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April 21, 1961     The Observer
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April 21, 1961

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ons on By FATHER JOHN'RYAN PLEASE EXPLAIN THE GREGORIAN MASSES FOR THE DEAD AND THE STORY BEHIND THEM? The Gregorian Masses are a series of 30 Masses cele- brated without interruption of Days for the soul of a spe- cified dead person. The name of St. Gregory the Great (Pope from 590-604) became attached to this practice in the following way. At the death of one of his monks named Justus, he requested another monk to offer 30 Masses in succession for the dead man. At the end of 30 days, Jus- tus appeared to one of his brothers in religion and told him that he was delivered from the pains of Purgatory. No indulgence is attached to the Gregorian Masses as such. The faithful who ask to have them offered feel con- fident that these Masses. either by the power of the repetition of the Holy Sacri- rice or through the intercession of St. Gregory, have a special efficacy to secure the delivery of a soul from Purgatory. The Church does not condemn this belief and the Congregation of Indulgences (March 1884) has declared "pious and reasonable" this confidence of the faithful. This declaration does not, however, con- sider the offering of the Gregorian Masses as an infallible means of liberating a soul, The deliverance of a particular soul de- pends on God's good pleasure and mercy. Gregorian Masses are not to be offered for the living but a living person may provide that they be said for him after his death. The special nature of the Gregorian se- ries is that the Masses be celebrated in 30 days without interruption (one Mass each day) either by the same priest or by several priests. The stipend is either the us- ual stipend for each Mass or special compensation is given in the form of a larger stipend due to the fact that the binding obligation of the Gregorian series entails con- siderable planning and scheduling. WHAT RELIGIOUS BELIEFS ARE HELD BY MEM- BERS OF THE ORDER OF FREEMASONRY? The religious beliefs of a particular individual who be- longs to the Order of Freemasonry could be of his own choice but the sources of Masonic belief and teaching in- dicate that Freemasonry, both in America and Europe, is a religious sect diametr, ically opposed to Christianity. It attempts to dispace Christianity with its own altars, temples, priesthood, worship, ritual: its own creed, its own morality, its own theory of the human soul and the relationship of the soul to the deity. The "God" of Free- masonry is merely a symbol for nature. Albert Pike, whose writings are considerd standard works by all Amer- ican Masons speaks of "nature self-originated, the cause of its own existence." The history of Freemasonry shows that organization to be the renaissance of pagan mysti- cism. Its much-vaunted benevolence is devoid of the char- ity of Christ. Its spread from England to the mainland of Europe and the Americas carries with it, at least among its most intimate and informed members, one design and one spirit, namely to undo what has been done in the world through the Catholic Church. Demonstration of these facts can be found in a work called "A Study of American :Freemasonry" by Preuss-Herder Co. Therefore. it is understandable that every Pontiff since the first denunciation by Pope Clement XII in 1738, has found it necessary to condemn Freemasonry and forbid Catholic membership in the Order. Pope Leo XII said that the ultimate aim of Fremasonry is the "overthrow of the whole religious, political and social order based on Christian institutions and the establishment of a state of things based on the principles of pure naturalism." It is true that in the United States, the Order is of a more philanthropic and convivial character but the basic principles on which it is founded have not changed. -k ~ -k WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THE WORD "FOOL" IN THE TEXT: "AND WHOSOEVER SHALL SAY 'THOU FOOL' SHALL BE IN DANGER OF HELL FIRE." The word "fool" in this text is accepted as equivalent to the Hebrew word "nabal" which expressed the great- est abuse and abhorence. It was applied to the depravity of the will rather than the weakness of the intellect. There- fore. it imputed moral guilt, not just stupidity. In the Old Testament, this word alwpys meant "impious" or "apes- fate"--the equivalent of a very sinful man. Our Lord is simply saying in striking language that the smallest de- faults of enmity and hatred are matter for accusation be- fore a divine tribunal. ~r 4r 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- senal reply. However, Father Ryan reserves the right not to use unsigned questions. What does heaven mean for a rational soul? Nothing else than Jesus, God. For if that is heaven which is above everything else, then only God is heaven to the human soul, for He alone is above the nature of the soul. And if a soul is able through grace to know the divine nature of Jesus it sees heaven, for it sees God. --Walter Hilton rn There are many who now advocate that o u r country assume a more active role in supporting the current efforts of Cubans to overthrow t h e dictator Dr. Fidel Castro. Our official p o 1 i c Yr enunciated by President Kennedy, is that there will be no direct military intervention by United States