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Editor George J. Dyer

Associate Editor

Business Manager

John F. Dedek

Richard J. Wojcik Executive Assistant

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Edmund J. Siedlecki

Marjorie 1\L Lukas

Editorial Advisors Joseph A. Bracken, S.J. Gerard T. Broccolo Agnes Cunningham, sscm James P. Doyle John F. Fahey John R. Gorman Vincent C. Horrigan, S.J. Willard F. Jabusch George J. Kane Edward H. Konerman, S.J.

Thomas B. McDonough Mary Peter McGinty, C.S.J. George K. Malone Stephen J. Mangan Charles R. Meyer Joseph J. O'Brien Robert A. Reicher Richard F. Schroeder Edward J. Stokes, S.J. Thomas F. Sullivan

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 letters likely to be of interest to our readers. All communications regarding articles and editorial policy should be addressed to the editors. Subscriptions should be sent to CHICAGO STUDIES, Box 665, Mundelein, Illinois 60060. Subscription rates: $5.00 a year, $9.00 for two years, $16.00 for four years; Foreign subscribers: add 50c per year. CHICAGO STUDIES is published three times a year with ecclesiastical permission and copyright, 1972, by Civitas Dei Foundation, Box 665, !llundelein, Illinois 600GO. Third Class postage paid at St. Meinrad, Ind. Views expressed in the articles are those of the respective authors and not necessarily those of the editors or editorial board. Indexed in The Catholic Periodical Index and New Testament Abstracts. Microfilms of current and backfile volumes of CHICAGO STUDIES are now available from University Microfilms, Inc., 300 N. Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106. Manuscripts will not be returned unless accompanied by self addressed stamped envelope.


SUMMER, 1972





Peter J. Henriot, S.J.


Eugene Toland






Thomas Fentcm



James R. Jennings



John J. Myers



Patrick P. McDermott



Patrick Kerans, S.J.,



J. Bryan Hehir



Eugene J. Boyle




The Good Shepherd


Jean de Marco

Peter J. H enriot, S.J .


Social Sin and Conversion: A Theology of the Church's Social Involvement

The theological foundation for the Church's social involvement can be seen in the emphasis placed on social sin by the Bishops' Synod

Certainly there are few topics as exhaustively worked over as the topic of Christian social involvement. Pontifical pronouncements and theological treatises, sociological surveys and political polemics: all seem to have said already whatever could--or should-possibly be said on the topic. Why do I so boldly dare to take up this topic anew? My daring comes in response to an emphasis found in the work of the 1971 Synod of Bishops. The Synod produced the document, "Justice in the World," a stirring call for the Church's active social involvement. What makes the Synod doc115



ument uniquely impottant, and worth more than the usual passing notice, is its emphasis upon the theme of social sin. That emphasis is the key to what I argue can be considered a "new" theology of the Church's social involvement-----"new" at least in the sense that it has never before been so clearly explicated in an authoritative Roman document. Theologically, it helps us to understand more completely and adequately both (1) why the Church is socially involved, and (2) how the Church is socially involved. We will consider these two questions in detail here. I. WHY IS THE CHURCH SOCIALLY INVOLVED?

"Gathered from the whole world, in communion with all who believe in Christ and with the entire human family, and opening our hearts to the Spirit who is making the whole of creation new, we have questioned ourselves about the mission of the People of God to further justice in the world." In these introductory words, the Bishops of the Synod expressed their effort to discern anew the social implications of the Gospel which the Church is mandated to preach to all nations. Since the days of Leo XIII, .the Church's social doctrine has developed along fairly consistent lines. Basic human rights have been emphasized, traditional scholastic teachings on social justice explained, andmore recently-biblical theology brought to bear on Church ministry. It is the element of biblical theology which has made significant impact in recent development of the social doctrine of the Church. This is particularly evident in Gaudium et Spes, Vatican II's Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, and in Paul VI's Populorum Progressio. The first part of the ¡Vatican II document ( #'s 11-45) spells out the social implications of the biblical themes of the dignity of the human person, the community of mankind, the value of human activity in the world, and the role of the Church in the world. The encyclical of Pope Paul-rejected by the Wall St1¡eet Journal as."warmedover Marxism"-treated the topic of worldwide development and its demands on the rich nations within a framework of explicit biblical lessons.

Key to this new biblical emphasis has been a healthy stress


1 17

upon the importance of serious engagement with the things of this world. I say "healthy" because all too often there has been a stated or unstated presumption that the really deeply spiritual person, the truly religious individual, did not become mixed up with social issues. Somehow it came to be accepted by many Christians that it was possible to respond to the Gospel and yet be unconcerned with social responsibilities. Although love of neighbor was always seen as basic to Christian life, effective social action and involvement to implement that love through the works of justice was not considered a necessary requisite. Gaudium et Spes rejected this view out of hand: "They are mistaken who, knowing that we have here no abiding city but seek one which is to come ( Heb. 13:14), think that they may therefore shirk their earthly responsibilities. For they are forgetting that by the faith itself they are more than ever obliged to measure up to these duties, each according to his proper vocation (2 Thess. 3 :6-13; Eph 4 :28) ." But as strong as was this teaching by Vatican II for social involvement, it needs to be moved still further. The theological topic which provides impetus for this further movement is the topic of social sin. This became an explicit topic of the Second Roman Synod, mentioned again and again in the debates, and referred to three times by the Bishops in the final document: 1) After reviewing the serious gap between the rich and the poor of the world and the consequent injustices which are ¡structured into global society: "In the face of the present-day situation of the world, marked as it is by the grave sin of injustice, we recognize both our responsibility and our inability to overcome it by our own strength." (Part II) (emphasis added). 2) In urging a genuine reform of educational approach in order to promote a vital education to justice: "But education demands a renewal of heart, a renewal baserl on the recognition of sin in its individual and social manifestations." (Part III) (emphasis added). 3) In emphasizing the role of the liturgy in educating Christian people to the demands of justice: "The practice of penance should emphasize the social dimension of sin and of the sacrament." (Part III) (emphasis added). Sin and redemption are, of course, major biblical themes. The Old and New Testaments are filled with accounts of man's



infidelities and God's mercies. For the Christian community the sin-redemption theme is central. Gathered in the Eucharist, we proclaim a redemptive mystery of faith which has particular meaning because we "all have sinned, and have need of the glory of God" (Rom. 3 :23). The Gospel which the Church joyfully proclaims is a "Gospel for the remission of sins." If we are honest with ourselves, however, we must admit that by and large we have tended to restrict the category of sin to a very narrow personal sense. Evidence of this can be easily obtained from a quick glance at the standard forms for the examination of conscience available in catechisms and prayer books: "Have I missed my morning and night prayers? ... Have I failed in my Sunday obligation? ... Did I lie? ... Did I steal? ... Did I entertain impure thoughts? ... Did I swear?" We might object that such forms of examination are very passe in the Post-Vatican II Church of the 1970's. Yet for the overwhelming majority of adult Roman Catholics, these truly did serve as "forms"-profoundly formative of moral sensitivities. The Bishops of the Synod appeared keenly aware of this fact and voiced their concern that such a narrow focus on sin in a personal sense was the major reason for the failure of Catholics to see the situation of the modern world as truly a "sinful situation." The official synthesis of the Synod debates noted: "Here, indeed, there emerged a major preoccupation of the Synod. How is it, after eighty years of modern social teaching and two thousand years of the Gospel of love, that the Church has to admit Her inability to make more impact upon the conscience of Her people? But it was stressed again and again that the faithful, particularly the more wealthy and comfortable among them, simply do not see structw¡al social injustice as a sin, simply feel no personal responsibility for it and simply feel no obligation to do anything about it. Sunday observance, the Church's rules on sex and marriage tend to enter the Catholic conscience profoundly as sin. To live like Dives with Lazarus at the gate is not even preceived as sinful. It was this very strong reaction of the Synod that the whole social teaching of the Church has to be removed from the high



level of doctrinal pronouncements and forced into the consciences of the People of God." (#7) (emphasis added) The theme of social sin was well focused for emphasis at the Synod by the opening section of the pre-synodal working paper. Men of our times, the paper states, "demand profound changes in the very structures of society, structures which often constitute in themselves an embodiment of the sin of injustice." ( #2) That sin is somehow related to social structures is the very essence of "social sin," and to understand this we need to look at some recent developments both in theology and in sociology. In recent theological development, sin has more and more been viewed as a state rather than an act, as stance, ot¡ientation, direction, attitude rather than deed, incident, transgression. (See Piet Schoonenberg, S.J., Man and Sin: A Theological View, Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1965; and Louis Monden, S.J., Sin, Liberty and Law, New York: Sheed and Ward, 1965.) Biblical scholarship has shown that in its more refined treatment in John and in Paul, "sin" is used in the singular to imply state or condition. Such a biblical interpretation of sin challenges moral theology to be more actm¡-oriented than act-oriented in its discussion of sin. The social implication-indeed, the social incarnations--o<>f sin are more readily put in perspective by this understanding. Concomitant with this theological development has been a heightened sociological appreciation of the reality of social structures. In modern society these structures--systems and institutions, socio-economic-political arrangements--are very real entities with a life of their own, embody highly influential norms and sets of values, and have immense potential for an impact that can be either good or bad. Sociologist Peter Berger, for example, has emphasized that an understanding of the dialectic between man and society, a dialectic made explicit in the constitution and operation of social structures, is critical to a realistic understanding of man today. Hence it is cl'itical to any viable theological understanding. Berger sums up this dialectic: "Society is a human product. Society is an objective reality. Man is a social product." (Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann, The Social Constnwtion of Reality: A



Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge, New York: Doubleday Anchor Books, 1967, p. 61.) One of the problems which arises when the reality of social structures is insufficiently recognized is that social ethics¡ tends to be very underdeveloped. Bt¡yan Hehir has noted this fact as a consequence of an over-focus by Catholic moralists upon the birth-control question. The high visibility of the question in Catholic circles in the past decade tended to constrict natural law thinking as an institutional ethic apt to deal with the moral issues which arise in the structural problems of our society at the national and international level. EXAMPLES OF SOCIAL SIN

Given this theological understanding of sin and this sociological emphasis upon structures, we can now begin to appreciate why certain situations and structures can be referred to as instances of social sin. It will be helpful to look at three examples of social sin. 1. A social structure which oppresses human dignity and stifles freedom is a sinful structure. For example, a welfare system based on the premise that the poor are somehow bad and therefore not to be trusted or given a say in what happens to them is a structure which oppresses the dignity of the poor. It is a structure which victimizes those obliged to follow its patterns and customs: minimal payments, excessive surveillance, demeaning interviews, the ever-present fear of a cut-off of necessary funds. As we would refer to personal action of such an oppressive nature as sinful, so we must refer to action of this structure as sinful.

2. A social situation which promotes and facilitates individual acts of selfishness is a sinful situation. For example, zoning and tax systems which allow individual citizens to preserve their privileges at the expense of the poor and powerless provide situations wherein the selfishness of these individuals is made easy. Zoning legislation which makes it impossible for the less economically advantaged to seek more habitable surroundings outside of the central city facilitates the selfishness of the more privileged. A tax system which places a disproportionate bur-



den of paying for public goods upon lower- and middle-income people (through numerous loop-holes for higher-income brackets) is clearly a system which promotes the individual selfishness of some citizens in our society. 3. A social structure or situation which is unjust also becomes sinful when one is aware of the injustice but refuses to exert efforts to change it. This is the social sin of complicity. For example, the silent acceptance of an international monetary and trade system which severely injures the legitimate interest and aspirations of the developing countries in the 1970's is certainly an instanc!! of social sin. With 20% of the world's population controlling 80% of the world's wealth, major decisions are made every day which affect the quality of life of the inhabitants of the Third World without their having the least say in the character of these decisions. A startling instance of this was the rlecision in the fall of 1971 to devalue the American dollar, a decision costing the voiceless poor nations some $500 million in precious international reserves. Silent complicity as we enjoy the benefits of such a decision constitutes an instance of social sin. If it is true that it is possible for some of the very structures of our society to constitute in themselves an embodiment of the sin of injustice, then we have the key to discerning a deeply theological reason for the Church's involvement in social action. In the Constitution on the Chn1¡ch in the Modern World, .Vatican 1I had clearly stated the single intention of the Church's mission: "that God's kingdom may come, and that the salvation of the whole human race may come to pass." ( #45) This mission is accomplished in the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in fulfillment of the mandate, "Go into the whole world, preach the Gospel to every creature" (Mark 16 :15). The Kingdom is established and salvation comes only in the face of a struggle against sin-personal and social. The theological foundation for why the Church is socially involved-not only has the 1¡ight but the obligation to be so involved-can be summed up in two propositions: (I) the Gospel that the Church preaches is a Word that frees from sin, and (2) the world is marked by the evil of situations and structures of social sin. This foundation was clearly expressed by the



Synod: "Action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel, or, in other words, of the Church's mission for the redemption of the human race and its liberation from every oppressive situation" (Introduction) . It is helpful to note that this explicit linking of social involvement with the preaching of the Gospel is made in at least three other places in the Synod document. The citations are worth quoting in full. "The mission of preaching the Gospel dictates at the present time that we should dedicate ourselves to the liberation of man even in his present existence in this world." (Part II) "The Church, indeed, is not alone responsible for justice in the world; however, she has a proper and specific responsibility which is identified with her mission of giving witness before the world of the need for love and justice contained in the Gospel message, a witness to be carried out in Church institutions themselves and in the lives of Christians." (Part II) "At the same time as it proclaims the Gospel of the Lord, its Redeemer and Savior, the Church calls on all, especially the poor, the oppressed and the afflicted, to cooperate with God to bring about liberation from every sin and to build a world which will reach the fullness of creation only when it be. comes the work of man for man." (Part IV) We can answer the first question, why is the Church socially involved, by offering a theological explanation which is rooted in a new emphasis on social sin. This emphasis ties the Church's social involvement directly and essentially to its mission of preaching liberation from sin. II.



Sinners are called to conversion. Liberation from sin comes in the process of "metanoia." Conversion is the call of the prophets to Israel to return as a people to the worship of the one God, Yahweh; it is the message of John the Baptist, the opening expression of the God News proclaimed by Jesus ("Repent and believe, the Kingdom of God is at hand," Mark 1 :15), the repeated exhortation of the kerygmatic sermons in Acts. A central religious experience, the process of conversion



implies a change of heart, a reorientation of life's direction, the acceptance of a new set of values. I believe it is possible to discuss a theology of how the Church is socially involved in terms of conversion, in terms of the actions the Church-as individuals and as communitytakes to bring about conversion from social sin. For our purposes here, I suggest three approaches to conversion: prophetic word, symbolic witness, and political action. A. Prophetic word. The Church's primary tool in social involvement is the Word of God. A "two-edged sword," this Word must be spoken fearlessly in situations of social sin and against sinful structures wherever found. According to the Synod document, "Like the Apostle Paul, we insist, welcome or unwelcome, that the Word of God should be present in the center of human situations.... Our mission demands that we should courageously denounce injustice, with charity, prudence and firmness, in sincere dialogue with all parties concerned." (Part Ill) Thus is the Christian community called to speak the "twoedged sword" of denouncing and encouraging, the prophetic word. A concrete prophetic word helps to bring about conversion primarily because it challenges our view of "the way things are" and "the way things are done." Certainly the chief obstacle to social change, the main hindrance to remedying conditions of injustice, is our failure to perceive the sinfulness of a situation. Our perceptions are very contingent upon the prevailing set of images and patterns of perception, the values and behavioral standards, which are inherent in our culture. What the prophetic word does is shatter the images or mindsets by which we are accustomed to perceive reality, especially social reality. As the synthesis of the Synod debates suggests, "We are all to some degree prisoners of the perceptions and visions to which we are educated-by formal schooling, by the pressures of the media, by special propaganda." (#19) The Gospel message of liberation frees us from this prison by offering alternate perceptions and visions. For example, American society places great stress on the ethic of cornpetitiveneBB and exalts being "number one," wheth-



er in business, sports, or foreign policy. By and large, this is an accepted value in our society, with children being socialized to it and adults judging events by it. But the Gospel ethic of skaTing-with consequent emphasis upon moderation, concern for the other, etc.-is in sharp conflict with the ambition of being "number one." Where a prophetic word for sharing is spoken, then, conversion from sinful structures-unjust economic systems, for instance, or unjust foreign policiesbased on competitiveness is made both a challenge and possibility for Christians. Social involvement of the Church by way of speaking a prophetic word seems to be what Johannes Metz refers to as the "critical liberating function" of the Church (Theology of the Wor¡ld. New York: Herder and Herder, 1971, p. 117). Precisely because the Church's message is eschatological, it points to the future and judges all institutions, ideas, and images as provisional--that is, as subject to radical change. Metz's emphasis upon the institutional role of criticism is echoed by Eduard Schillebeeckx, who adds the specification that the Church's prophetic word about social change must arise from concrete situations. Ethical imperatives thus emerge "from a concrete experience of life and impose themselves with the clear evidence of experience" (God the Future of Man, New York: Sheed and Ward, 1968, p. 153.) Something which Schillebeeckx says about the character of this concrete prophetic word is important for us to recall at this point. At times we in the Church are prevented from speaking out-or at least we plead that we are so preventedby our "lack of knowledge of all the facts." But Schillebeeckx has noted that the ethical content of the stands that we might take even on complex political issues can and frequently do arise from what he has called a Hcontrast-experience." A ''contrast-experience" is the experience of a very concrete social evil-such as war, racism, torture, exploitation, world hungerto which the Christian can only respond: "This should not be so, this must not go on!" I may not have all of the facts to know what the alternatives should be, but I can know-from the values which the Gospel expects to be integral to the life of a follower of Jesus-that this particular evil must simply



