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The Catholic times. [volume] (Columbus, Ohio) 1951-current, September 28, 1956, Image 4

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4—THE CATHOLIC TIMES Friday, Sept. 28,1958
The Washington Letter
President of the United States
has not yet been elected but
arrangements are going for
ward for the erection of the
platform on which he will take
the oath of office.
The inaugural platform is
traditionally set up on the east
front of the Capitol building.
The steel for its framework
saved and used over and over
again. Around this frame is
built a wooden platform to
hold a large number of digni
taries. Wooden seats for 15,000
persons are constructed in the
plaza facing the stand.
The site which the U.S. Cap
itol building occupies was art
of the land of Daniel Carroll,
of the family of Bishop John
Carroll. When it was proposed
to move the Capital to this
area President Washington
was authorized to appoint
three commissioners to lay out
and survey a portion of the lo
cality for a federal city. Dan
iel Carroll was one of these
commissioners, and the land on
wnich the Capitol was built
was a virtual gift from him to
the United States.
The world is changing all
around us. Change is actually
our biggest problem. Wp must
constantly re-sell Christianity,
re-apply Christian principles.
The principles are easy, the
application is difficult.
Our Catholic minds are
equal to any, but we do not
seem to be creating the culture
in which we live. We are grab
bing at culture, not cultivat
ing it. We arc in a fortress re
I Capitol on Catholic’s Land
Making Marriage Click
are developing a new
aristocracy not so much an
aristocracy of wealth hut of
talent, of leadership. Thin in
a now position and opportunity
for Catholius in the United
States. We arc no longer “immi
grants We arc accepted. Wp
belong. Wo can influence any
circle lor good. Ideas have con
sequences! But we must prop
erly publicize our ideas. Amen
cans do not “huy” what is not
This fifth point of our pro
gram is a Diocesan Family Day
with the Bishop participating.
At the second National Ca
tholic Social Action Confer
ence in New Orleans (Septem
ber 7-9) detailed reports were
presented on all of the more
Important Catholic organiza
tions which are primarily con
cerned with socio-economic re
form. In this and in next
week's column the report on
the NCWC Social Action Da
partment which sponsored
the New Orleans meeting—will
be summarized. In subsequent
columns, at irregular intervals,
other report* will be present
od either in whole or in part.
It is hoped that this series of
reports will provide our read
ers with a reasonably accurate
picture of what is being done
In the field of Catholic social
action and that it will encour
age some to become associated
with one or another of tho
organizations in the field.
The Social Action Department
of the National Catholic Wel
fare Conference established
in 1919 at the beginning of
what was then known as the
National Catholic Welfare
Council like other Depart
ments and Bureau of the Con
ference is not an organization
formed to act. It has no legis
lative powers and no means
within itself for effecting the
action it might urge. It is a
clearing house for the distribu
tion of the best Catholic study
in the social action field and.
thus, is primarily educational
in its purpose.
It has been the continuing
Maj. Charles Pierre L’En
fant, a French Catholic, was en
gaged to draw up the plan for
the City of Washington, and
James Hoban, a Catholic archi
tect, won the competition for a
president’s residence, now
known as the White House.
The first local authorities of
Washington were the President,
three commissioners appointed
by him, and a I^evy Court. In
1802, the city uras incorporated
and provisions were made for
a city council and a mayor ap
pointed by the President. Rob
ert Brent, a Catholic and neph
ew of Bishop Carroll was
named the first Mayor of Wash
ington. and was annually reap
pointed by Presidents Jeffer
son and Madison until 1812.
Since 1878, the District of Co
lumbia has been administered
hy a hoard of three commis
sioners appointed by the Pres
ident and approved by the Sen
Inside the dome of the Cap
itol building is a 300 foot ser
ies of paintings depicting 400
years of American history. The
work was started in 1877 by
Yes, Light Other Candles!
arp entirely too de­
fensive. Being defensive Ca
tholics is our great fault.
Someone is sotting new pat
terns. How few of these pat
terns are Christian But arc not
nur Christian minds equal to
any? Catholics must take the
offensive for good- Wp must
he allies to our non-Catholic
brethren, not agents. Wp have
much tn give our fellow men,
but we must not give the im
pr ssion that we bore from
u ithin.
