of Jesus and other core issues of our faith, we are using the free will God gave us. Thomas was blessed when he saw for himself that the resurrected Jesus was as real as the nail holes in his sacred hands. The apostle’s eloquent response, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28), transformed him into Thomas the believer. Questions about our faith are a welcome way to grow in understanding God’s great mysteries. Unfortunately, when the medium of television is involved, the doubt being created is just another way to sell soap. D a v i d H a i n s i s d i re c t o r o f communications for the Diocese of Charlotte. Contact him at dwhains@ charlottediocese.org. A podcast of this column is available at www.charlottediocese.org.

Lent’s challenge to generosity It’s not about getting, it’s about giving Lent has begun, and once again I was amazed at the turnout at my parish for Ash Wednesday Mass. I heard it happened all over town. Why does this day produce such an explosion of devotion? “Well, it’s Lent,” some might say, “so of course people are coming.” But at my church, the numbers on Ash Wednesday often greatly exceed Holy Thursday’s turnout. “But some people mistakenly think it’s a holy day of obligation,” say others. Again at my church the real holy days do not see the numbers that Ash Wednesday does. The secretary at my church had a suggestion: “I think it’s because people come away with something. The ashes are a symbol they carry with them.” At every Mass we come away with the Eucharist, however, and isn’t that the greatest gift of all? There may be some truth to all those ideas, but I think there is a deeper reason. As Lent begins we fervently embody a hope contained in the words of a song: “This time, change my heart.” Lent brings out the affirmation in all of us. We want to be better, we want to be changed, we want to somehow walk this journey with Christ. You know the old proverb that says a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step? We desire to take that step on Ash Wednesday but then sometimes we veer off the road. I think that happens because we forget that Lent is not all about us. We decide what we are going to “do” for Lent. We make a lot of promises, some of them sounding like the retreads of doomed New Year’s resolutions. Then we reach Holy Week and feel like we did not really “do” Lent. We have

For the Journey EFFIE CALDAROLA cns columnist

a vague feeling of disappointment in ourselves and in the spiritual development we desired. This time I wrote in my journal that I hoped to grow according to God’s will. I told myself that this would be my prayer each day — a prayer for generosity, openness, a willingness to listen for and do what God was leading me to. Yes I did also “give up” something: I have a weakness for designer coffee. For the second year in a row, I am staying home and brewing my less pricey cup of joe and donating the money I save to charity. It is no big deal, but it is a little something. The real deal will be sticking to my prayer each day, my simple prayer to open my hands to God’s will while also examining how God’s will is happening in my life. In the book “Fresh Bread,” Servite Sister Joyce Rupp challenges us to a generosity that is particularly appropriate during the Lenten season: “Give away something material that you cherish and hold dear. Give it away with no strings attached. Give away something nonmaterial that you cherish and hold dear. Give it away with no strings attached.” Do not expect to “get” anything from Lent. Just enter Holy Week looking back at your open hands, ready to receive and ready to give.

Global warming: All smoke, no fire I suppose now that we have abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, embryonic stem-cell research, etc., all wrapped up and under control, we should now turn our attention and energy to solving the “burning” issue of global warming (“Winds of change,” Feb. 23). Scientists on all sides of the global warming controversy have documented statistics to prove their particular theories. The very fact that the physical universe and its complexities exist in time means that change is constant.  Reason dictates that humans, for their own survival, should use universal resources wisely. It is difficult to believe that emissions from automotive devices and factories, etc., can radically change the temperature of our world. But if in fact there is global warming, this could be a good thing for humanity — longer periods for growing food and such. — Anita Joan Di Pietro Charlotte The environment is on the list of Catholic concerns, but nowhere near such concerns as abortion and euthanasia. Global warming is nowhere to be seen in the Catholic catechism. It’s irresponsible to blame Hurricane

