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December 1, 1961     The Observer
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December 1, 1961

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0 By FATHER JOHN RYAN A BOY, BORN AND BROUGHT UP A CATHOLIC, STOPS GOING TO CHURCH DURING ADOLESCENCE. LATER IN LIFE HE MARRIES A NON-CATHOLIC GIRL IN A NON- CATHOLIC CHURCH. IF HE WERE TO RETURN TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, WOULD HE BE ABLE TO MARRY A CATHOLIC GIRL IN A CATHOLIC CEREMONY, PROVIDED A DIVORCE IS OBTAINED LEGALLY? The young man in the case is bound by the Catholic form of marriage, to be married before a priest and two witnesses. This means that his first mar- riage is invalid in the eyes of the Church. He would thus be free to contemplate marriage in the Church with a Catholic girl. It would be necessary, however, for the diocesan matrimonial tribunal to review the facts and to issue an official declaration of the nullity of the first marriage ceremony. It would also he necessary for him to make formal ab- juration in relation to his sin of apostasy from the Catholic Church, and to be absolved from the penalty of excommunication incur- red by attempting marriage outside the Catholic Church. "k * * HOW AND FOR WHAT REASON DID THE CHURCH ADOPT THE CUSTOM OF ABSTAINING FROM MEAT ON FRIDAYS? Friday of each week has been, from apostolic times, a day of both prayer and penance in the Church. From the first Pen- tecost, Sundays have been kept as a weekly commemoration of the Resurrection -- the Apostles themselves changed the observance of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sufiday. In sim- ilar respect for the the day on which Christ died, Fridays were ~t aside as days of prayer and penance. Abstaining from meat was not specified in any of the books of the New Testament but the evidence from other very early works, such as the "Teaching Of the Apostles," 'the writings of Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian shows Friday ab- stinence is a custom dating from the dawn of Christianity. The custom was at 'first self-imposed by the early Christians. Through their respect for the injunction of our Lord Himself --"Unless you do penance, you shall all likewise perish"--and through a vivid realization of the significance of Friday, they rather welcomed the opportunity to do penance in reparation for their sins. As a matter of fact, the practice in many places, was prolonged through Saturday. Soon the voluntary custom became law. Though today, the Church has somewhat relaxed her dis- eipline in this matter, she still insists that Friday is a day of sacred memory -- the most fitting day of the week for our practices of self-denial, mortification and penance. k * * MUST WE BELIEVE THAT JONAS WAS IN A WHALE FOR THREE DAYS? IS THIS JUST A PARABLE OR WAS IT A FACT? The Book of Jonas is a powerful story of conversion to re- pentance. Our Lord Himself refers to the conversion of the Ninevites, who were pagans, as highly commendable. So, the Church looks upon the historical character of the Book as genuine, including the imprisonment of Jonas within the big fish. Recently, some Catholic authors have listed themselves in favor of the theory that the Book is a parable, not a fact. But against these, the traditional belief holds to the factual" historicity of the narrative for the following reasons: the story is narrated in the same style as other historical narratives such as that of Elias and Eliseus tan equally astounding story); Our Lord speaks of the incident of Jonas and the fish. as a matter of fact, not parable; He classifies it with the fact that the men of Ninevah were actually converted. Here is what some of the great Fathers of the Church have to say about it: St. Augustine: "But as our friend has not asked the question whether it should be believed that Lazarus was raised on the fourth day or whether Christ Himself rose on the third day, I find it very astonishing that he sets down the incident about Jonas as incredible, unless he thinks it easier for a dead man to be raised from the tomb than for a living man to be preserved in the belly of a beast." St. Jer- ome: "I am not aware that some will consider it incredible that a man, threatened with ship-wreck, could have been pre- served three days and three nights in the belly of a sea-mon- ster. These, of course, will be obliged to believe much great- er things; how three youths cast into a furnace of blazing fire were so completely unharmed that not even their clothes smelled of fire." St. Cyril of Jerusalem, speaking of Jonas saved in the fish and of Christ's ResurrecUon says; "If the former is credible, so is the latter; if the latter is incredible, so is the former." The important message of the Book of Jonas is that it gives us an historical account of the fatherly care of God who sent His prophet to warn a sinful, pagan people against their own destruction by sin; they listened and they were saved. That is why Christ extols them before the Pharisees; "The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation and shall condemn it." (Matt. 12, 40-42). TO SETTLE AN ARGUMENT, PLEASE INDICATE WHETHER THE VIGIL OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEP- TION, DEC. 7, IS A DAY OF COMPLETE OR OF PARTIAL ABSTINENCE. This day is a day of complete abstinence on which the use of meat is entirely forbidden for all Catholics who have com- pleted their seventh year. 