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April 23, 1982     Arkansas Catholic
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April 23, 1982
 

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he=00Ouardia OIho,al Pubhation o the Oiose of Cittle toch PAGE 2 Teachable Moments Rev. Jerome Kodell, O.S.B. The main-line churches i0 the United States, including the Catholic Church, are being confronted with the declining numbers of youth in their congregations. Surveys are beginning to appear which support this suspicion which clergymen have had for some time. There are fewer young people involved in religious organizations and congregations. We need to consider this question of why youth groups in main-line churches tend to be dying out and evangelical movements like Young Life, Youth for Christ or Campus Crusade are all flourishing. What they are being given in fundamentalist churches is a large dose of the BAle and a content of spirituality. In- structions are not process-oriented , but content-oriented. Psychology plays a very small part in what is offered. But this loss of youth in the Catholic Church may not be permanent. Some research indicates that many younger Catholics return to their Church as adults. Dean Hoge, who teaches at Catholic University, recently conducted a major study on converts, dropouts and returnees for the American Catholic bishops. He says that marriage and family respon- sibilities play the major role in persuading young people either to convert or to re-affiliate with the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church in recent years has required that parents of children presented for the Sacraments of Baptism or First Communion should take a special refresher course in Catholic doctrine interpreted in the light of Vatican Council II. There is a need for the Church to re-instruct many of our young people and the time of their marriage and the sacramental preparation of their children are ideal times to do it. At the same time, we need to study the success of the fun- damentalist groups with our young people. Perhaps we would not copy it directly, but it points u in a definite direction. Msgr. John T. Byrne St. Louis Review Archdiocese of St. Louis Essays in Theology Jewish-Christian Relations By Father Richard P. McBrien Christian theology is filled with "both-and" pairings. Anyone who does theology without attention to those pairings inevitably produces a one-sided theology. Thus, Christians must be attentive to both nature and grace, the human and the divine, continuity and stability, change and per- manence, the charismatic and the institutional, word and sacrament, freedom and authority, reason and faith, sin and virtue and so forth. One of the most important "both-and" pairings in "For all peoples comprise a single community, and have a single origin, since God made the whole human race dwell over the entire face of the earth...The Catholic Church rejects nothing which is true and holy in (other) religions," the council declares (Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, nn. 1-2). Vatican II urged Catholics, in light of this teaching, to enter into dialogue and collaboration with other religions for the sake of the Christian theology has to do one Kingdom of God, which with the uniqueness of the one God and Father of us Christianity itself, all promises for the sake of Christians are convinced in all. faith that Jesus alone is Lord Since the adjournment of and that the religious the council in December, 1965, movement which he founded the Catholic Church has offers the world access to the formulated a variety of way, the truth and the life. On the other hand, Christians have become in- creasingly sensitive to the presence of God's grace and saving activity outside the Church -- not just outside the Catholic Church, but outside the whole Body of Christ entirely. Indeed, this was one of the most significant teachings of the Second Vatican Council. Non-Christian religions, Judaism in particular, are vehicles of divine love and mercy. guidelines designed to enhance and encourage Catholic relationships with other religious bodies and with Judaism especially. What follows is a synthesis of the major guidelines drawn from such sources as the National Conference of Catholic Bishops of the United States' "Statement on Catholic-Jewish Relations" I written on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the council document quoted above), the "National Catechetical Directory" for Pope John Paul I1 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. Question: -- in reading the Bible, 1 have come across the mention of "speaking in tongues" several times. What does this mean? Also what does it mean to be baptized in the Holy Spirit? A. -- The most extensive passage on speaking in tongues is in