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September 20, 1989 - Image 3

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-09-20

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Vatican
decides on
Auschwitz
convent
VATICAN CITY (AP) - The
Vatican said yesterday that a convent
on the site of the Auschwitz death
camp that has offended Jewish
groups should be moved and that it
would help pay to construct a new
prayer center away from the camp.
The statement from the Vatican's
Commission for Religious
Relations with Judaism was the first
public declaration by the Roman
Catholic Church hierarchy and
clearly had the approval of Polish-
born John Paul II.
The controversy has severely
strained Catholic-Jewish relations
and resulted in a highly unusual pub-
lic split among Catholic cardinals.
In its communiqu6, the Vatican{
'diplomatically but firmly rejected the
position held by Poland's primate,
Cardinal Jozef Glemp, who has been
accused of making anti-Semitic re-
marks recently and has called the
proposed removal of the nuns "a
scandal."
In New York, the World Jewish
Congress hailed the Vatican's state-
ment, saying it would improve
Catholic-Jewish relations.
"We welcome this very important
step in restoring the good word of

The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 20, 1989 - Page 3
Neglect may
cause deaths
in asylums

LANSING (AP) - The review
of deaths that occur in Michigan
psychiatric facilities is inadequate,
legislators said yesterday in request-
ing improvements from Mental
Health Director Thomas Watkins.
The House Appropriations
Subcommittee on Mental Health
asked Watkins to review the process
after looking at a list of deaths that
occurred over the past year in the
hospitals.
The state has spent $335,500
since 1981 on mortality research
among psychiatric patients in
Michigan hospitals. Several guide-
lines have been put in place since
the studies began.
In 1988, 86 mental patients died
in state institutions, including 30
whom hadn't been expected to die.
The number for 1987 was 70, and in
1986 it was 75. In the first half of
this year, 37 have died.
In 1988, 85 developmentally
disabled individuals died, including
27 unexpected deaths; in 1987, there

were 77 deaths; in 1986, 69 deaths.
Causes of death include suicide,
pneumonia, cancer and complica-
tions from AIDS.
The committee members had
several questions about the data, par-
ticularly why autopsies weren't per-
formed for some unexpected deaths
and for which causes could not be de-
termined.
For, example, a 55-year old
woman died early this year at
Clinton Valley Center. Authorities
could not determine the cause of
death, yet didn't perform an autopsy.
Watkins said family members of
several patients refuse to allow aq-
topsies to be performed, though au-
topsies are ordered in every death that
is unexpected.
Rep. David Hollister, D-
Lansing and a member of the com-
mittee, noted that many of the
"expected" deaths could have resulted
from insufficient care, and still
should be investigated.

The Vatican said yesterday that this Roman Catholic convent of Carmelite nuns, near the Auscwitz death
camp in Poland, should be moved to another site, as Jewish groups have sought.

the church," said Elan Steinberg, the
World Jewish Congress' executive
director. "It's time to move on and
implement the agreement."
In February 1987, Jewish and
Catholic representatives agreed in
Geneva to move the Carmelite nuns
from the convent at the edge of the
camp site in Poland. Jewish groups
say they are offended by the presence
of the convent and a 23-foot cross at

the Auschwitz-Birkenau site, where
an estimated 2.5 million Jews were
killed during Hitler's campaign to
annihilate the Jews.
The nuns were to be moved by
February, but the deadline passed and
no prayer center was erected. On
Aug. 10, the archbishop of Krakow,
Cardinal Franciszek Macharski, an-
nounced he was suspending the
agreement because Jewish protesters

had created an "atmosphere of ag-
gressive demands."
Glemp fueled the controversy by
saying the accord should be renegoti-
ated and that the Polish church
lacked money to build a prayer cen-
ter.
The Vatican's communiqu6 em-
phasized that the nuns should be
moved to the new center.

Health & Fitness ] I

I

New group discusses
multi-racial issues

POWERHOUSE GYM

by Wendy Shanker
Discrimination isn't always a
Black and white issue, according to
the organizers of one campus group.
Being a part of a multi-racial family
or being involved in a inter-racial
relationship often entails living with
another kind of prejudice.
The Multi-Racial, Multi-Cultural
Group was formed as a support
group to reach out to students and
faculty in those gray areas, said
Karen Downing, assistant librarian
and coordinator of the University's
Peer Information Counseling
program at the Undergraduate
Library.
"It's a blessing to be brought up
in two different cultures," recalled
Downing, who has both a Black
} parent and a white one. "On the
other hand, it can be a curse. When
you come to the U of M, you are
asked to choose, 'What are you?"'
She said she noticed the need for
the group in March, 1988, when two
speakers came to the UGLi to raise
awareness on discrimination and
racism. One speaker described a
similar group in California created
for people who weren't only Black,
white, Asian-American, Native
American, or Latino, but a mixture
of these races.
Downing said she realized then
that "that would be a fantastic thing
to have on this campus -
something that would help a lot of
people."

After she contacted the Minority
Student Services office and spoke to
counselors who have dealt with
racial identity problems, she formed
the Multi-Racial, Multi-Cultural
Group one year later, in March
1989.
LSA senior Donovan Grey said
he joined the organization because he
was looking for an optimistic
minority support organization. "A
lot of people believe in the 'color
hype' - all Black, all white. We get
people to see there are gray areas; it
may help a bit to break
stereotyping."
Initial group dialogues have
covered multi-racial backgrounds,
difficult racial situations, and inter-
racial relationships. Future plans
include film discussions and
involvement with other minority
student groups.
"One of the problems of being
multi-racial is that people see us as a
threat," Grey said. "We are looked
upon as watering down the
purification of the races."
This year's first Multi-Racial,
Multi-Cultural Group meeting will
be on Thursday, September 21st at
12:00 noon, in room 3200 of the
Michigan Union. The meeting is
open to everyone on campus, of all
backgrounds and cultures. For more
information, call Karen Downing
during library hours at 764-4479.

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