Letters to the Editor Katrina on global warming (“Winds of change”). In fact, no major hurricane touched the U.S. mainland this year. Scientific analysis of ice cores have shown the same unmistakable 1,500 year cycle. It was determined that CO2 changes over a million years do not correlate with temperature increases. This past year, Greenland has gained ice mass and Antarctica has been gaining 45 billion tons per year. Sea levels have been rising since the last ice age, but there is no evidence of any acceleration. Data for the last few years indicate warming — but only 0.8 degrees Celsius for the last 100 years. Very recent data proves that cosmic radiation from deep space increases cloud formation, which directly impacts warming. Global warming fanatics seem to be coming out of the woodwork as to how this will destroy the earth. Does everyone forget what the Book of Revelation says about the end of the world? The end will come by God’s hands — not man’s. — Kevin Roeten Asheville


March 9, 2007

The Catholic News & Herald 15

Legislation is not enough Fairness, dignity will build a better nation When Democrats took control of Congress last January, they used the “first 100” or “first 1,000” theme from historians of past presidencies and congresses and, in making it their own, reduced the time frame from “days” to “hours.” They pledged to get a lot done for the country in the first 100 legislative hours on their watch. “We will restore civility, integrity and fiscal responsibility to the House of Representatives,” said the new House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. “We will make our nation safer ...; we will make our economy fairer ...; we will make health care more affordable ...; we will broaden college opportunity ...; we will energize America by achieving energy independence ...; we will guarantee a dignified retirement.” No one thought this would be achieved in 100 hours, but this Congress did get off to a good legislative start on the long road to new ways of doing things in our country. However, we have to keep reminding ourselves that in the struggle for justice and equality a lot more than legislation needs to be accomplished. As Pope Paul VI wrote in “Call to

Action” (“Octogesima Adveniens”), “Legislation is necessary, but it is not sufficient for setting up true relationships of justice and equality. ... If beyond legal rules there is no deeper feeling of respect for and service to others, then even equality before the law can serve as an alibi for flagrant discrimination, continued exploitation and actual contempt” (23). It is time now — in the months and years ahead — to focus national policy on the dignity of the human person. If there is “no deeper feeling of respect” for all, then our legislative efforts amount to an “alibi,” an excuse for our societal failure to right the wrongs and heal the wounds in our body politic. If we Catholics live under a commandment to “love one another,” as we most certainly do, it should come as no surprise that we are expected to respect the dignity of one another, of each and every other person on the face of the earth. One of my Catholic friends wrote a letter offering unsolicited advice to a reelected Catholic leader in Congress. He shared it with me and I offer a paragraph from that letter here:

Looking Around JESUIT FATHER WILLIAM J. BYRON cns columnist

“When you speak, avoid talking about ‘justice.’ It’s too abstract and seldom connected with the gut. I say this of course as a long-.time supporter of justice. “Instead, speak of ‘fairness.’ It touches the heart and makes common sense. Speak about our common journey to restore ‘fairness.’ Without ‘fairness’ in all our national dealings you might say we are betraying the values of our nation. So keep on talking about fairness. It will take you a long way forward.” Indeed, a preoccupation with fairness will carry all of us a long way forward in all areas of private and public life. This takes me back to the notion of human dignity. Is it fair to ignore the dignity of another human person at home, school, work or in the wider reaches of national life? Moreover, concern for the dignity of everyone, friend and foe alike, will function as a control in the quest for fairness, protecting it from the excesses of violence and contempt. We can build a better nation simply by being fair.

The hearing impaired and penance

Q. I am almost completely deaf and haven’t been to confession in years. If someone is unable to understand the priest, even with a hearing aid, can that person make confession between oneself and God? (New York)

