Catholic religious offer support for Bishop Tobin
The Diocesan Council of Religious, a representative body of all the religious priests, brothers and sisters living and working within the diocese of Youngstown, wishes to make the following statement:
We are all heartbroken and saddened at the sins of some of our clergy. Our emotional roller coasters have taken us from shock, to horror, to disbelief, to anger, to sadness, to empathy. Our hearts instinctively reach out to the innocent children -- the unfortunate victims -- to their families, who struggle with healing such deep-seated wounds, to the offenders, who in many cases have long repented of their crimes and have never ceased torturing themselves for what they are experiencing as being the unforgivable sin. As members of Christ's universal body, we suffer along with the victims, as well as the perpetrators.
Amid all of this, each local church has looked to its chief shepherd for direction, wisdom, stability and hope. Throughout this period of purification, our chief spiritual leader, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, has been extremely open with everyone. He has welcomed opportunities to speak with the media to educate the public on "the rest of the story," responding appropriately to questions put before him. Anyone listening to his responses came away with an accurate description of the situation as well as a renewed sense of hope.
While it would be easy to allow one's ministry to become consumed in this unfortunately sensational "media op," Bishop Tobin has continued to focus on the many other pressing needs and issues that surface daily. He has devoted all of the necessary attention required by such a situation while, at the same time, tending to the spiritual needs of the Catholic faithful in the Youngstown diocese.
Bishop Tobin has continued to show compassion to society's most vulnerable. Despite his own very human and wounded feelings, he has continued to care about the feelings and needs of every person he encounters. He has made every effort to joyfully participate in diocesan events.
During these pressing days and weeks, our bishop's dedication to God's people has shone more brightly than ever. To fellow priests, he has been a beacon of hope. To consecrated religious, he has been a source of unity. To the lay faithful, he has been a fountain of wisdom and guidance. In support of Bishop Tobin, we exhort every Catholic Christian to pray, stand and work together for increased personal holiness and for the holiness of the Church.
A basic tenet of our faith is that good can come out of any evil for those who believe and hope. Let us pray together that the Holy Spirit will continue to empower our chief shepherd, Bishop Tobin, to lead us to an ever-greater love of God and respect, compassion and genuine concern for our neighbor.
Sister JOYCE CANDIDI, OSHJ
X The writer is director of vowed religious for the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown.
Extra money for YSU smacks of party politics
This is the ultimate in politics. The state of Ohio has a $1.7 billion hole (deficit) in the state budget. In attempting to balance the budget they "are borrowing" $600 million from the rainy day fund, which dries up the fund.
They are raising the tax on cigarettes 31 cents per pack to raise $283 million. They are using $345 million from the tobacco settlement that was to be used for advertising to prevent tobacco use and to build school buildings.
They are reducing Ohio Department of Education spending by $175 million. But lo and behold, they find $3 million for Youngstown State University for a special project to educate new workers and retrain other workers. Guess who worked with the Republican governor to get this line item added to the budget bill? None other than the Republican candidate for the 17th District, Ann Womer Benjamin.
She conceded that her effort to get money for YSU could help her congressional campaign. Do tell.
It doesn't take a Rhodes Scholar to figure out this is cunning politics.