No Longer 'Immigrants’
Because of our Catholic col
By Msgr. Irving A. DeBlanc
It is vital that we work as
close as possible under his man
date. Workshops are presented
for the parents of pre-school
children, of large families, or
of handicapped children, or of
adolescents, and so on. Political
policies affecting family life
are discussed and decided
Follow Christ
This meeting should show
public refusal tn “accept” di
vorce or pagan birth-control
practices. This meeting should
publicly refuse to "accept” cer
tain patterns of “going steady"
for high schoolers. This gather
ing should publicly refuse to
follow “the Joneses,” rather it
will follow Uhrifft.
It will not agree that large
families are indecent, hut rath
er proclaim that each child is
worth more than this whole
rich country. It could publicly
recognize that approximately
50 per cent of married couples
have no children under 18 and
are possibly setting the stand
ards for all families, and so
Family Feasts
Other activities suggested by
this fifth part of the program
arc: a Catholic celebration of
National Family Week in May,
National Family Sunday on the
Feast of the Holy Family, the
selection of the Mother-of-the
year (or Couple of the
year). Also, the sponsoring of
a priest, a nun, a layman, or
major .seminarian to partici
pate in the credited six weeks
in summer Family Life Insti
tute, offered annually at Ca­
The Yardstick
Protect Christ’s Ideals
task of the Social Action De
partment to observe, appraise,
and to seek to influence along
Christian lines the great
changes of our day. Its goal is
a society permeated with the
ideals of justice and charity,
directed toward the aim of
restoring all things in Christ.
The Department seeks to in
fluence the thinking of indi
viduals and their conduct. But
even more, its goal is to seek
a form of social organization
which, hy itself, conduces to
virtue and Christian living. We
cannot escape the fact that we
are profoundly affected by our
environment. Free will does
not operate in a vacuum. We
feel that it is our task to seek
an environment of attitudes,
customs, institutions and laws
which help people to be bet
ter as individuals and as mem
bers of society. We seek to
strengthen the home, industrial
society, our political institu
tions. and indeed the society
of nations so that the ideals of
Christ may prevail.
Methods, Tools
The work of the Department
can be divided into several
fields of interest. It is active in
industrial relations, interna
tional relations, interracial re
lations, family life, rural life,
health and hospitals, social
work and charities and in the
study of Communism.
Its methods of work are the
holding of conferences, con
ducting short term schools, the
publishing of pamphlets and
Constantino Brumidi, an Ital
ian artist and a Catholic, who
worked until October 1, 1879,
when he fell 50 feet from his
scaffold to the rotunda floor,
sustaining injuries from which
he died. The frieze was not
completed until 1954.
This probably will be the last
time the inaugural stand is
erected on exactly the same
spot as it has occupied for
many ceremonies in the past.
The stand is erected partly over
the center steps on the east
front of the Capitol, and Con
gress has authorized and appro
priated funds for the extension
of these steps further to the
east. This means that hereaft
er,the inaugural stand will prob
ably be further out in the Cap
itol plaza than it has been here
tofore. The center steps are to
be extended to bring them into
better balance with the steps
of the south (House of Repre
sentatives) wing and the north
(Senate) wing. These two wings
are marble, while the center
portion is sandstone, which is
said to be disintegrating. When
rebuilt, the extended center
steps will be of marble.
tholic University and co-spon
sored hy the Family Life
Bureau of the N.C.W.C.
The annual diocesan-wide
Family Hour is likewise propos
ed, in which children pray for
their parents and parents pray
for their children. Silver or
golden anniversary couples also
are features at this family Holy
Hour and are sent question
naires so that the local press
may feature good Christian hu
man interest stories.
The Bishop, at the Holy Hour,
often blesses all recent moth
ers and their infants as well as
medals for babies, to he given
in future by priests to the
newly baptized.
Solidarity Important
Positive helpful family laws
are studied hy workshops on a
diocesan scale and laws may
he proposed during an election
year. An antidote something
positive such as a Catholic
physicians’ guild extending
free information if clients are
sent hy confessors may be
offered for the hundreds
of birth-control clinics sponsor
ed by the Planned Parenthood
ers. Three couples may form
panels on family life and ap
pear on radio, or TV, or in high
school and college classrooms,
or before any organization. A
zealous “vocation couple” may
be appointed in every parish.
It is of vital importance that
we remain conscious of a na
tional program. Solidarity of
Catholics is of the essence. We
are baptized not into a par
ticular state or diocese, but
into the Catholic Church.
By Msgr. George G. Higgins
newsletters, giving addresses,
writing articles and working
with other groups. Catholic or
secular, provided the latter is
a good organization working
for a good purpose.
'"he principal tools of its
trade are the Social Encyclicals
of the Popes and the various
statements of the American
Bishops on social matters.
