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Catholic Northwest Progress
Seattle, Washington
September 24, 1965     Catholic Northwest Progress
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September 24, 1965
 

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PAGE FOUR Friday, September 24, 196S iiA. Question Of Freedom e are diametrically opposed to the inclusion of the Planned Parent- hood Center of Seattle into the Seattle- King County Economic Opportunity pro- gram. As soon as the Anti-Poverty Pro- gram was announced branches of the lianned Parenthood organization took steps to get involved locally. They want to get involved because if accepted by local Economic Opportunity Act spon- sored Service Centers they can under the guise of fighting poverty get government funds to pay or their nationwide pro- g[ams of birth control indoctrination and mass dissemination of contraceptive dSvices. We do not deny the right of Plan- ned Parenthood organizations to exist. But we do deny that they have a right to federal endorsement and subsidy. The moment the US government gets finan- cially involved in family planning through birth control she can no longer call her- self the protector of personal liberties. IVhat are the chief guideposts of personal freedom symbolized by the statue of liberty and defended so strong- ly by the Supreme Court of these United States? They are in general: freedom from governmental inquisi- tion; the related right of privacy; con- cern for the weaker members of so- ctety; and freedom from governmental coercion of mind and conscience. Should planned parenthood organi- zations become governmental sponsored agencies these freedoms will be in grave jeopardy. Human sexuality is a private and deeply human reality. Since the sex act in man ]s a human act it has moral as well as biological implications. It is something sacred, something for which he is accountable not only to his fellow man but to God Himself. Once the government gets involved in birth control there will be sex forms like income tax and pension forms. Our society will be rendered "naked" and the present de facto non-confidentiality of files in which personal case histories of individuals on public assistance are re- corded is but a mild foretaste of what is to come. There is no privacy in a barnyard because nothing there is sacred. Expose the intimate acts of human beings making them a matter of public record and hu- man beings will no longer treat as sacred at which society no longer regards as s&amp;red. ',/'[hat about concern for the weaker members of society, especially the ]egr o and the poor? Negroes in our untry like the poor' and the daiker peo- ,in most parts of the world for the lst two centuries have been de facto ghtiess," that is to Say, lacking in any 1lwer whatever tO assert rights or realize liberties. ;-- If the federal government gets into he birth control business and begins to :put pressure on people to get off federal assistance by keeping down the size of Fheir families which members of our so- Ciety will be the most vulnerable? Will not the American Negro and the poor ibe put directly on the spot: "either stop iha;ing babies or don't eat." How any Negro leader who claims to be fighting for civil rights :can be in favor of government funds for birth control dissemination among the poor is beyond our comprehension. Finally and perhaps most important of all is the problem of coercion of mind 'and conscience. We must avoid at all cost any compulsion where conscience, religion, belief or outlook on life, politi- cal creed or familial relationships are con- cerned. But how, on a practical basis can coercion of mind and conscience be avoided if the poor of this city are going to be told: "you are costing the state money, birth control saves state money now you help us and we'll help you." If an individual wants information about Planned Parenthood he can pick up the phone and ask for it. This is a free country. But once we put pressure on people to inquire about once we motivate them to use methods of birth prevention which they themselves in con- science may deem morally wrong  the streets of Seattle will b e c o m e free of children but those who walk her side- walks will not be free of consdence. This is precisely why in the American system we have been willing to die rather than provide the government with blank checks where personal liberties are involved. ver population is a grave problem today. No one is more aware of it or concerned about it than the Roman Catholic Church. But the Church can not accept the principle that methods which degrade, dehumanize, and enslave humanity can ever prove an effective means to save humanity. Hitler had the perfect answer for a super-race. Unfortunately the Ger- man people bought the end product without carefully analyzing the impli- cations of the proposed means. The Planned Parenthood people have pro- posed a better world for mankind through birth control. Take a hard look at their means. Any