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September 17, 1965     Catholic Northwest Progress
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September 17, 1965
 

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PAGE FOUR Friday, September 17, 1965 Times Have Changed HERE was a time when the reading of papal encyclicals was a luxury re- served to clerical theologians or stu- dents attending private colleges and universities. Times have changed. The Second Vatican Council with its em- phasis on ecumenism and aggiorna- mento has made Catholic theology "good" copy in the lay press. There is an air of expectancy about the Vatican Council. Many edi- tors of popular magazines aware of the process of up-dating taking place wLthin the Roman Church are trying to anticipate or second guess just what those changes will be. Some are cer- tain that such old fashioned doctrines on birth control and celibate clergy just have to go. Any new expression of Catholic doctrine which seems to have a modern existential ring has little dif- ficulty finding its way into popular print. This means that the average Catholic today be he layman or cleric is constantly exposed to reams o avant garde exposes o[ Catholic doctrine. It is well to add that these exposes are care/ully edited so that their contents will appear as revolution- ary and dar!ng as possible. It even happens with growing fre- quency that theories and opinions of skilled and reputable theologians who are discussing complex and difficult nrOblems in closed circles are reported the daily press before the theologi- ans themselves have had sufficient op- portunity to test these theories or ana- lyze their implications. As a result all of us are from time to time confused by conflicting reports on theological matters that appear in the daily press. There is no practical way to avoid this perplexing situation. It is all part of the growing pains of the modern church. In many ways the free and open discussion of theology so evident today is a healthy and hope- ful sign of life. From time to time the Holy See finds it necessary to correct/also impressions or to restate traditional Catholic doctrine when it becomes clear that certain theolo. glans even though in good in it h are in danger o t leading the/aithtul into grave error regarding taith or morals This is precisely why Pope Paul's latest encycli- cal entitled Mysterium Fidei (The Mys- tery o] Faith) was written. (see pages 6, 7). Pope Paul stated clearly at the be- ginning of this encyclical: "We are aware of the fact that among those who deal with this most holy mystery in the written or spoken word, there are some who, with reference either to Masses which are celebrated in private, or to the dogma transubstan- tiation, or to devotion to the Eucharist, spread abroad opinions which disturb the faithful and fill their minds with little or no confusion about matters of faith, as if everyone were permitted to consign to oblivion a doctrine already defined by the Church or else to inter- pret i,t in such a way as to weaken the genuine meaning of the words or the recognized force of the concepts in- volved." E recall some months ago the con- fusion that arose when a popular weekly news magazine ran an article in its religious news section on "tran- signification" as a new word now in use by certain Catholic theologians to de- scribe Christ's presence in the Eucha- rist. Mysterium Fidei clearly condemns this use of the word "transignification" when used to describe the real Presence. But unless the Catholic laity reads the present e n c y c 1 i c a 1 they will not be aware of the papal clarification and the confusion will remain. This is why pa- pal encyclicals must be read, studied and meditated upon today not just by priests and nuns but by every single member of the Mystical Body. Growth requires maturity and ma- turnity requires knowledge. If we Cath- olics of the 20th century are to make Christianity meaningful to men and women of our age we must be informed not only about what is printed in the daily press but what is penned from the hand of Our Holy Father, Christ's visible representative among us. No More Uncertainty By Father Placid Jordan, OSB [N.C.W.C. News Service) LL the feeling of hesitancy and even uneasiness which for some time has prevailed with regard to the future prospects of the Second Vatican Council have been effectively and decisively $cotched by Pope Paul VI's announcement September 14 that an episcopal synod representing the whole world's hierarchy is to be set up as a supreme consultative and executive body of the Church. As anticipate d for some time and as already proposed in the council schema on the pastoral functions of