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March 19, 1982     Arkansas Catholic
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March 19, 1982
 

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lThe00Ouardaan[ Worth Reviving The Vatican Congregation for Sacraments and Divine Worship has said that there is no demand to bring back the Latin of the Mass into general practice. After a survey of all the bishops of the world, the Congregation stated there is a "vast silent majority that is satisfied with the liturgical reform and faithful to the established norms." If there is a problem about the so-called Tridentine Mass, it reports that problem exists only for a very tiny and active minority. Those who object to the present version of the Mass, the study declares, are really rejecting some of the liturgical excesses or abuses, or equally the very drab, blah liturgies they experience Sunday after Sunday. But what is very hopeful in this finding: there are a great number of people who still want the Gregorian Chant and the classical polyphony -- that is, music of Palestrina, etc. That is heartening. All in all, the study proved to be valuable, for it lays to rest some false assumptions and gives hope that what was worthy may be revived. The Catholic Digest Diocese of Greensburg, Pa. Essays in Theology Does Smoking Also Cause Sin? By Father Richard P. McBrien This may be one of the most controversial columns I've ever written. Be on your guard. No, it's not about the or- dination of women, or birth control, or clerical celibacy, or the authority of the Pope. It's about smoking. Some of you remember the days, back in the 1940's and 1950's, when Catholic moral theologians, like the late Father Francis Connell, C.SS.R., speculated on the number of packs of cigarettes per day a Catholic could smoke before committing a venial sin, then possibly even a mortal sin. The argument focussed on the potential damage to the smoker's health. Could one expose oneself to physical harm without good reason? Would such behavior not conflict with our abiding moral obligation to employ all necessary means to preserve our bodily health? Father Connell's instincts were ahead of his time. He knew then, without benefit of scientific studies, that smoking was harmful and that self-exposure to such injury without sufficient reason posed a moral problem. I am writing this column on the day following the release of the U.S. Surgeon General's new report on cigarette smoking. It more than sub- stantiates the concern and skepticism of Catholic moral theologians of the 1940's and 1950's. The report finds that smoking will cause 130,000 deaths from cancer in 1982, that it is now the major cause of cancers of the lung. larynx. mouth and esophagus, and is a "contributing factor" to cancers of the bladder, kid- neys and pancreas. Furthermore, cancer death rates are directly related to the number of cigarettes smoked. Those smoking more than one pack per day are three times as likely to die of cancer as non-smokers. (Father Connell was on the right track in raising the question of quantity.) Those who quit smoking automatically reduced their risk of contracting cancer. Indeed, 85 per cent of all lung cancer deaths could have been avoided if the victims had not smoked. All of these statistics -- the self-serving rebuttals of The Tobacco Institute, not- withstanding -- support the traditional argument that smoking is at the very best morally dubious because of the. real dangers I the habit poses to one's physical health. And since each one of us is morally bound to take care of our health, because our physical life is a gift from God, any form of behavior which unnecessarily en- dangers our health is subject to moral condemnation. But the moral argument cannot end there. There are other implications to smoking beyond the risking of one's own health. And here is where Father Connell's (and other older moralists') analyses are most in need of updating. The Surgeon General's report notes that "sidestream smoke," i.e., the smoke inhaled by non-smokers who are unfortunate enough to be positioned near smokers, is a "possible serious public health problem." This would apply not only to people on airplanes, in restaurants and in other public places, but especially in the home: parents infecting their children, including in- fants, or older children in- fecting their brothers and Rev. Jerome Kodell, O.S.B. Question -- Why don't Christians celebrate the Seder? A. -- The Seder is the Jewish ceremonial meal com- memorating the Passover. Christians celebrate the Eucharist, which they con- sider the full expression foreshadowed by the Seder. Christians often do schedule a Seder during Holy Week for devotional purposes. Question: - A new priest recently has dropped the "Alleluia" before the Gospel every time he says Mass. Does he have the right to do this? A. -- The General In- troduction to the Roman Missal (1969) gives this in- struction: "The Alleluia or the verse before the gospel may be omitted if it is not Lenten Meditations Pontiff Discusses For a Christmas present, Our Holy Father Pope John Paul II sent each bishop a copy of the addresses given to pilgrims in October and early November, 1981. These were the first given after the attempt on his life May 13, 1981. TALK AT THE GENERAl, AUDIENCE OF 4 NOVEMBER, 1981 1. Today, 4 November, the Church remembers, as every year, the figure of St. Charles Borromeo, bishop and con- fessor. Since I received in Baptism this very saint's name, I wish to dedicate to him the meditation of today's General Audience, referring to all the preceding meditations of the month of October. In them -- after an interval of some months caused by my stay in the hospital -- I tried to share with you, dear brothers and sisters, those thoughts that occurred to me in the wake of the 13 May event. Today's meditation also has its place in this principal theme. To all those who on my patron saint's day join me in prayer, I wish to repeat once more the words of the Letter to the Ephesians, which I quoted last Wednesday: pray "for all the saints, and also for me, that utterance may be given me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassa- dor..." (Eph6:18-20). 