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February 10, 1961     The Observer
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By Father John Ryan ARE THERE ANY RELICS OF OUR BLESSED MOTH- ER? There are no first-class relics of Our Lady, that is, rel- ics of her body. This fact is in correspondence with the revealed truth of Our Blessed Mother's Assumption into heaven. Some churches have claimed in the past to have relics of Our Blessed Mother's veil, for example, the Cathedral church in Salisbury, England. The validity of this and similar claims is open to serious question. 4e ~ ~k WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BE- E E N EXCOMMUNICATION AND APOSTACY? Excommunication is an ecclesiastical penalty which deprives a person of the rights and privileges enjoyed by those m communion with the faithful. It does not remove one from membership in the Church. nor does it necessarily imply the final condemnation of the one affected. Apostacy is complete and voluntary abandonment of the Christian f a i t h which one had formerly professed. Apostacy consists formally, there- fore in the act of the one who is guilty of it. while ex- communication consists formally in an act of an official of the Church. WITH REGARD TO OUR LORD'S FAST OF 40 DAYS AND 40 NIGHTS IN THE DESERT, WAS HIS FAST FROM ALL FOOD AND DRINK ABSOLUTE? It is accepted by commentators that the fast was abso- lute-that there was no nourishment by food and drink. There is no indication that Christ used His divine power to sustain Himself but St. Mark says that while He was in the desert "the angels ministered to Him." It is taken from this that there was some supernatural assistance through these 40 days which was not a ministering of food, but rather in a more general sense, a support which rendered food unnecessary. I ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT A BROTHER AND SIS- TER COULDN'T MARRY. YET IF WE ARE ALL DE- SCENDANTS OF ADAM AND EVE THEIR CHILDREN MUST HAVE INTERMARRIED. For the propagation of the human race. it was obviously necessary for the children of Adam and Eve to intermarry. Otherwise. the human race would have died with the first generation. The impediment which exists between close blood relatives is maintained by law for the moral and physical welfare of the individual and of society. If by any chance, it became necessaryfor brothers and~ sis- ters to marry to continue the race, such marriages would again be permissible. MUST A PRIEST OFFER A ~MASS FOR EACH MASS INTENTION WHICH HE RECEIVES? For each intention which he receives a priest must. un- der pain of serious sin offer a distinct Mass. or ask an- other priest to do so. In the latter case the entire amount of the stipend rece{ved must be transmitted to the priest who is asked to say the Mass The priest who has re- ceived the stipend is forbidden to keep any part of it for himself. ~t 4r WHAT IS THE EXTENT OF THE AUTHORITY OF TRADITION? The Vatican Council has decreed as an article of Faith that Tradition is a source of theological teaching dis- tinct from Scripture and that it is infallible. Tradition includes that sum of doctrine revealed, which has not been committed to the Sacred Scriptures but which has been handed down in the teaching of the Church from age to age. As Revelation, it must have come from the Apostles as received from the lips of Christ Him- self or been handed down by the Apostle at the dictation of the Holy Ghost. It is therefore to be received with the same assent as the Bible for it too is the word of God. Tradition is the safeguard of Scrpiture. Whereas much of the teaching contained in the books of the Bible could not be determined without Tradition. Tradition. as a source of faith, would suffice without Scripture. The first Christians were taught by the Apostles for at least ten years before the first book of the New Testament ~(as written and for about "55 years before the entire New Test- ament was completed. 4c ~ IS THE KISS BETWEEN THE BRIDE AND GROOM PART OF THE WEDDING CEREMONY? There is no provismn for kissing by the married couple in the Catholic ceremony, either in the sanctuary or in the body of the church. Well-trained couples reserve their display of emotion until they leave the church, :k ~ W Questions for "YOU ASKED IT" should be sent to: Father John Ryun, St. Joseph Rectory, Lena, IlL It is not necessary to sign your name unless you wish a per- sonal reply. However, Father Ryan reserves the right not to use unsigned questions. | The almost inevitable legislation f or Federal Aid to Education continues to get the spotlight; the continued exclusion of one seventh of t h e nation's children from benefits continues to evoke comments and protests from religious leaders--- comments which are received with resentment by a public already sold a bill of goods on Aid with exclusions. It seems to us that the "die is cast." This is not a defeatist attitude but a realistic appraisal of the political process of law-enactment. The pressure group for Federal Aid "with exclusions" has suc- cessfully convinced the American public that Aid to Education is necessary and that the s t a t e- operated schools are the only schools worthy of the name American. now. It is merely an aca- demic question whether or n o t Federal Aid to Education is necessary, desirable and workable. There remain only the concrete arrangements on the how and when it is to be done. How did this almost universal acceptance of a once highly debatable questiofi come about? ~he answer is to be found in a study of