not be allowed to continue. And thus the prophetic word is spoken. Granting what I have just said in the preceding paragraph, there is still need-if conversion is to be promoted and exercised through an effective prophetic word-for serious research into critical social questions. If Church leadership, for example, is to expect a hearing, then it must show the authenticity of its commitment by the seriousness of its effort. A specific instance comes to my mind. Again and again in the 1960's, groups of American Catholics petitioned individual bishops and the National Conference of Catholic Bishops to speak out in moral condemnation of the Vietnam War. Repeatedly the Bishops refused to say anything specific, on the grounds that they lacked sufficient information to make a concrete judgment. As legitimate as this excuse might have been the first time it was uttered, its legitimacy faded with constant repetition. The Bishops failed the test of authenticity by making no effort whatsoever to gain sufficient information to make a moral judgment. No study group was set up, no experts were consulted. What we in the American Church did not hear from our Bishops was the response of a group clearly committed to value leadership in our country at a critical time: "We do not have sufficient information to make a proper moral judgment about the Vietnam War at this time and therej01¡e we appoint ¡a special commission of political scientists, moral theologians, ordinary citizens, etc., to assist us in making that judgment as soon as possible." We can hope that the experience of the 1960's will have taught the Bishops-and indeed all of us- of the need to take seriously the call to speak prophetic words. B. Symbolic witness. Immediately after urging the Church's social involvement by way of prophetic words, the Synod documents notes, "\Ve know that our denunciations of injustice can secure assent to the extent that they are an expression of our lives and are manifested in continuous action" (Part III). This call to witness symbolically-that is, to act out concretely -the values of which the Church speaks is evident in other places in the Synod document and is essentially related to the task of conversion from social sin. The symbolic deed



not only manifests our conversion but also in turn deepens our conviction. The integral link between the prophetic word and the symbolic deed has been cogently explained by Paulo Freire. Designing a "pedagogy of the oppressed," a method of education for liberation, Freire stresses that a word not only conveys information but also effects change. "Within the word we find two dimensions, reflection and action, in such radical interaction that if one is sacrificed-even in part-the other immediately suffers .... An unauthentic word, one which is unable to transform reality, results from the dichotomy imposed upon its constitutive elements. When a word is deprived of its dimension of action, reflection automatically suffers as well; and the word is charged into idle chatter, into verbalism, into an alienated and alienating 'blah.' It becomes an empty word, one which cannot denounce the world, for denunciation is impossible without a commitment to transform, and there is no transformation without action." (Pedagogy of the Oppressed, New York: Herder and Herder, 1970, pp. 74-75.) Lest Church pronouncements on social matters become an "alienated and alienating 'blah,'" it is crucial that the Christian community witness through symbolic deeds it commitment to transformation through action for justice. Thus the Synod document states: "While the Church is bound to give witness to justice, she recognizes that anyone who ventures to speak to people about justice must first be just in their eyes." (Part III) To achieve a semblance of justice in the eyes of others, the Church is urged by the Synod to an examination of its modes of actions, its possessions, and the life style of all: bishops, priests, religious, and lay people. Especially noteworthy in this call to symbolic witness is the challenge for a "sparing and sharing" life style (See William R. Callahan, S.J., "The Quest for Justice: Guidelines to a Creative Response by American Catholics to the 1971 Synod Statement, 'Justice in the World,'" Washington, D.C.: Center of Concern, 1972). The Bishops at the Synod stressed that the possessions of the Church must never compromise the preaching of the Gospel to the poor, and that "our faith demands of us a certain sparingness in the use" of goods. The theme is taken



up with particular relevance to the Catholic Church in the United States-since we Americans are six percent of the world's population but consume forty percent of the world's resources--"Those who are already rich are bound to accept a less material way of life, with less waste, in order to avoid the destruction of the heritage which they are obliged by absolute justice to share with all other members of the human race." (Part III) Studies such as that of the Club of Rome (Dennis Meadows et al., The Limits of Growth, New York: Universe Books, 1972) have recently pointed out the finite character of our globe and emphasized the limited natural resources and interrelated ecology of our planet. This makes the Synod's call for sparingness all the more urgent and the practice of an austerity of life style all the more dramatic a manifestation of conversion from social sin. The challenge is particularly relevant for priests. The life style of the priest is of critical importance in this country both in its symbolic value and in its ability to sensitize the priest himself and his community to the needs of others. I am not speaking here of an "ascetical ideal" but of a social necessity. The synod document is very explicit: "If ... the Church appears to be among the rich and the powerful of this world its credibility is lost." (Part III) Hence it is essential that the priest as a public person of the Church makes a serious effort to practice the "sparingness of use" urged by the Synod. Simplicity of life style is surely called for today in the priest's residence, food and drink, car, recreation, vacations, protocol and privilege, etc. We priests need to be very honest with ourselves, and in very practical ways test the authenticity of our commitment to social justice, our conversion from the social sin of a wasteful consumer society. C. Political action. Sooner or later in a discussion of how the Church is to be socially involved, the issue of the Church and politics must be squarely faced. In the United States this is an especially sticky issue, one which has been clouded emotionally by disputes inside the Church and between the Church and society at large. The reason why political action must be considered in these theological reflections, however, is precisely because social sin is a structural phenomenon. Conversion



from social sin is possible only if efforts are made to see that structures are changed-and in the United States, major social structures are changed through the political process. According to the Synod document. "This desire [for justice] however will not satisfy the expectations of our time if it ignores the objective obstacles which social structures place in the way of conversion of hearts." (Part I) Social involvement taken seriously, then, of necessity means that political action is taken seriously. It is at this point that the true meaning of conversion takes

on a special significance. The Christian who pursues just social change through political action must do so because of his or her own justice. The 1968 Medellin documents, statements of renewal by the Second General Conference of Latin American Bishops, make this point lucidly: "The originality of the Christian message does not consist directly in the assertion that it is necessary to change structures, but in the insistence on the convc¡rsicn of man which in turn calls for this chanr;-e." (Con- . elusions, Justice, #3) First personal conversion, then conversion of structures; but no authentic personal conversion without genuine commitment to change structures. That the Church in the United States is socially involved through political action is a fact which can hardly be denied. Individual Catholic citizens acting on their own do, in the words of the Synod, "involve¡ the responsibility of the Church whose members they are" when they act in the political area "under the influence of the Gospel and the teaching of the Church." (Part II) And certainly the U.S. Catholic hierarchy has been deeply involved in politics in such issues as .aid to education and abortion legislation. What is being called for by the Synod, and appears to be supported by our theological discussion of social sin and conversion, is the acceptance of political action as a religious imperative, a Christian responsibility. If some social structures in the United States are instances of social sin and are to be remedied, then political action to change them becomes the concrete implementation of that "constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel" identified by the Synod as "action for justice and participation in the transformation of the world." (Introduction)



This raises the specific question of the priest in politics. It is impossible to comment on the Church's social involvement in the United States without some notice being given to the prominence of Catholic clergymen in active politics, either in elective or appointive office. A priest sits in Congress as a Representative; a priest chairs the¡ U.S. Civil Rights Commission; a priest is a special assistant to the President, working in the White House as a speech writer; and numerous priests serve as members of state legislatures, local councils and boards, etc. In the United States this is a fairly new phenomenon. It does seem to run counter to the Second Roman Synod's other document, "The Ministerial Priesthood," which encourages priests to "keep a certain distance from any political office or involvement," and gives the instruction, "Leadership or active militancy on behalf of any political party is to be excluded by every priest unless, in concrete and exceptional circumstances, this is truly required by the good of the community, and receives the consent of the bishop after consultation with the priests' council and, if circumstances call for it, with the episcopal conference." (Part II) In the United States, the President of the NCCB has publically interpreted this instruction rather strictly. But I believe that it is necessary to place the instruction in the context of: ( 1) the strong emphasis on action by the Synod document on "Justice in the World"; (2) the example given by the Vatican itself in the spring of 1972 (after the Synod) in its active political involvement in support of the Christian Democrats in the Italian elections; (3) the clear precedent of political action by American Church leaders (including in particular the President of the NCCB) when the issues at stake include something like aid to parochial education; and ( 4) the long and hallowed tradition of politics within the Church. Certainly priests have no special charisma for exercising political responsibility; neither do they have any special excuse for shirking this responsibility. Ordinarily they probably would not be expected to be actively engaged in electoral politics by seeking office, but there are times and places in the United States where this might very well be integral to their mission of preaching the Gospel. Problems arising from potential diviseness for the community, etc., will have to be met on an



ad hoc basis of individual and conununity discernment, and not

by any general and absolute rules. CONCLUSION

John Gardner, one of those unique figures who is a public philosopher engaged in practical political action, has noted somewhere that our society continues to be preoccupied with specific evils to be corrected, rather than the development of a society responsive to the need for continuous change. It has been my contention here that for the Church to be socially involved is for it to be concerned about the structures of society -and whether or not those structures are in need of and open to that continuous change which is movement from social sin to conversion to justice. The theological foundation for the Church's social involvement and the theological explanation of its manner of involvement can be found in the 1971 Synod's emphasis on social sin. It should be clear from my discussion that I have been using "Church" in a variety of senses, sometimes referring to the Church as an institutional force, but most of the time meaning simply all the People of God. All of us have the common task of getting the Church socially involved in response to the call to preach the Gospel through "action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world."

Lawrence McCulloch Thomas Fenton Eugene Toland

justice and Peace: A Radical Analysis

If we a-re to avoid preaching platitudes when we preach justice, we nwst do our homework in economics.

As priests we are increasingly aware of our responsibility

to relate the gospel demands for justice and peace to the real world in which we live. Because of our training in theology, we should have a fairly good grasp of what these demands are. Where we may be caught short, however, is in our understanding of the "real world." Without realizing it, our view of reality can have some serious blind spots. If this is the case our ministry for justice and peace could be seriously affected. An area of life we priests tend to have only a passing acquaintance with is the economic. Few of us, for example, have devoted much time to a study of our economic system in the U.S. We may have had an economics course in college, but that is 131



about it. And like most students who did not intend to go on into business, we probably found it dry, sterile, complicated and monotonous fare. This ignorance of economics, however, can be a serious handicap for us. While we know that not all injustices are economic or even reducible to the economic, we also know that it is often in the economic dimensions of life that the inequalities are most felt, most burdensome, and most unrelenting. If we are to avoid preaching platitudes when we preach justice, we will have to do some homework in economics. The purpose of this article is to provide priests with a radical critique of the American economic system. This kind of critique is urgently needed for the simple reason that we have to start getting at the ca1<ses of injustice, causes that can only be fully grasped from a radical perspective. All of us are conscious of the effects of injustice. We are confronted daily with many different examples: an engineer from the parish with nine years experience loses his job and ends up driving a taxi to support his family; high taxes force an elderly couple out of the home they spend a lifetime paying for; a chicano family struggles to live on an income well below the national average; a farm family sells the farm they have worked for generations because they can no longer make ends meet; a black man finds that after five years with a company he has reached the top of his classification and further advances in the company are closed to him ... and so it goes. Anxious, frustrated and perhaps even angry at trying, without much success, to help so many people with so many pressing problems, we finally ask the question "why?". Why, in a trillion dollar economy, do we still have so many people living in poverty, so much unemployment and underemployment, and so much Illsecurity? The answers we are given are familiar enough. Some say apathy and indifference are the cause. Those who have a lot are insensitive to those who have little. Others say rapid change is the cause. Change happens so fast today that many individuals are just not able to cope with the new demands placed upon them. Still others say a lack of knowledge is the



cause. The problems are so complex we just do not know what to do. While each of these answers to the "why" of injustice has some truth, none of them provide the real answer. The reason is that none of them talk about power, and specifically economic power. None of them question the prevailing assumption that our economy is run by the majority of the people, usually referred to as the "middle class", for the welfare of the majority of the people. To get at the "why" of injustice in the U.S. another answer is needed, an answer that can throw a bright light on the often obscure causes of inequality and injustice. In this light a new world emer:ges. It is the real world, the world of capitalism, a world that causes unimaginable wealth for a few and poverty for many, a world in which profit is the sole measure of worth, a world in which power and control are exercised by a small elite. It is a fascinating world, a world hidden from our eyes through deliberately created myths anrl illusions, a world that we as priests are called upon to understand and radically change if we are to effectively preach the gospel in the 20th century. WHO RUNS AMERICA?

Robert Townsend, the former president of Avis-Rent-A-Car and author of the best-selling spoof on corporate life, Up the Organization, in a recent review of a book entitled In the Name of Profit, writes the following: "Look at it this way. America is run largely by and for about 5,000 people who are actively suppor-ted by 50,000 beavers eager to take their places. I arrive at the round figure this way: maybe 2500 megacorporation executives, 500 politicians, lobbyists and congressional committee chairmen, . 500 investment bankers, 500 commercial bankers, 500 partners in major accounting firms, 500 labor brokers .... The 500 appoint their own successors, are responsible to nobody. They treat this nation as their exclusive whorehouse especially designed for their comfort and kicks. The President of these United States, in their private view, is head towel boy .... For most of us, the 210 million, the result is a tearing frustration. Frustration with unemployement, inequity, taxes and prices, to be sure, but under it all a rage at the giant, impregna-

l \



ble, impenetrable, anonymous, unaccountable, irn>Sponsible, immovable bastions of power. And now, through the Naderites, through the blizzard of shredded documents at ITT ... we get our noses rubbed in the whole sick operation of decadent power blocks." (The New York Times Book Review, April 30, 1972, p. 24.) A rather strong statement coming from a former top corporate executive! Is it true? Is it true that a ruling class exists in the United States? It is true that a mere 5000 people run America for their own pleasure and profit? And if it is true what difference does it make? Before we come up with any answers to these questions, a few more facts may be helpful. Would you believe, as Maxwell Smart would say, that the distribution of wealth in the United States is almost identical with the distribution of wealth in India? Well, it is. (Lunberg, Ferdinand, The Rich and the Supe>¡-Rich, Bantam Books, 1968, p. 24.) The only difference is that in the U.S. the economic pie is much bigger and so the result of this maldistribution are not quite as visible. Furthermore, with this wealth, highly concentrated in the hands of a few, goes much of the control over our country's resources, industry, and public services. In 1941, %of all manufacturing assets in the nation were controlled by 1000 large corporations. Today a mere 200 giant corporations control this same percentage, i.e. a cool $350 billion. (Fortune, Time Inc., May 1971, pp. 172-178.) Despite Wall Street's claim of a "people's capitalism", these corporations are owned by less than 2% of the American population. According to the Lampman 1¡eport, published in 1962, 80% of all corporate stocks were owned by the top 1.6% of the population. Even more, the richest of the rich owned more than half of this group's stock. Thus 7500 people, each with assets of a million dollars or more, owned at least 40% of all corporate stock in the country. (Lampman, Robe!'!:, The Share of Top Wealth Holders in Personal Wealth, Princeton University Press, pp. 75-80, 97, 208.) Not only is the wealth of the nation, i.e. the factories, utilities, banks, etc., largely owned by a small percentage of the



population, but the yearly national income is equally maldistributed. According to a recent Brookings Institute study conducted by Joseph Pechman, the lowest fifth of American families receives only 3.2% of the national income while the highest fifth gets 45.8%, or more than fourteen times as much. Moreover, according to this study, the top 1% of American families receives more than twice the income of the 20o/o who occupy the bottom rung of the U.S. income ladder. (The Pechman Study, Brookings Institute, January, 1972.) An even more revealing way to look at the economy is through the influence and control which a mere handful of multi-billionaire families and financial groups have exerted for generations. The Rockefeller empire is not a thing of the past. Neither are the Dupont or Mellon Trust relics of another age. These families and economic groups loom on the economic horizon like elephants walking amidst ants. And if we read carefully Dun and Bradstreets list of top corporate and banking executives and map out their interlocking boards of directors, we get the impression these elephants not only respect one another's territory but they actively cooperate so as to not to trample on each other. A sketch of these families and groups which run our economy looks something like this: The Morgan Guarantee Trust ¡Group, which includes in its sphere of influence U.S. Steel, General Electric, Kennecot Copper, Campbell Soup, Coca Cola, Mutual Life of N.Y., Prudential, etc. The Rockefeller Group, which includes Chase Manhattan Bank, Metropolitan Life of N.Y., Standard Oil of N.J., Eastern Airlines, Borden, IBEC, etc. The Mellon Group, which includes ALCOA, Gulf Oil, Westinghouse, Etc. The Dupont Group, which includes Dupont Chemical, U.S. Rubber, and Bendix aviation. (The Duponts recently had to sell their controlling interest in General Motors due to a court order. But the huge profits from this sale were merely reinvested in high growth, frequently defense related industries.)



