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August 7, 1970     Arkansas Catholic
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August 7, 1970

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THE GUARDIAN, AUGUST 7, 1970 PAGE riety of Current Questions Affecting Catholics Examined Richard P. McBrien The Church of the Bre- Just voted its support men who refuse to into military service. not talking about con- objectors. This is settled matter with were concerned with Who just will not heed call to its defense. Catholic Church has conscientious objec- st, buthave we come Where we mightadopt of policy that the Brethren has now I hope not. stand taken by the the Brethren is not It has always stood Vigorous champion of and peace. Church has, in- the principle of ts objection to mill- (see the Pastoral on the Church in the n. 79), but it has n an official stand re- resistance. , One hand, the Second OUncil commended those Who serve their court- military when such Is for the sake of the and freedom of their or of other peoples is being unjustly the same section Constitution). hand, the council a blank check on service. It was Some military expedi- the political policies SUch expeditions can tad reprehensible. In one can never say, right or wrong!" we cannot automa- absolutely exclude the that outright draft Could, under certain lees, be completely jus- t even morally impera- renewal of fighting and Protestants Ireland has been the much discouragement I have been a faint hope that, the dust settles, the Come out of this age of transition in a much more attractive pos- who were once in- the Church would be- In a new light. Per- Our rate of conversions would increase. not so sure. I think bloodshed in North- s setting tile Church of years, or at least How can any- to the Church as Christ when they literally killing If non-Christians in action, arguments amount to a roll ree. In the past, we to look upon the de- Christian faith (i.e., as an intellectual, rationalistic, task. has changed, parti- We have broadened our tng of the metaling of doctrine, Sacred man himself. (For of the change in it applies to the see Father Avery pape rbac k, "Ap- Biblical Christ," ir_.bY Newman Press.) .t Vatican Council in- sisted, howeve r, t h a t the Church itself must be the strong- est argument on behalf of the Gos- pel. If people can see the good things that happen when men, wo- men, and children are open to the Word of God in Jesus Christ, then they will begin to take seriously the truth of that Word and of the Church which presumes to proclaim it. There is no question about it: the strife among Irish Christians today is one of the strongest apologetic arguments aginst the claims of the Christian Church. Such enmity makes a mockery of the Lord's own words: "By this will all men know that you are my disciples, that you should have love one for another" (John 13:35). Q. -- When I was growing up, we used to refer to the Church as our "Holy Mother." Then we began speaking of her as the "Mystical Body of Christ." Now, I'm told, the council wants us to think of the Church as the "Peo- ple of God." Is there any signi- ficance to these changes? What's next after the "People of God" expression? A. -- No single word or ex- pression can capture the whole mystery of the Church. It is a mistake to build an entire con- cept of the Church on any one image, even if the image comes straight out of St. Paul, as "Body of Christ" does. The strength of the Second Vat- ican Council's Dogmatic Consti- tution on the Church is its un- willingness to settle for any one term. It is true that "People of God" receives the dominant place in the council's teaching, but it is also true that "People of God" shares the theological stage with many other biblical images, such as temple, spouse, sheepfold, field, building, etc. (See ns. 6-7). A balanced theology of the Church will take each of these images into account and will not allow any one image to become so dominant that it suppresses the truth hidden in these other ex- pressions. Q. -- Isn't it true that Pope Paul VI has reversed the trend toward socialism and left-wing politics that was unleashed dur- ing the time of Pope John XXIII? I think that this is what irks the so-called liberals the most about the present Supreme Pontiff. A. -- The question falls into the category of "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?" Without commenting on your judgment that the Church before the time of Pope Paul VI was leaning left- ward toward socialism, I should only want to remind you that Pope Paul VI wrote one of the most important social encyclicals of our time, Populorum Progres- sio, and promulgated the Sec- ond Vatican Council's Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes). I can't be sure, of course, but I should suspect that neither of these documents would warm your political heart. What willbe your attitude toward the Supreme Pontiff when you finish reading this material? 