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June 9, 1961     The Observer
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June 9, 1961

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By FATHER JOHN RYAN WHY DOES THE CATHOLIC CHURCH INSIST, IN ITS TEACHING" ON MARRIAGE, THAT WOMEN OWE OBE- DIENCE TO THEIR HUSBANDS? Because God, in spite of some modern thinking to the contrary, designed man to be the head of the home and women to be its heart. A Catholic girl promises to love, honor, and obey because this is the role God fashioned for her in marriage. Obedience in marriage does not imply servitude, but only the sweet submission which is normal to the spiritual and emo- tional nature of a woman. The husband is to be a just and loving head of his family, not a dictator. St. Paul expresses it this way: "Let wives, be subject to their husband as to the Lord; because a husband is head of the wife, just as Christ is Head of the Church . . . Husbands. love your wives, just as Christ also loved the Church, and delivered Himself up for her." IS IT NECESSARY THAT C A N D I- DATES FOR CANONIZATION ACCOMPLISH SOME EX- TRAORDINARY MISSION FOR THE CHURCH? No. St. Therese of Lisieux, the "Little Flower of Jesus,'" is remembered only for the special sanctity of her life and the fact that even her most inconsequential tasks were dedicated to Christ. Saint Maria Goretti was a young Italian girl who died defending her chastity and forgave the murderer with her dying words. Many of the saints were little people who led unspectacular but virtuous lives. 4r 4r HAS THE CHURCH ANY OPERATIONAL PLAN FOR THE CONVERSION OF RUSSIA IN THE EVENT THAT IT FINALLY IS ABLE TO PENETRATE THE SOVIET? Yes. The Russicum, Russian Pontifical College, was es- tablished in 1929 for this purpose Ten of its priests have been martyred for the faith. Jesuits direct the work of the Russicum, and fifty members, of the Society of Jesus are trained for the Rusian mission. About 120 priests of various nationalities have been educated in the Byzan- tine-Slav Rite of the Church. Many of them labor in Rus- Man communities throughout the world, hopefully await- ing the day when they can bring the word of God to the Soviet. WHY IS THE "APOSTLES' CREED" sO NAMED? Because throughout the Middle Ages there was a wide s:)read belief that the Apostles composed it on the day of Pentecost. An ancient legend, dating back to the sixth cen- tury and perhaps further, tells us that when the Apostles were assembled at Jerusalem and had just received the Holy Ghost in the form of tongues of fire, each of them, inspired by the Spirit of God, contributed one of the ar- ticles of the Creed. According to the story, when the Holy Spirit had filled the souls of the apostles with knowl- edge and zeal, St. Peter arose and cried out, "I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth." St. Andrew continued, "And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord " St. James added, "Who was con- ceived by the Holy Ghost," etc. In this manner the twelve articles of the creed were supposed to have been com- posed. Bear in mind. however, that all this is a legend, of un- certain origin and of very slight probability. There is no allusion to it in the Scriptural account of the events of Pentecost, and the whole story is probably the product of someone's vivid imagination. The Apostles' Creed is, very likely, an amplified form of the "profession of faith" required in the early centuries from converts In Apostolic times, as at the present time, those who desired baptism were obliged to make a state- ment of their belief; and it is probable that the Creed was brought to its present form gradually, being devel- oped from the declaration which was exacted from those converted to the" faith. DID CHRIST WRITE ANY DOCUMENTS FOR THE GUIDANCE OF THE CHURCH? As far as we know, Christ wrote absolutely nothing. This is one of the reasons the Catholic Church is so insistent on the divine authority of tradition, that deposit of faith not commit, ted to writing by the disciples. Christ did all His teaching orally. While the Bible contains part of Christ's teaching, it does not hold the Christian revela- tion in its entirety. The Catholic church taught Christ's doctrines for 400 years before it formally assembled the works of the New Testament. St. John tells us: "There is much else besides that Jesus did: if all of it were put in writing, I do not think the world itself would contain the books which would fmve to be written." (St. John 21:25). ~r ~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- sonal