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June 16, 1961     The Observer
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June 16, 1961
 

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By FATHER JOHN RYAN A NON-CATHOLIC MARRIED TO A CATHOLIC GIRL, LOW ASSERTS THAT HE IS NOT BOUND TO ABIDE ~THE PROMISES OF BAPTIZING AND RAISING Y CHILDREN CATHOLIC, BECAUSE HE WAS FORC- TO MAKE THEM. WHAT ANSWER SHOULD BE lIVEN TO THIS CLAIM? ' BThis is an example of the dishonesty to which people ~metimes have recourse in order to be free from an that displeases them. The individual in ques- I)ligation tion should be told that he was not forced to make the promises because he was not forced to marry the Catholic girl. The Church granted the favor of a dispensa- tion on condition that the two parties promised to fulfill these obligations. No pressure was exerted on them to enter the marriage; on the contrary, the Church would have preferred that it did not take place. The non-Catholic who pleads that he was forced to sign the promises is as unreasonable as a man who contracts with a tailor for a suit of clothes, and after receiving the garments complains that he being forced by the tailor to pay him a sum of money. WHAT IS TRADITION? Tradition is the total of revealed doctrine which the ~ostles did not commit to writing in the New Testament. .~vertheless, it also is divine revelation and was trans- itted to the apostles by Christ. Many Protestant sects :lieve that only the Scriptures contain divine revela- )n, but the Catholic Church gives convincing evidence at tradition is equally important. First of all, there is no record that Christ wrote even .e word of religion. He was a preacher, and He gave His achings to His disciples by word of mouth. A more conclusive proof in favor of tradition is the storical fact that the first Gospel, by St. Matthew, was ,t written for several years after Christ's Ascension Lo heaven. During the first four centuries of Christian- z, some of the Fathers of the Church compiled a list the inspired books, but the New Testament itself does t emerge as an integrated and canonized document un- the Council of Hippo in 393. The Christian world then '.cepted its authenticity on the authority of tradition. is apparent that tradition, and not the Bible, sustained !ristianity during its earliest years. At this point someone might ask if Catholics think the ble unimportant. Catholics have the greatest reverence r the Bible. They simply maintain that everything in e Bible is true, but the Bible alone does not contain vine revelation in its entirety. Christ said to His Apostles: "He who hears you, hears ~ " (Luke 10:16) St. Paul said to the Thessalonians: [old the Traditions which you have learned, whether word or by our epistle." (2 Thes. 2:14) ["he printing press was not invented in apostolic days d the rate of literacy was not high in those times It reasonable to believe that the spoken word, authenti- :ted by the tradition of the Church, is equally true with e written word. WHAT IS THE LARGEST RELIGIOUS ORDER OF OMEN? Probably the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de ml, founded in France by St. Vincent and St. Louise Marillac. The first American foundation of this order as estabhshed by a convert, Mother Ehzabeth Ann Se- n. The Daughters of Charity engage in a great variety charitable and educational activities and are known ~ecially for their hospitals and orphanages. About 60,- women are members of this order. VHO FOUNDED THE ALEXIAN BROTHERS? ~o one knows. A band of charitable men in the Rhine- nd volunteered to care for the sick and bury ihe dead hen the "Black Death" scourged Europe early in the arteenth century. So many of the heroic group died of plague that their leader is not definitely known. They e named after St. Alexius, a Roman nobleman who dis- kised himself as a beggar to serve the poor and sick. ie Congregation of the Alexian Brothers has had official ~ognition of the Church singe 1469. The principal pur- se of the Congregation is nursing. VIUST CATHOLICS MARRY AT MASS? ~/ot necessarily, but this custom is strongly encouraged the Church. Nuptial Mass and the reception of Holy mmunion by the newly married couple help to empha- e the spiritual nature of the sacrament. ,* Questions for "YOU ASKED IT" should be sent to: tther John Ryan, St. Joseph rectory, Lena, Ill. It is necessary to sign your name unless you wish a per- reply. However, Father Ryan reserves the right not use unsigned questions. %11 the preoccupation of men with the things of this life but the game of children on the sands. For children ke delight in the activity of their play and as soon as ey have finished building what they build, their pleasure tds. For as soon as their labor is completed, the sand lib down and nothing is left of their buildings. --~t. Gregory of Nyssa The annual collection of Peter's Pence has been announced for Sunday, June 25. This practice has a long record of almost twelve centuries; it is a custom whereby each Catholic household contrib- utes material alms to the Bishop of Rome to help in the charitable works of the Church. To a person who has no faith, this practice may seem meaningless and ineffectual. To a person of faith, however, this custom presents a tangible means of giving alms in the name of Christ to be distributed in His name and by His Vicar on earth. The Faith makes ~he difference in that firm belief in the divinity of Christ and the living reality of the Church