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August 4, 1961     The Observer
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August 4, 1961

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By FATHER JOHN RYAN WHAT IS THE CATHOLIC VIEWPOINT ON THE MAT- TER OF REINCARNATION? The doctrine of reincarnation asserts that the souls of those who die may reappear subsequently in other hu- man bodies, or even in the bodies of lower animals. This doctrine is in direct contradiction with the teachings of divine revelation on the Last Judgment, and on the eter- nal rewards and punishments of the world to come. In accordance with these teachings, Catholic theologians affirm that each soul is cre- ated by a direct act of God for its own body, and that the soul is destined for eventual reunion for .all eternity with the body from which it is separated by death. DID ANY OF T H E APOSTLES RE- CEIVE FROM OUR LORD THE POWER TO PERFORM MIRACLES? IF SO, WHY HAVE THEIR SUCCESSORS NOT THE SAME POWER? None of the Apostles received the power to perform miracles as a norm/*l function of their apostolic office. A moment's reflection will show that /he power of performing miracles could not possibly be part of the exercise of the ordinary duties of one's state. Miracles are extraordinary marvels and would cease to be such if there were people who could work them at will in carrying out their usual daffy work ac- cording to their vocation. Miracles are necessarily rare occurrences, happening at irregular intervals, and they cannot be linked with the duties of one's office. They are not magical performances connected with fixed words or gestures or clerical appointments. The Apostles certainly performed miracles: St. Peter and St. John cured the lame man at the Golden Gate, St. Peter raised the widow Tabitha from the dead, and St. Paul raised .from the dead the man at Troas; and Bishops and priests and laity likewise performed miracles in all ages and in im- mense numbers even as Our Lord foretold. The life of St. John Bosco, for instance, enables us to realize what mar- vels God continued to perform at the intercession of this saint of recent times. IS IT PERMISSIBLE TO RECEIVE HOLY COMMUN-, IoN AT A FUNERAL MASS AND THOSE OUTSIDE THE WEDDING PARTY AT A NUPTIAL MASS? There is no regulation which forbids ~he distribu- tion of Holy Communion at a funeral Mass with the body present. With more lenient regulations governing the Eucharistic fast; many can plan to receive Holy Com- munion at the funeral Mass. Such a practice would add to the devotional significance of the burial service insofar as the deceased would derive benefit from the fruits and the indulgences gained with each Communion and the bereaved, comforted in their union with our DivineSaV- ior, would be strengthened in the grace to see His good and gracious purpose working in all He sends upon us. Similarly, it may be noted that the present Eucharistic fast laws permit a greater number of people to receive Holy Communion at the Nuptial Mass. There could be no better way to assist the bride and groom in assuming the responsibilities of their life, than by joining with them in union with~Christ and asking His Divine blessing on their future. A MAN HAS BEEN PRACTICING BIRTH CONTROL FOR MANY Y E A R S. HE IS DOUBTFUL OF HIS STRENGTH TO AVOID THIS SIN IN THE FUTURE. IS IT POSSIBLE FOR HIM TO GO TO CONFESSION AND RECEIVE THE SACRAMENTS? Since the sin referred to is serious, it must be c0nfessed and repented of before absolution can be given in the Sacrament of-Penance. A person's repentance cannot be sincere unless he is honestly determined to avoid the sins which he confesses. One who would come to confession with no intention of avoiding his sins could not receive absolution, It ,is wrong ,therefore, to think of confession merely in relation to past Sins, and to bring to the sacra- merit of Penance only the candid admission that one has done wrong in the past. A person who comes to confes- sion in this attitude would misinterpret completely the purpose of the sacrament. It is something more than a process of spiritual cleansing; it is a divinely instituted means of spiritual regeneration. Only in a soul which is truly contrite can the sacrament have its effect. On the other hand, it is not required that a penitent who confesses his sins be morally certain that he will not fall Into sin in the future. No one is certain of his ability to avoid all mortal sins, even though we all have assurance of the grace which is necessary to this end. It is