system for improving the human race based upon human control and manipulatian of human life must ultimately end in Dachau. Hitler p r o v e d this with a force that put terror into the hearts of the aged and "socially unfit" of a generation ago. But people never learn. History repeats itself. The tragedy of our present situation is that no one is forcing race suicide upon us. We are voting it in. To keep the record clear we want it known that we do not oppose any or- ganization as an organization. But we do oppose any program regardless of its name that promotes, motivates, endoc- trinates or disseminates services without regard for human rights and freedoms. The people of Planned Parenthood and groups like them are not even frightened by the prevailing medical opinion that the latest and most popular birth control device now on the market which because of its price and effectiveness will soon displace all others, is c 1 e a r 1 y abortive rather than truly contraceptive. Could it be that abortion, sterilization, anything, at this point, short of the gas chamber is legitimate in order to achieve a desired end? N conclusion we make it clear that the objections stated above are not leveled at the marvelous work which ha been accomplished by the Seatde-King County Economic Opportunity Board. The pov- erty program in the Seattle area is recog- nized as one of the fastest moving and efficiently organized in the United States. We congratulate all t h o s e who have helped ith its formation. But please do not vitiate all your efforts by including an organization concerning whose pu r- poses, methods and policies the federal government ought to remain neutral. Dear Subscriber ' If your account with The Progress still is delinquent or soon will be, a renewal this month is most appreciated. A one-year subscription to your archdiocesan newspaper is $4---just a little more than seven cents a week. By paying your subscription promptly, you eliminate unnecessary billing and help to keep postage costs to a minimum.THE MANAGEMENT. Thoughts for Christian Living "]K|OT BY controversy and discussion can I show men what God means to a soul. Only through struggli.ng against myself, through becoming, with His help, more Christian an6 more valiant, shall I bear witness to Him whose humble disciple I am." --Elizabeth Leseur. O "One act of pure love of God is worth more to God, to the Church, and to the soul than any quantity of active works of zeal." --St. John of the Cross. "Our Lord saw beyond the Cross the joyous results for Him- self and for the race which He had ccne to ransom." --Bertrand Weaver CP. "To those who resent God as an intruder on a self-sufficient world, chance has seemed a much more appealing explanation of nature's order than the omnipotent government of Divinity." --Thomas Aquinas OP Which Neither Can Afford .,,:<.: .:..: ..:., ......... ........ ..... .......... ...... -. "'''":"r'L:: ".:+'.'.''.:'.:.'.'.''' ":: :, .:.::: :r:: : "':" ":':":::"::'! : :Z' ! i!i: i!:.::i:iiiiii : ....:: 'Smooth Sailing' Ahead for Council , BY FATHER PLACID JORDAN, OSB (NCWC News Service) HE goal of an early successful conclusion of their labors now being within reach, the Fathers of the equmenical council appeared to have smooth sail- ing from the very first day of the council's fourth session. Virtually all the hesitations and trepidations which had been noticeable during the interval between the sessions disappeared as if the fog were clearing when Pope Paul VI, in his opening speech, made the historic announcement of the creation of a world synod of bishops to share with him the responsibility of governing the Universal Church. Pope Paul's announcement caught the council Fathers entirely by surprise, although during the opening of the second session he had reported on plans for some sort of "Church senate." It was known, however, that there was opposition to such a move, especially among the "traditionalists." In 1870, the First Vatican Council had firmly established the supreme authority,of the pontiffs as the infallible shepherds of the Church. Now, the Second Vatican Council was to define more clearly the authority of the bishops in their capacity as succes- sors of the Apostles. The issue at the Second Vatican Council was "collegiality"-- the sharing of power by the bishops with the pope who, while vicar of Christ and successor of St. Peter, is also a bishop. The burden of Church government he bears has been growing in modern times to an extent no one had foreseen at the previous council. In the Second Vatican Council the breakthough has become a reality. The principle of a single, absolute authority which was in force for nearly 2,000 years has gained a new aspect by the adoption of the formula "sub Petro et cum Petro" (under Peter and with Peter). What happens next will depend largely on whether the synod will make itself a truly effective instrument and assert its auth- ority by initiatives of its own in conjunction with the pope. There is no doubt that this prospect is