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CHICAGO STUDIES EDITORIAL STAFF

Editor George J. Dyer

Associate Editor

Business Manager

John F. Dedek

Frank Potesta

Production Manager

Executive Director

Edmund J. Siedlecki

Marjorie M. Lukas

Editorial Advisors William D. Carroll John J. Collins Agnes Cunningham, sscm James P. Doyle Mose Glynn Willard F. Jabusch James P. Keleher Edward H. Konerman, S.J. Thomas B. McDonough

Charles R. Meyer Thomas J. M1111>hY Joseph J. O'Brien Timothy E. O'Connell John J. Shea Richard F. Schroeder Edward J. Stokes, S.J. Thomas F. Sullivan Richard J. Wojcik

CHICAGO STUDIES is edited by the faculty of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary and the priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago for the continuing education of the clergy. The editors welcome artiCles and lett.ers likely to be of interest to our readers. Ali communications re¡ garding articles and editorial policy should be iiddressed to the editors. Subscriptions should be sent to CHICAGO STUDIES, Box 665, Mundelein, Illinois 60060. Subscription rates: $6.00 a year, $11.00 for two years, $21.00 for four years; Foreign. subscribers: add $1.00 per year. CHICAGO STUDIES is published three times a year with ecclesiastical pennission by Ci vi tas Dei Foundation, Box 665, Mundelein, Illinois 60060. Third Class postage paid at St. Meinrad, !nd. Views expressed in the artÎcles are those of the respective authors and not necessarily those of the editors or editorial board. Indexed in The Catholic Periodical Review and New Testament Abstracts. Microfilms of current and backfile volumes of CHICAGO STUDIES are now availab!e from University Microfilms, !ne., 300 N. Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106. Manuscripts will not be returned unless accompanied by self addressed stsmped envelope. Copyright, 1975, by Civitas Dei Foundation.

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SPRING, 1975

VOLUME 14

NUMBER 1

Articles PREFACE SPEAK OF THE DEVIL Two MORAL CASES:

3 George J. Dyer 7

Charles R. Meyer

PSYCHO-

SURGERY AND BEHAVIORAL

CONTROL: GROSSLY MALFORMED INFANTS

19

John F. Dedek

PRJESTLY MINISTRY oF Musrc

37

Willard F. Jabusch

THE POINT OF MORAL THEOWGY

49

Timothy E. O'Connel!

THEOLOGY AND HUMANISM: NEWMAN REVISITED

67

Agnes Cunningham, ssc:m

SACRAMENTS AND 1\IINISTRY

83

Thomas J. Murphy

JOB AND HIS FR!ENDS : GoD AS A PASTORAL PROBLEM

97 John J. Collins

AUTIIORS

110

Ã&#x153;UR COYER: "St. Francis" plaster, by Frederic V. Ginzburg. Courtesy of the National Sculpture Society, 250 East 51st St., New Yorl<. N.Y. 10022.


GeoT{Ie J. Dyer

Preface

The articles in this. Spring issue are varied .enough, we believe, to hold the attention of ali our readers. ln SPEAK OF THE DEVIL we soon find that Charles Meyer has not written just another article in the genus diaboli. "Current theology," he says, "can hardly consider the issue of the existence of angels and devils without adverting to scientific investigation of extra-terrestrial !ife forms." No, C.M. has not giveri up theology for science fiction. What he is suggesting is an enth¡ely new route into man's experience. The "mythology of science" is the operative phrase here. \Ve are ali aware that philosophy provided speculative theology with its conceptual coinage from New Testament times up to the pait century. The author points out that science will most likely take its place as the focal point of radical human knowledge. There is nothing, moreover, in our religions tradition that would preelude the speculative correlation of a very ancient religions¡ belief and the belief of modern science in the existence of intelligent !ife in outer space. TWO MORAL CASES is also an excursion into the world of science. Perhaps you have heard of the surgeon who faced a charging bull armed only with a transmitter. At the last moment he stopped the hurtling animal by transmitting a signal to an electrode planted in the bull's brain. The picture summons up memories of A Clockwork Oranue or The Terminal Man with their star-tling images of behavior control. Could a moralist for instance really make ali men conform to a single ethical code? John Dedek examines the present state of the science as weil as its ethical implications. 3

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CHICAGO STUDIES

In his discussion ¡of "grossly malformed infants" the author brings his usual cautious precision to bear on a poignant human dilemma. After outlining the present state of the discussion, he ventures an opinion that distinguishes between everyman's right to !ife and one's moral obligation to live. IN THE PRIES TLY MINISTRY OF MUSIC Willard J abusch brings us back to the familiar world of our Sunday liturgy. Surely there is no Catholic even half alive.who does not have an opinion on the music of the Mass. On the assumption that music is harmless, most priests eagerly delegate its choice to anyone claiming a modicum of competence. J abusch repudiates the assumption and insista that priests take responsibility for the music of theliturgy. They are quite capable of judging, not the musical perfection of a piece, but its suitability for worship. As W. J. once explained to a teen-aged guitar group, the "House of the Rising Sun" describes a bawdy house in New Orleans, not a Church. There are no sacred tunes, he points out, no sacred musical styles, no especially holy instruments. It is not important whether the music is Dylan's or Bach's. It is of major importance to know what the words of the hymn mean and whether they suit us and the sacramental setting. Fr. Jabusch is weil qualified to write on the subject. His hymns are sung around the world-fl"Om Tinley Park to Taiwan. ln calling his article THE POINT OF MORAL THEOLOGY Timothy O'Connell takes issue with those who believe that contemporal moral thought is wandering aimlessly in a jungle of jargon. It is difficult not to sympathise with those who fee! this way. For it is ali of four centuries since Catholic theology, moral especially, has experienced anything quite like these past two decades. New realities and new perceptions of old realities have had a disconcerting impact across the whole range of the discipline. T. O'C. notes just how thorough going and fundamental these changes have been; nor is their momentum yet spent. Still, he believes, there is. a way to understand what has happened, a key insight that will lead us to the nature of the change that has taken place in conceptual structures. Once this is grasped the new vocabulary takes on real significance. "To be fully ¡human" was a catch phrase of the "sixties"; and its power is little diminished today. Many who use the words mean that man must assume full responsibility for


PREFACE

5

shaping his values and for setting his destiny. In other words, they see man's meaning and fate set exclusively within man. If this be humanism, what foothold is there here for a .man like Cardinal Newman? In THEOLOGr AND HUMANIS.M Agnes Cunningham shows us Newman's vision of Christianity as the religion of civilization. The English Cardinal saw man's resources summoned to creative activity in perfecting the world and experiencing brotherhood. Optimist he was but he could deal with the daimonic in man. In the poverty of Christ Newman saw the death of man's selfishness. In the humility of the Savior he saw the demise of man's pride. And obedience to the Father leads man to subdue the law of his members. Thus Newman saw Christianity not as a panacea that ignored the human condition but as the challenge presented to every human being by existence itself. "What is a priest?" The question was hardly heard a dozen years ago outside of theology classrooms. Even there it seemed a banal query with an oovious answer. Like so much that was obvious in those days it proved more complex than most of us dreamed. The issue was complicated by the introduction of permanent deacons and lay ministers of the Eucharist, as weil as by the diminishing Catholic use of Confession. It was given heightened urgency by the deep-seated anxiety about personhood that surged through the "sixties." In "SACRAMENTS AND MINISTRY" Thomas Murphy takes a fresh look at the now very new question. He proposes an answer that is traditional but novel as weil because it is rooted in the developing view of the Sacraments. "Damn the day I was born," thunders Job as he sits festering on his dunghill. There is little wonder that this enigmatic figure has captured the imagination of Western man for so many centuries. An unending succession of interpreters from Gregory the Great to D. H. Law1¡ence has puzzled over the book. Still the riddle remains. Job says that God mocks the innocent; and God approves Job. Job's friends staunchly maintain God's justice;. and they are rebuked. What sort of whimsical Deity is this? In JOB AND HIS FRIENDS John Collins makes an interesting suggestion: Job may have doubted God's justice, but never his honesty. And herein may lie a lesson for ali of us.


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CHICAGO STUDIES

Our seven authors have two things in common. They have ali appeared in the pages of this journal before. They are ali members of the faculty of St. Mary of the Lake. Aside from these two common denominators, they are very diverse indeed: a woman religions, a layman, five priests, they have doctoral degrees from five schools on two continents. They have been drawn together by their common desire to bring the sacred sciences to bear on the problems we face as persons in the world and in the Church.


Cha1¡ws R. Meyer

Speak. of the Devtl Fr. Meyer sets one of the most ancient of man's religious beliefs against the background of our current scientijic mythology.

William Blatty's book The Exo1¡cist was on the best-seller list for over a year because it brought into focus a question that haunts the peripheral consciousness of even today's highly sophisticated man. The movie based on it was a huge financial success for the same reason. But even more telling was the reaction of so many people who refused to see the movie or read the book because, as many openly admitted, they were afraid. The proliferation of books, movies, shops and even college courses dealing with the occult is the best indicator of popular interest in the subject and demand for information or titillation; and, of course, from time immemorial such matters have been the concern, if not the stock-inCtrade, of religion, and in a particular way of Roman Catholicism. I t is a "bit ironie that at the very time interest in the devil is mounting in American society if not in the world at large the ¡new Roman ritual has chastened its references to his Satanic 1\'[ajesty and the church has eliminated from its ministry the ancient order of exorcist! Every parish priest is aware of the fact that his people exhibit even today quite a bit of interest in the devil. Among the throngs at the showing of The Exorcist in theater after theater were great numbers of Catholics. If the movie was not billed as a "Catholic picture" at least those who saw it realized that the Catholic Church alone seemed able to cope with the evil menace around which the plot was constructed. So rectory 7


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phones were ringing. "Does the Church still actually believe in the devi!?" "Was the movie based on factual data?" "How does one apply for an exorcism ?" The present article purports to address the problem of whether today's Catholic must believe in a devi!, and how the traditional acceptance of the existence of a devi) might be understood in the modern world of science. CATHOLIC TRADITION OF THE EXISTENCE OF ANGELS

Everyone knows that devils are angels gone bad. Angels are pure spirits. Like human souls they are endowed with the twofold power ¡of intellect and will; but unlike the human sou), they are in no way dependent upon matter for their operation. In this they resemble Cod more than man. But of course, they are creatures and so, like man, are infinitely inferior to God. In the orders of real being they stand between God and man. Good angels watch over men and guard them; bad angels tempt, obsess and possess them. The foregoing is, to be sure, a highly simplified theological position. But it does embody sorne of the key notions proposed in official Church teaching, teaching that can trace its origins at !east back to the fourth century. The Councils of Nicaea (325) and Constantinople I (381) acknowledge God as the creator of ali being, visible and invisible. Origenist ideas were scored in the Fifth Ecumenical Council (Constantinople Il) though there is sorne doubt as to whether Pope Vigilius concuJTed¡ with its decision. Orthodox theology at that time held that angels have no body composed of earthly matter. Later Constantinople III allowed doubts to be expressed about the natural incorruptibility and immortality of angels. Nicaea Il (787), though affirming again that angels have no body composed from earthly matter, did openly allow discussion of the opinion that angels could have a body made out of non-earthly matter. Thus this council represents a Jandmark in the history of the question. The reason for permitting such discussion was immemorial tradition. Sorne of the earlier Church Fathers had maintained that it was erroneous to cali angels pure spirits. To their way of thinking only God could be a pure spirit. Angelic nature, like that of every creature, has to


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DEVIL

be circumscribed by sorne kind of matter. But angels have a body that is essentially invisible, ethereal and tenuous-totally unlike the matter known (at that time) on earth. LATERAN

IV

The most authoritative and explicit magisterial pronouncements about the invisible creation are to be found in the Twelfth Ecumenical Conn cil (1215). Ali subsequent teaching represents either a summary, reiteration or further clarification of the position taken by IV Lateran. Theologians in the past have generally considered the decree Fir-miter of this conncil to be a dogmatic definition, and have based their conclusions and expansions with reference to the world of angels upon it. The intent of the council was to condemn the teaching of the Cathars. Catharism was essentially a recrudescence of old, previously condenined Manichaean positions. According to the Cathars there are two, not just one, creative principles. Ali reality stems from them. One principle is good; it brought into existence the world of pure spirits. The other is evil; it is i¡esponsible for the existence of matter. Against this doctrine the council defined that the one and only God is the creator of ali being, visible and invisible, material as weil as spiritual. It stated that if any creature was perceived by men to be evil, this was due to the wayward ac ti vity of that creature itself: as it issued forth as the result of the creative activity of God it was essentially good, and not evil. God by his omnipotence at the beginning of time brought forth from nothingness a spiritual and a corporal creation, an angelic as weil as an earthly host. Finally he created man, who through his body and sou! participates in both orders. The devi! and demons, therefore, as they issued forth from the creative hand of Cod were naturally good. They became bad through their own evil activity. Through the agency of the devi! man sinned. The dogma textbooks of the recent past considered a number of propositions, based on the definition of Lateran IV, to be of faith: 1) Whatever exists does so because it was created by the one and only God. 2) Purely spiritual beings exist. 3) They did not exist from ali eternity but, like material reality,


10

CHICAGO STUDIES

were created in time. 4) Sorne of them turned to evil ways and in time became the cause of man's sin. Though it was not held to be a matter of faith the notion that angels are pure spirits was considered to be more or less certain theologically. By this doctrine, of course, the authors did not intend to brand as erroneous the traditional opinion of sorne of the early Fathers that they were composed of sorne kind of non-earthly, ethereal substance, but merely to highlight the graduai abandonment of such a doctrine in (then) modern times. Much Jess did they want to exclude the view of St. Bonaventure and the Scotist school that angelic nature is essentially composite, Gad alone being an absolutely simple spirit. There was no general agreement among authors as to the interpretation of the Council's phrase "simul ab initw tempo1is" (together at the beginning of ti me) . W ere angels and matter created at the same time before man be gan to roam the earth? W ere an gels created before matter? "'ere they created in heaven, or on earth before man? Could they have been perhaps created on sorne other planet or in sorne other galaxy? In the univĂŠrse at large? The only consensus emerging from the Council's phrase is that angels like matter were created from nothing (ex nihilo sui et subjecti), and so to the human way of thinking there was a time when they did not exist. CURRENT THEOLOGY

Today's authors manifest themselves to be guided much more by the principle that any dogmatic definition ought not to be extended beyond the scope of the error it intends to condemu. Since Catharism was the error of the case in point only two statements of the decree Firmiter should be regarded as dogmas of faith: 1) whatever reality exists a part from the one and only God exists ultimately because of his creative action and not because of any other influence; and 2) whatBver of that creation has become evil in the eyes of man has done so because of its own initiative; as it emanated from the creative hand of God it was essentially good. Ail other information contained in the Council's proclamation is viewed today by commentators as postulatory. Orthodax theologians at the time of the Conncil believed that angels


DEVIL

Il

actually exist, and that they are pure spirits. But these notions are mere presuppositions, a cultural given, which the Council had to take into account in promulgating its doctrine. In no sense were they the precise object of its definition. After ali, Cathars too believed that angels exist, that they have no body, that they are therefore pure spirits, and so far superior to men, etc. No theologian has ever claimed that Lateran IV intended to define the existence of the world of material things as a dogma of the faith, although in the decree this truth is placed in a parallel position with the phrase implying the existence of a spiritual or angelic world. The existence of the world of spirit too then as now was taken for granted. In its dogmatic decrees the Council was concerned precisely with creation, not with existence. The existence of both worlds in those days was assumed as certain by both Catholics and Cathars. LATER DOCUMENTS

The decree uniting the Syrian Jacobites with the Church of Rome promulgated at the Council of Florence adds to the document of Lateran IV only a further clarification. It highlights the fact that there is no such thing as an evil nature. Nature as such is the product of God's creative act and so is good in itself, though limited. Angels are vastly superior to men; but they are stil! creatures, and indeed creatures endowed with freedom of choice. So it is possible for them to deviate from God's will and become bad. God freely created them to manifest his own goodness, but through their own devices sorne of them feil into evil. Though their nature remains good, their operation is bad. The dogmatic constitution Dei Filius of Vatican I largely repeats what previous councils had taught. The second canon of the Council anathematizes those who would deny the existence of non-material reality. But' here one is not confronted precisely with the question of the existence of angels and devils. The Council could merely be affirming the spiritual nature of the human sou!. Moreover, theologians today tend not to view conciliar canons as dogmatic definitions, but to consider them mm¡e as legal formulations corresponding in sorne way to the main body of teaching.


12

CHICAGO STUDIES

In his encycl ica! letter Hu mani generis (Aug. 12, 1950) Pius XII defended the traditional theological opinion that matter and spirit differ essentiaUy and that angels are persona! beings.· Thus, presumably, angels and devils are not to be considered as mere personifications of good and evil. Paul VI in his "Credo of the People of God" (June 30, 1968) affirmed that God is the creator of things visible "such as this world in which our transient !ife passes," and things invisible "such as the pure spirits which are also caUed angels." THE DEVIL IN MAGISTERIAL TEACHING

We fi nd the basic doctrine of Lateran IV regarding the original goodness of the devi! as he came forth as an angel from the creative hand ·of God and his subsequent faU into evil as the result of his own action anticipated in severa] documents of Pope Leo I (440-61). The Synod of Constantinople (543) sees the punishment meted out to him by God as eternal, white the Council of Braga (c560) avers that he is not involved in the conception of human flesh. As was seen, Lateran IV mentions his role as the tempter of mankind. The Council of Florence attests to the universality of his kingdom. No one can escape from it, save by faith in Jesus Christ and the power of the sacrament of baptism. The Council of Trent caUs the sinner a citizen of Satan's kingdom of death. In his condemnation of Quietism (1684)" Innocent XI repudiates the idea that a spiritua! person in meditation· can abdicate responsibility for his actions and biarne them on the devi!. One sim ply cannot say: "The devi! made me do it." Later the same pope scored the idea that God employs the ministry of demons tO bring human beings to perfection. Leo XIII proscribed a similar notion espoused by Antonio Rosmini. In documents referring to the devi! or demons as in the case of angels no direct pronouncements are made about the fact that they exist. That is taken for granted. CONCLUSIONS

a. The two dogmatic statements of the magisterium do not deal directly with the existenceeither of angels or of devils, but with the existence of the one and on !y God who made aU that


DEVIL

13

is, and with the radical goodness of ali creation as it emanated from God's creative act. b. Popular convictions about the existence of angels and demons are presupposed in the magisterial teaching. c. The magisterium has proposed that the angels and demons envisioned by the culture of the past (and so retiected very definitely even in scripture) differ basically from the material reality found on earth as it was then known and comprehended. No traditional teaching deals with anything but the earthly macrocosm as popularly conceived. Thus no conclusion can be drawn about the elements considered in modern chemistry and physics. Nor does the authentic teaching seem to condemn the ancient Patristic view about non-earthly matter. d. The statements of the magisterium appear firmer and more extensive about angels in general than they are about the devi! and demons. ' e. It cannot be denied that the liturgical and devotional !ife of the Church in the past was largely influenced by pop,ular belief in the existence of angels and demons. If the Eccles-ia docens did not have to make any direct pronouncements about the existence of these creatures, it was due to the fact that the EcclesĂ&#x2122;L discens never denied it, but manifested a firm acceptance of it in its daily practices. BELIEF IN ANGELS AN!l DEviLS IN THE SCIENTIFIC WORLD OF TODA Y

Use of the word "myth" in relation to their religious beliefs terrifies a great number of people. It conjures up for them notions of Wonderland, of fairies and elves, or of the gross gods and goddesses of pagan superstition. At best it connotes untruthfulness, or Jack of correspondence with reality, But this is a far-cry from the intention of modern theologians who use the term. Today's theologian feels that he cannot avoid it, for this term alone can affirm the reality of a truth that cannot be conceptualized or expressed in any other way in our present cultural consciousness since it is a truth that properly belongs to another world or dimensional system. As Rudolf Bultmann has stated, myth alone can objectify in this world reillities of a world to which our consciousness at present can-


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not directly extend. Few people realize that mythology affects science as much as it does theology or religion. Neutrinos, quarks and an timatter are integral to the fabric of cm-rent scientific mythology. ln the theological context mythology provides an eventhorizon for highly abstract and subtlely nuanced dogmatic propositions in the practical understanding and lives of religious people whose consciousness is limited by the spatiotemporal parameters in which they find . themselves. Every myth is colored by the exigencies, postulates, concerns and focuses of the civilizations and cultures from which it emanates. As human consciousness ftuctuates in-different areas of the world through era after era it demands translation of mythological as weil as other language, and adaptation of mythic as weil as other types of symbolism. SCIENCE AND MYTH TODAY

Cm-rent mythology is lat¡gely funded by science. There is every indication that this trend will grow in the future. Science and technology will be dominant at ]east in western civilization. Just as philosophy provided a matrix for the crystallizing of theological speculation from New Testament times up to the past century (running its course from Platonism through Aristotelianism to subjective phenomenology, humanism and existentialism), so science gives every indication of being the future focal point of radical and ultimate human knowledge. While philosophy has become increasingly splintered in recent times, science manifests growing integration. Pronouncements of scientists, even though at times they are rather tenuously balanced on scanty evidence, tend generally to be believed. Scientific or quasi-scientific correlations, even if not apodictic, can deeply influence even the persona! behavior and habits of people. How many people in our time have become food faddists? How many smokers have at the cost of the greatest persona] effort given up the habit because of statistics published by the U.S. Surgeon-General? ANTHROPOLOGY AND EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL LIFE

CmTent theology can hardly consider the issue of the exist-


DEVI!

