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October 20, 1961     The Observer
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October 20, 1961

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By FATHER JOHN RYAN DOES THE CHURCH PERMIT A WIDOWER TO MARRY THE SISTER OF HIS DECEASED SPOUSE? Any valid marriage gives rise to a relationship between the husband and the blood relatives of his wife, and the wife and the blood relatives of her husband. relation- ship is called affinity, and continues to exist even after the death of one of the spouses. In the above case the relation- ship between the widower and the sister of his deceased spouse is known technically as affinity in the first degree of the collateral line. This relationship is a diriment impedi- ment to their marriage, that is, they cannot contract a valid marriage until the impediment is removed by ecclesiastical dispensation. WHAT IS MEANT BY THE EXPRESSION "TEMPTING GOD?" Tempting God is an action by wj~ich one endeavors to test some attribute of God, for example, to see whether He is Omnipotent, Omniscient, Merciful etc. In the Gospel we read that the Devil himself tempted Christ to determine whether or not He were the Son of God; also the Pharisees who doubted Christ's divinity often pressed Him for greater signs than His miracles to prove His claims. This is a sin against faith and religion It is always a mortal sin if accompanied by doubts about one of God's perfections or about His existence. The perfect example of such a sin is the oft-quoted Ingersoll inci- dent; "If "there be a God, let Him strike me dead." On the other hand, if one rashly demands the mani- festation of a divine attribute, with no doubt present, such a demanding that God show His goodness by curing an illness, the sin is mortal or venial according to the degree of rash- ness shown. DID THE APOSTLES ACTUALLY SEE OUR LORD AS- CEND INTO HEAVEN? From three separate accounts in the New Testament, we know that the Apostles witnessed the actual ascent of Christ out of this world. St. Luke (24,51) "and it came to pass as He blessed them, He parted from them and was carried into Heaven." St. Mark (16, 19) "So then the Lord, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into Heaven and sits at the right hand of God." Acts of the Apostles (1, 9) "And when He had said this, He was lifted up before their eyes and a cloud took Him out of their sight. And while they were gazing up to Heaven as He went, behold two men stood by them in white garments and said to them: 'Men of Galilee why do you stand looking up to Heaven? This Jesus Who has been taken up from you to Heaven, will come in the same way as you have seen Him going up to Heaven'." The cloud referred to is an expression used also in the Old Testament to indicate the "veil" which hides God from mortal eyes. The two men are Angels in human form who consoled the Apostles in the assurance of the Lord's return at His Second Coming. What the Apostles actually saw was the de- parture of Christ from this earth. His destiny, Heaven, was known to them on the Lord's own testimony that He would return to the Father. WHAT IS TO BE THOUGHT OF CATHOLIC CHILDREN ENROLLING IN GROUPS SUCH AS BOY SCOUTS, GIRL SCOUTS, ETC. WHICH ARE CONNECTED WITH A NON- CATHOLIC CHURCH? It is wrong for Catholic parents to permit their children to enroll as members of any organization sponsored by a non- Catholic church and conducted as a part of this church's recreational or educational program. To be sure, the activities of the groups mentioned are not in themselves of a religious nature and they afford opportunities for healthful recreation and physical training. It is obvious, however, that their con- nection with the non-Catholic church must bring all who take part in them into close relation with non-Catholic religious teaching and a non-Catholic way of life. For Catholic childreu this means placing their faith in danger. Catholic parents must therefore ask themselves whether or not they regard the material advantages of scout life as of greater importance for their children than the spiritual ad- vantages of secure possession of the faith in which they were born. In an age given to extreme indulgence in recreation and amusement, it is easy to seize upon every excuse for enjoying these benefits, particularly when they are available at little or no expense. It remains true, however, that the blessings of the faith are of incomparably greater importance to our children than any amount of physical training or recreational opportunity. Catholic parents who have the right point of view on this matter will never permit their children to come under the influence of any non-Catholic recreational or cultural organ- izations however great the advantages which these organiza- tions may be in a position to afford. CAN THE POPE NOMINATE HIS SUCCESSOR? No, Church law forbids the pope to name a successor. Queries for "QUESTIONS YOU ASK" should be sent to: Father John Ryan, St. Joseph rectory, Lena, Ill. It is not necessary to sign your name unless you wish a personal reply. However, Father Ryan reserves the right not to use unsigned questions. Now the human mind needs--if it would be united to God-- the guidance of the things of sense; for as the apostle says to the Romans (I,20): The invisible things of him are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made. Hence in divine worship it is necessary to make use of certain corporal acts, so that by their means, as by certain signs, man's mind may be stirred up to those spiritual acts whereby it is knit to God. Consequently religion has certain interior acts which are its chief ones and which essentially belong to it; but it has also external acts which are secondary and which are sub- ordinated to the interior acts. ---St. Thomas Aquinas ~'q~ $ S k"~" Vol. XVl, No. 42 ~ 1 Oct. 20, 1961 THE MOSI REVEREND LORAS T. LANE Publisher THE REVEREND ARTHUR J. O'NEILL Managing Editor MARJORIE GALLAGHER Women's Page Editor ROBERTWILLEMS ~ News Editor BEULAHO'MEARA Business ROBERTJ. STARR Advertising ANN BERTOLASI Circulation The Observer, printed weekly at 27 South State Street, Freeport, Illlnois, is the official newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Rockford. Second class postage paid at Freeport illinois. Subscriptions $4.00 per year prepaid in the United States Art COMMUNICATIONS SHOULD BE ADDRESSED TO THE OBSERVER, 1260 NORTH CHURCH STREET, ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS POSTMASTER: Please send form 3579 to the 'OBSERVER, 1260 North Church Street+ i~ddord, Win~lb urre Mission y Sunday, October 22, is Mission Sunday. This gives us another opportunity to further the world- wide efforts of the Church to bring the saving doc- trine of Christ to all nations. When we pause to give it thought, we realize that our response for the support of Catholic mis- sions should be from a sense of gratitude. Historic- ally we were on the receiving end of the good works of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith for many years. It was through the work of dedicated missioners from European countries and with support from European Catholics that the faith was first implanted in our land. Now the tide has turned and we of the United States have become the main support of the Church's missionary work in other parts of the world. The emphasis at the present time is for educa- tion of priests and lay catechists to increase the effectivenessj of the Church in those emerging nations of Africa and Asia, as well as to stabilize the faith in the bewildered nations of Latin American and to keep them strong in their tradi- tional faith and able to resist the current solicita- tions of Communism. Communism is a system of ideas diametrically opposed to Christianity. The battle for the world is, and will be, in the realm of ideas rather than in the council chambers of conciliation or in the con- test of economic or technological prowess. A Catholic with a sense of gratitude and respon- sibility will conscientiously support the missionary work of the Church. He cannot isolate himself from the spiritual needs of his brothers in other lands. We urge all our readers to support by pray- ers and material aid the work of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in a concerted effort put forth on Mission Sunday. A trange Mentality J, A rather Common phenomenon--human perver- sity-has asserted itself, at least in an isolated in- stance, in the current negotiations between the United Auto Workers and the automotive industry. The United Auto Workers and the American Mo- tors Corporation arrived at an agreement and both approved their new contract which had a clause on profit sharing. Profit sharing is a legitimate but seemingly unattainable goal judging from con- tracts with other members of the industry. It is also highly endorsed in the social teachings of the Church, especially in Pope John's Mater et Magis- tra. Walter Reuther hailed the profit sharing clause in the American Motors Corporation con- tract as the most historic and significant pact in the annals of American labor. Wherein lies the human perversity? Each local union must vote on the acceptance of the new con- tract. Local 72 of UAW with 12,000 members held an election in Pittsburgh and REJECTED the con- tract. The president of Local 72 said that some of the press releases by George Romney, president of American Motors, confused the union members. Romney's remarks in press and on TV showed that the company yielded to the "economic facts of life" and agreed to the profit sharing without a struggle. The president of the local union in remarking on their rejection of the contract said: "The peo- ple here figured that if its good for the company, it can't be good for the union." To analyze this mentality is very difficult. It looks like a failure to be