Tag Archives: Monsignor Joseph Schaedel

Religious freedom and the family

MONSIGNOR JOSEPH SCHAEDEL writes that Catholics must stand for religious liberty . . .

Monsignor Joseph Schaedel

Monsignor Joseph Schaedel

by Monsignor Joseph Schaedel

It’s obvious that one of the greatest threats to our Catholic ideal of marriage and family is the absurd notion that the government or the courts can redefine marriage. God defined it permanently thousands of years ago.

Those who follow the news have heard of the political war in my state of Indiana over our RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act). I’ve always lived in Indiana, and I have never seen such a political circus in my life! Many people have asked me about the RFRA, but I sort of avoided the question. I’m not afraid to discuss the religious freedom law, but I’m not interested in talking about it with people who have no idea what they’re talking about — or who have no interest in knowing the facts.

In each case, when I was questioned, I asked the inquirer if they had read the bill. So far not one of them has. I learned the hard way back in grade school that it’s not a good idea to report on or even discuss a book or article you’ve never read. Trying to do so makes you look stupid.

When I was ordained a priest 33 years ago, never in my wildest dreams did I think we would see clergy being forced to officiate at “weddings” that directly contradict the minister’s own faith. Nor did I ever imagine the president of the United States and his administration dragging the Little Sisters of the Poor into court so as to force them to pay for objectionable medical procedures and products that cause abortions.

The controversy swirling around Indiana’s RFRA made constant use of the word “discrimination.” We need to make a distinction between “discrimination” and “unjust discrimination.” We all discriminate. We discriminate between Coke and Pepsi, Shell and Exxon, the choices discriminating parents make for families about schools, and so forth.

The Catholic Church discriminates: Non-Catholics may not receive Holy Communion at a Catholic Mass. Persons previously married may not remarry in the Catholic Church unless they receive a Church annulment. Women may not be ordained. We’re not the only ones: Only Mormons may enter the Mormon Temple. Only celibate Orthodox priests can become Orthodox bishops. And so on.

Unjust discrimination is something else. This is when we decide against or in favor of someone for reasons which violate the human dignity and rights of that person (made in God’s image) often on the basis of race, color, or creed. And nowadays we are aware that it’s often done on the basis of religion, gender or sexual identity.

The sad part is that unjust discrimination is all around us. Catholics are at the top of the list. For example, at the end of March, Toronto’s city council voted to bar a woman from the Toronto public health board because of “her Catholic views.” Did you read this in the mainstream media or see it on any major news network? Of course not. And you won’t. This is nothing new. A dozen years ago, a non-Catholic author named Philip Jenkins wrote a book called The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice (Oxford University Press, 2003).

There are innumerable instances of unjust discrimination against other religious groups and various groups of people. A major difference is that most don’t have huge amounts of money — like some groups do — to pay big public relations firms to stir up people in sympathy for our plight.

A case in point would be the current ruckus against the archbishop of San Francisco. The archbishop wants to make sure that all Catholic high school teachers live, work and teach in such a way that does not contradict the teaching of the Catholic Church. His opponents are spending lots of money on high-profile professional PR firms to oppose him.

The Catholic Church teaches that all unjust discrimination and prejudice is clearly wrong; it is sinful. Of course, the spotlight in our current Indiana situation seems to be on persons of same-sex attraction and those who wish to redefine marriage. The Catechism of the Catholic Church has three specific sections referring to homosexual persons. The Catechism clearly states that “they must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided” (# 2358).

Family and marriage are sacred; they cannot be “redefined.” But anyone who thinks they might be able to hide behind the federal RFRA or Indiana’s RFRA in order to unjustly discriminate anybody is out of luck. They need to read not only the RFRA, but also the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

MONSIGNOR JOSEPH F. SCHAEDEL is the chaplain of Legatus’ Indianapolis Chapter and pastor of St. Luke Catholic Church in Indianapolis.

Healing waters

Indianapolis Legate Dianne Bayley emphasizes fitness of mind, spirit and body . . . 


Stricken with polio at the age of 13 and told she might never walk again, Legate Dianne Bayley got her first exposure to intense physical exercise under the tutelage of a hospital therapist.

“Boy, was she ever rigid,” Bayley recalled of the woman who supervised her physical therapy. “It set the ground for me that if I work hard, I am going to get results.”

