Spring 1967

Page 105

Cardinal Ottaviani recently THE FORUM announced that the Index would no longer be published in Rome. Future guidelines for the faithful's reading of faith and morals, he said, would be left to the discretion of local hierarchies, who are expected to use this power rarely. This announcement has been widely interpreted as an official abandonment by Church authorities of the traditional rules of censorship. If this is a valid interpretation of the new policy, it raises some interesting questions. Why did the Index become obsolete? Has it done more harm than good while it was being used? + Has anything taken its place? Originally the Index was intended to protect the faithful RONALD A. SARNO, S.J. from heretical opmwns in matters of faith and morals. It would be an oversimplifica+ tion to lightly dismiss this traditional practice as if reading matter presented no danger at all. An author who offers his personal ideas and values in a clear and forceful style acts as catalyst in the reader's mind, and challenges him to accept or reject these values. A reader untrained or ill-informed is, in fact, quite susceptible to ideologies which may weaken or destroy his faith.

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