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Arkansas Catholic
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July 21, 1991     Arkansas Catholic
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July 21, 1991
 

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PAGE 10 ARKANSAS CATHOLIC JULY 21, 1991 In recent poll Significant restrictions on abortion favored W~hington (CNS) - In the latest ~Artrthlin Group monthly stuwey of American opinions, the U.S. Catholic bishops' Office for Pro-Life Activities paid for five questions about abortion and abortion law. The National Right to Life Committee pur- chased a sixth question. The results, released at a press conference by Rep. Chris Smith, R-NJ, indicated that most Americans favor significant legal restrictions on abortion, and most reject ffle idea of abortion- related services being offered in federally funded family planning programs. The survey was takenJtme 17-19 in telephone interviews with 1,000 adults selected at random from across the country. Its margin of sampling error was plus or minus three percent. Here are the poll results. Totals do not add up to 100 percent because on each of the ques- tions three-to-five percent of the respondent expressed no opinion. 1. Which one of the following statements most closely describes your personal position on the issue of abortion? * Abortions should be prohibited in all dr- cumstances- ten percent. * Abortions should be legal only to save the life of the mother - 12 percent. * Abortions should be legal only in the cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother - 34 percent. * Abortions should be legal for any reason, but not after the first three months of preg- nancy - 24 percent. * Abortions should be legal for any reason, but not after the first six months of pregnancy - five percent. * Abortions should be allowed at any time during a woman's pregnancy and for any rea- son - 11 percent. Vv'trthlin has carried this question regularly for the U.S. bishops for the past 18 months, said Wtrthlin's senior research executive, Mary Ellen Jensen. She said the majority of responses has fallen in tile first three categories each time the question has been posed. In the rest of the questions, respondents were first asked if they favored or opposed a position, then asked if they held that view "strongly" or "just somewhat." Here are the results: 2. Do you personally favor or oppose using abortions as a method of birth control? * Strongly favor- eight percent. * Somewhat favor - seven percent. * Somewhat oppose - 15 percent. * Strongly oppose - 69 percent. 3. Do you favor or oppose offering abortions as a method of birth control in taxpayer-funded family planning programs? * Strongly favor- ten percent. * Somewhat favor - ten percent. * Somewhat oppose- 12 percent. * Strongly oppose - 65 percent. 4. And, would you favor or oppose legisla- tion that would require taxpayer-funded family planning programs to provide abortion coun- seling and referral? * Strongly favor - 25 percent. * Somewhat favor- 18 percent. * Somewhat oppose - 14 percent. * Strongly oppose - 40 percent. 5. As you may know, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that the federal government is not required to use taxpayer funds for family planning. In general, do you favor or oppose this ruling? * Strongly favor- 28 percent. * Somewhat favor- 20 percent. * Somewhat oppose - 17 percent. The Persian Gulf War and its aftermath raise serious moral questions and profound pastoral challenges for the bishops of the United States. We have been called to be faithflfl teachers, caring pastors and signs of solidarity in a nation and world at war. Ks teachers, we have sought to lift up the moral dhnensions of the Gulf crisis and share the Church's traditional teaching on war and peace. As pastors, we have called for constant and fervent prayer, care for those who bear the burden of battle, suppoi1, for anxious fanfilies and communities. As signs of solidarity, we have reminded our people of the conmlon bonds of faith and humanity which unite us with the people of the Middle East. In confronting these demanding tasks, we have drawn heavily on the traditional teaching of the Church on war and peace and file cou- rageous witness of our Holy Father as he spoke out time and time again for justice and peace. We also have built upon recent statements of our own episcopal conference, especially our pastoral letter on peace and our statement on the Middle East. These are not new concerns for the Universal Church or our Conference. Over the last few months, our Episcopal Conference emphasized the ethical and htmaan dimensions of the crisis - the injustice and bru- tality of Iraq's invasion, the need for an effective international response, the possible moral dan- gers and human consequences of resort to war, the imperative to pursue fully peaceful and determined pressure to secure freedom for Ku- Securing a lasti peace be more dittka (ban winning a wait. After Jan. 16, we shared our deep disap- poinmaent that war had come, calling for con- stant prayer and fasting for a swift and just peace. We urged continuing moral scrutiny of the conduct of the war, especially questions of pro- portionality and discrimination. We also contin- lied to call for Iraq to leave Kuwait and for the allied forces to seek an early and just peace, not total military victory. We sought to emphasize that v,ar is a sign of human failure and flat, even when it may be justified as a last resort under strict conditions, war must be limited in its objectives, means and the harm it causes. We warned against the mul- tiplication or escalation of objectives and con- demned attacks on civilians. We strongly op- * Strongly oppose - 31 percent. 