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July 16, 1982     Arkansas Catholic
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July 16, 1982

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The Guardian Narcotic Effect Social scientists have established that addiction to radio listening and television viewing is an indication one prefers not to be alone with his or her thoughts. Contrariwise, persons who limit the time they devote to radio and television usually are more mature individuals who enjoy reading and find value in contemplation and meditation. Cares, anxieties and worry, so widespread ,in today's areligious world, have contributed to development of a drug culture as persons of all ages seek respite from the woes that beset them. They also have brought recognition of "the nar- cotic effect" of radio listening and television viewing, and more recently video games, according to Dr. William M. Hammel of the Communications Department of Loyola University, New Orleans. That's why blaring radios and television sets are so com- mon. "Many people just can't stand to he alone with their thoughts," Doctor Hammel insists, and religious broadcasters have a responsibility to help them recognize the part prayer, contemplation and meditation should play in their lives. W.W. O'D Essays in Theology Faith, Doetrine .. I1 By Father Richard P. McBrien The authority-issue for Catholics is larger than the issue of papal authority, as I noted in last week's essay. U.S. Catholics, for example, are also divided these days over the role of their bishops in the public debate about nuclear weapons. Almost half of the bishops in the United States have taken a stand in favor of some kind of nuclear freeze. If progressive Catholics were troubled by Pope Paul VI's teaching on birth control and began asking questions about the nature and extent of the Pope's authority to teach on such matters, conservative Catholics are now troubled by the bishops' teaching on nuclear disarmament and have begun asking questions about the nature and extent of episcopal authority to teach on such matters. And would that the issue were so simple even as that. There were also progressive Catholics who readily acknowledged the Pope's right and duty to teach on birth control; they simply differed with the precise formulation of the teaching. And there are conservative Catholics today who readily agree that the question of nuclear warfare is a moral issue requiring some moral stance; they simply oppose the bishops' tendency to support a specific political approach. It would he better, they argue, if the bishops underlined in rather broad strokes certain moral values and left the details to com- petent people in the political and military sectors. It's all very complicated, and it serves neither the cause of peace nor that of the Church to try and reduce the whole matter to a few clean propositions. If the conservative Catholic concluded too quickly in 1968 that "Humanae Vitae" was the litmus test of Catholic doctrinal purity, the progressive Catholic may be concluding too quickly today that support of Archbishop Hunthausen's position, for example, must be the litmus test of Catholic moral purity. One of the underlying theological issues in both cases - that of "Humanae Vitae" and that of the debate about nuclear weapons - is the same: the nature and force of doctrine, i.e., of of- ficial Church teaching. We would have no doctrinal pronouncements at all if we had no theology. And just as we would have no doctrine without theology, we would have no theology without faith. Therefore, arguing about the authority of papal statements on birth control or of episcopal statements on nuclear weapons makes no sense unless we fun- damentally agree that faith is at the root of every statement, and that faith is expressed theologically. Every act of faith implies acceptance of the following principles: (I) God is real; (2) the real God has been disclosed to us; (3) the God who has been disclosed to us calls us to sonship and daughtership in Christ Jesus, and ultimately to the Kingdom of God beyond this earth, and (4) the experience of the real God and of God's call to us occurs in the Church, which is a com- muni.ty of faith sustained by the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. Now this all sounds very textbookish, I know, but it is the theological dimension of every controversy having to do with any official teaching of the Church. Without taking that dimension into account, we can never adequately understand those con- troversies. Pope John Paul II has urged Catholics to make known their reactions to presentations by the press, radio, and . i telewston. Guardian readers may do this by mailing their com- ments to: Communiea.tions Department Diocese of Little Rock P.O. Box "/41"/, Little Rock. Ark. 72217 Letters will be duplicated and forwarded to networks, stations, sponsors or newspapers involved. I Rev. Jerome Kodell, O.S.B.. Question: - flow does one go about authenticating a first-class relic when the documents accompanying it have been lost? A. -- This procedure may be revised in the new Code of Canon Law, but presently, according to the United States Catholic Conference, the provisions of Canons 1283, 1284 and 1285 of the present Code are still in force. Canon 1283 says that a Cardinal, a local bishop, or another of- ficial with a special indult may authenticate relics. Any relics known to be inauthentic are to be withdrawn from veneration (Canon 1284). Relics venerated from an- cient times are to continue to receive veneration unless it is established that they are false (Canon 1285). Question: - When ! first came into the Church several years ago, I seem to recall that our churches were used only for worship. Now ! see lectures advertised, organ concerts, chorus per- formances and the like. is such a use of churches right for Catholics? A. -- At earlier periods in the history of the Church, such uses of churches were more common than they have been in the recent past. Such practices are certainly legitimate. Care must be taken, of course, that respectful behavior is maintained and that the type of performance or presen- tation scheduled does not contradict Catholic prin- ciples. Question: - What became of St. Joseph's body after he died? Does the Church know where he is buried? Or is there a possibility that he was assumed into heaven like Mary? A. -- Nothing is known of the circumstances or time of St. Joseph's death, but his ab- sence from the stories of Jesus' ministry indicate that he died before Jesus began his public work. He was probably buried at Nazareth. There is no Christian tradition about his assumption. Question: -- There is much interest in genealogy these days. Isn't the Bible opposed to delving into