bishops, this supreme synod is to be composed for the greater part of bishops freely chosen by the various national hier- archies besides tha appointees of the Pope. In ether words, one of the prinoipal goals of this council--the decentralization of the government of the Church--is new certain to be aehieved, However, the Roman curia will continue to be used, as the Pope pointed out, as an indispensable administrative instru- ment. Supreme executive powers will rest with the Pope in direct conjunction with the world's bishops. Most of the fears felt so far by those who believed that traditional habits would again prevail once the council is over are proven unjustified. "Aggiornamento" is truly becoming a reality. The unforgettable Pope John's dream of a Church renewed from within is joyfully coming through. Those who had doubts as to the sincere willingness of Pope Paul to imple- ment his predecessor's great vision must now admit they were mistaken. The consequences of the Pope's decision are far reaching indeed, because it means no less than an assurance that the reforms the council has freely decided on will be carried out under the direct supervision of the world's bishops. Once again the Pontiff has stressed that he will in no way interfere with their free- dom. The decisions yet to be reached, there- fore, will be reached no less freely than those reached up to now, and all the decrees promulgated will be executed in a true spirit of reform and progress. The tenor of the Pope's address at the open- ing of the fourth council session was fully at- tuned to these happy prospects, since it empha- sized once more the basic council theme previously outlined by Pope John that this is to be a pastoral council. Charity is to prevail, Pope Paul said. "In- stead of condemning, the Church will entertain feelings of lov.o while remaining firm and unambiguous in matters of doctrine." This, in particular, is to apply in the relations of the Church with the separated brethren, in whose regard Pope Paul once more proclaimed the ultimate goal of "reintegrating all Christians in the unity willed by Christ." Thus thls last council aden has opened with Joyful prospects. New horizons are now in sight which but a few years ago seemed beyond reach. While the council Fathers were flocking out of St. Peter's basilica under a radiant Roman sunshine the Rev. Albert C. Outlet, of Dallas, Tax., official Methodist at the council, re- marked: "Pope Paul really has put this council back on the Johannine track." In the Face of Persecution BY J. J GILBERT ASHINGTON m T r i b u t e to the staunch faith of the Polish people is paid in a publication issued by a com- mittee of the US Senate. The strong Catholic population of Poland per- fists in maintaining the Church in the face of nrelenting persecution by the communist gov- .rnment of the country, it is reported. "As a whole, it may be stated that the Church Poland persists not on a legal basis but rather wing to the very fact that it has existed for 1,000 years and is supported by more than 90 r cent of the population--Roman Catholics," rays the study made by the law library of Con- vess for the Senate Internal Security Subcom- nittce. It is the fifth in a series of studies deab ng with "The Church and State Under Com- nunism." It Is pointed out that full freedom of religion supposedly was restored in Poland following the Poznsn riots of 1965; that Stefan Cardinal Wyszynskl was released from detention and other bishops, after five years imprisonment, were set free. However, the study continues, "the campaign gainst the Church has been carried on by un- lermining its doctrinal basis, and its adminis- rative and social activity as well as by under. :utting the financial foundations of the Church. ['he doctrinal teaching of the Church has been atinuously attacked by Communist propagan- la through party channels and through atheistic P organizations. "The administrative activities of the Church have been hampered by constant annoyance of the clergy and diversionary actions. Confisca- tion of Church property and exorbitant taxa- tion have brought the Church institutions to ruin." The study reminds that Polish Catholics have had to preserve in the face of Communist op- pression from the very beginning of the Red regime. It delineates some separate periods of opprsion, distinguishable by the tactics em- ployed by the Communists. From D45 to 1950, the report says, the Com- munists tried particularly to kindle disputes within the Catholic Church itself. It sought to separate the Church in PoJand from Rome, "to cause disagreement between the people and the hierarchy and to create divisions within the clergy and the believers." "These