enough that, at the time of confession, the penitent be sincerely sorry for his sins and that he have a serious andhonest purpose of amending his life. A problem arises when the same serious sin is com- mitted repeatedly, and within a fairly short period of time despite frequent confessions and promises of amend- ment. In some such cases the priest is bound to conclude that there has been no true sorrow for the sins confessed. He must pass judgment on the penitent's state of soul, and when he feels certain that the penitent lacks the s0r- row necessary for absolution, he must refuse to give it, t least temporarily. Priests are reluctant to refuse ab- solution t0 any penitent; but when there is indication in repeated falls within a short period of:time that verbal expressions of sorrow lack true conviction, he cannot in good conscience attempt to give absolution which he knows will be ineffective. 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. It seems that magazines and newspapers are liable to offend no matter what may be the stand they take on questions. A story is being told in publishing circles about the editor of a small-town newspaper who, when hard up for matter on one occasion, had his compositor set up the Ten Commandments without any editorial comment. A dayor so later he received a letter which read'as fol- lows: "Cancel my subscription. YOU are getting entirely too personal." . --Ave Maria ]b G Vol, XXVI, No. 31 August 4, 1961 THE MOST REVEREND LORAS T. LANE.-- A~.~ Publisher' THE REVEREND ARTHUR J. O'NEILL Managing Editor THE REVEREND WILLIAM I. JOFFE .Asst Managing Editor JV~ARJORIE GALLAGHER ~ Wofnen't Page Editor ROBERT WILLEN~ "- : ~ ~ News Editor BEULAH O'MEARA Businell ROBERT J STARR Advertising. ANN BERTOLASI "" Circulation The Observer, printed weekly rt 413 Pleasant Street 8eloit Wit- eonsin, is the official newspaper 7f the Cathonc Diocese of Rockferd. Second class postage paid at Seloit Wisconsin. Subscriptions ". $4.00 pea year prepaid In the UnUua States ALL COMMUNICATIONS SHOULD BE ADDRESSEDtO THE OS~ERVER. 1260 NORTH CHURCH STREEt ROCKFORD iLLINOIS. POSTMASTER; please send farm ~1|79 to the OSSERVER, 12t8 Nertll b. Jtlud, bckfed, llUnall. In the summer of 1960, an important document, "Papal Volunteers for Apostolic Collaboration in Latin America," was issued iri Rome by the Pon- tifical Commission for Latin America. This docu- ment spelled out in specific detail a program of world-wide lay activity for the benefit of Latin America. Since the official title was a rather long one, the abbreviation PAVLA has become popular in referring to the program of Papal Volunteers for Latin America. Here in the United States the PAVLA program began moving ahead. In Washington, the Latin America Bureau of the National Catholic Welfare Conference became headquarters for the move- ment in the United States. In Chicago, a National Secretariat Office was established. Meanwhile, as the program expanded, representatives of PAVLA were appointed in various dioceses and religious communities. The Rev. Francis J. Moroney h a s been appointed to this post for the diocese. At the same time, the Catholic Church Exten- sion Society, with headquarters in Chicago in- augurated a program of lay volunteers for work in the home missions here in the United States. Father Moroney was named Diocesan representa- tive of the Extension Volunteer program also. There are already many Papal Volunteers at work in South America. But to carry out the pro- gram more effectively many more volunteers are needed. The appeal--actually from the Holy F a t h e r himself--is now reaching the .ears of Catholics in the Rockford diocese. What response shall we ex- pect? We are confident that it will be a generous one. Perhaps we will aid the response if we list briefly the types of workers most needed--these do not exhaust the possibilities: 1. Classroom teachers or educational council- lors; 2. Organizers of social and religious work among university students; 3. Organizers of various forms of C a t h o 1 i c charities activities, which means aiding Catholic charities organizations at the diocesan and na- tional level. 