Page 4, 31st December 1965

31st December 1965
Page 4
Page 4, 31st December 1965 — Signs of an easing of rigid Spanish religious conservatism came

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Signs of an easing of rigid Spanish religious conservatism came

with a New Year speech from General Franco approving proposals to remove restrictions on non-Catholic religions. He also urged Spaniards not to fear religious liberty.

The wind of change blew less strongly through Ireland where Archbishop McQuaid ordered a modern-style crib set to be removed from Dublin airport Church because it was "beneath the level of human dignity" and its unauthorised presence was an offence against Canon Law.

Obeying the request of his Superior, Archbishop Roberts, Si.. did not attend the Foyle's lunch for the launching of the book Objections to Roman Catholicism in which he said he was not convinced by the usual arguments for the Church's traditional teaching on contraception.

What did ordinary Catholics think of the liturgy changes? Archbishop Heenan, of Westminster, asked all his parish priests to find out.

The Archbishop was among 27 new cardinals named by Pope Paul, bringing the total to a record 103.

The nation mourned Sir Winston Churchill. The Pope sent a personally-signed message of sympathy to Lady Churchill and Archbishop Beck of Liverpool ordered memorial services throughout the archdiocese.

Expectations of reform of the Roman Curia, promised by Pope Paul, were increased when a letter from Cardinal Cicognani, Secretary of State. asked all members of the Curia to accept forthcoming changes with docility.

Catholic interest in ecumenism increased. Cardinal Bea announced the setting up of a mixed Catholic-World Council of Churches committee to explore ways of further co-operation with other Churches.

The birth control controversy continued. A young Catholic priest, Fr. Arnold MacMahon, S.V.D., in an interview in a Birmingham newspaper. said that couples should have the right to chose whatever means of birth limitation they wished. He was summoned to Rome and his views disowned by his order.

Another young priest. Fr. Joseph Cocker, was later transferred to another parish after he had attacked the traditional teaching on birth control. But little stir was caused when Oxfam reversed its ban on sponsoring birth control projects. Catholics were promised that their money would be earmarked for other causes.

Pope Paul foreshadowed his autumn trip to the U.N. when he described the organisation as having an irreplaceable mission".

The Czech Communists released Cardinal Beran after many years of imprisonment. In the same week that the Rome civil authorities banned the play The Representative, which accused Pope Pius of not doing enough to save the Jews from the Nazis, the Vatican announced it would publish documents showing the relations between the Holy See and the Nazi regime.


Cardinal Heenan arrived back in London for a triumphant reception after receiving his Red Hat. He announced that there would be no more public statements on birth control from the hierarchy, pending the Pope's decision on the subject. He also confirmed that he had been made vice-president of the Secretariat on Christian Unity.

The quickening interest of the laity in theology and philosophy was reflected by the Jesuit College of Heythrop, which threw open its doors to other clergy and laity. A big step forward in the modernisation of teaching religion came with -tile formation of a new catechetical centre in London,

headed by Fr. Hubert Richards. former professor of Sacred Scripture at Ware seminary.

Ecumenism again made news when Catholics, Anglicans and Nonconformists decided to build £100,000 interdenominational chapel at London airport to be designed by Frederick Gibberd, architect of Liverpool Cathedral.

Archbishop Murphy of Cardiff urged Welsh Catholics to support comprehensive trends in education and called creaming off at 11 "a ghastly failure".

In Chile, progressive Christian Democrat Eduardo Frei swept the board in the elections on a reforming platform, paying the way for a stable government and routing his Communist opponent.

England lost two senior members of the hierarchy when Archbishop Joseph Grinishaw. 63, of Birmingham, and 84year-old Archbishop King of Portsmouth died.


Emphasis on the more outward-looking attitude of the Church was much to the fore. A new Secretariat for Unbelievers, headed by Austrian Cardinal Koenig, to study atheism and further contacts with them. was set up.

Cardinal Bea's trip to see Patriarch Athenagoras was the first time that a Prince of the Church had visited an Orthodox Patriarch since 1054.

Was Pope Leo mistaken when he declared the Anglican priesthood as having invalid orders? Abbot Wicksteed, of the Trappist Caldey Abbey, thought so, and told a gathering of Anglican clergy that the time was ripe to re-examine the validity of Anglican orders.

Dutch Bishop Gerard de Vet set up a scheme for paid lay auxiliaries to help priests in such work as administration, instruction of converts. catechetics and house visiting.

The formation of the Latin Mass Society in London to foster Latin in the liturgy showed that by no means everybody was happy with the Mass in the vernacular.

MAY The most important ecumenical step in the history of English Catholicism took place when the hierarchy decided to set up an ecumenical commission in its 18 dioceses. They were to be composed of clergy, religious and laity and aim at helping the advance of ecumenism at diocesan level.

In Rome the Jesuits elected a new "Black Pope" or Superior General, 57-year-old Fr. Pedro Arrupe, a Spaniard who was living in Hiroshima when the first atom bomb was dropped.

The English Province of the Jesuits announced. after 16 months of examining its commitments, that its re-sources in manpower were stretched to the limit and that it would have to hand over some of its schools.

Birth control was again in the news when the Newman Society announced that it was to ask its 3,000 members for their views on the Church's traditional teaching. The results were to be later analysed and put before various Catholic organisations. including the National Board of Catholic Women and eventually the Papal Commission on Birth Control.


The gradual coming together of the two streams of English Christianity, divided since the days of the Reformation, was highlighted by the publication of the Catholic version of the Revised Standard Version of the New Testament.

The differences between this and the original R.S.V. were minimal. enabling Catholics and Protestants to read virtually the same version.

