Page 9, 7th June 1968

7th June 1968
Page 9
Page 9, 7th June 1968 — President Johnson Drawing towards atholic Church?

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President Johnson Drawing towards atholic Church?


ANY observers are predicting that President Johnson will eventually join the Catholic Church. If he does, he will be following his daughter Luci, became a Catholic in 1965.

azilian bishops hi row

A SIMMERING controversy among Brazil's ps over the speed and tion of Church renewal bis dire was aired in public last week whe an archbishop accused a bishop of "using ambiguous terms likely to create misunderstanding and confusion."

Archbishop Scherer of Porto Alegre took strong exception to a statement by Bishop Camara of Olinda-Recife that "the world is marching towards Socialism." He said this was plaialy a contradiction of the Church's position', as expressed in the 1931 encyclical, Quadragesima Anno, of Pope Pius XI that "no one can be at the same time a follower of Socialism and a true Christian."

Bishop Camara's comment, whic was made during a recent seminar in Recife, was acco panied by the expIanation that such Socialism was no longer purely Marxist, but was a revised version in which its stpporters no longer viewed religion as "the opium of the people."

WORK PROJECT ATTACKED Even more controversial for many Brazilian bishops was Bishop Camara's judgment a g a J n s t the far-ranging Brazilian development project

for the depressed North-East

area, called Sudene. He had been one of the strongest supporters of this project when it was established,, but he is now sharply critical of its operation and declares that it has failed to solve employment problems in the Brazilian North-East.

Meanwhile, another Brazilian bishop has publicly appealed to his fellow-bishops to cOunter the image that they are 'lithe brakes and not the motor of renewal" in the Chureh. If this picture became established in the public consciousness, said Bishop Fragoso of Crateus, the Church would be left with "only the conformists Who question nothing."

Bishop Fragoso said of the drive toward change that has followed the Second Vatican Council: "I believe that those who have eyes of faith to see and .i.nderstand the signs of the tintes will discover that the ultimate impatient pusher for reform is Christ Himself." For the past two or three years he has shown a growing attraction to the Church and attends Mass on most Sundays at St. Dominic's in south-west Washington.

When he is at his Texas ranch he attends Mass at St. Francis Xavier Church at Stonewall, about two miles from the Johnson home.

Fr. Mullany, the priest at St. Dominic's, told reporters that President Johnson had not taken instruction in the Faith.

Another Catholic source, however, suggested that if Mr. Johnson decided to change his religious affiliation, he might well wait until after next January when he would become a private citizen again.


Mr. Johnson grew up in a Baptist home. At the age of 17, he attended a revival meeting in Johnson City, Texas, and became a member of a Protestant body known variously as the Christian Church and the Disciples of Christ.

Lady Bird Johnson is a devoted Episcopalian, and her husband over the years has accompanied her often to Episcopal services, both in Washington and in Texas.

African bishops attack Portugal

THE permanent council of the French-speaking bishops of West Africa, who are mostly Africans, have condemned Portugal's colonial policy in Angola, Mozambique and Portuguese Guinea, and condemned "racist violence in Rhodesia and South Africa."

Their statement on Portuguese policy said: "To appeal to a pretended Christian civilisation as a reason for holding entire peoples under the colonial yoke against their will is unworthy of a civilised people and contrary to the principles of morality and the precept of charity.

The council asked "the African nations courageously to take all the means in their power to obtain justice for all those who suffer from fanaticism, racism and colonialism."

Portuguese activity in Angola has been the subject of several recent statements by African bishops. Last November, Archbishop RaymondMarie Tchidimbo, C.S.Sp., of Conakry, Guinea, denounced Senor Salazar, Portugal's Prime Minister, for "restricting men's liberty instead of helping them to develop."

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