15

ence of angels and devils without adverting to scientific investigations of the existence of extra-terrestrial !ife forms. The popular scientific writer Erich von Daniken in his best-selling Cluuiots of the Go!U and other writings has linked evidence for the past visitation of earth by creatures from elsewhere with religions beliefs that seemed to be rather widespread and inftuential in the ancient world. Myths dealing with demons and angels were rife not merely in Judaism and Christianity; they are for ali practical purposes a given of human religions history in general. Evidence of highly advanced technology among otherwise primitive peoples seems indeed to point to sorne kind of revelation made by a race of beings of higher intelligence whose origin is understood in the annals of these earth people to be extra-terrestrial. lt may be only our human pride that tempts us to attribute without question to the ingenuity of ancient earthlings the engineering miracle of the pyramids in a desert or ziggurats in a dense jungle, the astronomical prowess evidenced in the sun-clock at Stonehenge, the incredibly accurate Mayan calendar, or the celestial navigation aids on the N azca plain in Peru. SPACE SCIENCE AND EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL LIFE

Modern science evidences its belief in the existence of intelligent !ife in outer space. Great amounts of the taxpayers' money have been lavished by the U.S. government on space projects which have been at !east partially devised to contact extra-terrestrial intelligence. Unfortunately the chief instrument of communication in at !east two of these has been a plaque featuring the picture of a naked man and woman, a map of the solar system, and a few other items of information about earthly !ife and science. One has almost to laugh (des pite inflation and the recession) at the racist mentality evidenced by such basically inept means of communication concocted presumably by our most intelligent technicians. The presupposition of these projects was, of course, that any extra-ten-estrial consciousness must be fed by an eye similar to ours. But when we consider the vast spectrum of electromagnetic as weil as other types of energy, and the possibilities of protoplasmic development that could respond to any number of these and so fund ari intelligent consciousness together with the fact that


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the human eye responds the'only one extremely narrow band of electromagnetic energy from 4 Â to 7.2 Â, we might compare our effort to a hunter trying to kil! an elephant with a peashooter! The chief organ of consciousness of an extra-terrestrial intelligent being may in no way resonate to 4-7.2 Â, just as our eye in no way responds to gamma rays, or x-rays. A consciousness fed by data from a world (even our world) "illuminated" by gamma rays would dwell in a microcosmic dimensional system vastly different from ours. If the speculations of the Scotch science writer Duncan Lunan are true, an intelligence of a truly high order, an unprejudiced intelligence, has manifested itself in our world. In the pioneer days of radio researchers beamed a narrow band of microwave emissions toward the moon, and awaited its reflection and reception back on earth in approximately three seconds. When on one occasion the return bearn took Jess or more time the experimenters were puzzled, but they carefully noted the differentiais in their log. Lunan claims that the time differentiais contain a coded message indicating that a space probe which had positioned itself between earth and moon was from intelligent creatures living on the sixth planet of a double star system which ·earthlings cali Epsilon Bootis. If ali this is true, the intelligence which manifested itself would be truly angelic. Its space probe would supposedly be open to a very wide band of energy emissions. It would have to discount the random packets of energy encountered in space. But when it discovered, after continuously scanning wide spedra, an organized transmission, it would home in on it, and feed it back to its originators in a way they would not expect, thus making waves, as it were, announcing its presence in the language that they themselves spoke! Perhaps we have learned at !east a partial lesson from the denizens of Epsilon Bootis. We have apparently given up hope· of visnal contact, though we stiJl attempt to communicate on our own terms rather thau those of the consciousness we are trying to reach. Astronomers surmise that one of the likeliest places to find !ife in outer space is in a cluster of stars designated as Messier 13 located 24,000 light years from earth. Sothey have beamed toward it from Puerto Rico a half-megawatt radio telescope, capable of fairly broad band transmission, and·.


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are sending coded messages using a binary number system to inform anyone able to understand of our location in space. If our scientists are right we have to wait 48,000 years to see if there is any response. UFOs Through technology science gets down to people and touches them in many areas of their lives. So there arise numerous popular scientific myths. But the greatest possibilities for current myth-making lie in the issue of unidentified flying objecta. Since the end of World War II there have been tens of thousands of reports relating to UFOs made by many different people in many different places. Great numbers of eye-witnesses have been interviewed, and thousands of photographs have been collected and filed. The official investigation of the issue was entrusted to the U.S. Air Force which in turn employed a number of civilian scientists to assist it. 12,618 cases were documented and filed. Of these 701 are still unresolved. But in 1969 the Air Force closed the study with the conclusion that whatever UFOs were, they posed no threat to the security of the United States, and consequently merited no further study by that agency. Since 1969 three private groups have continued the investigation of the question in our country. Because of overwhelming evidence documenting the phenomena many scientists have refused to dismiss the case as an optical illusion or popular delusion, though none have had a chance to bring their scientific instruments to bear on it. On the other hand, not many have accepted the obvious popular conclusion about visitations from outer space simply because of the total Jack of hard physical evidence. It is remarkable, they contend, that at !east as far as the public knows to date, there is not one object or trace of an object left on earth by these purported celestial visitors. Moreover, despite reports of a considerable number of landings, there are few, if any, identifiable vestiges. Many caution, however, that even though there is still no undeniable proof, the true attitude of the scientist must be one of open-minded expectation of future evidence that will be more reliable. Despite this warning sorne scientists have accepted the data that have thus far been


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amassed as sufficient for at !east a tentative assent, while others have stood firm in their assertion that earth has not been visited by craft from outer space, and there is no likelihood that it will in the near future. Needless to say, opinions of the man on the street vary widely. Sorne people firmly believe that UFOs are spaceships of extra-terrestrial beings. Others view the reported sightings as illusions, or as merely mistaken interpretations of natural or man-made phenomena. Still others think they are the highly secret milita1-y weapons of sorne earthbound power, most likely of the United States. The most skeptical believe the whole issue to ¡be a hoax perpetrated on the gu11ible by publicity-seeking charlatans. The fact is, though, that 51% of the people recently surveyed do believe in the reality of UFOs and contend that they are spacecraft from another world. Any statistician will attest to the fact that 51 'fo is a very high figure in a popular poli where evidence is so scanty. Until the government releases data that it still classifies as secret and allows the scientists who were working on the project under the auspices of the Air Force to share the knowledge they have with their colleagues no more satisfying conclusion will be reached. As the myths of our day revèal, the cultural setting of the question about the existence of angels and devils may be shifting, but even among sorne of the most sophisticated of our people there is undeniable evidence still of a belief in, and maybe even of a hope for, extra-terrestrial intelligent !ife.


John F. Dedek

T wo moral cases: Psychosurgery and behavior control; gross/y mal{ormed infants Where precisely do we locate the moral issues in these two thorny human problems? PSYCHOSURGERY AND BEHAVIOR CONTROL

ln the summer of 1935 at the Second International Neurology Congress in London Dr. Carlyle Jacobsen reported on the work being done by him and his colleague, Professor John F. Fulton, in their Yale University laboratory, where they were engaged in the modification of the behaviour of monkeys and chimpanzees by the surgical destruction of the prefrontal area of the cerebral cortex. After Jacobsen's presentation a Portuguese neuro-psychiatrist, Dr. Egas Moniz, arose to ask why these same surgical procedures could not be used to relieve anxiety states in man. . Both Jacobsen and Fulton were shocked at the thought. N onetheless Egas Moniz persuaded Almeida Lima to perform under his supervision a prefrontal lobotomy on a human being. The first operation was performed in Lisbon¡ on November 12, 1935 on a mental patient "who had proven refractory to other methods of treatment." Twenty more operations followed, and the results were mixed. Ali of the patients survived; seven were considered recovered and seven were said to have improved. In 1949 Moniz shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine with Walter Hess "for his discovery of the therapeutic value of prefrontal leucotomy in certain psychoses." In September, 1936 Drs. Walter Freeman and James Watts of George Washington University in Washington, D.C., intro19


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duced Dr. Moniz' technique in the United States. Under their direction the operation was refined and perfected. lt is estimated that since 1936 about 40,000 prefrontal lobotomies have been performed in the United States. A DECLINE IN PSYCHOSURGERY ¡

By the late 1950s there was a sharp decline in the practic<.> of psychosurgery. A number of newly discovered psychoactive drugs were proven useful in treating psychiatrie disorders. Also there were many reports of undesirable side effects of psychosurgery, such as personality deterioration, a Jack of planning ability and foresight, a general blunting of emotional responsiveness, and so on. Although there was a rapid decline in the amou nt of psychosurgery performed after the mid 1950s, research continued in an effort to help patients who were not responsive to psychoactive drugs or other therapeutic measures. Today newer and much more precise surgical techniques have been developed, and other portions of the brain, for instance the amygdala and the hypothalamus, are ablated. Dr. William Scoville, the president of the International Society of Psychosurgery, reports that today about 600 brain operations are performed each year in the United States for pm-ely psychiatrie disease, and more are performed to alleviate pain, epilepsy, movement disorders and aggression. Because the subject of psychosurgery remains highly controversial, it is difficult to get an accurate and objective evaluation of the contemporary techniques. Perhaps the fairest evaluation is that given by Dr. Elliot Valenstein: "The problem of evaluation of the newer psychosurgical techniques remains d ifficult, sin ce many of the shortcomings of the earlier lobotomy studies are still evident. lt is also necessary to recognize that there has been a clear shift in the type of patients selected for psychosurgery. Originally, only chronic psychotic patients who were considered otherwise hopeless were picked for surgery. Gradually it became clear that the prognosis was very poor for such patients. Today the patients considered to be the best candidates are those with tensions, anxieties, phobias, depressions, obsessions, compulsions, and severe hypochondriacal symptoms. As a group the patients are not merely


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as deteriorated as the earlier lobotomy patients, but this does not mean that their symptoms are mild. The patients may be constantly anxious or depressed and suicide attempts are not uncommon. In sorne, the phobias, obsessions, or physical cornplaints may completely block any kind of normal existencP..... The Evaluative studies of the newer psychosurgical procedures tend to have smaller numbers of subjects who have been followed for shorter periods of time. In general, insufficient details are provided, but the results reported are favorable in terms of psychiatrie improvement, work adjustment, and low incidence of serious intellectual and personality changes or physical complications. lt may be important to bear in mind, however, that these reports have customarily been presented by those doing the sm¡gery-there has not been sufficient interest generated to sponsor a more impartial, as weil as more thorough, evaluation." BRAIN MANIPULATION

Science owes a¡ great debt to Dr. JosÊ M. P. Delgado, who pioneered the development of many brain stimulation techniques. But his flamboyant and dramatic exhibitions have given rise to a greatly exaggerated notion in the popular mi nd about the power of modern brain controllers. To take only one example, Delgado once implanted a radio-controlled electrode in the brain of a brave bull, a species bred to aggressively charge any human being in his view. Dr. Delgado stood atone in the arena and. faced the charging bull. Wh en the charging bull was within a few f~t of Delgado he calmly pressed a button on a transmitter in his hand, sending a signal to the brave bull's brain and he abruptly stopped in his tracks, becoming according to a report in the Ne'W York Times "as gentle as Ferdinand." This sensational experiment has been interpreted as proof that aggressive behaviour can now be controlled by brain manipulation. The truth is considerably more complex than that. Delgado's electrode affected the caudate nucleus which is one of severa! brain structures that plays an important rote in controlling physical movement and fine muscular responses. A modern phrenology which believes that there is a specifie area of the brain controlling aggressiveness would be regarded


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with the greatest suspiCion by most brain physiologists and neurologists today. lt is quite unlikely that the brain is organised into neat areas that match our labels for describing human emotions and behaviour. As Dr. Valenstein says, "To conelude from (Delgado's) demonstration that we are close to being able to selectively reduce aggression in the normal human being without producing many otheâ&#x20AC;˘Âˇ effects seems, to put it as diplomatically as possible, very questionable at best." It is, of course, now possible to modify or diminish human aggressiveness by brain surgery or brain stimulation. But this does not imply that there is one precisely aggressive faculty which can be located in the brain. Brain surgery which redu ces aggressi veness has other consequences as well. Most psychosurgeons agree that the changes produced by brain surgery are frequently general and non-specifie, are influenced by the individual personality of the patient and are never wholly predictable. The assumption that psychosurgery is now or soon will be an exact science and technique of controlling the minds, emotions and wills of men is gaining sorne currency in the popular mind. N ewspaper articles, picture magazines, and current novels and movies like Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange and Michael Crichton's The1 Terminal Man have spread a fear that we are in grave danger of becoming a society of robots controlled and manipulated by brain surgeons and brain stimulators. We are told that the new surgical and electronic techniques are now or soon will be perfected to a point that they already represent the most potent and diabolical threat to human society and the human species. Think, we are told, of the po\\~er of a dictator who can electronically control the behaviour of an entire population by means of electrodes implanted in their brains. Think of an omnipotent police State that can eliminate demonstrations, riota, revolutions, dissent, or any other form of "deviant" behaviour. Think of a moralist who can make al! men conform to a single code of ethics and uniform approved patterns of thought and behaviour and be perfectly happy in their docile, obedient and servile condition. MISPLACING THE PROBLEM

Dr. Steven Rose, head of the Brain Research Group at the


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Open University in England, gives a more realistic assessment ¡of the situation. He says: "This threat is, I believe, still in the realm of science fiction. Granted that electrical control of mood is possible--and this does seem to be the case both in animais and humans-and also that radio-controlled implanted electrodes are already available--for such a technique to be applicable on any large scale would demand a degree of social acquiescence in being implanted which is hard to envisage, quite apart from demanding the production of doctors who would carry out the implantations and controllers who would presumable regulate a population's mood by the tuning of a radio dial. Traditional techniques of mass persuasion and mood change are likely to remain more practicable and more effective than this for the foreseeable future." Common sense would suggest that any dictator who could persuade the population to submit to having parts of their brains excised or electrodes implanted in them would not need such fantastic tools; he would already have achieved his objective. As Dr. Vernon H. Mark has said, "No drugs were needed to seduce the German population. The S. S. storm troopers did not have little electrodes implanted in their limbic systems. . . . My own claim is that the dangers of mass abuse are not sufficient to warrant preventing the very development of the techniques that might have very great therapeutic value for patients with organic brain disease." Ali this, of course, is not meant to imply that there are no dangers or moral problems involved in the manipulation of the human brain. It is only to say that we should not waste our time by mislocating them. THE MORAL CONCERNS

In an address of September 13, 1952 Pope Pius XII said that a man may not submit to medical procedures which alleviate physical or psychic illness, but at the same time "in volve the destruction or the diminution to a considerable and lasting extent of freedom-that is to say, of the human personality in its typical and characteristic functions. In that way man is degraded to the leve) of a pm¡ely sensory being-a being of acquired reflexes or a living automation. Such a reversai of values is not permitted by the natural law."


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When this statement first appeared sorne doctors thought that the pope had condemned prefrontal lobotomies. But the Catholic moralists of the time assured them that he had not. The moralists' reading of the papal statement was that the pope was simply pointing out that in the proper hierarchy of values man's free persona! !ife was the highest and should not be sacrificed for sorne lesser good. Psychosurgery, they judged, is to be m01¡ally evaluated according to the same canons as surgery in general and experimental surgery in particular. Specifically this means that with the informed consent of the patient or his relatives, psychosurgery is justified in accord with the principle of totality. Accordingly, the old Ethical and ReligÚms Directives for Catholic HospitalB said: "Lobotomy is morally justifiable as a last resort in attempting to cure those who suffer from serious mental illness. It is not allowed when less extreme measures are reasonably available or in cases in which the probability of harm outweighs the probability of benefit." Succinctly put, this means that psychosurgery is morally permitted when it is medically indicated. In other words, here good morality is simply good medical practice. Today it is easier to make this same judgment about the morality of psychosurgery, since the modern techniques are more refined and the .risk of deleterious effects have been reduced. Dr. William Beecher Scoville, president of the International Society of Psychiatrie Surgery expressed it this way: "The ethical question here is no different from the ethical problem in other surgical lesions of the body. Destructive surgery is done for cancer of vital organs and limbs, necessitating amputation and partial evisceration. The ethics of such surgery can best be simply stated: If surgery benefits overall function it is justified. If overall function is made worse by the operation than by the disease, then surgery is not justified. Certainly ali surgical lesions of the l;>rain are destructive of sorne function; but continuing mental disease may be more destructive of function. Surgical lesions can eut out pathological thought processes or 'sick circuits' so that there may result an impressive benefit in overall brain function, thus resulting in a happier and more productive social being."


MORAL CASES

25 PRACTICAL PROBLEMS

That, I believe, expresses the centml principle that governs the morality of psychosurgery. But unfortunately the whole matter is not quite so simple. A good number of practical problems still remain to be settled. There are severa! important issues that keep coming up in the cu1-rent discussion. The first question concerns the appropriate subjects for psychosurgery. Should psychosurgery be used ( 1) to improve ali, even normal, human behaviour, (2) to treat ali abnormal behaviour which is caused by an abnormality of the brain? What limits should we set to its use? Practically no one advocates brain surgery as a means to improve ali normal human behaviour. The fact is that psych<>sm·gery cannot achieve such a goal either now or in the forseeable future. Resides, even if it could, the moral judgments that would have to be made about what counts as "improved behaviour" would be very illusive. As Dr. Vernon Mark has pointed out, "moral values are social concerns, not medical one in any presently recognized sense." Most of those writing on the topic argue that brain surgery should be performed only when a person's abnormal behaviour can be traced to organic brain disease. Much violent behaviour, for instance, is not a product of a disease brain but of a diseased society. Moral, social, and political problems should not be treated by surgical means. They should be resolved by moral, and social and political means. It is easy to accept this as a principle. But a problem often arises in neurological diagnosis. It is not always easy to tell in a specifie case whether abnormal violence is due to brnin dysfunction or to social or envil'Onmental causes. Dr. Vernon Mark relates the case of an airplane hijacker who recently killed one pilot and shot another: "ExaminaHon of this man afterward revealed he had been a neurological cripple for eleven years, ever since receiving a gunshot wound of the brain. Yet repeated tests, including hours of brainwave examinations failed to reveal the ti·emendous damage that had occm·red in this man's emotional center or limbic brain." Similarly, George Gershwin, the composer, was treated psychiatrically for many years, while a tumor was growing in the


CHICAGO STUDIES

limbic system of his brain. Dr. Mark goes on to say, "The George Gershwin syndrome of the thirties is still being treated in the seventies. Recently eighteen patients were comitted to a mental hospital at one of our best university centers who turned out to have tumors of their limbic brains. In sorne cases, the true nature of this illness was not recognized until the tumor had caused the patient's death." There is solid medical evidence linking aggressive behaviour to focal brain disease. Such behaviour, according to Mark, "is often present in such clinical disorders as temporal lobe epilepsy, temporal lobe tumors, infections of the brain (such as rabi es and post-encephalitic syndromes), and serio us brain injuries which affect the under-surfaces of the frontal lobes ( usually a transient phenomenon in the last disorder). We certainly do not want to ever arrive in our society at a point where the violence of political protes tors, ghetto rioters. and others are "cured" by brain surgery. But neither can Wt discount the role of brain dysfunction in many instances of violent aggressive behaviour. Both the moral sensitivity and the diagnostic skill of the neurosurgeon is crucial in deciding in a particular case whether brain surgery is indicated. VALID CONSENT

Another practical problem is obtaining valid consent for psychosurgery. If the patient is unable to make a rational decision, his nearest relatives or someone else will have to make it for him. But since there is frequently a danger that the relatives or legal guardians will make their decision in the best interest of themselves rather than the patient, many hospitals set up review committees made up of psychiatrists, neurosurgeons, la\V}'ers, clergymen and lay persans. If such a committee is set up, it should be composed of men who are professionally, economically and psychologically independent of the physician whose case is being reviewed. The committee should make sure that ali other Jess drastic measures have been tried and given a chance to work. And they should make their decision in the interest of the patient, not in the interest of the relatives, the hospital staff, society, the State, or the experimenting ÂŤUrgeon. Dr. Valenstein has further remarked: "Ali members of the review committee should hold

1


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the patient's interest as the foremost consideration, but it would be a good practice to have one member serve as the patient's ombudsman. It would be the ombudsman's specifie responsibility to protect the patient by questioning in detail whether alternative therapies were sufficiently explored and also to determine if consent was given under conditions that assured the patient or guardian was maximally informed." Especially touchy is the case of prisoners. Sorne men are in prison, often in solitary confinement, because of aggressive and viol.ent behaviour due to brain dysfunction. But because it is extremely difficult to insure the prisoner's persona! freedom, many people fee! that as a practical rule we should never permit brain surgery to be performed on anyone in prison. There is certainly a grave danger here that bears close monitoring. In fact, as a normal rule the presumption should always be against performing brain surgery on prisoners. But, on the other hand, it is possible that proper consent can sornetimes be obtained, and if so it would not seem right to deny prisoners with brain disease access to surgical treatment which would probably be of real benefit to them. Finally, most neurosurgeons and writers on the topic say that psychiatrie surgery should be done "only as a last resort." Other treatments should be tried first, for instance, prolonged psychotherapy, drug therapy, and limited shock treatment. This is easy enough to understand, but two qualifications are needed. Dr. Scoville reminds us that "any extensive or long continued shock therapy may weil be more destructive to brain function than are the new limited surgical operations." Secondly, it sometimes can be dangerous to wait too long. Psychosurgery should be a Iast resort, but this does not mean that it is no more than a final heroic effort at a cure. If one delays too long, sometimes the turning point in effective therapy will have been passed. Moral generalization may be helpful. But in the last analysis the sound judgment and moral goodness and integrity of the doctor will be decisive. The International Code of Medical Ethics adopted by the General Assembly of the World Medical Association wisely reminds us : "As a stream cannot rise above its source, so a code cannot change a low"grade man into a


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high-grade doctor, but it can help a good man to be a better man and a more enlightened doctor. It can quicken and inform a conscience, but not create one." GROSSLY MALFORMED INFANTS