The Department has issued
statements in its own name,
and jointly with the corres
ponding groups in the Nation
al Council of the Churches of
Christ in America, the Cen
tral Conference of American
Rabbis and the Synagogue
Council of America, on current
malpractices in industry. For
example, in 1923 the tljree re
ligious groups issued jointly a
statement condemning the 12
hour working day in industry
in 1931, a statement that urg
ed "immediate and adequate
appropriations" for public
works, a shorter work week,
social insurance and coopera
tive planning, and deplored
Immediately following the
issuance of the latter state
ment a Conference on Per
manent Preventives of Unem
ployment was sponsored in
Washington by the three na
tional religious organizations.
Over 400 delegates from 23
states attended. Participating
were federal officials from the
Departments of Labor and Com
merce and the President’s Emer-
gency committee on Employ
ment, officials of labor unions,
social workers, and professors
of sociology and economics. A
delegation waited upon presi
dent Hoover at the White
House advising him of the pur
pose of the conference and the
deep concern of the Churches
in the problem of discovering
a permanent preventive of un
Similar statements, released
either by the Department it
self or jointly with other re
ligious groups, have been is
sued from 1919 to the present
time. The most recent include
an analysis of the Taft-Hartley
Law issued by the Social Ac
tion Department at the time the
law was passed, and statements
on the Taft-Ellender-Wagner
Bill, the Labor -Extension Bill,
and the Fair l^bor Standards
Act. Annually the Department
issues a I^abor Day Statement
which, besides having a wide
distribution through the regu
lar channels, receives excel
lent coverage in the secular as
well as the Catholic press.
One of the chief aims of the
Social Action Department is
the interpretation and spread
of Catholic social teaching in
industry. It was with this aim
in view that the Department in
1922 organized and now helps
to conduct the Catholic Confer
ence on Industrial Problems,
the general objectives of which
have been the diffusion of Ca
tholic social teaching and the
application of the same to
American industrial relations.
From the beginning it was
decided that the new organi
zation should not take and de
fend positions on specific and
controverted questions such
as those connected with strikes,
labor injunctions, minimum
wage laws—but rather should
confine itself to study and
discussion of those particular
problems. Thus its constitution
forbids the taking of a vote
on any question of industrial
policy. Yet, at every meeting of
the Conference, the most con
troverted problems receive
adequate treatment.
More than 100 meetings of
the C.C.I.P. have been held
since 1922 in approximately
60 dioceses. Some dioceses have
sponsored as many as six sep
arate meetings over a period of
It is difficult to measure the
tangible results of the work
of the C.C.I.P, during the past
Yep-With Ostriches!
Momentous Invitation
Telling His disciples the parable of the Mar
riage feast which the guests for whom the king
had provided it refused to attend,, Christ was
plainly revealing what would soon be a sad
fact—that the people among whom He was
preaching would reject His invitation to par
take of the bounty provided by His Father.
And He was conveying the further prophecy,
borne out down the years, to this very day, that
many of those called to be followers of Christ
would refuse to heed the appeals and warnings
issued in His name by His Church.
Material interests, such as their farms and
their business affairs, seemed more important
to the invited guests than the feast which had
heen prepared for them, the parable explained
and it is still concern for things of the world,
such as wealth, power, pleasure, that prevents
men from recognizing the importance of the
summons so urgently pressed upon them to come
to the spiritual banquet of divine enlightenment
and guidance. Some, indeed, are so infatuated
with their material interests that they grow
angry when reminded that things spiritual are
nf greater momen} the counterparts of those
in the parable who killed the kings servants,
because they annoyed them by insisting that
they come to the feast, are found today perse
cuting and murdering the representatives of
Father Healey’s
Q. Is there a St. Kevin? Sa
A. St. Kevin, whose feast day
is June 3rd, was an abbot of the
monastery of Glendalough
which he founded. He was of
an Irish noble family of the
seventh century and is one of
the patron saints of Dublin. Sa
bina would be the feminine
form of the name of St. Sa
binus. There are several saints
of that name: One a friend of
Sf. Ambrose (December 11th)
was a bishop of Piacenza in
Italy. Another in the next
(fifth) century was a disciple
of St. Germanus. His feast day
is July 11th. Another was bish
op of Canusium in southern
Italy in the sixth century, serv
ing there for fifty-two years
as bishop. His feast day is Feb
ruary 9th.
Q. After space has been con
conquered and there is a large
Catholic population on many
other planets won’t there have
to be Vicars of Christ (popes)
on those planets?