forces. This policy was undoubtedly influenced most strongly by the State department with consult- ants from both the Pentagon and Central Intel- ligence. It is a wise decision in these inflamma- tory times. Does it mean that we are sitting by with culpable unconcern for the fate of the Cuban nation? Certainly the weight of opinion in this country is that Castro should be overthrown. How far can we go to aid in his downfall and k e e p within the bounds of morality? There is incontestable evidence that the Castro forces are heavily armed with Communist am- munition and equipped with Red Migs and tanks. There are counter charges)that t h e anti-Castro forces are using US arms, ammunition and equip- ment. Cuba joins the litany of "test of strength" theatres with the principal contestants remaining in the wings. Cuba and her problems are not isolated from the world scene. Whatever we do to aid the over- throw of Castro will have lasting effects on our status in the free world. The critics favoring more direct military inter- vention by theUnited States in the Cuban strug- gle base their opinion on the supposition t h a t Bussia would not gamble a global war to k e e p Castro in power. That is hardly,the crux of the problem. It is a sad fact that the policies of most governments are determined on the basis of prac- ticality rather than on moral principles. But even if decisions were based on moral principles, the situation of direct aid to "revolution" or "freedom fights" (the name you use depends on the side you give your allegiance to)--is one of the most knotty problems of morality as it is directly con- nected with the principles on waging a just war. The final and clinching condition for a just war is that all other available means for settlement have been tried and have failed. On this basis, we think that direct intervention in the Cuban struggle is not warranted at this time. President Kennedy has stated further that we will not tolerate intervention in this hemis- phere by any alien goverment. If this happens, we can carbon copy this chapter of history by merely changing the already recorded names of Korea and Laos to Cuba and bring it up to date. This would certainly be a much better world if peoples could settle their own problems with- out outside interference from anyone. The p a s t decades are marked with the bitter tragedy of the big boys stepping in to settle the battles of the little fellows and thus making it a more bitter struggle than it might have been. arm If an "Oscar" were ever to be awarded for the book that has the best collection of tried and true statements, a leading nominee would be the Catcheism. In this book we find the statement that the effects of original sin which remain in us are: a darkened intellect and a will strongly inclined to evil. In other words, the pattern of man's existence on earth will be crOss-crossed with an ever-ending struggle to arrive at and hold to truth and ideals; added to this, there will be a strong undertow of a curious tendency toward the bizarre, the unusual, the 'off-beat' the forbid- den and the sinful. These age-old tendencies were proved again in the selection of the five leading motion pictures to receive nation-wide acclaim as nominees for the best-film "Oscar". Prescinding from personalities involved, the selection of these five motion pic- tures presumably indicated the choice of the movie-going public. In each of these films there was the repetition of the age-old story of Jezebel. This represents the choice of the American people for the subject of their entertainment. The fact of the multi-million dollar expenditure and the technical perfection of photography in tull color and all the trimmings does not destroy the affinity with the churlish scribblings on back fences by mixed-up adolescents, impelled and hypnotized by their gutter-type version of the facts of life. The choice of nominees for the 1961 be,st film "Oscar" proves the penchant of the public for darkness ,of the intellect and inclination of the will toward evil. But a more serious consideration of the situ tion is the self-imposed destruction of family life ideals which these films overtly attack. If the motion picture industry is classified as an "art", and if "art" is an index of the condition of a cul- ture, we need not be amazed that the security of family life in our nation is under so severe a strain. Based on our choice for best films; it is obvious that our culture is weakening from within. We have given in to the effects of original sin and re- fuse to make the necessary efforts to overcome the darkness of the intellect and the weakness of the will. We no longer fight to overcome these handicaps, we now glamorize them. IIII IIIII I SPOTLIGHT ON SOCIAL REFORM I II I II I I~ "" I1 I~1 II Ill II I I II II I J I I HONEST, WE'RE INNOC IT llJ I I I a I IS I on FATHER WILLIAM SMITH, S. J. About everything that can be said about the Catholic position on Federal aid to p r i v a t e schools seems, to have been said. Yet, as far as the aver- age citizen is corcerned, both Catholic and non-Catholic, the issue adds up to confusion. When you talk to the "man on the street" about the con- troversy, the conviction is con- firmed that the ordinary man can grasp only one idea at a time. He is for or against the proposal for one reason or an- other. The task of lining up a series of arguments, in de- bater's