The medical profession seems to be sharply divided on what should or should not be done for grossly malformed infants. For a long time many doctors simply have withdrawn lifesaving measures from grossly malformed infants, allowing them quietly to die, and telling their parents that their babies were stillborn. Other doctors fee! that they must do everything in their power to preserve !ife, arguing that an incurable condition today may be curable tomorrow. The courts have provided little guidance in this area. Judges have contermanded the decision of parents and ordered that necessary blood transfusions be given or surgery performed to save the lives of aider children. But until recently the courts have taken no legal action against parents or physicians who have decided to withhold necessary treatment from grossly malformed infants. The first legal decision in this area was made in February, 1974 by Maine's Superior Court Judge David G. Roberts who ruled: "At the moment of live birth there does exist a human being entitled to the fullest protection of the Law. The most basic right enjoyed by every human being is the right to !ife itself." The case concerned Baby Boy Houle, who was born with his entire Jeft side malformed. He had no left eye, practically no Ieft ear, a number of unfused vertebrae, and a tracheoesopha- ¡ gal fistula.. He developed pneumonia, and because of either Jung or heart abnormalities his blood did not carry enough oxygen so that his brain was damaged. Also, his reflexes deteriorated, his natural breathing periodically stopped, and he developed convulsive seizures. The medical prognosis was that a gastrotomy probably would save his Iife but that he wou id be palsied, blind, deaf, unable to communicate and probably unable to stand. The baby's father, Sgt. Robert H. T. Houle, instructed the doctors not to perform the gastrotomy and to discontinue the intravenous feeding that was keeping the baby alive. The doc-


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tor and the hospital did not want to take the responsibility for carrying out Sgt. Houle's wishes, and so they took the case to Judge Roberts for a ru ling and received the decision to operate. The operation was successfully performed. Nonetheless two days later Baby Boy Houle died. ln the New Eng/arul JourruĂť of Medicine Doctors Ramond Duff and A. G. M. Campbell reported the results of a study of 299 deaths among 2,171 children treated in the special-care nursery at Yale-New Haven Hospital over a two and one-half year period. In 43 instances the parents and doctor j ointly decided not to treat the infant and let it die. The other 256 babies were given the best treatment that modern medicine can provide, but few of these survived any longer than those who were untreated. Those who did survive longer were often kept alive in a pathetic condition. One infant was kept breathing for five months on a mechanical respirator. THE ETHICAL QUESTION

The question of what should or should not be done to save. grossly malformed infants has never been thoroughly discussed, let alone settled, by either the medical profession or the courts. Neither have theological moralists as yet subjected the question to any thorough ethical analysis and debate. Perhaps the reason for this apparent Jack of interest in the question is that in the past most grossly malformed infants did not survive very long no matter what was done for them. Therefore the problem was not as urgent as it is today, now that an increasing number of such newborn babies can be saved from death so as to live a crippled retarded !ife. A few: of the older moralists in the past touched on the question but in a very fleeting way. Charles McFadden once expressed the opinion that a monstrosity must be placed in a heating bassinet. He argued that a heating bassinet is an ordinary means of sustaining infant !ife and therefore its use is obligatory even for monstrosities. ¡At the same time he judged that it wou Id be extraordinary means and therefore not obligatory to have an artificial esophagus made for a baby with congenital atresia. ln an article published in 1950 Gerald Kelly reported McFadden's opinions without comment. However, in a footnote he in-


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dicated that he was in agreement with McFadden's fundamental principle, that "the determination of ordinary and extraordinary (means should) begin with the mentally normal." Paul Ramsey has indicated his disagreement with McFadden and Kelly. He argues: "Since we ought not to absolutize the distinction between 'usual' and 'heroic' treatment of newborn babies, not to place 'a monstrosity in a heating bassinet' or to stop opposing the infection to which it is prone cannot be declared morally wrong while operation is said to be optional to provide a child who was born with congenital atresia with an artificial or implanted esophagus." Ramsey explains his reason: 'Ordinary' or imperative and 'extraordinary' or only elective treatments are ... not fixed categories. The feeling that infants should be given the greatest protection does not alone settle what we ought to do. Life in the first of it and !ife in the last of it are both prismatic cases of human helplessness. The question is, What does loyalty to the newborn and to the dying require of us? Consistently, we could say that both should unqualifiedly be given every effort that might save or prolong their existence. But if a balancing judgment is permitted--even m01¡ally mandatory-concerning whether proposed remedies will be beneficiai to the adult dying, the same reasoning cannot be preemptorially excluded from our care of the newborn. If in the case of terminal patients the quality of !ife they can expect enters into the determination of whether even ordinary or customary measures wou id be beneficiai and should or should not be used, cannot the same be said of infants? It is not obvions that an anecephaletic baby should be respirated while a grown¡ man in prolonged coma should no longer be helped to breathe."

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THREE CASES

Writing in the medical context of 1956 Edwin Healy, S.J., gave his opinion on three pertinent cases. The first concerns a baby born with a single head and two bodies. A very delicate throat operation costing severa! thousand dollars is necessary to keep the baby alive. Healy's solution is that because of the very heavy financial burden that would be placed on the family the operation would be extraordinary means and therefore elective but not obligatory.


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The second case is that of an infant who can neither suck nor swallow, so that he must be fed through a stomach tube. Gavage will be permanently necessary to keep him alive. And there are indications that he may be an imbecile. Healy argues that the fact that the child is probably an imbecile is an irrelevant consideration, since every infant whether nonnal or abnormal must be given the benefit of ordinary means to preserve !ife. However, in this instance he thinks that gavage which is required over a long period of time, i.e. six months or more, would be so burdensome to the parents that it would be extraordinary means and therefore not obligatory. The third case concerns an infant born with a hydrocephalie condition. If it lives it will never be normal and will be a very grave burden to the parents. To keep it alive artificial respiration is required at once. Healy thinks that the physician must use artificial respiration to save the infant. His argument: "Artificial respiration of a temporary nature is an ordinary means of tiding a person over a crisis, and therefore it is obligatory. The fact that this young patient is horribly abnormal does not alter the solution of the case. Every infant, no matter how grossly deformed he may be, is a human being and as such has the same right to !ife as that which is enjoyed by a perfectly normal child. Whatever a physician would be obliged to do for a normal child, he must do for this hydrocephalie. A LANDMARK ARTICLE

In a recent landmark article published simultaneously in the Joumal of the American Medical Association and America Richard McCormick expressed his disagreement with the older Catholic moralists. He argues that the quality of the !ife to be lived is a relevant consideration in making a decision about saving a !ife or !etting it die. As a practical guideline he suggests that if the infant's "potential for human relationship" is "simply non existent or would be utterly submerged in the mere struggle to survive, that !ife has achieved its potential." Capacity to relate cannot be determined by a mathematical formula, and the decision to let a baby die or to save it will remain the burden of parentS in consultation with doctors. In many cases the judgment will be ambiguous and unclear. But in sorne cases it will be relatively easy. For instance, there


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CHICAGO STUDIES

is little doubt that the anecephalic infant is without relational .potential, whereas the same is not true of the mongoloid. Fr. McC01mick argues: "lt is neither inhuman nor unchristian to say that there cornes a point where an individual's condition itself represents the negation of any truly human-i.e., relational-potenial. When that point is reached, is not the best treatment no treatment ?" The foregoing represents the present state of the discussion of this unpleasant problem in the ethical literature. It is evident that a more thorough discussion is still necessary. That is bound to come now that the problem is presenting itself with increasing frequency and is coming to the attention of the courts and the media. In the meantime 1 would like ta hazard the following opinion. AN OPINION

First of ali, it seems that in the great majority of cases of grossly malformed infants the means necessary to save !ife are clearly extraordinary means and therefore elective not mandatai-y. The reason is that very frequently the means necessa1-y to preserve !ife either will involve a grave hardship on the infant or the family or will not confer any significant benefit on the infant. No one is obliged ta do what is practically useless. In very many instances no measures will keep a seriously deformed infant alive for very long. Even in the presence of the best care that modern medicine can provide such infants are already seized by an irreversible process of dying. Even measures generally considered ordinary wou Id be useJess. They would not confer any significant benefit on the dying infants and therefore would not be morally obligatory. Secondly, the more difficult cases will be those in which a grossly malfo1¡med baby will be able to survive for a long time if usual and convenient measures are employed, for instance artificial respiration for a short time or sorne simple and routine surgical operation. Most theologians who touched on this question in the past felt that the deformity of the baby is an irrelevant consideration. They held that if a certain treatment is regarded as ordinary means for a normal child, it is also ordina1-y and mandatai-y for a grossly deformed child. Healy's argument was

i

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that "every infant, no matter how grossly deforrned he may be, is a human being and as such has the same right to !ife as that which is enjoyed by a perfectly normal child. But notice that Healy has subtly switched the question on us. He argues that the deforrned child has the same right to !ife as a normal one. But the question under discussion is not about one's right to live. 路It is about one's duty or moral obligation to live--and that is entirely another matter. Everyone has a right to use extraordinary means to stay alive. If a man wants to use extraordinary means he has a right to say so, and if possible the doctor must comply '1\-ith his wishes. But the whole point of the issue is that one does not have the duty to use extraordinary means. Morally these means are elective not mandatory. If an operation or treatment will cause serious hardship to oneself or others he need not submit to it. Healy considers this case: "Thomas, a forty-year-old man, is deforrned and badly crippled. For many years he has been a grave burden to his wife; and he weil realizes that the required surgery, by saving his !ife, will increase his wife's hardships and exact even greate1路 sacrifices on her part in the future." Healy's solution is: "Thomas ... has no obligation to submit to the surgery." In fact, he goes on to路 say that charity probably would oblige him to forego the live-saving operation. The only important difference between a deformed and badly crippled 40 year i>ld man, like Thomas, and a grossly deformed infant is that Thomas can decide for himself whether he will use the necessary means to stay alive, whereas someone else . must make the decision for the infant. But that is the way it must always be with small children. Their parents must make decisions for them. Moralists have always recognized the right and duty of parents to make crucial decisions for their children. They must interpret, as it were, the child's reasonable wishes. And they cannot presume that grossly deforrned infants would reasonably desire to cling to a deforrned, crippled or monstrous existence, no matter what hardships this prolonged existence would {!ause themselves or their families. We must remember that ordinary and extm01路dinar1J means


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are not fixed categories. They are relative to every situation. What would be a light and bearable bm¡den to one mother or family might be an intolerable one to another. That is why moral generalizations are very difficult in this area. Since the infant cannot make the decision for himself, sorneone else, ordinarily the parents, will have to make the decision for him. We must be extremely cautions here. We do not want to set ourselves on the slippery slope to Dachow, where sorne men make decisions for others about whether their !ife was worth living. Parents should make their deeision in the child's interest, trying to determine what such a deformed infant would reasonaly want. Therefore, although moral generalizations are very difficult, sorne objective standard or guideline seems to be called for. I think that the practical guideline suggested by McCormick is very useful here. Does the infant have the potential for human relationship; does he at !east have the capacity to relate to other human beings? This does not supply us with a precise mathematical formula for making ali the necessary decisions in this area. But at !east it gives us a practical objective standard which will illumine many cases and guard against excesses. As McCormick has pointed out, there is little doubt that the anecephalic infant is without relational potential, whereas the same is not true of he mongoloid. U nclear and ambiguous cases will still remain. But the fact of twilight does not mean that we cannot tell the difference between day and night. To help parents make their decision for their deformed child doctors should meet with them as soon as possible after delivery. They should explain as accurately as possible the infant's problem, the measures necessary to save it, and the kind of !ife that these measures may succeed in preserving. It seems that in many cases the parents may licitly decide to give the infant only normal food and drink and let it die. Paul Ramsey once wisely observed: "In the first of !ife, a human being may be seized by his own unique dying. Indeed, far from taking the death of the aged and the enormous death rate of zygotes and miscarriages to be a part of the problem of evil, a religions man is likely to take this as a sign that the Lord of !ife has beset us behind and before in this dying !ife


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we are called to live and celebrate. There is an acceptable death of the life of ali flesh no less in the first than in the last of it. An ethical man may always gird hirnself to oppose this enemy, but not the religions ethical man."


Willard F. Jabusch

. Priest/y ¡Ministry of Music 1 f the priest is concerned about the spÚ¡itual growth of his parish, he can no more ignore the hymns his people sing than he can the preaching from the pulpit.

Gad knows we have done a lot of talking about "liturgical renewal," "active participation in public worship," and similar subjects in recent years. But God also knows that for many clergy and lay people their hearts are elsewhere! It would not really be fair to say that mere lip service is given to li turgy; but, depending on the person, the really absorbing subject is often the grape boycott or the abortion issue, the decline of the Catholic school system or the unhappy but dramatic need for Bingo and candy bar sales to keep the parish plant open for another year. Who would deny that in most parishes the people on the liturgical committee-if one exists-are considered as good souls involved in a marginal concern. The real interest and enthusiasm, the giving of time and the giving of money are saved for the survival of the grammar school or beefing up the CCD. Even though, in an honest moment, we are ali willing to admit that the Catholic Church is still in contact with the majority of its active members in a very special way during that hour of Saturday night or Sunday morning liturgy, we continue to treat it in a frivolous way. Every loyal Catholic would protest that he recognizes the sacredness of the li turgy and the 37


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importance of the Eucharist, but when priorities are being lined up and decisions made (a lay teacher for the third grade or a professional organist, time set aside for sermor preparation or time given to a community organization), it becomes clear that we are still "playing around" with the liturgy. We just do not take it seriously. And the element of the liturgy which is taken !east seriously is the music! Music in the United States is considered the ultimate in play ( except by dise jockeys and record company executives). The shopping centers may use it for background "conditioning," but it is still thought of as a recreational and trival thing. Only the concert hall elite give it their undivided attention. And, we must frankly admit, there are vast numbers of American Catholics who still look upon music as an unwanted intrusion into their prayers and who long for the old days when the choir entertained at High Mass and there were no congregational expectations apart from a single verse of "Holy God." But what of the priest himself? Does he even consider a "ministry of music"? The average priest never had the advantages of learning how to play an instrument or even learning how to read music. It is the rare seminary that can still afford a professor of music. Rightly or wrongly, he does not fee! that he is mu ch of a singer, and he is quite prepared to leave church music for his parish in the hands of somebody, almost anybody, who claims a modicum of competence. But should the parish priest maintain this cool, aloof attitude? Should he, because he is not specially trained or even musically inclined, allow himself to ignore the "ministry of music?" I am not suggesting that he buy himself a guitar or pitch pipe or enroll in organ !essons at the local conservatory. But if he is interested in what Vatican II calls "the primary function of the priest"-the proclamation of the Gospel to the peoplechurch music will not be a superflu6us extra in his ministry. If he is concerned about the piety and spiritual growth of his parish, he can no more ignore the hymns his people sing than he can the readings and preaching from the pulpit or the public prayers at the altar.


MUSIC

39 MUSIC IS NOT INNOCUOUS

Just as there are types of preaching (evangelization, catechesis, and homily), so too, there is church music which is meant to evangelize, to present the congregation with the fact of Jesus Christ and his saving love, with the challenge of "making a decision for Christ," music which invites a response to the basic good news that there is a savior and his mercy is meant for us. There is also music which instructs the very people who sing it or at !east listen to it. It is music which teaches the truths of the faith and deepens the commitment of that first conversion. Lastly, there is music which is sung in a sacmment setting, music which reinforces the homily and illuminates the Scriptures, music which helps us to celebrate the Eucharist and the other sacraments and leads us to prayer, which is, in fact, itself a praye1-. Church music is not innocuous; it is either good or bad. lt is either helping people in their Christian !ife and worship or it is creating problems. lt is either a prayer or a hurdle, an obstacle to prayer. Music in church is formative. It is a reflection of piety, but it also forms piety. lts influence is sometimes subtle, sometimes delightful, sometimes powerful, but always real. A pastor would not think of asking his adult congregation to include the children's praye1-, "Now 1 Lay Me Down to Sleep" as part of the ir Sun day li turgy. But that same pastor, because he professes no interest in the ministry of music in his church, will allow a recent "folk hymn" with the same sentiments in the second verse to be taught to his congregation. The same p1'iest who recognizes the great care of the Church in the composition of liturgical texts and in their translation and who avoids material which would confuse his people and offend tneir intelligence and good taste, who would not tolerate prayer forms which sin by banality, exaggeration, or gross sentimentality, may still choose to ignore the words which the people are forced to sing. His carefully prepared sermon and devoutly celebrated li turgy may be, at !east to sorne extent, undermined by church music which is not doing what it should be doing. What should church music be doing? It has, in the words of


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the Roman documents, a "munus ministeriale." What is this ministerial function? How r.an we explain its role in divine services? Every song, just as every ceremony and rite, must be able to tell us why it is in the liturgy, what is its reason for existing. The priest must ask the hard questions, questions which the professional musician, as important as he or she is, is not always able to formulate. Is this song able to achieve its purpose? Should it be withdrawn and replaced by another song which can better do the job? Is it being kept only out of some traditionalism, rubricism, or formalism? In church music, there is no room for the song which does not function. There must be no art for art's sake. There must be a sort of holy, but hard-nosed pragmatism. The ultimate question for liturgical music is: Does it work? At this moment in the liturgy, for this particular congregation at this time in history, does this musical form fulfill its intended purpose? DOES THE SONG "WORK"?

The professional musician may say that it is beautiful, it is by a famous composer, it is very ancient (or very modern), it is performed with great skill by the instrumentalists or the singers. The priest who is involved in the ministry of music is not unaware of these considerations, but he must always pose the question which not everyone is prepared to ask: is this song an effective religious act? Here and now, for these Christians at this moment of the Mass, does it do what it should do? As the people of God at this place and time celebrate the great mysteries of Christ does this piece function ministerially? Let us say the people are singing the Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, the great acclamation of praise and the one piece which should be sung at almost every Mass. The words ¡are, of course, from the liturgy itself. The melody is simple, quite frankly not of great musical interest and certainly not to be compared with the splendid settings by ~alestrina or William Byrd, by Haydn or Mozart or Bruckner. In fact, many of the Gregorian melodies for the Sanctus are more elaborate and lyrical. Perhaps a visitor, hidden behind a pillar, would note that the singing is ragged and a trille flat. Sorne voices stick out, an elderly and


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41

tremulous soprano and a barroom baritone of uncertain pitch. But the fact is that this congregation is praying! The words of Isaiah are on their lips and in their hearts as they praise God at the opening of the Eucharistie prayer. A group of diverse people are bound together in unity and holy enthusiasm by means of common words and common melody. The simple tune which supports the majestic words is ideal for this assembly. This song truly "works." A Sanctus by Palestrina would be far more impressive to the visitor behind the pillar, perhaps. But its intricate polyphony would rule out participation by the people, even after they had learned the Latin. Palestrina's musical masterpiece does not "work." It does not do what music at this moment in the Mass should do. ConÊert hall standards are always coming into the church. The pastor or the musical director who loves fine music remembers Georg Solti conducting the Chicago Symphony Chorus in the "Missa Solemnis" and cherishes the memory as an impossible but wonderful idea of what the parish choir should sound like. Not only is this a snare and an illusion which has doomed many a sensitive priest and layman to constant frustration, it has also inhibited parishes from doing the music which would help them "rejoice in the Lord" and grow in prayer and the Christian spirit. As long as we approach church music with the mentality of a Carnegie Hall music critic, as long as we judge the music, which supports the words, with the perfectionism of a Julliard Conservatory¡ professor of composition, as long as we think of the congregation, the choir, and the soloist as people merely performing rather than as people involved in praying, in witnessing, in preaching the word, we continue to be concerned about the wrong things and the "ministry of music" is crippled. '

THE QUESTION TO BE ASKED

The busy parish priest cannot spend time, in fact, should not spend time in worrying about the skill of his organists and guitarists. It is presumed that he gets the best that his parish can obtain and atford. But he must give his attention and his time of the songs which his people are singing. Do they suit the moment when they are used in the liturgy? Do the


42

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words express what his people should truly be saying at this ti me? If he is to be the president and celebrant for his community, he cannot abdicate these responsibilities. If he is serious about his liturgical leadership and confident of his theological and scriptural expertise, he will not give "carte blanche" to program the songs for worship to either the organist, the choir director, the liturgical committee, or the teen-age guitar group. He should, of course, come to trust their musical insights and value their suggestions. He listens to them carefully and respectfully. But he also knows that he is responsible for the public prayer of his congregation and that his background and training have prepared him to judge, not the musical perfection of a piece, but its suitability to function in the liturgical drama. ¡ One day, in a Chicago parish, the teen-aged guitar group mentioned that they were planning a new song for after communion. I ask them the riame. "Oh, it's 1¡eally great; it's called 'The House of the Rising Sun'!" Why had they chosen this number? Weil, the melody was attractive and they had learned how to play and sing it. It was really as simple as that. How should I gently break the news to them that the "House of the Rising Sun" was really about a famous house of illrepute in New Orleans and that the lyrics had little to do with the Eucharistie Sacrifice? It was an extreme but real case of well-meaning young people quite ready to present a secular song for the .edification of the people because they like the melody and didn't really understand the words. In church music, unlike a good deal of classical music and a great deal of "pop" music, the words are of the greatest importance. As we weil know, for a song to make it to the top of the charts today it is certainly not necessary for the words to make sense or be distinctly audible. In church music it does make a difference. Far too often, because the priest is not involved in the ministry of music, a long-suffering congregation is asked to sing words which are infantile or, at best, puerile. They may be a far too persona! expression of alienation, loneliness, and general despair, or, on the other hand, a kindergarten optimism and bounce. At times, when grownups are asked to sing !ines like "l'li eat your strawberries and


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drink your sweet wine" things can get downright painful and embarrassing. The charin of a melody can be seductive; but do we really want to make the words which are wedded to it our prayer and our inspiration? Do the words of the recently popular "Amazing Grace," for example, really express our piety and our theology? Whether the origin of the song was Tin Pan Ailey or an early American hymnal, are we really ready to make its sentiments part of our Sun day worship? No