4. Organizers of r u r a l betterment programs, agricultural improvement, etc. 5. Organizers of urban welfare programs f o r religious and social problems in industrial areas; 6. Technicians in the fields of the press, radio, cinema and television; 7. Teachers of the English language for the exer- cise of apostolic influence through this medium of contact, often used by other ideologies to win our Catholics away from us; 8. Married couples s k i 11 e d in neighborhood organization work aimed at the building of strong- er Christian family life. The opportunities are many and practical f o r those who are qualified and who have the zeal to do something specific for the benefit of their fellowman, either here at home through the Ex- tension Volunteer program or in troubled Latin America through PAVLA. Interested p e r s o n s should write to the Rev. Francis J. Moroney, 1245 North Court Street, Rockford. Economist Testifies The current debate on the "Health I~zsurance Beue#ts Act" has received much opposing comment, usually ~frorn persons associated with the medical proyessio~, h~ the interest of. public in]ormation we present the ]allowing comments o/ an economist who is opposed to the pro- posed health extension of. Social Security. FoRowing is snmmary of statement presented by Ray. Stanley Parry, University o] NoLre Dame econoTnist, be- yore House Ways and Means Committee in Washington, D. C July 28, 1961. Father Parry spoke in opposition to H. R. 4222 which would provide certai~ health care serv- ices to aged el~.qible ]or social security benef.its. "H. R. 4222, proposing to extend the provisions of social insurance to relieve medical indigence among the aged covered by social security, raises three issues: Two of them are basic to the matter of the bill, the third is basic to the modern prob- lem of legislation. "The first issue is whether the facts of medical indigence among the aged warrant abandoning the principle currently followed in offering medi- cal relief, that of the local marginal relief of prow en individual indigence. The bill proposes a new principle, that of federal preventive intervention to protect pre-defined classes of people from in- digence. Experience with difficulties over mar- ginal relief show that a change from it is war- ranted only when new causes of indigence are proven, when these causes are in their nature per- manent, when they will clearly and predictably affect a class of people. The, statistical evidence offered in support of H. R. 4222 fails to prove a new condition among the aged, a new cause of indigence, therefore it cannot give a conviflcing reason for the proposed change of principle. "The second issue is whether H. R. 4222 offers 'insurance' against illness and not rather a sys- tem of earmarked taxation for the relief of the aged ill. If it is in fact a taxation plan, then the bill will not only fail to relieve the general rev- enues, as it claims it will, but in fact will increase the burden on them. If a tax plan, and therefore a plan for free medical aid, the bill will result in the artificial inflation of fancied illness and so not lighten the burden on medical facilities but result in a waste of them. It is clear and has been judi- cially recognized that the social security process is rooted in the taxing power and is not an insur- ance process. Finally, the bill could hardly reduce the burdens of welfare work when it proposes to aid all the aged ill and not merely the proven in- digent. It simply transfers the bufden to the will- ing shoulders of the federal government, and in the transfer augments it. "The third issue involves the estimate of the bill from the point of view of the mentality moti- vating it. The principle of marginal relief considers misfortune and exception and a tolerable success the rule of American society. The principle of pre- ventive intervention considers medical indigence among the aged a permanent affliction of the aged, and for all the aged. It rejects the evidence of progress, the socially elaborated techniques of in- surance, pensions, savings and the like. Its funda- mental postulate is fear and discouragement. Since there is no convincing evidence for such a posi- tion, and since the available evidence concerning earnings, distribution of wealth, the condition of the aged suggests improvement, it follows that the bill is rooted in a sheer option to solve the prob- lem of medical indigence on the basis of a fearful view of the future." I I I I ' I L rI . 