The Chicago group, which include the First National Bank of Chicago, International Harvester, Sears and Roebuck, Inland Steel, etc. Other families and groups, such as the Harrimans (Philadelphia), the Hannas (Cleveland), the Fords (Detroit), the Danforths (St. Louis) the Hunts (Dallas) and the Crookers (San Francisco) fill out the picture. (Lundberg, America's Sixty Familie8, 1937; Perla, Victor, The Empit路e of High Finance, 1958; Lundberg, The Rich and the Super-Rich, 1968; Menshikov, S. Millionai1路es and Managen, 1969.) This, in outline, is the ruling class of the United States. This small group of multi-millionares and billionares own and control all the major industries and banks in the country. Specifically, their power rests on the fact that they control most of the nation's money capital. The bank assets alone controlled by this financial elite are twice as large as the annual budget of the federal government. ( Comme1路cial Banks and their Trust Activities: Emerging Influence on the A met路ican Economy. 1969, U.S. Gov. Printing Office, "The Patman Report") With this enormous wealth they dominate the American economy and determine its direction. Armed with the power to make key economic decisions concerning investments and the allocation of resources, they run their affairs and those of the nation according to the one rubric of corporate life: the maximization of profits. SO WHAT?

Even if we grant, however, that Robert Townsends estimate of 5000 people effectively running the U.S. economy for their own interest is correct, so what? After all, someone has to run it and as we have learned from the apologists of the "freeenterprise" system from Adam Smith to Milton Friedman, people pursuing their own enlightened self-interest will inevitably lead to a better life for all of us. That, perhaps, sounds good in theory, but again let us look at the facts. What is the effect of the ruling class on the vast majority of the American people?



A good example is A.T. & T. "Ma Bell" is the largest private



employer in the country, having over a million people on its payroll. 45% of its employees, however, are paid less than $7000 a year. What is particularly interesting is that only 4% of A.T. & T.'s white males earn so little, whereas 64% of all Spanish surnamed employees, 79% of all black employees, and 80o/o of all female employees earn less than $7000 annually. Indeed, the Equal Opportunity Commission has characterized A.T. & T. as "without doubt the largest oppressor of women workers in the U.S." ("A Unique Competence, A Study of the Equal Employment Opportunity of the Bel/. System.. EEC Commission, Washington, D.C. 1971.) And what is the response of A.T. & T's white male corporate elite to such obviously discriminatory practies? It is to fight desperately to maintain the present, very profitable situation. The recent New York Telephone strike is a case in point. A.T. & T. used every means available to break the strike, principally by bringing in scab labor from New Jersey and other surrounding areas. As a result, after a several month strike, the New York workers were forced to accept terms that were only· $2.00 a week more than the company's pre-strike offer. (Fm·tune. Time Inc., March 1972, p. 17.) Does this mean A.T. & T. is shoti on cash? Hat·dly. In 1970 A.T. & T. paid out more than $3 million to stock and bond holders. In comparison, labor costs amounted to about $8 billionout of a total annual revenue of $18 billion. When we examine who cwns the largest share of A.T. & T. stocks and bonds, we finrl once again it is the upper 1.6% of the population. (1970 Annual Rep01i of A.T. & T.) Maintaining this graveytrain, then, even at this cost of rising rates and poor service to customers and blatant exploitation of women and minority groups is in the best interest of A.T. & T.'s corporate elite. Another example of how the financial elite pursues its own interests at the expense of the average American is the tax system. Despite claims of "progressive taxation" the rich and the super-rich have consistently provided themselves with legal gimmicks and loopholes to protect their huge f01i:unes. This happy state of affairs can be explained by the simple fact that most members of the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. government are drawn from among the rich and from the



lawyers and economists who work for them. During the 90th Congress the House of Representatives alone had 97 bankers, twelve of whom served on the House Banking Commission. (Tanzer, Michael, The Sick Society, 1971, p. 46.) The gimmicks used by the rich to avoid paying their "fair share" are well known : oil depletion allowances, tax exempt government bonds, capital gains write-offs, executive expense accounts, farm subsidies, stock options, etc. Atlantic Richfield Oil Co., for example, paid no federal taxes from 1962 to 1968 despite a net income during this same period of over $750 million. (Mintz, M., America Inc., Dial Press, 1971, p. 9.) In 1970, 112 persons with incomes over $200,000 paid no taxes whatsoever. (New York Times Magazine, April 16, 1972, p. 71.) From 1913 to the present the Rockefellers have paid less than $17 million in inheritance taxes on a fortune estimated at from $3 to $5 billion. (The Rich and the Super-Rich, op.cit., p. 185.) In 1968 a single farm in California, the J. G. Boswell Co., received over $3 million in farm subsidies. (N.Y. Times Almanac, 1970, p. 650.) These are but a few examples. They should help remind us that what we have in this country, as Supreme Court Justice William 0. Douglas has said, is a system of socialism for the rich and "free-enterprise" for the poor. (Douglas, Points of Rebellion, p. 72.) IMPACT ON POORER NATIONS

The American ruling class, however, in looking out for its own interests, not only hurts the majority of the American people. To an even greater extent it operates in direct opposition to the interest anrl welfare of the majority of the people in the "underdeveloped" countries of the world. The Rockefellers, for example, are more influencial in shaping U.S. foreign policy than any other interest group. They manage this through a high degree of influence over the Council on Foreign Relations (of which David Rockefeller, the chairman of the board of Chase Manhattan Bank, is the current president) and through similar influence over other businessdominated, policy-oriented organizations, such as the Brookings Institute. They also have up presidential task forces and mis-



sions. The recent Rockefeller Repo1t on Latin America recommends increase support for right-wing dictatorships, such as in Brazil, and keeping a wary eye on the Catholic Church. In another rep01t, this one corning from the Task Force on International Development, they recommend that the U.S. aid program be made multilateral, i.e. that it be taken out of the hands of Congress and put into the hands of the representatives of the international business community who are more in touch with the complex day-to-day needs of U.S. corporations overseas than their colleagues on Capital Hill. This interest in foreign policy, of course, does not arise from some unique patl¡iotic fervor. It is strictly determined by dollars and cents. In 1970 the book value of U.S. private corporate investment overseas exceeded $70 billion (it was only $11.6 billion in 1945) and was growing rapidly. (Survey of Cu1Tcnt Bt~-9iness, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, 1970.) In stimulating and protecting these lucrative investments (return on invested capital abroad is more than twice that investerl at home) the assistance of the government is indispensable. "Aid" programs, for example, are used to secure concessions from weak foreign governments which fill the coffers of the multinational corporations. Dean Rusk put it well when he spoke to the Foreign Relations Committee in 1968: "We do think as a matter of policy it would be wise and prudent on their side (other governments) to create conditions that would be attractive to the international investor. So our influence is used wherever it can be and persistently, through embassies on a day-to-day basis, in our aid discussions, and in direct negotiations to underline the importance of private investment." (Hearings on Foreign Assistance Act of /968. Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate, p. 27.) When all else fails, of course, the corporate elite can resort to less subtle, more direct methods of persuasion. The invasion of the Dominican Republic by 20,000 U.S. marines is a classic example. The official reason was to prevent the island from going Communist, though Juan Bosch, the popularly elected president deposed by a local military coup, was never a communist nor is he one today. The real reason was to protect the interests of American big business which has for generations made super-profits off the poverty of the Dominican people.



For example, the South Puerto Rico Sugar Co. (5 Hanover Square, N.Y.) whose board of directors intertwines with Rockefeller's Chase Manhattan Bank, gets 2fa of its sugar from the Dominican Republic. It had 120,000 acres in cane, 110,000 acres of pasture with choice lifestock, and 45,000 acres held in reserve (and economists wonder why the Dominican Republic has to import food from the U.S. to feed its own people). It also owns a sugar mill, a plant, a private railroad system and a dock and bulk sugar loading station. In addition to this major investment, there was ALCOA Aluminum, owned by the billionaire Mellon family (852,000 tons of bauxite extracted in 1963, profits estimated at 47%), United Fruit and the First National City Bank of N.Y. One example will suggest what these corporations had to gain from the "successful invasion". In 1962, with the brutal Trujillo dictatorship finally over and the newly elected president Bosch promising much needed reform, the workers of the South Puerto Rican Sugar Co., engaged in numerous strikes (for the first time in over 40 years). The company bitterly resisted and, though it signed a contract, it became obvious that its inte1¡ests, and "stability" in general, could best be served by a military dictatorship. In fact, immediately after the army coup in the summer of 1965, U.S. corporations attacked the trade unions, fired the more militant members, and reneged on some earlier concessions. When the contracts expired later that same year, the companies had a free hand in reducing wages. (Petras, James, Politics and Social Struct1we in Latin Ame1-ica. Monthly Review Press, 1970, p. 278.) This is only one example. There are hundreds of others, e.g. the recently exposed maneuvers of I. T. & T. in Chile. But the point is clear. Despite the free-enterprise rhetoric, whether that of an Adam Smith or a Milton Friedman or the more "enlightened" rhetoric of a Walt Rostow or a David Rockefeller, both the American people and the vast majority of people in "less developed" countries have been victims of the American ruling class, which has as its sole rationale the maximization of profit. The consequences on the lives of millions of poor and almost-poor people is of little, if any, interest.




Granted, however, that these things are true, that there is a ruling class in our country and that it runs its affairs to the detriment of the vast majority of the people, what does this have to do with us priests? Our job is more mundane, less glamorous than running A.T. & T. or G.M. We administer the sacraments, we teach CCD, we run parish bazaars, we attend prayer meetings, we talk and study theology and church politics. Within our communities we have a certain amount of respect and influence, but our collar certainly does not give us access to the centers of real economic and political decisions making, i.e. the board rooms of the Wall Street banks and the headquarters of the multinational corporations. What, then, do we do? In the first place, having an accurate understanding of the real nature and location of power in our society can help us put a lot of things in perspective. Many of us, especially "liberal" clergy, spend a lot of time "dumping" on the wrong people. Many of us still see the average white working man, the average Catholic, as the cause of many of the problems in our society. During the sixties, when we all jumped aboaâ&#x20AC;˘Âˇd the civil rights bandwagon, we lprangued our white parishioners for being prejudiced, for being anti-black. And since many of our parishioners make up the Irish cops who are accused of being racist pigs, we even toyed with that slander. Added to his racist image, the average Catholic supported the war in Vietnam. He was a red, white and blue hawk. This helped to confirm our growing suspicion (since we supported the Berrigans and considered ourselves doves) that the guy (and gal) in the pew on Sunday morning was basically unChristian. And now, just over the horizon, is an emerging concern for the "Third World", the world of the poverty-stricken overseas. Once we think we understand this issue we will no doubt go to our Catholic people, speak to them of how they are responsible for the poverty of people overseas, how they are going to have to accept higher prices for foreign commodities, pay higher taxes for foreign aid and lose jobs to foreign competition. And, no doubt, we will be rejected on this issue just as we were on the issues of integration and the war. Our people will confirm, once and for



all, that they are unredeemable and that trying to speak to them about justice and peace is impossible. The tragedy of this situation is that we "liberal" priests, who really do not represent the black community or Vietnamese liberation forces or the poor in Latin America, Asia and Africa, have become alienated from our own community, the only constituency we do represent, i.e. the Irish, Polish, German, Italian lowe1¡ and middle class Catholic community. Without the right perspective, we have been unwilling, or at least unable, to see how the average Catholic is victimized by the present system of things. We have been unwilling to listen to his complaints. Catholic men and women, who pay our way, have found little sympathy from their own clergy about their problems. We dismiss their concerns about crime, about higher taxes, about job security, about inflation as selfish concerns. We do not listen to the people. No wonder they do not listen to us. A NEW ANALYSIS

To overcome this impass, we desperately need a new analysis, a radical analysis, that will help us see the average white working person as an ally, not an enemy. The ruling class always pits those who have little against those who have less. To the extent that we think it is the little guy, the Archie Bunkers of our society, who is the cause of the problem, and act on that belief, we reinforce the present system of inequality and frustration. Our job, if we accept a radical critique, is to "conscienticize" the average Catholic, not about somebody else's problem, but about his own problems. If he is insecure about his job, the cause of that insecurity is not the black man who is trying to get it, but the capitalist system itself which never has nor evet¡ will provide enough jobs for all the people who want to work. If taxes are high and getting higher, it is not because of welfa1¡e (although of course if there were jobs we would not need as much welfare). It is because the rich and the super-rich are not being taxed and that huge amounts are wastefully spend maintaining the private profits of the big defense industries. If our country engages in imperialist wars and the children of "middle America" die, it is not to protect small nations from atheistic communism. No, anticommu-




nism is a convenient excuse. The real reason is to protect the present and future interests of U.S. multi-national corporations. If the cost of living is constantly going up, it is not because unions are demanding too much for an honest days work. It is because profit margins must be artifically maintained and that, in oligopolistic industries, this is easy enough to do. In other words, we must help our constituents, the vast majority of Catholics in this country, see how they too are victimized by the system, perhaps not to the same degree as the blacks and chicanos and the Vietnamese and the poor people in other lands, but none the less victimized. We must at least be able to say to our people that their frustrations (witness the large Catholic primary vote for both Wallace and McGovern) are not simply the result of their imagination but are real frustrations about real problems. We must be able to tell the average Catholic, and ourselves, that none of us has any real power in this society, just as the blacks and the chicanos and the other 200 million people Robert Townsend speaks about have no real power. Power remains, as it always has, in the hands of the rich and the super-rich.

'.' '

This does not mean, of course, that there is no hope for change. We priests hold a role of trust and credibility among our Catholic people. From such a position we can give legitimacy to the "radical" interpretation of our society free of inflamatory rhetoric. We can be instrumental in creating small action/reflection groups of citizens who seek a more human alternative to the present economic rules of the game. Together with workers, lower-echelon managers, housewives and others we can sharpen our analysis of where real power lies and how it affects the people in our community. And although it will become clear that any strategy to dislodge that power and redistribute it in a truly democratic fashion will probably take decades, we will most certainly be surprised and renewed by the enthusiastic response of most of our people. We priests canterribly underestimate the average working person. Once presented with the facts of economic power in this country, and allowed to add his experiences of how that power operates in his own life, he can become a strong and committed ally in trying to bring about justice.



Finally, to critically analyze the present system of things in this country and to begin a search for a more human alternative is to be true to our own best traditions. In the scriptures we constantly hear of God's biased justice" on the side of the poor and the powerless. And in our own history we know how the Church, at the beginning of this century, gave crucial support to the working class struggle and the labor movement. Indeed, during a period when it was fashionable to believe Spencerian social concepts of the survival of the fittest and the right of big business to dictate its own terms to the working class, the Church stood on the side of labor and preached the primacy of the common good over individual gain. Now the question is whether capitalism itself is not the mother of much of the inequality and alienation we find in America, and if it is how can we replace it. To be serious about seeking justice and peace today means facing that question squarely.


James R. Jennings

The Challenge of the Second Development Decade For the first time in history mo.-e than 11,0 nations have accepted the challen.qe of collectively building a bette.- world. AmeTican Catholics can play a significant role. INTRODUCTION


In 1960, an assortment of planners under the auspices of the United Nations General Assembly kicked off a grand experiment caller the First Development Decade. Ten years later, the Second Decade of Development was launched. The Charter of the United Nations lists as objectives the creating of conditions of stability and well-being in the world, and the ensuring for all men a minimum standard of living consistent with human dignity .. Precisely to promote these goals, the Second Decade, like the First, set out a comprehensive and integrated program of national and international actions intended to achieve interrelated economic and social objectives. Unique, and especially notable, about this human experiment is its scope--it embraces the entire globe. For the first time in history, more than 140 nations have accepted the challenge of collectively building a better world. To document the need for such a global effort is to labor the obvious. The majority of the earth's inhabitants live in pitifully poor conditions: undernourished, illiterate, unem145



ployed. A small portion of the world's population lives in superabundance and affluence, and the disparity between these two groups continues to widen. In 1969, U Thant described the grim predicament: "the Members [nations] of the United Nations have perhaps ten years left in which to subordinate their ancient quarrels and launch a global partnership to supply the requit¡ed momentum to world development." DEVELOPED--LESS DEVELOPED.

A severe impediment to the success of the Second Development Decade is the perspective that dominates its chief planners. Many international planners divide the nations into two groups: developed nations and less developed nations. The first group includes the developed countries (DCs), those which have achieved a high level of industrialization. They enjoy advanced scientific and technological achievements: modernized agriculture, viable infrastructures such as elaborate educational, medical and social facilities, transportation and communications networks, and complex systems of law, banking and credit supporting substantial domestic and world commerce. These nations, or their allies, have invested heavily in sophisticated military apparatus: advanced military hardware, nuclear weapons, sizable armed forces. The nations of the northem half of the globe--those stretching from the Soviet Union westward across Europe, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and Japan--constitute the so-called developed world. With several exceptions, such as of the People's Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa, the rest of the nations -those in the southern half of the planet--are classified as less developed countries (LDCs) ; that is, they have not developed in the way their northern confreres have. Underlying this view is the assumption that, through the concerted efforts of the nations of both groups, it is not only possible but desirable that the LDCs become like the DCs. This DC-LDC dichotomy introduces several points of disagreement, if not outright conflict, in the field of international development. First, many people, including some in the so-



I (·



called DCs, are not convinced that the northern nations are, in fact, developed. It becomes increasingly more difficu It for residents of the developed nations to ignore the reality of alienated youth, isolated elders, drug addiction, urban decay, in the midst of smog, noise, traffic congestion. Richard Lemon, in The T1·oubled AnwricanB. reported that even citizens in the U.S.-the world's superdeveloped nationseem to be infected by "some new elusive plague of the age of technology. In a country proud of its big appetite, there suddenly seemed to be too much of everything.... " Secondly, the relationship of development to environment is ambivalent. The North is coming to view development, when equated with industrialization, as a cause of environmental disturbances-water and noise pollution, toxic emissions, traffic congestion. The nations where indush;alization is in its earlier stages see it as a remedy for their environmental problemspoor water supplies, inadequate sewage, subhuman housing. This is not to suggest that the governments of southern hemispheric nations do not aspire for more human lives for their citizens. The contrary is precisely the case. They, too, seek what is authentically human, as Pope Paul VI stated in his encyclical Populornm P-royress1'o: "to do more, know more, have more in order to be more .... " DEVELOPMENT-FOR WHAT?

