Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
June 6, 1969     Arkansas Catholic
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June 6, 1969

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THE GUARDIAN, JUNE 6, 1969 PAGE 5 The Question Box By Msgr. John E. Murphy, S.T.D. Director, Diocesan Department of Education 2500 North Tyler Street, Little Rock, Ark. Q. -- What is the significance 0! schism? Is it sinful? A. -- The word "schism" means literally a split or crack. One 0t its earliest theological uses Was to designate the condition of the Church at Corinth, where rival parties, centering around 0aflicting personalities, were threatening the unity of the Chris- aa community. The early Church athers thought of schism as a litting of a dissident group from !he Church without any manifes- tation of doctrinal deviation. Schis- tactic groups in the early Church ere often motivated by puritani- l rigorism, thinking of the rch as victimized by worldly Contagion. The Fathers sensed the danger Qt heresy among schismatic roups, some even suggesting that the difference between heresy and chism is one of degree and not 0ae of species. As the Fathers CleWed it, the great malice of hism was the abandonment of :he one Body of Christ, in con- :radiction to the unity of love in- spired by the Holy Spirit. To set up a rival altar and a rival Eucharist was to introduce the false persuasion that the com- munity of believers could be radi- cally divided. St. Thomas Aquinas classified schism as directly and essentially opposed to the unity of ecclesias- Questions for this column should be addressed directly to The 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. i tical charity. The whole Church, he said, should be united in the unity of the Spirit. This unity, he taught, consists of two inte- grated factors: first, the com- munion of members with one another through a common life; RIGHT REVEREND EDWARD T. O'MEARA NATIONAL DIRECTOR A Sense of Mission Do you possess a spirit of adventure? Have you desired at times ! conquer the world? Are you eager to share your Christian joy with me entire world? Are you so convinced of the value of your Faith that OU wish everyone possessed this great gift? In short, do you have a nse of mission? The missionaries dol They seem to be caught up in the spirit of hrist,s joy and concern for mankind. With enthusiasm and love, ese generous men and women carry the message of Christ to the corners of the globe. Often these missionaries are beset by trials and difficulties. Lack t funds, insufficient personnel, deficiency of educational and medical Cllities place extraordinary demands on the faith, hope and trust of the missionary. la one Indian diocese, the average Sunday collection does not exceed aee dollar in any mission center. Ninety-five per cent of the Catholics re are farmers, and out of these about seventy-five per cent never !ve enough to eat. A discouraging factor to the most zealous mis- !9naryl  a certain area of this same diocese, a mission was started by a iagle priest. No lay assistants! No fellow priestsl He needed the help 0l the Sisters to instruct the women folk and to supervise the little hlldren at the school. When the Sisters were finally able to come, the missionary did not have a house to shelter them. So he decided t live in abut and give his own house to the Sisters. What a remarkable ample of dedication and sacrifice on the part of this priestl bespite difficulties such as these, the missionary continues to st in the goodness of God and the generosity of Catholics throughout world. His sense of mission, his belief in the importance of his rk, carry him through the most severe trials. Put your sense of mission to work. Sacrifice today so that a missionary  continue his dedication of salvation and service to mankind. The missionary gives up so much. Can you give up a little? $alvation and service are the work of The Society for the Propa- of the Faith. Please cut out this column and send your offering light Reverend Edward T. O'Meara, national director, 366 Fifth New York, N. Y. 10001, or directly to your local diocesan Msgr. John M. Bann, 2415 North Tyler Street, Little Rock, and, secondly, the dependence of members on the visible and vi- carious Head who represents Christ. The visible hierarchy, he said, must regulate the com- mon life of those who are members of the Church. The movement of the Holy Spirit must direct the members of the Church to act as parts of the one whole. The earlier theologians stressed greatly the element of culpability in the origin and development of schism. Today, however, theolo- gians acknowledge that the mem- bers of older dissident groups do not generally share in the schis- matical spirit that may have been formerly prevalent. There is a growing manifestation among dis- sident groups of the love whose only origin can be the Spirit of God, and growing willingness to look for means of guiding this love along the directions which will lead ultimately to the restoration of the unity of the Christian Community. t  It Q. -- When did the missing of Mass on Sunday become a mortal sin? How could a human being- even thePope - condemn