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Arkansas Catholic
Litlte Rock, Arkansas
September 4, 1999     Arkansas Catholic
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September 4, 1999
 

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AI tNSAS CATHOLIC September 4, 1999 Page 15 Two recent reports have shown that if the Church's ministers and pare pastoral workers properly pre- couples for marriage, the rate of divorce could be lower. The often-repeated statistic of a 50- Percent divorce rate still stands, but there are many strong aspects of the C urch's " " " mamage preparauon reqmre- ment that can help Catholic couples dear of divorce. There are many things in the prepa- ration process that can come out and _alake the couple fully aware of their life- long commitment. The most important aspect is Cod in their lives. lr In July the Center for Marriage and ,amlly at Creighton University issued aaflings of a research project on inter- church marriages. They found that cou- cult subject to approach with couples, a bad way to prepare for marriage. pies that were highly religious had the but again statistics show that living "Cohabitation is a form of fornica- most stable marriages. Translate that to together before marriage increases the tion and people need to know the truth, mean a lower chance of divorce. Those chance of divorce. The U.S. bishops' whether they do it or not," he said. with the highest religiosity were the ones recent report shows that cohabiting Whether couples do it or not, they who shared the same religion, couples are going to have more con- also need to know that couples who use Pastors and others working in mar- flicts over money, more chances of natural forms of birth control - Natural riage preparation should not be afraid domestic violence and less effective Family Planning - also report a lower to share this fact with engaged couples, conflict resolution, rate of divorce. The divorce rate of NFP While nearly six of our every 10 mar- Cohabitation is a serious concern for couples is 5 percent. Couples who used riages in the Diocese of Litde Rock are the Church when more than half of the contraception and later changed to NFP interfaith, couples need to know the couples are living together and having a reported that their marriages improved facts about what is going to give them a sexual relationship before marriage, because they had a better perspective on better chance of succeeding. Couples Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan oftheir sexual relationship. need to know that their faith life togeth- Santa Fe, N.M., knows what a hot topic The Catholic Church has excellent er doesn't hinge solely on being the cohabitation is. He has received hun- tools to share these truths with engaged same religion, but it does help in reduc- dreds of letters since he wrote a pastoral couples. We need to do our part to live ing the chance of marital discord, letter about it this summer. He bluntly and share them with other couples The topic of cohabitation is a diffi- condemned living together as sinful and whether they are Catholic or not. Through the decades, the only con- slant about song lyrics belted out by ha a the Capitol Steps, a Washington- political satire troupe, has been as they lambasted former r 'dent Jimmy Carter, then Ronald " Oa, George Bush and now Bill Clinton, ., lhtone song, tided Arm the World," to the peacenik, prodiversity melody of .past, "We Are the World," has become for the group, gely i= I Xtov_m . e never ceases to rin.g true." receu.7' golng relevance was reLmorcect a report issued by the - ' ge ional Research Service saying the United States retains its position as the ing and selling of arms is an industry that selling to developing countries, but they are world's biggest arms merchant--- a claim to casts its long, darL life-destroying shadow just as deadly if pointed your way. fame that should make this nadon cringe in worldwide, q he scandalous arms trade ... International trade of arms, both large and embarrassment, spawns the many armed conflicts which small, dearly needs regulation. Last year alone the United States sold stain our world with blood." A sign of hope on the weapons front is $15.2 billion worth ofweapons, a44percent In an article published in the July 1 proposed federal legislafion thatwould create share of the global arms market, according Czaho Hera/d, Xaverian Father Rocco a code requiring the president to submit to to the report And from 1990 to 1997, the Puopolo, a missionary in Sierra Leone who Congress annually a I/st ofnadons that meet United States delivered $53.4 billion of formerly