The tension set up between divergent viewpoints revolves around the fundamental question: what is development? L. J. Lebret, in The La.•t Revolution, highlights the pola·rity: "In Western schools, children are taught how to earn money. In Burmese monasteries, they are taught how to lead a happy and contented life." I'

The influential factor in the development field in the 1960's was economics: the first essential for poor countries was deemed to be the achievement of strong economic growth rates measured by the magical barometer, the Gross National Product (GNP). As long as the GNP was steadily rising, the nation could expect to be approaching "development," and countless benefits would "filter down" to the impoverished, marginal masses of people.



This exaggerated emphasis upon economic rationality has recently been challenged by major high priests of development. As Robert S. McNamara, President of the World Bank, explains: "What is inadequate about them is that they do not, in themselves, tell us much about what is happening to the individual lives of great masses of people ... the improvement of the individual lives of the great masses of people is, in the end, what development is all about." McNamara documents his case with the experience of Brazil, a nation often represented as a showcase of successful development in the 1960's because of its extraordinary rate of growth of GNP. In 1960, 5% of the Brazilians had 29o/o of the nation's income; but by 1970, their share was approaching 40%. Meanwhile, the share of the pool¡est 40% of the population dropped from 10% to 8%. This emphasis on gross growth will be under 'severe attack in the 70's. But even more fundamentally, the attack will be against efforts by the North to impose their development model upon the nations of the South. Critics of the gross growth model have increased in number in recent years with the works of such men as Denis Goulet, I van Illich, Paulo Freire, Rene Laurentin and Mahbub ul Haq. Mahbub ul Haq, senior economic advisor of the World Bank, dismisses the northern model of gross growth for the nations of the South on two counts. In the first place, the disparity in the per capita income between the rich and poor nations has, continued to widen in the last 20 years, and all the present indicators point to a continued widening of this gap. For example, the increase in the per capita GNP of the U.S. in one year equals the increase that India may be able to acquire in the next one hundred years. Furthermore, the foreign assistance that is required to effect a significant change in the poorer nations through the gross growth method is at least 4 to 5 times the present annual level of $7 billion. There is no indication that financial assistance in these amounts is likely to come from the North. Secondly, the gross growth model rests on the erroneous premise that high national growth rates are essential and the distribution of the benefits of the growth can be taken care of after growth is achieved. Haq maintains that income distribu-






tion system are not merely financial ; they tend to be structural and enforced by political and social patterns. If the society has achieved income growth, for example, in the form of luxury housing and private cars, it requires a major, even drastic, shift in political structural patterns to convert the growth into massive programs of low cost housing and public transportation. How to effect such a shift without resorting to violence requires a collective moral sensitivity of a remarkable order. An additional complication in the gross growth model: The Pearson report, Partners in Development, candidly points out that international private capital is simply not attracted by the type of investment which is "a prime need in developing countries-schools, roads, hospitals, irrigation, etc. . . . The flow of private capital tends to be highly concentrated in countries with rich mineral resources and fairly high incomes .. ," that is, where increased production is immediately reflected in increased profit. DEVELOPMENT-POWER

A prevalent view among the southern nations is that they must create a new development strategy appropriate to their needs, with consumption patterns consistent with a lower level of modernization.





The Catholic bishops of Latin America, meeting at Medellin, Colombia, in 1968, decisively rejected existing patterns. Neither capitalism presuming "the primacy of capital" and its use to enrich the few, nor Marxism "concerned with collective man" and "totalitarian concentration of state power" received the bishops' endorsement. The issue becomes, then, one in which these nations must liberate themselves from factors which dominate them: to re-align their internal structures as well as their interrelationship with other nations and economic forces . Precisely at this point, a major obstacle to the success of the Second Development Decade becomes evident: the imbalance of power among nations. The term "power" is defined here as the capacity of a nation to determine a course of action for itself without being overly dependent upon other nation (s) for supportive responses. Of course, in a world growing ever



more interdependent, the occasions for unilateral "power plays" by individual nations are becoming fewer. The U.S., for example, for all its superpower, found itself virtually paralyzed when North Korea seized "The Pueblo." Nor does the U.S.S.R. appear to have sufficient power to "pull into line" tiny Albania. But clearly, the range of options available to some nations (the most powerful) is vastly wider than that of most of their confreres. Even among the so-called developing nations there are gradations. Brazil, while officially considered a developing nation by the international community, has a foreign assistance program which provides funds to 13 smaller, less powerful nations in Latin America. The influence of this compound of political and economic power is so pervasive in international development that power becomes more appropriate than the level of development for classifying nations into categories: super powerful countries (SPCs), more powe1¡ countries (MPCs), and less powerful countries ( LPCs). The asymmetry of power is especially evident in the World Bank, a major component of the international power structure in the field of world development. Initially, it was created to assist the recovery of Western Europe in the aftermath of World War II. Now composed of 107 member nations, it makes loans to governments and private organizations working in major development fields. Its source of funds is the sale of bonds to private investors and consortia. The Bank's primary interest is financing development programs in the southern hemisphere, and its origins are rooted in the free-ma,rket model of development. David Baldwin reported in Economic Development and A1nerican Fo,-eign Policy 1943-62 that from the outset the World Bank "threatened to withhold loans in order to 'encourage' governments to pass legislation more favorable to private foreign investors, to control inflation, to pay private external debts, to avoid governmentowned enterprises [and] to improve the climate of investment . otl1er ways . ... " In Although the Bank is essentially a multilateral agency it was never envisioned that control of its operation could be taken over by the LPCs of the South. In 1960, conservative American critics feared that the World Bank's multilateral








assistance programs might be subject to political manipulations adverse to America's interests. Henry Cabot Lodge, then U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., assured them that "Nothing could be more wildly inaccurate and more totally impossible. The World Bank ... voting is on a weighted basis, according to the capital subscribed ... the governing body is so constituted as to make impossible any act opposed by the nations of the free world." The allocation of power is specified in the Bank's bylaws: "Each member [nation] shall have two hundred and fifty votes plus one additional vote for each share [$100,000] of stock held." The effect of this arrangement is that the U.S. with 26o/o, or $6.4 billion of the Bank's shares, has the voting power equivalent to a combination of the 90 poorest member nations. The bishop delegates at the Roman Synod 1971, without citing specific cases, expressed their awareness of the phenomenon: "Serious injustices ... are building around the world of men a network of domination, oppression and abuses .... The influence of the new industrial and technological order favors the concentration of wealth, power and decision-making in the hands of a small public or private controlling group .... The unequal distribution ... places decisions concerning three quarters of [the world's] income, investment and trade in the hands of one third of the human race.... " Recent Church statements over the past few years reflect a shift in the perception of the power reality. Pope Paul, in 1967, said that the spirit of nationalism in weak nations is "especially harmful" and contrary to the feelings of "universal charity which embraces the entire human family." By 1971, the bishops at the Roman Synod said that in order that the developing nations "may cope with the unequal relationships within the present world complex, a certain responsible nationalism gives them the impetus needed to acquire an identity of their o\vn."

The exercise of power and its self-sustaining capacity is especially marked in two conventional areas of development: foreign aid and trade. Because of the kind of financial assistance" offered by the super powerful countries (SPCs), the 92 less powerful countries have virtually mortgaged their futures. In 1955, the LPCs external debt was $10 biUion. By



1970, their indebtedness to the SPCs had risen to about $60 billion. If the loans and their terms continue at the present levels, by 1975, the LPCs will be returning more money by repaying old loans than they will be receiving in new loans. The influential factor in this explosive increase in indebtedness was a shift to hard-line banking operations. At the beginning of the First Development Decade, only 13% of the official financial "assistance" to the LPCs was in the form of interest-bearing loans; the balance was grants. By 1970, 50% of the so-called assistance from the SPCs was taking the form of loans. In the field of foreign trade, which potentially represents an important source of revenue, the less powerful countries are particularly vulnerable. Many of them are heavily dependent upon a narrow range of exports-mostly primary products rather than manufactured goods which make up the bulk of the exports of the powerful nations. Furthermore, the prices of primary products have been maintained generally at levels lower than those of processed products. During the postwar period the LPCs share of the dollar volume of world trade dropped from 30% to 20%. DEVELOPMENT-PRIVATE INVESTMENT

In 1971, Pope Paul VI, in his Apostolic Letter to Cardinal Roy, highlighted a new business phenomenon, the multinational corporation. This new economic power, the Pope warns, "can conduct autonomous strategies which are largely independent of the national political powers [and] not subject to control from the point of view of the common good." Further, the Pope states, "These private organizations can lead to a new and abusive form of economic domination ... already condemned by Pius XI." Well into the depression of the 1930's, Pope Pius XI, in his encyclical On the Reconstruction of the Social Order, concluded that free competition was a system incapable of controlling itself or of directing the world's economic life. He offered as support for his conclusions "an unanswerable argument ... the immense multitude of non-owning workers on the one hand and the enormous riches of certain very wealthy men on the other."



In Pius XI's judgment, the free enterprise system was a struggle between private businesses which ultimately produced a concentration of power among the survivors. This concentration of immense financial power resulted in "economic dictatorship ... [which] regulated the flow of the entire economic system." Not only did this produce a class struggle between "the few exceedingly rich and the unnumbered propertyless, but the giant private businesses fought among themselves to gain supremacy over the nation, generating conflicts between nations, [finally creating] an international imperialism whose country is where profit is." When the bishops of Vatican II addressed the issue of international development, they said: "The fundamental purpose of [industrialization] must not be profit or domination, rather it must be the service of man .... " They noted that "the developing nations will be unable to procure the necessary material assistance unless the practices of the modern business world undergo a profound change." Although the popes have consistently defended the ¡right to private property, they have also noted that this is not an absolute right. Both Pius XI and John XXIII stated that all properties are not necessarily to be held by private ownership, particularly if, as Pope John noted, "these [properties] carry with them power too great to be left in private hands." Over the last 20 years, the increase in U.S. investments abroad has been more than four-fold, from $32 billion to $120 billion. The gross product of U.S. overseas investment alone is larger than the GNPs of any nation in the world except that of the two largest, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. In 1971, Secretary of State William P. Rogers discussed the scope of U.S. involvement: "We have treaties involving mutual security with 42 nations: we have invested abroad some $120 billion, and this amount is growing. We hold such a central position in international trade and economic matters that we must necessarily be. increasingly involved in the affairs of the world." The United States literally dominates the world economy, and, therefore, has a vested interest in preventing rather than encouraging revolutionary self-determination or economic and political independence.



To say that "Development is the new name for peace," is to run the risk of all sloganeers: what is left unstated is often as great or even more important than what is expressed. The experience of the last two decades suggests that a more accurate formula might be: "Development is the new name for war." C. E. Black, writing in 1966, in The Dynamics of Modernization, anticipated "ten to fifteen revolutions a year for the foreseeable future in the less developed societies." The rigors of development can set a nation into virtually a continual state of convulsions, particularly if the process is attempted over a relatively short period of time. Irving Horowitz, in Three Worlds of Deve/J>pment, described the phases of their phenomenon. He contrasts the American development experience which enjoyed the luxury of spanning the better part of several centuries with the Russian accelerated version which was condensed into less than .50 years. The American development process was checkered with harsh, even brutal, upheavalsdehumanizing slavery imposed on countless Blacks for decades, a horrendous civil war, the annihilation of hundreds of thousands of Indians in our colossal land grab, numerous violent conflicts between labor and owners, recurring economic depressions. To ignore this dimension of the process is to display historical illiteracy or gross self-deception. Admission ¡that these cruelties were part of our heritage is not to condone them, but rather, it is to acknowledge that the path toward modernization is fraught with hazards. A recurring theme in Denis Goulet's The C1-uel Choice is that the process of development is cruel, harsh and risky. Its benefits are necessarily obtained at a great price and it is uncertain "that achieving development's benefits makes men happier or freer." The complexity of development is recognized in Pope Paul's formulation of the theme for the 1972 World Day of Peace: "If you want peace, work for justice." At least implicitly, peace and development are becoming equated with the pursuit of justice, or conversely, the eradication of injustices. A growing number of persons are becoming aware of the interrelatedness of the issues of development, justice, war and peace.



In the last two decades many of the advocates of development tried to isolate the process from the other factors; that is, they tried to separate economic development from sociopolitical affairs. The tragic consequences of such an attempt is evident in Southeast Asia. What was initially a part of the U.S. Cold War strategy to contain communism, a sociopolitical-economic phenomenon, has become the most disastrous international involvement in our history because we failed to see, or chose to ignore, the multiple facets of development in Indochina. Until 1945, Vietnam was an underdeveloped colony in the French empire, and the lives of the Vietnamese were typically those of subject people in a colonial structure. France, like Great Britain vis-a-vis America in the pre-Revolution era, persisted in considering Vietnam as little more than a source of raw materials, and any detail of Vietnamese life was under the surveillance of the French colonial administrator. (Cf. Bernard Fall, Two Viet-Nams, pp. 26-39.) Goulet's thesis that "underdevelopment is a chronic state of violence" was aptly documented in Vietnam. Communism did not create that violence; it did not import the conditions that degrade the human dignity of the Vietnamese. These conditions were systemic in the French colony, as the Algerian eruption of the 1960's testifies. In fact, American observers were aware of the communists' contribution to the betterment of the Vietnamese people. In 1966, Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge said: "For years now in Southeast Asia, the only people who have been doing anything about the little man at the grassroots-to lift him up----have been the communists." Our inability to respond to the real needs of the South Vietnamese was evident in our efforts, in the name of freedom, to set up the puppet governments, first the discredited Bao-Dai, then the zealous dictator Ngo Dinh Diem, followed by a string of men equally incompetent. America's t¡esolve to impose its

terms of development-liberty-peace on the South Vietnamese was so deeply imbedded that we were willing to invest more than $120 billion and suffer over 360,000 U.S. casualties. Robert Drinan, S.J., Congressman from Massachusetts, in Vietnam and A1¡mageddon, expresses his belief that U.S. foreign policy is dominated by an infatuation with capitalism and a



fear of communism, and he elaborates a thesis that America's paranoia about Marxist teachings is a risk to world peace. What is haunting about the specter of Vietnam is that it could happen again, in the Philippines, in Latin America, in Southern Africa. ( Cf. Richard Barnet, Intervention and Revolution, pp. 257-286; Sullivan and Sattler, Revolutionary Wa1¡: Western Response, pp. 95-123.) CoNCLUSION-A CATHOLIC PERSPECTIVE.

The Second Decade of Development has special implications for American Catholics. They are, by choice, believers in a God who sees all persons as members of the human family, and who demands that believers respond to the human needs of the most impoverished of men. However, American Catholics are also, by accident of birth, citizens of the most powerful nation on earth. If they are to make any contribution to whatever success the Second Development Decade may have, they must be challenged to see, as Pope Paul described it, "the astounding newness of modern times.~' The challenge for clergymen, especially in the 1970's, will be to minister to American Catholic churchgoers, traditionally a conservative group, in such a way as to inculcate a new perspective, one that enables them to cope constructively with the demands of the decade. Nothing about a catholic perspective of the world demanded in this decade will be easy to come by or to transmit. One of the impediments to a truly catholic perspective is American Catholic parochialism. For Catholics to consider themselves the exclusive purveyors of the notion about the preciousness of human life is to deny that human dignity is integral to the teachings of Eastern religions as well as to Catholicism. The Hindu is taught that "the narrow-minded asks: 'Is it one of our tribe or a stranger?' but to those of noble disposition the world itself is but one family." For Buddhists, the enlightened person is incapable of taking another person's life: "All men love life; remember you are ¡ like them and do not kill." The God of the Parsi's of India commands them "to make the world increase, consent to nourish it, and to watch over it."