reply. However, Father Ryan reserves the right not to use unsigned questions. Souls are like wax waiting for a seal. By themselves they have no special identity. Their destiny is to be softened and prepared in this life, by God's will, to re- ceive, at their death, the seal of their own degree of like- ness to God in Christ. And this is what it means, among other things, to be j~dged by Christ. The wax that has melted in God's will can easily receive the stamp of its identity,rot he truth of what it was meant to be. But the wax that is hard and dry and brittle and without love will not take the seal: for the seal, falling upon it, grinds it to powder. --Thomas Morton. Man is a being of genius, passion, intellect, conscience, power. He exercises these various various ways, in great deeds, in great thoughts, in heroic acts, in hate- ful crimes. He founds states, he fights battles, he builds cities, he ploughs the forest, he subdues the elements, he rules his kind. He creates vast ideas, and influemees many generations. He takes a thousand shapes, and under- goes a thousand fortunes. Literature records them all to the fife. --Cardinal Newman. ~lss ss Vol. XXVI, No. 23 June 9, 1961 THE MOST REVEREND LORAS T. LANE ~ ~ ~. Publisher THE REVEREND ARTHUR J. O'NEILL Managing Editor THE I~EVEREND WILLIAM |. JOFFE Asst. Managing Editor MARJORIE GALLAGHER Women's Page Editor ROBERT WILLEMS ~ ~ News Editor BEULAH O'MEARA Business ROBERT J. STARR Advertising ANN BERTOLASI Circulation The Observer printed weekly at 413 Pleasant Street Betoit Wi~- (onsin, is the off cial newspape, of the Catho c O ocese af Rockford. Second class postage paid at Beloit Wisconsin. f m Subscriptions $4.00 pet year prepaid in the UnJtea Stotll ALL COMMUNICATIONS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO THE OBSERVER, 1260 NORTH CHURCH STREET ROCKFORD. ILLINOIS. IP STk~kSTER: please send form 3579 to the BSERVER, 1:t60 North Church Street, Rockford, UIk~b. Vienna and Anyone who has studied the Communist fech- nique should have been able to predict some of the news stories which followed the Vienna meet- ing of President Kennedy and Premier Khrush- chcv. It is a fundamental principle of the Commu- nis~ plan that actions must never reilect what has been spoken in words. From Vienna, the words were: "both sides en- dorse the idea of a neutral Laos and both recog- nize the importance of an effective cease-fire." From Laos and Geneva, the actions were: a step up in Communist guerilla fighting the day follow- ing the Vienna conversations and in Geneva, a more stubborn resistance in the Laotian cease- lire negotiations. k:he meeting of our President and the Soviet Premier in Vmnna has evoked much comment in the world press. There are seasoned commentators who see in the Kennedy trip a reversal of a pre- vious statement on the ineffectiveness of personal diplomacy. i-Iowever, as we see it, the Vienna conversations were not "personal diplomacy". There was no set agenda; there were no corp of advisers. In fact, President Kennedy assured the American public in his wrap-up report after returning to Wash- ington: "there were no advantages or concessions either gained or given; no major decision was either planned or taken; no spectacular progress was either achieved or pretended." The President stated, however, that the meeting was immensely useful and that as a result the chances of a mis- judgment on either side, leading to a possible accidental war, would be less. In other words, there were no negotiatipns or deals at Vienna, but a confrontation of divergent views. The fact that Khrushchev came without a pocketful of meaningless documents is a distinct advancement over previous top-level meetings. Premier Khrushchev is now openly confident that the tide has turned in favor of Communism on the world scene. Kennedy expressed the confi- dence that freedom and self-determination will still win in the present struggle. The line of opposi- tion has never been so clearly drawn. The cooing and cawing of bird-like co-existence was not dragged out of the bag of tricks. The Soviet Premier might have removed h~s shoe and thumped the table, but he did not. He might have opened his mouth in a stream of per- sonal vilification, but he did not. He might have grabbed the band-leaders baton and led the congo- line, but he did not. What happened was a con- frontation of ideas with no yielding, no negotia- tions, no deals. This was inevitable and long.over- du . The meeting in Vienna has served a good pur- pose if we in the United States realize that it is impossible