methods," it is stated, "were frustrated." From 1950 to October, 1956, the study con- tinues, "the bishops were forced to make an agreement which was intended to subject the Church to governmental administration and control." "A great number of clergymen were imprisoned and Primate Wyszyn, ski was placed under detention," the report notes. The result of all this, the study says, was that "an atmosphere of martyrdom similar to that surrounding the first Christians caused Catholics to close their ranks, to cooperate with their hierarchy and to intensify their religious life." Thoughts for Christian Living "THE LORD thy God hath carried thee, as a man is Uwont to carry his little son,"--Deut. 1:31. "The truest title to address our divine Lord by, is 'Poor Jesus.' He is rich in all (earth's) things except the one He really cares about: the love of our loving hearts."--Father Wil- lie Doyle $7. "God is not truly God for those who do not love Him."--St. Basil. " 'All glory to God.' It is an emphatic confession of our nothingness. He, Jesus, is everything. We, without Him, are worth nothing -- nothing." -- Monsignor Escriva. "We are perfectly ourselves only when we have lost our- selves in the pure love of God for His own sake."--Thomas Mer- ton. "THERE is fairly conclusive evidence that God created a; con- / stantly expanding and evolving world, starting from a pri. meval chaos or 'the primitive atom' which, in bursting, scattered the stars from its explosion. One of these is our sun, yellowing now into old age, from which in turn was flung our earth. On this, the sun's action caused growth from primitive forms, up the slow, tortuous spiral staircase of development through man."-- Margaret Rowe. "Count it the mercy of God if at times some good word is spoken of you, for you deserve none."--St. John of the Cross. "Take heed not to do your good before men, in order to be Seen by them; otherwise you shall have no reward with your Father in Heaven."--Matthew 6:1. 'Greetings' The Military Question By FATHER WILLIAM B. McKENZIE Asst. Pastor, Our Lady of the Lake Church HOSE who go up the Hudson River to West Point on a crisp, sunny fall afternoon feel a thrill when the band strikes up parade call and the cadets march out rank on rank with buckles and bayonets striking fire from the sun. The commands float out in deep masculine voice over the Plain: "Prcee-Sent HarmsI' "Horderrr Harms! .... Pass In Reviewl" The regimental flags flutter in the breeze and the band swings into "The West Point March." Then the young soldiera march by the reviewing stand, brigade by brigade, uniforms all black and grey and gold and white, grim as iron. It is possible in that one golden moment to believe unconditionally in the art of war. But at home things are different. The license clerks and civil magistrates are swamped by young men who rush into marriage to avoid the draft. Young people demonstrate against the war in Vietnam even to the extent of blocking the railroad tracks to stop the tains getting through. Some newspapers and magazines write darkly :of "senseless destruction" and "political blunders." Net since 1940 have American boys been piped so uncertainly to war. Today's young lions can expect precious little public ae- claim for their sufferings. "We're on the eve of destruction!" laments the number one pop rock song of today, a song that owes more to social protest than it does to the Beatles. It mirrors the feelings of many young Americans: the war is senseless and shameful, without romance or glory. There is nothing, hre to inspire the sacrifice of blood and bone, or even of time. The world is evil, not worth living in and certainly not worth saving, or at least, not that part of it. Therefore, to quote another record,, "count me out.." nfortunately, this is a test out of which no one can be counted. This is yet another generation on trial and upon its hopes, fears and accomplishments rests the future of American power in the world with whatever good it can accomplish 'for global law and order. The demands of power are cruel and relentless, the sword of Damocles. Up to this point, the war has been fought by the pros. In the villages and rice paddies of Vietnam today are the future general staff and perhaps the great public heroes of tomorrow:  the Brad- leya, MacArthurs, Eisenhowers, now junior line officers, As the war expands, these are being augmented by draftees, the classic American "GI" of the past three wars. As the days wear on and the military actions multiply, the possibility of Army service be. comes more and more real for the, average teenage boy. The teenager of today must face the test. In this crucible he will discover, if he ever does, that evil is not only in