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November 8, 1963     Catholic Northwest Progress
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November 8, 1963

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4---THE PROGRESS Frlday, Nov. 8, 1963 With Extreme Caution ietnamese President Diem and his politically powerful brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu, are dead. A new regime which, according to the press, is a vast improvement over the Diem dictatorship now controls the furore of South Viet- nam and, because of its strategic geo- graphical location, the future freedom of these United States. For this small country which has an area (65,000 sq. miles) about the same size as that of Missouri and a population (15,000,000) close to that of California, holds the key to the Indo-Chinese peninsula and thus to the whole of Southeast Asia. "Communist control of South Viet- nam," reports the New York Times, "would almost surely mean the collapse of the shaky coalition regime in Laos; it would put enormous pressure on pro- Western Thailand and on the neutralist regimes of Cambodia and Burma. The lands to the southmMalaya and Indonesia w and the entire allied Position in the western Pacific would be in severe jeop- ardy. India, already under pressure along its borders from Communist China, would be outflanked. Communist China's drive for hegemony in Asia would be enor- mously enhanced." To this we might add the wider potential for repercussions on the East- West struggle around the world. The loss of Vietnam to the Communists would raise doubts about the value of United States' commitments to defend nations against Communist pressure. It would be tantamount to another Cuba in the Southeastern hemisphere and create, if possible, even more serious Cold War tensions. Every American has something at stake in the Vietnam crisis. What ought to be our attitude toward the military coup which caused the swift downfall of the Diem regime? At the very moment General Duong Van Minh and his rebellious troops were sweeping through the streets of Saigon amid the crackle of gunfire, a report outlining the events that led to the up- rising was being delivered in Washing- ton, D.C., by eight members of the United States House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee. This report pointed out that the Buddhist crises that helped cause the overthrow of President Ngo Dinh Diem began as a legitimate religious protest, but ended as an over- whelming political effort. In view of this the Commission issued the following warning about the possible consequences of Diem's overthrow: "Some have recommended as a so. lution the ouster of the Diem family . . . The lesson of Cuba must not be forgotten u Batista was bad, but Cas- tro is worse. The United States Govern- ment should move with great caution in this area." The conflicting reports that have been issued concerning the Vietnam crisis serve to fortify an attitude of caution. The State Department denies any role in last Friday's military coup, and yet there is little doubt but that the financial and political pressures exerted by our State DePartment and the public state- ments of the President certainly created a climate most favorable to revolt. adame Nhu has received no sym- pathy from the State Department or the American press. Does this mean her cause is all wrong? What about the way in which Madame Chiang Kai-shek was treated by the same press on her visit to this country shortly before the fall of China to the Red Chinese? General Duong Van Minh is al- ready being praised in glowing terms as some kind of liberator. But it was not too long ago that another liberator by the name of Castro was hailed as "the George IVashington of Cuba." IVere those Buddhists who were cry- ing discrimination being agitated by Communists in order to create political unrest and eventual overthrow? The monks who were burned have never been identified as bonzes, and there are reports from Catholic news sources that they did not die for religious convictions, but were actually forced into questionable martyrdom. Have we been fooled by the Communists at work in South Vietnam the way we were fooled by the so-called agrarian reformers of Cuba? These are some of the questions that the future will answer. IVe are not attempting to cast doubt on the good intentions of our President or our State Department; we are sure that they are acting in the best in. terests of our country, but in matters so vital to the welfare of the free world, it is terribly disconcerting to have so many important questions left so carefully unanswered. We extend our prayers and deepest sympathies to the Vietnamese people in their deadly struggle to achieve freedom and to conquer our mutual Communist foe and we hope and pray that in view of the past, caution will be our motto in South Vietnam. Only One Sentence By J. J. GILBERT ASHINGTON (N.C.) m A one-sentence amendment to the for- eign aid bill pending in Congress has raised nu- merous problems in a variety of fields. The amendment to the For- eign Assistance Act of 1963 would make U.S. funds avail- able to promote birth control studies and programs in coun- tries obtaining aid. The proposal raises problems that are moral, practical and