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March 5, 1982     Arkansas Catholic
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March 5, 1982
 

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he Gu ardna i nl tubli, ation of ll t)icse of Lltle tk I PAGE 2 I Euphemism This is the Age of the Euphemism, a time when there is so much evil in day-to-day life that mild words and expressions are widely used to veil the unpleasantness that would be revealed by precise words. Thus, lust, adultery and fornication are now "love." Filthy movies are "adult movies." Sexual perverts are "gays." Fornicating boys and girls are "sexually-active teen-agers." Contraception is "birth control." Advocating the surgical slaying of unborn babies is "pro- choice." Feticide is "abortion." Cohabitating involves a "live- in friend." Juvenile criminals are "juvenile delinquents." Even in the religious world, the euphemism's popularity is increasing. Thus far, no one has come up with a substitute for "hell," so the reality of eternal punishment is hardly ever mentioned. Sociology and philosophy frequently masquerade as "theology." Mortal sin to many Catholics has become venial sin. A troubled conscience is "a psychosis." And in many cases, the magisterium has been supplanted by the dictates of conscience. Penance has lost much of its pristine meaning to the euphemism, "reconciliation." Lest the meaning of the word euphemism is still not clear, there is a synonymous colloquialism -- flannel-mouthing. W. W. O'D Essays in Theology The Lima Accord By Father Richard P. McBrien In mid-January, the Faith claim that the other's way of and Order Commission of the baptizing is simply wrong. World Council of Churches Here the weight is heavier invited more than one hun- on the shoulders of the free dred Christian theologians to churches than on the higher, Lima, Peru, to work out some main-line churches. The consensus on baptism, main-line churches have Eucharist and ministry, never denied the efficacy of The final result - a 16,000- the baptism of a mature word document which has yet person. (How could they have, to be released in full- con- in any case?) firms much of what we But the free churches have, already know about the in fact, denied the efficacy of present state of ecumenism, infant baptism, which is why 1. - Compared to the many of them required the situation before Vatican II, rebaptism of those who were we are now more likely to originally baptized in infancy. emphasize points of This is not to say that the agreement rather than points main-line churches don't have of disagreement, to be careful about whom they 2. - We tend, therefore, to baptize as infants (see point approach controversial No. 3 above). They "must questions in both-and rather guard against the practice of than an either-or frame of apparently indiscriminate mind. baptism and take more 3. -- We recognize that if we seriously their responsibility really want to make an el- for the nurture of baptized fective case for something we children to mature com- regard as important for the mitment to Christ." Church, we have to concede But the balance tips in favor some deficiencies in our own of the higher main-line way of doing things, churches: all churches "will 4. -- The ecumenical want to refrain from any movement moves inevitably practice that might call into upward, toward high-church, question the sacramental ecclesiologies and away from integrity of the other churches free-church ecclesiologies, or that might diminish the The more we examine the unrepeatability of the sources and the history sacrament of baptism." together, the more we ap- With regard to the preciate the strength of the Eucharist, the World Council claims of Catholic (capital of Churches' document also "C" and small "c" alike) follows a both-and course. The theology and pastoral Eucharist is not only a practice, memorial, as many 5. - The strategy in No. 1 Protestants have argued, nor above requires us to move is it only a sacrifice, as many slowly on points that still Catholics have believed. It is divide us - not only from both. church to church but even, The Eucharist is a living and perhaps especially, and effective memorial of the within the churches them- sacrifice of Christ on the cross selves, e.g., ordination of -- a sacrifice that, although women and papal primacy- accomplished "once and for infallibility, all," is still operative on In the Lima document behalf of all humankind. Rev. Jerome Kodell, O.S.B. Question: - Why does St. Paul say we are saved by faith alone and not by good works, if we are taught that faith and good works will get us to heaven? A. - St. Paul meant that salvation is a free gift of God and cannot be earned. We can only open ourselves to his gift and accept it. He did not, however, deny the im- portance of good works. He also spoke of this saving faith as "expressing itself through love" (Gal 5:6) and urged his friends to "work with anxious concern to achieve your salvation" (Phil 2:12). Question: - May a Catholic priest or deacon validly witness a non-Catholic wedding? A. - Priests and deacons are licensed by the state to perform marriages. They may be valid ministers for non-Catholic marriages, unless the exercise of this ministry has been restricted by the bishop. Question: - Several months ago, I sent you an unsigned letter containing a question 1 wanted answered through The Guardian. I waited and waited, but it never appeared. Why didn't you answer it.'? Lenten Meditations A. -- Some answers belong to the individual and not to the whole world. Question: - Can Catholics be attendants at non-Catholic weddings, i.e., maid of honor, bridesmaid, etc.? A. - Part One of the Directory Concerning Ecumenical Matters (May 14, 1967) makes the following provision: "The separated brethren may act as 'official' witness (bridesmaid or best man) at a Catholic marriage, and Catholics at a marriage which is properly celebrated between our separated brethren" (paragraph 58). Pope Stresses Forgiveness For a Christmas present, Our Holy Father John Paul II sent each bishop a copy of the addresses given to pilgrims in October, 1981. These were the first given after the attempt on his life May 13, 1981. TALK AT THE GENERAL AUDIENCE OF OCTOBER 21, 1981 1. Again today, at this welcome meeting with you, dear brothers and sisters, I wish to return to the event of last 13 May. I return to it to recall what was already spoken on that day before Christ, who is Master and Redeemer of our soul, and what was subsequently said aloud and publicly on the following Sunday, 17 May, at the Regina Coeli. Here are the words which today I not only report, but also repeat, to express the truth contained in them, which today just as then is the truth of my soul, of my heart and my conscience: "Beloved brothers and sisters, I know that during these days and especially in this hour of the Regina Coeli you are united