In making this discove1¡y, American Catholics learn, if they will, that they have global confederates in spreading the word about the value of man and the goodness of earth. The mission, then is not so much "to convert the heathen," as it is to discover the religious truths men share, and in the discovery re-affirm that we are not only co-habitants of the planet, but we are, in fact, brothers. Another obstacle to this new perspective is the deepseated hostility of American Catholics to atheistic communism, contributing to the "paranoia" to which Congressman Drinan referred. In his first encyclical, Pope Paul focused on the countless number of persons who are atheists, but he did not view them as their judge. Rather he suggests that the Christian task is to seek the motives of their turmoil and denial. "We see these men," the Pope says, "full of yearning, prompted sometimes by passion and desire for the unattainable, but often also by great-hearted dreams of justice and progress ... spurred on by noble sentiments and by impatience with the mediocrity and self-seeking of so many contemporary settings." The Pope acknowledges that the atheist "knows well how to borrow from Gospel modes and expressions of solidarity and human compassion." Of prime concern, however, is whether American Catholics are equally prepared to learn from these men of "great-hearted dreams." For many non-believers, Marxism is their social creed, and it is with them that American Catholics confront a major challenge in the 70's. Gary MacEoin, author and astute observer of Latin American, notes that a profound re-evaluation of Marxism by Latin American Christians is taking place. The Colombian priest, Rene Garcia, sees Marxist methodology as providing a scientific apparatus with which to examine Latin American reality. "Christianity," Garcia says, "is basically an attitude of love. But it will only be romantic love unless it is joined to an efficacious methodology. The Christian needs a methodology, and that methodology is given by Marxism." Julius N yerere, the Catholic President of Tanzania, believes that socialism is the only appropriate model for underdeveloped countries, like his own. He acknowledges that Marx made a great contribution to socialist thought, and that the Marxism diagnosis of industrialized capitalism is particularly helpful in



understanding the causes of the present-day imbalance of power among nations. Perhaps the most demanding challenge of a new American Catholic perspective is the requirement to develop an empathy with the oppressed people of the Third World. A "Third World" viewpoint is dramatically expressed by the authors of the early chapters of the Exodus. In depicting the Hebrew's escape from Egypt, they wrote exclusively from the point of view of oppressed people. There is no mention of the grandeur of the Egypt of the Pharaohs-the SPC in the Mediterranean region -where art, music, architecture, medicine, religion flourished. The Hebrew chroniclers ignored these aspects; the single reality for them was the oppression of their people. To say that the book is biased is not to do it a disservice: Of course its writers were biased. Their people had lived in wretched work-camps; they had suffered indignities and humiliations. Their leaders had made frequent, but fruitless, attempts to change the attitude of the ruling class. Finally, the Hebrews seized control of events from the Egyptians. In and through the ordeal, they not only regained their freedom, but continued on to become a nation, a people. For the Hebrews, Exodus was a description of events and circumstances which accounted for their uprising and their ultimate liberation. The Second Decade of Development holds both great promise and potential for disaster. It is a plan intended to improve significantly the lives of hundreds of millions of people in dozens of weak, quasi-colonial nations by transfering large amounts of capital raised through taxing the highly industrialized nations of the North. Such an approach has great appeal to the generous nature of Christians. But in its execution, the plan has the potential for disastrous consequences: the debilitating effects of welfare on a global scale or the manipulation inherent in interventionism. For this reason, a new perspective, characterized by an empathy with the oppressed peoples of the world and an openness to religions and ideologies other than our own, is a prerequisite to whatever contribution American Catholics may make to the success of the Second Development Decade.


John J. Myers

Ocean Space and World justice

Knowledge of the main issues involved in this discussion may prove a useful teaching opportunity to the land-locked pastor.

Man's journey to uncharted territories seems endless. Our own era has revealed, however, that the most interesting and arduous voyages may lead not outward but inward. For the greatest journey of all may lead to the roots of the human psyche and to a basic examination of values. The current probe into ocean space could be part of that great journey, for peoples and nations will find in it an opportunity to rethink the manner in which the human family relates. But only courage, vision and mutual respect can allow us to journey together. Only bold new steps can do justice to the legitimate expectations of mankind. It is not likely that this issue will be central to a pastor's interest in proclaiming the gospel concern for justice in the 159



world. But it is a topic which will both interest many people and yet leaves them unthreatened. Since to face the issues involved in this discussion one must ask many of the most difficult questions regarding global relations today, knowledge of the chief facts and issues facing world leaders may prove a useful teaching opportunity to the land-locked pastor. This is especially true of the necessary examination of values and of economic organization. For all of recorded history the oceans have covered seventenths of the earth's surface. Why the interest all of a sudden? Largely because technology is in the process of altering man's relationship to the seas. It is now becoming clear that this planet is very finite; that resources are limited and that the various planetary systems are not infinitely elastic. Men gazing vicariously at the earth from the vicinity of the moon cannot possibly think of the oceans in the same way as a man standing alone on an isolaterl shore anrl looking seaward. As a result people have begun to worry about pollution. Oil spills from shipping off the coast of England and from blown wells in the Santa Barbara channel came into the public mind via major news coverage. The crew of the Ra I and Ra II, Egyptian reed boats which sailed from Africa to South America, found oil clumps at virtually every stage of their journey. The refuse and spillage from burgeoning world shipping add to the problem. But that is not the only ocean dumping. Almost threequarters of all the waste disposal of the Eastem Seaboard in the United States is dumped into the Atlantic Ocean. At the site of New York City and New Jersey dumping area, one must already speak of dead areas of the sea. While it is true that these areas are limited and may not be pennanent, their mere existence and the knowledge that those are only two great centers of population must raise questions. Add to that the influx from all of the polluted rivers of a world which is becoming increasingly industrialized, and suddenly speculation about a future death of the oceans seems less far-fetched. The question becomes: what can mankind, divided into com-



peting and independent sovereign nations, do to maintain the natural life-support systems of spaceship earth? Pollution, however, is merely one source of concern, one that is cmTently uppermost in the public mind. The inexorable advance of science and technology enables man to take possession of a vast new section of his terrestrial patrimony. Each year, for example, a higher percentage of our oil comes from wells embedded in the ocean floor. Projections point to a 30% figure in a few years. And suddenly business is realizing that the earth's land surface does not halt at the water's edge. What about other mineral deposit on the mountains and plains now submerged? The much publicized adventures of the aquanauts remind us of the possibility of mines and even factories on this new frontier. Already plans are being formulated to extract nodules of manganese from the seabed surface by using giant, sophisticated vacuum cleaners. Many questions emerge from this data. What will be the effect of the resultant disturbance of the ocean environment on the delicate marine life there present? What will new sources of minerals do to world markets and to people whose struggling economies often dep.end on one primary raw material expoti? Even more impotiantly, who owns the seabeds? The rich and technologically advanced nations who can exploit it? Will the land-formed system of competing sovereign nations prevail in the organization of the newly-available regions of the eat-th? No one knows what new problems will be added to those mentioned above. For example, man has long been a hunter of fish. But what happens when fish farming takes over? Already in Japan farms close to shore exist. Peru manages the anchovy fisheries off its coast and has felt it necessat-y to claim 200 miles of ocean space as its territorial sea. What would be the long-term effects of large-scale desalinization projects on the ocean waters? What changes will ever increased shipping cause? CLARIFICATION OF TERMS

Before proceeding further, we would do well to mention a few of the terms that will be used. The continental shelf is



that part of the ocean floor which begins at low tide and deepens only gradually out to its edge, the point at which the floor inclines more steeply. From there the continental slope and the continental riBe decline to the deep ocean fioor or abyssal depth which comprises the balance, about three-quarters of the ocean area. It is difficult to define each of these areas, since they vary from place to place. Obviously there will have to be clear, legal definitions for nations to speak lastingly about this area. Ter1-itorial waters are those waters adjacent to a nations' coast over which it claims sovereignty. Currently the international law is confused. The United States claims only the traditional three miles. Many nations now claim twelve. In approaching the problems which I outlined above, some prefer to speak merely of the seabed, that is the ocean floor beyond national jurisdiction. Others insist that the ocean floor, its subsoil, the water above it and the air above that are all one functioning wot¡Id system or a complex of functioning systems. They, thet¡efore, want to speak of ocean space both to treat accurately of the problems and to pave the way for a more comprehensive solution. GOVERNMENTS ARE AWARE OF THE ISSUES

Private groups, such as the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions and Villanova University's World Order Research Institute, have begun to examine the many intertwined issues and value questions involved in seeking a solution to the problems. The United Nations, more significantly, has begun to face the reality in what history may judge to be one of its greatest achievements. Since 1966 the UN Secretariat and affiliated agencies have assembled summaries of the available knowledge about the oceans and their resources. In addition to showing the need for further study, this work has made possible significant discussion of legal questions. In 1967, Ambassador Arvid Pardo of Malta broadened the debate by pressing a question about legal title to the seabed and ocean floor and calling for an international regime (legal structure) with machinery appropriate for rather detailed overseeing and regulation of activities beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.



A Committee on the Peaceful Uses of the Seabed and Ocean Floor Beyond the Limits of National Jurisdiction resulted. The work of this committee since then has reflected the complexity of global affairs as it has dealt with tl1e conflicting interests of landlocked and coastal states, of ijle industrially developing and developed worlds, of business interests and ecology groups. There has been more progress than many thought possible. Most notably, in 1970 at the 25th anniversary session of the U.N. General Assembly, a declaration of principles applying to the seabed emerged. Among other things, the seabeds beyond national jurisdiction (a point as yet undefined) were declared to be the "common heritage of mankind." The U.N. members agreed that the principle beneficiaries of tile wealth of the area would be tile developing nations and that exploitation should cease until a global conference on the Law of the Sea, to be held in 1973, can meet to review these matters and the 1958 Geneva Conventions on the Law of the Sea in their light. That is where the¡ matter stands legally at this point. The Seabed Committee has been working since then with various proposals. During the past two years the issues have been somewhat clarified and various proposals have been made, some limited, some comprehensive, which would resolve the issues. We will sketch the provisions of the draft treaty prepared by the United States government and then point out the issues which it helped to focus and finally present a view of development and ethical principles which would be relevant to the discussion. The United States has offered a comprehensive proposal to the problems. It would define the limits of national jurisdiction over the seabed and ocean floor as the point at which the high seas reach a depth of 200 meters. An element of compromise appears in the provision which would give costal states a special trusteeship, subject to some international regulation over the continental shelf between this boundary and the edge of the shelf. No state could make territorial claims or use the seabed for other than peaceful purposes. The treaty would assure needy parts of the world a special claim on revenues and



provide that some of the income would be used to seek more knowledge about the safe and efficient use of these resources. It also allows for some pollution control. To accomplish these aims the treaty would create the International Seabed Resour~ Authority as a new member of the U.N. family of agencies. This agency would accept any nation of the world as a member and would have broad powers for rule-making beyond the trusteeship zone with limited competence within that zone. The principle policy-forming agency would be a Council which have weighted-voting. The six nations with the highest annual GNP would automatically be members and any vote would require the concurrence of at least three of them. There would be 18 elected members and a majority vote would be required from among them. It provides for compulsory adjudication of disputes and, of course, for a secretariat to execute decisions. MAJOR ISSUES OF THE CURRENT DISCUSSION

International consideration of the U.S. draft treaty has produced other draft proposal from Tanzania, Malta, England and France among others. The discussions have reflected the new realism in the political arena in that there has been rather frank expression of national interests and of needs and suspicions. We find states with no coast lines clashing with those with long coastlines. The interests of the technologically advanced do not clearly coincide with those nations yet developing. Oil and mineral-producing states are concerned about the effect of new sources. Everyone is concerned about pollution, but in different ways and for different reasons. There are three goals upon which almost every nation agrees. First, the pollution threat must obviously be met head on before it is too late. Second, all nations must share in the benefits, but especially those most in need; Third, there needs to be some stability of expectations for those who invest capital and resources in developing the potential of the oceans. But within that framework disagreement has focused on three primary issues.

The limits of the territorial sea and sovereignty over the con-



tinental shelf. This problem was never resolved by the 1958

Geneva conference. Today the issue is chaotic. The U.S. technically claims only the traditional three miles, (the limit of a canon's range). We are proposing to recognize the 12 mile limit on territorial waters which many nations, (Russia, for example) already claim. With Peru leading off years ago, most Latin American states claim 200 miles as the territorial sea. It is clear from the discussions that some countries want maximum territory for the nation-state and minimal extension for global agency. The extension of sovereignty over the seabed differs from that of the territorial waters at this time. In 1946 President Harry Truman unilaterally declared that the U.S. would exercise sovereignty over the continental shelf and the resources thereof up to a depth of 200 meters or to a level beyond exploration. This criterion became general intemational law through the 1958 Geneva Convention on the Continental Shelf. Leaders of other nations point out the unilateral nature of the original American declaration and the subsequent general ratification to justify their claiming 200 miles seaward as territoral waters. However, it is true that the Geneva Convention applied only to the seabed and did not effect the freedom of the superjacent water or the air space above. The American proposal continues the policy of differing limits. But there seems to be growing agreement that ocean space is a unity encompassing the seabed and subsoil, the water and the ,air space above. This position would tend to favor one boundary. Malta, through its distinguished Ambassador Arvid Pardo, has proposed that 200 miles be the limit for all of these purposes. It seems fairly certain that such a proposal would take out

of the ¡jurisdiction of any eventual international ocean regime most resources that might prove significant in the foreseeable future. The United States clearly wants the coastal state to be more limited. N a tiona! security considerations are partly responsible, since we want great freedom fo1¡ our fleets, especially the submarines. The charge is made, however, that this is to keep most of the seabed open to U.S. commercial and industrial interests. Developing states tend to see maximum sovereignty



as the only way to keep the powerful and advanced nations from virtually appropriating for themselves the resources of the seas. This suspicion of the developing two-thirds of the world's nations is re-enforced by the weighted voting which the U.S. proposal has centered in the Council which would be the most powerful of the Ocean Agency's bodies. It is often charged by the world's diplomats that such agencies as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and even the U.N. itself are merely extensions of the large and powerful states due to this weighted voting procedure and the heavy dependence of those agencies on the rich nations for financing. Weaker nations obviously do not want to abandon the newly accessible wealth of seven-tenths of the globe to such an arrangement. A further problem is the pTeei$e nahtTe of the responsibilities which would be given to a new ocean regime. It is here that the weaker nations tend to opt for more and the developed nations for less. Some want the new agency to be purely a licensing body which would grant industry or specific states the right to exploit certain areas in return for a licensing fee and a royalty payment. Others want a 1'egnkttory agency which would not only license but have broad powers of inspection and enforcement, rather than merely relying on any one nation to supervise its nationals. The position favored by most of the Third World is a strong agency which would conduct the research and exploitation in its own right. This would obviously give it most of the profit and would work to the advantage of nations whose technical capabilities will not allow them to move into this area in their own right for perhaps decades. The new agency would hire competent businesses, likely from the developed nations, to do specific jobs for it. Many fledgling economies around the world depend primarily on one or two major mineral exports or on oil exports to keep going. Such nations are anxious to have the new regime empowered to regulate world prices of such commodities. The U.S. prefers to use profits accruing to the regime to reimburse nations suffering economic dislocation. Others retort that there is no reason to use up the common heritage of mankind to pay




for economic side-effects of the undertakings of the rich and powerful nations. Neither is it clear how revenues would be shared. The World Bank is considered to be a tool of Western industrial nations by much of the world. The United Nations Development Programme is not clearly effective and does not at this point undertake major capital transfers. What kind of development programs would really benefit the world poor and dependent people? Indeed what is development anyway? No one seems to be quite certain, but the Third World is certain that revenues from this new heritage will not be, as traditional aid has been, a lever to bend their economies to the exigencies of the economic and political policies of more powerful nations. There is broad general agreement that pollution must be stopped and soon. The nature of any new regime will determine how extensively involved it will be in regulating ocean pollution. As became evident, however, during the U.N. Conference on the Environment held in Stockholm, in June, 1972, the developing Nations are more interested in industrial growth than they are in crystal clear waters. Neither are they interested in paying a major part of the cleaning bill for an environment dirtied principally by the developed economies. At present Japan is holding out against any inclusion of fishing in the 1973 conference since she is so heavily committed to fishing the world's oceans. Living resources, affected by even more factors than mineral deposits, will pose their own special problems to international law. Obviously these issues are intertwined. If Third World nations knew that the new political regime would not be completely dominated by more powerful members of the international community and that they could really be heard on issues that come along, then they could be more flexible in their demands for broad territorial waters. If the industrialized countries had assurances of a stable regime which would safeguard their investments, then they could more easily accept a powerful ocean regime. DEEPER ISSUES AT STAKE

Hidden within the issues which have become focal points in



the discussions about the organization of the oceans are some deep, fundamental questions which are being asked with increasing urgency about the assumptions on which world political structures now operate. Although more powerful countries do not care to admit the fact, they do depend on certain other countries for raw materials, for markets and for many other things which keep their economies going. This dependence, however, is nothing compared to that experienced by most of the world's peoples vU. a vU. the powerful. Even in programs thought to be genuinely supportive to the poor, deeper analysis often discloses that actually the problems of the stronger partner are being addressed and not those of the weaker. Michael Hudson, for example, has demonstrated the U.S. Food for Peace Program, a major factor in all of our foreign aid for years, to be an elaborate program for implementing policies of the State, Defense, Agriculture and Commerce Departments at virtually no overall cost to the United States government (Myth of Aid, Orbis Books, Maryknoll, N.Y.: 1971, p. 90 sq.) The presence in another country of foreign owned and controlled business and foreign troops; the importation of technologies and advertising and, consequently, values of other peoples; even the use of foreign aid and technical assistance; all are coming under heavy fire not because they are bad in themselves but because they imply a fundamental inequality. One partner tends to dominate and direct the situation to his advantage. One set of values is "developed" the "underdeveloped." Understandably, the Third World is uninterested in a new regime which will pet¡petuate, even re-enforce, a world system which operates to their continual disadvantage. And, understandably also, the industrialized nations find this difficult to comprehend. "Just let our business and industry take over," they seem to imply, "and we'll get all that new wealth injected into the world economy. It will help people to live better. Look at the wonderful life we have. What is wrong with setting up a situation where those who want to and can do so will do the work and pay royalties to the new regime?" And the poor nations respond: "You are missing our point.