objective. The union mem- bers did not know, apparently, what they were striving for. Contract negotiations it seems are only that periodic struggle with the battle lines neatly drawn. When a desirable goal was con- ceded without a struggle, they became suspicious. The ingrained mentality of automatic opposition begot ungrounded suspicions. What they fail to realize is that profit sharing by Union members has not yet been agreed upon in the negotiations with other and bigger members of the automotive industry. Some UAW members associated with American Motors apparently did not know that they were ahead of the pack. Fortunately this was an isolated instance. But the mentality shows a trend which unionism should have outgrown by this time. It smacks of seeking the dialectic where there is no longer a good cause for argument. I,II I I I I III I I I I I I I I I IIII I I I SPOTLIGHT ON SOCIAL REFORM I | e II1[ "1 I " I li I I II [II I I I I I IJ,II I I III II II I I t' . + + ~ " , " HELP HIM TO HELP THEM From the starting point of identifying the so-called Catholic "liberal" with the secularist "li- beral" and then to stigmatize both with the noxious title of "Social- ist" is a short step. It is all too evident that too many Catholics, usually of conservative bent, have taken that step. AVE MARIA, a sociaily 'pro- gressive and praiseworthy Ca- tholic publica- tion, in the Sep- tember 9th issue prints a letter that is quite typi- cal of this men- tality. I have no doubt it is like- wise typical of thousands of pre- sent day Catholics in this country. The letter ran: "I would like to make a few comments on the remarks of Father William J. Smith, S. J as reported in your August 19 issue. Expresses Disapproval "Father Smith arrogantly states that 'The words 'social' and "socialization' must now be ac- cepted with respect by anyone who is seriously intent upon 'thinking with the Church.' "Who is he to tell us what we must think and what we must not think? Since when does disagree- ing with William J. Smith mean disagreeing with the Church? Mil- lions of American Catholics are still opposed to socialization and do not agree with Father Smith's interpretation of the Pope's en- cyclical, Are they to be excom- municated for "this? Father Smith is trying to sneak across his own leftist viewpoints as official Catholic doctrine. "Simply because a Socialist hap- pens to be disguised as a priest, are we to regard such a person's statements as unassailable and sacrosanct? FATHER WILLIAM SMITH, S.J. Shrinking Violet "Remember the words of Pope Pins XI: 'No one can be a true Socialist and a true Catholic at the same time.'" This little verbal bouquet is but a shrinking violet in comparison with the sentiments of a lady cor- respondent addressing a dissent from a column I did for the Hart- ford Catholic Transcript With fit- ting modesty, she inquires of me. "Are you a citizen of the United States? If so, what would you do if you were not a priest and were drafted to take up arms to de- fend the United States against the Soviet Union? Suggests Moving "Since capitalism is so distaste- ful to you, I respectfully suggest that you and those like you re- move yourselves to England, Swe- den or Russia and permit the rest of us to live in this land of the free and the brave with liberty and justice for all. (At least it was a land of freedom until the liberals took over the running of the government.)--" A correspondent from Brooklyn, in the Catholic News of New York, objecting to my original criticism of the National Review's charac- terization of the encyclical "Ma- ter et Magistra" as a "venture in triviality," writes in a similar vein: "National Review obviously had the right to agree or disagree with the encyclical. Yet much of the Catholic press is in an uproar over the comments made by the National Review. Thinking Inevitable "Would an identical uproar have occurred if the same comments had appeared, say, in the Na- tion? I wonder.'+ When you identify the type of social legislation which we have in America with "Socialism-lead- ing-to-Communism"--as does the founder of the John Birch society, for instance, the type of thinking expressed in the sample letters above is inevitable. Nor are these isolated instances. If the "Letters to the Editor" which are written in this vein to Catholic publications could be col- lected, I feel sure a most interest- ing article could be written and the extent and depth of this dan- gerous trend could be more ade- quately gauged. Like A Fungus Newspaper editors estimate that a letter of this kind reflects the thinking of other readers ranging from ten to fifty in num- ber. Those engaged in social ac- tion meet it everywhere. It's like a fungus in an unweeded field. (Maybe it is a fungus ) I would be willing to offer a wager (limited to the first taker) of a new hat--price ten dollars-- that not one of the correspon- dents who has written a letter of this type to any