SACRED TUNES

There is no sacred tune, no sacred musical style, no especially holy instrument. The organ may be the "king of instruments" but it can claim no greater privileges in the liturgy than the flute or the piano, the drums or· the glockenspiel. It is not really important to know that the music came from the pen of Bob Dylan or Johann Sebastian Bach, that the words were written by Dylan· or the poets of Pietism who provided the words for Bach's cantatas. But it is a major importance to know what those words mean and ·,vi: ether they suit· us and the sacramental setting in which we will sing them. Each song must be examined individually. It may be from the medieval period, the German Baroque, nineteenth century France, or twentieth century America. But it may never be evaluated in the abstract. Always there must be a ·"sense of audience." As the Instruction of MUSIC IN THE LITURGY of March 5, 1967, points out: "In seiecting the kind of sacred music to be used, whether it be for the choir or for the people, the capacities of those who are to sing the music must be taken into account." What is best for a particular congregation? Who can answer that question better than the man who is pastor of that congregation? It is the pastor himself who has the duty of knowing the spiritual needs of ali of the people of the parish. He must end any musical dictatorship that is centered in the choir loft, any traditional reign of the pouting prima donna or self-styled virtuoso organist who has not yet learned that the faithful, as the 1967 Instruction indicates, fulfill their liturgical role by making that full, conscious and active participation. But he must also not allow any new teen-age tyranny to develop in


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the sanctuary among guitar players with an exaggerated sense of their role, a tyranny which can be as narrow and absolute, as unyielding and self-serving as anything their eiders could impose. After every liturgical celebration it would be proper to ask somè members of the community if every song has effectively enhanced the sact¡ed actions. Were things done out of mere formality? Was a song included only because it is customary to have a song at that point? Someone has said (and it is so true !) that every time the quality of the music is not equal in value to the quality of the silence it is breaking, it is better not to sing at ali. Singing, at !east in the church, can never be considered an end in itself. The aim of the li turgy is not to arrive at a stage where as much as possible is sung by priest and by people. The Mass is not a musical marathon. Rather, it is a drama . with instruction and inspiration, with offering of gifts, with a richness of prayers of many kinds, a ritual banquet, a sacrifice of love, a living memorial to Jesus. How can music and song help us to participate more fully, to appreciate more deeply? What kinds of music and how mu ch music will effectively assist our mixed Sunday congregation, a teen-age retreat Mass, a late morning Mass for the elderly of the parish, a Mass in the grammar school, in the hospital, or in a home? SPIRITUAL FORMATION OF MUSICIANS

An important part of the priest's ministry of music must be the spiritual formation of the parish's musicians. So often, along with the lectors and commentators, leaders of song and extraordinary ministers of communion, instrumentalists and singers are recruited, putto work, and then forgotten. Just as the lect ors must be taught the principals of oral interpretation and an ever deeper appreciation of the text which they must read, so also the church musicians must be made aware of the importance of their task, the meaning of the liturgy and the words that they sing. The 1967 Instruction says: "Besides musical formation, suitable liturgical and spiritual formation must also be given to the members of the choir, in such a way that the proper performance of their liturgical role will not


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45

only enhance the beauty, of the celebration and be an excellent example for the faithful, but will bring spiritual beneft to the choir members themselves." Our choir members, together perhaps with our lectors, would appreciate an evening of recollection especially for them. It would be an·opportunity to open for them more fully the riches of the Bible, to give them a better understanding of both the ideas and the feelings in the texts which they are constantly asked to interpret. Perhaps one of the most important jobs in the ministry of music for the parish priest is that of peace maker. In almost any parish today there are people at al! levels of musical culture. There may be a small coterie with a taste for chant who k•ng to open the Liber U sualis once aga in. Elderly choir members may have a nostalgia for the lush romantic four-part harmonies of Refice and Perosi. Jazz has never really been a popular musical form in the United States, but there may be a small group who appreciate its intricacy and sophistication and want a "jazz Mass." Perhaps sorne college students dream of possibilities for the "folk Mass" that go beyond massed guitars used as percussion instruments. Last of ali there is the choir director or the organist, perhaps highly trained professional musicians who regard their music as serions art forms demanding artistic obedience. For al! of these people, the demands of a generalized congregation that regards its hymns as folk songs are difficult to understand. But for the good of this congregation, the tastes of the special interest groups and sometimes the musical preferences of the pastor and music director must be subordinated, limited, or at !east· blended. As Eric Routley has said: "The church is a place where people who are not musicians sing,' and where the gifts of the musician can be used in a pastoral fashion as weil as in the normally accepted professional fashion." Another writer advises: "Try talking Jess about 'good' music and 'bad' music and talk more about profound, rich, powe1·ful, dynamic, intense music and pale; b·ite, banal, obvions, weak, tired music. Talk about what music can offer that goes beyond a tickling of the eardrums or a tug at the memory. With Tillich, we can say that music which touches the depths of the meaning of the gospel will be the most valid for use ill \Vorship."


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It is clearly a time of restlessness, sorne would say chaos, in

church music. But.that very restlessness reflects our whole era of confusion and agitation and is much closer to the way we live than the placid music and absolute ideals which were presented to us not long ago. This restlessness also seems to lead to an intense creativity and new interest. When, in the history of the church, has there been so much concern, so much activity and involvement, so much new music in a ten year period? A NEW

GE~ERATION

lt is hardly a time for pessimism. We now recognize a new

\

generation of young Catholics arriving on the scene who have always belonged to a singing church! They scarcely remember the old days. They take it for granted that Catholics sing in church and fee! no inhibitions in doing so. Unlike their somewhat older brothers and sisters, they are the product of a new kind of catechesis. They may not have had as much content, but they also have fewer "bang ups" and actually like going to church! A transistor radio or a full scale Hi-Fi is never far from their ear. Their lives are spent swimming in music and sound-sa why not also in church? Even their parents have come a long way in a short time! Only ten years ag(}--ten years !-the average congregation was singing three or four hymns (Roly God, Come, Roly Ghost, the Lourdes Hymn, and, if the choir allowed it, Silent Night at Christmas). Now throughout the United States and Canada there is a fairly common repertoire of sorne twenty hymns which any congregation is sure to know. In addition, there are regional favorites and a variety of interpretations and arrangements. If a hymn or antiphon does not really work, it saon disap-

pears. Much of the music that was popular even a few years ago has quietly gone out of service. The words were found wanting or the tune did not wear weil and so it was retired from duty. And this is as it should be. lt is not time, and probably never should be the time, to be locked into a set of "evergreens" and to consider further creativity and new material unimportant. Language changes, musical styles evolve,


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47

theology and piety are in process. New music to express faith and hope and love for the Christian people is always needed. And old music which does the job splendidly should be revived and refurbished. Van der Leeuw reminds us that the spirituals, those great examples of Christian music, actually developed from the sermon. There are examples of black sermons which are sung ill a recitative, while the audience occasionally breaks out with melodious, ecstatic cries. Song breaks forth from the sermon. He says: "\Ve can only long for a sermon which will so move us that the listeners can no longer control themselves but must shout, cry, and sing." Perhaps most of our white middle-class parishes are not up to the ecstasy which inspired the Hebrew psalms and the early Christian hymns with their spirit-filled, Pentecostal feeling. But even they are ready to accept the idea that music in worship should be neither a decoration noi¡ a spiritual concert, but rather an essential component of worship that belongs with the priestly bestowal of grace. When St. Ambrose introduced hymn-singing into the worship at Milan, making a great impression, the Arians accused him of working with magical formulas. The consciousness of the unity of sound and power was still so alive in the bishop that he did not reject the charge out of hand, but explained that the hymns really exerted power : "For what can be more powerful than the confession of the Trinity which is daily witnessed by the mou th of the en tire people?" St. Ambrose used the word carmen; it still means incantation, prayer, and ¡song simultaneously. It is because of this strange and wonderfu! union of power and sound, of prayer and incantation and song for the witnessing of the entire people that we, like Ambrose and Gregory, Francis of Assisi and Philip Neri, Thom~s Aquinas and Cardinal Newman and Father Faber, must be involved with the psalms and hymns and spiritual sangs of our people.


Timothy E. O'ConneU

The Point of Moral Theology

The author describes the profound difference in our new vision of manand the difference it makes for moral theology.

"Where is moral theology today? In fact, is there any moral theology, any m01¡ality today? And if there is, why do we hear things today that seem so different from what we were taught? What, after ali, is going on? Wh at do ali these new ideas, new terms, new arguments really mean?" That these questions are cornmonly verbalized today is beyond question. In conversations among priests, in discussions with laity, even in scholarly theological presentations one hears questions such as these raised time and again .. What seems to be Jess apparent, or at least Jess acknowledged, is that these questions are exceedingly important. They are not merely the complaints of malcontents. They are not the self-defence of anti-intellectuals. And above ali, they are not, and cannot be reduce to, mere manifestations of theological and religious nostalgia. Quite the contrary. Questions such as those mentioned here are, it seems to me, symptoms of a religious dislocation that is both genuine and quite profound. For the fact of the matter is that moral theology has, in recent years, undergone a shift which is more than a matter of details, more than a mat49


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ter of vocabulary and organization. The changes in the discipline of moral theology are thoroughgoing and fundamental. And for precisely this reason, there should not be the !east surprise at the kind of questions being asked. Indeed, there should be a sustained attempt to answer them! The pm'])ose of this article, then, is to offer a general summary of the recent developments in moral theology. We wiil Lake a look at the history of this field in arder to appreciate more fully the reason for this dislocation that many currently ftei. We will retlect together on the kind of moral theology that is revealed in Scripture in order to understand why the renewal of moral theology is taking the shape it is. And finally we will lay out for examination the content of the "new morality." For recent developments in moral theology can largely be summarized ¡under the "umbrella" of a single key new insight. And thus, if we can gain sorne understanding of that insight, we will be in a far better position to integrate and use the many small points being made today. POOR COUSIN

I would like to begin with a frank admission: in many ways moral theology is the "poor cousin" of the theological disciplines. Wh en we think of the other areas of theology: scripture and the various treatises in dogmatic theology, we can see that a great deal has happened in those fields in recent years. But more than tbat, we can usually gain sorne sort of clear idea as to where they have come from and where they are going. Moral theology, on the other hand, is not in that state. I believe there is a very good reason for this. Let me show you. Perhaps we could date the renewal of scripture studies from sorne place. in the middle of the nineteenth century. Rudolph Bultmann, the great scripture scholar from Germany, was born in 1884, for example, And he did most of his landmark writing in the nineteen twenties,' thirties, forties. The Magisterium of the Catholic Church for its part, gave a stamp of approval to renewal in scripture as long ago as 1943, in the encyclical Divino Ajjlante Spiritu. And th us we ¡can see that the new understanding of scripture, the new appreciation of the fonns that the scriptural texts take and the new percep-


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51

tion of what the words really rneant to their authors centuries and centuries ago, this whole renewal occurred quite sorne tirne ago. Indeed, I think that we could honestly say that this renewal was beginning to be appropriated by Christians in general and Catholics in particular as early as the nineteen fifties and sixties. So the radical breakthroughs, the major changes of view, are something we are relatively comfortable with by now. Similarly in dogmatic theology, in the study of .the Church and grace and revelation, of Christ and the sacraments, the introduction of new insights and new perspectives came sorne time ago. People often talk about Karl Rahner as a sort of father of the new dogmatic theology. Rahner has written a great nurnber of essays, many of which occur in a series of books called Theological Investigations. And these volumes appeared in the United States in the sixties, and sorne are appearing even now. But if you look on the first or second page where they tell you the first source of the essays in each volume, you suddenly discover that they carry dates like 1935, 1947, 1952. In other words, much of this work had been done quite a while before it came to our attention. Ot!\er dogmatic theologiaris whose ,names we hear regularly: DeLubac, Schillebeeckx, Congar, they are ali old men now. And what that tells us is that their contribution is a contribution we have had sorne time to assimilate, to appreciate. Indeed, it would be fair to say that the Second Vatican Council served the function of ratifying their contributions. We can see their influence and the influence of their ideas in the various documents of the Council: the documents on revelation, on the Church, on the li turgy, on the Church in the modern world. So by the mid sixties the renewal of dogmatic theology was in a sense "coin of the realm," our common possession. What about Moral Theology? Weil, moral theology is a little slower-a little slower to start, a little slower to organize itself. Maybe there are a lot of reasons why. lt is hard to judge, but it is the fact. It is interesting that when the Council tried to speak about moral theology, it could not say a great deal about what had happened; it could only speak about .what still should happen. In the Decree on Priestly Formation these words appear:


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"Theological disciplines should also be renewed by Iivelier contact with the mystery of Christ and the history of salvation. Special attention needs to be given to the development of moral theology. Its scientific exposition should be more thoroughly nourished by scriptural teaching. ¡ It should show the nobility of the Christian vocation of the faithful, and their obligation to bring forth fruit in charity for the !ife of the world. (Art. 16)" One gets the feeling that the Council is not ratifying the renewal of moral theology; it is commanding that it shoulrl now take place. What 1 am suggesting is that the renewal of moral theology is something that we are "smack dab" in the middle of. And when one is in the middle of something, it is very hard to get a sense of perspective. lt is very difficult to know where one is going. And so we should not be the !east bit surprised that there is presently, on questions of moral theology, sorne confusion and sorne misunderstanding. RENEWAL

But enough of the historical context of our present discomfort. Other questions con front us. Why, after ali, must ,there be renewal in moral theology? What is there about the moral theology that we ali leamed in our younger days that is inadequate for the cm¡rent situation? That is the issue that demands our attention. And in order to respond, we must look together at the theology we Iearned. And we must cqntrast it with the moral theology of other ages in the Church. If we think back to the kind of theology of the Christian !ife that we studied in the past, I believe we can fairly characterize it as being focused on how we ought to behave, on what things we ought to do and what things we ought not to do. It attempted to be very clear, very scientific, very precise in specifying the values that individual acts have, the disvalues that they have. lt was very closely connected to canon law, to civil ' society. And its prevailing language law, to the public order of was the language of obligation. That is the moral theology that we Iearned and that was taught until very recently. However, this was not always the moral theology of the Church. For the better part of the history of the Church it was


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53

not the way the Christian life was understood at ali. In fact, most scholars would date the very creation of the field of moral theology in the 16th century. Prior to that, for the first threequarters of the life of the Christian faith, the separate and sysematic science of moral theology simply did not exist. Why, th en, did we suddenly get a moral theology? And, indeed, this particular kind of moral theology? The answer to this question requires sorne nuancing ta be thoroughly accurate. But the facts are not betrayed by a quite simple initial response¡: we got it because of the Protestant Reformation. Let me illustrate what I mean. Ask any man who has been in military service, particularly if he has fought in a hattie zone, and he will tell you. that in a "war" situation the lux ury of individual opinion, of discussion ar.d speculation, of diversity and disparit.l' simply cannat be tolerated. When one is under attack, everyone must act together and act the same. There must be dependability, unanimity, uniformity. In the sixteenth century, in a certain sense at !east, the Church was under attack. Because of the Reformation which occurred first in nm¡thern Europe and then a little later in England, the Roman Catholic Church felt very muèh under attack, in a hattie. The Council of Trent, indeed, was called largely to deal with that hattie. And it dealt with it very weil, at !east for the short terrn. Because of the needs of the time the Council insisted on a very objective and very clear kind of moral theology, just as it insisted on a very clear and uniform dogrnatic theology. Trent in effect said: "We can't waste a lot of time talking about the deeper dimensions of what it means to be a Christian. We can't afford to philosophize about it ali. This is how we must live.... " The Council established seminaries to see that ali priests would be taught this clear and consistent doctrine. And conoequently, iJ, a seminary environment the separate field of moral theology arase. When the field arose, when a certain body of people said "we are moral theologians," packed their books, and moved into the classroom building, it is interesting to note where they went. They did not go to the floor where the dogmatic theologians sat. They did not join together with the ecclesiologists or the theologians of grace. No, because their primary concern (and the concern of their age) was the


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development of clear and concise guides to behavior, they went "upstairs" with the canon lawyers and the liturgica] rubricists. They joined with others who were concerned with ¡objective behavior-control, they made their bond there, and they stayed there. Indeed, as recently as a decade ago, the curricula of most seminaries still grouped moral theology not with systematic theology but with canon law and rubrics. Now perhaps this is not an altogether bad state of affairs. This conception of moral theology has, after ali, served us relatively weil. But it is not, and here is the fact that is sometimes a bit difficult for us to understand and accept, it is not the kind of moral theology, the kind of vision of the Christian !ife, that we find in scripture and the early centuries of the church. And so if renewal means in moral theology what it meant in scripture studies and dogmatic studies, namely, returning to the sources, then moral theology is going to have to change like those other fields changed. Let us consider sorne examples. When we look through the New Testament, we do indeed see occasional emphasis on the behavior that the Christian must have. We can hear Jesus assert that "by their fruits you will know them," that "no good tree bears bad fruit, no bad tree bears good fruit." We can hear him say to the woman caught in adultery, "go and sin no more." And we can occasionally watch St. Paul deal with concrete moral problems in this community or that in very specifie ways. But while we find sorne discussion along those !ines, it is by no means the major emphasis in the New Testament. Far more we find in the New Testament an emphasis on the interior !ife, on the spirit of the Christian, on his attitudes and moods and convictions. From the very beginning of the syuoptic gospels we hear this theme empliasized. John the Baptist appears and what does he say? '"Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand." Be <:onverted, accept metanoia, which is the Greek word for repentance. Metanoia does not mean to change one's behavior. It does not mean to do this rather than that. It means to turn one's whole !ife around, Conversio, to see !ife differently, to appreciate it and understand ¡it differently, to be a different sort of person. Jesus speaks about th at repentance himself, and he links it


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to the kingdom of God. But really the kingdom of God is the reign of God, the rule of God, the power of God which touches men's inner lives and transforms them. Or again, if St. Paul talks about laws sometimes, and he does, ali the more does he talk about the law of the Spirit, the inn er law, the law of freedom that should characterize us as Christians. Spirit with a capital "S" and spirit with a small ·s: a certain spirit, élan, attitude,-mood, vision. And, of course, St. John, through ali of his writings, the gospel and the epistles, over and over again returns to the central theme of love. And love is, after ali, not an action in itself, but rather a way of doing ali the actions that we do. The point of ali these examples is very simple--and very important. If the renewal of moral theology really involves a return to the sources, a return to the earliest vision of the Christian !ife, then it is and must be a return to the primacy of interiority. lNTERIORITY

The manuals of moral theology that we studied of old used to habitually distinguish the science of moral theology into two parts. They would discuss objectivemorality: the naturallaw, positive laws, laws of the church, laws of the state. They would talk about subjective m01·ality: sin and virtue, conscience and freedom, and nature of man, the human act. And occasionally in one or another of these manuals you would see the question asked: which of these two topics, objective morality or subjective morality, is primary? Sorne ma nuais asserted that the objective was primary. Sorne tried to strike a balance and say: "they go together, they are interconnected." And sorne said, softly and a little hesitantly, that the subjective realm was primary. But what theologians are doing today is to assert very honestly, very forthrightly, very emphatically · that the 'subjective is primary. In the Christian !ife as we see it presented in the New Testament, as we see it portrayed through most of the church's history, there is a clear and overwhelming primacy of the subjective, primacy of interiority. Now with this as our context I would like to share a number of very specifie ideas that are being developed in moral theology today, ideas which help us to appreciate that subjective realm in ourselves and in the people we deal with. These ideas


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have to do with who man is. They have to do with what sin is and what virtue is. And they end up contributing sorne new terminology to our understanding. WHO AM

1?

So if moral theology today is asserting to primacy of the subjective, then it is asserting that we must start our Christian reflections with man. So 1 ask you and 1 ask myself: who is man? Weil, we are men, men and women. We are human persons. So the question we are really asking is : who are we? Who am 1? Let me speak in the first person singular. Who am 1? The old textbooks of moral theology told me that 1 am an agent, an actor, a doer of dÊeds. They told me; in fact, that 1 am practically identical with the things 1 do, that if you want to know me, you try to know what 1 do and how 1 doit. You observe me. Recall that the manuals always started the very first page with the question: what is the human act? The implication was that if we know what a human act is, we know what a human being is. A man is what he does. Who am 1? Weil, 1 am a human agent, an actor. 1 do many things. But when 1 look at myself in the mirror, and in the mirror of my experience, 1 say that 1 am more than that. 1 am an agent, but 1 am also a persan. 1 have an identity which precedes and remains after the deeds that 1 do. My actions are important to me because they are my actions. They are rooted in and they express the persan that 1 am. 1 am not an ephemeral being who maves from this task to that, from this occupation to that, who passes and is transformed in the different things he does. Rather, 1 am something that perdures, something relatively permanent, something solid, rocklike. 1 have an identity. My identity is not apart from my actions, of course. What 1 do helps to make me who 1 am. And in fact there is no moment in my life when 1 am doing nothing. Still, my experience of myself is that unless 1 acknowledge this deeper personhood, 1 have not really seen and known myself. Who am 1? 1 am ¡a being who knows, and the manuals of theology always emphasized that. They talked a great deal about knowledge, cognition. 1 am a man who kno\VS and who


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knows many things rather clearly, with consciousness, with retlection, with self-awareness. But who am I? My experience tells me, my insights into myself tell me, that I have a deeper kind of knowledge, too. It cannot be articulated in words, it cannot be captured in concepts. It is a more mysterious kind of knowledge, Jess tangible. It is a certain self-awareness we spoke of earlier, an awareness of that identity, that sense of personhood. This deeper knowledge is, to be sure, different than the knowledge that scientists and technologists emphasize. But once again, my feeling is that if it is ignored or misunderstood the reality that I am has been short-circuited. Who am I? I am a being who has freedom. This is the other characteristic that the man uals mentioned. And they were l'ight. I have freedom of choice in many, many matters. I dv this or that. And I feel relatively free to choose. I am not too sure how free I am; there are so many influences affecting me. But there is a certain amount of freedom of choice (liberun~ arbitrium, Augustine called it), and I carry it with me as 1 select among the available options in my Jife. But again I look at my experience, and I say that this is not ail I am; that I have also a different, deeper kind of freedom. What is most important to me is not that I choose this or that, but that I choose to exist, or at least that 1 choose to continue to exist. As 1 grew into adulthood, it now seems, what 1 really was involved in was the process, the challenge of choosing myself. Of either saying yes or no to what I am. Saying yes or no . to the world in which I live. In sorne deep and rather mysterious sense, the process of my becoming an adult was a process of saying yes or no to reality. This freedom that I sense in my self, I do not know it clearly. It is too deep for th at ki nd .of knowledge. ·But J do know it sm·ely. And as I know it, this freèdom is something that transcends ali the individual choices that I make. 1t transcends that liberum arbitrium. And so it rings true with my experience when I see theologians today speaking of "transcendental freedom." In a sense this transcendental, deep-down freedom to say yes or no to reality is what m·akes man different than animais. -


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Let us pull this view together. What I am suggesting in sketching this contrast between what the manuals said and what is being said today is a distinction between a two-dimensional and a three-dimensional view of man. The métaphor that seems right to describe the teachings of the manuals is a two-dimensional metaphor: length and width. As we reàd the manuals we sense a man who "has parts," who can do different things, can go from left to right, from front to back, so to speak. But we always sense that he is also a man who "just lives," who simply does the things that he does, sorne of them good and sorne of them bad. There is, throughout these writings, a prevailing sense of flatness, a two-dimensional view of man. What moral theology is saying today, as it renews itself little by little, is that man is a three-dimensional being. He has length and width (the manuals were not wrong), but he also has depth. He is a many-layered being. The various parts of his !ife, the deeds that he does, the motives that he holds, the feelings that he experiences, the neuroses that affect him, ali of these are as so many layers sun-ounding the central core that is the person himself. Excuse the image, but it seems that man is very mu ch like an onion. So many layers, none of which can exist without the others, none of which can stand by itself, but each of which is somehow different. At the most extreme outer layer ihere is something the manuals might have called the "act of man" with its Iaà: of freedom: sleepwalking, doing something purely out of habit. Beneath that outer edge," that outer skin, we find numberless other layers of our personhood, each with increasing knowledge, richer freedom. And at the very center of the onion, where the persan lives in its purity, we find the "!," me. We find that part of me that cannot really be looked at because it is I myself, but which I am aware of. Here is the place where I have that transcending kind of freedom, that just says yes or no. And then coming back out from that "l" there is "mine.'' My moods, my attitudes, my feelings, my body, my deeds, my possessions, my friends, and finally whàt can only in sorne mysterious sense be called my world.


