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Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
December 5, 1998     Arkansas Catholic
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December 5, 1998

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December 5, 1998 Page 7 challenge should the new year, Bishop McDonald made a plea to all Catholics to support the Parish Mentoring Program. What he was asking might be harder than anyone ever imagined. He wanted them to help one family get off welfare. The help would not be financial. We just could drop a check in the mail or some food and a warm coat. would have to meet, support and a poor person who probably on welfare their entire lives. In this issue, Arkansas Catholic highlights three parishes that have had some degree of success helping Someone in its county get off of wel- fare and into a job that pays a living Their stories are not tales of results and frustration-free This is a different kind of work. While serving during Mass or leading the PTO is essential service to the Church, not challenging work. Twenty parishes, or 15 percent of parishes and missions in Arkansas, are in some stage of the ram. Some are working with a some are working with the of Human Services to a name and others are just Those parishes that have heeded bishop's words in January are to applauded. They have not shirked Christian duty to help the poor. ' have made countless calls, dealt the DHS bureaucracy and to help their client with their For example, a parishioner in Francis of Assisi Parish in Fairfield worked with the client to get his license. This is a practical for this man because he now can himself to a job instead of rely- on others. This work is truly challenging to us it gets us out of our comfort We are forced to meet someone on the outside seems lazy or and learn how he or can be helped. Many of us don't what poverty feels and looks We are shielded from this by able to live in a nice neighbor- and drive a nice car. We pur- stay away from someone we think is poor and, by exten- we think is a criminal, on drugs, alcoholic or all of" the above. Some of the teams are not giving despite the many fiurdles put in way. God will bestow many on them for their work. Jesus tells us, "Give to him who from you, do not refuse him would borrow from you" and received without pay, give pay." Are U.S. bishops guilty of committing spiritual child abuse? GUEST COMMENTARY Fessio's use of the term "spiritual child abuse"? Child abuse by members of the cler- gy has caused great harm to innocent young victims. It has eroded the trust of the faithful and damaged the morale of the majority of good, hardworking Acre our bishops guilty of "spiritual priests in the Church. It has also hild abuse? That appears to be exposed the Church to public scandal the outrageous conclusion of Jesuit due to the media's penchant for sensa- Father Joseph Fessio. tionalizing these sad incidents. A powerful figure in Catholic Indeed, as Pope John Paul II said in a media, Father Fessio is publisher of 1993 letter to U.S. bishops on the topic of Ignatius Press in San Francisco. He is clergy sexual abuse, it is virtually impos- also one of three "content advisers" for sible to imagine any single act more hurt- the fledgling Catholic Family Radio ful and destructive of the body of Christ network, which is set to begin broad- than child abuse by priests. casting in the Los Angeles area this For Father Fessio to make his point by month, evoking the specter of child abuse by According to a Catholic News priests -- be it spiritual or sexual -- is Service report, Father Fessio told a inexcusable anddemandsanimmediate gathering of traditionalist Catholics in and unequivocal apology to the nation's Milwaukee last week that allowing girls bishops, priests and laity. to be altar servers amounted to "spiri- For the sake of Catholics here in tual child abuse." Southern California and in other parts of "You're going to tempt (girls) into the nation, let's hope that Father Fessio's desiring the priesthoodS" said Father outrageous remarks are not a harbinger Fessio, "and then they'll leave the of things to come from the transmitting Church" when that is not possible, towers of Catholic Family Radio. There is plenty that's wrong with these comments, not the least of which is that they make a mockery of promis- es by Catholic Family Radio organizers that its content advisers will guarantee that the network upholds authentic Catholic teaching and refrains from "bashing" the local bishop. As someone with more than a pass- ing interest in liturgy, Father Fessio is certainly aware of the 1994 letter from Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. The let- ter grants each bishop the right to per- mit the use of altar girls in his diocese. The Vatican letter stamps the use of girl altar servers as authentically Catholic. Is Father Fessio operating from a dif- ferent definition of authentic Church teaching? As a theologian, Father Fessio under- stands the precise theological meaning