The real issue is dignity and esteem. The real issue is our real share in the long term shaping of world structures and world policies. Experience has taught us that if we do not fight for that principle, then in the long run we will not be heard and the present deformity of world consumption and world power in favor of the rich will be strengthened rather than changed. We do want to share in the wealth but not on laissez-faire terms which inevitably favor the rich. We want to be able to question the profit motive as the primary determinant in economic organizations. We cannot accept a policy which is capitol intensive as opposed to labor intensive. And we will be heard." Considerations of this nature lie underneath the opposition of developing nations to a weighted voting procedure and their backing the right of the new regime to exploit the seas in its ovin right. In such an arrangement, they would more clearly be able to pool their resources and to control the way in which technology would be used in service of their own goals. Only a regime which promotes¡ such active respect and reciprocity can be acceptable for more than a few years. The proposals of the Third World do not seem unreasonable. The experience of our country during this century has revealed that minorities, those poor and powerless, can use equality before the law and equal rights of political participation to improve their lot. It would seem to be good tactics to insist on political structures which would allow similar leverage in global political-economic matters. The discussion of an ocean regime to manage ocean space appears to be a good time to face this crucial issue. JUSTICE AND ETHICS

Implicit in this paper heretofore is the assumption that all men have an ethical imperative to organize the world both politically and economically in a manner. which promotes the dignity of each human being as far as possible. This surely involves access to food, housing, medical care and education as a goal to any just social order. Recent thought on questions of world justice have probed at even deeper questions. Dennis Goulet has provided an origi-



nal synthesis of this thought in his excellent book, The Cruel Choice: A New Concept in the Theo1¡y of Development (Atheneum Books : New York, 1971) . He states three strategic principles which can direct the development process in a more human way (pp. 123-152). The first principle is "to have enough in order to be more." There exists an objective need for a man to have certain goods and services before he can fully actualize his human potential. For some men to have more than this (even though they perceive it as a need) when other men do not meet the minimum is a situation contrary to human dignity. It is unjust. The second principle is that of uni1;ersal solidaTity. ¡ Mankind really is one. For this reason, "world development cannot ensue if present rules governing differential power and influence remain in force" (p. 142). People can never feel as one if some collectivities tend invariably to organize international interchange to their own advantage and can get away with it because of their power and wealth. The third principle when Goulet processes is that of broad popular participation in decisions. Citing China as an example, he maintains that a purely elitist model of development is not necessary. Realistically, he knows that elites have some role to play. Therefore, he speaks of "popular elites" made up of individuals who emerge as competent leaders personifying and directing the aspirations of the masses. This would preclude class members or members of political parties or any other statically define groups automatically prolonging power for their own interests . .These three principles formulated by Goulet are a good beginning at stating clearly some ethical criteria by which one can judge development proposals and development programs. From their perspective the concerns and proposals advanced by the less industrialized and less wealthy nations appear eminently sensible, by and large. Not that they always present a unified front or never champion some proposals which seem excessive. But given the accuracy of the above stated principles, their general direction will build world community more effectively than a system which continues present political approaches to problems.



Elizabeth Mann Borgese, in a useful work edited by John J. Logue of Villanova University and entitled The Fate of the Oceans (Villanova University Press, 1972), on the basis of her wide participation in the talks over the past three years, makes a proposal aimed at breaking the present impasse and at the same time keeping open future options.


She proposes (p. 6) that there be one single boundary for the ocean floor and the territorial sea, and that the boundary should be negotiated bilaterally between the regime and each member nation and that it be anywhere between three miles and two hundred miles. More importantly, a nation's share in revenues from the common heritage of mankind would be in inverse proportion to the extension of its territorial claims. Those who kept twelve miles or less would get a full share and the further out the ten-itorial sea would go, the less the share would be. Mrs. Borgese contends that ocean space is one and that one treaty and one regime should deal with all problems involved. She admits, however, that regional bureaus may be an interim solution. In establishing policy and decision-making agencies, she suggests the following criteria (p. 8) : (a) It must not institutionalize the recognition of any big four or big six. (b) It must not institutionalize the division between developed and developing nations. (c) It must not have weighted voting procedures. (d) It must provide for the effective participation of science and industry in decision-making. The above proposal holds great promise of itself, although the reaction of many nations to it is not yet promising. It seems to provide acceptable if not optimal compromise solutions to some complex issues. In the opinion of this author, however, the proposal regarding science and industry is out of line. It reflects a bias which sees science and industry as separate existing entities with their own rights and interests rather than mere servants of human needs and aspirations. To suggest that they have more than purely consultative status on



technical matters involved in policy f01mation is, in my opinion, a strong bias of a Western industrial mind. A further proposal of Mrs. Borgese has great merit also. She wonders why a 1 ';!(, tax could not be put on all resources of the ocean space, even those within territorial waters. This would ensure immediate income and therefore independence to the regime and would also coax all nations to take it seriously. It would remove income from the vicissitudes of annual national appropriations. CONCLUSION

The journey of mankind into ocean space parallels somewhat the contemporary exploration of psychic inner space. In this article we have highlighted major problems facing mankind with regard to the world's ocean space_ We have pointed out some major issues which have surfaced in the attempt to find a comprehensive solution to the problems in the form of a world ocean regime. As nations continue preparation for the World Conference on the Law of the Sea, currently scheduled for 1973, it will become increasingly apparent that a lasting solution can be reached only if fundamental values and relationships are examined. It is not enough to agree on general goals if men lack the vision to reaccess their own customary ways of thinking and acting. The church through her pastors and teachers and concerned members can help them in that re-examination.


Patriek P. McDermott

Arms Limitation Wm¡ is the moml issue of our age. Deciswn-making cannot be left to the "experts." This year is somewhat of a milestone in the area of arms limitation. The United States and the Soviet Union have signed an agreement on the limitation of strategic armaments and both have joined with over 70 other nations in signing a biological disarmament convention. For the first time since the inception of the Cold War over two decades ago, the two super-powers have indicated a willingness to blunt the "mad momentum" of the arms race, a contest which has cost each side literally hundreds of billions of dollars. Both agreements have come about as the result of long and sometimes painstaking negotiations by the governments of these nations. BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS DISARMAMENT

In 1968, shortly after taking office, President Nixon initiated a comprehensive review of the U.S. policy regarding chemical and biological weapons. For many years the armed forces had been stockpiling these dangerous weapons in depots both in this country and abroad. There was a growing concern that the liabilities of possessing these weapons was far greater than any defense purpose that they might serve. On November 25, 1969, the President made a statement renouncing the use of all biological agents in warfare and instructing the Defense Department to destroy all existing stocks of these weapons. He also announced support for the principles 173



and objectives laid down in a draft convention on biological warfare which was prepared by Great Britain for the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament (CCD) meeting in Geneva. On February 14, 1970, President Nixon clarified an issue which was somewhat ambiguous in his previous statement by announcing that toxins, deadly chemicals produced by microorganisms, would also be banned. The Soviet Union and others wanted a ban on both biological and chemical weapons. The United States resisted a ban on chemical weapons, which was not surprising since American forces were using tear gas and other chemical agents in Vietnam. Finally during the 1971 summer session of the CCD, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed on a text which would ban biological weapons completely and strengthen the resolve to negotiate an agreement on chemical weapons at a later date. The United Nations General Assembly conunended the revised draft of the convention and on April 10, 1971, over 70 nations signed the agreement in ceremonies held in Moscow, London and Washington. Notable exceptions to the signing of the convention were France and the People's Republic of China. The treaty essentially bans the development and production of biological and toxin weapons and calls for the signatory states to destroy completely any and all stockpiles of these weapons at the earliest possible date. According to the Department of Defense, existing stock of biological and toxin weapons at Pine Bluff arsenal in Arkansas are being destroyed. The facilities at Fort Detrick, Md., formerly used for biological warfare research, are being turned over to the National Cancer Institute. Some classified research "for defense purposes only" will be catTied on at the Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, while training and instruction for defensive measures will continue at the U.S. Army Chemical Center and School at Fort McClellan, Alabama. The Biological Disarmament Convention represents an important and historic step since it is the first time in modern military history that weapons are systematically being destroyed, not because they are obsolete in a military sense, but because their existence is a menace to mankind.




Another historic "first" in the Cold War took place with the recent signing of a bilateral agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union to limit both offensive and defensive weapons systems. Even though the agreement did not accomplish the wholesale destruction of weapons as did the biological convention, nonetheless, that action did, at least, slow the momentum of the arms spiral by heading off the numerical expansion of present nuclear capabilities. This signing was the culmination of the first stage of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT). These negotiations have been taking place behind close doors since November of 1969 with meetings being held alternately in Helsinki and Vienna. The motivations for concluding some kind of arms agreement with the Soviet Union have been great. Both powers possess not only the capacity to destroy each other in an outand-out nuclear attack but have the capability of doing it many times over. There are some estimates that the nuclear arsenals of the two superpowers now contain the explosive power equivalent to more than ten tons of TNT for every man, woman and child on earth. Most experts would agree that the power to deter an enemy could be achieved at a much lower level. Another motivation for concluding some agreement at this time was the fear of a new phase of the arms race which would not only have been destabilizing, but would have accelerated costs considerably. During the period of the SALT negotiations the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. were in a position of parity, relatively speaking. Each side possessed a large number of offensive nuclear weapons with a variety of delivery systems. Although the mix was different for each side in terms of land and sea based missiles and strategic bombers, nonetheless the nuclear capabilities were comparable. The U.S.S.R., generally had larger warheads in their nuclear arsenal, but the U.S. possessed more warheads and more accurate delivery systems. This tenuous nuclear balance was about to be upset with the introduction of large anti-ballistic missiles systems (ABMs) and of MIRVs, Multiple Independently Targetable Re-entry Vehicles. MIRV is a system in which a number of warheads



can be launched into separate pre-programmed trajectories after beng launched by only one booster. MIRV in conjunction with a large ABM system is destabilizing in the sense that in a crisis situation one side might be tempted to launch a first strike to wipe out the enemy's offensive force with the belief that the remaining retaliatory force of the other side could be handled by the ABM system. The recent agreement in Moscow does not limit the deployment of MIRVs but it does limit the deployment of ABM systems to the defense of each nation's capitol and one other offensive missile site. Each ABM installation is to possess no more than 100 missile interceptors. The so-called balance of terror will remain in effect since all the major population areas save Moscow and Washington will be left unguarded. The agreement also places a numerical ceiling on the number of offensive missiles that each side may deploy in the next five years. For all practical purposes, this puts a freeze on the level of land and sea-based missiles now deployed by each side and those major weapons systems which are now in production. The United States has deployed 1,054 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) in hardened silos and the U.S.S.R. will eventually have some 1,600 ICBMs deployed in the next few years. Both sides will have around 40 missile firing submarines under the agreement. There will be no restrictions on the deployment of strategic bombers. Also each side may replace old weapons with new ones, and even build whole new weapons systems as substitutes for existing systems. Such will be the case when the United States replaces some nuclear subs with a new sub containing longer range missiles. Although the Moscow Agreement is a historic step in the right direction it is only a beginnng. There is now a quantitative limit on strategic arms, but the qualitati11e arms race still goes on. That is, the agreement does not limit the superpowers from developing more accurate missiles, and multiple warheads nor does it slow the development of the brand new weapons systems of the future. In a sense, this qualitative arms mce could be as costly or even costlier than the old quantitative arms race unless Congress and the Executive branch practice the kind of restraint which is at least in the spirit of these new agreements.



The recent arms agreements represent a breakthrough in the political sense, but there are still a number of questions left unanswered in the moral, ethical and social orders. One question in particular concerns the limitation imposed by conscience on the use of weapons of mass destruction. Nuclear deterrence relies for its efficacy on the ability and the will of one nation to retaliate if attacked and to destroy the lives of tens and possibly hundreds of millions of people in a nuclear exchange. This is the calculus of the so-called balance of terror. The political or military reality is quite clear; so also is the gross immorality of destroying millions upons millions of human beings who have become nuclear pawns. The dilemma posed by military necessity and moral imperative is not an easy one to settle. ¡ Pope Pius XII was the first of the modern popes to speak out on the question of total war and the destructiveness of the new instruments of science and technology, atomic, biological and chemical weapons. In an address to the World Medical Association in 1954, the Pope spoke forthrightly about the dangers and the moral implications of their use: "When putting this method [atomic, biological, and chemical warfare) to use involves such an extension of the evil that it entirely escapes from the control of man, its use must be rejected as immoral. Here there would no longer be a question of "defense" against injustice or a necessary "safeguarding" of legitimate possessions, but the pure and simple annihilation of all human life within the radius of action. This is not permitted for any n~ason whatsoever.'' Some would argue that the Pope's comments would refer cnly to those weapons that "escape from the control of man," and that in practice, there do not exist any circumstances where the use of weapons is uncontrollable. The effects of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, they would argue, are very predictable and do not therefore pass from the control of those who use them. This narrow interpretation of the Pope's remarks seems to miss the point, that some of these weapons are indiscriminate and therefore satisfy conditions for condemnation. If a nuclear



weapon destroys a city and millions of its inhabitants there is a real sense in which that weapon has passed out of the control of man, even though the yield of the weapon is quite predictable and the weapon itself is exploded by a direct and calculated act of one or more persons. The prediction of megatons and magadeaths does not imply control necessarily. Perhaps what the Pope was saying was that under these circumstances, it was the weapons which were controlling the men and not the opposite. Except for a. few articulate Catholic pacifists like Gordon Zahn, a professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts, the majority of Catholic theologians and social ethicians have followed "just war" reasoning in their reflections on the use of military J)<1\Ver. The Jesuit theologian John Courtney Murray, S.J ., was prominent in the development of Catholic theory in this regard. The various theories of the .i ust war, however, have not been able to cope adequately with the new science ann technology of armaments. Or if the theory itself is valid, then the practice of that doctrine has been lacking. Reflecting on the total destruction of cities like Hamburg and Dresden by the Allied forces during World War II. Fr. Murray noted, "I think it is true to say that the traditional doctrine (of the just war) was irrelevant during World War II. This is no argument against the traditional doctrine .... But there is a place for an indictment of all of us who failed to make the traditional doctrine relevant.'' The massive destructive power of nuclear weapons and other scientific weapons has undermined somewhat the arguments for the justification of limited war. Can a limited war be fought with nuclear weapons? The counterforce strategies which have been discussed in military circles are not terribly realistic. With the growth of large arsenals of nuclear weapons, it is unlikely that either side could launch a "surgical strike" to wipe out the offensive nuclear capability of the enemy without at the same time endangering tens of millions of civilians by the radioactive fallout and othe1¡ side effects. JOHN


John XXIII took a different tack in his monumental encycli-



cal "Pacem in Terris." While not doing away totally with just war reasoning he did try to shift the discussion into a different plane, to allow new thought and a new spirit to emerge in this very complex area of modern armaments. The Pope noted with deep anguish that enormous stocks of armaments were being made in the developed countries with a vast outlay of intellectual anrl material resources, while the underrleveloped world Jay helpless without those skills which made development possible. While the developed countries look to a balance of armaments in order to establish peace, people the world over must live in constant fear of the holocaust which will leave no one untouched. In a plea for complete nuclear disarmament, (no. 112) the Pope was certainly arguing for a staged disarmament process, something not so terribly unrealistic, but he put the motive force for such a process on the basis of the elimination of fear, a m8tive force not often considered by the hard-nosed realists who see balances of armaments as the only way to peace. Unless the process is complete and based on inner conviction, there will be no end to the armaments build-up or even a chance of 1¡educing the present stocks of weapons. Everyone must cooperate "to banish fear and anxious expectations of war with which men are oppressed." VATICAN II AND TOTAL WAR

Another most important document for the development of Catholic thought regarding war, peace and armaments was the Second Vatican Council's document, The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World. Possibly the most solemn declaration of the entire Council was its unequivocal denunciation of total war in section 80 of the Pastoral Constitution. The Council recognized that new scientific weapons had immensely magnified the horror and perversity of war and that use of these weapons in warfare would far exceed the bounds of legitimate defense, an obvious reference to atomic weapons and other arms of mass destruction. If these weapons were used to the fullest, "an almost total and altogether reciprocal slaughter of each side by the other would follow, not to mention the widespread de,â&#x20AC;˘asation which would take place in the worlrl



and the deadly aftereffed.s which would be spawned by the use of such weapons.'' The Council saw these new developments as requiring a different moral assessment of the use of armaments, "an evaluation of war with an entirely new attitude." (emphasis added.) It was in light of these new weapons developments and that of the gnawing concern about the effects of the new kinds of warfare that led the Council to issue its most solemn condemnation: "With these truths in mind, this most holy Synod makes its own the condemnation of total war already pronounced by recent Popes, and issues the following declaration: "Any act of war aimed indiscriminately at the destruction of entire cities or of extensive areas along with their population is a crime against God and man himself. It rneritH unequivocal and unheHitating condemnation." (emphasis added.) The condemnation of the possession of nuclear weapons was hotly debated at the Council as were other aspects of the nuclear problem. There were important interventions on the part of Americans on both sides, notably by the late Cardinal Ritter on the side of those wanting to condemn possession and a last minute effort on the part of some conservative American bishops to have the whole section condemning total war scrapped. But attempts to strengthen or to weaken the statement both failed. The final draft did urge that deterrence was not a way to peace: "Whatever be the facts about this method of deterrence, men should be. convinced that the arms race in which an already considerable number of countries are engaged is not a safe way to preserve a steady peace, nor is the so-called balance resulting from this race a sure and authentic peace" (no.