2. St. Charles is precisely one of those saints to whom ut- terance was given "to proclaim the Gospel" of which he was an ambassador, having inherited this mission = disability, thereby draining an already fragile Social sisters and parents. It is not a minor moral matter when looked at in this wider context of inter- personal relationships. But even this isn't the whole story. It has also become un- mistakably clear that the various health problems Caused by smoking inflict a heavy financial penalty on the whole of society, non-smokers included. Smoking is responsible for lost days at work, which, in turn, raises the per unit cost of production and that is passed along to the consumer through higher prices. Smoking is also responsible for putting thousands of people in the hospital for smoking-related maladies. This pushes up the cost of hospital care and medical insurance premiums for everyone else. Smoking forces thousands of workers to take an early retirement on medical 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: Communications 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. Security system and drawing prematurely on pension funds and Other insurance plans. Again. someone has to pay the bill. One need not mention other abuses connected with smoking: the number of house fires, for example, which are directly related to the carelessness of smokers. This has an impact on home in- surmlce_a.teslaxes to sup- from the Apostles. He fulfilled this mission heroically with the complete dedication of his strength. The Church looked to him and was edified: to begin with, in the period of the Council of Trent, in the work of which he actively par- ticipated from Rome, sustaining the weight of a heavy correspondence, collaborating in leading to a favourable outcome the collegial labour of the Council Fathers according to the needs of the People of God of that time. And they were pressing needs. Subsequently, the same Cardinal as Ar- chbishop of Milan, the suc- cessor of St. Ambrose, becomes the tireless executor of the Council's resolutions, putting them into practice through various diocesan synods. The Church -- and not only that of Milan -- owes to him a radical renewal of the clergy, to which the institution of seminaries, whose beginning goes back precisely to the Council of Trent, made a contribution. And many other works, including the in- stitution of confraternities, pious associations, lay obIates, who already prefigured Catholic Action, colleges, hospitals for the poor, and finally the foun- dation of Brera University in 1572. The volumes of the Acta Ecclesiae Mediolanensis and the documents concerning pastoral Visits testify to the intense and far-sighted acti- vity of St. Charles, whose life could be summed up in three magnificent expressions: he was a holy pastor, an enlightened teacher, and a discerning and wise legislator. On those occasions in my life when I have had the op- portunity to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice in the crypt of port the fire department and hospital costs and medical insurance. This may seem like a prejudicially-loaded case, but the Surgeon General's report is only the latest in a lengthening line of statistical evidence to support the older moral argument that smoking is indeed a matter of con- science. It involves not only a risk to oneself but to others. It is an issue not only of justice to oneself but justice to others. even of social justice. And we haven't even mentioned all those federal subsidies for the tobacco industry and the moral responsibility of politicians who support them and of those of us who support those same politicians Some of those politicians proudly proclaim themselves "pro-life." .......... Milan Cathedral, in which St. Charles's body rests, there has risen before my eyes his whole pastoral activity dedicated right to the end to the people to whom he had been sent. He finished this life in the year 1584, at the age of 46, after rendering heroic pastoral service to the victims of the plague which had struck Milan. 4. At Baptism I received St. Charles's name. It was granted me to live in the times of the Second Vatican Council, which, like the Council of Trent in the past, sought to show the direction of the renewal of the Church ac- cording to the needs of our times. It was granted to me to participate in that Council from the first day to the last. It was also granted to me -- as to my patron saint -- to belong to the College of Cardinals. I tried to imitate him by in- troducing the teaching of the Second Vatican Council into the life of the Archdiocese of Krakow. Today, on St. Charles's day, I meditate on the importance of Baptism, in which I received his very name. By Baptism, according to the words of St. Paul, we are immersed in Christ's death in order to receive in this way a share in his Resurrection. Here are the words that the Apostle writes in the Letter to the Romans: "We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall cer- tainly be united with him in a resurrection like his" (Rom 6:4-5). Through Baptism each of us receives a sacramental sharing in that life which -- merited through the Cross -- was revealed in the Resurrection of our Lord and Redeemer. At the same time, taking root with all our humanity in the mystery of Christ, we are for the first time consecrated to the Father in him. The first and fundamental act of con- secration takes place in us, by which the Father accepts man as his adopted son: man is given to GOd so that, in this' adopted sonship, man may carry out his will and become in a more and more mature way a part of his Kingdom. The Sacrament of Baptism begins that "royal priesthood" in us, through which we share in the mission of Christ himself, Priest, Prophet and King. The saint whose name we receive in Baptism must make us constantly aware of this divine sonship which has become bur lot. He must also support each one in forming his whole life according to what he has become through Christ: through his death and Resurrection. This is the part that St. Charles plays in my life and in the lives of all those who bear his name. 5. The event of 13 May has COU e at sung" (n. 39). . In t {inish Father Jeromtd pr questions from ! subscribers, should be Rev. Jerome O.S.B., New 72865. enabled .me to look new way: this beginning of with the parents and at with the mystery and with the Charles Borromeo. Did not Christ grain of wheat the earth and dies, i bear fruit? (cf. Jn II Did not "Whoever would will lose it, and his life for my it"? (Mt 16:25). And fear those who but cannot kill rather fear him destroy both soul hell" (Mt 10:28). And again: has no man than man lay down his friends" (Jn 15:13). All these words that interior faith, hope and our Lord Jesus the human heart to Looking at my perspective of looking at it example of St. Borromeo, I who today, during recent period, even now, sustain prayer and at great personal hope that, spiritual support, able to attain that which must (as well as the one of us) in Risen Christ -- for the Church and of my soul - just the part of the Peter and Paul, many Successors in the Roman See it is, in the Ignatius of Ant "preside in charit to the Romans, Patres Apostolici, I, Idnt,l,cot,on o Pubhshed Weekly by Press, In 2.0N Tyler St, Little Entered is second claSS  71, 1911, it the post office  ArkansAs, under the Act M&rch 8, 11191 Second Iss Ltt Ro(k, SUSCRIPTI S? 00 per yesr Cand S9 O0 sliER MOST REVERE I ANOREW J Bish PRIEST CONSUL I REV BE RNAR MANAGING ED I MR WILLIAM W EDITOR MR. KARL A. Addross All De11rtmer FORREST PARK !