s t y le, is beyond his grasp. Perhaps not much more could be ex- pected. A few Re- . flecflons This article is not meant to supply for the deficiency. We pay the members of Congress to accumulate all available arguments and to m a k e a sound judgment on the issue. A few reflections on what has been said on the subject, how- ever, may be of interest. The New York Times should be awarded the "Booby Prize of the year" for the adolescent attitude it assumed from the beginning of the controversy. In its editorials, the Times as- sumed the right to pass unila- teral judgment on the issue and practically denied the right of anyone to disagree facts prompted their convic- tions. In the Leo Heifer -- Father McCluskey TV d e b a t e, Mr. Pfeffer came out bluntly for the proposition that the only type of education deserving of federal aid is secular educa- tion. We should thank him for that. It reduced his position to a basic postulate. This conten- tion lays the groundwork for the Great Debate which is yet to come. Every American citi- zen will have to choose sides. The question is: "Should the United States of America be considered by its citizens as a secular-pagan State or is it to be a religious nation, under God, and to make its decisions on t h a t basis?" Vital Question At the bottom of this contro- versy is the vital question, "What is the nature of educa- tion?" The traditional goal of Catholic education thas been "the formation of the Christian gentleman." Can the whole man be ade- quately "formed" through the process of a purely secular and scientific education? That ques- tien cannot be asked without challenging the v,hole concept of public school education. Per- sonally, I don't think the pres- ent issue can b= competently faced unless the question is asked If the answer is YES, the Catholic school system of edu- cation is a waste of time and a waste of money. If the answer is NO, then the government It pilloried Charles H. Silver has no right to deny to Catholic of the New York City Board of parents the a~sistance that is Education for daring to ex- needed to assure them the free- press an opposite opinion at a dam of conscience to carry out Congressional h e a r i n g. The Washington Post ran the New York Times to a photo finish in the race to be named Sir Oracle--"When I ape' my lips, let no dog bark." Free to Vote The Catholic Hierarchy, by contrast, made it plain to Cath- olic citizens that they and their representatives in C o n g r e ss were free to vote as their con- sciences and t h e economic the basic function of education for the good of the whole na- tion. Note of Hypocrisy There is a contradiction~ if not a no~e of hypocrisy, in the contention of the supporters at federal aid to public schools alone when they assure t h e public that there is no danger of "gOvernment control" if aid is given only to public schools. but "government control" is inevitable if such aid is given to the private schools. One Weakness in the Catholic approach to this problem is the abruptnes with which the Cath- olic viewpoint broke upon the public. It is true that many sections of the Catholic press over the years have pointed out the unfairness of subjecting Catholic parents to double tax- ation and the unhealthy as- sumption t h a t- only "public schools" represent a t r u I y American type of education. Unfortunately, h o w e v e r, Catholics were writing for and talking to Catholics on the sub. jeer. The non-Catholic public had little familiarity with Cath- olic viewpoints~ Time For Aceeptanee It has been said, and perhaps rightly, that it takes three gen- erations Oar a new idea to seep into the eansciousnes3 of a ma- jority of the people and to be- come a part of what we Call public opinion. It is likewise attested to by experience that legislation of a controversial nature often takes Iifteen to twenty years before the senti- ment for or against it eventu- ally crystalizes. Thc old "pro~" know this and year after year they keep dropping bills into the legislative hopper. Each year they gain a little. Eventually they see their pro- ject materialize. It may take a couple of dec- ades before the logic and the justice of the Catholic position is more thoroughly understood and perhaps accepted. If the position proves to be constitu- tionally correct or causes prop- er changes to be made in the interpretation of the Constitu- tion, time will show its need. not merely for the benefit of the Catholic parent, but to the general welfare of the nation as a whole. If Catholic think- ing is eventually totally reject- ed. the alternate of basing American thought and public decisions on the prinaple of of stark and naked secularism certainly bodes ill for the na- tion. If Adam had not sinned, it seems probable that . mamy men and women would have been born. God alone knows the number of the elect; we cannot guess whether more men than women are saved, or whether they equal one another. -.St, Thomas Aquinas Eternal life is the actual knowledge of truth. How wrong- headed and preposterous they are who imagine that their teaching about the knowledge of God will make us per- feet, when this is the reward of those who are actually perfect. --St. Augustine Vol. XXVI, No. 16 April 21 1951 THE MOST REVEREND LORAS T LANE Publisher THE REVEREND ARTHUR J O'NEILL Managing Sditu THE REVEREND WILLIAM I. JOFFE .Asst. Managing Editor ~AARJORIE GALLAGHER