to negotiate with the Communists. They do understand strength of arms. They do have to recognize determination and steadfastness to principle. It is certainly not cowardice on our part to state that we most assuredly fear to nego- tiate with the Communists. This fear is based on their long record of failure to keep agreements and the adroit use of the lie to further their cause. If Khrushchev got this point, the Vienna meetings are a milestone in world history. country's finances; by his luxurious living and his political gangsterism. In this historic center of New World Chris- tianity the Church had felt the blows of the dic- tators thrust for control and power. One of his most .unreasonable efforts for power was his re- cent attempt to have himself proclaimed "Bene- factor of the Church". The Bishops of the Domini- can Republic politely informed the regime that they had no power to grant such a title. When re- fused, he stepped up his persecution of the Church, he followed a well-established line al- ready tried by experts in his efforts to divide the people from the clergy. There were personal at- tacks against the Apostolic Nuntio and the mem- bers of the hierarchy. There was physical violence, interruption of Mass by mobs, expulsion of priests from the troubled island. The latest efforts to hamper the work of the Church have been in the form of proposals to confiscate all church property and to prohibit the Catholic instruction of children. There seem to be no limtis to the efforts of dictators to vilif~ the Church and to try to discredit her in t h~ minds of the people who have been picked out for oppression. Dictators always recognize that the Church's social teachings are a thorn in their side. Dictators Den't Dictator, Trujilio -- Rafael Leonidas Truji]lo h4olina--of the Dominican Republic was assasi- nated on. May 30. This eastern portion of Hispa- niola Island in the Caribbean h~s been for the past thirty-one years a nest of trouble and o9- pression. With the death of the dictator -- the problem, far from being solved, will undoubtedly become more acute. The o p in i on is that Trujillo, bent on the achievement of power and personal enrichment, was finally killed by his own people. He had an- tagonized public opinion by his control of the The sad fact taken from the record of history is that when a ~'uthless dictator is no longer in power there are others who carefully studied his tactics and who know how to continue the "re- gime". The Dominican Republic is in for a severe crisis in the struggle for power which will follow the dictator's death. The trials of the Church in the Dominican Republic are not ended. This is the island Hemisphere on which in 1494 the first Mass was offered in the Western Hemisphere; this is the place which at one time was the center for the spread of Christianity in the western world. May it be so again, that after a period of trial, the Church in the Dominican Republic, will rise with new life and strength. ! SPOTLIGHT ON SOCIAL REFORM i u n l in m I U.5. *50 YOU WANT TO IX) SOMETHING FOR YOUR COUNTRY" . ocial There is more than a little confusion as to just what the term "Catholic Social Action" really means. Many who have been engaged for some years in what is presumedly termed "Social Action" are still at a loss when they attempt to de- fine it. Some of my friends even bristle a bit if the question is raised. There is need, neverthe- less, to probe the thought in search of clarification and per- haps of making proper distinc- tions. This little piece is being dictat- e:l via my Stenorette as I sit in my room in the Smith Build- ~;~)~)::~i~::~:: ~::::~,!~)i~::i::i~ i~ of St; Vin- cent hospital,~~:~:;~:~:~:~:::::::: New York City, awaiting word that I may go home after a ~~:!~ three-week so- journ here at St. Vincent. I have been to a great many Catholic Social Action conven- tions over the years. We have certainly thrashed out "social questions" of all types, sizes and hues. In the past few years the emphasis has been on "new ap- proaches; widening the areas of interest." Magnificent Example Unless I am badly mistaken, I have been witnessing Catholic Social Action of a high type here for the past three weeks. It is of a kind, however, that would scarcely get a mention at a Catholic Social Action confer- ence. 