the process of political pressure over a p e r i o d of m a n y decades. An enlightening book of r e c e n t issue, "Taxes for the Schools," published by the Insti- tute for Social Science Research (non-sectarian) has this revealing comment: "If federal aid is ever passed, it probably won't be because a majority of Congress really wanted it, but because many members felt that they could not politically afford to antagonize a determined pressure group." Congressmen are men of integrity and under- standing but they are involved in the intricate job of law-making. Their norms of decision a r e public opinion and political pressure. It is ideal- istic in the extreme to visualize a Congressman as waiting for a tally sheet from his secretary on the wishes of his individual constituents be- fore he shows up in Congress to vote on each bill. Special interest groups have b e c am e an ac- cepted part of the American democratic system. This is the key to the Congressman's decision to vote for or against specific bills. In former times "group thinking" was made known in the halls of Congress by professional lobbyists. Today t h e process is even more complicated. The pressure comes through the m e d i a of communications which presume to port.ray collective attitudes and to form public opinion.' For more than fifty years there has been lobby- ing for Federal Aid to Education. It is not sur- prising that congressmen seem to give no atten- tion to the civil rights of nearly 7 million children since there has been no private interest g r o u p speaking for them during this long period of cul- tivation of the political plum now ripe for pluck- ing. There has bee~ no consistent effort to mold public opinion toward recognizing the equal rights. The cause of the present problem has been de- fault by some rather than a predetermined dis- crimination on the part of those who knew what they were after and seem almost to have it in their hands. There has been default in the matter of being vocal about the fundamental question on the existence of a need for Federal Aid in this traditionally local matter of education and sec- ondly on the question of equal rights for pupils of private schools once the process of Federal Aid on fringe area matters began to operate. The following quotation is a kind of indictment of that neglect by default on the part of parents of private school persuasion. "Since the parents of the nation's independent school children have not accepted the principles and practices of our demo- cratic system of government (i.e the formation of pressure groups for lobbying) they have only themselves to blame for the fact that their chil- dren are discriminated against in virtually every legislative enactment and in many executive and judicial decisions touching the rights of their chil- dren. This abdication of rights and duties by par- ents of 6,800,000 children, most of whom attend Protestant, Catholic and Jewish church.related schools, has, for all practical purposes, deprived them of a voice in determining the values and ideals of our nation through government action in the field of education . . . By default they, and other religious-minded Americans, are allowing the secularists through their control of education to be the architects of the future." (from an ar- ticle. Civil Rights for Children of Independent Schools, Homilitec and Pastoral Review. Nov. 1960, by the Rev. Virgil C. Blum. S.J associate pro- fessor of Political Science. Marquette University. At the hazard of seeming to favor "Catholi, pressure", we recommend that parents should be better informed on their civil duties regarding rights of.their children There is an organization called "Citizehs for Educational Freedom", non- sectarian in origin. Membership and information may be obtained by writing to this corporate title at one of two addresses: P. O. Box 1423. Milwau- kee. Wis. or 3109 S. Grand Blvd. St. Louis 18. Mo. If it is too late to make an impression regarding Federal Aid to Education as currently proposed. it is no~ too late to act within the framework of American democracy to let the group thinking of this large segment of citizens become some- thing factual and Vocal. SPOTLIGHT ON SOCIAL REFORM | , GRUB STAKE LENTEN ROAD 40 That word -- "charity"! It appears so often in the papal encyclicals. In cold print it seems to hold so high and hope- less an ideal to be applied to the world as we know it that the thought is almost frustrat- ing. And yet -- in the long run it is the one ]ast hope for humm :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: survivali land of iiii!iiii Sstruction.O c a recon- i~ii::"ii If "the evil men do" were the onlynorm tO judget h e condition of mankind, the muffled cry of Hope w o u l d hardly be heard at all. Very Negative Elements Sin and evil, however, are very rncgative elements in the lives of men. They tell us no- thing about the super-abundance of good that beautifies the lives of millions. Nor do they tell us anything of the wonderous rays of God's grace that steal their way into small crevices of the human heart. From time to time the funda- mental goodness of men shows up in the strangest places. A marvelous manifestation of this is revealed in an unusual little book, recently published, called, "I Looked For God's Absence". Trained Sociologist Father Irenaeus Rosier. a ~D u t c h Carmelite, and t h e author of the book is a trained sociologist. He wanted to find out just how much spirituality was left in the heartz of the To suffer and endure is th~ lot of humankind. Let