A. As you know, I’m sure, many people with serious hearing difficulties share your problem. I presume that, depending on your age when it became difficult for you to hear, you may have some speech handicaps as well. And it’s not likely the priest will know sign language. It is important, however, that you not let this keep you from the sacrament of penance, at least without considering what I will suggest. I have heard hundreds of confessions of people with these handicaps, and it can be done rather simply. Nearly all Catholic churches today have confessional rooms that allow penitents to sit across from the priest. You may write a note to the priest informing him that you are deaf. If you feel you cannot speak clearly enough for him to understand you, mention that also. On the paper write the sins you wish to confess, and ask the priest to write your penance on the same note. When you leave, the priest should return the paper to you. You can destroy it later. This manner of confessing is entirely appropriate and accords with the church’s ritual for this sacrament (Introduction, 18), and the Code of Canon Law,

which, for example, allows even human interpreters to assist the penitent in confession if the penitent is not familiar with the language. It may be most convenient to take advantage of a time announced for the sacrament of reconciliation in your parish or another church. It may also help to ask a relative or friend to talk to your parish priest about your situation so he can arrange to help you. One way or another, however, try not to deprive yourself of the benefits of this sacrament.

Baptizing children of unmarried mothers Q. My 21-year-old granddaughter, one of the many unwed mothers, is raising her 2-year-old daughter alone. Is it possible for her to have her baby baptized? What would you advise her to do? Also, can she give the baby the father’s name even though they are not married? (Florida) A. Children of unmarried mothers may be baptized. It is done often. As in any other baptism, however, some requirements must be met before a priest could baptize the child as a Catholic. To summarize these requirements briefly, the church insists that, apart from imminent danger of death, a priest

Question Corner FATHER JAMES DIETZEN cns columnist

cannot lawfully baptize a child unless he has solidly founded hope the baby will be properly raised as a member of the Catholic faith (Canon 868). Do the parents or the Catholic parent practice their faith now by faithful prayer, attendance at Mass, reception of the sacraments and so on? If this evidence is lacking, the priest should delay the baptism until he can counsel the parent and explain why this is being done. Unless a marriage between the couple is pending and imminent, I would strongly advise your granddaughter to think twice before naming the baby after the father. They’re still young and much can happen in the coming years or before they decide finally whether or not to marry. Please ask the mother to talk with her parish priest and ask him to help her. Questions may be sent to Father Dietzen at Box 3315, Peoria, IL 61612, or e-mail: jjdietzen@aol.com.

Pope says church hierarchy was willed by God to ensure unity in faith

The Pope Speaks POPE BENEDICT XVI VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The hierarchical structure of the Catholic Church was willed by God to ensure unity in faith, Pope Benedict XVI said. The church “is not a place of confusion or anarchy where each person can do what he wants at the moment,” the pope said March 7 at his weekly general audience. The pope’s speech marked the beginning of a new series of audience talks on the “apostolic fathers,” the first and second generation of church leaders after the Twelve Apostles. Pope Benedict began the series by focusing on St. Clement, the bishop of Rome at the end of the first century, and on his letter to the Christian community in Corinth. St. Clement wrote the letter to address “the serious problems” the Corinthians were experiencing, the pope said. Pope Benedict said the letter is particularly important because it demonstrates that “the concern of the church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the other churches,” was an idea accepted as far back at the first century. Here is the Vatican text of Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks in English at his weekly general audience March 7. Dear brothers and sisters, In our catechesis on the early church, we now turn to the apostolic fathers. St. Clement, bishop of Rome and third successor of Peter, lived in the last years of the first century. He had met the apostles personally. Clement wrote an important letter to the church in Corinth at a time when the Christian community was deeply divided. He encourages them to renew their faith in the message received from the apostles and to be reconciled with one another. In this way, he shows the essential connection between the content of the Gospel and the way we live. This connection is essential to Clement’s ideal for the church, in which the hierarchical structure is intrinsically ordered to the service of charity. Laity and hierarchy are not opposed, but organically connected in the mystery of the one body. According to Clement, not only the church, but also the entire cosmos reflects God’s providential love and mercy. Clement concludes his letter by praising God for this marvelous order. Let us join him as we beg the Lord to “make his face shine upon us in goodness and peace. Amen.”


March 9, 2007

The Catholic News & Herald 16

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March 9, 2007  

Catholic News Herald - Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina. The official newspaper of the Diocese of Charlotte...

March 9, 2007  

Catholic News Herald - Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina. The official newspaper of the Diocese of Charlotte...