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Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
June 11, 1982     Arkansas Catholic
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June 11, 1982
 

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Guaranteed Right Did you know that various international covenants guarantee the right of parents to choose the school their children will attend? These covenants are, first, the United Nations' Declaration on Human Rights (1948), which states (Article 26, No. 3): "Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children." Secondly, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1976) affirms (Article 13,3) : "The States parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and, when applicable, legal guardians to choose for their children schools, other than those established by the public authorities, which conform to such minimum educational standards as may be laid down or approved by the State and to ensure the religious and moral education of their children'in conformity With their own convictions." Thirdly, the Helsinki Final Act (1975), states (VII): "In the field of human rights and fundamental freedoms, the par- ticipating States will act in conformity with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They will also fulfill their obligations as set forth in the international declarations and agreements in this field, including inter alia the In- ternational Covenants on Human Rights by which they may be bound." Most Western democracies protect the right of parental choice in education by observing distributive justice towards tax-paying parents who choose "schools other than those established by the public authorities." The United States, however, by denying parents benefit from compulsory school taxes at schools of their choice and by denying tax credits and even tax deductions for tuition paid at non-public schools, places a double burden on such parents. These international human rights covenants manifestly provide yet another strong argument and solid basis for enacting the tuition tax credits that Church school parents in the United States so greatly deserve. The Long Island Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre Essays in Theology Selection of Bishops--ll By Father Richard P. McBrien More than 10 years ago, the Canon Law Society of America sponsored an in- terdisciplinary study of the method by which the Catholic Church selects its bishops. The principal papers were published as "The Choosing of Bishops," edited by William Bassett (Hartford: Canon Law Society of America, 1971 ). By now, the historical record is familiar enough. In the earliest centuries of the Church, it was the normal thing for the entire com- munity to take part in the selection of its pastoral leaders. Indeed, it was Pope Leo the Great (d. 461 ) who gave us the principle, "'He who is to preside over all must be elected by all.'" But it was not to remain that way, mainly for political and cultural reasons. The Germanization of Christianity m the West. for example, brought with it in the sixth century a new social structure, with its strong emphasis on the central authority of the prince and later the feudal lord. The episcopal office eventually became both a political prize and a political football, as dukes, kings and emperors vied for increased power. Bishoprics were to remain in certain noble families for generations. By the tenth century, the local clergy and laity were no longer significant factors in the selection process. The single most important development since then, of course, has been the Second Vatican Council, with its recovery of the doctrine of collegiality and its un- derstanding of the Church as the whole People of God. Unfortunately, the changes which have occurred in the episcopal selection process in the United States have not yet adequately reflected the broader ecclesiology of Vatican II. And the proposed new Code of Canon Law makes no breakthrough at all. Present practice allows for consultation with clergy and laity, but such consultation is always at the discretion of the decision-makers and is never to be carried on in groups. As the new Code of Canon Law insists, bishops may seek out the opinion of certain clergy and laity "'singillatim," i.e., one by one. There is a major difference, as most people know. between a judgment that is reached through open discussion and one that is reached privately. without benefit of a real ex- change of views. Not all hierarchies. however, have been con- strained by such narrow -- Media Evaluation ' Pope John Paul II has urged Catholics to make known I their reactions to presentations by. the press, radio, and [ television 1 ------ / - I 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: -- There were two mixed marriages in our parish. Each couple had a Lutheran and a Catholic. One couple was allowed a wedding Mass at which the Lutheran received Communion. The other ceremony was not a Mass. Why the difference? Did it matter if it was the groom or the bride who was Catholic? A. -- The Apostolic Letter on Mixed Marriages of January 7, 1970, states the following: "If circumstances justify it, a marriage between a Catholic and a baptized non-Catholic can be celebrated, subject to the local Bishop's consent; according to the rites for the celebration of marriage within Mass, while respecting the prescription of general law with regard to Eucharistic Communion" (paragraph 11 ). The different methods used in the two weddings was probably a private arrangement between the priest(s) and the couples. Question: - What must 1 do to become an extraordinary minister of Communion? A. -- The first step is to contact the pastor, who can explain Church guidelines and diocesan policies. Question: -- ! was looking up something in 1 Kings in the New American Bible. It doesn't have as many chapters as the reference ! was given. Why this dif- ference? A. -- Your reference probably came from a Catholic book or magazine which was using an older Bible translation. Older Catholic Bibles follow the Greek naming of Old Testament books, while newer versions follow the Hebrew. 1 Kings in the older versions twith 31 chapters) is the same as 1 Samuel in the New American Bible; 1 Kings in the New American Bible (with 22 chapters) is the same as 3 Kings in the older ver- sion. - Question: - Is it all right to receive Communion in the Letters to the Editor hospital when one is sick. even though the one-hour fast is not observed? A. -- The fast is mitigated for the sick and elderly to one quarter-hour before Com- munion, whether or not they are confined to bed or in a hospital. They may take medicine any time before Communion. Even this short period is not essential when the time of Communion is not certain, as is often the case when the Eucharist is brought to homes and hospitals. This dispensation also applies to those caring for the sick and to relatives who are visiting the sick when Communion is brought (Instruction, January 25, 1973). Question: - If someone has a baby out of wedlock, can the baby be baptized in the Church? The parents are Catholic. A. -- Certainly, the baby should be baptized. The origin of a child has no effect on the Church's policy about bap- tism. The important question is: do the parents want the child baptized and will provide for the Catholic upbringing? Question: -- if a pers to Mass twice in one because of a special such as a wedding, nt receive Communion Masses? A. -- The reception of January 25, 1973, casions communicate twice in same day. Besides wedding Mass, some other occasions are when the Baptism, Anointing of the Orders are a funeral Mass. Father Jerome questions from subscribers. should be Rev. Jerome O.S.B., New Subiaco, 72865. Readers Express Their V" The Guardian welcomes letters to the editor, l,etter writers should strive to be concise and accurate. A letter must bear the writer's signature, but the writer's name will be withheld from publication on request. Letters will be edited to conform to space requirements and standards of good taste.