After months of therapy, Bayley did walk again and, although she couldn’t spring high enough to make the high school cheerleading squad, she later  took the experience of her recovery and shaped it into a healthy lifestyle that has inspired others and earned her accolades.

A former competitive swimmer who has a trophy case full of medals to her credit, Bayley received the Woman of Wellness Award from the Cancer Support Community of Central Indiana on March 16.

“Knowing her has caused me to realize that exercise must be a part of every day’s routine,” said Sue Anne Gilroy, vice president of development at St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital and executive director of the St. Vincent Foundation.

Gilroy, who nominated Bayley for the Woman of Wellness Award, has known Dianne and her husband, L.H., for more than a decade through their volunteer work on behalf of the foundation and the hospital’s cancer-care program. The Bayleys are longtime members of Legatus’ Indianapolis Chapter.

At 75, Dianne Bayley still maintains a disciplined fitness routine consisting of a water-exercise class three times weekly — four during the winter — and, on the two alternating days, a Pilates class for building strength and flexibility. After her water class, she typically stays in the pool to swim laps.

“Swimming and the feel of the water is healing therapy for me,” she said. “I know it’s good for my body, it calms my mind and it helps me feed my spirit.” She often prays as she swims.

When she was 68, Bayley joined the U.S. Masters Swim Association and a local co-ed swim team, later going on to compete in state and national events — including the National Senior Olympic Games. Two total knee replacements — the last of which was done 14 months ago — have taken her out of competitive swimming for now, but she is gradually getting into a routine.

“Dianne, not just physically, but mentally and in every other way, is a great woman of determination,” said Monsignor Joseph Schaedel, pastor of St. Luke Parish in Indianapolis and chaplain of Legatus’ Indianapolis Chapter. “When she determines that she wants to do something, she puts 100% into it.”

Because swimming had been an activity she once enjoyed with her late daughter, Chris Bennett, Bayley also took a break from the sport following Chris’ death in 2009 from a rare form of cancer.

“After Chris died, I waited about nine months and thought, ‘I’m going to try this,’” Bayley said. When she arrived at the pool, she told the members of her swim club that she was not there to practice, but just to see how it felt to be in the water again.

Although she continued to return to the pool over the next few weeks, one day she knew it was too much for her. She walked to her car and called her husband. “I can’t do it without Chris,” she told him. “I keep looking for her in the lane next to me.”

Staying fit

Dianne Bayley and her daughter, Chris Bennett, in 2007

Dianne Bayley and her daughter, Chris Bennett, in 2006

It was as a young mother in her late 20s that Bayley decided to incorporate regular workouts into her life. She joined a Jazzercise class taught by her daughters’ ballet instructor and later enrolled in a health club, where she took aerobics classes. When she and L.H. moved, she set out to find a new health club and, this time, invited L.H. to join her for the 6:15 a.m. aerobics class. Today, they maintain separate fitness routines.

L.H., 77, works out with a personal trainer four times a week before going to work at David A. Noyes & Co. He credits service in the U.S. Army’s missile corps with instilling in him a commitment to physical discipline but, he added, “Seeing your wife in this type of lifestyle is very motivating, too. I like to think I motivate her and I know she motivates me.”

L.H. said he is also pleased that the couple’s son, daughter, sons-in-law and grandchildren are fitness-minded. Their son Mike attributes his own interest in staying in shape to his parents, who encouraged participation in sports, especially swimming.

“I always recall my parents being very conscious of their fitness level, and leading by example more than pushing my sisters and myself,” he said. “They showed us that eating right, living right and staying active leads to a healthier, happier life.”

Mike said that he began working out with weights and machines as a college student. He now has his own home gym, where he exercises three to five times a week. Seeing how active his parents are, he said, “I have no excuse not to be exercising well.”

Dianne Bayley said exercise has helped keep her life in balance and it has made her mindful of everything else she does. “You’re more aware of what you eat, what you drink and the importance of hydrating all the time. It just keeps everything else in balance. I’ve always felt the need to feed the mind, body and spirit. They’re all linked together.”

Exercise has helped her deal with the aches and pains that come with age, including arthritis. With both knees replaced, she only has some arthritis pain in her neck, but she said she has addressed that by changing the way she sleeps. And, she added, “All this exercise keeps everything loosened up!”

JUDY ROBERTS is Legatus magazine’s staff writer.