one's past? A. -- I don't know what led you to that conclusion. Two of the Gospels (Matthew and Luke) give the genealogy of Jesus. Question: - Does one have the obligation to obey one's parents throughout one's life? A. -- Yes, according to one's status as a child, an adolescent, or an adult. Question: - How can a Catholic have time for everything else but going to Mass some Sundays? And how will a Catholic who quits and joins a Protestant Church be saved? A. -- Only God knows what goes on in a person's heart, so only he can judge We will he judged finally on how well we followed our conscience, whether it is correctly or incorrectly formed. Question: - When I was instructed in the Catholic faith many years ago, I was told that divorce and Letters to the Editor cials i at remarrtage W[h_ , question, that m th spouse was stil[ tt forbidden to 1-- "" Has the Church Or has God's I tin t this point? Th in. tl see Catholics mcide and then marryD tnev catlca A. -- The-re gu maintains that ore that a valid m now he dissolved bl blue that as long asewly ners are alive, pal marry again. changed. Rece more annulmet granted. An a ====== decision by a that for som couple never e marriage. Thus to separate ( reasons to divk4 remarry. Father Jed EplN questions frol] subscribers. EAI should be adhicot] Rev. Jeron# O.S.B., New 72865. AN ASS Brea, 9 h all en tr. $15,8 Readers Express, Their Vie-- Holocaust II Dear Editor: I am enclosing a poem I wrote entitled Holocaust II. It is a protest against legalized nature and material and" I abortions, used to get a lot of bad phone I had originally sent this calls. So, in past years, I have poem to my home-town used a Pen Name and been newspaper, The Doon Press, very reluctant to have my Doon, Iowa. I must apologize real name attached to the for not sending you this articles I would write. earlier. However, I am proud enough In the past, I have written of my poem, Holocaust II, articles for the Soulad Off that I would not want it Column of The Arkansas printed if it did not include my Democrat. Many of these name. articles were strong in I am attaching a photocopy of the poem and also will include the epilogue I at- If faith is ultimately the tached to it which the Doon issue, and if faith has to do Pressdidnotelecttouse. with our knowledge and ex- perience of God, and if no one has ever seen God (John I:18), then doctrinal statements which follow upon faith must always be open in principle to improvement. The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith acknowledges this to be the case even with dogmas, i.e., doctrines which have been taught with the highest solemnity and which are immune from substantial error: "Moreover, it sometimes happens that some dogmatic truth is first expressed in- completely (but not falsely), and at a later date, when considered in a broader context of faith or human knowledge, it receives a fuller and more perfect expression" (Mysterium Ecclesiae, 1973). Moral argument which appeals to official teachings can be impassioned and overflowing with conviction, therefore, but one can never forget its root in faith, and the incompleteness of that vision of faith. "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part: then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully un- derstood" (First Corinthians 13:12). Such a text doesn't give us the solution to our arguments over birth control or nuclear warfare, but it helps to put both arguments in some wider perspective. The Guardian welcomes letters to the editor. Letter writers should strive to he 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. HOLOCAUST II Who are these children not yet born From mothers' wombs so cruelly torn. Each one is a gift from God.. above. What crime or offense were they guilty of? Did they perhaps get into someone's way These helpless victims of America's moral decay. Carried to their deaths while still in the womb Nameless, they merit neither headstone or tomb. Millions of them have now been killed Their human adventure forever stilled. Cut down like weeds before their birth Never to marvel at God's beautiful earth. How cold and ruthless has man become That he'd slay his own daughter or son. To what Hellish depths have we sunk as a nation To allow this destruction of God's most precious creation. which would be-The Final Abortion? Donald P. Bogaard North Little Rock Pro-Life Dear Editor: With the coming of Mother Teresa to our diocese, it would seem that many of our Catholics have been awakened to the "Good News" that the Lord has touched us through the Pro- Life movement. I thank the Lord for her visit, but her visit is not the first time the Saviour has touched us in the Pro-Life movement. There have been many faithful, dedicated and persevering persons who have touched the lives of the born and the un- born with the Saviour's Love. If it had not been for these persons, there would not have been a solid foundation on which to build Abba House, Birthright, Right to Life or any of the other fine Pro-Life organizations. I pray that the Lord bless all these many persons for their years of hard work and I pray that the recent endorsements of their labors will rejuvenate them for many more years. Indeed, the Lord has touched us and touched us many times. Blessed be the Name of the Lord ! Father Ernest Ha rdes ty Mena Obituaries Dear Editor: Epilogue: It is my opinion that Holocaust II is an ap- propriate definition of legalized abortions. If America fails to stop this wholesale slaughter of the unborn, can we expect or have the right to hope that GOd will spare us something much worse -- Nuclear Holocaust I am writing in regard to a matter that frequently comes up for discussion among family members as well as friends, and that is your method of publishing obituaries. We do not understand why you choose to name the parents of the deceased, de 01 especially w he_.i may be 60, 70 or' old, since therel many people SlNvner whom this infod. Rayt be Edw deceased is at. imr young person, __, to be much mo'.', U0' list the names i JaM children along ton, and sisters, litary, Quite often,  G G.ina obituaries of ! Catholic friends b===-- die outside otGCh Rock and the only source tlj information. quite meaningl. is presented at tlg I e ! Perhaps Directors will consideration to i policy. I'm sure! other readers preciate it also. Mrs. t*qtcSt*O NO PtdDI tshld Wkly Pr$. in( 2500N TvlerSt Ltl l. 1911 at the post OtiS, k41n$4$. uhder thc li /.rch. ll7 -IA SeCOdtC Idi$$  . Lttt ao(k.. SUBSCR IPTIO S; GO  ylNDr in fit'! C144 Sl) O0 F PUOL ISF MOST REV| ANOREW J MoO  8*shop of L,ti Olri PRIEST CON 'onMflll REV BERNARD| [ttlrc oeial MANAGING i eddi MR WILLIAMW 0'01 choo] EDITOII MR. KARL A.i ,/ Acm, ess A. omt FORREST PARK sT Utreull II2 N ,-.,& / k"r'l " Jr prc$$..J::=