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Catholic Northwest Progress
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November 29, 1963     Catholic Northwest Progress
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November 29, 1963
 

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6--THE PROGRESS Friday, Nov. 29, I%3 * L,kl.l ' I ,, II , , , , , l , , ! 'Bond of Union' Theme of U. S. Bishops' Statement (N.C.W.C. Nm Service) WASHINGTON--Following is the full text of. the statement entitled "Bonds of Union" issued by the Bishops of the United States through .the executive department of the National Catholic Welfare Confer- ence: During the period Of the Second Vatican Council we are joined in common effort with the bishops of the Catholic Church from every land. A greater public attention has thus been given to our wider role as council Fathers, concerned with the universal good of the Church. In these days so full of historic importance, we have gratefully noted the prayers and the cordial expressions of good will toward the council and the Church from Americans of every, faith. It is not inappropriate, however, that we address ourselves at the same time to our people in the United States, and this in regard to those national bonds of union that we as Americans re- spect and cherish. Recent events in the national community have severely tested these bonds. Such testing is not new. In the con. fidence that now, as in the past, those bonds will be strengthened under trial, the Catholic Bishops of the United States invite reflection upon them. From the beginnings of our national existence, our fore. fathers sought to form a society almost unique in human history, a society of free men under God for the protection of the equal rights of all. The basic bond of union was the willing reeegnitiou of mutual rights and reciproual duties. Each of the Old World peoples who had part in the building of our New World commonwealth brought here a strong religious piety which powerfully influenced our national character and our civil traditions. They shared a common conviction in the Provi. dance of God and came to feel that their nation was called to its special place in the divine plan. They considered the "laws of nature and of nature's God" to be both the source and the sanction of human rights and of the institutions needed to pro- tact them. They recognized, with Cicero, that the natural law is "eternal and unchangeable, valid for all and all times." Hence in the American compact which is our Declaration of Independence our forefathers recognized man endowed by his Creator with inalienable rights and correlative duties. The divine principle behind this civic heritage is proclaimed in the inscrip- tion above the Speaker's chair in the House of Representatives, the result of a unanimous vote in 1962, "In God We Trust." I. Our Heritage Our government became, according to these shared concepts, the respected instrument for guarding the basic rights of man, the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These clearly included the rights deriving from parenthood, equality under the law and in political life, freedom of conscience, free- dora in the choice of a state of life and in developing one's tel. ants, the right to private property. Our nation has defended not only the rights to life but also the rights of those who are responsible, under God, for that life. The child is recognized as the offspring of its parents, not the erenture of the state. Hence the universal recognition that the parents possess the first right and are charged with the funds- mental duty of providing for-the nurturing and education of the child. This right our traditional law carefully respects and this duty our courts enforce. Family Source of Unity The place of the family in our society is suggested by the overtones of our national holiday, Thanksgiving Day, which has made a religious family feast a social acknowledgment of God's bounty. From colonial and pioneer days the family has been a dynamic source of union in our communities. Recognition of this has been a ,bond of national union. Jr Another bond of dnion has been emphasis on equality itself. This ha;. gone beyond mere equality before the law. It has insisted en the right of each to share in the common good and invited the contribution of each according to his talents. Our concept of equality, still in painful process of realization, has never been a mere legalism. It has included the moral qual- ity of respect, even reverence, for the individual, for every indi- vidual. Every man and woman has equal rights before the law, notably fights to equal opportunity to learn, to work, to acquire property, including a home, to bepromoted on the basis of per- formance and qualification, to participate freely in community affairs -all this not merely by virtue of legal decisions but as the corollary of a shared moral code. . . Right To Honor God The recognition of the right of conscience has been basic to our civil traditions. Citizens have found in this a bond of union and the favor, of the law in countless cases. No personal right has been so fiercely defended by public authority and so gener- ously construed in court. The tradition of our nation corresponds with the words of Pope John XXIII, "Every human being has the right to honor God according to the dictates of an upright coriscience and, therefore, the right to worship God privately and publicly." A fui'ther bond of union has been the general recog- nition of religious homage to God as a duty as well as a right. Most of our citizens have taken for granted the vigorous exercise of the right freely to choose one's vocation and to de- velop one's talents. Indeed, a major cause of the present social unrest is the very determination of minorities to secure these rights. Freedom of choice of work, with the aspiration to excel, has stimulated an extraordinary initiative. The productivity of our