Round 2 of ouri Discussion !
Hy HILAR Y KNIGHT
THIS week I am going 1 to discuss first the girls' answers to my question ("C.H.", April 29) about suggested "developments" in "the
mind As wofithihetheChbiutr ' (whose comments were published last week), by far the most popular single demand was for the vernacular. But there were usually qualifications Of one kind or another-or explanations.-such as the following: "That the vernacular and/or dialogue be introduced here. Vernacular would. I am sure, keep many in the Church. (This represents a change of opinion; a year ago I loathed the idea because I studied Latin)."
"More use of the vernacular in such ceremonies as the Holy Week liturgy and the sacraments, but not the Mass."
"I should like to see the liturgy in the vernacular: I think it would make a great difference to people's understanding of the Mass."
"The use of the vernacular-my liana never learnt Latin and it is quite a difficulty."
"More vernacular in the administration of the sacraments."
Dialogue and get together
THERE was also a heavy demand for dialogue Mass, and for closer union with other Churches.
"I should like to see re-union with the schismatic churches."
"I should like to see closer union with non-Catholics."
"That toleration of all creeds be recognised as a positive virtue, and democracy recognised as the nearest we shall ever sec to the ideal state."
Toleration is, of course, in the sense that we must respect the sincerity of all men.
Here are some other suggestions from the girls: "Having been to a convent school, I would like the Church to be a little less 'strict' with nuns. By comparison priests have 'a whale of a time'. I feel that nuns should be allowed home on occasions even for very short periods, e.g. one month every four years."
"I should like the Church to condemn the manufacture of nuclear bombs, and excommunicate all those concerned in it."
"I would like to see the Counsels of the Sermon on the Mount taken more seriously, notably the one to turn the other cheek."
"I would like that the Church should modify her views on the worker-priests."
"I would like the Church to say that modern war is contrary to the will of God."
Towards more 'restriction'
THE following two comments surprised me: "I would like the Pope to refute a recent pronouncement on euthanasia-namely, that drugs can be administered which, although they do not directly kill, nevertheless speed up death." And : "I would like the Church to allow fewer mixed marriages." (This latter request was also made by one of the boys.) These surprised me because they represent an urge towards greater restriction, which I had thought was not in keeping with thc spirit of the age.
Drawing the line
A MONG the girls' cornments there is particular emphasis on peace. What I find more psychologically interesting is that three of the girls, and none of the men, ask for the abolition, or drastic revision, of the Index. And one of them goes on to pin-point the Church's ban on the film La Doke Vita.
The Index is a comparative innovation in the Church's life. It came in with the Reformation (1557), and just as it "came in" so it could disappear, though its moral basis that it is wrong to read books endangering one's faith or morals is permanent.
Four of the girls, and none of the men, comment on "Birth Control". Artificial birth control. being against the "natural law". does not permit of "modification" and is not in the same category as the other suggestions made.
There has been a time when there were priest-workers in France; there has been a time when there was no Index: these things are "mobile". We know that changes in the "circumstance" of the liturgy are possible (why, in my young day. it seemed the hallmark of Protestantism to go to "Mass" in the evening!). But artificial birth control is in a different category.
Over to the boys again
BOYS' comments which I was unable to include last week include: "Allow only the celebrant of a Mass to preach or read notices to the congregation. If other priests do this, the celebrant is isolated"; and "The Mass, Roman rite, making it more meaningful as regards symbolic action. Re-introduction of 4th century offertory. Compulsory dialogue Mass."
Here are the others: "A clear and unqualified statement that (1) the use of the A-bomb or H-bomb is completely and utterly immoral in any circumstances, and (2) that the testing of such weapons is also completely immoral"; "Just a little more adventurous spirit"; "Clergy able to marry"; "I am content except for the lack of singing in our churches"; "The re-introduction of workerpriests in France"; "A drastic cut in the expensive externals of the Church"; "Amplification and emphasis of the doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ"; "A more sympathetic attitude towards non-Catholics".
Disorganised and vague
THERE follow two rather long ones: "I think the Church could be more efficient if it were better organised. There seem to be an awful lot of organisations within the Church trying to achieve the same objects at each other's expense.
"Various Catholic Action movements seem to resent each other's existence. Could not the Y.C.S., Sodality Cell, Y.C.W., K.S.C., S.V.P., etc., etc., be all coordinated in some way? In Germany they have Bund Neudeutschland which seems to cater for all."
And: "With regard to the Church's teaching on sex. Apart from the clear standard that intercourse outside marriage is immoral, the Church's views seem to be ambivalent, indeterminate, selfcontradictory, inconsistent, nebulous, mediaeval, and over-dogmatic, either in turn or all together.
In this last criticism the writer indirectly confesses that he knows little or nothing about the question. I imagine many others are in the same boat, which shows the need for much fuller introduction on this "difficult commandment", as Fr. Martindale called it.
Role for girls
The higher education of girls was equally as important as that of boys in a scientific age, said Mgr. W. E. Grasar. vicar general of the Nottingham diocese when he distributed prizes at the prizegiving of the Presentation Convent High School, Matlock. Derbys, last week.
Our girls and women might have a greater part to play in the future in counterbalancing, by their greater culture, the technical education which men were now concentrating on, said Mgr. Grasar.