them strive as they may, they will n e v e r summon up enough strength and cunning to throw Off the ills and troubles which beset them. Pope Leo XIII. Rerum Novarum or FATHER WILLIAM SMITH, S. J, workers of France. It Was Plus XI. if you recall, who remarked that the Church had lost the working people of France. Studied Working Conditions This crusading C a r m e l i t e priest had made many studies of working conditions m many countries. But his observations and conclusions were those of one looking on from the outside. He decided what he had to do. He would take off his roman collar and go incognito, deep down into the mines --,the iron mines and the coal mines of France Mere Animal Existence He did that for six months. He found the living conditions in some places not much above mere animal existence. The work was brutal and inhumane. The workers were anti-clerical. anti-Church: .seemingly irreli- gious; ignorant of the basic truths of Christianity. But he found also. deep be- neath the surface of exterior actions and expressmns, be- neath perhaps the surface of their own conscmusness, a strain of fundamental goodness which, it properly stimulated and aroused, could respond to the unrecognized appeal which the Liv~n~ God c o n s t a n t 1 y makes to every human soul. Instinct of Charity He discovered, almost hidden beneath the debris of crude cir- cumstances, in the physical giants whowere his mining companions, an enlightening and revealing sense or instinct of charity. - There's that " word charity again! Where Father Rosier found it. however, it was any- thing but a word set in cold type. What does it mean to us -- to you and to me? We are all familiar with St. Paul's classic description of the virtue. Cardi- nal Montini has given us a Christian manifesto for our times that makes the term as meaningful as the words of Paul. His Eminence writes; "We will: not forget 'that the fundamental attitude of the Catholic who wants-to convert the world is to love it. "We will love our neighbors, and we will love those faraway. "We will love our country and we will love the countries of others. ':We will love our friends and we will love our enemies. "We will love the Catholics, we will love the schismatics, the Protestants, the Anglicans, the indifferent, the Moslems, the pagans, the atheists. "We will love all social class- es. but especially those more in need of help, of assistance, df promotion. ' We will love those who scoff at us. those who despise us, those who oppose us, those who persecute us. ':We will love those who de- serve to be loved and those do not deserve it. ' We will love our times~ our civilization, our technique, our art. our sport, our world. "We will love trying to un. derstand, to sympathize, to es- teem. to serve. ' We will love with the fullness of God." If we are thinking about do- ing anything in the- way of Catholic Social Action in the New Year. we should ponder and meditate on tfiose words; keep them before the eye of our mind. as a daily check, to meas- ure the degree of Charity which we possess and practice. Lacking genuine love, our Catholicity can never be more than skin-deep. Certainly the Church is a liv- ing organism, and therefore in those things which pertain to the sacred liturgy it grows and develops and conforms itself to the circumstances and require- ments of various times, saving and guarding nevertheless the integrity of doctrine. Ilope Pius Xll REAPINGS AT RANDOM I / Lai ! e in ral Though we are born and die here. let us not love this world: let us ever, through love of God, pass on hence; let us by charity dwell among the heights, by that charity wherewith we love God. Let us during this our earthly pil- grimage be ever occupied with the thought that we shull not always be here, and then. ~ leading good lives, we shall be preparing for ourselves a place whence we shall never pass on. The mind of an average man -- abov, e all when he ~ls scarcely more than just a man--is all but infinitely com- plex. Yet if there is one thing that rises dominant and rigid out of the myriad motives and desires and faculties that twine and intertwine beneath it is the power of an aston- ishing self-deception. R. H. Beuson Vol. XXVl No 6 Feb I0 1961 THE MOST REVEREND LORAS T. LANE Publish~ THE REVEREND ARTHUR J O'NEILL Manoging Editor THE REVEREND WILLIAM I. JOFFE Asst. Managtng Editor MARJORIE GALLAGHER Women's Page Editor PATRtCIA NORMAN Feature Editor BEULAH O'MEARA .~ Business ROBERT J STARR Advertising I~AUL w. COLLIN c ": Advertising &NN B~RTOLASI Circutohon The Observer. printed weekly at 413 Pleasant Street Betoit Wit- ear, sin Is the official newsDaver o~ the Catholic Dioce~l Of Rockford, Second class aostage Data. at Beloit Wisconsin. Subscriptiens S4.00 ~e~ yem prepaid in the Untteo ~tates ALL COMMUNICATIONS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO THE OBbERVER 1260 NORTH CHURCH STREE'f ROCKFORD ILLINOIS. POS ~kSTER: Please send ferm 3579 to the OBSERVE~t, 1260 Nertk ~,hurr.b Strut. a~kferd, Unneis. ,A By Gerard E. Sherry Last week we spoke of the need lor the laity, especially parents, to get interested in the current debate on Fed. eral Aid to Education. They should actively discuss it among themselves, and with their neighbors. I proposed also that we let our Congressmen and Senators know just how we feel. A few further notes are offered before we close the subject. It is a fallacy to suggest that the Church is looking for subsidy for parochial education. Indeed, tbe Church in this country has tradition- ally opposed outright