A. No. Many times in the his
tory of the Church communica
tion between the Holy Father
and mission territories has
been difficult and slow. The or
dinary administration of such
territories has been taken care
of by the bishops and apostolic
administrators named by the
pope. When and if the time ar
rives that there are enough
people on another planet to re
quire pastoral care on a per-
30 years but, in general, it
can be said that the educa
tional spadework of the Con
ference provided the original
impetus for many of the Catho
lic social action projects now
flourishing in so many parts
of the country. Catholic social
teaching has been brought to the
attention of thousands of Amer
icans, Catholic and non-Ca
tholic alike, with the result
that both labor and manage
ment now look to the Church
more than ever before for
leadership and guidance in the
social field.
ST” 4^
•. -.-a
the Church. For the call to accept God’s dom
inion, to acknowledge His sovereignty and au
thority over all His creatures, is a rebuke to
materialism that disturbs and angers those who
are victims of materialism's delusions.
Only the shortsighted will be so blinded by
the passing attractions of the world as to for
get the overwhelmingly greater importance of
the eternal things of the spirit only the obstin
ate and reckless will refuse to leave their farms
and their businesses Jong enough to come into
the presence of the Almighty King and enjoy
the graces He offers to sustain and enrich them.
Nor is it enough to merely accept the invitation
and present oneself, unprepared and unrespon
sive. The parable tells the fate of the man who
was so careless and indifferent that he came
to the feast without putting on the proper wed
ding garment, symbol of respect and earnest
ness—he was cast out "into the darkness.”
Sunday’s Epistle indicates whgt is expected of
each guest at the spiritual feast prepared by
the Almighty King: he is to "put on the new
man, which has been created according to God
in holiness and truth he is to "put away lying
and speak truth each with his neighbor." In
justice and kindness we are to show ourselves
appreciative of the invitation tn partake of the
gifts of God.
manent basis there will be no
need—and no possibility—of
another Vicar of Christ but
they will be cared for as the
one and only supreme Pontiff
sees fit.
Q. Why does the Catholic
Church insist upon infant bap
tism when Christ Himself was
not baptized until He was over
A. Christ stated the neces
sity of Baptism when He said
"Unless a man be born again
of water and the Holy Ghost?
he cannot enter into the king
dom of God.” (John 3:5) That
this law extends to children is
the teaching of the Church
from the earliest times. Be
sides it is not likely that Christ
would want the graces of the
Sacrament withheld from chil
dren during formative yc..rs
any more than the sacred
rites (e.g. circumcision) were
withheld from the chil
dren of the Chosen People un
der the Old Law. Christ’s bap
tism was not something he
needed and the baptism of
John the Baptist was not the
Life-giving Sacrament institut
ed by Christ, so the baptism
in the Jordan does not estab
lish any argument for adult
(only) baptism.
Q. What is the answer to be
given to those who criticize
Christianity because of the
many disagreeing divisions or
A. Christ taught one consist
ent set of sublime doctrines
and established for all time a
divinely authorized Church to
explain and apply them. Many
times He insisted upon unity
and He clearly established His
chosen apostles as the basis of
thft unity (John 10:16 Luke
10:16 Ephesians 4:5 etc.) This
Church continued after His as
cension and Pentecost and that
one apostolic Church must con
tinue until the end of the
world (Matthew 28:16-20) The
Catholic Church is that Church
and its 400,000,000 members
agree on the teachings and au
thority of Christ, especially in
ii 1ST
Pa^ Comment
Co ^dered or
It is interesting and valuable to consider the word religion.
This word may mean two things. First, it may meai the virtue
in a man which entitles him to the name of a religious person.
Secondly, the word religion may mean the objective things in
which a religious man believes and according to which he lives.
The person who has religion is the subject in which religion
resides. Hence we define religion subjectively as “the virtue
which disposes and inclines a person to give due worship to
God.” And the things which the religious man believes are
objective religion. We define religion objectively as "the system
of truths, laws, and practices by which a person is to honor God
and live in accordance with God’s will.”
We sometimes hear the term false religion. This is a mistaken
term. For religion, at least when considered objectively, is a word
of definite meaning, and what does not square with that mean
ing is not religion at all. Similarly, there is no such thing as
false gold. What is called so. is not gold at all. Religion is a sys
tem of truths,—as well as laws and practices,—and conflicting
beliefs cannot all be truths,—as well as laws and practices,—and
conflicting beliefs cannot all be truths.
