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Arkansas Catholic
Litlte Rock, Arkansas
November 26, 1982     Arkansas Catholic
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November 26, 1982

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TIIEIU." ARE many look at the role 04' the bishop in the life of the Church. Most of the time, we see him only when he ad- ministers the Sacrament 04' Confirmation in our parish church. If one consulted the books of theology, it would be learned that the bishop is the shepherd, the teacher, the spiritual leader of the people. In each country of the world, the bishops of that country meet at least annually to go over their roles. The bishops of our own country meet in November each year in Washington, D.C. As I reflect upon our meeting of last week, I think that we fulfilled our roles as teacher and pastor. A teacher is someone who presents the truth and the pastor is someone who helps us live the truth. ABOUT TWO years ago, our Conference of Bishops appointed a committee under the direction of Archbishop Bernardin to prepare a Pastoral Letter on War and Peace. The committee was diligent in seeking in- Pontiff Continued from Pg. 1 ramifications of the Mafia-ttitude of some (Sicilians) are isolated and destroyed." Ending his visit to this center of a multi- million dollar heroin traffic to the United States, the pontiff said drugs "strike a hat- chet blow to the roots of life." Speaking from a bandstand in a central square before thousands of young people, the Pope drew prolonged applause. He dropped mention of the persistence of "omerta," the traditional cOde of silence that keeps witnesses, fr=Loming forward against the Mafia and allows it to operate virtually unchecked, from hi prepared text. The Vatican spokesman, Father Romeo Panciroli, said the Pope did not deliver part of his speech as he was running behind schedule and wanted to save time. "This is not the first time the Holy Father cut short his speech," he said. In the part of the speech he did not deliver, the Pope condemned the fatalism and disintegration of Sicilian society and the crimes that have left "too nmch blood and too many dead on your streets." formation, opinions and directions from all segments of society, government, church. In early last summer, the first draft of this pastoral letter was presented to the bishops through the mail. So many emendations were offered and so much interest stirred, that the Pastoral became the heart of our discussions in the November meeting. In September, a second draft of the letter was prepared. During last week, we were in session from Monday through Thursday, a total of nineteen working hours. Six of these hours were devoted to the Pastoral. The issue is really one of life and death. AS TEACHERS and pastors, we are saying to the whole world, "Life is worth living." We are saying that peace is worth working for. We are saying that the moral dimensions of war and peace are indeed within the scope of our concern. It was not so much the great attention given to our deliberations by the government, by the media and by people in all walks of life, as it was the way in which the Holy Spirit abided with us. Our deliberations were thorough, honest and courageous. It was not decision making time. During the ensuing months, much will be written concerning the proposed Pastoral. We strongly urge you our people to read and to listen. Any information that you want to present to me, please address it to me. We, the bishops of the United States have been called to a second meeting in early May 1983 in Chicago to vote on a final draft of the document. We ask you to pray and to fast that this document on war and peace will be anointed by the spirit of truth, wisdom and knowledge. May you and all in your family have a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving. The Ouardnan Identification No. (USPS 8S3.320) Published Weekly by the Guardian Press, Inc. 2500 N. Tyler St., Little Rock, Ark. Entered as second class matter March 21, 1911 at the post office of Little Rock, Arkansas, under the Act of Congress of March 8, 11197. Second class postage paid at Little Rock, Arkansas $7.00 per year in the United States Canada $9.00 Foreign $10.00 PUBLISHER MOST REVEREND ANDREW J. McOONALO, O.O. Bishop of Little Rock MANAGING EOITOR MR. WILLIAM W. O'OONN E LL, K.S.G. PRIEST-COUNSELOR VERY REVEREND JOHN W. KORDSMEIER, V.F. EDITOR MR. KARL A. CHRIST Address All Oepartments P.O. Box 7417 FORREST PARK STATION Zip 72217 Telphone 664.0340 Business llours 8:30 A.M. to 4 P.M. Monday through Friday. Closed on Saturdays, major National Holida.ys and Holy Days of Obligation. Postmaster: Please send change of address form 3579 to Guardian Press. P.O. Box 7417,Little Rock. Ar. 72217. Your friend, + Andrew J. McDonald Bishop of Little Rock Editorial In spite of economic setbacks, the Western world does live in relative abundance. In spite of relative abundance, there is a lack of confidence in the West. Individuals and government must draw on the confidence that so often surfaces in the midst of adversity -- the morale .shown during the battle of Britain, the spunk shown during the Great Depression, or the artist in the concentration camp who painted buoyant, hopeful pictures of the future. Looking at the achievements of the Western world, one wonders at the doubts being expressed for the long-term future. While the inmate of the concentration camp painted pictures of hope, the free and affluent American artist painted pictures of despair. Hope is not a political com- modity. It springs in part from the view that individuals or nations hold of themselves. The nuclear armament and economic