1970 NC News Service Hinduism--Its Dez, e/opment--Teachh00g,s By Monsignor Josiah G. Chatham The Bible -- Genesis to Josuah Part III The very heart of God's reve- lation to man is to be found in the "Paschal Mystery." In the Old Testament this is the totality of the exodus events beginning with the liberation from the slav- ery in Egypt and culminating in the Sinai covenant in which the Israelites became "a new crea- tion, a holy and priestly people." This sequence of exodus events was the prophetic type of the Paschal Mystery fulfilled in the death and resurrection of Jesus. The Paschal Mystery is shared by man through conversion, in which man passes from the death of sin to the life of grace through the death and resurrection of the Savior, the fruits of which are communicated to man by faith and the sacraments. The Passover meal of the Israelites prefig- ured the Eucharistic meal of the new covenant, which is a mem- orial of the death and resurrec- tion of the Lord made present sacramentally. The details of the original, historical exodus of the Hebrews are beyond recovery. Doubtless many "natural" factors were in- volved. The theological point "as that escape from slavery took place under the Providence of God. Later, inspired literary embellishments were for the purpose of underscoring the cli- matic nature of the exodus events. The genealogical tables of Genesis convey the theological message of the unity of the hu- man race. They were not intended as historical family records in the modern sense. They are "re- trojections" in which Old Testa- ment faith of a much later date reads back into the unrecorded past the inspired conviction of the unity of the human family. Regardless of how Providence brought about the development and distribution of human beings over the face of the earth, all men are God's creation, God's children. tie loves them all. All have a common destiny. All men, there- fore, experience the built-in necessity "that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after Him and find Him" (Acts 17.27). Wily God moved, when and where and how He did, tomeetman in his search, is a mystery and will always be a mystery. God still loves those who have not received the revelation contained in the deeds and words which took place in the history of Israel and which reached their full ex- pression in Christ and the out- pouring of his Spirit. Christ is the universal Savior -- even of those who have never heard his name. Hundreds of years before the Christian era, on the other side of the world from Abraham, Mo- ses and Palestine (See Vatican II Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions), men were groping for answers to the fundamental ques- tions of life, death and eternity. Out of these efforts and agonies, patterns of religious thought and life emerged which are still vi- tal and which have affected count- less billions of human beings. The most far-reaching of these pat- terns are: Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism. Hinduism, as a religion, was taken by the Aryan invaders from the north into India bout 1,500 years before Christ. Its sacred books, known as the Vedas, were written in Sanskrit. This religion was blended with the religions of the original pre- Aryan inhabitants of south India. It contained features which were apparently polythestic (poly- theism is the belief in many gods) and pantheistic (panthe- ism equates God with the uni- verse, "everything is God"). Though polytheism was a con- stant threat to Hinduism, and has beenpracticed at thepopular level, authentic Hinduism is ano- ble religion which believes in one God, called Brahman, who is pure being, pure knowledge, pure bliss. Lesser deities are merely mani- festations of Brahman. Idols are not worshiped for themselves, but are considered the dwelling place of the gods. Hinduism is said to be pantheistic because it holds that in an act of direct intuition the soul knows itself in its iden- tity with Brahman. Ill its long history, Hin(luisrn has absorbed many outside reli- gious elenlents and has undergone many reforms. The acred writ- ings are looked upon as revela- tion. The acceptance of this revelation is orthodoxy. Every- thing else is regarded as un- orthodox. Many beliefs, practices and problems of Hinduism have re- markable counterparts in Chris- tianity. Hinduism has its own formulations of a "Trinity," an "incarnation," Sin, Salvation, Sacrifice and Sacrament. Iiin- duism has its very noble as- cetical and mystical ideals, its practices of family prayer and de- votion. Belief in reincarnation is char- acteristic of Hinduism. Crema- tion is practiced. Society which was originally treated as having four classes of men, later develop- ed a system of castes numbering in the hundreds, baseduponsocial custom, crafts and trades. The untouchables were the most ab- ject and menial. The caste sys- tem has been abolished by law, tough it persists in practice. There have been many learned and saintly Hindu teachers, re- formers and leaders. The best known was, perhaps, Mahatma Gandhi (1860-1948), the great proponent of nonviolence. Gandhi was profoundly influenced by the teaching and example of Christ, though he remained a devout Hindu. Up to now, Hinduism seems to have failed to supply motivation and orientation capable of pro- ducing an acceptable standard of living for the masses. The flex- iblity of Hinduism, however, and the success of its past reforms, justify the hope that it may yet be able to adopt what is good in this age and enjoy progressive rapport with Christianity. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: 1. What is the heart of God's reve:ation? 2. Explain the prototype, ful- fillment, and sharing in the Paschal Mystery. 3. What fac- tors form the basis of the unity of the truman race? 4. Name the three most far-reaching, pre- Christian religious patterns out- side the Old Testament revela- tion. 5. Discuss Hinduism as a religion. @ 1970 NC News Service SIGNS OF THE TIMES--Judgment and Good- ness appear to balance each other in this street sign taken recently in Wisconsin. (NC Photo by Janet Alt.)