which He established. With Christ himself merciful ministrations to suffering hu- manity were not limited to words of sympathy. He went about doing good. It is true also of His Church. The opportunity to practice the corporal works of mercy will always continue. By giving the Holy Father ample means to answer the cries of suffering humanity we prbach the charity of Christ more effectively than in ten thousand ser- mons and books. Catholics everywhere in the world always have a personal interest in the Holy Father because of the office which he holds. But there is a world- wide enthusiasm and filial -love for Pope John XXIII in response to his personal humility and open-heartedness. His Christ-like kindness and friendliness have won the hearts of many who are not members of the Catholic Church. It is reason- able to suppose that the charity which Pope John would like to dispense is almost without limit and that the needs of humanity are brought to his at- tention with increased intensity. In actuality his deeds of charity in Christ's name are limited only by our response to such customs as Peter's Pence. We therefore urge our readers to make a gen- erous sacrifice for Peter's Pence on Sunday, June 25. It is Christian charity of the highest order. JUDICIAL PARADOX REAPINGS AT RANDOM II om We Americans are so busy about so many things / that there is a danger of overlooking those things that are really important. For this reason we have devised a system of reminders through a calen- dar of special promotions. Some of these promo- tions tend to have no real impact on our continued existence while others stress matters vital. F o r example, we see no great disaster accompanying a failure to remember that it is national pickle week or national tavern month. But in the 1 o n g list of items which now receive specific days for highlighted concentration the items "mother" and "father" still have special significance. We are approaching Father's Day, 1961. T h e origins of the observance may probably be found in the dusty files of some enterprising sales-pro- motion expert. The giving of g i f t s is a praise- worthy practice; but it is the motive for giving which measures the appreciation of the receiver. A gift to a parent w h ic h is intended to ma- terialize a deep seated and permanent love is very much in order. But a gift which is intended as a peace-offering for past neglect may only deepen the heartache of a disillusioned parent. We cannot visualize any father watching for the mail-man and holding a check-off list in his hand as he wonders what he is going to get from Joe or Jane. But as he sits in his grandfather chair throughout the other 364 days of the year he may well range over many other more impor- tant questions concerning his children's fitness and moral worth and whether or not he himself did everything possible for his offspring. F r o m this kind of hind-sight the father will realize that his greatest contribution, surpassing those physi- cal needs and comforts he was able to provide, has been in the character development w h i c h came from his own example. In a man~er of speaking, father's day is really for fathers. By receiving greetings and gifts, fath- ers have an opportunity to realize more fully the importance of their role. Their children look to them for guidance and are grateful. Some m e n seem inclined to settle for less than reality in their estimation of the rote of the father. T h e continuance of the species through p h y s i c a 1 generation is a marvel of nature shared by man and beast alike. But the challenge of leadership, the fountainhead of divinely established h o m e authority, the teaching function of character for- mation--all these building blocks of human so- ciety-are loaded on the shoulders of the father of a family of human beings. Fatherhood is truly a special vocation. It is lift- ed up to new levels of dignity and achievement through the Sacrament of Matrimony which gives a constant source of divine help for this role in life. We salute all fathers who are conscientiously attempting to fulfil] the trust placed in them by God when He made them heads of families. Their efforts are recognized sincerely and gratefully, however inadequately, with the greeting: Happy Father's Day. We profess to love freedom and to respect the rights of all men. But in our own backyards there are conditions which cry for correction. One of these situations is the plight of the migrant work- ers who follow the harvest -- 60th citizens of the U. S. and Braceros imported from Mexico. For reasons unknown, farm workers have been excluded from all of the social legislation which has brightened the pages of U. S. history in the past decades. The abuses of human rights and dignities which have been made possible should be ended. It' is a question whether those who have profited politi- cally and economically ~through this emergency measure enacted after World War II will continue to seek personal advantage in the face of public opinion. i I SPOTLIGHT ON SOCIAL REFORM ,- ;- .? 2.;>'. n[ons in "Thirteen and a half million Americans bring you Edward P. Morgan and the news." This has become the familiar refrain of a nightly AFL-CIO newscast over a nation-wide net- work of radio stations. Edward P. Morgan is one of the most :;:~:~:~ i:~:~ ;:~:~i~!~!:i:i:~:i:i:~:~:i:~:~:;:~:~:!