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March 10, 1961     The Observer
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March 10, 1961
 

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I v By Father John Ryan I HAVE BEEN GIVEN A PRESENT OF A ROSARY AND AM TOLD THAT IT IS BLESSED FOR GAINING THE APOSTOLIC, BRIGITTINE, CROZIER AND DOMIN- ICAN INDULGENCES. WILL YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN THESE BLESSINGS? The Apostolic blessing contaifis the foUowing indul- gences: Five years for the recitation of each five decades; ten years, once a day, if said with others: a plenary in- dulgence (usual conditions) at the end of the month if five decades have been said at least three times during any week of the month: a plenary indulgence for each five decades said before the Blessed Sacrament: seven years each day of the month of October for the recitation of five decades a plen- ary indulgence on the Feast of the Holy Rosary and each day of the octave: a plenary indulgence for five decades said on 15 consecutive Saturdays. The Dominican indulgences added to the above are: 100 days for each Pater and Ave of the five decades: a plenary in- dulgence once a year for the person who says five decades each day of the year. The Crozier indulgence is a grant of 500 days for each Pater and Ave recited while holding the beads without saying or intending to say the whole five decades. The Brigittine indulgences are: Plenary--once a month for five decades on each day of the month: once a year for five decades daily throughout the year: on the Feast of St. Brigitta for saying five decades once a week: at the hour of death for those who were accustomed to re- citing five decades at least once a week. Partial 100 days for each Pater Ave and Creed of the five decades: seven years for saying a sixth decade. All these details, along with other indulgences attached to the Rosary cannot be remembered easily nor need they be. It suffices if one simply makes his intention to gain all the indulgences which accrue to him from the proper recitation of the Rosary. RECENTLY I HAVE READ SEVERAL NEWS ITEMS ABOUT TITHING. A TITHE IS A TENTH PART OF WHAT? Tithes are commonly defined as "the tenth part of all fruits and profits justly acquired, owed to God in recog- nition of His supreme dominion over man. and to be paid to the ministers of the Church". They were paid by Abram (Gen. 14). vowed by Jacob (Gen. 28) and regulated by the Mosaic law (Exod. 22: Lev. 27: Num. 18). In the early Christian ages the free-will offerings of the faithful sup- plied what was necessary both for the divine worship and the support of the clergy; but as the conversion of the Western nations proceeded a more permanent provision was seen to be necessary. In a canon of the Second Coun- cil of Macon (585) occurs the first express mention of the Christian obligation of paying tithes. They began to be generally rendered in the eighth century, not earlier. In 855. Ethelwulf, king of Wessex, "assigned the tenth part of his land all over his kingdom for the love of God and his own everlasting welfare." The tithe of the produce, not the tenth part of the land itself, is certainly here in- tended. Many authors, both Catholic and Protestant. have imagined that the proportion itself of 1 in 10 was fixed by a Divine precept for ever as that part of our substance which God requires to be devoted to Him. This belief is now less commonly held. Cardinal Soglia ,speaks of the tithe as "a certain part, not the tenth part: for it is some- times greater, sometimes smaller, according to the cus- tom of different places." Tithes are of two kinds, predial and personal. Predial are those receivable in respect of the annual crops, corn, wine. oil, fruit, etc. and of the increase of cattle, includ- ing milk and cheese. Great tithes are of corn. wine and oi~; small tithes are of vegetables and fruits. Personal tithes are receivable m respect of the profits of trade and industry. Property acquired on the title of gift. be- quest or inheritance is not itself tithable; but its annual increase, so far as it is produced by nature or human in- dustry, is so. Tithes were originally paid to the bishops, but with the erection of separate benefices the right to them passed to the parish priests. The Popes in former times often grant- ed the tithes of certain places or districts to princes or nobles who had rendered eminent service to the Church, and allowed them to transmit the same to their successors. Bishops used to grant tithes to laymen for similar rea- sons: but this was restrained by the Third Council of Lat- eran (1179), which ordered that no alienation of tithe be made by a bishop-without the consent of the Pope. The only reference to tithes in the Code of Canon Law is in Canon 1520, which states; "As regards the payment of tithes and first fruits, the particular statutes and praise- worthy customs of each country are to be observed." In fact. so far as the Catholic Church is concerned, tithes are nearly everywhere obsolete. 