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Catholic Northwest Progress
Seattle, Washington
November 1, 1963     Catholic Northwest Progress
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November 1, 1963
 

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4--THE PROGRESS - Friday, Nov. I, 1963 Small But Real Beginnings ast Friday, after listening to almost six solid hours of arguments for and against an Open Housing Ordinance proposed by the Seattle Human Rights Commission, the City Council voted 7-2 to wash their hands of the entire issue and to put the matter to a vote of the people. We have no objection to allow- ing the citizens of Seattle the final say in this or any other civic legisla- tion. lVe are a democracy, thank God, and not a dictatorship. However, there are times of grave physical and moral urgency when elected city officials can and ought to pass emergency legis- lation which is needed at once for the good of the body politic. Such laws are, of course, still subject to judicial review and through initiative petition can even be removed from the books if they prove ineffective or unsatis- factory. Last July, Mayor Gordon S. Clinton with the approval of the City Council appointed a Human Rights Commission to study the city's housing problem. This impartial group of outstanding communi- ty leaders reported that racial discrimina- tion as practiced in Seattle constitutes a grave danger to the common good of this community and demands immediate cor- rective legislation. This point was stated clearly in Section 9 of the Open Housing Ordinance which was submitted to the City Council for approval. We quote that section in full because it was a key point in Friday's debate. "Section 9. Findings of Fact and Emergency Clause: (1).The population of the City of Seattle consists of people of every race, color, religion, ancestry, and na- tional origin, many of whom are com- pelled to live in circumscribed and seg- regated areas, under substandard, un- healthful, unsafe, unsanitary, and over- crowded living conditions, because of discrimination in the sale, lease, rental, and financing of housing; "(2) These conditions have caused increased mortality, disease, crime, vice, and juvenile delinquency, fires and risk of fires, intergroup tensions and other evils, thereby resulting in great injury to the public safety, public health, and general welfare of the City of Seattle, and reducing its productive capacity; "(3) The harmful effects produced by discrimination in housing also increase the cost of government and reduce the public revenues, thus imposing financial burdens upon the public for the relief and amelioration of the conditions so created; "(4) Discrimination in housing results in other forms of discrimination and segregation, including racial segre- gation in the public schools and other public facilities, which are prohibited by the Constitution of the United States of America, and are against the laws and policy of the State of Washing- ton and the City of Seattle; "(5) Discrimination in housing ad- versely affects the continued redevelop- ment, renewal, growth, and progress of the City of Seattle; "(6) Recent and current increases in racial tensions, which are caused in large part by discrimination in housing, have interferred and threatened to con- tinue to interfere with the orderly busi- ness of the City and its citizens, all of which require immediate c o r r e c t i v measures. "T H E R E F 0 R E, in accordance with Article IV, Section 1, of the Char- ter of the City of Seattle, it is de- clared that it is necessary for the im- mediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, that this Or- dinance shall be effective without de- lay, and that an emergency exists. This Ordinance shall therefore, become ef- ]ective immediately upon its adoption and approval by the Mayor, or pas- sage over his veto, if any, or when it rhall become law without his ap- proval." It is obvious from the above that we are not dealing with the passage of a dog leash law, a new throughway, or a highrise housing project. The proposed Open Housing Ordinance deals with rights and obligations basic to the very principles and ideals of democracy. This legislation boils down to a public state- ment of human dignity and morality. By passing the proposed open housing law we simply restate our belief in the funda- mental Judeo-Christian ethic and Ameri- can dream that all men deserve the same break in life regardless of the color of their skin, the way they worship God or the nation that gave them birth. It is likewise clear that the minority races in this city are growing more con- cerned with evils and injustices past and present. Therefore, we must act now. But instead of passing the Open Housing Ordinance with an emergency clause as recommended in Section 9, a majority of the Council members voted to scrap the entire section. In so doing, these Councilmen re- fused to take a stand on civil rights oMe way or the other, even though the Mayor, the clergy, and the Human Rights Com- mission which they themselves approved, recommended that they do so. Perhaps the Council could not find it within itself to retain the emergency clause which would have put the controversial law into