To be sure, there can be, and there are, erroneous beliefs. It
is quite conceivable that a man may have the right subjective
disposition and inclination to worship God as he ought, and, at
the same time, lack knowledge of the truths which he needs
to know for the proper exercise of religion. In so far as such
a person is aware of his lack of knowledge, he is morally ob
ligated to seek and find the truth.
No normal adult can be justifiably in ignorance of certain
basic religious truths. These truths are called truths of the natural
religion. God has given man a thinking mind, and as man de
velops from infancy to responsibility he is inescapably aware
of an order in things which he is required to preserve and for
bidden to upset. The thinging mind of man, called his reason,
makes manifest his obligation to do certain things and to avoid
other things. Indeed, when a child achieves this awareness ii)
practical measure we say that the child has “come to the use
of reason,” and is henceforth, in increasing degree, responsible
for his conduct.
The normal child, emerging from infancy about the age of
six or seven, is aware, by his reason, of these facts: there is
such a thing as good that I must do or am permitted to do
there is such a thing as evil, and I must avoid it. Coming to the
age of reason, the child recognizes three things good, evil, duty
or obligation. In a word, the child becomes aware of the basic
requirements of the natural law.
And with the recognition of law, comes, at least vaguely,
some realization of the Law-giver. Human reason, even in its first
effective strivings, is in some measure aware of God. And the
normal human adult, seeking to account for himself and the
world around him.eis forced to acknowledge some Origin, some
First Cause of things. Therefore it is justly said that no man
can come to the full and practised use of his natural mental
powers without becoming aware of the existence of God.
St. Paul, speaking of the heathens who had no supernatural
revelation to instruct them in religious duty, said that they were
not to be excused for failing to know «od and to give Him
honor. For, said he, the law of God is written in our hearts, our
conscience bearing testimony.
St. Paul was speaking of the natural law which is indeed
"written in our hearts,” that is to say, made manifest by natural
reason. Now, the religious and moral truths which man natur
ally comes to know constitute what is called the natural religion.
But what is natural in man is, since the Fall, lacking in per
fection. The weakening of man’s will and the darkening of man’s
mind which were consequent apon the Original Sin often block
the due cooperation of mind and will. Thus it is quite possible
for a man to see his duty, and yet fail to perform it. It is pos
sible for a man to recognize the truth of the existence of God,
and his own duty toward the existing God, and yet neglect to
ponder the truth or to perform the duty.
Therefore man needs more than he has by nature if he fs
to live worthily. And God has given to man a supernatural rev-,
elation of religious truth and religious duty. God has spoken to
man through inspired writings (we call them the Bible or
Sacred Scripture), and through the living voice of the Church
which God Himself (when He walked this earth as Man) es
tablished to “teach all nations.”
The Sacred Scriptures, and the actual present and historical
teaching of the Church in word and work (we call this Sacred
Tradition) are the channels of God’s supernatural revelation to
mankind. Sacred Tradition and the Scriptures are in perfect ac
cord, for they are fonts of the one divine revelation. And the
rule of our faith is the teaching office and authority of the Church
to which Christ said: "Teach all nations preach the Gospel to
every creature teach (men) to observe all that I have com
manded. He that heareth you, heareth Me. I am with you all
days even to the end of the world.” The Church, thus divinely
established and guaranteed is therefore man’s infallible rule and
guide in what he is to believe and in what he is to do,—that is,
in faith and morals.
the focal point of unity, Rome
and the Vicar of Christ who
is bishop of Rome. The problem
of those churches which were
started by men who left this
unity is one of man’s free
individualism, mistaking per
sonal independence for free
dom. We regret the disunity
and admit that it shows little
of Christ’s spirit and, of course,
we pray that those outside the
One Fold may return to the Ca
tholic Church.
Q. Was there ever a St. Dor
othy? Jenny?
There are several saints
named Dorothy. The most fa
mous was a virgin and martyr
of the fourth century who was
beheaded for the faith at Cae
sarea in Cappadocia. This was
during the last great persecu
tion, carried on by the Emper
or Diocletian. She is said to
have converted to the Faith
those who were sent to prison
to persuade her to renounce it.
Her feast day is February 6th.
St. Genevieve dedicated her life
to prayer and penance at the
age of fifteen and was an in
spiration to the people of Paris
during the siege of the city by
the Franks and the threatened
attack of Attila. She died in 512
A.D. and is the patron saint of,
Paris. Her feast day is January
Send questions to Father Ed
ward F. Healey, Inquiry Cor
ner, The Catholic Times, Box
636, Columbus (16) Ohio.
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Columbus, Ohio
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