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. The biggest paradox about the Church is that she is at the same time essentially traditional and essentially revolutionary. But that is not as much of a paradox as it seems, because Christian tradition, unlike all others, is a living and perpetual revolution The presence of a strong element of human conservatism in the Church should not obscure the fact that Christian tradition, supernatural in its source, is something ab. solutely opposed to human traditionalism. For the living tradition of Catholicism is like the breath of a physical body. It renews life by repelling stagnation." It is a constant, quiet, peaceful revolution against death. --Thomas Merton ,- # "0.=$$ Ik~~ Vol. XVI, No. 48 ~ 1 December 1, 1961 THE MOST REVEREND LORAS I LANE . Publisher THE REVEREND ARTHUR L O'NEILL Managing Editor MARJORIE GALLAGHER Women's Page Editor ROBERTWlLLEMS News Editor BEULAHO'MEARA Business ROBERTJ. STARR Advertising ANN BERTOLASI Circulation The Observer, published weekly at 1060 W. 5tephenson St Freeport, Illinois. is the official newspape~ of the Catholic Diocese of Rockford. Second class postage paid at Freeport Illinois. Subscriptions $4~00 per year prepaid in the United States ALL COMMUNICATIONS SHOULD fiE ADDRESSED TO THE OSSERVER, 1260 NORTH CHURCH STREEI ROCKFORD ILLINOIS POSTMASTER: Please send form 3579 to the OSSERVER, 1260 North Church Streoh Rockford, Illinoic. A Challe A world mission map recently issued by the Catholic Students' Mission Crusade headquarters in Cincinnati presents some interesting facts and some definite challenges to the missionary zeal of Catholics. Based on world population figures of slightly over three billion of which 550 million (18.3 percent) are Catholic, the study makes an observer ask how well we have carried out Christ's mandate that the Gospel be preached to every creature. A breakdown by continents and regions re- veals the following Catholic percentages: Central America 94% South America 92.3% West Indies 74% Western Southern Europe 57.3% Central Africa 26.8% North America 24.8 % African islands 24.4% Oceania 20.9% Australia-New Zealand 18 1% Eastern Europe and Soviet Union 18% East Africa 16.8% Southeast Asia 11.9 South Africa 7.9 % West Africa 5% Asia (southwest, south central, eastern) less than 1% The overall record of somewhat over 18 per- cent Catholic in a period of almost two thousand years is in glaring contrast to the seeming suc- cesses of Communism which has acquired domi- nation over more than 850 million in 40 years. With the understanding that the domination by the Communists doesn't always mean the conversion to principles, the record is nevertheless a Chal- lenging one. A valid conclusion from these statistics is that Catholics must more than redouble their efforts to spread the truth. This will be accomplished first of all by demonstrating that Christ's principles of social justice when applied to existing conditions contribute to and constitute the earthly happiness of mankind. Secondly, each Catholic must have an instatiable thirst for souls and must act as a "fisher of men" to help bring others the opportu- nity of knowing the truth about Catholicism. ial Justi The December intentibn recommended by the Holy See for the members of the Apostleship of Prayer is: SOCIAL JUSTICE. This is not an acci- dental or arbitrary selection. It is an indication of the Holy Father's estimation of the urgency for prayer that this much abused virtue will soon be practiced universally. Social justice assures to all men their fair share in the use of this world's goods. It is some- thing that must be universally recognized and practiced before the blessings of peace on earth will come to this troubled world. It is something that is achieved only if those who have too much are willing to sacrifice for those who have little or nothing. It is something that recognizes a kinship with the poor Indian in Guatemala as well as a fellowship with the fellow executive who has lunch at the same exclusive club. The Pope's recent letter on Christianity and Social Progress (Mater et Magistral made it very clear that the Christian social justice is the key to world peace and happiness. When men con- quer the temptation to feel personal and exclu- sive dominion over wealth and property many of the problems of the world will be solved. For this reason, members of the Apostleship of Prayer will make social justice--the recognition of its true meaning and the practice of it with all its ramifications--their daily special intention in the Morning Offering during December. The need for it is certainly most urgent. Fervent prayer will smooth the way for sway of social justice in man's dealings with man. There is