intimately related to the reform of the Roman curia that Pope Paul himself .announced on Sept. 21, 1963, as one of his prieipal concerns. Obviously no pope or other ruler can dispense with the services of administrative agencies, but theirs need not be powers superceding the legitimate functions of the bishops. The new synod will see to this, and the permanent Rome secretariat of the synod will maintain the regular contacts needed for its smooth operation. The excessive centralization prevailing until now will thereby be avoided. By trial and error the world synod will "make its own bed" while the Roman curia, whose top officers will also make up part of the synod, continues to serve as an administrative arm for beth the Pontiff and the bishops. But it wil be more pliable and less independent than heretofore. In other words, the council, even after it has adjourned, will still be able, together with the Pope, to keep a watchful eye over the application of its decisions. For all practical purposes the world synod will function as a permanent "little council." From now on authority in the Church will apply not only vertically but also horizontally. This will be felt all the way down to the parish level. It need not be stressed that this will have a bearing upon inter-faith relations as well, for the charge of "absolutism" now can be proven to be unfounded." Outstanding speakers such as Francis Cardinal Spellman of New York, Richard Cardinal Cushing of Boston, Joseph Cardinal Rifler of St. Louis and John Cardinal Heenan of Westminster strongly upheld man's right to be free of every coercion in matters of religion. The declaration drew special support from those in Communist countries like Josyf Car- dinal Slipyi of the U k r a in e and Franjo Cardinal Seper of Yugoslavia. The feeling now is widespread among the council Fathers that they actually may be home by Christmas. No Time For Chit.Chat By FATHER JOSEPH GUSTAFSON SS OW do peOple live without Faith? H The question has preoccupied us for years. Some do as much good as they can and leave the rest as a big question mark. They deserve immense credit for their good convictions. But it must be difficult indeed; calling for real cour- age and pure philosophy. Some become cynics. For example, there is an inscription on an early Roman tomb which reads in colloquial Latin "Non fui, fui, non sum, non cure." I think it is most accurately translated as "once I didn't exist, then I did. Now I don't. Oh, the Hell with it!" Not that the word Hell had any meaning to this poor chap. But that's the way it would be said in 1965 colloquial Ameri- can. And one can only pity the author of these lines. He snatched a bit of joy here and there or of gross pleasure but it was all only too transitory to him--"Here today, gone tomor- row." He probably thought that he was an Epicurean (as that term is still misunder- stood). He didn't know that Epicurus, ancient Greek, left a letter behind him, marking as the happiest day of his life the day he left it all. We had a talk, brief but earnest and final, with a wonderful youngster whom we had had the joy of instructing in the Faith. This was a week ago. He was dying of leukemia. We brought up the fundamentals--it was no time for chit-chat. He and I agreed that the one thing left was prayer and the love of God. What else could possibly matter? He had known for at least over a year what leukemia means. He had lived with it daily. His doctor had told us a year ago that he was a young man a great courage and conviction. And so he was, that night. There was no fear in him. There was no anxiety. He was suffering, indeed. But he knew certain things far better than you and I know them just new. He looked at death and looked at it simply as another aspect of life. "Death is the ga|cway to life," ancient Chris- tians put it. This is the way Bill felt. We are all his debtors for his faith and for his example. He has made it that much easier for all those who came into contact with him in his last months. Our deaths shall be far easier for those of us who know and loved Bill. He showed us how people die who have faith. It was not his concern to answer the other ques- tions of how people live without faith. I thought that I was instructing him. He was instructing me. Pope Paul, Bridge.Builder By FATHER JOHN B. SHEERIN CSP HE coming visit of Pope Paul raises the question frequently a s k e d in Catholic circles since he succeeded Pope John: "What kind of person is Pope Paul?" We can be sure that the daily press, in report- ing his visit, will not be greatly concerned about scriptural proofs for the papal primacy nor even about the extent of papal jurisdiction. Nor will the journalists give their primary attention to the significance of his message to the United Na- tions. Undoubtedly they will focus on his per- sonality. John Cogley attempts to give a picture of the Pope as a person in his article in the New York Times magazine September 12. He pin- points a number of engaging facets in the Pope's