'MY KIDS THANK YOUR NARROW MIND FOR THIS' REAPINGS AT RANDOM SPOTLIGHT ON SOCIAL REFORM J I II II er, in Hoffa -- IT In spite of critical editorial comments, public protest, mum- bled dissatisfaction and disap- proval by rank-and-file mem- bers, anyone who is setting their hopes on legally upsetting the dictatorial trends vested in the Teamsters' president at the re- cent convention will find such hopes riding a r o u g h road. E v e n Hoffa's bitterest enem- 5es concede that he and his henchmen bent over backwards to make certain that every pre- paration before the convention and every move at the convention was strictly within the provisions of the Lan- drum- Griffin and Taft-Hart- lay laws. He had the assistance of more than a hundred lawyers in carrying out his plans and according to press reports there were about fifty attorneys on the platform and the floor at the convention to anticipate, detect and ward off any possible move or maneuver that might put him in jeopardy of a legal violation. One Move Questioned The one move that was legal- ly questioned was the raising of dues by the vote of the conven- tion delegates. The Landrurn~ Griffin law demands a secret referendum for raising dues of members of a local union. Hof- fa, supported by a majority of his legal advisers, contends that the delegates were elected by secret vote at the local level and that suffices. He anticipates trouble from the U. S. Depart- ment of Labor on the matter. In a "Meet The Press" inter- view he asserted his conviction that the locals would ratify the It is to those who have the most need of us that we ought to show our love more especial- ly. St. Francis De Sales FATHER WILLIAM SMITH. S.J. raise in dues regardless of what might be the outcome of the Labor Department action in re- gard to the convention vote. Explosive Move Senator John McClellan has already announced that he has prepared legislation he will pre- sent to Congress for the purpose of putting the transportation un- ion under the anti-trust laws. This move will create the most bitter pro and ant~ labor legis- lative crisis we have seen in the history of labor relations. From a layman's, non-lawyer vietwpoint, I doubt very much that the Teamsters can be sin- gled out as the target for such type of 1 a w without running afoul of the Constitutional pro- hibitions of class legislation. To curb the Teamsters in that way, by placing them under the anti-trust laws, seems impos- sible without extending such a law to cover each and every trade union in the country. Sen- ator McClellan, of course, would not be averse to that approach. But it would force the AFL-CIO to join hands with the Team- sters in its fight against it. It would bring the now-separated movements closer together. It would rouse sympathy for the Teamsters among m a n y old- line labor leaders who today are still supporting George Meany's attitude against Teamster re-af- filiation with AFL-CIO. It would strengthen the hand of hostile, dyed-in-the-wool anti-unionists everywhere. It could be the be- ginning of a chaotic era in un- ion management r 1 a t i o n s throughout the nation. Riding for a Fall? Congress, the AFL-CIO, t h e public generally look with trep- idation on the consolidation of power in the hands of one man, Jimmf Hoffa, which resulted from the actions of the Team- ster delegates at the Miami con- vention. Hoffa is riding high in the estimation of his assorted associates and' allies. As Milton Liss, the intrepid:Newark Team- ster official who dared to defy Hoffa and his whole army of cohorts at the convention, put it, al "He has the power. If he uses it rightly, he could become the greatest leader the Teamsters International has ever had. If he misuses it -- God help us~" There are some experienced observers, on the other hland, who feel that Jimmy Hoffa is riding for a fall. General Editor William Brink of Newsweek in the July 10th issue, in a twe~x~e- column write-up of the Teamster boss based on personal inter- views with Hoffa and research, concludes h i s article, "There are signs that Hoffa is begin- ning to feel the weight of, his running battles with the govern- ment and the job of bossing the mammoth Teamsters. 'In t h last eighteen months,' says one trucking executive, 'Jimmy has been feeling the pressure. He's tenser, and has made errors at the bargaining table.' New Armament "Even some of Hoffa's aides cautiously admit that h~ h a s been getting jumpier. Hoffa also knows that there arc still strong forces arrayed against him; He knows that Internal Revenue agents, the Labor department and the Department of Justice are watching hG every move for the slightest slip. And many of Hoffa's enemies believe that if Hoffa is ever destroyed, he will destroy himself -- by::over- reaching himself." These observations, however, were made before the conven- tion whfch crowned him King of all he surveyed. If the past is any kind of indicator for the fu- ture, h i s convention conquests will arm him