of temptation. Is he suggesting that our bishops are recklessly exposing young girls to occa- sions of sin by allowing them to serve at the altar? Finally, what is to be made of Father LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Holding hands not "my" or"myself." a total of 30 references faking their baptisms and sending lists to herself in a single column, plus two of"baptized"Jews to the German ambas- -"---- " a ,p OVeu gesture "Not everyone is like you sador so they could be evacuated. g M are, Therese." Holy Mother Church calls Others were saved through the massive durln ass her and us all to humble obedience, issuing of Vatican passports. " Malty Recently Pius XII has been criticized Therese Rohr's Nov. 14 "Miss Hardy for not explicitly and publicly con- Cellaneous" column implicitly endorsed demning Nazi execution of the Jews as holding hands during the Our Father. At Examination should it was occurring. He initially intended Masses where everyone in the pews to do so, but thought better of it when knows his faith, such as those of the show Pope Pius XII he saw what happened in the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars or the Institute of Religious Life, such behavior saved lives of Jews Netherlands. There, in May 1943, the Catholic hierarchy issued a strong is unseen, protest against Jewish deportations. We who are Catholic, who acknowb This letter is a response to the The Nazis then launched an all-out edge the Church of the whole truth that Catholic News Service article about offensive against the Jews in that court- speaks with one voice to the whole Pope Pius XII in the Nov. 14 issue of the try. Hearing this news, Pope Pius world, are called to obedience. Rubrics, Arkansas Catholic. The article echoed burned the draft of his own protest, printed in red in the Sacramentary, are some of what is currently printed in the saying that such an open and public the Vatican's instructions for celebrating secular press regarding the pope's sup- denunciation would only take more the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. posed silence in the face of Nazi atroci- people to their deaths. Sacrosancturn Concilium, the Vatican II ties. In this respect it is somewhat mis- The pope's actions during the war "Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy" leading, received high acclaim. The New York Times published by Pope Paul VI on Dec. 4, During the tenure of Pope Plus XI, carded editorials on Chrisunas Day, 1941 1963, said: (22-23) "No other person, there was a Cardinal Pacelli serving as and 1942, praising him for his moral not even a priest, may add, remove, or papal nuncio in Germany. He knew theleadership. He was also thanked by the change anything in the liturgy on his country well, and was greatly disturbed World Jewish Congress and the American own authority." However, some priests, by the rising force of Nazism, a force he Jewish Con aittee for his work. In 1945, and some parishioners, disobediently referred to as "diabolical." Cardinal Rabbi Israel Zolli, the chief rabbi of make changes anyway. For example, Pacelli wrote a document condemning Rome, requested baptism into the some parishioners hold hands during the racial policies of the Nazis. In it he Roman Catholic Church and also asked the Our Father. Since it is not in the also wrote that Catholics must never be Plus XII, with whom he had worked close- rubrics, which address gestures, we may anti-Semitic because "we are all Semites ly during the war, to be his godfather. not licitly add it. The idea that we can spiritually" and should hold the Jewish Hardly the actions of a man who thought celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass people in high regard. The document the pope was a silent weakling. in defiance of Church law takes us some was issued by Pope Pius XI as an encycli- The Vatican is now looking into the distance down the road that ends in the cal in 1937. It was smuggled into case for Plus XII's sainthood. In satanic Black Mass. We must preserve Germany and read at all parishes on the response, Israel's Ambassador Aharon the integrity of the Holy Sacrifice of the same day. Two years later, Cardinal Lopez and others are referring to the Mass to protect our immortal souls. Pacelli became Pope Pius XII. pope as a controversial figure whose The desire to "personalize" the Holy Under Plus XII, numerous activities actions should be closely examined by Sacrifice of the Mass is rooted in focus were undertaken to save Jewish lives, historians. Perhaps they're right; a on self and pride, the primary sin from Over half of the Jews living in Romeclose examination may be exactly what which all others arise. Mrs. Rohr's col- were sheltered in ecclesiastical buildings gives the sainthood cause an extra umn was remarkably focused on herself, opened on the express instructions of push forard. The word "I" appeared 18 times. In addi- the pope himself. The Vatican Susan H. Gray tion there were 12 references to "me," Secretariat of State saved many Jews by Cabot