a rather widely accepted hope that it is the principle of social justice which underlies our government practice of foreign aid. Yet in practical situations the application becomes diffi- cult. For example, the appeals of Dr. Cheddi Jagan, newly elected prime minister of British Guiana, met with an almost open embrace by our State Department even though his past record clearly indicated Communist affiliations. Our more than two billion dollars grant in aid to TiLe are also open to question. There comes a time when the giving backfires. In those cases it is no longer social justice but a kind of self-destruction which serves to undermine the confidence of the American people in the moral meaning of foreign aid. There is indeed a great need for prayers for a better understanding of social justice and for wis- dom in the application of its principles. III I I I I I II I II II I I I Ill I II I ' I II I I , . FRAMED I II.I I I I II II I I I - Ill I II I I I 41~ I I I I I II THE WALL- WHO THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL.?' SPOTLIGHT ON SOCIAL REFORM FATHER WILLIAM SMITH, S.3. Before the end d the year, if all goes according to plan and prediction, 42,000 New York City school teachers in the public school system will be balloting on whether or not they want col- lective bargaining and union rep- resentation. This will be a crucial event in the history d New York City public school education and the results will have far flung effects in many cities across the country. The issue, has been jockeyed back and forth between teach- ers' organizations and the Board of Education for some time. In the last year or two the momen- tum for union recognition has been stepped up with deep un- dertones of both trade union, and political significance. Mayor in Act The United Federation of Teach- ors, Local No. 2, has been a spearhead of activity, goading both the Board of Education and their fellow instructors to bring the issue to a concrete determina- tion. Just about this time last year UFT pulled 5,000 teachers away from their podiums for a one- day strike as a protest against what they called the "Dragging- their-feet" policies of the public administrators. The mayor got into the act by appointing three local labor lead- ers, Harry F. Van Arsdale, presi- dent of the City Council, AFL- CIO; Dave Dubinsky, president of the ILGWU; and Joke Potofsky, president of the ACWA, as a board of mediation to attempt to solve the problems which brought on the strike. Incidental- ly, Arthur Goldberg appeared be- fore the Board of Education on November 30th, representing the UFT. This was before he be- came Secretary of Labor. Gold- berg suggested a bargaining elec- tion, the procedures to be worked out by a panel of experts. The Board of Education set up the commission of experts but re- jected the report when it was submitted. It was then that the referendum was held to find out whether or not the majority of the 42,000 teachers were in favor of collective bargaining or against it. More than 36,000 ballots were cast. The returns showed a 3 to 1 majority in favor of legal col- lective bargaining. Whether an impetus will be giv- en teachers throughout the na- tion to demand union recognition and. real collective bargaining may well be determined for years to come by the results of the coming local election. Not Union.Minded Traditionally, teachers as a class are not "union-minded." They consider themselves differ- ent and distinct from blue collar and even technical workers. They are not hostile to the concept of association. Perhaps no class of citizens have more organizations than do teachers. They are a dime a dozen in every city. It is the connotation of the word "union" that makes them balk. They are not entirely un- acquainted with the tactics that even the average union often makes use of to gain its objec- tives, particularly when the chips are down and a strike is on. They just don't want to get "mixed up" with that type of organizing ac- tivity. If the labor-minded leaders of the existing Teachers Unions are going to have an effective influ- ence on their reluctant fellow teachers they might very well face up to the problem, and it is a problem. Teachers are not mere- ly wage earners. Dignified Profession No one, I presume, can accuse us of "labor baiting." We would like to see teachers strongly and efficiently organized. On the other ~and, we don't like to see and bear officials of a teachers' union haranguing the public (as we have witnessed on TV at times) like a rugged old-time la- bor leader or talking as though the same means must be used for a teachers' organization to at- tain its objectives as a group of underpaid and exploited mill hands who may be forced at times to "get rough" 'within limits. Teachers are members of a dig- nified profession. I use the word dignified deliberately, with malice aforethought. They have a right and a duty to maintain that status of dignity. But there's no contra- diction between the terms dignity and social militancy. To Win Teachers The founder of the society to which I belong would never have