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This is the view of man proposed by contemporary moral theology. And if this view of man is true, if it captures our experience of ourselves more fully, then it means that our understandin¡g of our life as Christians is going to have to be different, too. It is stiJl true, no doubt, that my actions have meaning in themselves. After all, the things that I do may have effects that I do not even anticipate, or what, or expect. So the actions that I do have a life somehow their own. StiJl, inasmuch as my actions are human actions, this new view is going to say that the most important. thing about them is whether they really come from the heart of me. It is the persona] appropriation of my life that makes a difference. It is the degree to which the things that I do penetrate to the heart of the person that I am that finaUy lends my behavior ~ignificance. FUNDAMENTAL STANCE

Now let's move along from this general view and try to draw forth sorne implications. I am an adult. I am a particular person. I have an identity. I am someone and not everyone. And indeed I am no one but me. I am a particular sort of person who has already said either yes or no to the world. I stand in a particular way to myself, to the world, to reality. In other words, underneath all the things that I do that manifest me in one way or another, there is a "fundamental stance" in my ]ife. Not a neutra] stance, for everyone stands somehow to the world, everyone assumes an identity, a selfhood, a personhood that has one shape or another. Children may be neutra], they may just simply live at the surface of life bouncing from action to action¡. But is it not our experience, our expectation, that to be an adult is to have taken charge of one's life, to have taken it in, to have made it one's own? And so this fundamental stance is something we ali have. And when ali is said and done, when we eliminate ali the slight differences in our various stances, there really are only two sorts of stances. One's stance is either yes or no. To what? Y es or no to life, myself. reality, Cod. The stance didn't always exist. I just intimated that children do¡not seem to have it. And so it must have come to be at sorne time. I must have assumed this stance sometime. I must have opted for it. And


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so we can speak with understanding and with appreciation of a "fundamental option." Now, there is the term we have ali heard.. I t is thrown around ·so mu ch. But it seems to me, as I talk with people and as I listen to them use this term, that its use far exceeds its understanding. And so that is why I held off introducing it till now. What is a fundamental option? lt is nothing more than the moment at which I chose to be the kind of person that I am. lt is not something that I did with a consciousness and a reflection. I did not go home one day and say "I will be this kind of person." I did not close my eyes and bunch up my brow and tense my muscles and "opt away." For as I suggested very early in this article, to say that there is a person beneath my action is not to say that I ever exist apart from actions. I am never doing nothing. So I went about my life making choices, the choices the manuals talked about, the choices of this or that. And within these actions, beneath them and coming through them, I chose· the kind of person I wanted to be. And at sorne point, a point I probably never can specify with any precision, I chose to be this kind of person. I chose to be me. And in that choice I either said that I accept and will live with myself and my world, or in a very deep and mysterious way I said I will fight myself and my world. I said yes or no. I can change this 5tance of mine, of course. I can niake a new fundamental option. It is. not permanent, it is not definitive. But it is real. That is what the common idea of fundamental option means. But let us niove another step. We are talking about who I am. And we are now saying I am a person clothed in action, and ·that this person .is a particulat· sort of person holding a particular sort of stance in the world. I now want to suggest as an added insight thatt his stance of mine is a fragile kind of thing. And also that the relationship between the stance that I have and the things that I do, the relationship between person and action, is a fragile kind of thing. There is a fatal flaw in man. Or at !east to keep the persona! mode that we were in earlier, there is a fatal flaw in me. 1 am not totally in touch with myself. My experience of myself is that this identity that 1 ·have, 1 barely have. My hold on myself, that stance that I hàve assumed, is a tenuous thing. 1 can change it al-

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most before I want to. I am not firmly and emphatically and pennanently this kind of persan. Rather I am tentatively and hesitantly and nervously this .kind of persan. What is more, when 1 take these actions of mind and when I use them to try to express who I am as a persan, when 1 try to be myself through the things that I do, I find that I 'do not always succeed. Sorne people will say that the actions men perform are sacraments of their personhood. And that is true, somewhat. The way I behave in a symbol, a sign of my selfhood. And rather likĂŠ the sacraments of the church, the deeds that I do are signs that tend to make me myself more and more. They tend to effect what they signify. But my experience also is that my actions, more often than 1 would like to admit, contradict the persan that I am. As near as I can tell, 1 have chosen to be a good persan, somehow caring for my fellowman, searching for fidelity and honesty, truthfulness and love. And yet in a strange, contrary, frustrating way, many, many of my actions do not exhibit those virtues at ali. If we can speak again of that onion we are talking about, a lot of the things that I do do not come from the very center. They do not emerge, surge forth, from the pers<m that 1 am. Rather they come from sorne of those more superficial layers. They come from an outer layer of myself. And they contradict me. The Church has had a very traditional and ancient tenn for this fatal tlaw, this dis-integration, separation with myself: original sin. Original sin is nothing more or less than the fact of my inability to completely take hold of ,myself, my inability to be myself, the burden that I fee! in myself of becoming slowly, only with great lobor,.only with many failures. Original sin. So we finally get to the word sin. People ask so often, "why doesn't anyone talk of sin anymore?" Well, I shall. In fact for the remainder of this article I would like to focus on sin and focus on its opposite: virtue. For to talk of sin and talk of virtue is to talk about this man that we have been trying to understand. It is to talk about you and me. What is sin? Sin is sim ply the fact of alienation. The fact of alienation from .God, from my neighbor and, most paradoxically, from myself. It is that no that we werc talking about. That refusai to be who 1 am, to be in the world that 1


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inhabit, to be related to my Creator and to my fellow beings. Sin is a state or a fact of alienation within the person. For an adult, then, sin is freely chosen alienation. We were saying that to be an adult seems to mean having taken charge of one's !ife. To be an adult is to be responsible, accountable for one's self. So to be an adult involves either sin or virtue in that it involves taking charge of myself and either saying yes to !ife, to the world, to myself, or saying no. As 1 have been defining sin 1 have really implicitly been defining what we have traditionally called morta! sin. Even St. Thomas said that morta! sin is the only kind of sin that really deserves the name. One is either a person in alienation, a person rejecting relationship, union, intimacy, or else one is a person accepting those. And that is morta! sin versus the state of grace. FURTHER QUESTIONS

Let me ask a series of questions now, by way of moving towards a conclusion, questions that 1 have heard people ask me. These questions and their answers 1 think clarify the view of man that we have been developing. And they help us to understand its influence on our vision of the Christian !ife and on the development of moral theology. The definition that 1 just gave, "a state of alienation," is the definition of morta! sin. And what is venial sin? Very sim ply, venial sin is the choice that 1 make with sorne freedom, sorne awareness, to do something which seems to me not right .. But it is a choice that does not come from the heart of me, but rather cornes from one or another of those more superficial layers. It is in sorne sense an offhanded thing. Weil, then, another question. What makes a sin morta! or venial? What is the difference between the two? The ma nuais sometimes suggested, though not ali of them did, that the difference between morta! and venial sin was the difference in the gravity of the matter, the "big dealness" of whatever we were doing. Theologians today would not say that, and 1 think that we must be clear on this. The difference between morta! and venial sin is purely and simply the difference between an action which expresses and affirms who 1 am as a person and an action which does not.


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Either the choice that 1 make in a particular moral moment is an affirmation not only of this thing outside, this deed to be done, but also of the person, the doer of the deed, or it is not. If it is that kind of self-affirmation within an action, gloved in a deed, then it is a morta! sin or, if you will pardon the expression, a morta! act of virtue. On the other hand an action may not have that profundity. lt may not carry that baggage. And if it does not, it is venial, light. So the difference between morta! and venial sin is the difference in the degree of persona! penetration of the things that 1 do. The degree of persona! involvement, persona! self-affirmation. A wife who cares for her husband, who is that sort of person, nonetheless does a cruel and vicious thing. She knows it is wrong. She does it with sorne knowledge, sorne freedom. But it doesn't involve a deep change in her overall attitude toward him. That is a venial sin. But again the wife does the same thing and it carries more meaning. She does not rellect on it, it is not that kind of technological knowledge. But beneath the categorical freedom, the freedom of choice involved in this thing that she does, her transcending, deeper freedom is saying "1 will be the kind of person who does not carE>." And that is a morta! sin. But then another question. If that is true, what do the lists of sins that we have seen ali through our lives ¡really mean? Examinations of conscience and moral textbooks often gave us lists saying "these are grave and these are light." Sorne of those writings even said "these are morta! sins and these are venial," and if they used that latter terminology, they were quite in error. But what I now want to suggest is that those lists do have a meaning. For as we have said over and over, the person that I am and the deeds that I do always go together. I am never doing nothing. Thus the manuals were at !east half right in saying that a man is his deeds, his actions. I do not go around making deep identity decisions about my life on the spur of the moment. No, it is far more likely that a choice of the kind of person I want to be will occur in the midst of an intrinsically important action. And so what those moral lists of sins are saying is that the following deeds that a man can do have considerable intrinsic significance. They are big actions, and therefore there is a presumptive kind of prob-


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ability that someone who does these will in that moment not just be choosing this or that action but rather will be choosing to be this or that kind of person. And simÜarly, on the other side of the page, these lista are saying that the following actions are not so significant in an objective sense. And consequently they are far Jess likely to be the occasion of a deep persona! choice. The lista of actions then, are designed to give us a presumptive understanding of what is involved in the human choice. · Another question. If a morta! sin or morta! act of virtue, (isn't it strange we have no term for that?) is something that takes place very deep within me and indeed at a leve! where I can only be self-aware and not clearly and calculatedly knowing, then do I ever know for sure if an action that I have done is morta! or venial? The answer is no. I never know for sure, I never know with real clarity. St. Paul said, in his letter to the Corinthians, "I will not pass judgment on myself. True my conscience does not reproach me àt ali, but that does not prove that I am acquitted. The Lord alone is my Judge. He willlight up ali that is hidden in the clark and he will reveal the secret intentions of men's hearts. And when he does that will be the time for each one to have whatever praise he deserves. (1 Cor. 4 :5) ." What Paul is saying and what has actually been consistent teaching through most of the Church's history is that no man has a clear and convincing and provable knowledge of his moral state in the world. True, we have a certain hint, a presumptive kind of knowledge. If most of the deeds that I do are deeds of generosity and care, of interest and concern, then it is more than likely, indeed it is overwhelmingly likely, that my Îundamental stance is positive. And if, on the other hand, the bulk of the data reveals me to be selfish, cruel, uncaring, then the presumption lies in the other direction. StiJl we never know for absolutely · sure where we stand with God, and that is where the virtue of hope cornes in. Can man really commit a morta! sin? I think so. And 1 think people do. I think people choose to reject !ife in many subtle ways, but in ways that carry deep meaning for them. But I do not think they do it often, and neither do most theoiogians today. The challenge of our !ife is not a challenge to


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be ritually pure and perfect in every respect. Rather, the chailenge is to seek to become a kind of person that we want to be, that we were meant to be, and that God and the world cali us to be. But this is not the kind of thing that is done with calculation. The view of man that we have been considering makes clear that we can't judge any man's moral state with-certitude. Not our neighbor~s. not our own. But for ali that, the challenge is stiJl real. And it makes the Christian !ife very rich, indeed. CONCLUSION

Let's conclude now. What's the point? What was the goal for ali these retlections? Weil, in a certain crass sense, the goal was the concept of fundamental option. But to just present that, as I hope you can see now, would be to cheapen the idea a great, great deal. The concept of fundamental option, the term and the jargon that is thrown around, is rooted in what is the real point of moral theology as it renews itaelf today. And that is a new appreciation of man, of you and me. It is an appreciation of the intricacy that is involved in the human person. And .in the last analysis it is an appreciation of the mystery that we are as men and women. The gospels make very clear, and for most of the history of the church \Ve have known qui te weil, that the Christian life is primarily a matter of interiority. It is a matter of attitude, posture, vision, commitment. Christian life is a matter of how I am as a person with God, with my neighbor and with myself. The Christian life is a matter of sin and virtue, but precisely because sin and virtue are matters of interiority, too. It is a sort of intlammatory statement to put it this way, but ~ hope the sense of it is clear in the context of this article: in a very real sense no-thing is a sin. Sorne things are gravely wrong. And indeed if I am really sincere, if I hold the positive fundamental stance in my !ife, I am going to be very concerned to find out what things are gravely wrong, what things really hurt people, and I am going to try very hard not to do them. Objective morality will be important for me. But there is no thing that is a sin, for sin is a state of the person. And so inasmnch as the Christian life is a matter of interiority,


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it is a matter of sin and a matter of virtue. It is a matter of man; Long ago Shakespeare had Hamlet say the words that have been endlessly quoted: "To be or not to be, that is the question." . And he is right. The question in !ife is who to be, whether to be. And if that is the question in a play and the question in !ife, it is the question in Christian morality. And it is clearly seen today in this just-renewing-itself moral theology as the key question. To gain an understanding of the renewal of moral theology which is occurring today is not easy. But this is not because of new vocabulary and new definitions. Rather it is because of a new understanding, a 'new vision. And it is that basic insight of contemporary moral theology, an insight which is actually as old as the Church, which we have tried to lay out here. 'l'he demands placed upon those who seek to preach the Gospel today or who seek to teach the faith are great. We have to develop in ourselves a riclmess of understanding and a fullness of appreciation. Mounting formulas simply will not work. Employment of jargon will not meet the needs of the People of God. The only thing that will succeed will be a description that arises from the speaker's own persona! understanding. What must we do? W e must try to grasp the point of the renewal in moral theology. \Ve must refocus ourselves and our understanding of the moral !ife. We must direct our attention to the primacy of interiority, we must see the person with his ongoing identity as central, and we must locate all the other aspects of the moral !ife in terms of this basic insight. If we succeed in doing this, theology may actually fulfill its potential and exercise its vocation. lt may actually illuminate and enrich and guide the faith-experience of God's people. And that would be good for us ali.


Agnes Cunningham, sscm

Theo/ogy and Humanism: Newman Revisiied Newman's humanism is paradoxical for it reftects the essential mystery at the heart of the human person.

Among the severa! events which will occasion visits to Rome during the course of the Roly Year, one is of singular interest to a growing number of theologiims throughout the world. This is the Cardinal Newman Academie Symposium, scheduled for April 3-8, 1975. The theme of the symposium, "Newman's Realisation of Christian Life," carries ecclesiological, spiritual and humanistic overtones. The lectures announced for the conference have been proposed, it would seem, in view of this triple dimension, so frequently disregarded in earlier Newman studies. Of particular significance, in the light of the recently 1·enewed appreciation· of the Fathers of the Church, is the topic to be addressed by Vincent F. Blehl, S.J.: "Patristic humanism of Newman." Indeed, Newman is generally recognized as an outstanding humanist. The study by Francis Hermans (L'Histoire doctrinale de l'h,tmanisme chrétien. 4 vols. Paris: Tournai, 1948) presents Newman as the crown in a long Iine of Christian humanists, dating from Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499), ali of whom walked--consciously or not-in the footsteps of Clement of Alexandria (Hermans, vol. 1, p. 204). This work. in its discussion of Newman as humanist, is far from exhaustive. Newman's debt to John Colet, rather than to More, through the Cambridge Platonists, has yet to be explored. There is need, · also, to move beyond Hermans' concept of Newman as a "peda67


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gogue" of Christian humanism to a more theological perspec_tive (cf. Hermans, vol. 3, Le Plein Jour). The suggestion of a patristic 1nfluence on Newman's humanism, as indicated in the title of Blehl's lecture, can only be well-founded. Through Newman's own admission, we know that it was the great Alexandrians, Clement and Origen, whose "broad philosophy" opened his understanding to a vision of the "exterior world, physical and historical" as the manifestation of "realities greater than itself" (Apologia pro vita sua. London: Longmans, Green and Company, 1891; pp. 26-27). As he followed the "contrary destinies of two great saints and dear friends," Basil and Gregory Nazianzen, Newman was struck by the spiritual and human qualities that united them in intimacy and separated them in estrangement (Hwto1·ical Sketches, Vol. II. London: Pickering and Company, 1881; pp. 3, 50-74). His love and admiration were kindled for John Chrysostom who, "possessed though he be by the fire of divine charity ... has not !ost one fibre ... does not miss one vibration, of the complicated whole of human sentiment and affection ... " (Ibid.; pp. 286-287). • A serious discussion of the "patristic humanism of Newman," then, is timely. Just as timely, it would seem, is a consideration of the theological elements which underlie this humanism. To what extent does Newman's articulation of his experience as a Christian in the world affirm the relationship between theology and humanism? How germane are Newman's theological intuitions to the discussion in which both Christians and other humanists are engaged today, regarding the possibility of a Christian humanism? Does Newman, in fact, speak to the contemporary Christian who seeks to come to terniS with the phenomenon of secularity without beco"\ing a servant of Mammon rather than of God and without compromising his spiritual integrity? These· are the questions that will facilitate a search for a theology of Christian humanism in the !ife and thought of ,John Henry Newman. The search for a theology of Christian humanism must necessarily be phrased in terms of human beings. The specifie question of the relation between theology and humanism must be asked out of con cern for the human person. "No philosophy," Luijpen points out (Phenomenology and Humanism, William


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A. Luijpen. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Duquesne University Press, 1966; p. 151), "can justly be called a humanism if it does not do justice to the full reality of human subjectivity.'~ The salient points in a doctrine of atheistic humanism, according to John J. McMahon ("What does Christianity add to Atheistic Humanism ?" Cross Currents. Spring, 1968), are the identification of a World View, of a position regarding Man in the World and of a statement on the Future of Man. Man, his nature, his destiny and his view of that world which is his existential locus must be acknowledged as primary, if we are to speak of humanism at ali. SOME PRINCIPLES

Newman devoted no theological treatise to the question of humanism as it might relate to the Christian doctrine of man. However, his own life-style and attitudes implicitly affirmed a numbet¡ of principles which allow for the reconciliation between a genuine celebration of man and his world and the transcendent, supernatural dimension in which he so firmly believed. The principles which derive from the life and views of Newman might be expressed in the following terms: 1) the human dimension¡ is related essentially, that is, -organically-necessarily-to the Christian; 2) the Christian life does not imply mere toleration of the human, after the Platonic notion of "matter" as inferior to "spirit"; 3) the possession of intellect ua] truth and persona] development through refinement of personality constitute the goals of human existence; 4) these goals are achieved and fnlfilled along with and by means of realization of the goal of the Christian li fe as revealed in Scripture; 5) the means of realizing these goals are found in four situations: a) man's dynamic presence in history; b) his ac. tivity in the present, actual world; c) his contacts with other human beings; d) his continned pursuit of the Gospel ideal, that is, of the evangelical way of life. 6). The impediments to the achievement of these goals are the result of the evil tendencies found within man himself: pride and selfishness on the persona] leve!; estrangement from God and opposition to the kingdom of Christ on the leve] of "society." ln other words,


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Newman's theology of the human rests on the fundamental principle that the fulfillment of the Christian goal of !ife must be accomplished in harmony with and by means of the realization of the human goals (Cf. "Towards a Theology of Christian Humanism," Agnes Cunningham, sscm. Unpublished doctoral cl.isseratation; pp. 117-120). At first glanee, these principles would seem to point to a strong affirmation on Newman's part of the relationship between theology and humanism. Unfortunately, as it stands, this statement is incompatible with the essential definition of "humanism." Difficult as it is to define in its multiple modesreligions or literary, Classical or Renaissance, Marxist or secular, atheistic or "supernaturalized,"-humanism evokes. general agreement on the fundamental concept that man, in so far as he w man, is the center of interest, the subject of reference, the norm by which ali things in this universe are measured. (Cf; L'humanisme, Essai de definition. Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1946). Humanism looks out upon reality from the viewpoint of man. It judges all it perceives in terms of man. It affirms and celebrates man: his powers, his activity and the fruit of his endeavors. Humanism recognizes the value of things to the degree th!lt they contribute to the development and the progress of man. I ts scope embraces man's time, his history and his achievements. Everything has meaning in the light of its relation to man. There is a prima facie difficulty which becomes evident, then, as soon as the suggestion of a Chrwtian humanism is introduced. Christianity neces'Sarily implies the transcendent. Ultimately, man and the world which surrounds him find their deepest meaning not in man himself, but in something beyond man: in that reality which has traditionally been called the supernatural, in God. We can invoke the Incarnation with its fullest existential implications, but we can never deny that God became man in order to draw humanity to Himself and to raise it above the, human. We must seriously ask, then, if the human dimension is not somehow annihilated by this very fact. In other words, is it possible to bring a "closed" and an "open" humanism together (cf. Le conflit actwÚ des humanwmes, A. Etcheverry, S.J. Paris: Bibliothèque de Philosophie Contemporaine, 1955)?