~ iilii !!ii ticulate n e w s commenta- tors on the air today, tte is cer- tainly worth lis- tening to. For the purposes of tlie present piece, however, the figure "thir- teen and a half million Ameri- cans" is the significant point of interest. Recruiting at Standstill Half a dozen years ago esti- mates of the number of workers in the affiliated unions of the AFL and CIO ranged between sixteen and seventeen million. Today the figure of "thirteen and a half million" seems to be the accepted total of AFL-CIO membership according to the organization's own statistics. Losses from unemployment and expelled unions explains the de- crease in members. The recruit- ing of new members, however, is practically at a standstill. A recent scientific survey, un- dertaken by an AFL-CIO Inter- national Union, puts the blame on the Taft-Hartley law. The study made use of statistics on Canadian unionism, where there is no Taft-Hartley law, as a com- parative norm. Basic Obstacle I see no reason to contradict the results of the survey. Nor can it be doubted that the find- ings and the adverse publicity that came out of the McClellan committee investigations have harmed the "image" of Ameri- can trade unions, both in the eyes of the public and potential union members. Aside from these two acknow- ledged causes of decline in union organization there is another quite basic obstacle. Union offi- nl rime O I FATHER WILLIAM SMITH,-S.J. cials themselves recognize it, but to date they have not been able to surmount it. This is the fundamental change in the na- ture of the work force of Ameri- ca. In the heyday of its;success, the American labor movement concentrated its efforts on at- tracting manual workers into the fold of organized labor. This type of worker was commonly called "the blue collar worker" in contrast to office employes who are known as "white collar workers." The greatest poten- tial field for organizing was among the "blue collar work- ers" for the simple reason that they represented the majority of the workers [n American indus- try. More WhRe Collar Workers Within recent years that ma- jority status has undergone se- vere and significant changes. Today the "white collar worker" makes up about 54% of the work force in American industry. Gradually, with an ever-increas- ing rate of rapidity, skilled and semi-skilled employes, engi- neers, technicians and the like are displacing the mass produc tion workers who previously made up the majority in Ameri- can industry. Union organizers, moreover, are faced not only with a differ- ent type of worker but a differ- ent type of mentality possessed by the workers themselves. En- gineers, for instance, display a high degree of "individuality." Normally, in the exercise of their profession, they work as individuals or in small groups or teams. They are usually al- lergic to "curbstone" concepts of trade'unionism. They are par- ticularly adverse to being "herd. ed" into the same collective bar- gaining unit with manual work- ers or even technicians of a les- ser professional status. Need Organization School teachers are another group who have perennially been found difficult to enroll as "trade unionists." It is quite evident that any group of employes, whether they be professional people, skilled or praisal semi-skilled manual workers, must today resort to the princi- ple of organization for the pro- tection of their own interests, whether they like it or not. The trade unionists are "pros" in the game of organizing. With- out doubt they can be of great help to any group in need of the strengthening influence of organ- ization. At the same time it is equally evident that the difficul- ties and the obstacles which un- ion organizers find besetting their paths today are not all due to exterior causes. Reform Failing AFL-CIO itself can stand an agonizing reappraisal. The scan- dals connected with the work be- ing done by conflicting unionists at our missile bases have done irreparable damage not only to the "image" but to the very na- ture of the trade union move- ment. At the time of the merger In 1955, the trade union movement of America sounded a high note of idealism. New Codes of Ethi- cal Practices were introduced. The move was applauded on all sides by right-thinking people. In practice, the reform move has not worked out ~s envisioned by its architects. Little by little the impetus toward a higher and better type of unionism has been ebbing away. Too many seem to be slipping back into an attitude of apathy toward reform, of a willingness to compromise with the past. Enthusiasm for ethical aspects is being crowded out by a return to a "business as usual" set of relationships. Must Change Image If AFL-CIO has hopes of or- ganizing professional groups in large numbers, including school teachers who have their own pe- culiar attitudes on trade union- ism, labor's strategists union- start thinking deeply in terms of "changing the image ol trade unionism" as that image has im- bedded itself in the minds of vast numbers of the public. One of the basic, even primi- tive principles of "selling" in American life is that the product be at least wrapped in an at- tractive package. r Jus " Everyone who knows that he is in doubt about some- ing, knows a truth, and in regard to this that he knows : is certain. Therefore he is certain about a truth. Con- quently everyone who doubts if there be a truth, has himself a true thing on which he does not doubt; nor there any true thing which is not true by truth. Conse- |ently whoever for whatever reason can doubt, ought *t to doubt that there is truth. --St. Augustine I. XXVlNo.24 June 16, 1961 / lIE