--The Editors. about it, especially its universality. Why don't they leave alone those things they know nothing about and start preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ which is the only sure way to salvation? This is what Our Lord commanded His Church to do. Jesus told His Apostles to go into the whole world and preach His Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized will be saved. He that believeth not will be condemned. Our Lord evidently ex- pected His priests to preach His Gospel, "in season and out of season," so that few would be left in invincible ignorance. If we are too lazy to preach that Gospel, can we salve our conscience by saying, "Oh well, some will be saved in spite of us?" What Fathers Jerome and McBrien and others are doing is giving our Catholics the impression that now it is less important to belong to the Catholic Church. The Council says, "who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church." This is what bothers anyone with any apostolic zeal. This means invincible ignorance, an ignorance whica of themselves they are unable to overcome. The spread of the Gospel depends on those who already have the gift of faith, especially bishops and priests. We repeat, only God knows who may be saved, if they are not an active Catholic. The Church says it is possible. This is all it can say. Why not continue to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ which is the only sure way to salvation? The Mystery of salvation is revealed in us and is con- tinued and accomplished in the Catholic Church (cf. Apostalicam Actusitatem, 2; Presbyterorum, 22; Gadium et Spes, 40), and from this genuine and single source, like "humble, useful, precious and chaste" water, it reaches the whole world. Dear young people and members of the faithful, like Brother Francis, we have to be conscious of and absorb this fundamental and revealed truth, contained in the phrase consecrated by tradition; "There is no salvation outside the Catholic Church." From her alone, there flows surely and fully the iifegiving force destined, in Christ and in His Spirit. to renew the whole of humanity. and therefore directing every human being to become a part of the Mystical Body of Christ. -- Pope John Paul If. October 3. 1981. Father Charles McGinnis Hot Springs Likes Program Dear Editor: Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity, with three of my co-workers, to have breakfast with Say McIntosh and his kids. This is one of the many projects that have emerged to alleviate some of the pain caused by the recent budget cuts and indicates that people do indeed care about their Bad Impression Dear Editor: In The Guardian, May 21, Father Jerome Kodell, O.S.B., continues to em- phasize the wrong thing. He writes about the "universal availability of salvation" even outside the Catholic Church. He quotes Vatican II where it says that it is possible through invincible ignorance for a person who does not actively belong to the Catholic Church to be saved. He admits that if they are saved, it is "in a manner known 'only to God." Yet Father Jerome and others proceed to tell pele all as a general rule throughout the Catholic Church, nor in the United States specifically. The bishops and the Apostolic Delegate may consult whomever they wish, but discussion is not to occur, only "one by one" con- sultation. There is no requirement that any group's advice has to be taken into account as the final recom- mendations are formulated. Although the Canadian model still differs from the public and broadly par- ticipatory system employed in the earliest centuries of the Church, it brings a portion of the Catholic Church sub- stantially closer to that original ideal than most other models do. Some sisteen-and-a-half years after the adjournment of Vatican It, we still have to ask such questions as. "'I wonder who'll get Chicago?" It reminds us of how far we have yet to travel before we even catch up with the Church as it once was sixteen-and-a- half centuries ago. guidelines. Thirteen years ago (April, 1969), the Canadian Catholic Con- ference promulgated its own plan for the selection of bishops which requires consultation with the diocesan senate of priests and with the diocesan pastoral council. "These two latter councils discuss the needs of the diocese, the qualities needed for local church leadership; then each member submits a confidential memo to the Ad Hoc Committee (of the Canadian Catholic Con- ference) stating whom he or she judges most qualified. Each member must give reasons for the choice and is free to consult discreetly..." Thereafter, the Ad Hoc Committee of bishops and the Apostolic Delegate jointly select the names of those to be recommended, keeping in mind the consultation with the priests" council and the diocesan pastoral council. These names are forwarded to the bishops of the province and following consultation with them, the Ad Hoc Committee and the Apostolic Delegation jointly choose three names to be sent to the Holy See. What is significant about the Canadian system is that it officially incorporates the advice of the priests' senates and the diocesan pastoral councils, and requires the Ad Hoc Committee of bishops as well as the Apostolic Delegate to take that advice into ac- count when making their final recommendations. Nothing of the sort occurs brothers and sisters. Each morning restaurant on Say feeds school children. He this program with from his restaurant contributions fro dividuais and a few who are supportive. dition to providing he furnishes the school supplies phasizes the im getting a good working hard and he them respect for and others. Although we were restaurant less than each of us came away  feeling of renewal couragement. No matter what we Say personally, I program is one that supported by can donate our volunteer our time the children during breakfast hour or his restaurant. North Little Idenh|,COhon NO Published Weekly by The Press. Inc 2S00N Tyler St, Little Rock E nlered as second 21, 1911. at the post office of b Arkansas. Under the March 0, 11197 Second class postagcI p t. iltle Rock. SUB . $7 00 per y Canada$9 O0 Fore, PUBLISHER MOST REVEREND ANDREWJ Bishop of Littte ROCk , PRIEST CONSULTA I REV BERNARD E MANAGING EDIT R MR WILLIAM W EDITOR MR. KARL A. CHR IST Address All Departmen P C FORREST PARK Telephone 464.0 IQ BusmeSs A.M. $o 4 ational H) llays ofO Postmaswr: send change form 3579 to Pre$,. P.O. I.ittl