Catholic magazine has yet read the encyclical of Pope John XXIII, "Mater et Mag- istra" from beginning to end. Strictly Emotional One thing must be said about the present crop of letter writing illiterati. They are signing their names and addresses, not hiding behind a childish anonymity. Nor do we hold them to a strict ac- counting. They are merely giving expression to the "impressions" they get from what they have read or heard from others whom they look upon as their betters and superior to the targets of their dislike. Impressions and emotional re- actions are the fruit of their "re- search." Logic certainly plays no part in their be-labored thinking. The Christian notion of consci- ence imperatively demands a cor- responding measure of personal liberty. The feeling of duty and re- sponsibility to God is the only arbiter of a Christian's actions. With this no human authority can be permitted to interfere --Lord Acton (19th cent.) REAPINGS AT RANDOM By GERARD E. SHERRY Last week's vote of censure against South Africa in the United Nations' General Assembly points up one great dif- ficulty to be faced by the United States and its Allies. It seems as if the so-called neutral nations can command a majority in the U.N. as and when they please. This is a far cry from the 1950's when the U.S. and her Allies successfully garnered the majority votes in all U.N. agencies. The shoe is now on the other foot. It's hard for the Free World to watch this change of voting power. All the more so when it was the colonial powers in the Free World that granted independence to the African and Asian countries who now flex their voting muscles. One doesn't have to side with the aparthied policies of the South African government to see the difference in this censuring of the speech of the South African envoy to the United Nations. In defending his country's policies, the South African delegate had some home truths for the so-called neutral African states. This so angered them that they initiated a censure vote. It has great implications. Creates A Precedent Ever since the United Nations was founded in 1945 the Soviet Union has poured out genuine hate and lying propa- ganda against the countries of the Free World from the rostrum of the United Nations. Never once did any of the neutral nations move a vote of censure. And the Soviet Union still gets away with it. The non-aligned nations are not outraged at the lies of the Soviet Union against the West. They are only self-righteous when someone criticizes their folly and inefficiencies. The censuring of South Africa creates lism Gaining a precedent. Will it mean that every time one of these new nations is criticized from the U.N. rostrum they will all gang up against the critic? Where is the right of free speech? Where is the fair play which these neutrals are demanding for themselves but seemingly not for others. I think South Africa's racial policies are dead wrong. I think they are un-Christian; and the coun- try should be condemned for its policy. However, to censure it for criticizing what they sincerely believe are moral de- ficiencies in some of its opponents is depriving it of a legitimate right. The United Nations is the loser for this recent performance. Dangerous International Heresy It all boils down to the immaturity of these new so-called neutral nations. They have only recently cast off the yoke of colonialism and are now struggling to learn what it means to exercise the right to be free. Politically many of their leaders are amateurs in the ways of the world. In other words, they are finding that it's much easier to fight against al- legedly colonial oppressors than deal with some of our modern governments. But I would venture to suggest that there is a much more important angle. This so-called neutralism is a dangerous international heresy. In the global body politic nothing is more certain than the fact that a large faction of the people of this world are neutrahsts at heart. They lack the courage to stand up and be counted in the battle for the right to be free. This is most true in areas where, only a short while back, freedom was merely a word chalked on walls in the dead of night. It seems as if those recently freed from the bondage of 19th century colonialism now have lost the will to remain free. There is no other conclusion one can come to if a count is taken of the large number of such countries now actively espousing a neutralist course in their relations with others. Neutralism Gaining Converts Alas, there is no escape from the fact that the neutralist doctrine, can only beget oppression and godlessness. This is so, especially in the modern world, because there zs no middle road between evil and good; between hate and love. On the one side, we have the godless atheism of the Coramunist world---on the other, a world, Which although not perfect by any means, does attempt to espouse the cause of justice and freedom. In