The Vocations Exhibition at Earls Court, featuring some 160 orders and organisations from the Westminster province, proved a big crowd puller. Perhaps the most notable event was when 10.000 people saw Cardinal Heenan concelebrate Mass for the first time in public.

The expected population increase in the South East was responsible for the partition of the Southwark diocese whose bishop. Bishop Cowderiay, became Archbishop of the new province of Southwark. The new diocese of Brighton and Arundel was set up under the former auxiliary of Westminster. Bishop David Cashman.

The Sword of the Spirit, shortly after changing its name to the Catholic Institute for International Relations, announced a "Peace Corps" scheme in union with other agencies which enabled young people to work for one or two years without pay in undeveloped countries.

Fittingly it was Westminster diocese — whose archbishop Cardinal Heenan is chairman of the hierarchy—that led the way in establishing the first diocesan ecumenical commission.

The government's plans to implement secondary schools into a nation-wide comprehensive scheme were met with guarded approval by Catholic educational authorities. Archbishop Beck, the hierarchy education spokesman, pointed out that more money for denominational schools would have to be forthcoming if they were to go comprehensive.

Ecumenism at grass roots diocesan level was seen in a "summit conference" between theologians of the Anglican and Catholic dioceses of Southwark. Among those taking part were the controversial Anglican Bishop of Woolwich and the Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop Cardinale.

In the West country, the diocese of Clifton announced a Li million windfall when a group of anonymous businessmen offered to finance the building of Bristol Cathedral.

The ancient Carmelite shrine at AyIesford was rededicated in the presence of 15,000 pilgrims by Archbishop Cowderoy of Southwark.

The shock decision of the English Jesuits ID merge the 104-year-old Beaumont public school with its sister foundation. Stonyhurst, brought a storm of protest from parents and old boys. The Jesuits explained that long-term commitments made it impossible for them to man the college much longer. Later a committee was set up under Cardinal Heenan to look into ways of preserving Beaumont.

Interest in the Cause of the English Martyrs continued. At a rally in Manchester, attended

by 6.000 people, a telegram was sent to the Pope asking for their Canonisation.


The order almost as old as the Catholic Church in England, the Benedictines, announced that they were to seek the Pope's permission to modernise their internal structure, much of which had remained unchanged since the seventh cent u ry.

A Benedictine and former Anglican, Er. Edmund Jones, became the first Benedictine since the Reformation to lead a prayer service in Westminster Abbey. He was taking part in a vigil for Christian Unity.

Tragic news of massacres of Christians by Arab soldiers filtered through from strifetorn Sudan.

Cardinal Cushing of Boston, a lifelong friend of the Kennedys. returned to the land of his fathers as Papal Legate to open Galway Cathedral.


The closing session of the Vatican Council opened in Rome—nearly three years after it had begun in the reign of its author, Pope John Vail.

After the controversies of the previous sessions, the winding. up atmosphere seemed at first sight something of an anticlimax.

Pope Paul produced some pre-session surprises when he announced that a Senate of Bishops would be sent up to help him govern the Church. He also reaffirmed the teaching on the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

Progressive Cardinal Alfrink slated rumours of an impending schism among Dutch Catholics. British Bishops examined a proposed common vernacular text of the Mass which could eventually he offered to other English-speaking countries.

A national survey by the CATHOLIC HERALD revealed

that by and large the impact of the Council was not making itself felt at parish level.


Pope Paul captured world headlines when he made a flying visit to the United Nations to appeal for peace. It was felt that there was lees significance in the Pope's speech, itself not too original, than in the fact that he should so publicly commend the work of the U.N.

The French worker priest movement, stopped by Pope Pius XII, was revised in a different form by French Bishops. The new scheme provided for greater contact between worker priests and their superiors.

The Pope vetoed Council discussion on celibacy of the priesthood.

Dr. George Dwyer, Bishop of Leeds, became Archbishop of Birmingham. Mgr. Derek Worlock, secretary to three Archbishops of Westminster and an East End parish priest, became Bishop of Portsmouth.

Weeks after being appointed rector of the Wonersh seminary Mgr. Langton Fox became the fourth former member of the Catholic Missionary Society to become a bishop since the war. He was appointed auxiliary to Bishop Petit of Menevia.

. Results of the Newman Association's survey among its members on birth control indicated that over half of those who replied thought the Church's teaching on contraception was incorrect. yet two thirds wanted more information on the rhythm method of birth control which is approved by the Church.

Archbishop Roberts made an unsuccessful attempt to intervene in the Vatican Council to press for the right of anyone to be a conscientious objector to be recognised.

Pope Paul sprang yet another surprise when he announced the start of the processes to canonise his predecessors, Pius XII and John XXIII. In the case of Pope John, the move was particularly popular.

From Rome. Archbishop Beck announced that work on the main structure of the £4 million Liverpool Cathedral was almost complete.

The question of indulgences received a brief airing at the Council and threatened to revive real controversy in its closing weeks. The Pope stepped in. closed discussions and invited bishops to submit views in writing.

Comparatively little Catholic protest was heard when Lord Silkin's abortion Bill was given a reading in the House of Lords.

The CATHOLIC HERALD brought in sweeping changes in presentation but not policy, at the same time as going over to the modern web-offset style of printing.


A centuries-old rift between the Catholic and Orthodox churches was healed when Patriarch Alhenagoras of Istanbul and Pope Paul jointly revoked the mutual decrees of excommunication that took place in 1054.

The next day—December 8 —the Council closed with the Pope sending messages of hope and encouragement to various sections of the world such as youth, scientists. thinkers, artists, women, workers, the poor and the suffering.

In Britain, thousands had the chance to see the Dead Sea Scrolls. many of which dated from before Christ. when they were put on show at the Etri. tish Museum.

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