the world, it is in himself, too. The world is part- ly evil because we also are partly evil. "I do not the good things that I want to do; I do the wrong things that I do not want to do," says Saint Paul. When he realizes this, the boy can become a man. Once the person has seen the evil in himself, he is" ready to resist evil, both in himself and in the world, The struggle for victory over this evil becomes a personal struggle marked by the heroism of a thousand unsung triumphs. The enemy may be shadowy and elusive, the conflict long and grim, but the basic belief in resistance will not flag nor fail. In this generation of teenagers, the good must not be content simply to do nothing. It is a long way from the Plain at Wet Point and the homes of America to the jungles of South East Asia. Is it worth it? Today's marrying and picketing teenagers think not. Who wants to go east simply to find a grave in a jungle thicket or rice paddy? No one, of course. Yet this war, like the struggle for adulthood, must be faced. History has chosen this generation to face it. Latin Or The Vernacular? By FATHER JOSEPH GUSTAFSON SS T was not too long ago that we wrote a column on a controversial subject: the vernacular liturgy, or , if you like, the Mass in the language of the "People of God" --that's us. It was not too well received by a strident few. This hardly broke our hardened heart, Actually criticism of the vernacular continues to mount. A good bit of it is directed against un- couth translations of the Gospels made, often, by men who know Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Ara- maic; but who don't know their mother tongue. So much for that. The point is that we recently read an article in Time on the same basic issue. Time, we prob- ably agree, is the liveliest journal on the Ameri- can scene. We have subscribed to it for many, many years. But it is also irreverent. So in the spirit of irreverence, or the spirit of Time, we make the following remarks, based on its "Re- ligion" section, entitled "Better off in Latin?" Our own previous column contented itself with the problems of making the vernacular a v a i I a b I e where there was a diversity of tongues and dialects. Time comes up with many such instances. It has, after all, a huge research staff, whereas we have only our little St. Thomas Seminary's not endowed and pov- erty stricken if ably administered library. The great Thomist philosopher, Etienne Gilson, a prince of the church in fact if not by title, has complained of the translation of the Creed or Credo of the Mass. Frenchmen in general object to addressing Almighty God as "tu" which is an intimate expression, not recognizable to one who speaks only English. Vous, the plural, would 1 a one be acceptable to them. It s what we usedmb to call in the days when schools really taughl English rhetoric, as the "plural of majesty." The same poor Frenchmen don't like the word rachet as a substitute for our word redemption since it means rebuying. But, dear Lord, there is a whole world of this theology of the Redemption involved in this. Does one follow St. Anselm or not? Our own word involves the same problems -- it really means "rebuying." So do have pity on the poor translators. However, "Andante in pace", "Go in peace"'--" at the end of Mass means to a Tuscan, "drop dead" or "beat it." And in pidgin English (to skip other Time examples) one must translate God as "Bigfellow master too much who bosses both heaven and ground." It is a good question: "Better off in Latin?" Will Herberg's Warning By FATHER JOHN B. SHEERIN CSP ILL Herberg's unhappiness about aggiornamento is puzzling. At the golden jubilee meeting of the National Newman Student Federation in New York City Septmber 3, he appealed to young Catholics to beware of aggiornamento: "Do not sell your birthright--the great heritage of Catholic truth-- for a mess of modernistic pottage, no matter how fashionable or attractive it may seem." He deplored nny attempt to be "up-to-date' as an unedifying scramble unworthy of the Church. I say his remarks were puzzling because the aggiornamento he described has not yet appeared in any Catholic circles, as far as I know. I suppose the most extreme expression of Cath- olic aggiornamento was that of. Pope Paul who said in his opening address at the second session of the council that the Church looks at the world with sincere admiration and with the in- tention not of conquering it but of serving it. However, in that same speech, he said that the reform at which the Council was directing itself was not a "turning upside down of the Church's present way of life' but a preservation of what is essential and venerable in her tradi- tion. That is a far cry from