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Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
June 25, 1982     Arkansas Catholic
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June 25, 1982
 

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]The a rd | a n[ o, Ii iocse e[" (illle hh[ IJ-U-- , "]98-- 0H,' IuN,,JIio, PAGE 2 J Deacons To see the joy that radiates from the faces of patients con- fined to hospitals and nursing homes when a Deacon enters the room is most touching. These men, so devoted to the work of the archdiocese and to God, have a very special vocation. Going each day to the many confined to their beds and bringing to these ill persons the great comfort of receiving the Blessed Sacrament is a singularly blessed work and surely must be most pleasing to God. There also are very many other important works hidden from the world in general that are carefully executed by these men. To list all of them is almost impossible because each year, the list grows longer and the number of hours they consume multiplies. Their help in prisons and in youth centers where they teach inmates to strive for better lives is almost overwhelming today. Through this work, they do much good not only for the inmates but for society in general. In alcohol and drug centers, their influence for good can be seen. Hours are spent in marriage counseling and in religious education classes for the children. These hours help to form a solid basis for our world today. These are but a few of the many important works done by our Deacons. Their help day in and day out is hidden in the heart of Christ. To all these unusual men we say a sincere "Thank you and may Our Lord keep each one of you close to His divine heart." The Advocate Archdiocese of Newark, N.J. Essays in Theology Dialogue of the Deaf By Father Richard P. McBrien The May 17th issue of Newsweek carried an in- sightful essay, "Dialogue of the Deaf," by Walter Reich, a lecturer in psychiatry at Yale University. Its argument is that ideologues of both left and right waste too much of the time of moderates by drawing the latter into fruitless, indeed endless, fights about very broad political issues. In the 1930's and the 1940's, it was the Marxist left baiting liberaldemocrats. Indeed, the only people Communists could find to argue with were liberals. "And liberals," Dr. Reich notes, "were thoughtful types, given to pauses and waverings, easy marks for anyone believing in an .ideology and arguing strictly according to its laws." Today, things are different. Just the opposite, in fact. Now it's the New Right, armed with iron laws of economics and politics and ready to take on/ll comers. . - _ "Ironically," he observes, "the opponents of these new ideologues are the same. Again, they are liberals( Who else but liberals would con- tend with such ..slif- neckedness? Who else but liberals would put up with such humorlessness? Who else but liberals would be willing to lose arguments time and again?" ' Reich's proposal is to bring back the old left. Let the humorless, right-wingers slug it out with the humorless left- wingers. "'Let Richard Viguerie do battle with Gus Hall. Let ` Mobile and United Technologies face off against the Socialist Workers Party.. .Let them clash," Reich concludes. "'and let them leave politics, economics and the affairs of state to those who care more for life than ideology." I suggest that Dr. Reich's analysis applies to the Church as well. So much time is wasted today, especially in the Catholic Church, trying to answer people who insist: Ca) -- The bishops have no business taking a stand on U.S. policy in El Salvador or President Reagan's economic policies because these have nothing to do with the religious and spiritual mandate given by Christ. (b) -- The Pope is beyond all criticism because he is selected through the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit, his infallibility covers all of his teachings, policies and personal preferences and, as Vicar of Christ, he stands before every single Catholic as if he were the Lord himself, to whom one owes full and unquestioning obedience. (c) -- If Christ wanted women ordained, he would have ordained them. And he certainly would have or- dained his mother. Let the New Right of the Catholic Church lock horns with the radical left. Both love to fight. Both are certain they're right. Both predict dire consequences if the Church doesn't come around completely to their way of thinking. Both want their opponents punished, hurt and banned for life. Let the Catholic hawk sink his talons into the tender skin of the Catholic pacifist, not only on the issue of nuclear disarmament, but on a whole range of foreign policy matters relating to war and peace. Let the super papists square off against some of those old- time Protestant fun- damentalists who believe the