immedi- ate effect. But as a bare minimum could they not have at least voted to attach a strong endorsement to the law when it goes to the polls? Instead, the majority ruled to duck out--not to commit itself on a moral issue. We do feel, however, that it is only right to compliment Mayor Clinton and members of the City Council, Charles M. Carroll, Wing Luke, and Mrs. Har- lan Edwards for voting in favor of the Emergency Clause and thus taking a definite stand. As for the other six members of the Council, we must admit that even their willingness to recommend the or- dinance to a vote of the people i s a step forward. They could have shelved the whole thing and left us right back where we started. It is upon these positive ef- forts that we must build a better city. For whatever good will that has been shown we are thankful and sincerely hope that from these small but real beginnings a new social conscience will emerge. But so much for the City Council. The fact is that the Housing Ordi- nance minus Section 9 and sporting a few other modifications will appear on the March ballot of 1964. It is, therefore, up to the citizens themselves to take a stand on Civil Rights. IVe are convinced that the great- est problem with the passage of this Ordinance is a lack of knowledge as to what the law specifically proposes. Therefore, The Progress will print the revised law in its entirety as soon as it is available. IVe will then invite our readers to send in questions about the Ordinance to be answered by members of the Human Rights Commission. Citizens--don't be afraid to ask ques- tions. Now is the time. And civic leaders, businessmen, doctors, lawyers -- don't play coy or illusive. You exert moral force in this community. The people look to you for guidance You have an obligation to declare your- selves and to help form public opinion on this basic moral issue. The proposed Open Housing Or- dinance which will appear on the March 10 ballot is the beginning of a long educa- tive process. It is extremely mild in con- tent and does not pretend to solve all the problems of racial discrimination. A majority vote of the City Council may be able to strike Section 9 from a piece of paper, but this action does not strike discrimination from the face of this City--the evil remains. With sincerity, courage and God's grace, we are confident Good will con- quer and Seattle will be a better place in which to live. @ 907 Terry Avenue, Seattle 98104 Telephone MAin 2-8880 Second-Class Mail Privileges Authorized at Seattle, Wash: Published every Friday by the Northwest Progress Co. President, Most Reverend Thomas A. Connolly, D.D., J.C.D. REV. JAMES H. GANDRAU--F.Aitor MARY BRF.AIIAN--Auociat* FAitor 'In the Fruitful Furrows Amid Tears... Bishops Supplant Curia? By REV. JOHN B. SHEERIN, C.S.P. T this time last y e a r the frequent query around Rome was: "Who is Xavier Rynne?" This year the question is: "What is collegiality?" It is the collegiality of bishops that is being discussed as it was dis- cussed on the Council floor. The term refers of course to the joint responsibility of the bishops of the world to teach, rule and sanctify. St. Peter was appointed the leader of the Apostles but it is also true that Christ ap- pointed the Apostles as a united group to evangelize, to bear wit- ness, to for- give sins. As heirs of the Apostles, t h e bishops collec- FR. SHEERIN tively have authority over the Church. But no 6ne as yet has given a definition of this col- lective power of the bishops that is adequate and satisfac- tory to the Council. Pope Has Primacy When we speak of the "col- lege of bishops," we include the Bishop of Rome in the col- lege. Any decision by the bish. ops must be ratified by the Pope before it can become an official decision of the Coun- cil. Even so there are some conservative theologians who seem to think that the whole concept of "the collegiality of bishops" is an attempt to un- dermine the power of the Pope. Pope Paul himself has no worries on this score. In his opening talk at the Council he said that the discussions on "collegiality" starts from the assumption that the Pope has primacy over the Church. The Pope expressed the op- inion that the discussion would ultimately prove help- ful to him: "For us person- ally it will provide doctrinal and practical standards by which our apostolic office, en- dowed though it is by Christ with the fullness and suffi- ciency of power, may receive more help and support in ways to be determined, from a more effective and re- spensible collaboration with Our beloved and venerable Brothers in the Episcopate." How could the Bishops, acting collectively, give more help and support to the Pope? A number of bishops at the Coun- cil have suggested that the whole body of bishops should be permanently represented at Rome. On October 1, Archbishop Hermaniuk of Winnepeg urged the establishment of an "apos- tolic college" at Rome. This would be like a Senate to advise and collaborate with the Pope and its members would be patriarchs, Cardinals at the head of the dioceses and cer- tain other Archbishops and Bishops. Other bishops at the Council made similar sugges- tions. 