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Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
December 17, 1982     Arkansas Catholic
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December 17, 1982

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Albert J. Schneider is a troubled prophet, - troubles his audience. ) Leroy T. Matthiesen in a small German- community in the of West Texas. after he became of Amarillo, a man to become a per- deacon came to him I problem of conscience. feared that his work Pantex atomic warhead might be wrong. From that Matthiesen has become one of the outspoken Catholic in the U.S. on the of nuclear war. war was his topic as a large audience Auditorium of Cen- Hall at Subiaco Archbishop John president of the Conference of Bishops, Bishop insists that the race is the most serious problem in the world followed closely by md world hunger. To Who maintain that nuc- is a purely political issue, he replies life and the of creation are at "The bishops must out on nuclear war, just do on abortion, these moral and values are in- he stated. i Matthiesen contends U. S. has gradually from a nuclear of mutually-assured (MAD) to the of a limited, winnable Whether the U.S. Says Arms Race Moral Problem may be waged. One of the fundamental principles of the just war theory is that attacks must not be directed against the civilian population. The use of nuclear warheads makes respect for this principle extremely difficult, if not impossible. Against this backdrop, the Catholic bishops of the U. S. judge that they have a responsibility to speak out on the morality of nuclear war. At their annual meeting in Washington during the month of November, the bishops considered the second draft of a pastoral letter entitled "The Challenge of Peace: God's Promise and Our Response." Bishop Matthiesen spoke of the proposed pastoral letter as a condemnation of current U. S., Soviet and Chinese nuclear strategy. It condemns nuclear war, the use of con- ventional or nuclear arms against civilian populations, the threat to use nuclear arms, the first use of nuclear arms and targeting military installations near cities. The statement calls for deep cuts in all arms and a halt to the construction and stockpiling of nuclear arms. In Bishop Matthiesen's estimation, the pastoral letter will become "even stronger and more prophetic" before the final version is considered in May of 1983. Specifically, he ex- pects the final draft to limit even further the present "severely conditioned" ac- ceptance of the possession of nuclear arms. The Bishops' pastoral has been in preparation for nearly two years in a committee under the direction of Ar- chbishop Joseph Bernardin of Chicago. The committee consulted with a wide variety of lay people and clergy from Caspar Weinberger, Secretary of Defense, to Thomas Cornell, a Catholic pacifist. Other interested parties will have an op- portunity to give their input to the committee before the bishops' meeting in May. Archbishop Pio Laghi, the Apostolic Delegate to the U. S., urged the bishops assembled in Washington to speak out on the issues of war and peace and told them that they "are of a mind with the Holy Father." According to Bishop Matthiesen, ff the bishops approve the final form of the pastoral letter in May, the effects will probably not be as great as their supporters hope nor as great as their critics fear. U. S. defense policies will probably remain the same, whatever the bishops decide. Approval of the pastoral will probably en- courage the peace movement, force a crisis of conscience for Catholics and possibly precipitate a confrontation between church and state. With so few practical effects, why should the Bishops speak at all? In order to speak "a word of hope in a time of despair," he said. Bishop Matthiesen carefully described the U: S. Bishops' teaching on nuclear war as non-infallible, yet part of the authentic teaching of the church. This means that Catholics can dissent from the teaching and remain in good standing with the church. They still have a serious 1151.'i_2#####i######2# Official Announcement Diocese of The Most Reverend Bishop announces the following clerical appointment: Rev. Joseph Deniger, C.S.Sp., pastor, St. Joseph Parish, Con- way. Rev. Royce Thomas Chancellor ........... AAA ....... A.A, VW ...........  .......... responsibility to study and consider the Bishops' teaching in forming their consciences. To assist Catholics in forming their consciences, the bishops are planning to publish the pastoral letter, a summary and a study guide. Bishop Matthiesen reminded the audience of the message of Our Lady at Fatima which calls for prayer and fasting. He explained that we Catholics should pray for the conversion of Russia - and the United States. We should fast by giving up the things we have grown to depend on. This means, he said, that we cannot continue to defend what we have by any means at all without considering their morality. The bishop insisted that the case is not closed at this point, but subject to discussion which should he as unemotional as possible. He sees the Church's respon- November Burse } )onations $9, O16 Little Rock -- Three new burses were established in November and a total of $9,016 contributed to help finance the education of men for the holy priesthood. One burse of $5,000 was established in memory of George Steinkamp, another of $300 honoring Father James R. Savary and the third for $200 in honor of Father Joseph S. Quinn. The William J. Conery Burse received $1,000, while the Bishop Byrne Assembly of the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus Burse received $900, totalling $6,025. The Rev. James P. Reynolds Burse had $626 added to raise it to $736, while the Rev. John B. Scheper Burse received $400 and now totals $1,000. The Rev. Ber- nard DeBosier BurNs received $230, raising it to $830, and the Msgr. Edward Hinkley's Burse received $225 and totals $4, 292. Other contributions were: Peter and Kazma Swolak Burse, $50, totals $200; Unassigned Burses, $50, sibility on the nuclear arms issue as twofold: to address the consciences of individuals and to raise a prophetic voice to the nation. A__ I $12,901.57; St. Jude's Burse, $25, $3,044, and Msgr. James E. O'Connell Burse, $10, $10,790. Burse funds are invested by the diocese and the interest and dividends are applied toward the education of men for the Arkansas priesthood. Donations should be sent to Msgr. James E. O'Connell, Endowment Director, P.O. Box 7565, Little Rock, Arkansas 72217. 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