political. It raises problems at home and abroad. Artificial birth control is re- garded as intrinsically immoral by Catholics and others in this country To them, it is highly offensive to have the U.S. fos- ter such programs as a matter of government policy. It is not a question of such persons try- ing to force their beliefs on anyone else, as has been point- ed out to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In a plur- alistic society, they have a right to be considered. In this instance, it would seem, they are being forced to stand for something which is repulsive to them, because others are, lor the most part, indifferent to the moral issues sons, seems completely ill ad- involved, vised. On the practical side, many Some of those who speak for feel that artificial birth control the amendment profess to be is not the cure for problems astonished that it should stir confronting countries with rap- up such moral indignation. Per- idly expanding populations. In- haps they have heard too much creased production, discovery from those who steadily pro- of new foods and materials, it- mote the cause of artificial rigation and emigration offer birth control, and too little more solid hopes of improve- ment, and undoubtedly will have to be resorted to whether birth control is practiced or not. Meanwhile, to the extent that artificial birth control is encouraged, the real and un- objectionable solutions a re likely to be neglected. Politically, the program gives a powerful weapon to those who would inflame the colored race against the white race, the underprivileged countries against the rich, notably the U.S. They can picture the pro- gram as a deceptive maneu- ver, planned to bring about the decimation of populations in colored and poor countries. In fact, it has already been done. The so-called foreign aid bill already is having a rough time as a piece of legislation. Many oppose it for political, econom- ic and allied reasons. For its supporters to burden it with the distrust of those who now dis- like it for purely moral rea- from those who oppose it. In 1959, President (then Senator) Kennedy s a i d it would be "a mistake for the U.S. government to attempt to advocate the limitation of the populations of underdevel- oped countries." He also said it would be a "great mistake" for this country to appear to promote "the limitation of the black and brown peoples whose population is increas- ing no faster than the United States." That same year, the Soviet Russian delegate told the UN Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East: "The im- perialists want to cut down your growth because they are afraid of your increasing num- bers and because of the in- adequacy of their economic system. We shall feed you no matter what your n u m b e r s are." For Soviet Russia, he offered education, loans, technical as- sistance and trade. O 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., '.C.D. REV. JAMES H. GAHDRAU--Editor MARY BRESNAKAN--Associate Editor November's Song Bishop Tracy-'1400 Myth' By REV. JOHN B. SHEERIN, C.S.P. ISHOP Robert Tracy He explained that the end of of Baton Rouge, La., debate on the schema was ap- of the statement but to the spoke in the Council Oc- tober 24. He recommended that certain words be inserted in the official document on the laity in or- der to make clear the Church's posi- tion on racial prejudice. He wanted the document to read:: "In Christ and in the Church there YR. SHEERIN is no inequality arising from race or nationality, social condition or sex." That afternoon he was the guest speaker at the U.S. Press Panel and he explained that his remarks embodied the theme of the American Bishops' 1958 Statement and that a Council proaching and that he had made a hurried move to get authori- zation from other American Bishops so that he would have precedence on the speakers' list. A meeting was held at which 147 American Bishops were present and there was not a single dissenter. The interesting fact about the exchange between the Bishop and the reporters was the persistent pointedness of the newsmen's questions. The press was trying hard to dramatize a supposed clash between two groups in the American hierarchy. After the panel meeting, one of the Protestant observers who was present came up to me and said he was intrigued by "the psychology of the press" re- vealed by the questions. He said that many of the observers had been discussing this phenome- non since the opening of the statement on race prejudice Second Session. They were ac- would make the task of the tually witnessing t h e Council Bishops easier in instructing sessions at close hand in St. some of the faithful in t h i s Peter's and were deeply im- matter. Scent Startling News This would seem to be a e 1 e a r and uncomplicated re- port on what happened that morning in t h e Council. But the press did not consider it so simple. The Bishop had an- nounced to the Council that he was speaking on behalf of 147 American Bishops. The press immediately scented a startling news story. They felt that if only 147 Bishops had author- ized Bishop Tracy to speak, then the other American Bish- ops must have opposed his VieWS. Was the American hierarchy split down the middle on this question? Bishop Tracy handled