'So again my mind goes wanderihg in search of an an- swer to that question, "Just what is Catholic Social Action?" Here at St. Vincent the cor- poral works of mercy are prac- ticed around the clock. There is a spirit of dedication that can- not be hidden and yet there is not the slightest effort made to parade it. The institution ranks with the best in the nation, tech- ' nically, scientifically, medically, and in terms of administration. It all adds up to a magnificent example of organized, co-ordi- nated Catholic ministration to the sick. But I'm thinking in O" Ion" $ FATHER WILLIAM SMITH, S.J. terms of "Social Action" as the subject has been discussed so often on so many occasions. Strange Position Is Catholic Social Action some type of work that must be done on a voluntary basis, over and above one's regular profession and o c c u p a t i o n, pertaining strictly to the political or econ- omic area? If so, why? Is a doctor or a nurse less a Catholic Social Actionist simply because his or her field is a professional one to which a salary must Of necessity be attached? Does the doctor or the nurse become a Catholic Social Actionist only after hours when he or she con- tributes some time to voluntary participation in "improving tile profession?" Is the cheerful little nurse's aid who brings the patient a glass of ice water or fruit jmee, makes the bed, etc engaged in the work of 'social charity er not? Could it be that we who have talked so much and so often about "Catholic Social Ac- tion" have worked ourselves in- to a position that "we cannot see the forest for the trees?" Scope Clear For the past five years the or- ganization to which has been given the title "Nationa~ Catho- lic Social Action ConferenCe" has been attempting to define its purposes; to erystalize its aims and objectives. Those of us who have been active in the work are only too well aware of the problems involved. The general proposition is per- fectly clear. In its widest scope the aim is to encourage and stimulate the Catholic laity to develop a Catholic social con- sciousness; to have that social awareness permeate his or her daily life in every aspect. Un- fortunately, an effort to form a general attitude does not auto- matically lead to a clear-cut de- finition of purpose and definite goals for action. Monuments to Effort Our institutionalized organiza- tions of social action do not labor under similar handicaps. They have grown out of small begin- nings, from pioneering efforts in the past, until today they stand, S each in its own sphere, a monu- ment to perservering effort in the exercise of social justice and social charity for many years. The Catholic Directory, listing the universities, c o l l e g e s, schools, hospitals, orphanages, homes for the aged, and a hun- dred and one other types of or- ganization is a catalogue of achievement that defies com- parison in any part of the Catho- lic world. This surely is of the history of Catholic Social Action in America. Aim of Encyclical What, then, is this type of activity in which those who to- day are labelled "Social Action- ists" are engaged? The eonstar~ talk and discussion is of unior]~ management relations, inter- racial justice, political action, urban renewal, antiCommunism, rural life, the lay apostolate, etc etc. No doubt these are modern manifestations of a tyl~e of activity which can be called Social Action. Much of it has been going on for two decades. Some have ad- vanced more quickly than others Only a few migh~ right- ly be called "institutions." Most are still in the formative stage. Yet, the whole content, concept, aim and purpose of Pius XI's encyclical on "Reconstructing the Social Order," was the changing of inept or obsolete institutions and the establishing of new, better and vigorous ones. / Future Not Clear One of the last things many of our enthusiastic young lay apos- tles envision is the "evolving of institutions" in which the Clergy play the more prominent part. That, nonetheless, has been the form of these "Catholic Social Action" institutions as the C~th- olic Directory lists them. What the future may bring, as the role of the laity comes into sharper focus in the Church, cannot be clearly discerned. Without doubt new movements will bring with them new char- acteristics. I am inclined to think that the trend will likewise bring with it a new title--some- thing different from "Catholic Social Action." REAP INGS ,T RAND,0M O 'O nl iconce a By GERARD E, SHERRY Late last year Jubilee magazine did what could be term- ed an expose on the funeral parlor business. It was quite a detailed and documented case. The article suggested that funeral costs were exorbitant and that the public was being exploited. The only people who complained of the Jubilee article were morticians. They stoutly denied overcharging, or the existence of frills in the rather