and continuing Fed- eral support for education. An unofficial. but widely accepted view in Catholic edu- cational circles, is that Federal assist- ance. if there is to be any, should be guar- anteed on a temporary basis for specific purposes and to areas of proven need. Furthermore, if there is. to be Federal Aid to Education. private schools have legitimate claims to their share of such as a matter of justice. Hope For I~ow Interest Loans Inasmuch as President Kennedy's legislative' program does not include any aid to private schools, the best we can hope for in the current legislation is long-term, 10w- interest LOANS for construction of private schools. An- other thing that is possible is an amendment to the Na- tional Defense Educational Act by which loans can be obtained for students educated in private schools and who wish to continue teaching in them. At present, stu- dents who decide to teach in private schools have to re- pay both loan and interest. For lmblic school teachers half the loan. and all the interest, is cancelled. Some Catholic educators assert that while there is no intrinsic evil in Federal Aid to Educators, there is injus- tice where it excludes private schools. There is another point in relation to Federal Aid for teachers salaries. I don't think, our BiShops are opposed to proper salaries for public school teachers. But why should public School teacher's get federal subsidies for their salaries when the ,equally important private school teacher has to do with less? Laity Must Accomplish It The Catholic laity, especially parents, must realize that if we are to make any headway in getting the Federal Government to include private schools in any program of Federal Aid, then it is they who must accomplish it. Indeed. I believe we should remind our Congressmen that we want the same measure Of justice 'that is meted out to the public schools. We must make this our constant demand. We must make it clear both to the Executive Branch. and Congress, that parents of parochial or pri- vate school children need assistance in providing proper education as do 'those who send their children to public schools. How do we go about all this? I think we should be or- ganized and should use existing Church groups. Catholic Parent-Teacher Associations would be ideal if we had enough of them. Unfortunately, there are too many "Moth- ers" Clubs attached to our parochial schools whose sole function is to raise money. Many of them have no say whatsoever. This is a pity because teachers. Catholic or otherwise,-complement parents, but they do not sup- plant them. Be that as it may, existing Parent-Teacher Associations are an ideal means f4r coordinating lay action. So also are organizations such as the National Council of Catholic Men and its women's counterpart, the Knights of Columbus. and the Holy Name Society. All should start discussing and getting active in the matter, Not Cracking Catholic "Whip" We are not suggesting the cracking of the Catholic "whip." After all, our prime demand is not Federal Aid to Education. What we are asking is that if there mus~ be Federal Aid to Education, then the Catholic parent as a taxpayer, and the Catholic child, is entitled in jus- tice to the benefits of any such legislation. One of the basic troubles is that we are being flooded by a host of conflicting opinions. There is no official Cath- olic viewpoint. I doubt if there ever will be on the spe- cific proposals of the Kennedy administration. But there are certain principles that apply to the subject, and we should all be concerned. If we get nothing out o1 the current proposals on Fed- erat Aid to Education. one of the results will.be a form of double taxation. The cost of Federal Aid has. to be r~et out of taxes. Catholic parents will have imposed on them a most impossible burden. They will receive no ben- efits from the government and will be obliged at the same time to support their own school system. Some Statistics The Kennedy task force's proposals recommend the spending of $9.39 billion for public school aid alone. In this regard it is interesting to quote the following statistics which have been released recently. 1. Public school costs have increased 74 times since 1900. Now they are 16 billion dollars. 2. National income has increased only 28 times since 1900. 3. Reduction in classroom shortage from 370.000 in to 132.400 in 1959. Rate of building has been 67.000 class- rooms annually. 4. Need of new classrooms estimated to be 60.(100 an- nually between 1960 and 1970. 5. Other government expenditures have increased an estimated 43%. 6. Increase in public school costs between 1930-1960 was $86.70 per capita to $369 per capita. Don't Want Direct Subsidies We must stress the fact that the Catholics of this coun- try have not asked and do not want direct sub,dies for relimon or religious instruction. Our Bishops have made it clear that they would absolutely reject any such offer. We do ask, however, for equal treatment with public schools in relation to auxiliary services in education, such as bus transportation, medical service and text- books--at least at our option. What is absolutely clear is that all parents should be free to educate their children in the private system without suffering from double taxa- tion. If ~ou wish further information on this subject, a spe- cial kit for parish and diocesan groups has been prepared by the Civic and Social Action Committeeof the National Council of Catholic Men, 1312 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W Washington 5. D.C.