adapting to "the spirit of the age." Mr. Herberg described the "spirit of the age" as secularism, nationalism, socialism. These three isms, according to the National Review religion editor, compelled him to "hedge round" his enthusiasm for the council and for the ecu- menical movement. But where has secularism been hiding at the Council? Behind the coffee bars? Nowhere in the Constitution on the Church, the Decree on Ecumenism or the Liturgical Constitution is there a trace of affection for the zeitgeist. Schema 13? Is it secularism to hold that Christ by His Incarnation has raised the whole of man, even matter itself to a higher dignity? As for nationalism, there is scarcely council commentator who has failed to mark that nationalism has not reared its head in the council. There simply are no national blocs at the Second Vatican Council. Mr. Herberg cites one example of national- ism--the adoption of the vernacular in the liturgy. Latin, he claims, is "truly a universal vehicle precisely because it is the living spoken language of no nation today." One wonders what this vehicle conveys if it is spoken by nation today but his conceim seems to be Latin as a mark of the universal Church. Was Latin ever a mark of the unity of the Church? One bishop at the Council implied this, where- upon another bishop arose to remind him that the bond of Catholic unity is the love of God infused into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. The third ingredient in Mr. Herberg's myster- ious "spirit of the age" is socialism. He claims that a certain amount of ambiguity has into Catholic pronouncements on socialism. far as I can remember, the topic of socialism never came up for discussion at any session of the council. Possibly, he refers to Pope John's Mater et Magistra. Can it be that the noted religion editor of the National Review took that magazine's criticism of Mater et Magistra ser- iously? Mr. Herberg has a keener sense of humor than to agree with the idiocy of labeling the encyclical "an exercise in triviality." Pride Has Many Forms By FATHER LEO J. TRESE RE you a humble person? You probably will duck that ques- tion, sensing a trap. "If I say that I am humble," you reason, "I will appear to be proud. '' Pressed for an answer, you will give an evasive reply, such as, "Well, I'm not as humble as I'd like to be." That is not a bad answer under any circum- stances. However, if you really do think that you are reasonably humble, saying so will not mark you as being a proud person. This is a misconception which many people have concerning the virtue of'humility. It is thought that humility demands that we belittle ourselves, that we pretend to be less than we really are However, such an attitude is a travesty of humility. Genuine humility is built upon truth. It is insincerity, not humility, to profess that we do not possess a particular virtue or talent which in fact we do possess. The essence of humility is found, not in downgrading ourselves, but in recognizing that whatever we are, by grace or by nature, we are through the bounty of God. Whatever claim we may have to distinction, we know that we can take no credit for it. All credit must go to God. Consequently we do not dare to look down upon anyone else, be he sinner, pauper or fool. If God has been fit to bestow on us, for His own reasons, more graces or advantages than He has accorded another, this gives us no ri[lllt.,. to congratulate ourselves. We have not lift g ourselves by our own bootstraps. In theory we do admit, of course, that God is the source of all our spiritual and human assets. In practice, however, we too often sur- render to feelings of superiority. Unless we am vigilant, we may find ourselves harboring feel- ings of disdain toward another because of his poverty or because of his lack of education or of social grace. The word, "pride," often is used inexact g We speak of proud parents, for example, whe- we really mean pleased and happy parents. It is when we feel that we are essentially better than someone else, that we become guilty of pride. There are many forms of pride: pride of nationality, of race, of religion (we Catholice have sinned herel) of social position or of wealth. The form of pride which is spirltaalhlm most damaging, however, is intellectual prid There js a big difference between pride and simple vanity. A desire to be noticed and ad- mired is standard human equipment. Vanity, even excessive vanity, lacks the radical malice of pride which is basically an assault upon the rights of God. However, whether proud or merely vain, we shall be wise to heed our Lord's warning, "Everyone who exalts himself shall b humbled, and he wlam humbles himself shall be exalted."