personality but admits that it is a per- sonality that is elusive; The favorite journalistic adjective for Pope Paul is "enigmatic"--which usually means that he is surrounded by an air of mystery and a Hamlet-like quality that prevents anyone from knowing just exactly where he stands on the great issues facing the modern Church. Now it seems to me that his visit to the UN of itself gives us an insight into at least one important facet of his personality. He is a bridge-builder, building or at least trying to bridge the chasms that divide the conflicting factions on the inter- national scene. The present Pope began to build a bridge of understanding between Catholics and Orthodox when he went to Jerusalem to meet the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch. Later, he went to India to build up better understanding between Roman Catholics and the great non-Christian religions of the East. He does not enjoy the same respect and affection from Protestants as Pope John did, and yet he helped the cause immensely by acts such as his "act of contrition" at the second session of the council for Catholic faults in caus- ing the Reformation. John Cogley, in his Times' article, says that Vatican observers and some bishops are asking the question: "How far is the Pontiff willing to go toward implementing John's aggiorna- mento?" The bigots and cynics point to three puzzling papal acts in the last week of last fall's session of the Council and say that these acts show that he is aggressively conservative and determined to frustrate the progressive majority. True, these three developments, especially his change of the Ecumenism text altering the state- ment that Protestants "find" God in Scripture to "seek" Him in Scripture, did seem to favor the anti-reform forces in the Council but, again, we have to remember that Paul is a bridge- builder, attempting to unify the conflicting forces in the council. In an article in the Protestant magazine Chris- tianity and Crisis, Dec. 28, 1964 a Methodist ob- server at the Council, Dr. Albert Outler, remind. ed Protestants that they should not be alarmed by Pope Paul's actions because (I) he is a sym- bol and bridge of unity in the Church and (2) he is "leading a Reformation Roman style." Outler recalls seeing in the council a noted ul- traconservative, after one of Pope Paul con- cessions'to the conservatives in the last exciting week last fall, shouting for joy and embracing his colleagues. "It crossed my unbelieving mind," writes Outler, "that the Pope had gone out of his way to give these people a small triumph to celebrate on their tumbrel's journey into yesterday." Love Is The Only Road By FATHER LEO J. TRESE NE OF the Scribes, a doctor of law, asked Jesus, "Master, what must I do to gain eternal .life?" The lawyer expected to hear from Jesus of some new and revolutionary method for saving his soul. He was hoping, perhaps, to be told of some kind of short-cut to heaven. But Jesus did not answer, "Make the nine First Fridays," or "Wear a brown scapular," or "Pray your Rosary every day." Jesus countered with a question of His own: "What is written in the Law?" "Thou shal't love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole strength, and with thy whole mind," the lawyer recited; "and thy neighbor as thy- self." "You have answered rightly," Jesus ap- proved; "do this and you shall live." Jesus then went on in the parable, of the Good Samaritan, to point out that our neighbor is Everyman. Certainly Jesus was not condemning, by an- ticipation, the private devotions which, through the centuries, would become such a prominent part of Catholic spirituality. The Jesus Whom we adore under the title of His Sacred Heart is the same Lord and Master Whose Heart was broken for us on the cross. The Mary Whom we honor with scapular and Rosary is still the same beloved Mother whom Jesus confided to St. John. Our private devotions certainly can contri- bute to the warmth and richness of our spirit- ual life. We must make sure, however, that we do not let our personal pieties overshadow our most basic duty of all -- to love selflessly and to manifest that love in the love we show our neigh- bor. The love which we have for our neighbor must be much more than a passive love, much more than a mere abstention from words and actions which might hurt another. This is an es- sential beginning, of course, but it is only a be- ginning. Our.love for our neighbor must be a posi- tive drive -- a watchfulness for opportunities to be of help to others, and a quickness of re- sponse when opportunities are discovered. Our love must be all-incluslve, too. There is not a person on the face of the earth, be he friend, stranger or enemy, who has not the right to look to us for assistance if he is in need and we are in a position to help. Further, our love for neighbor must be a selfless le, even as is our love for God, If it is true that charity covers a multitude of sins, it also is true that lack of charity can negate a multitude of virtues.