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Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
February 7, 1969     Arkansas Catholic
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February 7, 1969

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THE GUARDIAN, FEBRUARY 7, 1969 PAGE 5 STRANGE BUT E T h e /:act-00 For" Ca;-hMi00 Question Box By Very Rev. Msgr. John E, Murphy, S.T.D. bees the word Eucharist Same thing as the word Director, Diocesan Department of Education 2500 North Tyler Street, Little Rock, Ark. It should not be used to designate any ceremony which, however ac- ceptable and edifying as a re- Questions for this column should be addressed directly to The Very Rev. Msgr. John E. Murphy, Diocesan Direc- tor of Education, 2500 North Tyler Street, Little Rock, Ark., 72207. Each question must be signed with the name and address of the person submitting it. Un- signed questions will be ignored. ligious rite, consistsprincipally in a meal which is to be eaten as ordinary food. W * * Q. - Is there any such thing as a law which is not binding in conscience? A. - Of its very nature, a law is binding on all to whom it is applicable. A legal enactment which would be purely directive "i:. terally, the word Eucha- thanksgiving or some- is highly favorable or the word the sacrament of the Blood of Christ, present COnsecrated species of Wine. The word is also the rite of con- Which makes Christ pre- the species of bread In this last sense, means the same thing s: the solemn memorial of the Sacrifice of on the cross. Eucharist is the cen- Catholic religion and the deep veneration, it is that the use of the word avoid implications which with its true meaning. It refers to the sacrifice of the the sacrament in which and Blood are truly, SUbstantially present. SALVATION AND SERVICE ARE THE WORK OF SOCIETy FOR THE PROPAGATION OF THE FAITH SEND YOUR GIFf TO 'e Rt Rvewl E'i'irrd T. O'Molwa Tile VGry R#vlfflrd dbe M. BI tml Dtr#ctor J'%] lolslm D4rtctw 3.  Arm,, Lnlt ls No. Plr, s**t NOW York, Now york IO00J LIttla Rock, ArkmlJas 72207 ZIP : By M. J. MURRAY cop,t, 1, .c.wz...., ,.. would not be, in the strict sense, a law. Some theologians admit the con- cept of a merelypenal law, that is to say, one which does not oblige observance of what is commanded, but only the payment of the pen- alty decreed for violation of the law. Those who deny thepossibil- ity of the merely penal law argue that it is inconsistent to impose a penalty where there is no guilt. In response to this it is argued that the will of the legislator can limit the obligation to the fulfilment of the penalty. Perhaps the answer to the dif- ficulty may lie in the degree in which the so-called merely penal laws may admit of excuse, as compared with laws wtAch are regarded as morally binding in their very observance. Q. -- Are all true saints hap- py on this earth? A. -- By "saint" we understand one who has practiced heroic vir- tue for a great part of his life, whether or not he has been can- onized. To prove heroic virtue, it is required that the work done be arduous, surpassing men's com- mon mode of operation, and that the acts of virtue be fulfilled in an eminent degree, whenever oc- casion arises, promptly and read- ily, delectably and cheerfully, and in perfect conaectionwith the other virtues. These requirements exclude all inordinate grief, which arises from self-centeredness or lack of trust in God, though they do not rule out the vexations and pains that are the lot of men. Saints suffer more than others; but they suffer as Christ suffered, with a serenity that puts all the trials of life into proper perspec- tive. The closeness to God of the saint in the unitive way is in- compatible with fundamental un- happiness. Q. -- Why so many changes in the Catholic religion? If it was once a mortal sin to eat meat on Friday why not now? What about Confessions, divorces, birth con- trol, Sunday work, obligatory Mass attendance? A. -- Changes in our religion that do not alter its divine nature are possible and have been made in every age. That is why Christ gave the Church the power to bind and loose. Changes are made be- cause they are deemed advisable for the salvation of souls at the time; but these changes never compromise the nature or mission of the Church. The prohibition of meat on Fri- day, though ancient, was made by the human government of the Church for the good of souls, and abrogated for the same reason. The laws forbidding servile works on Sunday, and obliging attendance at Mass on that day, were likewise made by the Church; but they are so closely related to the divine law which demands that a certain day be set aside FRANCIS OF GERONtMO (164 -- 176 ) OFTEN PREACHED FORT "nME; IN OldIE D AND DURING -Ills MISSIONS MORE THAN "IEN "II-IOUSAND PEOPLE flAelI"IJALLY RECEIVED flOLY COMMUNION ON A SUNOAV, ./IS I/ilCORRUPFSODY /VOW L/KS/IV 6ROTTAOLI: ITRL y. Belgian Bishop Says Celibacy Is Something Positive/Cites Vatican # Bruges, Belgium (NC)-- Priest- ly celibacy is something positive, Bishop Emile Josef De Smedt of Bruges has said. In a discussion of priestly celi- bacy, the 59-year-old bishop em- phasized that, although there are good reasons for allowing a mar- ried clergy, the Church has ex- pressed its preference for unmar- ried priests. "It is important, " Bishop De Smedt said, "to pose the problem of celibacy exactly .... The ques- tion could be posed inthe following way: Would it be better for the Church, for man and for the world that there be, besides unmarried priests, married priests?" Pointing out that the priesthood and celibacy must not be neces- sarily linked and that there are married priests in the Catholic Eastern-rites, the bishop said: "It is not a question of tradition but of a concrete disposition made by the Church. The judgment of the Church is that unmarried priests ark better able to carry out the function of pastors of the people of God." Since there are good reasons in favor of maintaining the link between celibacy and the priest- hood and also good reasons in favor of allowing a married clergy, Bis- hop De Smedt said: "Consequently, as in any society, the responsi- bility must be assumed by those who have the decision-making power. In the matter of celibacy, the responsible authority estab- for divine worship that they will never be abrogated completely, though they may be modified. The law making complete divorce impossible for a validly married baptized couple comes directly from Christ, and cannot be changed. So also does the obli- gation of the private and specific Confession of mortal sins. The laws governing the right use of the marital act are of the posit- ire-divine or divine-natural law, and cannot be changed, though they can be more accurately in- terpreted. lished by God must finally make its decision in carrying on a dia- logue and after having held a dialogue with the people of God. "In fact, the hierarchy has come to the decision that it is prefer- able for the people of God that the priesthood be accessible only to unmarried persons. It is ex- pected that candidates for the priesthood commit themselves fully and definitively to celibacy. Celibacy has its value. Didn't the last council ask for prayers that, in the Church, there would always be found enough young men who would consecrate themselves ex- clusively to God and who would prepare for the priesthood and for the celibacy connected with it?" Speaking of the value of celibacy, Bishop De Smedt said: "In a community of responsible Chris- tians, the priest is the catalyst, the man who gives a soul to the world, the consecrated repre- sentative of Christ whpi'es=Idesai the Eucharist. The believers ask the priest to live a life of poverty, to be detached, to be close to the people, to be for all a sign of the love of God. It is in this per- spective that celibacy must be considered. "When one understands what it is to be driven by the love of for all men, what it is to bear the message of the love of God, one knows also that much is ask- ed of priests. To be an unmarried priest is something positive: it is to be truly united to all man- kind, to be consecrated by the sacrament to seek, faithfully, with all men, the kingdom of God.'* With regard to priests who have abandoned their ministry, the bishop said: "I would like to say 'Judge not.' Who, except God, knows what human dramas or what personal motives led them to their decision? We cannot judge them nor even more keep them out of the way. We must be grateful to them, give them the witness of a tactful and discreet charity, without, for all that, necessarily approving their decision."