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Rockford, Illinois
April 14, 1961     The Observer
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April 14, 1961
 

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Qn By Father John Ryan THE GOSPEL FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT AND THE SIXTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST DE- SCRIBE TIlE MIRACLE OF THE MULTIPLICATION OF A FEW LOAVES TO FEED THOUSANDS. ARE SAINTS JOHN AND MARK DESCRIBING THE SAME EVENT OR WERE THERE TWO SUCH MIRACLES? There were two occasions on which Our Lord manifested His divine power by multiplying a few loaves of bread and fishes to feed thousands of hungry people. The first took place just about a year before the Last Supper near Bethsaida on the north side of the Sea of Galilee. On this occa- sion, Christ multiplied five loaves of bread and a few fishes to feed 5.000 people. This miracle is recorded by all four Evange-~ lists: John vi, 1-15 (the Gospel excerpt read at Mass on Laetare Sunday), Mat- thew xiv, 13-21, Mark vi, 31-44 and Luke ix. 10-17. St. John points out that the spe- cific purpose for which the Lord chose to perform this miracle was to prepare the multitude for the great announcement of Eucharist and the perpetuation of His Life as Food for our souls: "You seek Me because you have eaten of the loaves and have been filled. Do not labor for the food that perishes but for that which endures for life everlasting which the Son of Man will give you." The same Son of God who feeds thousands on a few pieces of bread will multiply Himself Incarnate on Thousands of altars. The second multiplication, recorded by St. Mark (viii, 1- 9), the Gospel read on the sixth Sunday after Pentecost, and St. Matthew (xv, 32-39) took place many months la- ter in the area of Decapolis, south of the Sea,of Galilee, In this event, seven loaves were used to feed 4,000 people. This miracle was repeated, it seems, to remind them of the first one and to impress on the disciples a lesson that they should have learned by now, to trust Him even [or their material needs. Some scripture scholars have, at one time or another, identified both of these as one miracle, told in different ways. It is very evident, however, from the words of Christ Himself that they were two distinct actions, per- |armed at different times at different places: "When I broke five loaves among 5,000. how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?" They said to Him "Twelve." "And when I broke the seven loaves among 4,000, how many large baskets of fragments did you take up?" They said "Seven." And He said to them, "How is it that you do not yet understand?" (Mark viii, 19-20). WHAT OBLIGATIONS OF RESTITUTION BIND A PER- SON WHO HAS GONE BANKRUPT? Bankruptcy is the state of a debtor who is not in a posi- tion to satisfy all his creditors and whose property be- comes liable to administration under bankruptcy law. The bankrupt person must take care that what he still pos- sesses it not further diminished and that his possessions be applied as. justly as possible to the extinction of his debts. Before bankruptcy has been declared, the debtor has definite obligations to restore existing properties to rightful owners in order of their lawful importance. When bank- ruptcy is declared, the debtor's entire possessions are sub- ject to the regulations of the Positive Law which oblige in conscience as long as they do not conflict with the na- tural law. It might be added that the natural law allows a bankrupt person to retain what is required for the modest support of himself and his dependents according to their social status. After bankruptcy, the insolvent person cannot contract further debts. He still has the obligation in conscience to satisfy his debts in full, should he later come into the pos- session of means or wealth. He is excused from the pay- ment of these debts only by the voluntary consent of .his , creditors. In the U.S juridicial opinion holds that there is complete freedom from restitution in the case of a bona fide bankruptcy, on the reasoning that debts are incurred under the implied condition that they will cease in case of a bona fide bankruptcy. In the instance of voluntary malicious bankruptcy, resti- tution is always obligatory by reason of the injustice in con- tracting the debts. WILL WE MEET OUR LOVED ONES AFTER DEATH? Most certainly for those who are received into the com- pany of the Blessed in heaven, we have the assurance that we shall be joined with those we loved on earth. That is one of the consolations of our faith, that the separation from our loved ones is but a temporary one. Our relation- ships with those we love here will be intensified in the possession of the Infinite Good, God, who made us to share life with Him through all eternity. Questions for "YOU ASKED IT" should be sent to: Father John Ryan, 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. For Catholics it is n fundamental dogma of the faith that all human beings, without any exceiltion whatever, were specially made, were shaped and pointed like shin- ing arrows, for the end of hitting the mark of beatitude. It is true that the shafts are feathered with free will, and therefore throw the shadow of all the tragic possibilitie.