Pope to be the anti-Christ and Pope John Paul II 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. Rev. Jerome Kodell, O.S.B. Question: - Please tell us about the Gregorian Masses. How did they originate? A. -- The practice of Gregorian Masses, a series of Masses offered for a deceased person on thirty consecutive days, traces its initial in- fluence to a story in the Dialogues of St. Gregory (about 600 A.D.), which described offering Masses for seven days or for thirty days to obtain special divine favors. The idea of offering Masses in a series for certain intentions developed until, by the time of the Reformation, there were arrangements for series of 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 30, 41, 44 a scandal because of super- stitions connected with the practice and because of the financial deals involved. Among the erroneous con- clusions was the idea that a certain number of Masses offered on consecutive days could guarantee the passage of a soul into heaven. The Council of Trent reiterated the traditional teaching about the efficacy of offering the Sacrifice of the Mass-for the deceased, but outlawed the series of Masses : "Bishops will completely banish from the Church the practice of any fixed number of Masses." or 45 Masses. This began to be About a hundred years later Letters to the Editor (1628), the Congregation of Rites permitted the series of thirty Masses to be re- introduced, but without ex- plaining why. In the light of Trent's teaching, it would be right to believe in the efficacy of of- fering Mass for the dead, but wrong to believe that any special effect is guaranteed by offering Masses in a consecutive series. Question: -- Could you find out and let me know which Pope and in which year declared St. Teresa of Avila and St. Catherine of Siena to be Doctors of the Church? A. - Both were named Doctors by Pope Teresa on Sel and St. Catherine on 4, 1970. Question: - i was force. Am I still a virgin ? A. -- Virginity defined in physical spiritual terms. A accident does not spiritual virginity. of the Church, you are s virgin. Father Jerome questions from subscribers. QueS| should be addressed Rev. Jerome O.S.B., New Subiaco, 72865. Readers Express Their V" Wept for Baby Dear Editor: When I read your editorial concerning the infant left to die of starvation, I wept. I wept for the infant itself -- and for parents, Judge, and hospital - all of which must face God in their time to account for the crime com- mitted against the poor little deformed Down's Syndrome baby which God had given to them. Do they believe they, themselves are perfect? If they could see their spirits within them, as the angels of God, who "walk this earth" are able to do, they would surely turn away in horror! Warped, darkened and marred forever. Were they able to sit at their table at home -- and eat through those 10 days the infant was slowly dying, and if they had been born in that condition, would they have wanted to be rejected? Could they not have given the child to one of the 10 couples who had requested adoption and would have given him love? He could have at least died (if he must) in the arms of loving parents: I, too, was born with an affliction -- passing from my mother's womb an ugly mass of tangled "rubber!" I must have been a horrifying sight to my mother -- and the family waiting at home for the new baby -- 3/2 pounds of soft "rubber." But I was accepted with love, carried on a pillow until I was able to stand and take my first step. The doctor who Rome to be the whore of Babylon. Let Catholic anti-feminists exchange fire with the angriest of radical feminists, including one or two who believe that Jesus could not have been divine because he was male. This won't happen, of course, because the ex- tremists don't find their op- pnsite number even interested in debating them. It's no fun debating people who never concede a point, like centrists and moderates doall the time. Nor do we accomplish very much arguing with someone who will answer one un- provable assertion with another: "The Pope's always right" versus "'The Pope's the anti-Christ." Where do you go from there? So Dr. Reich's argument is sound and his proposal an intelligent one. But it's not practical, unfortunately. Alas, "'those who care more for life than ideology" are still going to have to care for the ideologues. Who else will? The Guardian welcomes letters to the editor. Letter 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. had delivered me had said, "She will never live more than a few years." It took two years before I could stand alone. Memorial Day, May 31, 1982, we celebrated our 51st wedding anniversary - my husband and I. I say "celebrated," but it was not like last year (when we were entertained by a "Surprise Celebration" after renewing our marriage vows at the altar, were showered with