such a situation there is no choice for those who believe in human dignity and the elementary rights of man. The hard fact is, however, that neutralism is gaining con- verts fast. Little wonder that the foxes venture forth from their Kremlin lair and encroach on Free Berlin, Lees and Vietnam. Need Different Attitude Of course, the root of this heresy of neutralism is fear. The younger nations want time to put their houses in order politically and economically. They want to be lef~ alone to accomplish these tasks. And they see nothing but trouble in seeking the support of the big powers. Of course, one can sympathize with these neutral countries when it comes to domestic policies both political and eco- nomic. They should be allowed to run their own houses the way they wish to. But in international dealings I think a totally different attitude has to be adopted. Throughout the course of history weak nations have at- tached themselves to power blocs in order to survive as national entities. And history also shows that the smaller groups are naturally affected by changes in the balance of power among nations. Many of the present day neutralist countries are going through a similar agonizing appraisal. lumn ine DETROIT- LAW STUDENTS "You must have an abiding im terest in the study of natural law and the conviction that if we are to have any hope at all of ever solving complex human problems at the local or national levels, or as they affect the com- munity of nations within an ef- fective legal framework, our laws will have to be such that they provide effectively for the true rights of all mankind. Electronic communications and jet travel have brought together even the remotest parts of the world and along with them a greater need than ever for deep understanding of international law, the customs and practices of peoples of other nations and the problems of in- ternational trade. Since he must provide enlightened leadership in many areas, the lawyer must have the philosophical knowledge and wisdom to be able to combat proposed solutions to problems that can only create greater prob- lems and stand firm for what is truly right and just for all, wheth-, er in the majority or in the minority " The Rev. Laurence V. Britt, S.J president University of Detroit, address to the uni. versity's law students. MIAMI BEACH- LATIN AMERICA "The youth of Latin America will grow either in an atmosphere of good relationship or resent- ment against this country. For this reason it is very important that the U.S. inaugurate a large program of educational exchange with the ,Latin American coun- tries. In this way this nation could infiltrate in the minds of all children and young people of Latin America the good seeds of democracy." Manuel Reyes, exile Cuban attorney and journalist, to the Southeastern Regional Con- vention, Catholic Press As- sociation. CHICAGO- EDUCATION "The concept that 25 to 30 stu- dents in a class is ideal is a myth foisted upon gullible tax- payers by teacher organizations and empire building administra- tors." Msgr. William E. McManus, Superintendent of Schools, Archdiocese of Chicago. WASHINGTON- FOREIGN AID "Poles are now rather critical of Western policies, and it is un- realistic for the West to assume that by giving monetary aid to Poland it will get immediat~ political results." Ludwik Dembinskl, colum- nist of the Cracow Universal Weekly, speaking at Harvard University International Semi- nar on current world prob- lems. VILLANOVA, PA.- COMMUNISM "Complacency was commu- nism's greatest ally in Cuba, and in the future it may be its great. est ally in the U.S "Such regimes need scapegoats. While Hitler used the Jews, Fidel Castro used the U.S. to foster discontent among his people. Cu- ban prob!ems were blamed in ag- gression against the Cuban peo. ple by the U.S. government and its allies in big business and fi- nance." The Rev. Edward J. Mc- Cartha, O.S.A. former rector Villanueva University, Ha- vana, addressing School Pub- lications Conference, Villa- nova, Pa. FORT WORTH- SEGREGATION "When Laurian Cardinal Rug- ambwa of Tanganyika became a Cardinal the action was hailed as though it represented some change in the Church's attitude --something new. This is not true at all. The Church has been uni. versal to the point of paying no attention to race and this is true over the centuries. Few people realize that three popes--Victor, Melchiades and Gelasius -- were African. At least 20 Negro men and women have been canonized and declared saints by the Church." John Howard Griffin, au- thor, in Oct. issue of Sepia, leading Negro magazine. j The Catholic Church exists on earth for the sole purpose of in- sisting in season and out of sea- son, that God be recognized for what He is, and as so recognized, worshipped. The Church is so- ciety's permanent rampart against idolatry. This is the ultimate, in a sense it is the only, sin~ the root of all disorder. Dora 'Aelred Graham