In November of 1968 the position of the American bishops was clarified somewhat when they released their own followup document to Vatican !I's "Church in the Modern World." This document, "The Family of Nations," was part of a larger Pastoral Letter titled "Human Life in Our Day." The section



on war and peace covered a variety of topics, the international community, Vietnam, arms control, and the role of conscience. It was in the area of anti-ballistic missiles that the bishop8 made their most "political" statements. Unaccustomed as they were to speaking out in any way in opposition to U.S. military policy, the bishops made a rather specific reference to the antiballistic missile program, a hotly debated issue in the United States at the time. Observing that the "latest act" in the continuing arms race was the U.S. decision to build a "thin" ABM sysem ( con.<iidered by some to be a prelude to a "thick" system), the bishops questioned the utility of proceeding with the program: "In themselves, such anti-ballistic missiles are purely defensive, designed to limit the damage to the United States from nuclear attack. Nevertheless, by upsetting the present, strategic balance, the so-called balance of terror, there is grave danger that a United States ABM system will incite other nations to increase their offensive nuclear forces with the seeming excuse of a need to restore the balance." On October 22, 1971, Cardinal John Krol of Philadelphia spoke to the Synod of Bishops in Rome on the queStion of disarmament and arms limitation. The speech was titled "Arms Limitation-The Prerequisite of Justice," and was a special, and somewhat unexpected, intervention by Cardinal Krol. The Cardinal spoke "in the name of the whole episcopal conference of the United States," implying that the speech should not be looked upon as a personal intervention, but rather as a position reflecting a policy view of the American Catholic hierarchy. The speech was given in response to the Synodal document on justice, the first draft of which did not develop fully the notion of the arms race as a cause of injustice, "the stockpiling of arms that grows year by year." The speech pointed out that the arms race was unjust for three reasons: "1) First, it violates the rights of citizens of the nations that are involved in it because of the heavy burden of taxation they must bear. 2) It has adverse effects on the citizens of other nations who are hereby deprived of the aid and assistance required for economic and social progress. 3) It offends against the rights of all men who may as a result become the victims of some unforeseen disaster and who live always in the fea1ful shadow of the Third World War."



What can the Church do in a positive way to develop the new attitudes necessary to retard the growth and spiraling of armaments? The Cardinal, in his statement to the Synod, suggested that the Church should exercise its teaching mission in promoting a better understanding of the social principles of the Gospel. The Church should have no difficulty in finding a benevolent audience since men have long come to understand the horror and perversity of war. "The Church should be relentless in its efforts to shape public opinion and to create a climate in which theology and not technology would give directions to the course of human events." According to the Cardinal, it was the combined voices of many, including the religious community, the Catholic bishops of the United States and the World Council of Churches, which helped stimulate the great ABM debate of 1969. Although the ABM finally won by a slim margin, nevertheless since that time the percentage increase in military spending has leveled off. Thus, said the Cardinal: "Let the Church proceed proclaiming the Gospel tirelessly against efforts to ¡develop new weapons of destruction. In this way it will do what it can to remove the causes of war and serious injustice." The role of the priest in educating the Christian community is crucial. Certainly there are aspects of the arms race which are too complex for the non-expert to fully comprehend. But, the priest through his reading can acquire at least a general knowledge of the dynamics of the arms race which would be sufficient for moral reflection. The arms race and the use of weapons of mass destruction are moral issues of a most fundamental order having to do with the survival of literally billions of human beings. Both the priest and the laity have a "special competence" to speak out on issues concerning human life and the dignity of the human person. The direction which the arms race will take in the next few years will depend in large measure on the response of the average citizen to the dangers and the moral ambiguities of the continuing reliance on military power to solve international problems. Such vital decisions as the survival of a large part of the human race should not and cannot be left up to a handful of "experts."

Patrick Kerans, S.J.

Theology of Liberation There a1路e three ways in which one can hea;r the call for libe路ration. For the Christian it has a special meaning. The theology of liberation is primarily Latin American. What can a North American learn from it? This strikes me as a new kind of theological question, directly pastoral in tone. For it brings into relief the need to question the traditional understanding about the relation of church and state, of private and public life. Many of our brothers in Latin America are calling, in theological and religious language, for political and economic liberation. This seems to call into question a fundamental part of the North American heritage, namely the separation of church and state. The sensibilities even of those North Americans concemed for justice can easily be jarred by this slipping over the line from ethics to economics, from theology to revolution. I propose to outline what is being said by the theology of liberation. Then I will discuss tht路ee ways of hearing what is being said. The first way is to hear it as an invitation to negotiate better conditions of tt路ade and to increase aid. The second is to hear it as a threat to North American hegemony, as revolutionary communist talk. The third is to hear it as a call to repentance. This threefold way of hearing is only for analytic purposes. It is unlikely that anybody has his receiver tuned only to one of these three frequencies. Elements of each go to make each 183



of the other two convincing. The division will, I hope, allow the more secular elements of our heritage to be i!Tadicated by the more Christian elements. This might help to raise questions, in a final section, about the pastoral implications of some public issues. LIBERATION

In the vocabulary of many Latin American thinkers, "liberation" has come to replace "development." Gustavo Gutierrez is perhaps the foremost spokesman for this shift. (Cf. Theological Studies 31, 2 and Cro8s Currents 21, 3.) Gutierrez examines the various ways the world "development" has been used since 1945. Earlier it usually was taken to be synonymous with economic growth. This narrow view is less widely held now but still has some in ftuence, since economists play an important part in planning. The worrl has taken on a broarler meaning these days, so that it now usually includes the bettering of society so that it serve the integral development of all its people. In this broader sense, the word "development" has been used by Pope Paul and the last Synorl. Despite the richness the word development can have, it nonetheless has important connotations which many wish to point out and reject. First, the persistence of the narrower usage (economic growth) implies that industrialized countries are the developed countries. Certainly popular usage in North American has taken it for granted that Jess industrialized, less urbanized countries are backward. To use the word "liberation" is to highlight the rejection of this equating of economic development with fully human development. It is perhaps more important that the word development tends to overlook the question of power. It implies that underdevelopment--"Conomic, political, social-is a prior state out of which countries rather automatically grow. But this is not the case. Latin America, it seems truer to say, has been "underdeveloping" for centuries. There is an asymmetrical power relation between the developed and underdeveloped countries, a relation of dominancedependence. It is not surprising that words such as neoco/oniJJ.li8m or economic i.mperialism do not disappear. The



richer countries are more powerful. They are willing to trade and to give aid, but almost exclusively on terms which serve their own "enlightened self-interest." Any other arrangement would be 'junrealistic" or "irresponsible." Typically this has meant exploiting the primary resources (ore, oil, coffee, etc.) of the hinterland countries, in order to provide the industry of the metropole with raw material, and at the same time dampening the growth of potentially competitive manufacturing. It has often meant alliances with repressive oligarchies or dictators who provide a "favorable climate of investment" through "political stability." So it is that Gutierrez remarks: "The term 'development' seems rather antiseptic, inaccurately applying to a tragic tense reality .... There will be true development for Latin America only through liberation from the domination by capitalist countries. That implies, of course, a showdown with their natural allies: our national oligarchies." (TS 1, 2; pp. 247, 249-59) LIBERATION AND CHRISTIANITY

This quotation might strike the sympathetic reader as a passionate defence of his people's well-being; it might even come through as an accurate analysis of events. But it sounds much more like politics than theology. To those who object to this mixing of the secular with the sacred, a group of us, William Ryan, Joseph Komonchak, Grant Maxwell and I, put forth the following argument ( Cf. "The Liberation of Men and Nations," Catholic Mind 64 (1971) pp. 13-28.) God created men to take charge of the earth. Human history is the story of men's response to the Creator's call: it is the story of men's attempts to develop, to create social space wherein there is scope for effective freedom. But the call has been answered only imperfectly. Men are selfish, narrow-minded, sinful. The social, economic, legal and political arrangements they have constructed in the course of history reflect not only their progress but their sinfulness. If there are arrangements which block some men's development towards freedom, at the heart of these arrangements is sin. In its fulness, Christ's salvific grace will be experienced only on the last day. But its liberating power must be effectively experienced now, in history.



And it must be experienced not only in men's private lives, but publicly, where all men must together transform those arrangements which enslave and block the way to full freedom. Rev. Joseph Komonchak has since done a careful research paper to show that this line of argument reflects the social doctrine of the church. I do not wish to redo his work. But here are some essential points. Pope Paul devoted an entire encyclical to development. In Popul01~tm Pro,qressio, he says "self-fulfilment is not something optional ... (it) constitutes, as it were, a summary of our duties." ( # 16) But while the Pope sees integral development as both a right and a duty, he recognizes its ambivalence. (#19) He is realistic about present conditions: "There are certainly situations whose injustice cries to heaven. . . recourse to violence, as a means to right these wrongs to human dignity, is a grave temptation." ( #30) Finally in 1971, on the occasion of the 50th anniversa1¡y of Pax Romana, Pope Paul remarked, "the word 'liberation' is on everyone's lips today." He then went straight to the heart of its theological import. "But it is the profound cause of evil that Jesus attacks on every occasion; it is from sin that He wishes to free man; from the influence of evil which each person discovers within himself and which chains him to his selfishness, his pride, his sensual appetites. Christ wishes to free man from collective influences which multiply individual sin, and in which we must seek the source of oppressions and enslavements that human societies generate. . . . (Pope Speaks #16 (1971) p. 170.) OUR IMAGE OF OURSELVES

This should suffice to show that it is not necessarily outrageous to take the theology of liberation seriously. l\fy purpose is not to "defend" it, but to ask what can be learned from it. This will depend very much upon the frame of mind in which we are when we hear it. I mentioned there are (at least) three ways of hearing what the Latin Americans are saying. We can hear it as coming from "foreigners, potential competitors"; we can hear it as coming from "destructive revolutionaries"; we can hear it as coming from '4aggrieved brothers."



I find it important to notice the frame of mind in which people hear things, for what ¡we nhear" or "see" is not simply a reproduction of what goes on outside. We hear on preselected channels; our vision is shaped by certain controlling images which tell us who we are and how we relate to othet¡s. I find William Lynch's Christ aru:l p,.ometheus very helpful on this: "As I use the word, the imagination is not an aesthetic faculty .... It is all the resources of man, all his faculties, his whole history, his whole life, and his whole heritage, all brought to bear upon the concrete world inside and outside of himself, to form images of the world, and thus to find it, cope with it, shape it, even make it." (p. 23) Human freedom seems to be very closely connected to the exercise of the imagination in Lynch's sense. Each person has made decisions about the way the world is put together, and how he fits into it, how he relates to other people. Most people simply accept a traditional shape of things; some try to hammer out their own vision. But whether traditional or brandnew, " ... our images are not the innocent, purely objective things they seem to be. The most casual image contains the whole of man. Images are not snapshopts of reality. Everything in us pours into the simplest image. They are ourselves." (p. 25) It becomes important for us to catch ourselves using these images. For use them we do, constantly. They shape not only our behavior (how would "my kind of person" react in this situation?) but they will also give shape to the world we live in (what else would you expect of "that sort of person""!). No matter how original a person is, much of his constellation of controlling images will have come to him as heritage. It becomes, then, a legitimate pastoral concern to wonder where our controlling images come from, whether from the gospel or from more secular strands of the heritage of western civilization. Here, I am asking what images might shape and control our hearing of the theology of liberation and which, if any, of these images is inspired by the gospel. NEGOTIATING WITH POTENTIAL COMPETITORS

To hear the call for liberation as an invitation to negotiate with potential competitors is, in effect, not to hear it at all,



not to Jearn anything from it. Nonetheless it is the most generous way to hear it if one accepts the perspective which characterizes North American society. This perspective began to be shaped in the 17th century, when men decided that they would no longer live in fear of an awesome nature. They forged a new method of relating to reality: objective, quantitative, managerial. No longer was the world mysterious to man, shot through with divine power, reflecting divine wisdom. Reality was seen as a series of problems to be solved. As solution to technical problems are found, not only would men's fear disappear; the age-old spectre of starvation would disappear. Man's basic problem-his economic problem-would find solution. Men began, with exultant optimism and Promethean boldness, to understand themselves as "economic" and forge a civilization which would unlock the secret of wealth. Enlightened self-interest was installed as a public virtue. With this as motivation, keen-eyed imaginative entrepreneurs would make us all better off by husbanding scarce resources in the most efficient (profitable) manner. The image of man became individualistic: the creative, forceful entrepreneur. The way he related to other men was in competition: if their paths crossed, they made shrewd deals, based on strength, each having profit as a goal. Gentleness, kindness, meekness-these qualities were out of place, unrealistic. Sound business deals would make everyone better off. In effect, the poker game became a controlling image of how men deal with men. In more polite circles, it gets called "the adversary model." By Jaw, even today, business deals and labor-management relations must follow this mode. Men are not allowed to get together in friendly fashion.: no price-fixing no sweetheart contracts. It is taken for granted that international relations should follow the same pattern; the government is responsible for the well-being of its citizens, not for foreigners. Does each of us always deal with each other person as though in a poker game? Obviously not. But I suspect that this is a dominant set of images which molds most of our public dealings, for they shape our perception of social reality and delimit our expectations of each other.



The trouble with this set of images is that the pot in poker is an already determined amount. But the aggregate of human wealth is not a fixed amount: it is constantly being created by cooperation among men (as the social doctrine of the Popes has always insisted.) Shrewd individuals dickering at poker is a misleading image if we are trying to grasp the process of producing wealth. It is positively pernicious when used as the paradigm for distributing wealth. What if, for any reason at all, one man is dealt a full house and another a pair? Shrewdness, initiative and imagination will not help the man with the pair. Whatever the historical reasons, this is the negotiating relation between North and South America. We hold the high cards-the industrial capacity, the financial and military power. It is the firm intention of our governments' trade and aid policies, of the business community-and the majority back them-to keep the lead. If South America were allowed to develop in a balanced way, they might become our competitors as well as our customers. That might be the reality, but because of the controlling image of the poker game, nobody in North America is willing to admit that we deal from power in order to keep power. This is why I said earlier that if the cry for liberation were heard effectively as a demand for fair trade and real aid, this would be a generous reaction. In fact, at the moment, even the plea to negotiate fairly is rejected. As this is being written the nations of the Third World are meeting with the industrialized nations under the sponsorship of the UN (UNCTAD III) in Chile. Not only are the powerful nations intent on keeping inequality, but there is an effective silence in the news media about the conference, lest the poker game image, with its implication of equal chances, be shattered. OUR HERITAGE VS. DESTRUCTIVE REVOLUTIONARIES

The first way of hearing the cry for liberation overlooks the existence and use of power. Another way to hear this cry is to take it as an attempt to destroy the power of North America and to react defensively.