gifts and two Apostolic Blessings from His Holiness, John Paul II! ). This year, we were alone, but were remembered by a few, one of whom was the Pope! And we carried "The Gifts" again to the altar. Had I been rejected as was this poor little unwanted baby, I would have missed so much. Oh, yes -- I've suffered afflictions all my life -- the loss of two babies which we had wanted so much, heart attacks, blood clots, surgeries -- the list is endless, but I have had my "three score and ten" and I am satisfied, for I was given my chance to live, and I have pen-and-ink drawings in the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., and in the private room reserved for gifts to the Pope, in the Sistine Library of the Vatican. I wanted" to leave something here when I am gone. I've accomplished that. Mrs. Mary Aletha DeLamar Bentonville Mother Teresa Dear Editor: I have never written a letter to an editor before, but I was so touched by your beautiful ,article and centerfold about Mother Teresa's visit, I had to write. There's not enough room in your paper for me to begin to express my feelings when I saw Mother Teresa at Ray Winder Field. She has put doing small acts of kindness and love into a new and brighter perspective for me. Yet herself, a tiny 70- year-old lady performs huge acts of kindness and love continually for Our Lord and our fellow man. I have never, like most American s , experienced or even thought much about those people Mother Teresa spoke of, the people who live their everyday lives in starvation, desolation and total deprivation. One can hardly imagine the things she talked of, much less comfort, feed and love those poor un- fortunate people every day. Please permit me to quote our Bishop Andrew J. Mc- Donald when a lady com- mented that she was sorry he had a cold the day of Mother Teresa's visit. Our Bishop replied, "Lady, I don't have a cold. I cry everytime that gentle little woman says something. Her words come right from her heart and they take on a meaning that has penetrated my own heart." I have started a scrapbook" on Mother Teresa and I would welcome donations of pic- tures, newspapers, letters and any information on this wonderful lady. Lanette Bruce Omaha, Ark. Fear of God Dear Editor: Have written two letters to The Guardian pointing out that Father Jerome Kodell, O.S.B., is working against the Holy Ghost when he discourages parents from teaching their little ones to cultivate the "fear of God," which is one of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. In your, last refusal, you encouraged brevity and "come to the point." In the December issue of Homiletic and Pastoral Review, a highly respected publication for Catholic priests, there was an article on "The Flight of the Papist Priest," in which it was stated, among other things: "The diocesan press is firmly in the progressive camp: columnists (McBrien, Greeley, Bosler, Curran, et all features such as Know Your Faith and even the diurnal flow of news is filtered through NC (National Catholic News Service) whose slant is showing. That Rome knows the problem has been brought by the remarkable message of Archbishop Pio Laghi to the American episcopal publishers. The parishes are under enormous pressure to take "full coverage." A papist priest has the choice to disobey his bishop or feed poison to his flock. Father Charles McGinnis Hot Springs Against ERA Dear Editor: The June llth issue of a diocesan paper stated "twenty-three Cat bishops joined in a calling for ratification Equal Rights This Years ago, a noted Ca journalist proposed dorsed Fidel Castro leadership in Cuba. SOO n Fidel Castro was m this journalist mistake because degradation of under Fidel Castro. Females have just already such as voting job opportunities, public offices and and it is possible, a or Governor with a poor', of moral values got in the ambiguous ERA endorse, promote and legal immoral issue abortion public for both thus breeding (these are already states that ratified etc., etc. To believe that nothing to do with like believing that a female living together marriage will not sex. I pray and trust all good citizens will pray, ERA will be moral standards will -Mary Immaculate (| Immaculate Conce patroness of our country, for us. Idqt,hcqtton NO Published W,kly by The Press. I nc 2 N Tyler St. Little Rock,/I ;[I. 1911. at the Arkensas, under the AC! M4rch |. 1191 If See(rod c;4ss postage pa Little Rock, ArksnSat SUBSCRIPTION pRIC Sl.00 per yr in the United Ce $9.00 PUBLISHER MOST REVEREND ANDREW J M Sish4qp of Little R I PR IE ST CONSULTANT, eli RV. BERNARD E. oeBOSl MANAGING EDITOR . MR. WILLIAM W O'DONNELI"" EDITOR MR. KARL A CHRIST Address All Oq)ertmqmts P. FORREST PARK S Telcqhone Iddl-02J0 IkmkK.., A.M. to 4 p.M. throegh Friday ,aturda .l'llDona I Postmaster: send change e focm 3S711 to Press. P.O. I.illle Rock, At.