country has resulted in great measure from this freedom to develop personal talents. It has often benefited the wider human community through programs of American religious and philan- thropic groups, especially in times of world crisis. . .: For The Common Good Not less important as a bond of union has been th right of private property. Fortunately, the power to dispose of the fruits of one's labor has been wisely controlled by the concept of the stewardship of wealth. When our Protestant fellow citizens, if only because of their proportionatelly greater numbers, were so --Pro,,, and con go :he claims and counterclaims for this or or that orqan...the baffle o super- latives and of specifications, with reference to cathedrals, to sfefisflcs, fo outer space, ad infinitum. Yet when if comes to judging an organ, the proper procedure is so simple. Listen to ill Play ill ?RE-CHRIsTMAS SPECIALS ON USED ORGANS From.. ....... s450 MULHoLLAND . BOURKE 818 E. Pike af Broadway EA 5,2030 and 840- 104fh NE., Bellevue -- GL. 4-959] nLue--wee. I, m. ave. 'rlL t I, A'L OAY SAt I sentatives revealed an enlightened Christian sense of steward- ship which" redounded to the common good. Private education, voluntary welfare programS, medical re- search and political idealism were encouraged. We rejoice when exemplary Catholics bring, together with new insights into hu- man need, their own beneficent influence on the common good. Thus a major element of our heritage has been the transla- tion of the rights of man, conferred by God, into civil rights, guaranteed by the state. The full power of the state is expected to protect the human person in his individual and social aspects, a generation whose concept of the good life has been smoth- ered by securities. Treat All As Persons Both secularism and materialism contribute to our third problem--the frequent use of expediency rather than principle in meeting our social problems. The confusion and tension surround- ing the so-called "race question" are typical. The first step in meeting any racial problem is to treat all men and women as persons, without reference to patterns of difference. But forgetfulness of God (which is the defect of secu- NCWC Administrative Board PICTURED IN ROME during the annual meeting of the U.S. Bishops, are these members of the Administrative Board of the National Catholic Welfare Conference: Seated, Arch- bishop Patrick A. O'Boyle of Washington, re-elected chairman; Archbishop John J. Krol of Philadelphia, Cardinal Spellman of New York and Cardinal Meyer of Chicago, ex officio members of the board. Standing: Archbishop Leo Binz of St. Paul, Archbishop John F. Dearden of Detroit, treasurer; Archbishop Thomas A. Connolly of Seattle, Immigration Department; Archbishop Joseph T. McGucken of San Francisco, Archbishop William E. Cousins of Milwaukee, vice chairman of the board. Not present when photo was taken: Archbishop Karl J. Alter of Cincinnati, secretary; Bishop Emmet M. Welsh of Youngstown, Ohio, Legal Department; Archbishop John P. Cody of New Orleans, and the remaining three Cardinals, ex officio board members. largely charged with setting the moral tone, their best repre- namely, as at once the beneficiary and the architect of the "good society." II. Our Problems This shared heritage, reflecting the noble aspirations and the deep sentiments of many American hearts, is not, of course, narrowly American. Its elements are linked with the human achievements and dreams of millions everywhere. Similarly the problems of men everywhere are intermingled with our own. But, as a nation, the United States faces certain problems of its own that are ours to solve. While many of these problems have social, political and eco- nomic aspects, they are, at the core, human and therefore moral. They are suggested in several disconcerting questions:--Are we coming to regard God and religion as irrelevant to everyday life? Have our relative richness and our passion for technological progress stifled our concern for the spiritual needs of man? Are we trying to solve problems of social justice by expediency, with an eye to human convenience rather than the divine will? These have become urgent questions. A national examina. ton of conscience would reveal today that we are in danger of becoming a people weakened by secularism in our social philosophy, materialism in our concept of the good life, and expediency in our moral code. The increasing establishment of secularism as an official American view of life has been steady and well-marked. In our education, religious elements have gradually been eliminated by judicial interpretation. This progressive secularization cuts deeply into our schools, but this is only part of its steady growth God Often Ignored Marriage is considered more and more a purely civil ar- rangement, not a spiritual bond between two persons under God. Business and recreation tend to be conceived as though God's law applied only during the time of Sunday worship. There is, it is true, a statistical growth in church-affiliation, but this is substantially offset by the disturbing alienation of whole areas-- education, work, play--from any effective tie with the Creator and Judge of men and nations. The rise of secularism warns us to reorder our individual ' and social life, to place it squarely in the perspective of our own deepest religious beliefs As secularism has steadily grown in American legal philoso- phy, our moral values" have revealed an increased materialism. We are a prosperous nation, blessed by God with bountiful re- sources. This wealth has been increased by able leadership and hard work. The majority of our people now enjoy the good things of life. Following impulses once spiritual, but in danger of be- coming mere traditional procedures, we sacrifice for the needy in our own land and throughout the world. But for many Americans, spiritual motivation has given way to the pursuit of material things. Security in the comforts of liv- ing