~ of free will; and the Church (having been aware for ages of that darker side of truth, which the new skeptics have just discovered) does also draw attention to the darkness of that potential tragedy, But that does not make any difference to the gloriousness of the potential glory. In one aspect it is even a part of it; since the freedom is it- self a glory. In that sense they would still wear their haloes even in hal' Farmers Unite? An official Vatican letter to the seventh Argen- tine Social Week made special comment on the mass exodus from the farm to the city and classi- fied it as a painful and dangerous phenomenon. In line with Church policy of presenting a course of positive action to correct abuses, this letter from Domentico Cardinal Tardini, Vatican Secre- tary of State stated that the remedies for this tragedy are twofold: 1) the farm dwellers must become conscious of the dignity and social use- fulness of their mission; 2) they must be guaran- teed suitable and decorous living conditions. To fulfill these conditions the letter stated that every effort must be made to 'assure the farmers who work the land of the greatest possible parti- cipation in those advantages and services offered by social organizations to the other categories of citizens. These words were. addressed to the people of Argentina, but they have a pertinence in our own surroundings. Since 1952 farm operators income has fallen by 26% while total personal incomes have increased 50";. The gap between incomts of farmers and n0n-farmers is steadily widening. One of the big problems of the farmer is his unique and uncomfortable situation, in the na- tion's economy Whereby he is a wholesaler at the selling end and a retail buyer at the buying end. Added to this is the advance in technology which forces a farmer seeking profit to cultivate more acreage in order to make a profit from his invest- ment and his labor. Faced with these problems many farmers have given up their lands to vested interests in the form of Farm Corporations which buy up large tracts of land. They move to town or remain as tenants. If this trend continues it will spell the doom of the privately-owned farm. Traditionally the farmer is a man of supreme II t GOOD HEAVENS, IT3 LIKE A ROCK 'REAPINGS AT RANDOM independence and the embodiment of that "rug- ged individualism" which comes in for so much praise in the American image. Surely no one wants him to lose those sterling qualities. There is a way for the farmer to maintain his independence and yet keep operating in our economic system. The answer, according to farm experts, is through co- 'operatives. These are organizations whereby the farmers band together in a common pursuit and gain some of the advantages of volume buying and selling which big corporations use to such great advantage. There are cooperatives for purchasing of supplies and equipment; there are cooperatives for services such as telephone, electricity, insur- ance and credit. The newer and more controversial kind is the MARKETING COOPERATIVE which helps the farmer get his crops and livestock to market under the most favorable conditions for reasonable profit. When our diocese again sponsors Christian Ru- ral Life Day, (April 23 in Sterling)--the topic of N~tional Farm Organizations and t h e National Catholic Rural Life Conference will be discussed. There are many who are slow to accept the idea of cooperatives especially marketing co-ops, They prefer to have the farmer continue in his role of private businessman in competition with his neighboring farmers while all of them become the helpless pawns of the produce-buying corporation. All our farm readers should make a special effort to hear Father John G. Weber's talk on National Farm Organizations in Sterling on Sunday, April 23. As a representative of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference he will stress the practical advantages as well as the underlying and guiding principle of social justice which prompts the NCRLC concern for the farmer. "Operation Abolition," a motion .picture pre- senting a version of the 1960 May riots by students norance in San Francisco protesting hearings by the House Committee on Un-American Activities, is sched- uled for a showing in Rockford on April 21 under the auspices of the Young Catholic Adults club. Along with this film is another "Communism on the Map" which depicts the spread of Communism since 1917. In view of the widespread controversy occasion- ed by "Operation Abolition," a critique of the film will be of value for those who plan to attend. The film shows the communist-inspired source of the student riots in San Francisco. The events of those days last May were truly shocking and we have the word of none other than FBI director J. Edgar Hoover that the riots were essentially communist-inspired and commu- nist-led. These facts should be known and told. "Operation Abolition" does this. But does this film tell the story without equivo- cation? The accusation has been made that in the course of editing the film, certain events were taken out of their proper sequence and thus pre- sent a distortion. It is also pointed out that the film reports as facts certain events which did no take place. The over-all impact that any one wh, opposes the activities of the Committee on Un- American Activities must necessarily be a Com- munist. A San-Francisco newsman, James Kelly, San Francisco Monitor, (A Catholic publication) states that Operation Abolition ought not to be shown by Catholic parishes or other groups unless the group can obtain the services of a commentator who has actual contact with the events in San Francisco and who is a recognized expert on com- munist tactics. The Rockford showing will have an expert com- mentator in the person of Attorney Charles Ker- sten of Milwaukee, a member of the U. S. House of Representat!ves from 1947 to 1954 and White House consultant on psychological warfare in 1955. CISIC By GERARD E. SHERRY For several years your Reaper has seen fit to speak out on several social questions. Anti-communism, right to work laws, racial discrimination, international problemsr .