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NEWMAN

71 THE ÜRIGINS OF "HUMANISM"

The term "humanism" has existed only since the nineteenth_ century, but Newman would have been weil acquainted with the phenomenon to which it refers. As Werner Jaeger has demonstrated (Paideia, the Ideal of Greek Culture. [trans. Gilbert Highet]. New York: Oxford University Press, 1945), the concept can be traced historically to the world of antiquity. Paideia was understood differently by Sophists and by those who opposed Sophist humanism-Socrates, Plato and Aristotle -although both persuasions were founded on the same rationalistic basis. The dcepest roots of that humanism which Newman would have espoused, however, seem to lie in the distant era of quasiuni versa] spiritual vitality, the sixth and fifth centuries before the Christian era, with the Pre8ocratics, those philosophers of nature whom Augustine was la ter to cali the fi1·st Greek Philosopher-Theologians (Cf. A la naissance de la theologie, Werner Jaeger. Paris: Les Editions du Cerf, 1966). If Protagoras (fifth century B.C,) taught that "man is the measure of ali things," the Presocratic tradition was to find its most faithful expression in the Platonic statement that, "the veritable excellence of man is assimilation to God." If humanism argues that the uni verse is anthropocentric, Greek paideia affirms that God is the center of the human world. Prior to the appearance.of Christianity, Plata was to give the name of ''theology" to that Philosophical Religion of the Pure Mind which issued from the crisis of the Greek cultural ideal. The word "theology," itself, resulted from an attempt to express by means of reason or logos the reality which religion termed theos. Thus, the initial relation of theology to humanism came with the inauguration in man's intellectual !ife of a new form of rational encounter with the superhuman world. The first intuitions of Newman's theology of the human were stin·ed through his contacts with primitive Christianity, under the important influence of Clement of Alexandria, whose distinctive characteristic was the recognition of the relationship between Christian faith and· the world of Greek philosophy and culture. For Clement, philosophy was a gift of God. He formulated his own eclectic doctrine, a lifeview of varied and


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multiple "wisdoms" (Cf. Apologia, pp. 26-27). Newman found that the "broad philosophy" of Clement confirmed his view of a world in which the natural and the supernatural are related planes in one divine system and where the "central question bears on what man really is and on his destiny" (Ibid., p. 6). Newman saw the human dimension as an essential factor of the Christian !ife. He recognized that man has a body and a sou!, that he is a being of spirit and matter; nor did he advocate mere submission to or toleration of the human experience as a necessary, though inferior, means of realizing the Chris-. tian ideal. Newman believed that the goal of hu man !ife was the possession of intellectual truth in its integrity and the fulfillment of the truth of each individual through the perfection of his persona! self. He believed that this human goal is organically related to the message of Truth and the ideal of Holiness as revealed in Scripture. Pursuit of this truth and growth toward this perfection must constitute human endeavor during !ife. This goalâ&#x20AC;˘ is to be achieved through man's dynamic presence in time, through his activity in this world and through his contacts with other human beings. It is to\bc pcrfccted and fulfilled in the realization of the Gospel ideal. Newman was convinced that the fulfillment of the Christian goal of !ife must be achieved with an accompanying realization of the human goal of !ife. In other words, the pursuit of intellectual truth and of persona! perfection is, in some way for Newman, a condition of the achievement of .the Truth and Holiness of the Christian revelation. Newman affirmed that the human dimension is essential to the Christian !ife, in spite of the experience of man's intellectual and moral fraility which has fostered in the Christian tradition an attitude of caution and of distrust regarding the "here-and-now" orientation of humanism. Thus, Newman admitted that the effort to achieve a harmonious balance between the human and the Christian goals of !ife is not as easy task. Both intellectual and persona! truth can be at odds with the truth and holiness of revelation. Man tends to Jose himself in shadows and images, through the misuse or abuse of Reason. He tends to settle for a superficial peace and security rather than meet the challenge of !ife. Furthermore, men in "society" often militate against the search

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for truth on the part of individuals. Pride and selfishness become the control ling forces of Reason to make it an obstacle to the achievement of man's highest goal and an instrument of estrangement, finally, from God. To offset this, Newman advocated asceticism, to assure balance. He affirmed the value of the human without negating the transcendent character of the Christian \ife. He affirmed the interdependence of the Christian and ·the human without threatening the intrinsic worth of temporal experiences, earthly realities and human endeavor. Newman thought of \ife as a paradox which is intended to evoke both celebration and awe. It takes meaning from an orientation towards eschatological time, but its full significance requires the recognition of an actual, temporal value. These views and attitudes, along with the basic principles implicit in N ewman's persona! lifestyle, constitute a strong affirmation of the relationship between theology and humanism in the mi nd of the English Cardinal. They also direct us toward a number of theologica\ intuitions which must be taken into consideration in the elaboration of an authentic Christian humanism. A THEOLOGY OF INTEGRATION

From a study of Newman's five "constructive books" (The P1·ophetical Office; Essay on Justification; Deve/opment of Doctrine; University Lectures, [Dublin] ; Essay in Aid of a Gmmmm· of Assent), it is possible to formulate a theology of those realities which he saw as necessary for an integration of the human and the Christian. These realities were Creation, Anthropology, Salvation and the Eschata. · From N ewman's theology of creation cornes the affirmation that nature--human as weil as nori-human-with the entirety of the created universe in its historicity has been oood from the beginning. Al\ things have been created by the one God, source of ali creatures, of ali created realities. God is at hanc\ in His uni verse: "absolutely separate from the creature, yet in every part of the creation at every moment." Here, Newman addresses the question of Pantheism and the remote God of the Deists (The !dea of a Unive1·sity. London-New YorkToronto: Longmans, Green and Company, 1935; pp. 454, 455, 61, 452-454). The relation of the Christian to the human rests on their common origin, without negating the tension that


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must exist between what is sacred and what is profane. To those who would "divinize" ali or "humanize" ali, Newman proclaims a Gad, Creator, "above ali things, yet under every thing." In the "veil of the universe" and by means of the "merciful dispensations of Providence," man reads the challenge which his dynamic presence in history must bring to direct the flow of temporal events. The uni verse calis upon him to employ his talents and his intelligence in "creative" activity for the domination and perfection of the forces of the cosmos. Other men cali out to him as transmitters of reality in the experience of brotherhood, mutual cooperation and the conquest of error through shared pursuit of truth. The "concurrence" of man's activity with a God whose providences manifest His "implications" in the world and in time becomes the means for achieving the goals of existence. Newman has accorded an important place to the world in his statements about the human. He spoke of the world in terms that are both pessimistic and optimistic. His fundamental approach to it and his concept of it seem paradoxical. He was optimistic towards ali of creation, human as weli as non-human, because God had made it "very good." He was pessimistic toward this same creation inasmuch as it was encompassed by and identifiee! with what he called the "World," that is, with individu ais who constitute a "society" in estrangement from God, standing in opposition to Him and to the kingdom of His Christ. Newman's view of the world was bath positive and negative. In youth, as in old age, he recognized that it was, at one and the same time, a "False Prophet" and "God's grandeur." The Christian was to deny neither the one nor the other: His encounter with 'both was essential. Newman's theology of man cames to grips with the problem of evil in the world. The obstacles to man's realization of the goals of his existence stem from the tendencies inherent in his nature to follow the dictates of pride and selfishness. These lead to revoit, that is, to disobedience against the Creator; to estrangement from Him; to sin. For this reason, it is necessary to engage in a study of man. Through the principles of social and cultural anthropology, we can leam how to arrive at an understanding of the nature of man, of his potentialities, of his weaknesses. We come to recognize the goals of human


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existence and to appreciate the enrichment of man, the retinement of character. which they propose. Revelation crowns this image of man with a presentation of the traits of the "true ·christian." Theological anthropology points to the Fathers of the Church, to those saints in whose lives we can perceive the Christian ideal and that holiness of life which is proclaimed in the teachings of Christ. At times, . the true Christian cannot be distinguished from those who have, to sorne notable extent, achieved the human goals of life (Pm·ochial and Plain Sermons, 8 vols. London: Longmans, Green and Company, 1868-1869. IV, p. 243; I, p. 78; V, p. 162). Still it is through grace, that is, through the action of Christ, that human perfection is crowned, fulfilled and perfected.. It is through the grace of Christ that the evil of sin, man's work in the world when he follows his own pride and selfishness, is overcome. The goodness of created realities in a redeemed universe, where man is reconciled to harmony with all that is, through the work of the Atonement, is the th erne of N ewman's theo.. logical reflections on salvation. In the restoration and renewal of mankind, effected through Christ's atoning act, man is once more capable of taking his place in the world without fear of the menace which creatures present to one estranged floom God or to one whose heart is not set on Truth. In his sem·ch for the truth of each being, man sets himself towards the pursuit of Ultimate Truth. There is "coïncidence," "concurrence," "coalition," now between those goals which are, properly speaking, human and those which are his by reason of his participation in the Christian Mystery. In the poverty of Christ, the Christian sees the death of his own selfishness; in the humility of the Redeemer he sees the conquest of his pride. Faith becomes a light to his Reason as he progresses through each new aspect of truth to Integral Truth. Obedience to the Father, in Christ, leads him to subdue the "law in his members". which protests against the law of Christ. Salvation has been made possible through the Incarnation of the Son of God through whom a "new creation" has beenand is still being--effected, in favor of all humanity. Christ continues this work of restoration and of renewal in his Church. Through the Incarnation, matter is made "capable of


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sanctification." Through hig grace, Christ intends to "make us what He is Himself." This work is never fully achieved, but is always being completed because the Church exists in and beyond her members. The "World" is in the Church, to the extent that each of us is not yet totally redeemed. Once again, Newman affirms a paradox. Christianity is not a naĂŻve panacea denying the human condition. It is at one and the same time the supreme challenge and the means of responding to the challenge which is presented to every person by reason of existence itself. The historical reality of salvation leads Newman to conclude that Christianity is the religion of civilization. This is not to imply that Christianity is to be identified with the great central tradition of human civilization in the history of Western man. Rather, Newman sees a parallel development and a mutuai relationship of interdependence between these two dimensions. ln this development and interdependence, the providential order of history is revealed. While admitting that both ancient wisdom and scriptural revelation support his thesis th at "the many are bad" (cf. Certain Dijficnlties Felf, by Anglicans in Catholic Teaching Considered, 2 Vols. London: Basil Montague Pickering, 1876. I; p. 272), Newman affirms his optimism in regard to man in those social situations which are dispositive and preparatory for the Christian mystery. For Newman, man is social because he is historical. Through human endeavor to create a civilization and a culture worthy of the noblest aspirations, human beings contribute to the development of Christianity. To assure continued dynamic growth and development, man needs the message of revelation and the saving meditation of Christianity. It is for this reason that Christianity is "the religion of civilization." Salvation must always be available to the "many," ever capable of becoming the "World." THE ESCHATON

The central question in !ife for Newman was "what man really was, and what was his destiny." Newman grappled with the a.mbiguity and the mystery of man. He admitted his pessimism in the face of human sinfulness. He proclaimed his


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optimism in the presence of human nobility. In his attempt to answer the "central question," Newman came to see. that it is more than temporal exist.>nce which is a challenge to man. This universe has meaning for the world to come. This !ife carries significance for the "unseen state" yet to be. Newman cannot condone the attitude of th ose Christians who neglect temporal responsibility under pretext of the eschatological orientation of their lives. We do not know what is to come; we know very well wh at we are to be about, by reason as well as through revelation, in the present, actual hic-et-nunc. The !ife to come, however, is a true reality which we must be prepared to enter at any moment. Involvement in this world's activities is preparation and expectation for the coming of Christ. The pursuit of human goals contributes to the accomplishment of that singular goal whose splendor will be revealed when Christ has come to each of us, in final glory. The present order is to be embraced, explored, penetrated so that it may give forth the wealth of ali that is signified in its sacramental function (cf. Analogy of Religion Natural and Revealed to the Constitution and Course of Natw¡e, Joseph Butler. London: Crooks, ed., 1898. and .4pologia, p. 27). In his encounter and engagement with those beings and figures of a Reality which lies beyond them, man is etfectively in touch with that Reality, even while he knows that its fulness lies out of his reach until the End-Time. From his eschatological reflections, Newman derives motivation for a continuing pursuit of the elusive resolution of a fundamental paradox. The Christian is moving toward the End-Time. The humanist refuses to look beyond the here-and-now. The Christian humanist, in Newman's terms, must attempt to reconcile these two aims without ever neglecting one to the deteriment of the other. N ewman's paradox estifies to the "essential Mystery" of the Christian life and to its fundamental tension. NEWMAN AND TODAY'S HUMANISTS

A theology of Christian humanism might be expected to address Christians in su ch a way that their encounter with the human becomes a revelation and a transformation of the created order in which man experiences his historical situation.


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From this perspective, how credible is Newman's theology of the human? How valid is his doctrine for the twentieth-centm-y? A seemingly unlimited increase of confidence in man and in his ability to dominate the universe has characterized much of our present century. In response to this mood, ali contemporary humanisms-atheistic, rationalistic, idealistic-are unanimous in the daim that man must assume full responsibility for the organization of his life. Ail reference to a transcendent order threatens to reduce him to slavery and to despoil him of his true meaning. Ail transcendence, therefore, must be excluded. This position posits a challenge to the Christian who would defend his own humanism, for humanism in this mode questions the very possibility of coexisting in the same universe with Christianity. It would seem that even the most rigorous humanist could accept the positions taken by Newman in regard to human values. He was not an "ivory-tower" theologian. His insights are of importance as a guide to Christians, schooled to a tooexclusively transcendent orientation of life, for the fashion in which a dialogue with the non-Christian dimension can be pursued. He points the way .to an authentic celebration of the hu man, taking as point of departure the teachings of Faith. However, for the humanist, man's meaning, his nature and his destiny are situated not in relation to a "faith," but exclusively in nw,n. For Newman, this meaning resides beyond man, in God. The humanist who rejects Christianity will not be in disaccord ¡ with Newman's authentic position on the human, human activity and human values, as long as he is not confronted with sorne reference to the transcendent which so characterizes the thought of Newman. At this juncture, Newman's position will appear inadequate, because it is undeniably and always Christian. Newman's theology of Christian humanism is not fully credible to radical humanists today. Is it meaningful to those who daim to be Christian humanists? Newman speaks to Chris tians of every age of a way of !ife that affirms gospel meaning and envisions a more human mode of existence through the application of basic theological principles in a reas of specifie concern. The implementation of these


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norms and principles will differ as each Christian responds to the challenge of !ife in terms of his persona! gifts and talents, his background, his historical experiences, his education and his position in the Christian coimnunity. No one persan will be equipped or find it possible to address effectively every need of the hu man existential condition. A lifestyle that is faithfully Christian and authentically human is possible, Newman claimed, to the extent that Christians are able to integrate a certain number of values: values from an age when Christianity was almost naturally humanistic; values from an earlier age when humanism was almost naturally religious; values from that specifie culture and civilization which constitute every pcrson's existential coming-to-be. SOCIAL JUSTICE: AFFIRMING THE HUMAN

Newman found expression for his affirmation of the human through his understandinl(" of the role of the Christian in the sphere of social justice; of the function of education as a redemptive process; of the place of asceticism in the li fe of a humanist (cf. The Social lrnplications of the Ox.ford Movenâ&#x20AC;˘ent, William Geoi¡ge Pech. New York-London. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1933). A brief examination of this expression may help to clarify the importance of N ewman's doctrine for Christian !ife and service today. To state that Newman's attitude towards the social problems of his day was a result of his theology of the human is to propose a modest statement. He belonged neither to the social reformers nor to the Christian Socialists of his day. On the contrary, he has been accused of being one of the writers of the period who wrote with the most obvious unconsciousness of the existence of the lower classes. This accusation is especially pertinent to that time when Newman was associated with the Tractarians at Oxford in the 1830's. The social doctrine of this group stands in opposition to existing approaches to problems of their age. They looked upon such problems as implirated in the history of man's sinfulness. They addressed themselves to what they saw as the roots of the evil of their times. The message of the Tractarians called for a return to primitive, dogmatic, ascetic Christianity. Not ali of them were as


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convinced as was Newman that nothing of lasting value could be accomplished by a "system." He would never have claimed that his extensive activity in favor of the poor during the Birmingham years be considered a "social program." He envisioned a doctrinally-based approach to the social evils that followed in the wake of the Industrial Revolution in England. While remaining convinced that he was called to another field of labor in the kingdom, he was never indifferent to the social injustice of his century nor to the fact that the Christian was called to pursue a work of justice. Newman's persona! talents and ¡the early pattern of his !ife fitted him above ali for the intellectual world. In early manhood, he had seriously asked himself if holiness were compatible with the intellectual life. As he reflected on this question, he set out to reunite "things which were in the beginning joined together by God, and have been put asunder by man." He came to look on education as a redemptive process. Newman believed that any well-educated person would seldom go astray in the search for truth in its integrity. He was convinced that the well-educated Christian could be a bond between science and religion, assuring mutual benefits and advantage. He declared that the more a Christian was "human," through an education that embraced universal knowledge, the better Christian he would be. True education fosters and develops the ability to seek out existing relations between acquired facts, to analyze, develop and expand them. This "philosophie mind," as he called it, constitutes the "perfection of virtue of the intellect." It is the highest intellectual state possible to nature. Newman was convinced that a true education must be based on a knowledge of man's whole nature: moral, religions and physical. He believed that the attainment of the knowledge which he envisioned as its own end would spontaneously "fit men of the world for the world." He looked on education as one of those human means by which man combats the darkness of intellect which is his heritage from the Fall. However, he did not confound knowledge with virtue or refinement with humility. His view of the educational process as redemptive was founded on faith and presupposed participation in ecclesial !ife.


NEWMAN

81 A CONCEPT OF ASCETICISM

N ewman's concept of asceticism was consequent on his view of man, fallible and vulnerable in his pm¡suit of truth and justice. Asceticism enabled the Christian to encounter the created universe more freely, because it helpecl him to avoid sin. Asceticism, itself, was a humble acknowledgement on man's part of his sinfulness. lt was, further, a means of expiation for sinful infidelity. Newman attributed a functional role to ascesticism which purifies, renews and prepares us for the coming of Christ. Essentially, it consista in detachment, the unconditional surrender to Cod in those matters which each one knows in his own heart as the manifestations of pride and selfishness. Newman describecl the place of asceticism in the !ife of a humanist in at !east one telling passage: "Those who aim at perfection will not reject the gift, but add a corrective; they will add the bitter herbs to the fattecl calf and the music and the dancing; they will not refuse the ftowers of earth, but they will toi! in plucking up the weecls. Or if they refrain from one temporal blessing, it will be to reserve another; for this is the one great mercy of Gorl, that while He allows us a rliscretionary use of His temporal gifts, He allows a rliscretionary abstinence also; and He almost enjoins upon us the use of sorne, lest we should fo1¡get that this earth is His creation, and not of the evil one" (Se1-nwns Bearing on Subjects of the Day erl., Rev. W. J. Copeland. London: Longmans, Green and Company, 1869; p. 124). The identification of social justice, education and asceticism as significant implementations of Newman's theology of humanism is neither fully representative of him nor adequately directive for the contemporary Christian. His contrbution ta the dialogue between theology and humanism lies in his understanding that every "ordinary" Christian must have the possibility of growth so frequently accessible to only a minority. This contribution is enhanced by his search for a Christian anthropology, his orientation towards authentic celebration of the human and his insight into the sacramental function of the created universe, which is to be in sorne manner assimilated into the world to come. 1f the scholars at the Newman Symposium were ta probe


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"Newman's Realization of Christian Life" in terms of a possible theology of Christian humanism, they would most likely discover that his contribution remains generally intuitive, implicit and, in the last analysis, paradoxical. Newman speaks to the contemporary Christian at many levels. His message, undeniably, affirms and maintains a paradox. To suppress the paradox would be to deprive the Christian Iife "of its mysteriousness," that is, of its essential mystery, of the basic tension of its twofold orientation. We cannot say that it is valid to present a paradox as response to the distress and unrest of the contemporary Christian who seeks to celebrate the human, in fidelity to the gospel and in creative response to life. If we address ourselves to Newman, however, there is no other response.


Thomas J. Murphy

Sacramenls and Minislry

The priest's traditional role as minister of the sacraments may be a unique clue to priestly identity in today's Church.

No element of Church !ife has undergone such examination in the last ten years since Vatican II as has the Roman Catholic priest. He has been the subject and object of inquiries and questionnaires; the NCCB has commissioned and published the results of thorough historical, psychological and sociologi- \ cal studies; he. ~e!Cha,s looked intensely at his own meaning and role .. Vatican II laid the ground work for this unique search for the definition and role of the priest today. In the Constitutions on The Church, Litu1¡gy, and The Church in the Modern World, the role of the priest would be discussed and explained in the context of the Church and every facet of religions !ife. In the Decrees of Vatican II, his relationship to bishops, laity, and missionary activity would be expressed in words that have become part of the Catholic vocabulary--collaboration, witness, fraternity, accountability, professionalism and on and on 'and on. Vatican II's Decree on The Ministry and Life of the Priest} emphasizes that the- primary duty of the priest is to proclaim the Gospel of God to ali, to perform sacred functions, and to 83


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'1 gather together the family of God as a brotherhood.