is too often our major, even our controlling, concern. Our God-given resources have preserved us from the poverty that degenerates; our spiritual resources must preserve us from the wealth that decays. As an affluent nation, we are unfortunately acquiring the vices associated with irresponsible materialists: over-indulgence, excessive gambling and the insatiable demand for excitement. ... With God's Grace The history of the saints demonstrates that, with God's grace, . . . /. man's splat can survwe in the midst of materml wealth, and even turn it to the soul's profit. But our problem is that, sur- feited with conveniences, we may not maintain the desire to rise above them, to live as the children of God, "heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ." (Rein. 8, 17) If we are to do so, we must renew the saving habits of grateful humility, purposeful self-sacrifice, and courage to take the risks which remain the price of truly human progress. Ear- Her American generations understood the meaning, for civili- zation as well as personal salvation, of the Sacred Scriptures which warn us: "For he who would save his llfe will lose it; but he who loses his lit0 for My sake will find it." (Matt. 16, 25) And "Unless the grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it re- mains alone.., he who loves his life, loses it..." (John 12, 24-25) These are precepts which seem unintelligible to us in THE SIGN OF GOOD FOOD . . . 70 Stores In Eastern & Western Washington To Serve You larism), and preoccupation with the physical (which is the effect of materialism), prevent this first step. They cause us to lose the view of man as God sees him. Thus, we grow insensitive to His image in every man, yet that image is the ultimate ground of mutual respect. For the secularist there can be no real appreciation of the dignity of God's crea- tures. For the materialist the cry of the dispossessed is without spiritual content or appeal. Small wonder that social justice becomes merely a political matter and we remain as a nation morally tortured by racial injustice in schools, jobs, housing, communal facilities, even in the most obvious area of democratic suffrage. Unless the Declaration of Independence is taken to mean what it says about inalienable rights and their divine origin; un- less the salute to the flag including Lincoln's phrase "under God," is uttered without tongue in cheek; unless the plain intent of the Constitution is wholeheartedly endorsed--any talk of "law and order" is worse than poor public policy; it is hypocrisy. III. Our Aspirations But even these problems of our republic can be bonds of union. They are faced by all Americans; their solution is our mutual butden. Men of good will are finding they must work together to stem the march,toward secularism. Reaction against materialism may, please God, result in a renewed commitment to spiritual values, turning our search for wealth into a vocation of service. Americans, regardless of their differences, readily unite in the pursuit of common goats which give direction, force and purpose to our efforts. The aspirations of all peoples center about their altars and their firesides. The values which these embody are the very core of the common good. Nonetheless, a people's aspirations express themselves in national patterns. Our shared goals have been clear from the beginning. To the extent hat some remain unrealized, these also are bonds of union summoning to a common effort all who remain faithful to the nation's original inspiration. Our national goals were set forth succintly in the Preamble to the Constitution. The authors wrote that we, the people of the United States, ordained and established our constitutional gov- ernment, "in order to form a more perfect union, establish jus- tice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common de- fense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity." A More Perfect Union A more' perfect union is the never-ending objective of the good society. At this moment that aspiration is impeded by the sad controversy over civil rights and by the lingering disposition of some to assign to others a status amounting to "second class" citizenshi p . Sometimes this is for reason of religion, sometimes for reason of race, but always to the great hurt of the common good and the progress of the republic. This goal--a more perfect union--can yet rally the moral energies of the nation to complete the "unfinished business" of the Emancipation Proclamation by full recognition of all their rights for millions of our fellow citizens of the Negro race. Twenty years ago, the Catholic Bishops of this nation noted in their statement of 1943: "It would be inconsistent to promote a world reconstruction in which all nations, great and small, pow- erful and weak, would enjoy their rights in the family of nations, unless in our own national life we recognize an equality of oppor- tunity for all our citizens and are willing to extend to them the full benefits of our democratic institutions. "In the Frovidence of God," the Bishops continued, "there are among us millions of fellow citizens of Negro race. We owe to these fellow citizens.., not only political equality, but also fair economic and educational opportunities, a just share in public welfare projects, good housing without exploitation, and a full chance for the social advancement of their race. "When given their rights in fact as in law, they will prize Royal Philharmonic To Perform Here Seattle-area music lovers will be the only concert audiences in the nation except those of Washington, D.C., who will be privileged to hear the cele- brated Royal Philharmonic Or- chestra of London under the batons of both of its distin- guished conductors during its current tour of the U. S. The orchestra, which is under the patronage of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, will be conducted to- day, Nov. 29, by Sir Malcolm Sargent, dean of British