4r ~ 4r Questions for "YOU ASKED IT" should be sent to: Father John Ryan, St. Joseph rector, y, 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. As we approach the Great Week of the Church year. we deem it efficacious to devote this column today and for the weeks following, to ap- propriate comments on the meaning of these offi- cial actions of the Church known as the ceremon- ies of Holy Week. For many of us the ceremonies of Holy Week are very mysterious. We sometimes c h o o s e to think of the rites of Holy Week as a k in d of mere symbolism representing in some way t h e historical actions of Christ during those days im- mediately preceding and following His death on the Cross. We are content to look b a c k rather than to see these actions of the Church as having a special significance for the present. There is a greater meaning to the prayers and ceremonies of Holy Week than one would f i r s t imagine. Pope Plus XII stated: "T h e liturgical rites of Holy Week have not only a special dig- nity, but a particular sacramental power and ef- ficacy for the nourishment of Christian life and adequate substitutes cannot be found for them m those devotional exercises commonly called extra- liturgical which have been observed in the after- noons of the Three Days . . ." The ceremonies of Holy Week have a special power to bring grace to our souls and to draw us closer to the redemption wrought by Christ. The official prayers and actions of Holy W e e k not only commemorate past events in Christ's l if e, but they are sacramentals which have a power in themselves to stir up our minds and hearts f o r actual graces. Through our active and intelligent participation in the prayers by the C h u r c h we have the opportunity to increase sanctifying grace ---our share in God's life. We are of the opimon that a study of the cere- monies of Holy Week and the consequent effort to take an intelligent part in them are very im- Honor Guard portant for everyone. The hard fact.is t h a t at present many seem to miss the point of H o 1 y Week and thus lose a tremendous opportunity for deepenin g their faith in the significance of Christ's role as our Redeemer. Our comments on Holy Week c a n n o t be a lengthy dissertation on all the minute details of the prayers and actions of that prayer-filled week. We will try to point out the highlights of e a c h great day with the hope that it will stimulate our readers to further study and resolve. The opening day of Holy Week is Palm Sunday which is more properly called the Second Sunday of the Passion since the penitential season preced- ing Easter is divided into the four Sundays of Lent and the two Sundays of Passion Time. The customary recollections of P a 1 m Sunday center around the blessing of the paln~ and the reading of the gospel of our Lord's passion dur- ing the Mass: Actually there is much more to the unique public worship carried out on this day. Those who attend the principal Mass in their parish church will notice the blessing of palms before the Mass. This blessing is not an end in itself in the way you w o u 1 d seek the priest's blessing for your rosary or medal. The blessing of palm is given in preparation for the m o r e im- portant ceremony, the procession with palms. This colorful procession with blessed palm re- calls the historical event of the journey of Christ from Bethany to Jerusalem and his welcome there by the populace who recognized Him as a King and hoped He would rule over them in an earth- ]y kingdom marking the end of their political sub- jection to imperial Rome. The welcome was short- lived, as we know. The Palm Sunday procession by the priest and people in our churches recalls this event but it has a deeper significance. As those people mistakenly saw in Christ an earthly ruler, we know by faith that He is truly a King but that His triumph is of the spiritual order. It w a s accomplished not by conquest of arms in warfare, but in the spiritual realm by his triumph over sin and death through His death and resurrection. We know that His Kingdom is real as well as unending. We there- fore take part in a procession welcoming a spiri- tual King. We demonstrate our faith in