a soul to eternal damnation by such a rule? A. -- The Churh cannot (nor does she claim to) condemn any- one to eternal damnation; she does, however, point out evils that can lead to damnation. There seems to have been no obligation to attend the Euchar- istic celebration on Sundays dur- ing the first three centuries of the Christian era. Only gradual- fy, as Christianity became the established religion of Europe, did the idea of obligation emerge. Our present law, imposing a serious obligation, goes back to Church laws of the twelfth cen- tury. Though the early Church did not consider the Jewish sab- bath binding in the New Testa- ment, little by little the Com- mandment of the Old Law, "Re- member thou keep holy the Sab- bath," came to be applied to Sun- day observance. The Church taught that the Commandment was a ser- ious law, and that the way for Christians to observe it was by taking part in the Mass. Theologians did not make it a mortal sin to miss Mass on Sun- day; they merely 'pointed out that persons who, without reason, de- liberately missed Mass on Sunday could be turning themselves away from GOd and jeopardizing their eternal salvation. The same theo- logians were always willing to admit that a reasonable excuse would release one from the obli- gation. In practice, the individual de- termines whether his excuse is reasonable. If he accepts the authority of the Church to de- termine the manner in which the Commandment is to be observed, and deliberately flaunts it, he may sin grievously. If he feels he has an honest excuse for releasing himself from the obligation, he does no wrong by missing Mass. If he feels that his excuse isweak, and nevertheless misses, he may sin, though not grievously. But the ultimate judge, of course, is GOd, Who alone knows why man acts. The individual human may attempt to persuade others of his innocence, when he knows his guilt; but does he expect to deceive GOd? TRANG E _BUT ,Ru E .itte:gn%w% Facts 00or" By M. J. MURRAY Catholics t',,pyright, ]969, NO.W.C. Ne'e.'R Rel.'lce $cus, ! [ WORLD I ;[ SPOKt I Negro Manifesto Demand for $50C Million In Reparations Deplc re ! Cincinnati (NC) -- Archbishop Karl J. Alter of Cincinnati in a letter to priests of the archdio- cese said the Negro Manifesto is "nothing short of a disaster, in view of the intemperate demands for monetary reparations made by a small group who are in no way representative of the total black community." He referred to the demand of the so-called National Black Eco- nomic Development Conference for $500-million in "reparations" from the nation's churches and synagogues. The archbishop said: "We can sympathi,e with the desire of more rapid progress by the black community in this day of rising expectations, but itwould be worse than folly to encourage even the small portion of their number who are members of the NBEDC to indulge in the kind of interference with divine wor- ship which is not only self-defeat- ing but disruptive of the good re- lations on which real progressde- ponds." Archbishop Alter declared: "When a document encourages tac- tics of intimidation and violence such as are found in the Mani- festo, it alienates the good will that has been built up in recent years and greatly discourages the Christian people, who have been the best friends of the black com- murdty's true interests. "The concept of collective guilt and hereditary responsibility is repudiated by the facts of history. To confuse the Church with the nation as a whole and with its economic order, and then single out its members for attack, is clearly provocative. To attempt at this time to associate theChur- ches today with the earlier condi- tion of servitude simply jeopar- dizes the onward march of real progress. It should be well under- stood that indefensible demands for tribute cannot promote the cause of social justice and racial har- mony." Soviets Harassing Priest-Critics Chicago (NC) -- Three Lithuan- ian priests are being harassed by Soviet authorities because of their signatures on a petition for more Lithuanian priests, according to exiled Auxiliary Bishop Vincent Brizgys of Kaunas, Lithuania. Bishop Brizgys, who resides here, said: "Lithuania now has so few priests that even old and invalid priests are being press- ed into service forpastoral work." This, he explained, is because Soviet authorities permit only five new priests to be ordained a year, while 30 priests die annually. In an effort to correct this shortage, a group of priests signed a pet- ition addressed to government authorities in Moscow asking that more priests be permitted ordina- tion in Lithuania, Bishop Brizgys continued. There were sufficient candidates desiring to enroll in the only remaining Lithuanian seminary at Kaunas, he said. Three priests took the petition to Moscow, the exiled bishop con- tinued, and "Moscow's reply was this." One of the priests is being called to trial for "alleged cri- ticism of Soviet authorities" and the other two are forbidden to exercise their priestly duties, the bishop reported. They have been given 30 days to find civi- lian jobs or they will be taken to a concentration camp for an in- definite period, Bishop Brizgys said.