'One World' The Roman Curia at present acts as a secretarial body to help the Pope in the guidance and government of the Church but many bishops feel that it needs an overhauling and reform. They do not advo- cate the abolition of the Curia but they insist that a Senate of bishops would more effec- tively serve to minister to the needs of the universal Church. There was a time when a highly centralized administra- tion was needed at Rome be- cause of lack of communica- tions but that day is gone. More importantly, the Curia owes its origin to Church law but the college of bishops was instituted by divine law. It was not to the Curia but to the 12 Apostles that Christ entrusted His Church. There is therefore no reason today why Christ's wishes should not be given full expression. In earlier days, political and geographical boundaries kept God's World: Need To Be Color Blind By REV. LEO J. TRESE acial prejudice, like any other kind of prejudice, is an attitude acquired in childhood. In most instances prejudice is not deliberately taught to a child. It simply "rubs off" the adults in his little world and on to the child. It is evident that if racial prejudice is to be eliminated, the task must begin in the home. Perhaps we adults never can wholly rid ourselves of our prejudices; the roots are too deep. We can try, however, to make sure that our prejudices do not show. We can strive to make certain that we do not pass our prejudices on to the next generation. If we are to avoid the per- petuation of racial prejudice we must keep a vigilant watch over our conversation. Even parents who pride themselves on their lack of prejudice can manifest their bias in many covert ways. The use of the derogatory word "nigger," for example, is itself a prejudice- promoter. Such phrases as, "There's a nigger in the wood" pile," or, "black as a nigcer's heel," may be used quite in- nocently. Yet, the words have a downgrading inference to the little ears which hear such phrases. Overtones Of Preiudice To young ears, too, such casual remarks as, "I hear that a Negro family has moved in on the next street" (usually spoken with a note of anxiety) or, "She's Colored but she's nice," or, "He's very well- spoken for a Negro," all have overtones of prejudice. All in- fer that there is something es- sentially inferior about a dark skin. By united and determined effort we adults can do much towards eliminating ingrain- ed prejudice from the rising generation. There still re- mains, however, another as- pect of the situation. This is the fact that the Negro him- self, in the mass, does pre- sent a picture of inferiority. He is poor, he is uneducated, he is uncultured. For this reason the Negro frequently is told, in his drive for equality, "You must first educate and elevate yourself so as to be deserving of re- cognition." The Negro is re- minded that other groups have done so. Many of our im- migrant groups, for example, were looked down upon when they first came to America. Today their descendants move in the best social and politi- cal circles. This has a reasonable sound bishops from close contacts with other bishops and with the until we remember that the Pope. Today in this "one Irish, Poles, Hungarians and world" all the bishops and the other immigrant groups did not have black skins to mark them permanently as "different." It was comparatively easy for white Europeans to escape, in a generation or two, from their unfavored status. They did not have a color barrier to cross. It is hypocritical to tell the Negro that he has only to better himself in order to find acceptance. This simply is not true. There already are many well-educated and cultured Negroea w h o still find themselves the victims of discrimination. Moreover, if the Negro is to better himself, the question remains: where is he to be- gin? Because of his poverty and lack of parental interest, the Negro child cannot get an adequate education. Because of his lack of education he cannot get a well-paying job, perhaps not any job. He be- comes the impoverished parent of another generation of slum children who in turn are un- educated and unemployed- and the vicious circle goes on and on. How can the circle be broken? No Door Closed First of all we can make it a reality for the Negro, as for everyone else, that America' is the land of opportunity, with no door closed to anyone who has the necessary qualifica- tions (of which a white skin will not be one). If a colored child can see the vision of an unlimited future (which he now cannot) he will have more Pope can form a compact and very effective unity in teach- ing and governing the Church. While the Council Fathers are actually planning to put their joint apostolic responsibil- ity into some concrete form such as Archbishop Hermani- uk's "apostolic college," there is no great needs to worry about coining a comprehensive definition of the "collegiality of bishops." We can easily define the power of the Senate of the United States but in dealing with the powers and functions of the Church we have to re- member that we are not deal- ing with a political organiza- tion. We are dealing with a mystery a n d definitions of mysteries must always be in- complete and fragmentary. The heart of the mystery is that the true head of the Church is neither the Pope nor the bishops but Jesus Christ who is