The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on November 18, 1968 · Page 25
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 25

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Monday, November 18, 1968
Page 25
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Palm Beach Post, Monday, Nov. 18, 1968-25 Inobedience To Church Authority Defies Age-Old Catholic Doctrines hr? f '.: . . - k spy' A rift 4 14 Catholics to proceed cautiously on reforms have been often Ignored or challenged. Some priests have continued to urge that the Church abandon the rule of priestly celibacy and some have left the priesthood in protest over the Pope's refusal to go along. Some priests and theologians In La'in America and elsewhere support armed revolution as a means to obtain social justice again over the Pope's opposition. Theologians in several North European countries have challenged the traditional interpretation of such doctrines as papal infallibility, the virginity of Mary, the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, original sin and the existence of angels. Last June 30 the Pope announced a "Credo of the People of God" which reaffirmed these doctrines, but this did not succeed in quelling the controversy. Then a month later he reaffirmed the traditional church opposition to artificial means of birth control, and precipitated the worldwide controversy that continues to divide the church. Since, the pope's criticism of Catholic liberals has become markedly more severe just as their criticism of him has become more open and blunt. VATICAN CITY (UPD The Roman Catholic Church is going through Its deepest crisis In modern times a crisis of obedience. The all-powerful position of the Pope has been seriously weakened, with millions of Catholics defying Paul VI's pronouncement against birth control. Priests, nuns and monks in various parts of the world are in revolt against their superiors over a wide range of questions. Age-old doctrines are being challenged or given new interpretations by theologians. Laymen have divided into mutually hostile conservative vs. liberal factions. Throughout the nominally 600-million-member church, there is turmoil and confusion and, in the- case of Paul him-' self, evident bitterness and worry. In a series of remarkable speeches in recent months, the Pope has denounced some Catholics as "troublesome and harmful" to the Church, strongly criticized some liberal theologians and even attacked conferences of bishops in some countries for carrying out unauthorized liturgical reforms. For centuries the Catholic Church has existed as one of the most authoritarian institu tions on earth and '.he concentration of authority at the top, in the hands of the Pope, has tended to increase in recent centuries. It reached Its peak in 1870 with the proclamation of the doctrine of papal Infallibility. But now this authority is being eroded on a variety of fronts. The maxim that "Rome has spoken; the case is settled" no longer has the same meaning. Debate, experimentation and innovation much of it opposed by the Pope are now rife In the church. Millions of Catholicshave placed individual conscience or Judgment above obedience to the Pope on birth control and other questions. But the birth control controversy was not the start of the crisis of obedience. It began during the Ecumenical Council, called by the late Pope John XXIII and carried to completion, although with some misgivings, by Pope Paul. Before the Council, most Catholics had accepted without serious question the teachings of the church. But the Council brought to light the fact many of these teachings were being challenged or reinterpreted by some of the most brilliant minds of the church theolog ians, cardinals and bishops. Bitter wrangles took place among Council fathers, and suddenly discussion and debate became fashionable at all levels of the church. The reforms enacted by the Council only fed what appeared to be a widespread, dormant desire for even more change. To some extent, the questioning of ancient beliefs that was unleashed reflect they cannot remain authoritarian and survive in the changed circumstances of the modern world. Pope Paul outlined his own views on this question In the 1964 encyclical "Ecclesiam Suam" (His Church), the first of his reign and the document he proclaimed as the program for his pontificate. "Reform cannot concern either the essential conception of the church or its basic structure," he said. "Reform... is not to be understood in the sense of change, but of a stronger determination to preserve the characteristic features which Christ has impressed on the church." This conservative tone resounds throughout the encyclical, and has been a consistent hallmark of all Paul's speeches since on the question of reform. But the Pope's warnings to KiiA'kh? 4' Tv .. UPITelepholo steal food The owl is copies. The intention is to send it to every who "counts." Frenchman r , W EYE-TO-EYE MEETING - They're as friendly as the owl and the pussy cat who went to sea in a beautiful pea green boat, but they're guests of Mrs. Astrid Lenz of Cleveland. They from each other, but take no reprisals, named Gara; the cat, Mittens. Seeks New Quebec Ties OffiPan American Tire X lO li 11 I 3? Iff li f 1 f1 1 UNBLEMISHED fnw f b i n r 1 1 ; H J price France PARIS (NANA) - A new key organization whose aim will be to strengthen the "special relationship" between France and Quebec is to be formed here later this month. The new France-Quebec association is described as nongovernmental and essentially nonpolitical. But one reliable source admitted that one of its objectives is to "form a pro-Quebec lobby inside the French government, especially amongcivil servants." French "hautes fonction-naires" have tended to be more skeptical concerning the limits of Franco-Quebec cooperation than have Gaullist politicians. The indications are that the new association will make a determined effort to recruit potentially influential civil servants as members. The intentions of the founders is to make the association a very glittering enterprise, indeed. President de Gaulle is expected to be named honorary president, though, it was stressed, "in his capacity as president of the republic, not as Charles de Gaulle." The most likely candidate to head the association is Alain Peyre-fitte the former French education minister who played a major role in extending Fran- co-Queuec collaboration in that field. One of the most energetic organizers of the hew body is Xavier Deniau, the Gaullist deputy who is the National Assembly's specialist in Franco-Canadian relations. Philippe "Rossilon affair" has been invited to become a charter member. Rossillon is the director of the French government's commission for the defense and expansion of the French language. The new association is an amalgamation of three weak and rather floundering groups which, up to now, have dealt with Franco-Quebec cultural and economic relations outside the strictly government-to-government level. They were the association France-Quebec, the most important of the three, which was a wing of the association France-Canada; comite Quebec-France and amitie France-Quebec, mainly a student group. The trio often spent more time and energy on internecine rivalry than in promoting the cause of Quebec here. None possessed the resources or the backing to become a "prime instrument for impressing Quebec on the French public" which is how one of the founders described hopes for the new association. Although the Franco-Quebec Association represents something of a breakaway movement from the Association France-Canada, informants insist no political implications are involved. The new group is adopting the club statutes of the Association France-Quebec, except that it is dropping those references to working in cooperation with the Association France-Canada. "It's taken for granted that we will work closely with France-Canada, but, for practical purposes, we can't state it explicitly," an informant explained. "This is so that certain people who might object to this can join the new group." The source said that the new association would seek to perform something of the same function in Franco-Canadian affairs that Quebec itself performs in a higher sphere. On the other hand, it was expected that the Association France-Canada would henceforth deal chiefly with promoting French interest in the other French-Canadian communities of Canada. Among the immediate major projects of the new organization is to be the publication of a monthly magazine, "France-Quebec." 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