~*. --G. K. Chestorton and urban renewal have all been grist for our mill. At times mY efforts have decry offended sincere people. . I am sure that the letters and calls which I get from the distressed represent only a fraction of my wounded read- ers. This has not deterred me from doing my duty as I Show me one who loves; he will understand what I say. see it, but VLave not been insensitive to the pain Which I Show me one who yearns and hungers; show me one who have caused. -I during Iris pilgrimage in this wilderness thirsts and sighs Moved, not by any outside pressure from ~ ~. after the Font of that eternal fatherland; show me one anyone whomsoever, but solely by the de- ~!ii such, he will understand what I say. sire to maintain the "bond of peace and. ~!~i~!i --St. Augustine,love" I have undertaken an examination of ~jiiii this problem. In all honesty I must report ~i!i ~M~ that I can discover no malice in most of ~~i ' ~~kl~ my readers, andin the same honesty I ~~ E can discover no need. to change my course ~~'il '~ - of conduct. I have arrived a~t.the conclu- ~~::N ~ ~J ~ ~ ~ ~,~,d*,ha,~ sign that the heart of the matter lies in ~~:~ 'miss s~ an area of ignorance of some basic prin- ~i:]~ VOl. XXVI, No. lS April 1', IgSl eiple. ~:l:i::.~I Principles Not Known When I say ignorance, I do not mean stupidity, which implies an inabilitY to learn. Nor do I mean a malicious lack of knowledge. All that I mean is that some of my readers just ha~e not studied the principles which underly the Catholic al~proach to social questions. The sources of the Catholic approach, t h e Papal Encyclicals and speeches, have not been made available, in manageable ways, to this level of readership. This is the main reason. why some editors have been at pains to publish Papal documents in their entirety. The further task of break- ing open these Papal packages remains to be done. We try to do this in editorials and other articles. The UN, the Supreme Court, and racial discrimination represent areas where this failure to know basic princi. rile MOST REVEREND LORAS T. LANE Publisher rile REVEREND ARTHUR J. O'NEILL Managing Editor rilE REVEREND WILLIAM I. JOFFE As~ Managing Editor MARJOR~E GALLAGHER Women's Page Editor ROBERT WILLEMS ; News Editor BEULAH O'MEARA Business ROBERT J. STARR Advertising ANN BERTOLASI Circulation I SPOTLIGHT ON SOCIAL REFORM li :al FATHER WILLIAM SMITH, S. J. al means. It is a strike not only against the party in power but a strike against the form of rep- resentative government and free elections. They are taking direct action. Right Is Sacred "Such a strike is illegal and immoral unless it is actually an act of revolution. It is either a strike against a legitimate gov- ernment or a revolt against an illegitimate one. "The right of revolt is a sacred one and is not to~ be us- ed for ends such as lower taxes or increased health benefits. It cannot and must not even be used to fight unjust laws. "The revolutionary act is justified only when as a final and last political' act it seeks the total rejection of the total structure of the government in order to re~ace it with one in harmony with basic human liberty. The act of revolution is not and must not be used by a free people as a vulgar form of blackmail or as a strong indica- tion of disapproval. Security Lost "In a free nation there are constitutional means of seeking re-dress of wrongs and changes in governmental policy. "If labor insists on the right to" strike for political ends no gov- ernment can be secure and no nation can be assured of that general domestic tranquility essential to the community. "Labor union strikes are only legitimate when their objective is a limitecl one. Since the strike is an economic weapon that oh- jective must be in the economic order. Secondly, it must lie in the area of the employer's res- ponsibility. No strike is legiti- mate if it demands an act the employer cannot grant by exer- cising his own power as an em- ployer. Outside Jurisdiction "A strike, for example, which demanded that the employer promise to use his good offices and influence at the state capi- tal to do away with the poll tax or pass a law against obscene literature would be immoral and The Observer, printed weekly at 413 Pleasant Street Beleit, wi~. eontin is the official newsl~aper ~ the Catholic Diocese of Rockford. Second class postage aoid at Beloit Wia on~in. Subseriptions $4.00 per year prepaid in the United States ALL COMMUNICATIONS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO TNi OBbERVER 1260 NORTH CHURCH STREE'f ROCKFORD. ILLINOIS. POSTkI~STER: Please send form 3579 to the BSERVER, 1560 Norllb eJual~l Strpet, Rockford, UIInoil. The Belgium Government re- cently pulled out of the Con~o after many years of fruitful work among the Africians. The Belgian premier then proposed legislation calling for an "aus- terity program" on the part of the Belgian people. It was meant to compensate for the fi- nancial losses that resulted in the withdrawal from the Congo. The Socialist trade unions of Belgium, aided and abetted by agitation from the communists, called a national strike. The Christian trade unions refused to go along with the strike. Reprinting Article The situation stirred comment in all parts of the world. With the permission of the writer, we are re-print- ing herein a thought - pro- voking article from an Ameri- can source. Many will agree with the sub- stance of this article. Some may wish to take exception or make distinctions in regard to it It is well worth serious con. sideration, nevertheless, and we re-print it with the hope that it may serve as a springboard of discussion in local circles. The article runs as follows: "It would seem that labor unions might have learned from the general strike in Britain many years ago. Doomed To Failure "The only lesson a general strike can teach is that it is bound to lose. Since the objec- tive is an unlimited one it is doomed to failure. "In a general strike when all unions in a country simultane- ously go on strike for political objectives, they are actually en- gaged in an act of