Chapter 14 of St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, wher he is discussing spiritual gifts given to Christians. Two gifts of tongues are usually distinguished: speaking in tongues and praying in tongues. Speaking in tongues is a form of the gift of prophecy (which empowers one to bring an authentic message of GOd to a person or group). Prophecy is usually expressed clearly in the prophet's own language; but in tongues, the message comes in a foreign language or in sounds which are no language at all. This ut- terance cannot be understood unless the person speaking in tongues or another person in the assembly has the gift of interpretation. Far more common than speaking in tongues is the gift of praying in tongues. A person who has this gift is able to bring the secret prayer of the heart (Rom. 8:26) into vocal expression directly, without an intellectual process. The prayer sounds like gibberish to others, because it is a preconscious expression of love of GOd. This type of prayer is often a source of great peace to the person with the gift and may be powerful in intercession. In general, "baptism in or of the Holy Spirit" (Mk 1:8), like baptism "in the name of Jesus" (Acts 2:38) simply means Christian baptism, which is performed ritually in the name of the Trinity (Mt 28:19). But more commonly today, the phrase "baptism of the Holy Sp.irit" is used to describe an experience of spiritual generation or renewal sometime after Christian baptism. This may be an ecstatic experience of the U.S.A. and the "Guidelines for Catholic- Jewish Relations" developed by the Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Inter- Religious Affairs. There are both negative and positive guidelines. The former can be synthesized as follows: 1) -- The Jewish people should not be presented as repudiated, cursed or rejected by GOd. 2)-- The Jewish religion must not be said to be one of fear and retributive justice only, diametrically opposed to the New Testament religion. 3) -- "Jews" in the New Testament do not necessarily have a pejorative con- notation. The same must be said of Pharisees and of Pharisaism. 4) -- Jews are not collec- tively responsible for the passion and death of Christ, neither those Jews of his time nor those who came after. 5) -- Anti-Semitism in all its forms stands condemned and the Holocaust is to be seen as a grim consequence of its malignant nature. Among the positive orientations are these: 1) -- A "spiritual bond" exists between Judaism and Christianity, manifest in different historical, biblical, liturgical and doctrinal aspects. 2) -- The Old Testament (or Hebrew Scriptures) have not been superseded by the New. They are always the true word of God and belong to the great joy accompanied by tears, laughter and praying in tongues, or it may be a deep and quiet realization of the presence and love of God. It is not really a "baptism" like the sacrament, but is a real experience of opening one's life to the Spirit who was always present and available but not fully accepted. This renewal in the Spirit may happen periodically for an individual, or for groups as for the Jerusalem community after Pentecost (Acts 4: 31 ). Question: -- Is there an order called the Trappistines, an order of cloistered nuns in Canada? A. -- Trappistines is a colloquial name for Cistercian nuns of the Strict Observance (OCSO). The first Cistercian monastery for men was established in Citeaux, France, in 1098, the first monastery for women in 1125. The name Trappist (men) or Trappistine (women) was given to the Cistericians who followed the reform of the abbey of La Trappe (France) of 1664. The Trappistines are in many countries, including Canada. Their first foun- dation in the United States was made in 1949. There are monasteries in Arizona, California, Iowa and Massachusetts. Question: -- Are the Com- munal Penance Services valid? Does this excuse those who attend from confessing major sins at the next con- fession? A. -- There are two forms of Communal Penance. In the more usual and familiar of the two, pentitents have the op- portunity for private con- fession and reconciliation. There is also provision for the reconciliation for several penitents with general con- fession and absolution. In the past, this was done only in danger of death, for example in time of war or epidemic. Occasions for general ab- solution have been extended in the revised ritual. These must be approved in in- dividual cases by the local bishop, acting within the norms of the National Con- ference of Bishops. Absolution is certainly valid under these conditions. The Instruction further states, "Those who receive pardon from grave sins by a integrity of the Bible and thus of divine revelation. 