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The Catholic Herald: Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Madison
Monsignor Erbe: Dies at age 80
(posted 11/7/2005)

November 10, 2005 Edition   •   Volume 135, No. 40   •   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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Breaking News ...
Deacon John Baxter of Platteville dies

-- Posted: 11/15/2005, 3:46 p.m. Central Time
-- Updated: 11/16/2005, 7:41 p.m. Central Time

photo of Deacon John Baxter
Deacon John Baxter

PLATTEVILLE -- Deacon John Baxter, ordained to the permanent diaconate July 23, 2004, died November 13 of a heart attack.

Deacon Baxter, 55, had served at St. Mary Parish, Platteville, since his ordination. He was an attorney with Karrmann, Buggs, Baxter & Reinicke, LLP, an active fourth-degree member of the Knights of Columbus, and a knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre.

Deacon Baxter was born on March 5, 1950 in Dubuque, Iowa to Austin and Margaret Hess Baxter. He attended school in Cuba City, Wisconsin and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Wisconsin State University - Platteville in 1972 and a Juris Doctor degree from Marquette University in 1975.

He is survived by his wife Mary; children Daniel, Michelle, Nicole, Angela, and Douglas; grandchildren; and parents.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, Nov. 19, at St. Mary Parish, 130 West Cedar St., Platteville, at 1 p.m., with Most Reverend William H. Bullock, Bishop Emeritus, main celebrant, and Rev. Msgr. O. Charles Schluter, homilist. Visitation will be at St. Mary Church on Friday, Nov. 18 from 3 to 8 p.m. and on Saturday at noon until Holy Mass. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery, Platteville.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Deacon John Baxter Memorial Fund.

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Halloween: Catholic Charities clients, staff celebrate


• Question Corner
by Fr. John Dietzen --
Validity of marriages:
Understanding church
marriage laws

• The Pope Speaks
by Pope Benedict XVI -- Psalm 112:
Obeying God's law creates harmony

• Making a Difference
by Tony Magliano --
Suffering Sudan:
International help is needed

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Future special sections:

Senior Focus: Nov. 17, 2005

Adult Education: Dec. 8, 2005

Senior Focus: Dec. 22, 2005

Christmas Greetings: Dec. 22, 2005

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Cloning ban:
Governor vetoes bill

MADISON -- Governor Jim Doyle vetoed legislation November 3 that would have banned human cloning in Wisconsin.

The governor said Assembly Bill 499 (AB 499) would have criminalized some of the most promising stem-cell research that could cure diseases.

Advocates of the bill, however, say that it would have prevented the destruction of human beings in the course of scientific research and what Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan, in a letter to the Catholic governor that urged him to take a moral stand on the issue, called "the reprehensible practice of cloning human beings."

"While the governor's action today had been anticipated, we are nevertheless deeply disappointed," said John Huebscher, executive director of the Wisconsin Catholic Conference, in a statement issued after Doyle vetoed the bill. "His vision for Wisconsin's dominance in the field of biotechnology is accompanied by blinders that obscure a basic fact - affirmed by the majority in the state legislature and the majority of Wisconsin citizens - that human cloning is fundamentally wrong."   Full story ...

Moral theology:
Learning about reason, truth

MCFARLAND -- "We don't make people do what our faith teaches - we invite people to do what reason indicates," said Bishop Robert C. Morlino as he addressed a large crowd gathered October 30 at Christ the King Parish here about moral theology in the post-modern world.

The bishop discussed theories "that have captivated the world since the enlightenment," five strains of thought that cause difficulty in moral thought. These theories, the bishop said, all converge on one central conviction, something that Catholics cannot accept: that there is no truth.

Post-modern theories

The first theory the bishop discussed was historicism, which means that everything we say and do is historically conditioned to the point where there is no truth. An example of this thought, he said, is that wheat bread and grape wine is historically conditioned - but if we were really open, we could use beer and pizza on a college campus, because it is more broad and up-to-date.

The second problematic theory, he said, is scientism, which means that the only truth to be taken seriously is that which can be verified or falsified on the basis of observable evidence. "Scientism is all about highly confirmed theories," said Bishop Morlino. "The most highly confirmed theory can frequently give way to a more highly confirmed theory.

"Scientific truth is never anchored in absolute truth," he said. "Scientific truth pictures how things go in the physical world. There's a higher truth than that. The truth about the whole world can only be seen from outside the world."

The third theory is subjectivism, which says, "You have your truth, and I have mine; you respect me, and I'll respect you," Bishop Morlino said. "There's a fallacy in that.   Full story ...

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