Women's Page Edltcr ROBERT WILLEMS News Editor BEULAH O'MEARA Business ROBERT J STARR Advertising ANN BERTOLASI Circulotion The Observer orlnted weekly of 413 Pleasant Street Beloit Wis- consin, is the official newspaper o the Catholic DioceP of Rockford, Second class postage paid at Beloit Wisconsin. Subscriptions $4.00 Oo, year prepaid ,n the United States ALL COMMUNICATIONS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO THE OB~EI~VER 1260 NORTH CHURCH STREE1 ROCKFORD ILLINOIS. ~-OSTMASTER: Please send form 3579 t9 the OiSERVER, 1260 North Church Street Rockford, UIhs0|lh REAPINGS AT RANDOM ii,i I I By GERARD E. SHERRY About twice a year. usually in March and October: we have what we term "Vocation Months." We sometimes get the dangerous idea that there is only one vocation in life. that of the religious life or the priesthood. The truth is, of course, that God calls some people to married life--gives them the vocation of marriage--just as unmistakably as he calls others to a religious life or to a single life in the lay world. These months, therefore, should more properly be de- signated "Religious Vocation Months." However. search for vocations to the re- ligiot/s life is a year-round proposition. Hence, I have decided that April is just as good a month to talk about it. Further- more, we have a definite point to make. ;Discovering Our Vocation One of the difficulties we have in dis- covering our vocation is that of deciding 2ust what God's voice sounds like Many of us seem to expect inaudible words to explode m our minds, saying with the thunder,of authority: "I want you to be a priest," or "I've planned for you to get married," or "You're to be a Sister." But God doesn't usually descend to give only words of advice. He speaks in a much more authoritative, effec- tive and convincing way. He uses objective realities as words. If he wants a man to be a musician he doesn't say, "practice music four hours every morning " In- stead he gives actual musical talent, and he inspires the ,eli musician with a delight in harmony, counterpoint and oth- er musical skills. So when God wants to give a religious vocation--to "in- vite" one of his children to the special service of mankind that is given by his priests, his religious and his broth- ers--he speal~s ~hrough the realities of that person's life. He gives a mind that can handle the studies and learning it involves. He gives health and stamina sufficient for the particular group to which he is calling the boy or girl (work on the foreign' missions, demanding different qualities than work on the home front). Most important, he gives a heart that really wants to serve mankind, and that is attracted to th life of a priest or religious. Persistent Thought Vocation directors say that God does not usually "call'r by the gift of meek and mild piety. Seldom does he indi- cate his choice of a boy or girl for the religious life by leaving them wrapped in prayer, detached from things of the world, not attracted to dates, dancing and parties. In- stead, he speaks---call: -- by making the future Sister, Brother or priest a full human being, then adding to that fullness a persistent thought: "Really, I ought to think seriously about a religious vocation." The thought is like a yo-yo. You throw it away, then with the least little jerk, back it comes at once. But this is only half of the story. This is what God's call sounds like--God's "words" as objective realities of head, health and heart. But how does he convey these words to the person he is calling? This question is uppermost now in the minds beth of hymen who write editorials like this and of the laymen who read them--both hQping thlit somehow God #ill give a religious vocation to their v.hildre~ ns Acts Through Parents Spiritual advisors tell us that God speaks to our chil- dren through us. That he issues his realistic call to re- ligious life through our actions. Just as the mind uses things like tongue and vocal cords to express its mean- ing; so God acts through such instruments as parents. Without a mother's hour-by-hour patience and protec- tion no baby could ever hope to have a body strong and healthy enough for the religious life. Without the year-by- year guidance of mother and father together, no baby could even develop a mind sufficiently to enter school and to persevere in it till accepted by the seminary or novi- tiate. Finally, without quite special example and prayer on the part of parents, no child is likely to acquire that deep desire--that irreplaceable quality of heart ~ which draws him to the service of God in religion. The words of God to the growing child are his parents example of responsibility to duty, their example of esteem for the priestly and religious life, their recognition of the primacy of prayer and the sacraments in the life of a Christian. The Calling Is God's In short the vocation--the calling--is God's: "You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you." And the words in which He calls are the objective realities that consti- tute' the character of the person being called--these plus the unmeasurable impulse of grace. But the larynx, tongue and vocal cords that formulate these words--the instruments through which God chooses to talk--are all human agents. And the most important of these agent~ ---the one without which God's vocation could hardly be- om actual--i~ the mother and hthe.r. t