with new weapons for the gruelling conflicts ahead. Labor is our portion lest we should make this world our rest and not hope for the hereafter. St. John Chrysostom What a man is in the sight of God, so much he Is and no more. St. Francis of Assisi Ires O O rnln By GERARD E. SHERRY The recent spate of forest fires in California has taken an immense toll in both lives and property as well as some important economic resources. To those who do not live near the timber lands of our country, a forest fire may seem an exciting :business which one could claim, to have seen in one of Walt Dis- ney's nature studios. Alas, to those close by, the forest fire is a horrible thing. It shows no mercy to either hu- mans or the things of nature. We live in the shadow of the high Sierras which separ- ate California from Nevada. A couple of weeks ago a fire which started out as a small blaze finished up engulfing and de- stroying two towns and some 80,000 acres of t, iml~er land. Everything Destroyed To anyone who has seen the splendor of Yosemite National park a n d its little towns nestled in the valleys, it is a cause for sadness. Just imagine what it must be like to the people who live there. The towns, Ahwahnee and-Nipinnawasee were in the direct path of the flames. And the several hundred inhabitants literally fled before the fire. Everything in these two towns was destroyed. Houses, general store, gas station, post office--everything went up in smoke. A larger town on the highway leading to Yosemite valley, Oakhurst, was also threatened. Indeed it got to the point where buildings on the outskirts were .:~[i:3i~i:i:i:i:i:i;i:i: KcY.? manned by their owners defiant of the flames that threat- ened to engulf them. It never touched Oakhurst; but only because some 2,000 fire fighters worked day and night to stop it. For almost two weeks the~' battled the Sierra blaze. No eight hour day here. No comfortale lodgings; just a bed under the stars. Yet, these men toiled until the fire was under con- trol. The damage is in the millions. This country will have to wait many a year before new saplings (to be placed later on) soar to the heights which make the Sierras and Yosemite such a wondrous sight. Due to Carelessness I toured the area soon after the fire had been extino guise& It made one almost want to weep. It was bad enough to see the burned-out remains of two towns that several hundred people called home. Just as important, however, was to be reminded of the mountainside which once housed giant Redwood and Pine which now were denuded and charred through the wrath of the forest fire. It is true that some of these fires are caused by the lightning which almost daily stalks the Sierra heights. Unfortunately, most of such fires are the result of man's carelessness: the match or cigarette carelessly thrown from the moving car; the fire in the high, dry grass; the campers who left smoldering embers to the mercy of the night winds. Yes, man's own neglect causes most of man's suffering. Lives are lost. A husband and wife died in the fire I have described. They were unable to race the roar- ing flames. Arson Practiced It makes one think that being amused at Smokey the Bear is not enough. Man has to have a sense of respon- sibility. He has to be sure that he has taken all the pre- cautions. The summer is the time to be extra cautious. In our area you have to be doubly so, We have a drought which is in its third year. Tall timber is so parched the slightest spark will set off a holocaust. It is discovered, too, that Some humans don't care. Ar- son is practiced, even in the forests. It is awfully hard to catch such people. They are the type we should be most afraid, of. They seem to have a peculiar delight in observing the misery and panic which results from their actions. Race for Life A friend who had to get out from the Sierra fire, which engulfed his home, described his sense of futility in pack- ing a few belongings in a car and rushing the family to safety. Significantly, this friend also commented on the plight of the animals. Deer, rabbits, squirrels, gophers, wild cats--many natural enemies--racing in packs to get away from the fire. My friend seemed to be more moved by this sight than he did from his own. misfortune. What-is the moral of all this? For heaven's sake be careful in and out of forests. If one does not care too much about one's self, think of others. It is mostly others who suffer from tmr careless mistakes. Smokey the Bear may only be a fragment of someone's imagination, but what e reseat= i# t