con- ductofs; and on Saturday, Nov. 30, hy the brilliant young French conductor, Georges Pre- tre. Both concerts will be at 8:30 p.m. in the Opera House. with us our national heritage and not lend ear to agitators who / real objective is not to improve but to destroy our way of living The sense of mutuality so keenly felt by the Founding Fathers must not be diminished by tensions between early comers and later immigrants; between groups of different religious or nation- ality backgrounds; between management and labor; between political parties and even between the partisans of contrasting political philosophies within the same parties. We welcome and wish to encourage the trend, which we deem providential emphasis on the things which unite in mutual love and 'action. Aspire To Justice Strongly operative among us is the aspiration to establish justice. The courts must maintain vigilance against procedures which offend this cardinal virtue of the decent society. ' But the people must be vigilant, too, lest the courts, however unconsciously and with whatever lofty intent, annul the original determination that ours be a government of laws, not of mefi. Our courts must see that the law of the land is so inter as to be free from undue influence of particular schools of thought. It has best served the American tradition when the law reflects a community consensus or common understanding Of what is best to achieve the common ends of justice. To insure domestic tranquility requires not merely the order of justice but a cohesive spirit made organic by the life-giving virtues of equity and charity. In addition to sound laws and just need the vital influence of a free pulpit, and a hig courts, we minded press and theatre--all capable of elevating public tast" and disposed to do so--in a word, drawing all the agencies of a free society to clothe with the living flesh and blood of morality the otherwise stark skeleton of legal justice. When the common defense was first spelled out it mea hardly more than that which a disciplined military and vigila police could provide. In an age of aggressive ideologies, not les-- perilous to the commonweal than invading armies or marauding pirates, the national defense is increasingly a matter of intellec- tual education and spiritual formation. Face Deadly Menace We face a deadly menace to the truths by which we are made and kept free. To meet this danger, and conquer it, is a work that should be done in cooperation among all educational, ious, and soundly patriotic agencies. Promotion of the general welfare has given impetus to tutions and programs in which Church, State and private philan- thropy have vied with one another in wholesome rivalry to serve the human person in every need. Differences of opinion are ex- pressed among us as to ways and means to meet the objective bound up with our "general welfare," but on the nature of it there is substantial agreement. At the moment, the general welfare calls for increased tion to the complex problem presented by juvenile delinquency family breakdown. A community-wide cooperative program, con- sistent with family rights and authentic democratic principles, must produce opportunities for the more secure absorption of the young into our organized industrial and commercial structure. In such a program, the government should be able to take for granted the full cooperation of industry and organized labor, as well as all religious, educational and youth agencies. To secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our pos- terity, we depend on education more than on any other force. Hence the special solicitude for general education in national tradition, another bond of union among the American people. A non-partisan Report on Goals for Americans (The Ameri- can Assembly, Columbia University 1961, copyright) recently . commented on the relationship of bur educational hopes to the other aspirations of Americans, and reached some thoughtful conclusiops. Writing on education, the commission said: "Ulti- mately, education serves all of our purposes--liberty, justice and all our other aims--but the one it serves most directly is of opportunity. "We promise such equality,:and education is the instrument by which we hope to make good the promise... That is why we must renew our efforts to remove the barriers of education that still exist for disadvantaged individuals.barriers of pov- erty, or prejudice and of ignonnce. The fulfillment of the indi- vidual must not be dependent n his color, religion, economle status or place of residence." The Report asks for recogrition of the need, the right the place in the national interest of all young people, by cation in all American schools. :t suggests, more eloquently than can we, what must be the shard aspiration of all citizens for all students: Must Educate All "American education can be as gopd as the American people want it to be. And no better... (In) striving for excellence, we must never forget that Americm education has a clear mission to accomplish with every single child who walks into the school,m . . Our schools must prepare dl young people, whatever thei talents, for the serious business d being free men and women." We have observed that reet events in the national com- munity have severely tested mr bonds of union. It is our prayer (a prayer in which we finite all Americans to join) that inspiration drawn from the redisevery of our roots, determina- tion born of any grave threat to 'hat union, and renewed dedi- cation to our common goals that nay help us to face the pres- ent trials as a people truly one n,'tion under God. To implement that prayer, we pledge the religious, educa tional, and moral resources at our ommand. We do so motivate by the piety and patriotism that weand our Catholic people are privileged to share with millions of or fellow citizens. GRIFFIN-GALBRa, ITH AND FUEL OIL SERVICE COMPANY 1910 COMMERCE ST. 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