his King- ship and we proclaim our loyalty to His realm. In order to prosper; His Kingdom needs loyal and active citizens in each generation. On Palm Sun- day we have the opportunity to rededicate our- selves to whatever role he has assigned to us in the establishmen~ of his rule. After the procession with palm by which we actively proclaim our faith and loyalty to Christ the King, the priest prays that the blessed palm taken to our homes will serve to bring grace and blessings and that every influence and deception of the devil will be defeated truly an application of Christ's Kingship throughout the year. The freeing of mankind from the powers of e which have been made possible by Christ's re- deeming death are further emphasized in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass which follows the Palm Pro- cession. Truly each Holy Mass makes present for us the redeeming death of Christ; but on Palm Sunday the proper of the Mass is especially de- voted to this theme. In epistle we hear again of Christ's obedience unto death: in the Gospel we hear the moving details of Christ's suffering as recorded by the apostle St. Matthew. An active and alert participation in the rite of Palm Sunday is important if we wish to have the right approach for the nurturing of the Christian life which comes from the proper use of the offi- cial prayers and ceremomes of the Church. SPOTLIGHT ON SOCIAL REFORM ) urc - When I was a youngster, all the "kids" of Lady of Perpetual Help parish in our neighborhood went to Public School No. 30. The reason for our attendance at the tax - supported grammar school was quite simple. There wasn't any parochial school within easy walking distance in those days. Some went to St. Brigid's, but that was 'half-way uptown'. When finally 'Pet's parochial school was built, it began with the first four and a half 3;ears. Father Lynch, the devoted old pastor, visited every mother in the parish and attempted t o persuade them to send their children to the Catholic school regardl e s s of what grade they might be in. I was in the sixth grade at the time. It must have been painful for my holy little mother to say "no" to +he priest. But with motherly prudence she could see no logic ;in losing a year and a half of schooling to~ make the transfer to Our Lady of Per- petual Help's new building. (She most likely also mused, "it's been hard enough getting him that far toward graduation with- out putting him back a year and a half".) Nor was there any great need to make such a sacrifice. You really learned your religion at your mother's knee in those days in the Old First Ward in Buffalo, New York. But more than that -- P.S. No. 30 was a "Catholic School without the cross". I can't remember one teacher who was not Catholic and I doubt that more than a dozen students were non-Catholic. It was all Irish until a few Polish families (with a reputation for cleanliness and 'minding their own business') moved in. To the adolescent delinquent of that day, if you were not Irish, you were Dutch or a "Hunkie". Miss Donovan had been Prin- in ls FATHER WILLIAM SMITH, S. J. cipal from time immemorial. Everybody's brother and sister had had her. In her conserva- tive black satin shirt waist and skirt. Miss Donovan ruled with a quiet discipline by the very persuasiveness of her person- ality and the power of her ear- nest interest in every child. Then "came the revolution". It was time for Miss Donovan to retire: to hand over the reins of government to a new and younger administrator. And who did that infidel Board of Educa- tion send as Principal to Old P.S. 30. "The Catholic School without the Cross"? Miss Rich- ardson! A Protestant! a n d strict. The new principal was a buxom lady of perhaps forty. She was "all dressed up" every day. She was formal and bus- inesslike and she had a little leather strap with two thongs to it. We didn't have to be told that she meant business. We sensed it. Especially from the day she-more or less chased two' of the bigger fellows through. the corridor with the strap flail- ing "like a good strap should". But even that wasn't too bad. The two bigger fellows were Protestant. The real incident happened, however. (and the memory of it is still fresh and vivid) when it was announced from the pulpit one Sunday that children of six or seven years of age. were to make their First Holy Com- munion. The average age for First Communion, until Plus X made his inspired pronounce- ment on early and frequent re- ception of the Sacrament, was twelve. The day for first Confessions was announced. Hold your hat-- " Miss Richardson. our new Pro- testant