Request By Jotter
Agenda for the Council
I WAS interested to read in a A recent issue of Kierushlatt, the Salzburg Catholic paper, that Cardinal Kanio of Vienna is being very practical indeed about Me coming Council. He has called on all his clergy to report to him by the end of August their views on a number of questions relevant to the work and findings of the Council. The subjects on which he wants a report include the following; atom warfare; colonialism: social questions; birth control; cremation; the dress of the clergy and the habits of men and women in religious orders; the use of the vernacular in the Mass, the sacraments and the breviary; the possibility of new blessings and of changes in the burial rite; the education and status of the clergy; the revival of the diaconate to make up for the shortage of priests; and the eights and duties of the laity in the Church.
The Church and War
Fr HE subject of atom warfare in the above list probably has greater immediate importance and relevance than many of the others. I was recently reading a book which reviewed the whole change of approach in this century by theologians and other Catholic experts to the presentation and explanation of unchanging doctrinal and moral questions so that their impact on the world of today can be understood and seen as relevant. But I was struck that throughout that book the moral theology of war was not mentioned. We know there has been at least one archiepiscopal request to the Council from this country that the morality of war today be studied and practically applied. Considering the deep perplexity of the subject, its immediate relevance, and the fact that it seems to crop up in so many conversations, we may well pray to the Holy Spirit that through the Council we should receive light and guidance on it.
I N connection with my recent note about the Ascension stone having been the property of Westminster Abbey until the Reformation, I have received information that the real Ascension stone is in the church of the Ascension built by the crusaders on the site of a fourth century shrine on the Mount of Olives. Another reader tells me that it is outside a monastery near Benevento and enclosed within iron palings. Perhaps some reader has authoritative views on this question, hut it seems to me that stones with indentations that look as though they were imprints of feet must be quite common, and identification of the real one—if indeed there was a stone—beyond the range of any reasonable proof.
Ascension, Church in week and saw the delightful 16th century stained-glass window depicting the scene. I could not help thinking that the craftsman had gone quite a long way to anticipate the contemporary rocket take-off, though indeed the most delightful touch is the little patch of green turf on the summit of the column-like rock. The modern cosmonauts do indeed remind us that there is only one wholly rewarding takeoff from this planet: the one which Our Lord chose and which we shall follow.
Argument of Tintern
WHILE in the West, I went, not for the first time, to Tintern Abbey. I don't know any spot in the country where the sense of the continuity of Catholicism makes such a tremendous impact. The valley or bowl through which the lovely Wye runs has not changed, eaeent that
perhaps it was once e more wooded. Even the shops and car park and coaches cannot really spoil either the surroundings or the majesty of those warm-grey walls and windows that have stood there over eight hundred years, despoiled only by Henry and the ravages of time. Yet the beauty has remained—perhaps increased. To me, at any rate, to stand on the hill and gaze on Tintern where for centuries the Mass and the chanting of the Office by the Cistercians endured is to he given an utterly irrefutable proof of Catholic continuity between the Abbey and the nearest Catholic church which (oddly and sadly) happens to be some miles away at Chepstow or Usk,