the eager reporters beautifully. pressed by the high sense of responsibility of the Council Fathers and the lack of any factional spirit. But then they would read the next day's newspaper reports of these sessions and the press told an entirely different story full of overtones of intrigue and power politics. My observer friend asserted t h a t he had k n o w n m a n y ecclesiastical boards and commissions in his own Church but never had he met such a high degree of re- sponsibility as he saw at the Vatican Council. Here was a very significant statement by an American Bishop on a crucial question. Why, asked the observer, should the press give its at- tention not to the substance question of how many sup- ported it? Is it that the press has a nose for the sensational rather than the important? 'Conflict Is News' Being a journalist myself, I naturally felt sympathetic to- ward the reporters. I asked one reporter why the press had been so intense in its curiosity about the number of concurring Bishops. He said simply, "Con- flict is news." Another suspected that some reporters had already cabled their dispatches before the pan- el meeting took place, that they had played up the "147" with its hint of dissension in the ranks and were now trying to get Bishop Tracy to justify their dispatch. Still another said that t h e Council is a sacred event but also a Parliament of the Church and should be reported as such. A woman reporter gave me the most satisfying explanation. She said that a good reporter, like a good photographer, gath- ers more material than he will actually use and that he bur- rows away even into unimport- ant angles of a story to be sure that he has all the facts. There are two facts t h a t stand out clearly here at the U.S. Press Panel. First, the press, in spite of a natural hunger for a good story or a "scoop," is very coopera- tive and anxious to do the right thing. Secondly, the American Bish- ops are more eager to speak to the press than they were dur- ing the First Session. In Coun- cil they can speak to prelates but through the press they can speak to the world, and even to the prelates who have trouble understanding Latin in the Council Ignorance No irtue By REV. G. JOSEPH GUSTAFSON, S.S., Ph.D. Professor of Philosophy, St. Thomas Seminary, Kenmore E ran a little item from The Pri, est magazine recently which puzzled the editors. A big publisher of pamph- lets in New York reported that his annual sales are now down from two million to 800,000. What's wrong here? Most pamphlets are designed to take their readers a bit beyond the Sunday sermon. They explore some doctrine more leisurely than can the preacher, who has a time limit. Or they de- fend a point of Christian belief. Or they expose the evils involved in a given current error, like indifference or hatred. They should sell. The publisher himself thinks the cause of the decline lies in false spirit ;of ecumenism. Religion has turned for some into a sort of Rotary or Kiwanis--a genial, admirable, non- dogmatie good-fellowship. Certainly no one can take umbrage at various types of societies which successfully promote a spirit of cama- raderie. But is this religion? No. Is it ecu- menism? The answer again is NO. The ecumenical spirit so dear to the great heart of the late Pope John, as to his successor Pope Paul, means, first, an understanding of what one really believes. I am a Roman Catho- lic. He is a Presbyterian or a Methodist. A third is an Orthodox Greek Catholic. A fourth is a Jew, Reformed or Liberal or whatever. Some- one else is a Unitarian. But one begins logically and inevitably with knowing first what one is. Then the prayer of all becomes a prayer to God to infuse love into the hearts of all and sympathy for all. But to neglect the study of one's own faith in an effort to be "ecumenical" is simply to be ignorant. Ignorance is not a virtue. It is a vice. It is also, humanly speaking, very difficult to establish an ecumenical relation with a ? God's World: For Souls in Purgatory By.REV. LEO J. TRESE OMEONE has asked, "Do the souls in purgatory know the identity of the persons who are praying for them?" The answer is, probably yes, although we cannot be sure. However, we are certain that, once in heaven, the new saint will know all things; will know who it was who sped him on his way to God. By our remem- brance of the suffering souls we shall people heaven with powerful friends who will have a keen interest in bringing us to heaven also. Aside from this somewhat selfish motive, our prayers for the souls in purgatory are an important part of our fulfill- ment of the great Law of Love. God wants these souls with Himself as quickly as possible. Out of our love for God, we shall make every effort to hur- ry them on to His embrace. Truly Our Neighbors Moreover, the souls in pur- gatory are as truly our neigh- bors as are our fellow-humans here upon earth. We cannot see their sufferings as we do see, in pictures, the sufferings of the starving Asiatics or disease- ridden Africans. It is our faith which must move us to compas- sion for the suffering souls, whose bitter necessity we can but faintly understand. Many persons, inspired by love for God and neighbor, are impelled to make the Heroic Act of Charity. The Heroic Act of