Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Litlte Rock, Arkansas
November 24, 1991     Arkansas Catholic
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November 24, 1991

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; , .... r .... ' ' " "" "'.'t ;!'' -~ ,';''''" --' " ~ ":~" ~" "!?A PAGE lZ ARKANSAS CATHOLIC NOVEMBER 24, 1991 iiiiiiii:i:iiii]ii :il~ % ii~ii!ii!ii!i ii?iiiiiii!iii Troubled black families Washington (CNS) - Dismal prospects facing the U.S. black family can be mined around if the Church stands with African- American Catholics, U.S. bishops were told at their genera meeting. Auxiliary Bkshop J. Terry Steib of St. louis, chair of the U.S. bishops' Com- mittee on Black Catholics, pre- sented his fellow bishops with a slide show and drama focusing on the plight of the Afri- can-American fam- Bishop Steib The presenta- tion came during the bishops' four-day annual fall meeting in Washington. Bishop Steib told his fellow bishops it was critical they attend and bring a dioc- a spiritual retreat for high school juniors and seniors Decemtmr 13 - 15, 1991 Camp Powderfork in Bald Knob, Arkansas Cost is $50 which covers all meals, snacks, lodging and a memento. A $25 non-mfimdable deposit is required to hold your place. Find out more about this weekend of fun and personal growth, call Jo Marie Smith at 664-0340, extension 337. Sponsored by the Catholic Diocese of Little Rock Youth 1Wmis es esan delegation to the Seventh Nadonal Bhck Catholic Congress, slated for July 1992 in New Orleans. "We survived the passage from Africa to America. We survived a slavery that was forced upon us," said Bishop Steib. "We've survived Jim Crow laws and segregated churches and segregated bathrooms. We have survived lynchings both by rope and by the media, and the racism that caused all of that ._. We.have survived, and we are stronger. But now our families are faced with a new crisis -- a crisis that you, my brother, can help us survive." He dted numerous statistics which indi- cated, he said, why the African-American family is in crisis: * College enrollment of black males de- dined from 35 percent in 1976 to 28 percent in 1986. * One-fifth of all black males drop out of high ~hool. * One-third of black Americans have irb comes below the poverty line. "We've survived Jan Crow laws and segl ated churches .... have sin-rived, andwe are s 'on- * Blacks made up 48 percent of the prison population but only 12 percent of the general population. The bishop said black children are twice as likely as white children: To be born prematurely. To die during the first y _ar of life. To suffer low birth weight. To have mothers who received late or no ira-e-natal care. To be born to a teen-aged or single par- ent. To live in substandard housing. To have unemployed parents. Bishop Steib said black children are three times more likely than their white counter- parts: * To have their mothers die in childbirth. * To live in a family headed by a female. * To be murdered between fwe and nine years of age. Bishop Steib said if the Church stands with African-American Catholics, "the fig- ures will be turned upside down." This will happen, he said, because the Church of the African-American Catholic "has given them the dignity that is theirs, r Charter a Bust N Any size bus available, from school bus to luxury air conditioned coaches. Houston-Bigelow Bus Lines Arrow,Coach baes 663-6802 or tall freo 1-800-632-36"/9 2-/15 W. 10th St. Little Rock J Barbara Stepheremn (CNS) to deft Archbishop Oscar H. Lipscomb of Mobile (center), polls his table during a To m discussion on healthcere issUes at the annual fall meeting of the U.S. who C Catholic bishops. Representatives of the Catholic Health Association joined 'even i with the bishops for the discussion, to go lefan because their Church has demanded the justice to which they lay daim." The Church, he said, must say "no more, no more" to factors contributing to the crisis facing African-American families. Bishop Steib said at a press conference that with his presentation he tried to "point out how real it is out there in the trenches, what life is really like" for Afii~tn-American Catho5cs. challenge for Washington (CNS) -- U S. bishops at their annual fall meeting heard that 13 U.S. dioceses are more than 50 percent Hispanic Catholic and 27 dioceses are 25 to 50 per- cent l- panic Catholic. I'oday we can plainly see that the His- panic presence, as predicted four years ago, is in fact a reality. This population has grown significantly both in society and in the Church," said Coadjutor Bishop Enrique San Pedro of Brownsville, TX, chair of the U.S. bishops' Committee for tlistxmic Af- fiJm Bishop "San Pedro also issued a plea for the Church to "reach out to the Hispanic professional," putting him or her in Church leadership positions. Hispanic professionals, he said, "are of- ten the ones whom the Church has helped to break the hellish cycle of poverty that plagues so many of our families." He said the Hispanic professional has much to contribute to evangelization of Hispanics and the U.S. culture as a whole. Citing 1990 U.S, Census Bureau data, Bishop San Pedro said ~cs were found in almost every county in the nation. The 1990 data indicates, he said, that one in every 11 persons in the U.S. is Hispanic, compared to one in 16 a decade ago. He noted that more than 50 percent of U.S. Hispanics live in California and Texas. Most of them, he said, are Mexicans or Mexican-Americans. But the state with the highest Hispanic growth rate in 1980-90 was Rhode Island, said Bishop San Pedro. rhere is no doubt that ics are present in every one of our dioceses," he said. Bishop &m Pedro said the census fig-i ures pose a challenge for the Church. !in 19 "We cannot allow today's highaech envi- iFeml ronment, our busy and demanding lifestyles ~and ) and schedules, the many problems facingi In our dries, towns and rural communifi , to ihou stop us from doing what must be done, he !wher said. !1970: He said development of "small ccdesial !Arch communities and apostolic movements~ were "p'lvotal" to making parishes inviting and welcoming to Hispanics. Leadership training for Hispanic Catho- lics is needed "at all levels," he said. Church personnel working with Hispan- ics are "challenged to respond to cultural and linguistic differences in a sensitive and loving manner. It is the least we must do," he said. Bishop Untener ordination of Washington (CNS) - Bishop Kenneth j. Untener of Saginaw, MI, made headlines in Detroit Nov. 12 when he told a Detroit Free Press reporter that he thinks the Church should ordain women priests. Bishop Untener hter told Catholic News Service in a brief hallway interview between Bishop Untener sessions of the U.S. bishops' fall meet- ing in Washington that he simply ex- pressed his per- sonal view when the reporter asked him about iL He said he be- lieves the Catholic Church should be discussing the issue of women's ordina- tion," and if you ask me my opinion, I think we should [ordain women ]." "Does that make me a dissenter?" the bishop asked, q suppose so." He acknowledged that the Vatican, which under Pope John Paul II has emphasized episcopal unity in rapport of official Church po'hcies, was not likely to be pleased with his public statement of rapport for omen's ordination. "What's going to happen? I don't know," he said.