For Plenary _
PLENARY Indulgence con ditions for pilgrims 10 Lourdes during the centenary celebrations. starting on February II next, are announced 7
7 by the Pope in an Apostolic Constitution entitled: "Primo ; Exacto Saeculo." To the usual conditions of ...1" confession and communion g
; are added the exereise of'3. sonic voluntary penance, and g prayers for certain specific = Papal intentions. The acts of penance should be in the 7 spirit of "acceptance of heavy burdens, the sorrows
and adversities of life." 7 !--e The intentions are: the conversion of sinners; the pro; gress of good persons towards rt Christian perfection; the re;
establishment and strengthen7 . mg of concord and peace he tween citizens and peoples; 7 7 and the liberty of the Church Iii all the world.
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'1 he Bishops quoted the recent papal encyclical, " Miranda Prorsus." in which the Holy Father reminded public administrators of their strict duty to exercise supervision over the more modern media of communication and entertainment, not from a merely political standpoint, but also from that of public morals. " What he has said applies with even greater force to the older media the press and motion pictures," added the Bishops.
Civil law, however. will define as narrowly as possible the limitations placed on freedom — which is as it should be, since this principle of minimal restraint serves to safeguard all our vital freedoms. The exercise of any such curbs by the State calls for the highest discretion and prudence, particularly where the This means that the common press is concerned.
good is to be served. It will
entail, among other things, a WIDE GAP
respect for the rights of others, a There is, however, a wide gap regard for public order, and a positive deference to those human, between the legally punishable and moral, and social values which are the morally good. " If we are content to accept as morally inoffensive all that is legally unpunisha ble." state the Bishops, we have lowered greatly our moral standards." Civil legislation by itself does not Constitute an adequate standard of morality.
An understanding of this truth, together with the knowledge of the harmful effect of offensive materials on the stage and screen and in publications, moved the Bishops of the United States to set up agencies to work in the field: the National Legion of Decency for motion pictures. and the National Office for Decent Literature for printed publications.
In their work, although neither exercises censorship in any true sense of the word. these two agencies reflect the moral teaching of the Church. Her competence in this field comes from her divine commission as teacher of morals, and although she is primarily concerned with these, and not with aesthetics, the two are clearly related: art that is false to morality is not true art.
"While good taste cannot supply the norm for moral judgment on literature or art," added the Bishops. " yet it mast be admitted that good taste will inevitably narrow the field of what is morally objectionable."
Many grave moral problems exist in modern American life, the Bishops pointed out. Pornography had been described as big business; vicious and evil publications were considered a major cause of the increase of crimes of violence committed by juveniles: and trash and smut were said to have the advantage of numbers on the news stands.
" The right to speak out in favour of good morals can hardly he challenged in a democracy such as ours." stated the Bishops. The work of the two Catholic agencies — which could not justly be termed an attempt to exercise censorship — must continue, and they must be prepared to meet a
continuing evil with an unremitting effort.
" A freedom perceived in its true essence, in its exact limits, in its context of responsibility, is a freedom doubly secure," the Bishops concluded; " a freedom Misunderstood risks becoming a freedom Lust."