Principal, called each youngster, who was "to make first Confession. into her office. Yon knelt at the side of her desk and you said the Confiteor and your Act of Contrition--and if you didn't know them. you were sent home and told to learn them before the day for first Confession. Church and State! Paul Blan- chard! Protestants United for Unconstitutional Action! What would happen today if a Prin- cipal in a public school were ever to show such an interest in the souls of her charges? The least to be expected would be immediatt beheading. No Problem in School Aid There is no constitutional prob- lem involved in Federal aid to parochial schools, according to a leading constitutional expert. Prof. Arthur E. Sutherland of Harvard University is the au- thor of "Constitutional Law Cases and Other Problems" and "The Law." both of which are used in law schools throughout the United States. In a statement to the press, Mr. Sutherland said: 1. There is no clear constitu- tional prohibition against Fed- eral aid to parochial schools: 2. If Congress passed a law providing such aid. there would be no way to bring it before the U. S. Supreme Court for a con- stitutional decision. The Harvard law professor cited Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution on the powers of Congress to appropriate funds. "Congress can spend money on anything it wants." said Mr, Sutherland. "provided it is for the 'general welfare' and does not conflict with any other con- stitutional provision." The only other provision with which it might conflict, he add- ed, is the first Amendment to the Constitution which reads, in part: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof " Aid to parochial schools would not "prohibit the free exercise of anyone's religion." he said. And the phrase on "establish- ment of religion" would prob- ably not cover "anything which is an incidental to aiding a church." such as aid to educa- tion. People put the matter wrong when they say that the novel is a study of human nature. Human nature is a thing that even men can understand. Human nature is born of the pain of a woman; human nature plays at peep- bo when it is two and at cricket when it is twelve; hu- man nature earns its living and desires the other sex and dies. What the novel deals with is what women have to deal with; the differentiations, the twists and turns of this eternal river. --G. K. Chesterton There is something in moral truth and goodness, in faith, in firmness, in heavenly-mindedness, in meekness, in courage, in lovingkindness, to which this world's cir- cumstances are quite unequal, for which the longest life is insufficient, which makes the highest opportunities of this wo ld disappointing, which must burst the prison of this wo~ld to have its appropriatd range. Cardinal Newman ~SS Ik Vol XXVI, No. 10 Mar. I0. 1961 THE MOST REVEREND LORAS T. LANE Publis'h-'~f THE REVEREND ARTHUR J. O'NEILL Managing Editor THE REVEREND WILLIAM I JOFFE Asst Managing Editor MARJORIE GALLAGHER Women's Page Editor ~OBERT WILLEMS News Editor 3EULAH O'MEARA Business ~,OBERT ;. STARR -- Advertising ~,NN BERTOLASI Circulation The Observer. printed weekly at 413 Pleasant Street Beloit Wi=- ;on$i~, is the official newspaper of the Catholic D ocew of Rockford. .Second class postage paid at Beloit Wisconsin. Subscriptions $4.00 pet year prepaid in the United States ALL COMMUNICATIONS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED I'O THE )BbERVER 1260 NORTH CHURCH STREE'I ROCKFORD ILLINOIS. ~OSTMASTER: Please send form 3579 to the oBsERV[R~-I260 North Street, Rockford, Ulinobl. REAPINGS AT RANDOM i I I by Gerard E. Sherry Several columns ago I offered a book prize for. the best substitute for the label of Catholic "liberal." It surprised me to receive so many letters. Not so surpmsing was the negativ~ approach from quite a number of the corres- pondents, Indeed, most referred less to the Reapings than they did to a reprint of a recent article of mine in the, February issue of the Catholic Mind. I was challenged for suggesting that uncommitted Cath- olics should take either the liberal or conservative roads in the future. I was also challenged as to what I meant by "competent ecclesias- tical authority". The last point made by quite a number of people was that there are really very few uncommitted Catho- lics. I am happy to explain this a little bit further. No Middle of the Road Frankly, I am convinced that there is no Middle of the Road (excluding Chester- ton's in Orthodoxy) for the Catholic of the future. He must leave the Middle of the Road, with its hesitations and fears, and dare to