solemn business of burying the dead. The controversy has been reopened--this time by a group of California morticians. '~ ~i~i ':~ It seems as if some morticians align ~ii themselves wit.h burial cooperatives -- . " groups into which the public can pay sO much at a time and get their funerals cheaper. The California Funeral Directors association has a minimum charge of $450 ~:~:: ~ per funeral. Alas, two of its members were burying the dead for $150 in conjunc- tion with the cooperatives. This appeared to be the wrong thing to do, and both the members were expelled from,the associa- tion. Raises Series of Questions The morticians group denied that the expulsions were for giving cheap funerals. It hinted vaguely something about unethical practices and non-compliance with the rules of the association. This brings up a whole series of questions. If a reason- able funeral can be arranged for $150, why must there be an automatic minimum of $450? If some morticians wan~ to help out the public by charging what they feel the pub- lic can afford, why should this be considered tmethical, anti-social or un-American? It seems to me that the Public Relations department of the Funeral Directors association is in a bad state. The public has considered for quite some time that funerals cost far too much. It is no excuse to suggest that insur- an6e normally covers a minimum of $450 per funeral. In- surance money is not meant merely to .~ury the dead. It is also expected to pay outstanding bills. Furthermore, it the deceased is the breadwinner, insurance money is ex- pected to tide over the family concerned during the emer- gency. Sales Pitch Impressive I have recent experience in the matter, with the death of a relative last year. The sales pitch, while going through the catalogue of coffins, was quite impressive. There was one at $300: "But really, he deserves much better than that." It wasn't very fancy and the interior furnishings were not expensive. There were two other caskets, one at $500 and one for $600. Naturally, they were an improve- ment on the cheaper one. But to the mortician, they still weren't very good for the relative who died: "After all, he deserves hotter. Now, I think this one at $900 would be the one you want." Naturally, the sales talk worked and the deceased relative was given a plush casket, guaran- teed to make him look comfortable and dignified. In actual fact this particular funeral finished up costing $!200. The thing I objected to was the mortician's handling the Mass money, the type of Mass that would be said, and the cost thereof. I will admit that the rates were seem- ingly set by the parish concerned; but I think this is the type vf thing which should be arranged with the pastor direct, not with the mortician. Eyes on DollaKSide Naturally, all morticians aren't like this. There are some who view the burying of the dead as an act of faith-- which of course it is. There are some who charge only a nominal fee for the burial of the poor, and we can only praise these good people. The trouble is there are so many more fufferal directors whose eyes are less on the reli- gious aspect of funeral than they are on the dollar side. And this is where I;fall out with them. Many modern funeral parlors are almost as luxurious as Radio City Music Hall in New York. Some of have smoking lounges which would do credit to some the Las Vegas emporiums. It is my opinion that there is too much pomp and cir- cumstance surrounding today's burials. We talk ,about "ashes to ashes, dust to dust," but we treat the body as if it were more important than the soul. It appears to me that a simple, dignified casket is quite sufficient for all of us. Money saved could be used for Masses and for gifts of charity. I think the soul of the departed would benefit more, and the real meaning of death, and its awesome consequences, would be better understood. Hint of Paganism One morticianwas quoted last week as saying: "In keeping with our high standard of living, there should be an equally high standard of dying." To me, this smacks of paganism. Certainly, it has no religious connotation. Some of us enjoy a high standard of living, but many of us don't. What is more, it is normally those with a low standard of living who are hardest hit by funeral expenses. I know that the morticians will sci'eam at this Reapings. They may even cancel their advertising in our paper, but it is about time we speak sincerely and honestly about the subject. A work of mercy cannot be justified by the pagan rites which sometimes are part and parcel of the trap- pings. ':L