ministered in the Milwaukee criteria needed to import weapons from the weapons to the developing world. Archdiocese, described the African nation United States. Criteria suggested indude: a Developing nations are the biggest buy- as a country shattered by a brutal civil war democratic form of gcmmunent; respect for ers of U.S. weapons. Last year, the United where some esdmate about half of the insur- the human rights of its dtizem; nonaggrt States delivered attack helicopters and a gents' total fighting force is composed of sion toward other states;and participation in variety of missiles to missiles and children, some as young as 7. Frequently the U aN. Register of Conventional Arms. torpedoes to Egypt, multiple-rocket launch- the young soldiers are feared more than the This would be one small step.Just as with ers and airborne ming equipment to adults, because they are more erratic, more post-Columbine attempts to further gun South Korea and air-defense communica- violent and obey any order given them. control in light of the power of the National lions equipment to Saudi Arabia. Puopolo said the weapons flow must be Rifle Assodation, it will be a miracle if this In 1995, President Clinton signed an stopped if peace is ever to have a chance in diminutive move forward is taken. order on U.S. policy on weapons sales say- Sierra Leone. A peace deal was signed in Pentagon oflidals and members of ing the sales are "a legitimate instrument of that nation July 7 after several weeks of Congress in states with arms manufacturers U.S. foreign policy." Experts contend the negotiations, but with so many arms and work hard to keep the military-industrial policy made dear that increasing the sales years of built-up anger it is unclear whether complex healthy. Only citizens' outrage and market share of U.S. arms makers is a calm is in store for this African nation, over the carnage and over this nation's com- U.S. foreign policy goal. The weapons arming the thugs in Sien'a plidty in producing it will result in steps Pope John Paul II, in his encyclical rlae Leone are small potatoes compared to the being taken to uphold what this pope terms Gospel of Life," acknowledged that the buy- missiles and rocket launchers this nation is the spel of life." has happened in the past 30 years. The u "anno) ng" should have read "amazing." Father Placidus Eckart, OSB a surprise to pick up the Arkansas Scranton ewspaper and read the ardcle on oly Shroud. A ts gratifying to know that people like Jesus was there Danin, Uri Baruch and the In Los Angeles ers are still investi tin the find- -tg - . ga g yo. un the Holy Shroud of Turin. Thank On Aug. 10 a hate-filled Caucasian t hr writing on the recent studies and (white) man invaded a day care center in c ,.u origins dating before the eighth Los Angeles. He critically wounded May the Holy Spirit continue toBenjamin Kadish, a little Jewish boy. A - ue us all as Jesus, Our'lord, promised, doctor who is black used his skills as head Shirley Llewellyn Lakeview ,l htaxh singing makes alaazing, improvements ~here was a mistake in my article of the rea iSSue of the Arkansas Catholic It go. In general, it is annoying what surgeon to save Benjamin's life, in a Catholic hospital whose spokesperson was of Asian ancestry. If Jesus of Nazareth had been present in His human nature in California then he would have delivered a powerful teaching to television viewers. The reaction to this unspeakable event proves that the risen Jesus was there that day. June Webber Stuugart Catholic persecution continues in China While Pope John Paul II recently was banned from visiting Hong Kong by the Chinese government because the Vatican has recognized that Taiwan is an inde- pendent, sovereign nation, the U.S. gov- ernment refuses to acknowledge that Taiwan is an independent, sovereign nation. Furthermore, the U.S. administra- five branch and the U.S. State Department promote the concept of a "one nation China" and the concept that Taiwan is a province of China. Back in the day of Chiang Kai-shek Vatican publications indicated that Vatican officials realized that Taiwan (then Formosa) had greater justification for its separation from a brutal, communist main- land China than our 13 colonies had for their separation from motherland England. Nobody is recommending that the USA return as a part of England. Why is the offi- cial stance of the USA proposing that even- tually Taiwan will be part of China? The banning of Pope John Paul II from Hong Kong is another indication that the persecution of the Catholic Church in China has not subsided. si # Horseshoe Bend he than aad olmam can be mailed to P.O,