revolution. The workers are refusing to per- form their function in the com- munity in their strike against the government in power. They are seeking a change in that government by non-constitution- ouse pies has caused a great deal of pain. Some of our read- ers become alarmed at my apparent willingness to fur. thor a dangerous trend to centralization or to Statism, when I insist that higher echelons of society have a proper function to perform. They are frightened by an apparent threat to the individual, to our nation, or to Free Enter- prise. Guiding Light What they are unaware of is the fact that there is a basic principle which should govern Catholic thought in all these areas. We Catholics are not left to the unbridled demands of individualism, nationalism or Laissez Faire capitalism. We have a guiding light which should illun/ine our judgments in these questions. This is~the principle of Subsidiary Function. Do not be alarmed by this technical language. What this principle states is that society is organized, on various levels and groupings, which go up from the smaller and simpler to the larger and more complex, but that each level has its right to life and its vital contribution to make to the whole society. A mere list of the component parts will illustrate what we are talking about: the persqn, the family, free associations, the city, the province, the na- tion and the family of nations. Offers A Control What this principle demands is that the lower levels be left alone as long as they can and will do their job. Any .invasion of this freedom of the lower or smaller will is tyranny, as long as the lower level is functioning. Inter. vention by the higher echelons can be justified only to the extent that the lower levels fail to function. If they cannot or will not perform their jobs, the Common Good demands that the higher step in and assist, not annihilate, them. A failure to so assist the lower would be gross negligence on the part of the higher. As you can see ~is principle of Subsidiary Function,of- fers a control in a very important area of human living. There wilt always be tension between the individual and O illegal. While both objectives are good they are outside the employers responsibility. They are political objectives. "It might be said in this con- nection that for labor unions to refuse to handle cargo from Arabia or Russia are similar acts outside the union's proper scope. Just as it would be for Fifth Avenue bus operators or cab drivers to refuse to drive members of the Russian UN delegation. Just as it would be for Catholic meat packers to re. fuse to cut sirloins for the White House because there is no am- bassador at the Vatican or Jew- ish garment workers to refuse to cut shirts made of Egyptian cotton, or longshoremen to re- fuse to handle cargo destined tar Castro's Cuba. Rights Not Limited "None of the above is to be construed as limiting in any way a worker's radical human right to refuse to perform an act which is intrinsically immoral, but this act is a personal one and not a strike in the true sense, but even this right is limited. The secretary may re- fuse "to lie to the company's customers but she and her fel- low workers cannot strike on the grounds that the sales man- ager is a chronic liar. "To repeat -- the strike is a legitimate act when it is a limit- ed means of achieving a limited objective in the economic or- der." (EDITOR'S NOTE: The source of this article is as interesting as the article itself. We might have expected to see it in one of the University publications or in a conservative weekly of opinion. It has been taken from a modest but exceptionally well written little mimeo trade union newsletter. According to the news-note, "Coronado Newslet- ter" is published occasionally by Local 436 United Auto Work- ers of America for the enter. talnment of the office workers of the manufacturing divisions of Walter Kidde and Company, Inc Belleville, New Jersey. soon society, between a particular good and the common good. The principle provides the norms for the control of all aspects of the various problems. School Question New problems will crop up because social patterns are never static. Society is always subject to change. Tech- nological improvements, scientific discoveries, political maturation, all have thei~ impact on social patterns. There is no golden age to which we can cling as to a norm. As an example, let us look at the schools. In 1961 no one doubts the right nor the need for the State and the Church to provide for universal education. And yet a right of a lower level, the family is involved. The is the initial depositor of the right and duty to educate its children. In an agricultural, caste dominated, mon- archy, the need for formal schooling was slight, and the fam}ly could well provide it. In an industrialized de- mocratic society, the demand for formal schooling is great. So great indeed that the family just cannot provide it, so the higher levels, the State and the Church, must step in to help the family. The question in 1961 is how much help should the/federal government give to educa- tion-and for whom? Rescue From Dilemma The fundamental question involved in Nationalism vis a vis the United Nations is also highly illustrative. If only a great many more Catholics were as aware of the de- mands of Subsidiary Function as our Holy Father, per- haps they would not be so hurt when they read that he has encouraged the efforts towards a real United Nations. .Knowledge of this principle rescues us from blind and sterile dilemmas such as Individualism-vs. Collectivism, Nationalis/n vs. Internationalism, Socialism vs. Capital- ism. Knowledge of this principle gives us the freedom to range far and wide in reality as it iS, and permits us to come up whh real solutions to real problems in a Christian manner. *,7