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Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
March 7, 1969     Arkansas Catholic
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March 7, 1969

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THE GUARDIAN, MARCH 7, 1969 PAGE 5 The Question Box By Very Rev. Msgr. John E. Murphy, S.T.D, Director, Diocesan Department of Education 9.500 North Tyler Street, Little Rock, Ark. Must a Catholic take time his work in order to on a holyday of ob- It is hard to see how this COUld arise in places in Catholic Church is well especially since the evening Masses has be- alent. On the other hand, been admitted by inns that the obli- state in life might an excusing reason obligation of attending ,s and holydays. case should present itself the only Mass available at an hour when the one's position would be obligation of attending yield. It could not however, that one is Mass merely be- needs to rest after a Work. at Mass should be seen not merely as a duty which obliges, but as an opportunity for self-sanctification to be taken ad- vantage of. People should be taught to look beyond the law in this matter to the achieving of the purpose for which the lawhasbeen made. That the obligation is im- 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. posed by law cannot be overlooked. It remains true, however, that those who are moved to attend Mass merely because Mass is obligatory are placing themselves beyond much of the spiritualbene- Lent is time mill fit to be gained by actively assist- ing at Mass. Q. I have read that the Catholic Church once followed the teaching of Artistotle that life of a fetus began 40 or 80 days after conception, and it was only in 1869 that all abortions were pro- hibited by the Church. Is that true? A. -- From the beginning of Christian records, abortion at whatever stage has always been condemned as murder. Never was any distinction made between the earlier and the later stages of gestation. For, although the opin- ion of Aristotle (or similar theo- ries about the spiritual life of the fetus) was accepted in the early Church, it was always held by theologians and by Church Coun- cils that he who destroyed what was to be a man was guilty of de- stroying a human life. Perhaps this author drew his notion about Catholic teachingfrom the fact that the present excom- munication against those who pro- cure abortions dates from the time of Pope Plus IX. Previously, Greg- ory XIV (d. 1591) had enacted the penalty of excommunication for the abortion of a "quickened" child, and the old canon law had de- clared incapable of receiving Holy Orders one who had procured an abortion, after quickening, (the time of which was interpreted according to Aristotelian rules.) Modern canonical penalties against abortion recognize no restrictions as to the time of gestation; but even the ancient penalties were never meant to suggest that abortion at an early period in fetal life was not murder. A time to deepen our communion with Christ and our fellow man. Pray and sacrifice for the missions! AND SACRIFICE ARE THE WORK OF 1" FOR THE PROPAGATION OF THE FAITH SEND YOUR GIFT TO lke RQI t Reverend EdWard T. O'M#er The Very Reurend JOhn hr. Bmm lCaop, al Hr#ctor Dtoces Dtrector 3S6 fi Avtr= OR 2,H5 Io. Tyler Str*.t New York, No: York 10oo1 Ltltla Rock, ArJal 72207 Q. - - Have any persons who were not Catholics everbeencanonized? Many non-Catholics have suffered death in recent times from Com- munism on account of their re- ligion. How many of them were martyrs? A. -- It is not intrinsically impossible for some who were not formally members of the Church to be canonized, but none has been so far. If any such were canonized, it would be because they exempli- fied some truth taught by the Church, and thus were Catholics in desire. It is highly probable that there have been true martyrs outside the juridic limits of the Catholic Church, as well as saintlypersons who exemplified heroic charity in their lives. They would have lived and died, not for their par- ticular tenets as opposed to the Catholic faith, but for the truths or virtues they hold in common with us. If a non-Catholic were put to death out of hatred for some Chris- tian virtue or truth, and he know- ingly, meekly, and patiently sub- mitted to such death, he would be a true Christianmartyr. Q. -- I understand that a person cannot have his sponsor in Baptism also sponsor his Confirmation. I know of a case where this did TRANGE BUT rRU E Little-Known Facts for Catholics By M. J. MURRAY ,'..p.,.lht. ,g,'. m.' sm, l. Lenten Medilali0n Agony of Christ's I)assion Recalled by 'Holy 5:J,ro z' Rome -- For centuries, scien- tists have disagreed whether the so-called "Holy Shroud" of Turin is the actual winding sheet in which the body of Christ was wrapped after His crucifixion. But regard- less of whether it is authentic, the relic undoubtedly once con- tained the body of a man who died on a cross, and scientists have been able to learn much from it con- cerning the sufferings involved in such a death. The Holy Shroud is a long linen cloth bearing the marks of the likenessof a man who was scourg- ed, crowned with thorns, crucified and whose side was pierced by a lance. It has long been thought that this is the winding sheet in which the body of Christ was wrapped after He was taken from the Cross. However, other schol- ars have objected to its authen- ticity since it was not generally known until the 13th century. The shroud, preserved in the Royal Chapel in Turin, has been studied most recently by two Ital- ian scholars, Msgr. Giulio Ricci, an archivist of the Congregation for Bishops of the Vatican Curia, and Anatomy Professor Miani of the Catholic University of Milan's medical school in Rome. One of their conclusions is that the man whose imprint was left on the cloth was about the average height of his time, somewhere around five feet and three or four inches. Their conclusion con- tradicts the conclusions of other scholars who had examined the shroud. One of the latter, Prof. Lorenzo happen. Was this a valid sponsor- ship? A. -- Canon 796, par. 1, of the Code of Canon Law states that the sponsor at Confirmation should not be the same as the sponsor in Baptism, unless, for a reason- able cause, the minister of Con- firmation allows an exception to this rule, or unless Confirmation is legitimately given immediately after Baptism. Sponsorship outside these exceptions is validbut illicit. Ferri, concluded 35 years ago that Christ, or the man of the shroud, had been more than six feet tall. However, according to the most recent study, this is not so, be- cause the earlier studies failed to take into account the position of the body within the shroud and the measurable distances between the various parts of the body. In addition to the conclusion regarding height, Msgr. Ricci said that study of the shroud reveals that the man had been beaten by two men wielding whips, each with three thongs, each with two weights at their ends. Analysis, according to Msgr. Ricci, showed that the man in the shroud had been struck by at least 98 blows -- at least 98 because the shroud does not show the body's sides and hips, which may have been struck. This, he notes, exceeds the limit of 39 blows permitted by the Jews and argues that the victim was scourg.., ed by Roman soldiers. The shroud also shows that the nails were driven through the hands and not through the wrists. This, according to Msgr. Ricci, was the cruelest form of crucifixion. The shroud shows no mark of the thumb of the left hand because the nail hammered through that hand in- jured the median nerve. This is a motor nerve which has a reflex action in the thumb. It'is also a sensory nerve and if injured causes excruciating, unbearable pain. Msgr. Ricci also said that the study of the shroud shows that the whole body was subject to great pressure. There was first amove- ment of collapse when the whole body hung down almost entirely from the arms and then a lifting movement when the crucified man, to avoid asphyxiation and to bend his head or speak, concentrated all his efforts on the nailhammer- ed into his feet andby ralsinghim- self was able to restore himself to an almost normal circulation and breathing. The two experts hope that physi- cal and chemical examinations may be carried out to provide ultimate scientific proof regarding this pax- ticular relic's authenticity. ZIP :