3) -- The Judaic roots of Christianity should be em- phasized, both in the founding personalities, starting with Christ himself, and in the language, teaching and general atmosphere of the New Testament and primitive Christianity. 4) -- Jews remain "most dear to God." Their election and mission have a per- manent validity and they play a decisive role in the religious history of humankind. 5) -- The NCCB statement recognizes in a positive way the relation of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, without, however, adopting a political stance in the present controversies affecting that part of the world. Some Catholics continue to think that by recognizing the authentically religious character of Judaism and of other traditions, they are, by that very fact, depreciating the uniqueness of Christianity. It is a matter again of balance, i.e., of at- tending to the "both-and" pairings which remain at the heart of Christian theology. common absolution should go to individual confession before they receive this kind of absolution again, unless they are impeded by a just reason. They are strictly bound, unless this is morally impossible, to go to confession within a year." Question: -- Do converts to the Church get confirmed? A. -- Yes. Ordinarily, this takes place at the same time as the baptism or profession of faith of the person being received into the Church. Question: -- What is the Church's teaching on inter- racial marriage? A. -- The Church has a single doctrine of marriage applicable to all, independent of race. Question: -- Why can't the banns of marriage be an- nounced when one of the couple is non-Catholic? A. -- The Code of Canon Law makes the general provision that banns are not to be an- nounced in cases of mixed marriage, but permits the local bishop to change this in particular cases Canon 1026). The original reason for this regulation was to avoid gossip in some Catholic countries where mixed marriages were rare or unheard of. It has been the general custom in dioceses in the United States not to publish the banns of mixed marriages. Questions : -- the fee for have had to practice alnollg Catholic friends. A. -- This fee secretarial work. telephone calls communications. with the difficult = Question: _ Tell basic definition of "advisor. Can this person? A. -- A spiritual spiritual director helps another in the a deeper God and a Christian assistance may shared prayer, reading, counseling. A lay fulfill this role. Question: -- lloyd look at grace? we "get" it fron| (ja it "increases" mechanical way it. A. -- Grace is the in us. It can decrease in us our openness to the the Holy Spirit in out Father questions from subscribers. should be Rev. Jerome O.S.B., New Letters to the The Guardian welcomes letters to the editor. should strive to be concise and accurate. A letter writer's signature, but the writer's name will be publication on request. Letters will be edited to space requirements and standards of good taste.-Tbel Very Offended Dear Editor: I recently read an article by Father McBrien in The Guardian about the evils of smoking. Since I smoke, and have given up trying to quit for the present at leas t. I was very offended. Father McBrien should look into the case of St. Phillip Neir, who, according to his biographers, smoked and was canonized a saint in spite of the fact that he smoked. He also is known to have been one of the wittiest of the saints. Father McBrien rather annoyingly turns on the smoker, instead of the tobacco lobby in Washington and the advertisements for cigarettes that present "cancer sticks" as being the ultimate in sophistication and "good taste." One who smokes and cannot stop because of addiction need not have the extra burden of fear that he or she will go to hell because of a minor vice. I do not believe smokers wish to hurt themselves or others and it may be a much less harmful habit than the irritability, at the least, of some who do not smoke. Pleasantness of spirit is more important than physical health. If Phillip Neir could smoke and go to Heaven, I believe I can too, and I will never believe otherwise. A Reader Hot Springs Devoted Ministry Dear Editor: King on Holy she signed the Vigil service quarter hours. signs what the pri the part of the choir and the understand she did Holy Week ServiceS. it so beautifully trusively. It is truly a mini and the Church is fortunate to Fairchild. Thanks, Nancy! MarY Idem,hcot,on No (U s/F Published Weekly bY TIll Press, Inc 2.d30 N Tyler St. Lit tIeR E n tared as ,,,ecocd c lass I 21. 1911. at the post off ice' Arkansas, under the March 8. 17 Second c lass LdHe R $?  per year Canada $9 00 PUBLISH[ ANDREWJ Bisho0 of Li ttlel PRIEST CONSUl REV BE MANAGING [O MR WILLIAM EDITOR MR. KARl Addross All FORREST PARK I would like to publicly thank Nancy Fairchild for her kTd devoted ministry to the hearing handicapped. I was present at Christ the A.M. to tkroUgk u Natioaal