6. Still thinking about the Supreme Court's ruling - If you knew that any government fimds not used for family planning programs that provide abortion will be given to other family planning programs that provide contraception and other preventative methods of family plan- ning, would you then favor or oppose the Su- preme Court's ruling? * Strongly favor - 39 percent. * Somewhat favor- 30 percent. * Somewhat oppose - 11 percent. * Strongly oppose - 16 percent. Panel encourages Church to educate young New York (CNS) - Participants in a national teleconference on sexual morality called for Church programs to educate ch~dren from their early years along with their parents, teachers By Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk posed any use of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. We expressed our fears that war could obscure tile humanity of adversaries and lead to neglect of other urgent needs and other questions of lnmlan dignity and human rights. Our Conference did not express a definitive common position on whether this war was morally justified, recogniz- ing that the applica- tion of these principles requires contingent and prudential judgments on which bishops and believers may disagree in good faith. But even in the midst of war, our Conference was united in continuing to raise serious moral questions on the ends sought and means used in the Gulf. With the end of the war, our Conference has urged that the energy, commitment and skill that went into fighting this war be commit- ted to the difficult search for a genuine and just peace. Securing a lasting peace will be more difficult than winning a war. We befieve the tragedy of this war will be compounded if it is not followed by more imaginative and more serious efforts to find political solutions to the underlying problems of instability, injustice and insecurity in the Middle East. Tiffs crisis makes clear the destructive conse- quences of policies that have encouraged the militarization of the Middle East. New security and arms control arrangements must ensure stability, limit the buildup of arms and halt file proliferation of nuclear and chemical weal~mS. The political, social and economic injustices in the Middle East provide an all too fertile ground for conflict and violence. The gap be- tween the haves and have nots in the region must be addressed. Human rights and religious liberty, wlfich are often lacking, must be re- spected. As our Conference's statement on the Middle East makes clear, we s ongly sup- port creative efforts in any useful forum effectively address several fundamental sue~ serf-determination and the Palestinian~ survival and security Israel, freedom from outside for Lebanon and the need Middle East for greater freedom security. We are convinced the people of the must be the primary agents of their own tiny, but the U.S. and others must offer support and practical help in building regiona security and stability and finding of justice for all the peoples of the region, cially the too often forgotten Palesfinians. We hope that the world commtmity has responded to the inj Knwait will now fred the will and ways to spond effectively to these moral daims. The world espedally needs to hear the of the Church to develop non-violent means resolve conflicts between nations, to the role of the United Nations and effective intemational authority to deal violations of international order and rights in still dangerous world moving beyond the War. There are many lessons to be learned these world may be" and ethical questions at the heart of war, cussing their reqtfirements and the conduct of war to meet moral Another lesson is more dispiriting. whether by intention or miscalculation, too ready to pursue their goals - legitimate illegitimate - by the use of deadly force. still a long way from Paul VI's plea - "No war. War never again." In our efforts to share and ing on war and peace the bishops of the have spoken with both conviction and We offered not simple answers but hard quO tions, not certainty but substantial doubts o~[~l how this war would leave the Middle East, o~ nation and world. In the words of the Beat~h,~ tudes, we have tried to be "peacemakers" inJ-" " /1111 I naUon at war, to 'hunger and thirst forjusuce,~| in a still dangerous world and to '*comfort thosd I;;11| who mourn" in the aftermath of battle. W~ continue to join with the Universal Church is 1 pursuing just and lasting peace in a worliSUr( wotmded by war. V~ql pN (ArchbL4wp Da)ffel E.Hlan:zyk va41es from the Arch gre~ diocese of Oncinnati, OH.) thai COIl "ha But she said those who were eoin~ to tead g ual morali to dun o le n ed;d to loo) ty Y gpe P A at their own feelings about their sexuality mac yt and clergy. "Education takes place even in silence," said Patricia Miller, a writer and lecturer fiom I~s Angeles. "If you don't talk about sexuality, it gives the impression there's something wrong with it. If teachers are unconffortable with the subject, they will give students the idea that the Church doesn't like sex." The teleconference, one of a series spon- sored by the National Pastoral Life Center in New York, was broadcast from the studios of the U.S. bishops' Catholic Telecommunications Network of America in Waslfington to diocesan listening groups across the country. Miller, mother of three ctfildren, said par- ents and Church leaders had to recognize that young people today can exercise choices and become "sexually active" if they choose. But she said the posture of the Church should be "inviting them to choose sexual morality." Miller also said young people should be taught "refusal skills" to help them say no. "It's not easy to say no," she said. "know where you're coming from." Teachers in this area need training, she said and "not everyone should teach sexuality." . ( Other panelists were Barbara Andolsen, pro rl~ fessor of social efifics at Monmouth College if rest Long Branch, NJ; Eduardo Azcarate, a psycholo .sett gist and lecturer from McLean, VA, and Do Is lq rninican Rev. Charles BolldlRrd, president o: Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. I~uis. Re~' a b PhilipJ. Murnion, director of the National Pa~ oft total Life Center, served as moderator. Titl Azcarate, father of four children, said educS'. tion should take account of the times whe~ ira! people do not want to say no, and need tc X I understand the reasons why they should. '. The Church has good guidelines in sext~ ach morality, and directors of education prograx~ S.ll'i should ensure that teachers are teaching i~rl~ accordance with norms of the Church, he sai6 From this base, he said, teachers can hello inc young people form habits of moral behavio~ re8 that become second nature." , the