with me. With deep emotion I thank you for your prayers and I bless you all. I am particularly close to the two persons wounded together with me. I pray for that brother of ours who shot me, and whom I have sin- cerely pardoned. United with Christ, Priest and Victim, I offer my sufferings for the Church and for the world. "To you, Mary, I repeat: beginning of this essay are most fully operative in the document's discussion of ministry. There is much to be said for those churches which have not preserved the episcopal ministry in its classic form because even those churches have developed forms of ministry which fulfill the episcopal function. But these same churches "may need to recover the sign of the entitled "Baptism, Eucharist Indeed, the Church now joins episcopal succession." and Ministry," the values of Christ, "our great high The higher, main-line both infant baptism and priest," in offering its in- churches havetoadmitatthe believer's baptism are tercession to God. same time that there is no acknowledged. No one can The five points listed at the single New Testament pattern ] for ministry. Nevertheless, the threefold ministry of bishop, presbyter and deacon "may serve today as an ex- pression of the unity we seek and also as a means for achieving it." More remarkable still: "Each church needs this ministry of unity in some form in order to be the church of God, the one body of Christ, a sign of the unity of all in the kingdom." To he sure, those churches which have this threefold Pope John Paul lI has urged Catholics to make known their reactions to presentations by the press, radio, and television. Guardian readers may do this by mailing their com- ments to: Corn munications Department Diocese of Little Rock P.O. Box 7417, Little Rock. Ark. 72217 Letters will be duplicated and forwarded to networks, stations, sponsors or newspapers involved. Totus tuus ego sum (I belong entirely to you)." 2. Forgiveness! Christ taught us to forgive. He spoke forgiveness very often and in various ways. When Peter asked him how often he should forgive his neighbour, "as many as seven times?", Jesus answered that he should forgive "seven times seven" (Mt 18:21f.). That means, in practice, always, in fact, the number "seventy" times "seven" is symbolical, and it means, more than a fixed quantity, an incalculable, infinite quantity. Answering the question about how we must pray, Christ uttered those magnificent words addressed to the Father: "Our Father who art in heaven"; and among the requests that compose this prayer the last one speaks of forgiveness: "And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors", those who are guilty towards us ("our debtors"). Finally, Christ himself confirmed the truth of those words on the Cross, when, addressing the Father, he begged: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Lk 23: 34). "Forgiveness" is a word spoken by the lips of a man to whom some evil has been done. It is, in fact, the word of the human heart. In this word of the heart each of us en- deavours to go beyond the frontier of hostility, which can ministry have to ask them- selves always if these ministries are being exer- cised in the most effective way. But, again, the heavier weight is placed on low- church shoulders. They have to ask themselves "whether the threefold pattern as developed does not have a powerful claim to be accepted by them." Some Catholics have been fearful these past fifteen or twenty years that in- volvement in the ecumenical movement leads inevitably to a diluted form of Christianity through a progressive erosion of Catholic substance. This is simply not the case. That fear reflects a lack of confidence in the evidence of history and in the Catholic claims which rest upon it. separate us from the other person; he tries to reconstruct the interior area of un- derstanding, contact, bond. Christ taught us with the word of the Gospel, and above all by his own example, that this area opens not only before the other man, but at the same time before God himself. The Father, who is the God of forgiveness and mercy, wishes to act precisely in this area of human forgiveness - he wishes to forgive those who are capable of forgiving one another, those who try to put into practice those words: "Forgive us. .as we forgive". Forgiveness is a grace, which we must consider with deep humility and gratitude. It is a mystery of the human heart, one which is difficult to fathom. However, I would like to dwell on what I said. I said it because it is strictly part of the event of 13 May as a whole. 3. During the three months that I spent in hospital, there often came to my mind that passage from the Book of Genesis which we all know well: "Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a tiller of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. The Lord said to Cain, 'Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be ac- cepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it'. "Cain said to Abel his brother, 'Let us go out to the field'. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, 'Where is Abel your brother?' He said, 'I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?' And the Lord said, 'What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood m crying to me from the ground! '" (Gen 4:2-10). Question: - remarried after tlthe his first wife. se's, read made me wod the baptized in the e L $2. Church. . a A. - Write to [p where you think (50 baptized and asKF or baptismal record bSam ' ' 722 Father Jero se questions fromith subscribers. sho should be addr"Sc Rev. Jerome .f Lit O.S.B., New Sublopy 72865. . yo e Lt ye F to 4. This very ancient text, which speaks of man's first attempt on man's life - the brother's attempt on his brother's life, often came to my mind in my meditations in hospital. At that time therefore, when the man who made the attempt on my life was being tried and when he received the sentence, I was thinking of the account of which "beginning" of man's life. In this sin become and in a new many innocent perishing at the others, the tion of what ween particularly more complete, overwhelming commandment shall not kill". belongs to the mandments, received from are at the same in man's heart as law of moral human behaviour. that question of dressed to Cain: your brother?" even more than ban "not to following up evasive reply, brother's the other divine "What have you voice of your is crying to me ground!" 5. Christ forgive. dispensable also in God may put to conscience in corn At this time, See Pope on I kHtiflcohon Published Wkly by Press, I nc 2$00 N. Tyler St., Little  E ntered aS S 21. 1911. at the post offic# t Arkans4s. under the ACt I March 8. 117 Second cless Little RO SUBSCRIPTION Ip S7.00 per yqNIr CanM $9 00 PUBLtSH I MOST REvERI ANDREW J Mi BishoIp Of Little I PRIEST CONSU I REV. BERNAR MANAGING EC MR. WILLIAM W. ( EDITOR MR. KARl Adlfoss All FORREST PARK