Priests would be called upon to look once again at their relationships to their Bishops, to each other, and to the laity. The traditional approach to the !ife of the priest would be maintained in strong reminders to seek a !ife of perfection in the very sacred actions they would perform in the ministry they share with the Bishop and their fellow priests. An overall view of Vatican Il ten years later could easily suggest that the Council emphasized the Church as the People of God and explicitated the role and position of bishop and laity within that same People of God. These w:ere positive developments in an understanding of the Church. But as this understanding of the Church became more concrete, new insights would have to be given to the role of the priest. THE ROMAN SYNOD OF 1971

',

\ ( (

'

'

The Roman Synod of 1971 would offer new insights to the role of the priest by choosing the subject, of The Jf!inisterial Priesthood as the basis for its consideration. The crisis of the late sixties, with many priests choosing an alternate form of !ife-style and the beginning of the radical drop in vocations, could weil have prompted the choice of the topic for the 1971 Synod of Bishops' meeting. The response might be considered ¡ a cr1s1s response. However, it was not such. Instead, the Synodal Document examined and described the situation then existing; it raised questions of political and secular activity of the priest; it discussed celibacy in straight-forward and unequivocal terms; it called for the creation of Priests' Councils to assist the Bishop in his governance of a diocese. No one could question the fact that Rome had spoken with clarity of expression, though perhaps not ali 'wou Id agree with the conclusions. An examination of the document on The Ministerial Priesthood reveals the beginning of a dialogue which would raise and answer sorne of the questions on the role of the priest today. It states: "The Council emphasized the pre-eminence of the proclamation of the Gospel, which should lead through faith to the fullness of the celebration of the sacraments. But current thinking about the religious phenomenon fosters doubts


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in many minds concerning the sense of the sacramental and cultic ministry.. Many priests not suffering from a persona! identity crisis ask themselves another question: What methods should be used so that sacramental practice may be an expression of faith really affecting the whole of persona! and social !ife, in order that Christian worship should not be wrongly reduced to a mere external ritualism." (P. 3) For many reasons, the priest has traditiomilly envisioned his religious task in the context of the sacraments. Perhaps the time alone devoted to the administration of sacraments causes the emphasis on this dimension of priestly ministry. The seminary preparation for ordained ministry, moreover, hact m¡iented the priest towards this reality in his !ife. The administration of sacraments, as a unique role and privilege of the priest, and, in sorne instances, the unique rote of the Bishop, is the "job" of the priest in the minds of the laity. Y et the perfunctory attitude toward sacraments as external rituals, the occupational hazard of over-familiarity, the restoration of the permanent diaconate with the cteacons' doing so much of what the priest previously had done, the institution of lay ministries shared and exercised by men and women in parochial situations, and so many other instances of what is considered an invasion by sorne into a once private preserve of the priest--ali this, and more, has prompted the priest not only to ask "What do 1 do anymore?" but also "Who am 1?" THE SITUATION TODAY

The situation becomes more complex when attitudes of American Catholics are surveyed. Recent surveys ( C-ritic, Jan.-Feb., 1975) would lead us to believe that 50% of Catholics attend weekly Mass; 17% experience monthly confession ; only 22 o/o consider the Sun day homily as "excellent;" 48% describe the clergy as "very understanding ;" and only 50% would state that they would be p]eased if their son decided to become a priest compared to the 60% who would be very pleased if their son became a business executive or the 73% who preferred their sons to become college professors. These statistics affect the very !ife of the priest and the ministry he performs.


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Ali these factors combine to become somewhat demoralizing in the lives of Roman Catholic priests today, and especially the parish priest. It is no wonder that the "special assignment": has acquired even greater status than in previous years because it gives an identity to the priest as administrator, teacher, counsellor, social worker, etc. It is seemingly so much easier to perform the "sacred functions" on a part-time basis. It would seem that the "image" of the Catholic priest today is at a low ebb. Madison Avenue has entered the campaign for vocations by announcing loud and clear that "Father Smith is in jail tonight," or that "Father Jones is running a short order kitchen on Skid Row." In trying to find the "image" for the priest of the today, the unusual, the unique, the singular have been emphasized with the consequent Jack of any noticeable increase in the nu.mber of vocations and the average parish priest still searching and Iooking for the answer to his question" : "Who am I ?" This extended .introduction is written to set the stage for a description of the role of the priest as an administrator of sacraments. The celebration of sacraments is more than a cultic ministry; it is the touchstone for a faith relationship to significant !ife moments in the human experience of both the ordained minister and the People of God whom he serves. MINISTRY AND ORDAINED MINISTRY

First and foremost, the priest is an ordained minister. Ali Christians, by baptism, share in the exercise of ministry. As such, ali the baptized are ministers. But within the common task and responsibility of ministry introduced through the sacrament of Baptism and matured in Confirmation, there are those called literally to a precise dimension and experience of ministry for which ordination is essential. Those called to this unique exercise of ministry receive the Sacrament of Orders and share in this sacrament through diaconate, priesthood, and episcopacy. Consequently, the equivocation of ministry with Orders or priesthood is the equivocation of a specifie function and experience within a larger generic context. Such equivocation, even verbally, can only cause confusion and uncertainty in understanding priesthood or evPn ministry in general.


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As an ordained minister, called to be such in a public ritual of the Church, the priest is empowered to act in the name of the Church and to continue the mission of Christ through sacramental signs. The very ministry of the priest becomes precise, possesses meaning, is given identity through sacraments. The Church herself cornes together in those experiences ¡of sacraments and reflects and represents the priestly service of Christ himself. Christ's life of service continues today through the sacraments. Initiation into !ife, the maturation of !ife, the healing process, the unitive bringing together of man and woman, the sharing of eucharist, the cali to others to minister in a unique and specifie way, the strength extended in moments of infirmity become the sacraments, the sacred signs, whereby relationships between man and God are initiated, restored, and strengthened. At the center of this whole process is the priest whose ministry finds meaning, significance, and pm¡pose in his relationship to Christ and his consequent relationship to / the Christian community. This ministry is rooted in the sac- 1 raments wherein the priest becomes the living instrument of J Christ, wherein the priest represents the persan of Christ himself, wherein the whole Body, which is the Church, is established and built up. ELEMENTS OF PRIESTLY MINISTRY

The NCCB Report from the Ad Hoc Committee for Priestly Life and Ministry specifies the basic and common elements of priestly ministry. They are threefold: (1) to proclaim the ) Gospel; (2) to preside over the sacraments and liturgy; (3) and to build up and serve the community which in turn serves the world. The very nature of the sacraments as sacred signs \ proclaims the basis for these common elements of priestly ministry. The sacraments in the Catholic Christian tradition are the touchstone for man's relationship to God. Their common element is their sign vocabulary enuntiated for a particular occasion and time. Each particular expression of this vocabulary'~ from the li fe experience of Baptism to the. healing dimension of the Anointing of the Sick reaffinns and challenges the priest


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\ to incorporate in his own !ife the basic and common elements ~ of priestly ministry. The l'evised rituals for each of the sacraments proclaim the Gospel. The choice of texts in each instance is not a restrictive nnouncement of the Word of God to a particular time, place, or people. Rather, each in turn cries out for further living expression of what is done in the sacred moment of sacramental celebration. The challenge for this Word to go beyond the perameters of space and time is given not only to the recipient, but in a special way to the minister. The priest cannot preach the Word of God in the conferral of Baptism whereby new !ife is given without at the same time Jooking and searching for new !ife in the mi dst of the social injustices of our time. The priest cannot be sensitive to God's Word in the revised ritual of the sacrament of Penance without realizing that same Word must be applied to the wounds of hatred and division separating people from each other, members of families from one another, the affluent from the dispossessed. The revised rituals for each of the sacraments states clearly the servant role of the minister. As such, rigidity and for!llalism are rejected. The priest, as minister, must truly celebrate the sacraments and liturgy. As such, he is expected not only to perform perfunctory motions with accompanylng words, but to reveal a presidential style of commitment and responsibility. Priestly ministry expects nothing Jess than a strong persona! and subjective commitment of the priest in presiding over the sacraments and liturgy; the commitment, in turn, is by the priest's sense of responsibility to help people 1 enhanced discover what they come to Church to find, and to celebrate what they come to Church to celebrate-an experience of God's Word and deed. This celebration manifests the unity of a faith community and gives reason for its existence. In these ways, the priest presides over the sacraments and Ji turgy; but, he does so as servant. Another basic element of priestly ministry is to build up and ( serve the community which in turn serves the world. No lengthy explanation is necessary to project the constructive and outward dimensions of sacramental !ife. Even the most persona! theological understanding of the Sacraments of Eucharist and Penance, for example, recognizes also the corn-

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munity expecations of these sacraments. Eucharist is not only the persona! meeting of man with God, but of individual men within a believing community joined together to affirm Christ's real presence in the world. The Sacrament of Penance is not only a private persona! act for the sake of the penitent alone, but it must be seen within the community context of sin's social repercussions with the consequent reconciliation

not only between man and God, but of men with each other. Retlection upon the sacraments not only as sacred signs divorced from a secular world, but as secular signs used to communicate a religious message helps us to focus in upon an understanding of priestly ministry, a ministry which acknowledges the importance of sacramental administration. Such administration of sacraments is not the task of the individual ordained minister alone, but the privilege and responsibility of a total community. SACRAMENTS AND SIGNS

The definition of sacraments in the most basic catechisms is familiar to ali. A sacrament is a sacred sign instituted by Christ to give grace. The tripartite division of this definition has been the basis for a theological understanding of these unique channels of grace opera ting in the Church as the extension of Christ's presence. As signs, sacraments must communicate. This is the very nature of a sign by definition and purj)ose. Communication, in turn, asks the question, "Who says what to whom by what means and with what elfect?" Christ speaks in sacraments ;' he speaks of sacred realities alfecting significant moments in human experience; the audience for this communication is the faith community of those who believe in Christ; Christ through· the Church, utilizes simple reàlities of bread, wine, water, oil and symbols of èommunication in ·gesture and word to communicate the !ife of grace which is the PU!liOSe of the sacraments; and the elfect of thé wh ole process is the reality itself communicated to man and the consequent reaction of man himself. In this whole experience of sacramental communication, the recipient of the sacrament of orders is the agent to achieve the end result.


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As such, the administrator of the sacraments could weil become a functioriary. He could envision his role and responsibility as totaily outward, without realizing that the very sign and symbol communicated through the sacraments must also affect himself. A new understanding of administration of the sacraments, and the consequent role of the priest, must emphasize the significance of the sacrament to the minister himself. If the minister restricts his role to the time perameters of the conferral of the sacrament alone, then the priest is only a functionary, only an instrument, only an administrator. But 1 the priest is more than that; and the sacraments demand a much greater response. The actual conferral of a sacrament by a priest must be distingnished from ali the tasks of ministry connected with the sacraments themselves. Sacraments do not just happen in a moment when they are conferred and received. Rather, sacraments involve preparation, understanding, appreciation and involvement if they are to be signs which truly communicate. This is the task not of the priest al one, but of ail th ose who share the responsibilities of ministry. In each of the Decrees announcing the revised ritual for the administration of the sacraments, the Church caUs the wider Christian community, beyond the priest himself, to the ministry of the sacraments; The Ritual for Baptism states that Christian instruction and the preparation for Baptism are a vital concern of God's people, the Church, which hands on and nourishes the faith .it has received from the Apostles. The Ritual cails upon the total People of God, represented not only through parents, godparents, relatives, but by friends, neighbors and members of the local Church, to take an active part in the total administration of this sacrament. For the Baptism of children, the Ritual 1¡eminds us that the Church made present in the local community has an important part to play in the baptismal experience. The exhortation by the Church to the total Christian community to share in the ministry of Baptism is repeated in varions ways in the COJ!f_!!rral of each of the other sacraments. i\ Consequently, the ministry of the priest is to orchestrate the entire sacramental event. The priest administers the sacrament, but the priest is also called upon to identify and articu-


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j

late the other tasks of ministry involved with the sacraments. This twofold task broadens the priest's sacramental ministry beyond the administration of the sacrament itself. The ministerial task of the priest¡ is to identify the tasks of ministry involved with the conferral of each sacrament. Identification of ministerial tasks will be as extensive as the priestminister's understanding of the sacrament and his appreciation of the Church as the People of God. So often in the past, sacraments had an exclusive relationship to the priest-minister alone. The Church herself reminds us of the essimtial and necessary involvement of the People of God .. The priest-minister must approach his ministry in sacramental administration towarrls an understanding of the sacrament itself, its purpose, ritual, participants, materials. In addition, there is the preparation of ali involved which forces him to ask questions such as how, to whom, with whom, by what means, and for how long. This identification process is the first step in separating the ministry of sacramental administration from the tasks of ministry. ! i But to identify the tasks of ministry is but one dimension of / the priest-minister's role; he must also articula te these tasks to the Christian community. This articulation presumes an i 1 understanding of the theology inherent in each sacrament, a / theology which must be sharerl with others through homilies, adult education programs, sacramental preparation courses. A willingness to share his sacramental ministry must become transparent on the part of the priest. In such articulation, the priest becomes the teacher, the "guru," the rabbi, the expert whose ministry is multiplierl and duplicated time and time again by sharing it with the People of God. In this articulation of the tasks of ministry, the priest-minister is living out the challenge offered to him in the Decree of Vatican II on The Ministry and Life of Priests. This Decree states that an objective of the priest's ministry is to gather God's family together as a brotherhood of living unity, and lead it through Chl'ist and in the Spirit to God the Father. What better means could be found than in the involvement of the People of God in the sacramental signs which announce the presence of Christ in the Church today! To identify and articulate the tasks of ministry offers the


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priest-minister a unique opportunity to challenge the Christian community to greater commitment and maturity. In giving up what was once considered his total prerogative, the priest minister actually fulfills the demands of ordination to a greater degree. THE MEANING OF SACRAMENTS TO THE PRIEST-MINISTER

Over and over again, the theology of sacraments emphasizes the sign value of each sacrament to the recipient and to the Christian community. But the role of the priest in today's Church could easily demand a consideration of the sign-value of each sacrament to the priest-minister. What does each sacrament "say" to the priest minister himself? The answer to that question opens whole new ¡avenues to the priest and to the Church herself. The answer could weil identify and articulate a new role for the priest. Traditionally, the priest-minister fulfills the task of being the instrument of Christ in relation to the sacraments. The , flow of action is from Christ through the Church through the 1 priest to the recipient of the sacrament. Theologically, sacra. mental action becomes the action of Christ towards those receiving sacraments. Long philosophical arguments develop the instrumental causality in the action of the priest minister. The very choice of words used to explain sacraments theologically prompts us to see the priest-minister in the position of an electrical conduit passing on energy and power to others, while receiving nothing or very little in return to himself. Certain requirements are asked of the priest minister which range from proper intention to the possession of canonical faculties. However, the sacraments have such an important part in the development of the Christian !ife that even if certain requirements or expectations on the part of the minister are not present, a theological escape clause is available in the Latin dictum, "ecclesia supplet.'' A redefinition of the role of the priest based on his adminis~ tration of sacraments must widen this understanding of the priest as only an instrumental cause; a redefinition must envision the very sacraments administered by the priest as sacred signs atfecting the priest himself.


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SACRAMENTS AS SIGNS OF THE SECULAR AND SACRED

The very nature of sacraments within the Christian tradition calls for secular signs to be used to communicate a religious event. The secular signs chosen by Christ, endorsed and refined by the Church, are ordinary realities which range from water to oil to gesture to words. The priest-minister uses these signs, enhanced by a ritual of prayer, to fulfill his sacred responsibilities. Consequently, seeular signs are used to effect religious birth, reconciliation, growth, commitment and maturity. The purpose of each sign in the sacramental economy is most precise whether it is water used in Baptism or oil. used in the Anointing of the Sick. Above and beyond this precise signification; each secular sign has the potential to communicate so much m01¡e. This potential is actualized for the priest minister when he reflects on the precise sacred purpose for which each sacrament is conferred. Such reflection demands a return flow of the sacred into the wider understanding of the secular. Just as the priest-minister is the agent or instrument for the original and initial contact of the secular with a precise sacred event, the priest-minister is challenged to apply the sacred message to the wider understanding of the secular. Examples could weil clarify this understanding of the priestminister's role. In Baptism, the priest-minister uses the secular sign of water with ali its inherent meaning and symbolism in order to give new !ife to the child or adult receiving this sacrament. The Baptismal ritual speaks in glowing terms of the spiritual transformation which occurs at this time. New !ife, new beginnings, new energy are but a few of the strong dimensions of the spiritual !ife conveyed in Baptism. A brief theological reflection on the reality of the sacred meaning inherent in Baptism causes a sense of excitement. What if that same sense of excitement, with its accompanying messages of new !ife, new beginnings, new energy, could be conveyed to the wider understanding of the basic secular sign used in the sacramental experience? In the instance of Baptism, water could weil become the sign and symbol of urban renewal, ecological concern, and other human problems calling for the experience of cleansing and new¡ !ife. Such understanding of the secular could prompt the priest-minister to appreciate a new challenge to his ministry by the very administration of the sacrament itself. The priest-


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minister would begin to see and appreciate the religions demands of so many social concerns. Much of the challenge of priestly ministry today would then be seen not in the context of the secular social worker or community organizer, but in the religions dimensions of a wider and better understanding of the sacred and secular. The secular cannot adequately convey the full significance of the sacred, without the sacred in turn communicating a new challenge to wider dimensions of the secular. Perhaps this approach to the secular and the sacred is too simplistic; or, on the other hand, it could involve stretching an understanding of the sacred and secular beyond normal expectations. But once again reflect on the reality inherent in the administration of sacraments. The revised Ritual for the Sacrament of Penance uses human gestures of welcome and trust in addition to the reading of Sacred Scripture. Ali these elements .are part of the sacrament which leads to persona! reconciliation between the penitent and God. In fulfilling the task as instrument for this reconciliation, the priest-minister would hopefully become more conscious of the need for reconciliation in so many other areas of human experience. Such consciousness would have countless opportunities to become concrete in the day to day ministry of the priest. Likewise, the ritual for the Anointing of the Sick uses the secular sign of oil as a symbol of healing and strength. The oil is applied to the human body with accompanying prayers which cry out for healing and. physical as weil as spiritual restoration to health. The priest minister's contact with the sacred in this sacrament could expand his vision of the secular need for healing in the countless fractured situations of human existence. "once again, the priest minister's contact with the sacred could widen his awareness of the secular and challenge him to new experiences of ministry. In each of these instances, the priestminister would go through this process not only for himself who actually administers the sacraments, but also for ali those who share with him the tasks of ministry which have been identified and articulated. THE PRIEST-MINISTER OF THE SACRAMENTS

This brief reflection on sacraments and ministry presents today's priest with two concrete tasks which will help specify


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his precise role and identity. His first task is to understand and appreciate the difference between ministry and the tasks of ministry. In doing so, the priest is not the lonely isolate figure in sole contact with God, but he becomes the leader of the community in calling upon others to share in his responsibility. His second task is to rellect on the experience of the secular and the sacred which is inherent in each sacrament. The priest is asked to add a reverse process to his religious task. Sacraments demand the use of the secular sign to effect the religious reality. The priest has the opportunity to take the religious reality and apply it to wider understandings of the secular experience. It might seem strange that in this era of emphasis on the ministerial expectations of the total Christian community, a cali is articulated to specify the role of the priest. Nathan Mitchell, O.S.R expresses an interesting insight into this question. "Ministerial roles have, then, a symbolic dimension which demands that the ordained person be more in the community than sim ply a nice guy among nice guys. To smudge or obliterate the distinction of roles in the Christian¡community is finally self-defeating, because it leaves everyone, ordained and non-ordained alike, in an amorphous, roleless condition. And without roles, people are quite literally nobody. If the theological content of Christian ministry implies the creation of a specifie set of relationships in self-emptying love, then role maintenance is essential for the continuing !ife of Christian communities. Ministry is as ridiculous in a roleless chm¡ch as marriage would be in a sexless society. In any community, the failure of adequate role-distinction and the absence of a credible symbolic center results in massive social dislocation. A church without a 'holy order' diverts itself into a collection of ecclesiastical drifters." (Worship, Vol. 48, No. 6). The traditional role of the priest as minitser of the sacraments offers the priest a unique opportunity to discover his own identity and to define his role in the Church today. If the opportunity is taken, the result could weil be not only an ever increasing experience of leading men to God, but also bringing God back to men.