the invisible but real Lord of the Church who still preaches the Gospel of salva- tion through His Apostles. FATHER TRESE motivation for remaining in school. Secondly, we can provide the Negro child with the same first class educational fucilities which white chil- dren enjoy--which only will be when Negroes and Whites share the same schools and the same teachers. Also, be. cause of his greater pres- ent need, we can provide the Negro child with inten- sive guidance and even with financial help in order to keep him in school. Jobs and education. These will break the vicious circle. That is, provided we Whites can achieve the color-blindness which should characterize a Christian. Terry Searches For God erry lives In China- town tn San Fran- cisco and is fluent tn English and Chinese. He is five years old. One day his mother was talking to him about God and she told him that God had created the world, that God loved him and that God was everywhere. She was quietly congratulat- ing herself as an efficient teacher, when Terry said, "Is God then, in the closet and in the drawers?" and his mother said that indeed He is. Terry replied, "But if there is only one God, how can He be in so many places?" His mother said that is possible because God is spirit, which subject she decided would be taken up at a future time. Actually T e r r y ' s mother was only echoing the teach- ing of St. Paul in his ser- mon on the unknown God when he reminded the Athen- ian.s that God is not far from any of us, "For in him we live, and move and have our being, as indeed some of your own poets have said." But Terry has not read the Greek poets nor any poets for that matter, and his child's mind is probably still wrestling with the problem of the im- manence of God. For most people today, who like to discover God in the starry heavens, or in the autumn woods, or on a gentle sea, the immensity of God offers no particular pro- blem. T h e y somehow dis- cover His presence in the quiet and beautiful places of the world, and it comforts them. God is everywhere we say and we are right. This is term- ed by theologians, God's im- manence in nature. It is best described by St. Paul as nature's immanence in God. Any way we explain it, it is a part of the wonder and mystery of God and both beautiful a n d comforting. -- Walter J. Sullivan, C.S.P. Curious Me :lit; Ltion By REV. G. JOSEPH GUSTAFSON, S.S., Ph.D. Professor of Philosophy, St. Thomas Seminary, Kenmore AT follows may be a curious topic for a meditation. But we ourselves do not yet know what will follow. We're starting with definite facts and as yet an indefinite reflection. First point: It is a fact (when we were sem- inarians) that at morning and evening prayers the rector announced special intentions. He fol- lowed this up with a general intention which we, at least mentally, said with him "for all our relatives and friends, benefactors and enemies." " Second point: It is a fact that for (possibly) the last 20 years the word "enemies" has been dropped from this lovely old rubric. It had in- deed a solid scriptural foundation that one must love one's enemies and that one must forgive seventy times seven . . . But now we're all adrift and on our own. It seems that no one has enemies anymore. How nicer All is sweetness and light. We live in Leib- niz's "best of all possible worlds." Where does that leave Christ's statement about "He who is not with Me is against Me"? Perhaps it is no longer found in the better readings of ancient manuscripts. Anyway, Khrushchev loves us. Castro is only groping his way earnestly to a full understand- ing. Tito is our current hero. And God bless Mama and Papa and Mao-tse Tung! St. Francis de Sales' method of mental prayer, adapted this way or that, has produced numerable, if unknown, saintly people in various walks of life. He also proposed in it a "spiritual nosegay." Only the expression is quaint, not the reality. In all due reverence to the most lovable and influential Saint of modern spirituality, may we propose this: "The good Lord deliver us from our friends, we can take care of our enemies." Calendar SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 3, TWENTY - SECOND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, MASS: Si iniquitates--If thou shait ob- serve (Green). Gl., Cr., Pref. of Trin. Mass for Parish. M O N D A Y, NOVEMBER 4, ST. CHARLES, BISHOP, CON- FESSOR, MASS: Statuit, The Lord declared (White). GI., 2nd Pr; (under 1 cencl.) for Holy Father, 3rd of SS. vitalis and Agricola. TUESDAY, NOVEMBER S, FERIAL TUESDAY, MASS as on Sun. (Green). No. GI., no Cr., Com. Pref. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7, FERIAL THURSDAY, MASS as on Sun. (Green). No GI., no Cr., Com. Pref. F R I D A Y, NOVEMBER 8, COMMEMORATION OF FOUR HOLY CROWNED MARTYRS, MASS as on Sun. (Green). No GI., 2nd Pr. of Holy Martyrs, no Cr., Com. Pref. Or MASS: Intret--Let the sighing (Red.). GI. Abstinence. SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, DEDICATION OF ARCH- BASILICA OF OUR SAVIOR, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, , MASS: Terribilis -- Terrible is FERIAL WEDNESDAY, MASS this place (White). GI., 2nd Pr. as on Sun. (Green). No. GI., of St. Theodore. Cr., Com. no Cr., COm. Pref. PreL "