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Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
May 2, 1969     Arkansas Catholic
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May 2, 1969

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THE GUARDIAN, MAY 2, 1969 PAGE 5 STRANGE BUT TRu E T h e LitTle--Kn%w% Facts fo; Cat-hoiil; Question Box By Very Rev. Msgr. John E. Murphy, S.T.D. Director, Diocesan Department of Education 2500 North Tyler Street, Little Rock, Ark. of speech. In modern times the word "Mass" has come to be associated with the doctrine of the Euchar- 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. "- What is the origin of "Mass"? When did the first begin to be used with to the Eucharistic Sac- "" The Latin word "Missa," the English "Mass" is is thought to be form of the earlier word One of the meanings Word is 'dismissal'. St. of Vienne, who lived at of the 6th century, to the use of the word the dismissal of the both in churches and in istic Sacrifice. It has thus been avoided and objected to by those who hold that the Eucharist is merely a commemorative service. Q. -- A neighbor of mine says that it is improper to say that God exists, because "to exist is proper to a being, that is, to that which is created or creates itself, and is, therefore a thing... What the religious experience of RIGHT REVEREND EDWARD T. O'MEARA NATIONAL DIRECTOR Meet Pumaphi use of the word, in Sense with reference to the is in writings of St. Ambrose, died in 397 as Bishop of Uses the expression 'Mis- :ere', to perform the Mass. Which had particular ap- to only one ceremony of thus came to designate service. The use of ject, or concept, for another it is related, or of which Part, is a familiar figure wants to be a catechist, He is a young man from northern Who has been a Christian for only a short time. Generous and he now wants to make a full-time commitment to the and to share with his fellow tribesmen the Joy he has found will soon go to the training school in Khartoum where take a two-year's course in catechntics. There he will receive in Arabic in such subjects as catechism, liturgy, sacred ', and the elements of pastoral theology; as well as a full course teaching. the two-year course Pumaphl will be assigned to a parish for of probation, either helping a priest or in a center where there places where there is no resident priest, the catechist, living in a Church-owned house, teaches catechism to children holds a prayer-service on Sundays, with readings from the and, when necessary, administers baptism, assists the dying, the funeral prayers. The priest normally comes to such cen- Once a month to celebrate Mass, administer the sacraments and r With the catechist. r the trial year, Pumaphi win return to the training center a promise to devote his life to the service of the Gospel. will then present him with a Bible and a crucifix, and will on him the "canonical mission", which will entitle him to teach religion officially. Pumaphi will then be appointed to a and the diocesan authorities will provide him with a fitting of living. the role of the catechist is becoming more and more vital and support of the People of God. In the absence of a number of missionaries and local priests, catechists have increased responsibility within the Church. and other catechists like him, teach and preach the Good of salvation, sharing the joys of their Faith with those about Work is great, but so is the need. Your support is necessary training of these generous young catechists is to continue. $250 one year's training. Sendyour gift -- large or small -- and Service are the work of The Society for the Propaga- f the Faith. Please cut out this column and send your offering Reverend Edward T. O'Meara, National Director, 366 Fifth New York, N. Y., 1001, or directly to your local Diocesan The Very Rev. Msgr. John M. Baun, 2415 North Tyler Little Rock, 72207. By M. J. MURRAY copght, 1o, .c.wc. New, serI God discloses is a reality be- yond being." What do you make of this? A. -- The first thing I would conclude is that your neighbor has read "The Future of Belief" by the philosopher Leslie Dewart. But there is no reality beyond being, for to be real means to be. God does not create Himself (an absurdity);, He simply "is". He may be considered a Thing(rather than a person), since He is not ourselves or the world, but He is the infinite, transcedent, intel- ligent Thing, above all things. He is not "a" Supreme Being; He is "the" Supreme Being -- more precisely, the Essential Being, whose very nature it is to exist. No religious experience can contradict this fact. *** Q. -- Is it allowable to attend Mass regularly in a parish other than one' s own? A. -- There are no restrictions relating to the place at which the obligation of Sunday Mass may be fulfilled. One should, however, maintain contact with the parish of his residence and should, inso- far as possible, contribute to its support. It is usually better to attend one's own parish, the better to build "community." Q. -- Is it sinful toparticipate in a lottery or game of chance which, while it violates the laws of the state, nevertheless helps a char- itable cause, such as church or hospitals? A. -- The binding force of state laws forbidding lotteries and games of chance is