Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
October 27, 1991     Arkansas Catholic
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October 27, 1991

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ARKANSAS CA'IHOLIC OCTOBER 27, 1991 PAGE 9 Panel discussion -- Baptism of infants of "marginal" Catholics challenge to Church New York ((INS) -- Panelists in a discus- sion on baptizing infant children of "mar- ginal" Catholics agreed the situation was Challenging for the Church, but reached no consensus on imposing requirements on the parents or godparents. They examined the issue in an Oct. 3 teleconference, one of a series sponsored by the National Pastoral Life Center in New York, with center director Fr. Philip J. Murnion as moderator. It originated in the Archdiocese of New York and transmitted to listening groups in .various parts of the cotmtry by the Wash- ~gton-based Cathofic Teleconmmmcataons Network of America. Though rifled "Pastoring Mmginal Catho- lics at Baptisms and Marriages," the discus- sion focused almost exdusively on baptisms. Fr. Murnion initiated discussion by sug- gesring cases where parents or godparents With tittle if an), involvement'in Church life asked for baptism of babies. Canon Law, he pointed out, requires a reasonable expecta- tion that the child will be brought up in the Qathofic religion. FT. Robert D. Duggan, pastor of St. Rose of Lima Church in Gaithersburg, MD, ar- gued for relath,ely strict standards. ~]esus ~dled people into a discipleship Attaining Healthy Spirituality CNS Religious addiction, abuse is widespread according to priest By Nancy Frazier O'Brien Wnshington (CNS) - If you think your reli- gion has all the answers, if you avoid those outside your own refigion or see your religion as a cure-all for pain and loneliness, you may be a religious addict, says author FT. Leo Booth, an axe the "most rigid, restrictive and authoritar- ian" ones, including "the more rigid dements of Roman Catholicism." In his workshops and senfinars around the country, FT. Booth said he sees many young people who describe themselves as "recovering Catholics" because of bad experiences in Catho- lic elementary schools." "I see a lot of anger toward God that ema- nates from parochial schools," he ~aid. "If a young person is told the Catholic Church is the only Christian religion, if all the messages they get about sexuality create fear and shame, the long-term effects can be disastrous." To recover from religious addiction, Fr. Booth recommends a 12-step program he's adapted from the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. He has also fotmded and directs a residential treatment program called Fr. Leo's Say Yes to Life Program in California. The goal is to become "a positive and cre- ative human being," with or without a religion. "If they have a heahhy relationship with God and don't feel the need for an organized reli- gion, I'm OKwith that," he said. Fr. Booth said he has had "much more support than criticism" from the clergy and that Catholic priests have been especially supportive of his ideas. "I'm very much a committed Christian and believe in worship, but I'm concerned about abuses," he said. "I think it's terribly important to hold your own views, but to not reject the views of others out of hand." For further information on support groups for religious addiction and abuse, call the Reli- gious Addiction Support Groups toll free at 1- 800-284-2804. Jack HamiltorvCNS A boy cradles the fruit of the sea- son - a Halloween Jack-O-Lantern- to-be. All Saints Eve is Thursday. that required commitment," he said. Later, Episcopal priesu he also commented that an institution that fails to ask for or demandcommitment from And for eadl religious addict, there may be ~'( ~ dozens or even hundreds of the religiously ~ A its members is doomed, abused, he adds. Fr. Mumion suggested cases of hnmi-Fr. Booth's new book, When God Becom~Complete boot grants fi'om cultures where baptism was a Drug:. Breaking the Chains of Religious Ad- gqven to all children regardless of their diction & Abuse, published by Jeremy P. ond shoe repoir... parents level of Mass attendance or other Tarcher, Inc., outlines the symptoms of religious ]~1[~ STATE FARM INSURANCE COMPANIES Churdl involvement.. ,, addiction and abuse and lists steps back to a We repoir most In socierieswherea culmralCatholicism healthy spirituality, leother prexailed, Fr. Duggan suggested, a child The purpose of the book, he writes, "is not could be expected to receive some degree to dispense with God, but to stop an abuse of g .OOdDoss coOt I/ of Catholic formation from the culture, God; not to destroy refigion, but to discover the Maether the parents or godparents made challenge mad adventure that religion can pro- Church an important dimension to their vide in the here and no~, not to ridicule dis- lives, dpleship, but rather to encourage tile develop- ' line Rock But that expectation loses xalidity, he said, ment of a creative relationship with God that When the fanfily is transferred into the allows for personal responsibility and change." "American secular, basically godless culture." The 45-year-old Episcopalian, who once stud- Mike Van Vranken, CLU, ChFC Elise Bourne-Thomas, pfindpal of St. ied to be a Jesuit priest, speaks from personal 378-0228 Member, Christ the King Parish Anthony of Padua School in Passaic, NJ, experience with addictions. A recovering alco- Mon.-fri. 7:30AMto 5:30PM;Sot.9AM- 225-1002 Office or 225-5827 Residence emphasized the need of the parish to make holic since 1977, he also admits to having been to I PM 301 N. Shackelf0rd Rd. Little Rock; AR 72211 lha~al Catholics feel welcome if they at- religiously addicted for a time after his 1971 _ ~ ,~ J tend church for some occasional special ordination in the Anglican Conmltmion. eVent. Their desire to have a child baptized '1 set up the chtwch (meaning mysel0 as file represents an opportunity that should not absolute authority on all aspects of life,- he said I OAK FOREST I~ lost, she said. . in his book. 'I all but forbade people to ask Church leaders, she said, should press to questions, think for themselves or doubt the find out why marginal Catholics feel a lack church. I inferred that priests and nuns were at f enthusiasm. Many parents will needalot a higher spiritual state than so-called ordinary I CLEANERS of help to carl), out their role, she said, and members of the church and, therefore, should the Churchshouldmakespecialeffortsto be obeyed without question."o ,i & LAUNDRY Provide such help or, for special services, Fr. Booth, vicar of SL George's Episc pal L ~ assist them in fincling it. Church in Hawthorne, CA, said religious addic- FT. Duggan said young parents who have dons have existed since religions began but have ~o active church life ,may have suffered a only recently been recognized and treated. crushing alienation,' but in many cases Among relatively recent examples he cited I 1217 Fair Parr Blvd. the 1978 mass suicide in Guyana by followers of Were simply taking the "~oung adult sab- the Rev. Jim Jones, the Islamic fundamentalist tical.- I Little Rock, AR 72204 That, he said, normally lasts from about movement of Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini and I 665-6049 age 18 to about .'28, when young people the excessive giving by some followers of TV I drop out" and take a prolonged "rite of evangelists. I 8717 W. Markham into adulthood." If they come to FT. Booth, who has lived in the U.S. since I Little ROCk,/tar 72205 about baptism for a child, he said, q 1980, said that although any religion can have 1 224-7611 ~vite them to end the young adult sabbari- memberswho are religious addicts, the religions ! most likely to attract those with such tendencies