Charity consists of an offer- ing made to God, for the souls in purgatory, of all the indul- gences which we ever may gain and of all the satisfactory works which we ever shall per- form, as well as those which will be offered for us by others after our death. By "satisfactory works" are meant all those actions which have any penitential value. This will include all penances which we perform, all suffer- ings which we bear with resig- nation, all prayers, Masses and acts of charity, inasfar as these have any "atoning" power. It should be noted that there is a difference between satisfaction and grace. The sacrifice of the Mass, for ex- ample, has a great satisfac- tory value, an immense pow- er to atone for sin. At the same time the Mass is a rich source of grace; it can deep- en and intensify the divine life within me which makes me a holier.person. The "atoning" value of the Mass I can offer for the souls in purgatory. The "grace" value of the Mass I cannot offer for anyone else; it is something which happens to my own soul and is not transferable to an- other. This is true also of the graces which accrue to me in other sacraments and good works. Consequently the Heroic Act of Charity does not mean that I cease to grow in grace. It means rather that I give to the souls in purgatory the "sin: paying" value of all that I do, and of all that will be done for me after my death. What we call the impetra- tory or "asking" value of my prayers also is unaffected by the Heroic Act. This, again, is quite distinct from the satis- factory value of those same prayers. I still may beg God for graces and favors for my- self and others, with confi- dence that my pleas will be heard. Act Made Simply There is no official formulary for making the Heroic Act. It can be done quite simply in our own words: "O my God, I of- fer to Thee for the souls in pur- gatory all the indulgences I shall ever gain, all the satis- factory value of works I shall ever perform, and all those which shall be offered for me after my death." Once made, this offering is permanently ef- fective, although it is well to renew it from time to time. It can, of course, be revoked. It is not a vow. The Church has placed her seal of approval on the He- roic Act. By special legisla. tion, a person who has made i7 t: FATHER TRESE the Heroic Act may apply ALL indulgences to the suf- fering souls, even those which ordinarily are not so applic- able. This Act is called "heroic" because it means stripping our- selves, for the sake of others, of everything which w o u 1 d shorten or lessen our own pur- gatorial p a i n s. However, I doubt whether the Act is as heroic as it sounds. I suspect that anyone with sufficient love for God and for souls to make the Act, will have little to fear from God's justice after death. 20.20 Vision EBREW psychology regarded the heart as the seat of reason and will. In speaking to the Jews, Christ naturally employed terms that were fa- miliar to them. Hence, the pure of heart are those who are free from duplicity. They see clear- ly and not with defective vision. They see things as they truly are. St. Paul saw things aright, but he experienced painful dif- ficulty in communicating his vision to t h e mentally tired, jaded and unreceptive Athen- ians, who heard him preach his famous sermon, The Unknown God in the Areopagus. He told them that he preached the God whom they worshiped without knowing it "For in Him we live, and move and have our being." They were singularly unim- pressed. Only Dionysius a n d Damaris believed. St. Paul was repeating a truth lyrically proclaimed in the Psalms: "The heavens de- clare the Glory of God, and the firmament proclaims His handiwork." And so for the psalmist, all of creation was a reflection on His Beauty and eloquent of His power and glory. Father Basil Doyle of the Paulist Fa- thers renders a famous canticle of prais e thus: Bless the Lord all you His works; Sound His praises to the skies; Sing them everlasting. Bless the Lord, sun, moon and stars; Dew and shower, bless the Lord. Frost and cold and ice and snow, Nights and days, all bless the Lord. Hills and mountains, grow- ing things, Seas and fountains, flow- ing streams, All you creatures of the deep Join together, bless the Lord. -.Walter 3. Sullivan, C.$.P. Calendar SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10, TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY AF- TER PENTECOST, MASS: Dicit Dominus -- The Lord said (Green). GI., Cr, Pref. of Trinity. Mass for Parish. MONDAY, NOVEMBER II, ST. MARTIN, BISHOP, CON- FESSOR, Mass: Statuit -- The Lord declared (White). GI., 2nd Pr. of St. Monna. ST. NIARTIN I, POPE, MARTYR, MASS: Si diligis me --If thou lovest Me (Red). GI. WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, ST. DIDACUS, CONFES- SOR, MASS: Justus- The Just (White). GI. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 14, ST. JOSAPHAT, BISHOP, MAR. TYR, MASS: Gaudeamus -- Let us all rejoice (Red). GI. FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 15, ST. ALBERT THE GREAT, BISHOP, CONFESSOR, DOC- TOR OF THE CHURCH, MASS: In medio--In the midst (White). GI. Abstinence. SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 16, ST. GERTUDE, VIRGIN, MASS: Dilexisti -- Thou hast loved (White). GL k