future is most un- certain at the present despite political promises, so the need for hope and confidence is all the more necessary. Why? Not only for the philosophical reason of recognizing the worth and promise of human nature, but for the practical reason of making full use of human talents and reserves that makes us free rather than inhibited. The Witness Archdiocese of Dubuque Letters to the Editor The Guardian welcomes letters to the editor. Letter writers should strive to be concise and accurate. A lettgr 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. Thanks Dear Editor: Your co-operation in publishing the Sep- tember DCCW convention added much to its planning and success. The following picture of the awards recipients with Bishop McDonald was greatly appreciated and everyone felt a profound sense of pride in our Diocesan publication, The Guardian. Thank you. Mrs. Julia Sims Benton Nuclear Weapons Dear Editor: I think that if the liberal segment of Catholic Bishops is successful in asserting as part of their religious authority the misguided personal beliefs and judgments about milila'yslrategy and weapons systems, the result xill be a groundswell of resentment to their moral authority on matters of faith as well as politics. It will be a totally un- necessary polarizing of believei's who all agree on the basic promise -- nobody wants nuclear war. What is amazing to this writer is the profound anti-Americanism of the statements of the liberal Bishops and liberal priests like Father Blitz tGuardian, Nov. 5. 1982). They should see that you can't face this moral question of how to use or not use nuclear The Editors power without facing the reality of the Soviet Union and its desire to control the world by force. The fundamental error of the religious pacifists is the notion that the U.S. and Russia are equally guilty of endangering peace by possessing nuclear weapons. That concept is historically false. For two-and-one-half., decades, from 1945 to 1970, the U.S. had a first " strike capability against every other nation in the world, including Russia. We proved conclusively that the U.S. could be trusted not. to use the first strike capability when we had. it. There is a reason fundamental to the two systems which highlights the reason we never used the first strike capability. The Russian Communist system has never been satisfied with the status quo in the :area of world boundaries and freedoms for humanity. If you don't believe i1: lbok at:the nations upon which Russia has forced itself since World War II. We, on the other hand, have 'been a nation founded and sustained on the belief that we don't need to conquer other lands. Really, would you trust the Communists when they have a first strike capability against us? It is time we face the truth that the real danger in the world is not nuclear power, but Soviet possession of nuclear weapons. The Bishops are entitled to a presumption of moral at- tention, but there is no presumption of their enjoying a special knowledge on these matters. I'll trust the decision of the real experts who have studied the history of Communism. Don Curdle Little Rock, Ark. Rev. Jerome Kodell, O.S.B. Question: -- What is the Church's on a baptized Catholic who goes every Sunday but doesn't go to once a year? Can he be buried in the Church if he dies without sacraments? A. -- The Church law req least once a year applies only to have committed mortal sin. The all Catholics will approach Reconciliation several times a from its graces. The Church general the benefit of the doubt to all Catholics who desire a Catholic burial Question: -- A close acq happens to be a Catholic, recently wedding that was held outside the building. ! attended, finding out later was forbidden in our faith to go to ding. I don't understand why God give his blessing to these two because they decided to exchang outside the church building. Could explain why Catholic weddings allowed to be held outdoors and also wrong for fellow Catholics to attend? A. -- The general practice is for weddings to be held in church, but instances, an outdoor wedding allowed and then the validity and are the same. The reason a Catholic is to be held in the church is that sacrament, a public act of should be celebrated where the community customarily worships I do not know any'reason outdoor wedding would be it were somehow arranged as an defiance to Catholic authority. Question: -- Someone asked if it wa s receive Communion again without to Confession after being out five years. You said yes. This is a the catechism ! was taught in school years ago. What about state of grace, that is, free A. -- I agree that a person should reconciled to the Church through before receiving Communion after of the Church tdeclaring or oneself a non-member) for any length long or short. Question: -- is there anything Catholic teaching involved in tile Dungeons and Dragons which many people are playing or want to plaY Q" good exercise of imagination and to couraged or allowed, or is it evil Satanic, and to be avoided or Should a 12-year-old boy be allowed to at home? At a friend's house? teens be allowed to play it? A. -- From what I have been able to[ there is nothing wrong with the gaW e but in the wrong hands, it provides than average opportunity for the evil influences, including the demoniC' up imagination and fantasy, which to the good, but in this case the witches, magic and gods. After receiving this question, I two young devotees of the game. admitted misgivings about the might lead; one of them had decidedaS' summer not to play it any more. Father Jerome invites qul from Guardian Questions should be Rev. Jerome Kodell, O.S.B., Subiaco, Ark. 72865