John J. Collins

]ob and His Friends; Cod as a Pastoral Problem Job and hw friends all wanted an explicable universe, a God they could understand and cope with. In ali of the 没ld Testament there is no figure who has captured the imagination of the western world to the same extent as Job. The impatient saint, festering on his dunghill and arguing with his creator, has served as a marvellously versatile symbol for the human condition for Gregory the Great and Martin Luther, for Immanuel Kant and William Blake, for Paul Claudel and D. H. Lawrence. Inevitably each interpreter has tended to crea te a Job in his own image and likeness. After two thousand or more years of use, the book remains sufficiently enigmatic to entice an unending succession of interpreters to recast the material in a new mould. The enigma of Job has many dimensions. There are obvious problems of interpretation on the most elementary leve!. Most obviously, there is a sharp contrast between the prose folktale with which the book begins and ends ( chaptet路s 1 & 2 and 42 :7-17) and the poetic dialogues which make up the bulk of the路 book. The folk-tale presents a .rathet路 folksy God who casually subjects his most faithful servant to the tortures of Satan, just to make a point. We get a very different picture of God later when he speaks from the whirlwind and displays tremendous majesty as lord of a thoroughly organised creation. In the opening folk-tale Job appears as the very mode! of patience: "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord." Just a few verses later the same Job opens the poetic dialogues by thundering "Damn the day 97


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I was born, and the night which said .a man is conceived." Wh en Cod speaks from the whirlwind he challenges Job: "Who is this whose ignorant words cloud my design in darkness" and Job admits "1 have spoken of great things which I have not understood" and proceeds to repent in dust and ashes. Y et, immediately afterwards, Job is restored to double his former wealth, and the Lord rebukes his friends because they "have not spoken straightforwardly about me, as my servant Job hall clone"! (Job 42:7,8). In view of these apparent contradictions between the prose tale and the poetic dialogues, many critics have felt that we have here two distinct compositions which were later and artificially put together. A pious Jew, scandalized by Job's near blasphemies, might have added the folk-tale to bring him within admissible bounds of piety. Such a solution, however, will not do. Sorne sixty years ago C. K. Chesterton protested against "the characteristic formula of modern scepticism, that Homer was not written by Homer, but by another person of the same name." The book of Job may have grown gradually, but so did Westminster Abbey. Job is ultimately the book we have, with ali its contradictions, not a hypothetical independent set of dialogues. Recent scholars have come to agree with Chesterton on this point. It is very probable that the author of Job used an older folk-tale as the framework for his dialogues. However, the dialogues taken on their own would not make sense. They presuppose the story of Job's clownfa]] in chs. 1 and 2. The book as we have it includes both prose tale and poetic dialogues and must be understood as a unit. SOME PROBLEMS

There are, it is true a number of passages within the dialogues which are not the work of the original author. There is wide agreement that Elihu, the eager young man who talks for six straight chapters (31-37) after the friends have done, did not figure in the original. Job does not re ply to hi rn, and mu ch of what he says anticipa tes the speeches of Cod. His name Elihu recalls Elijah, the prophet who was to prepare for the manifestation of Cod (Mal 4 :5). Elihu may have been inserted here to prepare for Cod's speech in chs. 38-41. There is noth-


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ing in the speeches of Elihu which is not found elsewhere in the book. They do not alter the message of the rest. Ch. 28, the hymn to "wisdom" also appears to be a foreign body, because it has no clear connection with the argument of either Job or the friends. The thesis of the chapter is that only God knows where wisdom is to be found. This is certainly compatible with the overall thesis of Job, as we shall see, but its position in the book is puzzling. Again, it does not tell us anything which we cannat find elsewhere in the book. Finally .there seems to be sorne confusion in the third cycle of speeches (ch s. 22-27). The second friend Bildad speaks for only five verses (Job 25 :2-6) and the third, Zophar, does not speak at ali. Job's long speech (26 :1-27 :23) contains passages, su ch as 27:14-17 which agree with what the friends have been saying and Job has been attacking. Probably the speeches of the friends have in part been attributed to Job. However these chapters (25-27) add nothing significant to the argument of the book and because of their confusion are best ignored. (For an authoritative discussion of the composition of Job see Marvin H. Pope, Job, The Anchor Bible; Garden City, New York; Doubleday, 1965, pp. xxi-xxviii). On the deper leve! of the meaning of Job, we encounter two interrelated problems. First there is the perennial problem of theodicy: how can a just God impose suffering on an innocent human? Second, there is the problem of theological language: how can we legitimately speak of the ways of God? do we even have a right to discuss theodicy and expect to reach a solution? Both these problems are set in sharp focus by God's reaction to Job's friends. Throughout the book the friends have championed God's cause: "Does God pervert judgment? . Does the Almighty pervert justice? Your sons sinned against him so he left them to be victims of their own iniquity." (8 :3-4). Job, on the other hand, accuses God of injustice: "If the appeal is to force, see how strong he is; if to justice, who can compel him to give me a hearing. Though I am right, he condemns me out of my own mouth, though 1 am blameless he twists my words ... therefore I say 'He destroys blameless and wicked alike.' When a sudden flood brings dea th, He mocks the plight of the innocent." (9: 19-24). Des pite. this almost blasphemous indictment, God


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says calmly at the end to Eliphaz: "1 am angry with you and your friends, because you have not spoken straightforwardly about me, as my servant Job has done." ( 42 :7). The friends, who said that God is just, are blamed. Job, who said that God mocks the innocent, is approved! If this God who speaks at the end of Job can be taken seriously at ali, his self-image is rather surprising from a Christian point of view. SPEAKING FALSELY OF GOD

Yet this strange verdict of God is precisely what Job had predicted. He warned the friends that God would not reward them for taking his part: "Is it on God's behalf that you speak falsely, and speak deceitfully for him? Will you show partiality toward him, will you plead the case for God? ... He will sm¡ely rebuke you if in secret you show partiality." (13 :7-i9). The crucial element in J ob's argument is that the friends speak falsely. ln what does the ir falsehood consist? They accuse Job of sin, when they have no evidence. Their falsehood lies in making an a priori assumption about the way the world works. Job is sutfering, therefore he must have sinned. This assumption that the world follows a set pattern constitutes their falsehood. They are not accused of deliberate fabrication. Now it is easy for us, from the vantage point of Christianity (and, besicles, from having read the conclusion to the book of Job) to know that the friends' shouldn't have made this assumption. We can, justifiably, cali them legalists, or Pharisees. (Robert Frost inllicted the most unkindest eut of ali by calling them a committee ') However, before we heap the bonfi re too high, we should take care that we, too, are not tied to the stake. After ali, what role is more typical of modern Christian ministry th an counselling? And where in the bible do we get an extended example of counsellors in action, if not in the friends of Job? True, Jesus imparts ad vice and consoles the sick, but he could work miracles, which puts him in a different category from most of us. The friends of Job, however, are human to a fault, and we may weil recognise them as prototypical counsellors. In fact they are in many respects mode! counsellors. Their theological training is applied to


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serve a practical purpose. They interpret a concrete situation in the right of their tradition and their theological beliefs. What more could we ask of theologically educated counsellors? THE COUNSELLORS AT WORK

The friends base their assessment of Job's situation on unimpeachable sources. There is tradition: "Inquire now of older generations, and consider the experience of their fathers; for we ourselves are of yesterday, and are transient, our days on earth are a shadow." (8:8-9). We should not think that the friends hadn't studied their tradition. They could, for example, have cited Ps. 37: "! have been young, now 1 am old, and never have I seen a righteous man forsaken .... The lawJess are banished forever and the children of the wicked destroyed." Further, the friends can appeal to reason, or plain common sense: "Can man be any benefit to God? Can even a wise man benefit him? Is it an asset to the Almighty if you are righteous? Does he gain if your conduct is perfect? Do not think that he reproves you because you are pious, that on this account he brings you to trial. No, it is because you are a very wicked man, and your depravity passes ail bounds." (22: 2-5). Given the context of the Old Testament covenant, which asserted that curses or blessings would follow on the observance or non-observance of the laws, this reasoning is tlawless. The logic of the covenant is set out most fully in the book of Deuteronomy, but is presupposed by the entire Old Testament. It is the logic which runs through the history of Israel in the books of Samuel and. Kings, the so-called Deuteronomic history. Even the greatest prophets, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, usee! it to interpret the catastrophe which befell Israel in the Babylonian exile. Ezekiel was adamant that "the righteous man shall reap the fruit of his own righteousness, and the wicked man the fruit of his own wickedness." (Cf; especially Ezekiel 18). The friends of Job were in excellent theological company. Further, like good counsellors, the friends try to begin as positively as possible. Eliphaz recalls how Job "encouragee! those who faltered ... braced feeble arms" and consoles him: "Is your religion no comfort to you? Does your blameless


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!ife give you no hope? For consider what innocent man has ever perished?" (4 :6-7). Of course he does not believe that Job is entirely blameless, but he puts the matter as inoffensively as possible: "Can morta! man be more righteous th an God, or the creature purer than his Maker? If God mistrusts his own servants ... how much more those who dwell in bouses of clay?" (4:17-19). Following his counsellor's textbook to the end Eliphaz ends on a positive note, to leave his patient with a Positive Mental Attitude: "Happy the man whom God rebukes! Therefore do not reject the discipline of the Almighty." (5:17). COUNSELLORS' ERROR

The friends' error was not a matter of arrogance or of bad pastoral technique. They act throughout in good faith and simply apply their theological learning to a pastoral problem. There is only one factor which they neglect: the facts of the case. They do not establish that Job is actually guilty of anything. They assume his guilt as a necessary deduction from the justice of God. Y et this is precisely what constitutes "falsehood" and draws reprimands not only from Job but also from God. By assuming that a situation must conform to their theological preconceptions they attempt to confine and thereby falsify God. Only if we can empathize with the friends of Job and see the situation through their eyes do we begin to realize how deeply the tendency to "speak falsehood for God" is ingrained in the religions sensitivity of mankind. Eliphaz summa>¡ized the friends' objections to Job concisely when he said "you are doing away with the fear of God and hindering meditation before God." ( 15 :4). Job was thinking negatively. He was not supporting religions sentiment. His complaints could undermine people's faith in God and his justice. He was being subversive. Now it is a very natural instinct in ali religious people that they be concerned for the preservation of religion. This instinct is especially strong in people who bear responsibility in religions matters. Sometimes the need to preserve religion appears more important than truth and honesty. This fact undoubtedly explains many strange things which have been done in the name of religion down through the centuries.


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Take the case of Socrates. He was sentenced to death by an Athenian tribunal for "corrupting the youth," by telling them that the sun and moon were not gods, but stones, and thereby undermining religion. Religious reformers of all ages have risked a similar fate. We read in Acts 21 how the "Jews of Asia" reacted to Paul-"This is the fellow who spread his doctrine ail over the world attackirig our people, our law, and this sanctuary.... A scoundrel like that is better dead." The main source of contention was undoubtedly Paul's teaching that circumcision was not necessary for salvation. The Jews reacted furiously because they felt he was undermining their religion. Paul's experience and his claim to a new revelation could not even get a hearing since they clashed with the popular preconception of what religion was about. The logic of the Inquisition · was no different. Gàlileo's experiments were denou nced because they questioned the accepted religious view of the world. ln our own century the theory of evolution has been seen as a threat to religion, and ~choes of that debate can still be heard. Within the domain of theological studies we can see the same principle at work in the widespread hostile reaction to Rudolf Bultmann's programme of demythologizing the New Testament. Undoubtedly sorne of the objections to Bultmann were honest critical questions, but very many Christians could not even allow for the possibility of such an approach because it threatened their preconceptions about Jesus. We should not of course think that "speaking falsely for

God"-holding to a dogmatic theory even when it contradicts our experience and our eviderice-is the exclusive prerogative of religious conservatives. Reformers are usually no Jess exh·eme in imposing doctrinaire theories. The falsehoods of the Left Wing are perhaps most obvious in politics, whcre the propaganda of communism, or any radical movement, has always valued effect more highly than truth. The process is simBar for bath conservatives and liberais. An ideal, whether church, state or doctrine, is accepted as sacred and no facts can be admitted which challenge or undermine that sacred ideal. The Watergate coverup provides a familiar example. Millions of Americans could not believe (probably still do not believe) that Richard Nixon was in anyway involved in the


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coverup because such a belief would be incompatible with the idea of the Presidency. Evidence carries no weight against this sort of preconception. Rather, loyalty to President and Country (in other cases, to State or Church) demands that certain types of evidence be ignored. This was also the logic of J ob's friends. Goo's DTTER HONESTY lt is noteworthy that Job never expected God to accept su ch service. He may have doubted God's justice, but never his honesty: "Can you deceive him as one deceives a man? He will surely rebuke you if in secret you show partiality." (13 :910). This confidence in God's utter honesty may appear odd in view of Job's doubts about God's justice. However, the human perception of honesty is more solidly founded than the human perception of justice. God says that Job spoke about him straightforwardly even though Job questioned his justice. The point is not that Cod is really unjust, and wishes to be known as such. No doubt Cod is just in his own way, but can we judge him by our standards? Or must we allow for the possibility that God's justice may differ from ours, that he may surprise us, and even, on occasion, shock us? The poet Robert Frost has nicely formulated the point at issue between Job and his friends. In his short play A Masque of Reason (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Inc., 1945) Frost has God return after 1,000 years to thank Job for his services-

"the way you helped me Establish once for ali the principle There's no connection man can reason out Between his just desserts and what he gets." Frost's God continues: "Y ou realize by now the part y ou played To stultify the Deuteronomist And change the tenor of religions thought. My thanks are to you for releasing me From moral bandage to the hu man race. The only free will there at first was man's


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Who cou Id do good or evil as he chose. 1 had no choice but 1 must follow him \Vith forfeits and rewards he understoodUnless 1 liked to suffer loss of worship. 1 had to prosper good and punish evil Y ou changed ali that: Y ou set me free to reign." Frost writes facetiously, but acutely. The point is not necessarily that there is no connection between what man deserves and what he gets, but that if there is, man cannot reason it out. The moral bondagĂŠ consists in accepting human standards of justice. The Deuteronomist was a great theologian who tried to explain and justify the ways of God to men. The point Frost makes is that God defies such explanation. He refuses to be reduced to a predictable formula of sin and punishment. THE LIMITS OF "STRAIGHTFORWARDNESS"

If the only point of the book of Job were to stultify the Deu-

teronomist, we might leave it down with a sense of satisfaction. We moderns probĂ bly identify more easily with the rebellions Job than with the excessively orthodox friends, and you have to like a God who debunks the pomposity of his theologians. If the conflict were simply between the arid traditionalism of the friends and the passionate honesty of Job, we might more easily identify with Job and fee! ourselves applauded at the end of the book. However, it is not quite so simple. When God speaks from the storm-cloud he does not immediately rush to applaud Job to thank him for his services. His tone is somewhat less than appreciative: "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up your !oins like a man. 1 will question you and you shall declare to me." (38 :2-3) or again: "Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it." ( 40 :2) or more specifically: "Will you even put me in the wrong? Will you condemn me that you may be justified?" Job promptly concedes the case: "1 have uttered wh at I did not understand things too wonderful for me which 1 did not know ... 1 despise myself and repent in dust and ashes." Job's straightforwardness is not enough either. A theology based on


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experience and persona! insight is not capable of comprehending Cod any more than a theology based on tradition. After ali Job's complaints and protests he is simply told that Cod's motives are none of his business. Cod knows where the foundations of the earth are set and he can draw out Leviathan with a fish-hook and put a rope in his nose. He is not obliged to render account to Job. Cod's speech from the storm-cloud leaves no doubt about the limits of theological language. Neither Job nor his friends have any real understanding of the ways of Cod, and Cod does not propose to enlighten them to any great extent. However, this put-down of theological speculation leaves the great . problem of Job unanswered-the problem of' theodJCy and of innocent suffering. Cod's speech doesn't attempt to face this problem. He makes clear that our human ideas of justice are inadequate but he gives no positive reason for Job's suffering. Not unreasonably, Robert Frost has Job re-open this question when Cod cornes back to visit him in A Masque of Reason: "B.ecause I let you off From telling me Y our reason, don't assume I thought you had none." Cod seems hesitant, so Job goes on: "Ail right, don't tell me th en, If you don't want to. I don't want to knpw. But what is ali the secrecy about? I fail to see what fun, what satisfaction A Cod can find in laughing at how badly Men fumble at the possibilities When left to guess forever for themselves." God's reply-"I was just showing off to the Devi!, Job, as is set forth in chapters One and Two"-is almost flippant, but is precisely the biblical account. We cannot, after ali, avoid the suspicion that whatever the reason, Cod finds sorne amusement in the theological profundities of the theologians. JOB AS COMEDY

¡The book of Job has often been compared to a Cr_eek tragedy.: (See H. M. Kallen, The Book of Job as a Greek Tragedy, New York: Moffat, Yard & Co.,1918). Such a reading of Job emjJhasizes the human dignity of the hero. Job is a good man,


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who has, perhaps, a ftaw, but who makes a noble protest against the injustice of life and is crushed by a cruel and distant god. So, for the psychologist C. J. Jung, Job is the victor in his confrontation with God: "a morta! man is raised by his moral behaviour above the stars in heaven, from which position of ad van tage he can behold the back of Yahweh" for "Anyone can see how he (God) unwittingly raises Job by humiliating him in the dust. By doing so he pronounces judgment on himself and gives man the moral satisfaction whose absense we found so painful in the book of Job." (Answer to Job, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1954, pp. 30,36). For Jung, Yahweh's great might is only raw uncivilized brute power, devoid of wisdom. This assessment is endorsed by a literary cri tic, David Robertson, from another point of view: "While God may be more powerful than we are, he is beneath us on scales that measure love, justice and wisdom." ("The Book of Job: A Literary Study," Soundings 56 (1973) pp. 446-469, especially pp. 468-469). Both these writers speak in a long humanist tradition which takes Job very seriously as a moral hero. ' The book of Job agrees that Job was a man of blameless and upright life, but this is not enough to make him into a Promethean hero who can rightly defy Cod. Even Job's moral idealism has its limits. His lament for his misfortunes in ch. 30 shows his nobility in perspective: "Now 1 am laughed to scorn by men of a younger generation, men whose fathers 1 would have disdained to put with the dogs who kept my ftock." Theauthor of Job does not také his hero with ultimate seriousness. The very picture of Job scraping him with a potsherd hardly emphasizes his dignity. Job attempts to force God to res pond to him by invoking a curse on him: "if any spot has cleaved to my hands then let me sow and another eat arid let what grows for me be rooted out," (31 :7-8) but his vehemence appears ludicrous when we remember that he has already suffered the curses he invokes, and more. Throughout, Job thunders against God and rehearses what he would say if only God would give him a hearing. Y et when God finally appears, he can only keep silent, and repent in dust and ashes. Job had indeed predicted that he would have to submit to Cod (9 :20: "though 1 am inhocent· my own ·inouth would condemn me") but that does not


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prevent him from insisting that "I will defend my ways to his face" (13 :15) because he has not yet realized the fĂ&#x2122;ll impact of Cod. Only at the end (42:5) does he declare: "I had heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees thee." Job's final experience is that he gets himself in perspective before Cod. Despite the many eloquent and moving laments for human sutfering and the protests against the injustice which lets the wicked prosper wh ile the righteous suffer, Job is not a tragedy. We can come closer to the spirit of the work if we see it, with Christopher Frye, as a "great reservoir of comedy" ("Cornecly," in The New Orpheus, ed. Nathan A. Scott, New York: Sheed and Ward, 1964, p. 286). Comedy rests on the perception of incongruity. Job is full of incongruities. There is the contrast between the majesty of Cod and the apparent triviality of his motive. There is irony in the utter assurance with which the friends speak for Cod, when at the end they will be undercut by Cod himself. Above ali there is incongruity in Job's ignorance and helplessness and his attempt to cali God to account. (See E. M. Cood, h¡ony in the Old Testament, Philadelphia: Westminster, 1965 pp. 196-240). Iron y can of course be tragic, if it reveals that humanity is at the mercy of blind or malevolent forces. The book of Job however rellects an ultimate confidence in the goodness of the powers that rule the world. When God created the world "the sons of god shouted for joy" (38 :7) ; Cod knows where wisdom can be found (28 :23). Even Job has moments of optimism-"I know that my Redeemer lives" (19: 25. The phrase is enigmatic, but probably means no more than "the truth will out.") Finally of course Cod does not return Job to his dunghill, but resto res hi rn to fame and fortune. The restoration of Job seems unduly facile, and is almost tongue-in-cheek. Cod is not only showing off to the Devi!, but also to Job. He affiicted Job for no apparent reason, now he can restore him too. If God were to.leave Job on his dunghill we might weil sympathize with Job and fee! that he was the victim of a tyrannical fa te. As the story ends, J ob's pro tests are silenced, even though he has not been given a satisfactory answer. Since his wealth is restored, he can no longer pose as a tragic hero. What emerges from the whole exercise is a sense of perspective. Job now realizes how insignificant his knowledge and


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even his human righteousness appear when confronted with the majesty of God. In the end Job is given no satisfying explanation for his suffering. In so far as he pressed for one, throughout the book, he shared something of the attitude of the friends. They ali wanted an explicable universe, a God they could understand and cope with. The difference between them was that the friends assumed they had such a universe. Job was at !east honest enough to know that there was a problem. Both, however, wanted a neat theory or system which would explain the workings of God. In that, they were human. None of us are any different. In the words of Robert Frost: "We disparage reason, But all the ti me it's what we're most concerned with ... Just as we will be talking anyway We may as well throw in a little sense." The book of Job is not meant to frustrate this human concern with ¡ reason. It merely puts it in perspective. It is our nature to try to make sense of the universe, but we can never take our conclusions with such ultimate seriousness as the friends of Job would wish. lt may not be supertluous to add that the ironie perspective of Job is not superseded by Christianity. The Christ proclaimed in the New Testament is not one who solves our problems but "a stumbling-block to Jews and folly to Greeks" (1 Cor 1 :23) and his servants are still unworthy when they have clone what they ought to do. (Luke 17:10).


AUTHORS Collins, John J., M.A., Ph.D. Ph.D., Harvard University: au thor of The Sibylline Oracles of Egyptian JudaÜ!m. Contributor to the Journal of Biblical Literature, Catholic Biblical Quarter/y, Vetus Testa1nentum, etc. Cunningham, Sr. Agnes, S.S.C.M., M.A., S.T.D. S.T.D., Facultés Catholiques, Lyons, France. Secretary of the Catholic Theological Society of America; theological consultant to the NCCB sub-committee on the role of women in society and in the Church. Dedek, John F., M.A., S.T.D. Associate editor of Chicago Studies and author of Contempora·ry Sexual Morality, Titius and Bertha Ride AgoJn, and Medical Ethics. Jabusch, Willard, F., Ph.D. Ph.D., Northwestern University. Author of magazine articles and the hymn collections: Sangs of Good News, Festival of Peace and Sing of ChrÜ!t Jesus. Meyer, Charles R., M.A., S.T.D. S.T.D. St. Mary of the Lake Seminary. A specialist in the theology of grace and religious experience, his books include : A Contemporary Theology of Grace, The Touch of God, A Study of the Priesthood and What a Modern Catholic Believes About the Holy Spirit. Murphy, Rev. Thomas J., M.A. S.T.D. Received his Master's and Doctorate from St. Mary of the Lake Seminary. Served in parishes as associate pastor for eight years and was Associate Moderator of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women and the Assistant Director of the Family Consultation Service. Elected President of the Presbyteral Senate of the Archdiocese of" Chicago in 1971 and appointed President of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in 1973. O'Connel!, Timothy E., Ph.D. Ph.D. Fordham University. Author of Changing Roman Catholic Moral Theo/ogy: a Study of Josef Fuchs, Contemporar,y Meditations on Persona! Holiness: Contributor to America, Thought, American Ecclesiastical Review. 110

Spring 1975  

Volume 14:1