speak and act in defense of truth and morality. I do not mean to b~ trite. We have compromised for much too long with the rest of the world. We must now stand up and be counted in a very real way. If it means being unpopular, even among fellow Catholics, then so be it. The times are too serigus for pussy-footing or the pious mouthing of cliches. ,~ It is my conviction that Catholic editors have a special role in these times--that of striving for religious and pro- fessional competence in order that they may become part of the new leadership; promoting the new spirit of ad- venture which has come through the emergence of flew nations and new forms of government. So many of us are afraid of innovations, be they in terms of spiritual Iormatioa or temporal affairs. [e t Renewed Activity My piece on the Liberal was not meant to be anything else than a provocation to renewed activity. Furthermore, I would much prefer the vital conservatism of a Bill Buck- ley or a Barry Goldwater t6 the wishy-washy attitude of those who try to walk on the white line in the middle of the road. When we talk of Liberals or Conservatives, I frankly admit to a confusion of labels. In many things the Catho- lic Liberal is quitd conservative and vice versa. I think that there is much that the Buckleys and the Clancys and the Sherrys have in common--they all are agreed on the need for a vital Catholicism. We all want to be part of a lay apostolate 'which is composed of active witnesses in the world, rather than a collection of inactive member- ship lists from our many Catholic societies. As to the point on' "competent ecclesiastical authority" --the only "competent" authorities in the Church are the Bishops. Of course, there are other types of ecclesiasti- cal authority. The pastor of a Church is an authority and parishioners have an obedience to him. The Church Teaching But I am referring primarily to teaching authority with- in the Church. For example: Father Ginder of the Sunday Visitor is not a "competent" eccJesiastical authority; yet, there are thousands of Catholics, including priests, who accept him as such even though he may/' distort many stands taken by the Chui'ch. It is true, of course, that the Clancys and the Sherrys and the Buckleys may also dis- tort at times. But then we do not claim to have any au- thority whatsoever. We are mere servants within the Church: and we have all the human limitations which grace alone can alleviate. There are many Catholics who believe that when a layman speaks he is probably in er- ror, but when a priest speaks, he speaks with authority. One can argue about the semantics involved. To me. com- petent ecclesi~tstical authority is in the person of the Hier~chy of the Church. The rest of u~ give only a vari- -p rn ICS ety of judgments, some which may be prudent and some which may not. At Least Take Stands It is obvious that the apathetic Catholics number mil- lions and not merely thousands. History proves it over the ages, and current events confirm it here and now. Per- sonally, I don't care if the uncommitted all became ar- dent conservatives. They would at least be taking stands; they would at least become vital. Even if I consider them wrong, I would have the happy thought that they had at least risen from the state of ennui and assumed the man- tle of vital Catholicism. Uncommitted to God and Church Finally, if you throw aside liberal arid conservative la- bels, there still remains the problem of the uncommitted, The important thing to remember is that not only are they uncommitted to labels; many also are uncommitted to God and His Church. Some go through the mechanical motions of religious piety, attending Mass and the Sacra- ments, but derive little benefit from them. This because their participation in the sacramental life of the Church is passive. It is a form of Calvinism which says God is good and he will save us even if we are apathetic. Hell can be filled with such people. We might even find our- selves there, unless we are prepared to return to the Apostolic Age. Who won the book prize? Frankly, it was a priest from a religious order. His superior refused to let him enter the controversy over labels even to the extent of a letter to the editor. His obedience being total he could only give it to me m private conversation. He spoke of pragmatic liberals within the Church as opposed to doctrinaire con- servatives. It appeared to me to be the best description of the average Catholic Liberal who believes in conserva- tism-but not at any price. Surprisingly enough, I have decided to give him a copy of Bill Buckley's "UP FROM LIBERALISM."