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Arkansas Catholic
Litlte Rock, Arkansas
January 18, 1974     Arkansas Catholic
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January 18, 1974
 

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GUardian ''TNe its .col "s __ :,1 OfFicial 00ublication of the q)iocese o[ Cittle q00ock :)f I VOL. LXIII, NO. 3 JANUARY 18, 1974 For Anniversary of Abortion Ruling Bishop McDonald Issues "Affirmation in Behalf of Life" Little Rock -- A six-point "Affirmation in Behalf of Life" was issued this week by His Excellency Bishop Andrew J. McDonald in a Pastoral Message, marking the Jan. 22 anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's "tragic and destructive opinions on abor- tion." The Bishop added his voice to the thousands calling for a pro- life amendment to the Con- stitution. He said, "As Catholics we should join with other concerned men and women of good will in crying out for an end to the killing of unborn children which is a blot on our national life." Bishop McDonald's pastoral follows : "One year ago the United States Supreme Court issued its tragic and destructive opinions on abortion. As a OF PRI:IYER consequence this nation is unable today to provide any FOR (HRI] Tl00n protection for the right to life of unborn human beings during the first six months of pregnancy. UNIT" 0"/4 Conrt Justly Criticized "The majority opinions of the court have frequently and justly been criticized. They ignore the scientific evidence that the human fetus is a human being in the earliest stages of development. They deny the self-evident truths enunciated in the Declaration of In- dependence: that 'all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.' They contradict the religious belief of millions of Americans that human life is sacred and that the killing of an innocent human being is morally wrong. "Abortion is not a 'Catholic' issue; it involves principles which cut across religious lines. The life of every human being is sacred from conception to death. This is so because God has created each of us, and because each of us shares in the redemption of Christ our Lord. No court, no legislative body, no individual can assign less value to the life of any individual or class of human beings. Exceeded Its Competence "In holding that the unborn child is not a human person and deserves no legal protection during the first six months of existence in the mother's womb, the court clearly ex- ceeded its competence. It also set the stage for the formulation and enactment of bad laws throughout the land. The National Conference of Catholic Bishops declared in February, 1973, that 'laws that conform to the opinion of the court are immoral laws, in opposition to God's plan of creation and to the Divine Law which prohibits the destruction of human life at any point Of its existence. Whenever a conflict arises between the law of God and any human law, we are held to follow God's law.' "The words of Pope John XXIII's great encyclical on human rights, Peace on Earth, are crucial here: - 'Any human society, if it is to be well- ordered and productive, must lay down as a foundation this principle, namely, that every Official Announcement Diocese of Little Rock 2415 N Tyler Pope Is Not Thinking of Reimposing Latin The Liturgical Commission wishes to address this to all -- rEL but especially to Liturgists, Organists, Choir Directors and Pastors. I "Many are asking that the Latin Gregorian Chant be Preserved in all countries for the Gloria, the Credo, the 68', Sanctus, the Agnus Dei. May God will that it be thus. , Just how it can be done might be studied." (Words . from a recent Papal address) t The Roman Congregation for Divine Worship has com- mented w ut that that Po e Paul Is not t'" , hen asked abo , p " iVO tmking of reimposing Latin in any part of the Mass. But ne Congregation emphasized that technically Latin 01q/ remains the official language of the liturgy according to the oeeond Vatican Council, but far more importantly, the Pesent liturgical reform rests entirely on the Council's onstitution on the Liturgy. Please note: even the Holy cathe.r respects the place of honor and authority of the onshtuh nd Vatican II so that he s not i d" on on the Liturgy a " , !recting that the Church contradict the spirit or law of either. The Congregation makes clear that the Pope wishes and , ]|! ,opes Latin could be preserved in the singing of the Gloria nd Credo and other parts of the Mass, but is not in- :] Oducing anything new. He is merely recalling the rule laid OWn by the Council in 1963 that Latin is the official nguage of the Liturgy and if it is possible that some Latin e retained while promoting the primary reform of the ,vass, then fine. But the responsibility of such a devemp- ent rests on territorial bodies of bishops. Our U. S. Con- erence of Bishops have made no such declaration thus mr and the Holy Father is making no such declaration on his n part. Thus the direction of Vatican II is still the wish of oe Church in this matter. a,Hence, the Diocesan Liturgical Commission is directing ) organists, Choir Directors and Pastors to avoid putting a t .atin emphasis in the Mass until all of Vatican II s direc- Ires for obtaining full vernacular participation have been accomplished. It occurs to us that very few parishes have Obtained the kind of singing participation that the Church lShes. Therefore, to start emphasizing Latin at this time is t go contrary to the wish of the Holy Father, Vatican II and ,: ue Church in general. Hopefully soon, we will be establishing very specific : guidelines for the diocese as regards music. el Rev. Robert A. Torres, Chairman e Diocesan Liturgical Commission human being is a person, that is, his nature is endowed with intelligence and free will. By virtue of this, he has rights and duties of his own, flowing directly and simultaneously from his very nature. These rights are therefore universal, inviolable, and inalienable. (No. 9) . . . Every man has the right to life, to bodily integrity, and to the means which are necessary and suitable for the proper development of life.' (No. 11) "Scholars who have studied the Supreme Court's opinions in Demonstrations Set for Jan. 22 Washington (NC) -- The first anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Jan. 22, 1973, abortion ruling will be marked here with a march and gathering at the Capitol, while thousands of red roses aresent to congressmen. The National March for Life Committee, a group which is planning activities for the anniversary, will sponsor a march -- termed a "circle of life" -- around the Capitol while another circle of life -- com- posed of representatives from each Congressional district in the U.S. -- is formed under the Capitol's rotunda. After the march, both groups will assemble at the west front of the Capitol for a rally featuring national pro-life speakers and legislative leaders. Planners of the gathering hope to send red roses -- the pro- life movement's symbol of life -- to every senator and representative. Earlier in the day, the par- ticipants are being asked by the organizers to visit their congressmen and encourage them to support pro-life amendments to the U.S. Con- stitution. (In Arkansas, Catholic church bells will be rung at noon next Tuesday, Jan. 22, "to call attention to the tragic im- plication of the Court's action and to emphasize need for a Constitutional Amendment." Father James R. Savary, Little Rock diocesan family life director, also suggested special Masses and prayer vigils on the anniversary, and urged Catholics to write to their Senators and Representatives to make known their con- victions). In Philadelphia, John Car- dinal Krol is scheduled to lead a march from Independence Mall to the federal court house. A dinner that night, will feature U.S. Senator James Buckley, SEE ANNIVERSARY PAGE 2 Bishop to Participate In Interfaith Unity Vigil Little Rock -- His Excellency Bishop Andrew J. McDonald will lead a Catholic delegation this Sunday, Jan. 20, to the Official Announcement Diocese of Little Rock 2A15 N. Tyler Refinement Of Communion Guidelines We hope the priests, Religious and laity have studied the Guidelines published last week on the reception of Holy Com- munion by believers of other faiths. We publish a further refinement: - the permission for Holy Communion may be granted only for individual instances and only by the Bishop personally. Father Robert A. Torres, Chairman Diocesan Liturgical Commission eighth annual Vigil for Christian Unity, scheduled for 4 P.M. at Bethel A.M.E. Church, 815 West 16th Street here. The Little Rock and North Little Rock Deaneries of the Diocese of Little Rock are collaborating with the Arkansas Council of Churches' Division for Christian Unity in arranging the worship service in which Bishop McDonald will be the principal Catholic participant. Other Catholics who will lead portions of the ritual are Father Robert A. Torres, chairman of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission, and Phillip Carroll, a Little Rock attorney. "Let every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord" will be the vigil theme. A reception will be held in Bethel A.M.E. Church after the service. Pocahontas Christians will conduct an interfaith "Prayer for Christian Unity" in St. Paul's Church there Sunday, Feb. 3, at 5 P.M. The theme will be "Called to Freedom," and the principal address will be delivered by A.H. McDonnell, superintendent of Pocahontas public schools. Clergymen of various faiths will divide the readings and lead prayers. The climax will be a bread-breaking rite, not to be confused with a Communion rite, to symbolize the Christian desire for unity. the past year conclude that the only practical way to provide a constitutional basis for legal protection of the right to life of the unborn child is now to amend the Constitution of the United States. Amending the Constitution is not a matter to be taken lightly. Yet the issue at stake here -- human life -- is so precious that one can have no doubt that this is the course of action we must take. "An amendment of the kind which is needed would clearly establish that the unborn child is a person in the eyes of the law. It would insure that the child would no longer be vic- timized by a so-called right of privacy which in fact permits abortion as a matter of con- venience. "In any civilized society the protection of individual human rights is a primary respon- sibility of law. It is thus a matter of high civic respon- sibility that those who affirm the sanctity of unborn human life pray, work and strive to convince their fellow citizens that every human life should be protected by law. "As Catholics we should join with other concerned men and women of good will in crying out for an end to the killing of un- born children which is a blot on our national life. We must also take practical actions which express our commitment to life and our opposition to death-by- abortion. Let the following points constitute our Af- firmation in Behalf of Life. Violates God's Law "1. Abortion is a serious violation of God's law. Those who obtain an abortion, those who persuade others to have an abortion, and those who per- form the abortion procedures are guilty of breaking God's law. In order to emphasize the special evil of abortion, under "Church law, those who undergo or perform an abortion place themselves by that fact in a state of excommunication. "2. Serious problems do exist in connection with some pregnancies -- problems such as illegitimacy, great emotional stress, possible disadvantages for the child after birth. But sound morality and sound law do not permit the solution of problems by the destruction of human life. Furthermore, allowing the taking of life in such circumstances introduces into society an insidious prin- ciple, which threatens the lives of the aged, the incurably ill, the handicapped, and all who al some point may come to be regarded by society as un- desirable or burdensome. "3. Charity and justice demand that we seek solutions to the problems which lead some women to consider abortion. Those who wish to defend human life must do all in their power to remove the stigma visited on the woman who is pregnant out of wedlock as well as on her child. Church agencies must continue to make their facilities generously available to provide counseling and service to the woman who faces a difficult pregnancy. At the same time we should take encouragement from the scientific advances of recent SEE PASTORAL ON PG. 2