MOST REVEREND LORA$ T. LANE- Publisher tE REVEREND ARTHUR J. OCNEILL Managing Editor tE REVEREND WILLIAM I. JOFFE Asst Managing Editor ~,RJORIE GALLAGHER Women'~ Page Editor )BERT WILLEMS News Editor IULAH O'MEARA Busine~ )BERT J. STARR Advertising ,IN BERTOLASI Circulation The ObserveL printed weekly at 413 Pleasant Street Beloit Wis- nsin, is the official newspaper of. the Catholic Diocese of Rockford. Second class postage paid a! Beloit Wisconsin. Subse riptions $4.00 per yeclt prepaid in the Un@ea States ALL COMMUNICATIONS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO THE ~bERVER 1260 NORTH CHURCH STREE'I ROCKFORD ILLINOIS. ISTMAsTER: Please send form 3579 to the OBSERVER, ||t0 Nlltll Cmlu,~rr, JI ~u~. Rockford, UbiL By GERARD E. SHERRY One of the most interesting news announcements of last week had nothing to do with world crisis, but its import has some bearing. A priest who is a leader in the Catholic Interracial movement went against the stand taken by most of his conference and declared that the "Freedom Riders" have increased tensions in the South instead 5f mitigating them. This was the viewpoint of Msgr. Patrick J. Molloy, founder of the St. Louis Catholic Interracial council. Msgr. Molloy said he was totally opposed to the "Freedom Riders." He said he was fur- ther convinced that the organizer had de- liberately planned the desegregation test in the South just before the meeting be- tween President Kennedy and N i k i t a Khrushchev. Opposing Views I personally disagree with Msgr. Molloy and for a variety of reasons. But the fact remains that here is an expert on the subject who opposes the popular Catholic view. The Monsignor may be right in his observations, and in disagreeing there is no suggestion that he is a crank, a screwball or an agi- tator. He has expressed an honest opinion on a contro- versial subject. And his views should be heard and con- sidered. In like manner the views of another interracial cham- pion should al~o be considered. That sage pioneer of the Catholic Interracial movement, Jesuit Father John La- Farge defends the "Freedom Riders" and declares that their excursion into the South may have accomplished some good for the Negroes. Father LaFarge does not deny that racial tensions have increased. But he lays it more at the door at the outrageous behavior of the Ku Klux Klan and similar organizations in Alabama and Missis- Sippi, and he makes the very pertinent point that Negroes are becomin$ extremely impatient over the rising tide of bitterness which has arisen in the interracial movement. Flout Constitution I am inclined to go along with Father LaFarge. The overriding reason is that the highest court in the land has prohibited states from imposing segregation on inter- state transportation. Several states flouting the Constitu- tion, and its official interpreters, have kept ancient un- American laws on their statutes to perpetuate long re- pudiated racial theories. The "Freedom Riders" fully understood the dangers inherent in their actions. So did the state officials con- cerned. Yet, these officials permitted thugs and bigots from all social strata to reap their vengeance on men who~ came in peace to demand their God-given rights. The virtue of prudence is definitely involved in this sit- uation; but. so is the virtue of justice. You cannot exer- cise one at the expense of another. If tensions have arisen, it has been the fault of those who opposed the law of the land, not those who demand that it be exercised without fear or favor. Twist for Justice The original, bruised, and beaten "Freedom Riders" who languish in Alabama and Mississippi jails (and those who later followed them into confinement) have the saris- faction of knowing that their only crime i~ their thirst Lc~r justice. And if this be a crime, then quite a number of us should be behind bars The American Bishops have made it abundantly clear that discrimination and segregation are irrational and immoral. In October of 1955, the L'Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican daily'newspaper, used stronger terms. It said, "Racial exclusiveness is a sin against the nature of Catholicism. It is a negation of it, and a blasphemy against it." Obviously the context implies that American discrimination and segregation, even of the 1961 variety, is under discussion. Segregation Immoral while theologians dispute the means to be employed in eradicating discrimination and segregation, I know of no reputable theologian in the American Catholic scene who would dispute the radical immorality of this situation. At a regional meeting of the Catholic Theological So- ciety, held at Catholic University in early 1957, to which members had come from the East, this was the precise question under discussion. It was the unanimous consensus of this meeting that discrimination and segregation are immoral, and the 0nly point which was really treated ~vas the prudential ques- tion of when, how and where to act. A reading of the "Notes on Moral Theology" (an annual feature of the 'Theological Studies' which surveys the entire field of moral theology) for the last ten years clearly gives the impression that there is a basic agreement among the theologians of this country. In the polemics now going on in the South, the segregationists have not been able to employ even one Catholic theologian, as, in an analogous situation the National Association of Manufacturers has been able to cite some Catholic support for the Right ta Work Law~.