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The Catholic Herald: Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Madison

September 25, 2003 Edition   •   Volume 133, No. 35   •   Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A.

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The Catholic Herald is the official newspaper of the Diocese of Madison. Its purpose is to inform and educate people of the Diocese through communications that proclaim Gospel values, report the news, and comment on issues as they pertain to the mission of the Catholic Church, which is to bring all in Jesus Christ to the Father.
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The Catholic Herald awards:

• Web edition: Catholic Press Association Best Web Site: Honorable Mention.

Award of Distinction, The Communicator Awards 2002 Print Media competition.

• Print edition: Award winner, Catholic Press Association 2003 awards competition.

Diocesan priest
absent from parish
following allegation

MADISON -- Fr. Gerald Vosen, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Baraboo, will be absent from his parish following a sexual misconduct allegation made at a Wisconsin State Assembly hearing Thursday, Sept. 18. Father Vosen has denied the allegation.

Msgr. Paul J. Swain, vicar general for the Madison Diocese, read a statement from Bishop Robert Morlino at weekend Masses in Baraboo.

"In the course of a Legislative hearing last Thursday in Madison, an individual unexpectedly charged Fr. Gerald Vosen with sexual misconduct with a minor many years ago. The individual was urged to report this allegation directly to diocesan authorities. As the bishop awaits the report of the allegation, word has spread in Baraboo and elsewhere about this accusation which occurred during the Madison hearing.   Full story ...

Only in the print edition ...
News & Features:

Mother Teresa:
Church reflects on legacy

Vatican: Works to influence cloning debate at United Nations

Bishop Morlino: Speaks to young people at university parish


• Question Corner
by Fr. John Dietzen --
Catholic juror: Allowed to vote
for death penalty?

• The Pope Speaks
by Pope John Paul II --
Slovakia visit: Gratitude to all

• Word to Life: Readings for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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State legislature:
Hearing on clergy misconduct bills

MADISON -- Legislators, legal experts, victims, and religious leaders gathered for a public hearing on clergy misconduct bills in front of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Corrections, and Privacy and the Assembly Committee on Judiciary at the State Capitol Sept. 18.

The bills, Senate Bill 207 and Assembly Bill 428, would add clergy to the list of mandatory reporters for child abuse (while protecting the sacrament of confession), extend the statute of limitations from age 31 to 45 allow victims more time to press criminal charges and from age 20 to 35 to allow victims more time to file civil lawsuits, and clarify that victims may sue religious organizations if superiors knew of a danger and did not try to prevent it.

Bishops support bills

Among those testifying in favor of the bills was Bishop Robert C. Morlino, bishop of the Diocese of Madison and vice president of the Wisconsin Catholic Conference (WCC).   Full story ...

Living the vision
we profess

MADISON -- We are called to be the best we can with the information and tools we have and let God do the rest, said Msgr. Paul J. Swain, vicar general for the Diocese of Madison.

Monsignor Swain was the keynote speaker for the recent Parish Leadership Day held at the Bishop O'Connor Catholic Pastoral Center in Madison.

Nearly 200 people from parish staffs throughout the Diocese of Madison participated in the day, which began with a prayer service at which Auxiliary Bishop George O. Wirz presided.

Bishop Wirz remarked that when Pius X was elected pope, he told a group of cardinals what he feels is the most important mission of the church. "He said there must be a group, a corps of lay persons who are faithful, well-informed, and persevering," said Bishop Wirz.

A leader is one who is able to work through others, he said. "Call it shared ministry, call it collegiality - that's our mission and the rest will follow."

Beginning his keynote address with a moment of silence for all those touched by the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, Monsignor Swain shared the episcopal motto of Bishop Robert C. Morlino: "The revelation of Jesus Christ is the only sure anchor of our hope, the only vision that will not disappoint."

Monsignor Swain shared reflections on what it means to strive to live out that vision by being faithful, catholic, authentic, flexible, realistic, merciful, and hopeful.   Full story ...

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