to be settled in accordance with the general prin- ciples which determine the manner in which they impose an obligation in conscience, and the extent to which causes excusing from the obligation may be admitted. Some theologians admit the concept of a purely penal law, that is, one which does not bind in conscience to observance of what is com- manded or forbidden, but only to fulfillment of the penalty which is decreed for violation of the law if and when it is imposed. Regardless of one's point of view on this question, the pos- sibility of causes which excuse from observance of the positive laws of human authorities must always be considered. A law which has been reasonably enacted, and which serves a serious pur- pose connected with the common good, must always be presumed to be in force. In particular in- stances, however, observance of the law may occasion dispropor- tionate inconvenience, or may stand in the way of some genuine and desirable good. If this sit- uation occurs, there could be a reason which would excuse from observance of the law. It is al- ways questionable, however, to propose such an excusing reason as the basis of disregarding the law completely. Of their nature, excusing causes are exceptional and transitory. When they are of frequent occurrence, the need of adjusting the law to changing cir- cumstances should be consider- ed. Meanwhile, the law as it stands must be regarded as valid and binding. : '/14E FAHIILIAR 1HT--POINTED MALTESE' g,wo. ORIGINALLY I THE KNIGHTS OF ST,N OF JERUSALEH, ,SYMbOLiZED 214 EIGHT BEATITUDES: "THE FOUR ARMS OF "IT,It" CROSS REFKSIHT'IHE OUR VIR'nJrs - PRUDEMCC,TEHPKRANCE, FORTITUDI[ ANDJUSTCE. 57"oN SP/ at- , U.S. Bishops Seek Expe ,rious Handling Of Marriage sllity Cases (The author of the following article is assistant chancellor of the Hartford, Conn., archdiocese; executive coordinator of the Canon Law Society of America, and consultant on the National Conference of Catholic Bishops' committee on canonical affairs.) By Father Thomas J. Lynch (NC News Service) Moved by the pressing need to find a more expeditious man- ner of handling cases alleging nul- lity of marriage in their Church courts, the bishops of the United States adopted a suggested revised procedural law for nullity trials at their April 15-17 meeting in Houston, Tex. The plan for streamlining the marriage court system was the fruit of two years intense study by about 300 of the country's canon lawyers who deal with such cases as part of their daily pas- toral ministry. Strongly supported by the formal vote of the bishops, the plan must now be submitted to the Holy See for final author- izatlon before it can be Imple- mented on a provisional and ex- perimental basis in the dioceses of the nation. For well over a decade Amer- ican canonists have been generally critical of the requirements of Church law regarding the methods employed in judging the alleged nullity of some marriages. They have pointed out in their scholar- ly journals that the procedural question of "how to judge on a marriage" is as much a matter of justice as the substantive ques- tion, "What makes a marriage null?" They contend that some of the laws now in force either delay or deny a just and reasonably swift answer from the Church lopersons who have a reasonable and solid doubt about whether their marriage was ever a valid one. The system of the "mandatory appeal" now followed is viewed as a severe injustice to the basic rights of many persons who were unhappily involved in obviously null marriages. The adage found in the legal philosophy of most civilized nations -- "Justice de- layed is justice denied" -- seems appropriate here. Marriage law experts are in agreement that the right of all parties involved to appeal a decision must be safe- guarded but an obligatory appeal in all cases, however clear cut, involves a degree of scrupulosity and caution which is inconsistent with common sense, and, more importantly, is adverse to some fundamental tenets of natural and divine law. Not all persons who approach the Church's marriage courts have a bona fide claim of nullity. Far too frequently they mistake their un- happy or unsuccessful marriage for an invalid marriage. The actual ground for considering a mar- riage null and void at the time of the contract itself are few and strict. These grounds cannot be liberalized in areas suggested by some people simply because to do so would entail doing violence to the teachings of Christ in the Gospel. There can be little doubt that an intense pastoral concern for souls occasioned the firm support of the suggested new laws by the American bishops at their Houston meeting. Unfortunately, not all who have recently commented on the bishops' action have understood it in those terms. Some reports implied that the hierarchy had decided to challenge the basic teaching of the Church on divorce and remarriage. One read or heard statements through the public media such as "Bishops Decide to Ease Divorce Laws" or "Hierarchy Provides New Rules on Divorce and Remarriage" within hours after the bishops had voted on what was actually a modest first step in the re- quired modification of court pro- cedures and which had nothing to do with the substantive issue of who has the rlghttoremarryunder the law of the Gospel.