been mistaken for a Boy Scout. Ignatius was a soldier. In the be- ginning, at least, he had some of the rough edges of a soldier. Hut he spiritualized his experiences, transformed himself into a great saint and put in motion an organ- ization of teachers that has been known for four hundred years as a bulwark of education in the Church throughout the world. I would say this, though. If the affiliated unions hope to win the teachers over to the idea of col- lective bargaining, they will have to keep constantly in mind that these potential members of the trade union movement are teach- ers-not trade unionists. Likely' Prediction They need organization. They need strong, modern means and methods of negotiating their con- tracts, of processing their griev- ances, of sharing in a unified way in all the common problems that are a part of the American way of life. But they cannot be dra- gooned into joining a union. Whether the New York City school teachers at the present time will choose their representa- tives by majority vote for a sin- gle bargaining unit or reject that proposal, the decisior, rests entire- ly on themselves. That their preference will have a nation- wide effect upon teachers in other parts of the country and perhaps upon white collar workers of pro- fessional status in industry is a prediction which experienced ob- servers consider to be very like- ly. REAPINGS AT RANDOM lans by GERARD E. SHERRY One of the youngsters got out of her bed the other night to make inquiries as to what was tapping on the patio roof. Be. ing engrossed in a book at the time, I had not noticed. A look outside brought delirious shouts of "It's raining!" My readers might be tempted to think, "So what?". They probably think there is nothing to get delirious about. Rain is something they could do without. Alas, in the Central Valley and Southern parts of California, rain is really something to shout about. After all, the .92 of an inch of rain that we received the other night was the first since last April. Our rain measurements are taken from July to July and up to the recent "downpour" we had only .10 of an inch of rain. By this time last year we had 2.41 inches. We are in the fourth year of a very serious drought. In the past few months the sun has shown steadily with a dust bowl in the mak- ing. Water is becoming a very scarce product in California--especially so in the Central Valley. And it is here that we find the world's richest agricul- tural area. Cotton, grapes, figs and olives are the principal crops, along with citrus fruits and other dessert specialties. Acute Problem One of the great irritations to the Valley dweller is the fact that usually at this time of the year he can motor 30 miles into the High Sierras and find 6 and 12 feet of snow on the ground with swollen streams running wild. The great problem is to harness the water in the mountains in order that it can be conserved for the parched southlands. For a state whose industrial and population growth now tops that of New York, the water problem is most acute. Southern California, includ- ing the Los Angeles area gets most of its water through pipe lines which meet up with the Colorado river. Several huge dams are being built in various parts of the state to ease the critical shoi'tage, but when they are built, it still won't be suf- ficient to provide for our needs. In addition, certain commu- nities near San Diego will eventually benefit from a salt water conversion project to be installed next year. In the meantime Califoroia manages somehow. Lesser of Two Evils One great contradiction out here is that in the dry areas there is little rationing of water for lawns. At the height of the summer heat, which ranges from 99 plus to 120 in the shade at a place called Needles, alternate day watering is per- mitted. The Eastern visitor who is informed of the water shortage raises his eyebrows at this and wonders why we waste the water on the lawns and parks, The answer is very simple--it is the lesser of two evils. Don't water your lawn and a couple of months youhave sand, and you're back to the desert which has been reclaimed at great costs. Looking up the history of California one finds pioneer set- tlers who reported tremendous rivers running all over the place. This took care of the needs of the few thousand early settlers. There was no industry; and wells took care of home- stead water needs. Today, well-digging involves tremendous cost, gerat depths have to be'dug before water is reached. One travels from Sacramento, the more than a0o miles to Bak- ersfield, through the Central Valley, and sees dry river beds all the way. In my area, irrigation canals are all over the place. In May and June, the kids in the towns sneak a swim in them. By July they are dry: they are today. ray aln The rains of the other night were called a storm. It also had a curious result. The moisture caused a number of power pole fires, cutting off electricity in hundreds of homes. The fires resulted when transformers shorted out because of rain hit- ting accummulated dust. There was another result from our so called storm--serious flooding. It may sound laughable to have a flood after .92 of rain, but then queer things happen in the Valley. The rain doesn't soak into the ground because the top soil is so shallow, and underneath is the hardpan. Very few drain systems work after being ciogged up with the dust of drought. Southern California is suffering its fourth consecutive sea- son of below normal precipitation and is experiencing its most serious droughts since the early 1920s. When you hear of for- est fires, you can better understand it when you think of tim- berlands which have been parched for so long. Rain--Silver Lining In California dioceses, the Bishops have decreed prayers for rain. To Catholics in California this is not merely routine. It is a spiritual as well as material necessity. Despite all man's ingenuity, we are sill at the mercy of the elements. Our prayers mean much because we do need rain. At our Thanks- giving celebration there was added cause for joy--rain was forecast and it came. It made us happy. Who knows what the rest of the winter will bring? The Val- ley will not see snow, but there is a possibility that the rains will come again before the spring. And if it rains on Christ- mas Day that feast will be a little brighter. We know we can- not have the snow but a few rainclouds will be as welcome--it is our silver lining. umn ine BALTIMORE- CITY & CHURCH "If the segregated neighbor- hoods situation is retained we will have two dues; two dries can- not stand. The changing city pro- vides us with that place where the layman can leave the ghetto and bring the principles of the Church to bear on concrete cases. . . We need hymen who are articulate enough to bring the problem of the city to the Church so there can be a dialogue be- tween the city and the Church." The Rev. Joseph M. Con- nelly to adult education ses- sion College of Notre Dame of Baltimore. w BALTIMORE- RACE "Churches must not stand aloof when decisions about urban prob- lems need to be made. The churches must be at the point where the decisions are rondo. They should not wait for de- cisions to happen. An urban re- newal program must be "con- cerned with people as well as things and churches must call at- tention to the human values in. volved in urban difficulties." Furman L. Templeton, Pres- byterian layman, director of Baltimore Urban League. M ST. PAUL- LATIN AMERICA Catholic laymen must begin to shoulder their share of the re- sponsibility for solving' Latin American social and economic problems. With the conditions of poverty that exist there, it is im- possible to live a human life, and therefore a Christian life. The failure of Christianity to come to grips in the past with Latin social problems has led to its rejection by many current leaders in bet- terment movements. This happens because they do not see where Christianity has relevance to these problems. In some areas they say the Church has been a tool of the wealthy. Christianity must come up with a positive solution to the socio-economic problems to the p:ople in Latin America. Gerald Mische, exeeutive IW secretary Latin American af- fairs, Serra International, and assistant director of Associa- tion for Internationi Develop- ment lay missionary group. WASHINGTON- YOUTH & RACE "American youth are succeed- ing admirably in seizing the man- tle of leadership in race relations from the racist and the bigot. It is the young people who are alerting Americai adults to assume their fair share of responsibility for as- suring basic human rights for all Americans. Young people have found ~ very effective way to translate Christian doctrine into everyday life. They are participat- ing in a whole range of non-vie- lent demonstrations to show the world that Christianity today is more than a collection of either obsolete or superfluous plati- tudes." Dr. John J. O'Connor, pro- fessor of history Georgetown University, and president Na- tional Catholic Conference for Interracial Justice, in ad- dress to area Catholic college students at Donbarton Col- lege. KAMPALA- AFRICAN WOMEN "In this country it seems to me that one of the most urgent requirements for bringing about a Christian culture is the proper development of the family, and so of the whole community. "Since women have an essent-~ ial influence on this development, the Grail in Uganda must go on intensifying their activity in this field. In particular we want to form African women leadera who will be capable of awaken- ing in their fellow-women on all levels a consciousness of their God-given calling and of training them to fulfill their task. Dr. Magdalen Oberhoffer, international president of the: Grail, during her visit to Uganda PROVIDENCE- READING "The life in books can extend, clarify, heighten and help us to intergret our own experiences. I would go so far as to say that the college student learns more of life and living by poring ovw his books in the college liSrary than by participaUng in the so- cial and athletic activities of the college." The Roy. Joseph L. Lennon, O.P dean of Providence eol- lege, in address to meeting o/ Rhode Isb~i IAbrm'y