For the most part, Americans are uneasy when the poker game image implies unequal hands. This leads to talk of power, unequally shared, of the strong dominating the weak, of unwillingness to give up an advantage once acquired. And this sort of talk about power and inequality and dominance runs counter to the cherished belief in innocence which America more than other countries inherited from the 18th century. If there are flaws in society, the belief goes, they are due to fear and ignorance. Enlightened self-interest, channelled by competition, will work to the good of all. We have only technical problems to solve: "if we can put a man on the moon, surely we can solve the problems of our cities." Thus, inequality is just one more technical problem. To leave power out of one's account of social realities, to overlook how fiercely men strive to acquire dominance and how ruthlessly they exercise power in order to keep it-such simple faith in humanity can be dangerous. It implies that, for instance, the poor are not kept down; they just don't want up. When one looks at the international scene, where the exercise of economic and military power is key, the tradition of innocence is decidedly unhelpful. One reaction of America's exercise of power overseas (just good business practice winning the day) or, with a sort of blind patriotism, to insist that freedom loving people always use their power righteously. The reaction on the "left" is to be horrified at any use of power, or even at its existence, and to brand it as immoral. When the theology of liberation says that American economic power stifles the political, social and economic life of Latin America, is it necessary for someone in North America to hear it as a call to "destroy the system"? If he does, he perhaps will find himself caught in a dilemma. For to defend the system would mean to condone the institutionalized violence done to poorer peoples. Yet to wish to bring down this system because of the immoral power it generates is to leave some questions unanswered. This society has brought unparalleled wealth to its members. It seems to have brought more benefit than hardship. Is a man morally callous if he wonders what will replace the present system? Is it simply hard-heartedness which prompts people to say that, while this society is not



perfect, still it has been on the average more beneficial than any other system? Questions like these imply that, while it is important to include power relationships of dominance-dependence in any account of a social reality, it is equally important not to stop there. Power is always a factor in human interaction. Need it always take the fonn of dominance-dependence? Can we not imagine human interactions where the power generated is synergistic, liberating all parties? Can we imagine moving from a relation of dominance-dependence to one which is mutually enriching and liberating? FORGIVING


The controlling image which I wish to develop-and this is a third way of hearing the cry for liberation-is that of an aggrieved brother forgiving his offending brother when the latter begs his pardon. If one person has been dominated by another, to break this relationship he will have to declare his integrity, his full stature as a free adult. This declaration can be meant andjor taken as a threat to the other, which can only lead to conflict. The declaration of integrity can also be meant and taken to be a call for a transformation of the relationship into mutually liberating friendship. Since the relationship has been harmful at least to the person who has been dominated, his call for integrity implies a willingness to forgive the other and an invitation that the other ask for pardon. The significance of his overture as humanizing and enriching depends upon the response of the other, i.e., on his recognizing the harmfulness of his domination and his asking for forgiveness. This asking for and granting of forgiveness is not simply formality, nor an airy "lets forget about it." It makes sense only if it involves a conversion of both parties. By conversion I mean that each redefines effectively who he is. The image I am developing presupposes that, as a man goes through life, he is constantly defining who he is by effective acts of freedom: by choosing the goals he aspires to, by acting on certain motives and not on others, by entering into certain forms of personal relations rather than others. To transform a relation from dominance-dependence to mutually liberating friendship



means recasting the frame of meaning (i.e., his own self definition) within which the relationship finds its meaning. The call for a transfotmation of the relation is effectively a call for the transformation of the ethical seedbed of the relation - a shift, in radical freedom, of self-definitions. This transfotmation can admit of more or less. If the relationship has been casual, then there is a¡ minor adjustment in each person. But if the relation has been serious, it can be transformed only if there is a profound reshaping of each person's image of who he is. FORGIVING IN PUBLIC LIFE

Does it make sense to use this image of forgiving to understand a political interaction? My contention is that the theology of liberation will be most fruitfully understood by us in North America as a call to conversion, as an invitation to ask for forgiveness. If we begin with the fundamental Christian mystery, then we will be led to try to understand the political dimension along with all the other dimensions of human life in the light of the controlling image of brother forgiving brother. The Spirit, the first-fruits of the Resurrection, is the Spirit of the forgiveness of sin. This is the conclusion of the early kerygma (Acts, 2, 38; 3, 19). It is the point of the Joannine account of the sending of the Spirit. (Jn. 20, 22-23). It is Mark's summary of Jesus' preaching. (Mk. 1, 15). New life, transformed life in the Spirit of Him who raised Christ Jesus, is best understood as being a forgiven sinner. Because the Christian has firm hope in the forgiveness of sin, he can look deeper into social ills than the vaguely optimistic liberal. Injustice and persistent inequality are not, on the Christian view, simply policy failures. They are the institutional embodiment of human sinfulness. Thus more comprehensive planning will not suffice to bring about justice. Conversion and forgiveness are required-and in truth, not just in words. This means the transformation of fundamental institutional arrangements which reflect sinfulness. The insights of the sociology of knowledge can help the Christian work out his vision of Christ's grace working in human history. This discipline's spokesmen (most notably Peter




Berger) point out that while animals are born into a natural environment for which they are equipped and in which they feel instinctually at home, humans have no "man world." They must confront reality, come to terms with it, wrest a living fi"Om it, order it. The habitual, institutional ways of doing things which each child learns a1¡e what that particular society can give the child to help it cope. But these ways of doing things are not the full reality of society for the child. Along with the ways of doing things society provides the child with assurances about the way things are. Society itself is a human construction: each member shares in the process of constructing the social reality not only by following the rules fo1¡ behavior, but by subscribing to the vision of reality implied in and legitimating the rules. Our laws, customs, economic mechanisms, language--all the ways we regulate human interaction and delimit our expectations of each othe1¡-these are not made in heaven and floated down. They arc human products. And at their root, making them seem the obvious way to do things, are the controlling keyimages of man, of reality and of society which I spoke about earlier. "In other words, the fundamental coerciveness of society lies not in its machineries of social control, but in its power to constitute and to impose itself as reality." (P. Berger, The SaCI"ecl Canopy. p. 12) Within a society some groups have more power than others. From what I have said, it would follow that their power consists not only in their ability to persuade or coerce others to do their will. More imp01tantly, their power consists in their abilty so to shape others' understandng of reality that their control over behavior seems a good and wise arrangementindeed an obvious one. Herein lies the importance of ideology, which is defined as the perspective of reality so shaped that the power of the vested interests is legitimated and reinforced. At the international level, this same analysis holds. The powerful nations control events and arrangements not only because of their military and economic might. Underlying this ability to control are their controlling key:images (basically their "economic vision" of man). Conversely, their vision "works" better than others; that is, it delivers economic and military dominance. Hence their vision tends to obliterate



other visions of man. There is historical and ethical meaning, therefore, to the question Who are we? we of the industrialized world, we of North America. Over time we have made cumulative decisions about who we are. These decisions can be discovered in our social, economic, political, military history-in what we do rather than in the rhetoric of our politicians on national holidays. TRANSFORMATION OF SOCIETY AS A PASTORAL TASK

There is meaning other than chaotic anarchism in the call for a transformation of the "system." It can, for example, have the ethical meaning of a call for new controlling images about man and reality. Lest this sounds too much like conservative evangelism calling for private conversions and leaving public armngements alone, I would insist that the only sure indication that there has been any change of heart would be a transformation of institutional arrangements. To look at human reality in the perspective which I have sketched here, is to recognize that pastoral concerns must go beyond an individual's problems to grapple with the mystery of collective sin and collective healing. For if society is a human construction, it makes sense to speak of structural social sin which is quite a different reality than a conspiracy of evil men. I have pointed to the imaginative framework which shapes each person's perception of reality; which, when it takes away peace or a sense of self-worth, or when it impels to sin orworse--rationalizes sin, I would call structural sin. Each of us, preacher and pewholder, cleric and lay, is involved in the construction and maintenance of the controlling images which make up our social world. This implies that prophetic wot¡ds against "the system" will sound hollow unless they are accompanied by shifts in personal behavior away from currently sanctioned norms, especially concerning clerical privilege and conspicuous consumption. On the othet¡ hand, once a man has admitted that "we are all in this together," he is in a better position to suggest ways out together. He also becomes a leader in a different way, free to act directly against a local injustice (as Fr. Groppi has) or to act symbolically against international injustice (as the Berrigans do). Having aban-



cloned an outmoded position of privilege, he will be both constrained to act and free to act. CONCLUSION

I hope the members of powerful nations will someday hear the Third World's call for liberation as a call to transform their own society from within. Historically we made a decision to become technical, economic, managerial in our relation to reality. The decision was remarkably effective. But, when coupled with the insistence on primordial innocence, it made us lose sight of any reason to respect or listen to the less powerful. According to this perspective, the loser is a loser not through any fault of the winner. It is simply that he cannot pmduce; he cannot contribute to the common weal as the winner can. He does not deserve a voice. For rich and powerful men and nations to hear the poor and weak, to grasp the authentic humanity in their struggle to vindicate their integrity after so long being dominated, to accept the implied accusation and to ask effectively for forgiveness is to be willing to redefine who we are. It entails t..ansccnding the horizons of our culture, breaking loose from the historical imaginative patterns which have molded us and told us who we are. To hear the cry for liberation is to receive, in other words, the grace of conversion.

J. B1¡yan Hehir

lnlernalwnal Affairs and Ethics What potential has the Chu1¡ch to 1vitness to moral values in internat-ional affairs? The purpose of this article is to probe the potential of the Church as a witness to moral values in international affairs. To fulfill this objective the article will raise and reflect upon two questions: the structural issue--the place of the Church in the arena of world politics; and the substantive issue--ethics and the ministry of the Church. THE CHURCH AND THE SYSTEM

The "system" refers to the international system, the political analyst's term of trade for describing the complex of relationships among nations in the world. The system is primarily influenced by the actions of nation-states, yet each year it becomes more complex and is affected by new influences. This is the context in which to speak of the role of the Church. The Catholic Church has been a participant in international affairs for many centuries longer than most of the states who today occupy the center of the stage of world politics. This is not a new arena for her ministry, but the style of the game played in the arena has changed drastically in the last century, so it is necessary to look at her potential for action and influence. Among the new sources of influence in the system, analysts count the groups known as transnational organizations among the most significant. The best known of these transnational 197



actors is the multinational corporation: based in one country, but active in many; controlled by no single state but affecting every state where it is present; it acts like a state without being one. Prominently considered as another ¡Of these transnational actors is the Catholic Church, universally visible in the world, a source of independent authority and values, which claims the allegiance of over one-half billion people. The translation of this potential for influence into an effective impact on world affairs depends upon several factors, but the feature which attracts the policy analyst is the structural presence of the Church, or better, the way the Church is present in world affairs because of her structure. That presence, the basis for her potential, has a two-fold dimension. She is present, in varying degrees of visibility, "horizontally' throughout the globe; hence, her transnational character. She is also present "vertically" at every significant level of human society. At times she speaks to ani! deals with the entire international system (e.g. Paul VI at the U.N.; John XX III's Peace on Earth). At other times she deals with regional groupings or nationstates through her national hierarchies. Finally, ani! not least significantly, she continually has access to the personal lives of people through the pastoral ministry, a relationship ilesigned specifically to affect the values, opinions, ideas and attitudes of people. The "structural issue" addressed in this article is designed simply to elaborate how and why the Church has an access to a spectrum of "pressure points" in the international system which few other institutions can match. This structural feature is complemented by a substantive factor, the purpose of her presence in world affairs. The Church reaches into the lives of men and nations not as a political or economic force, but as a moral force, a teacher of how human relationships should be structured from the interpersonal to the international level. The nature of her ministry thus supplements access with authority-an authority that is neither absolute, nor automatic, yet an authority that is usually given a hearing. Hans Morganthau, as a veteran observer of international affairs, grasped the potential and the limits of this authority in the following comment he made on Pope Paul's address at the U.N. in 1965. "The fact that Pope Paul's message emanated from the head



of a worldwide religious organization established its importance. No other religious leader could have spoken with the same authority .... The Pope indeed has no divisions, that is no tangible power, but he has a moral authority that is susceptible of being translated into political attitudes, opinions and actions ... " (N.Y.: Truth and Power, Prayer, 1970; p. 289; 291.) Morganthau, in typically realistic terms, has grasped the significance of the structural and substantive potential and then quickly indicated its limits; the moral authority is susceptible of translation into practical consequences. The question of what is necessary, in part, for that translation to occur is the subject of the rest of this essay. ETHICS AND THE CHURCH

To say that the Church has never functioned as a political or economic force in world affairs is clearly mistaken. The argument of this essay, however, is that these attributes are not her essential function and that they cannot and ought not be the role of the Church in the international system today. Her service today is reduced to her essential function, that of the moral order. To fulfill this role of influencing events in international affairs through the moral order requires that the Church in its teaching speaks to three dimensions of the political-moral equation; consciousness, conscience and cases. A. Consciousness

ln this article the term consciousness, which admits of several diverse interpretations, will refer to a person's capacity for moral awareness or ethical sensitivity. Specifically, it refers to the individual's capacity to understand his moral relationship to a total social setting: to social structures and institutions; to the impact of his actions upon others; to the rights and responsibilities he has in relation to others in a defined social setting. Used in this way consciousness can be approached from two points of view. On the one hand, development of consciousness can stress for individuals caught in a situation of unjust structures and relationships what their rights are, and can assist them to become aware of their responsibility to de-



mand and pursue their rights as Pope John did in Peace On Earth. On the other hand development of consciousness or moral awareness can be aimed at rendering people more sensitive to their responsibilities to others, especially for the condition of others deriving from structures of the national or international order which stand in need of reform. Pope Paul sought to highlight this dimension of responsibility for the developed nations of the world in The Progt¡ess of Peoples. This second approach to consciousness will be the focus of this article addressed to the Church in the U.S. The importance of the Church addressing itself to the issue of consciousness flows from the fact that moral awareness is the pre-requisite for serious moral analysis or action. Although this is true for any level of moral activity, it is especially pertinent to social morality. At an early stage in his writings, and in terms which he later modified without denying, Reinhold Niebuhr described the difficulty of achieving justice in a social setting because of the constrictions placed upon our moral imagination, our capacity to see an issue from the adversary's viewpoint or to put ourselves in his position. It is this capacity for identification with a person in a different situation or in the same situation with opposing interests to mine which is a pre-requisite for international morality. Unless I have some awareness of how my actions affect the lives of others, of how pursuit of my interests, or my country's, impact the interests of others, then the possibility of assessing_ moral responsibility in these relationships is severely restricted. The example of foreign aid is pertinent. It is a relatively simple task to describe in statistical fashion the growing gap between rich and poor nations. It is a far more difficult but essential task to preface this statistical analysis with a description of the problem through the eyes of someone in the developing world in a way which really penetrates our consciousness, providing a concrete sense of the deprivation in which two-thirds of humanity survives daily, and evoking from us, in a totally different setting, an equally concrete sense of responsibility for the structural injustice of the global economic order. The need to stress the dimension of consciousness flows not only from its relationship to moral analysis but also from the obstacles to the development of consciousness inherent in inter-



national relations. First, there is the nature of the international community: our capacity for awareness must transcend not only geographical distance but also language and cultural barriers as well as ideological rivalry. These barriers grow out of the stntcture of international relations. They can neither be wished away nor eradicatecl, but their impact must be recognized by anyone seeking to build and strengthen the bonds of responsibility and solidarity in a world of nation states. Two other harriers to consciousness, of our own making and perhaps more dangerous to our understanding, are the language we use and the technology we employ. It is possible that our language, designed to be an instrument which uncovers the human reality of a situation for us, can in fact shield us from the human dimensions by filtering them through a semantic screen. Two examples come to mind, our language about defense policy and our language about abortion-both issues of social morality. We have a whole vocabulary surrounding defense policy which shields the untrained observer from the reality we are describing: we speak of "surgical air strikes", a phrase connoting precision and presumably damage limitation, when, in fact, planning during the Cuban Missile Crisis defined such an operation as one capable of killing 10,000 civilians; in the language of detelTence theory we speak of "unacceptable damage", which translated means at least one half of the Soviet population exterminated. The argument here is not that such terminology is in itself wrong or intencled to deceive, or even unnecessary since some such formulae are needed to summarize the complexities of strategic planning. The point relevant to consciousness or moral awareness is simply that we need to probe the language continually to touch the reality behind it. Similarly, the language surrounding abortion has been bureaucratized: we speak of the process rather than the reality. The terminology dominating discussion in some circles is to describe abortion as "terminating a pregnancy." The tone of the phrase sounds more akin to ending a business arrangement than it does to deciding about the beginning (and ending) of life. The barrier to consciousness, to moral awareness, in both



cases is sanatized language, devoid of human dimensions and possessing the capacity to insulate us as moral agents from the results of our policies or our personal choices. For the sake of moral awareness we need to dispell the illusion that our language is purely a procedural device; it is a substantive reality which functions either to introduce us to the true significance of a situation or to shield us from it. In either instance it is a component element of our moral understanding of a situation. The technological barrier to consciousness is less subtle than the linguistic obstacle. Although technological development in itself is a neutral fact, the impact of technology has at least two moral consequences. First, it vastly increases our capability to influence and affect our own lives and those of others: technology expands our range of choice, hence it expands our moral responsibility. Secondly, technology places a mechanical or instrumental shield between ourselves and the effects of our actions. The technological device acts for us and can insulate us from the substance and significance of our action upon others. To illustrate this second effect of technology upon consciousness it will be helpful to examine an aspect of our policy in Vietnam. The relationship of technology to consciousness and moral responsibility has been tragically but clearly demonstrated by the evolution of our Vietnam policy in the past year. It is clear that increased reliance upon air power has been combined with a declining consciousness about the war in the minds of the American public to give President Nixon a greater range of freedom of choice on bombing policy than President Johnson ever had. When American casualties ran high, when the media were filled with the scenes of these casualties-in short when we being directly touched by the violence of the war-the consciousness of the American public about Vietnam was correspondingly high. This sense of identification with the suffering caused by the war was translated into political and moral expression which served as one factor of restraint on decisionmaking about widening the war. By reducing American casualities, thereby reducing public attention somewhat, by transferring the burden of attack to American airpower the President has diluted the public consciousness about the war. This, combined with the invasion by



North Vietnam into the South, has produced the most unrestricted bombing campaign of the war. In the sixties the most ardent advocates of airpower usually felt either obliged by conviction or constrained by political reality to rule out of bounds "urban centers" as bombing targets. As this article is written, however, yesterday's New Yo1¡k Times reported that American bombers have struck within two miles of Hanoi. But American casualties are minimal and the civilians who are the victims of B-52 raids have lost all personality. Unlike the victims of Mylai, these civilians die not from a conscious choice to shoot unarmed people, but as the result of a policy executed by technological means. The process is depersonalized, for both the agent and the victim, the language is sanatized, and the effect is little or no moral response to a policy which must count a large number of civilian deaths as part of its effect if not its intended purpose. As consciousness about the range of destruction and damage recedes in the American mind, as our troops leave ground combat, the spectre is before us of a continuing technological tragedy being caiTied on in Indochina from which Americans will feel little or no impact (save American pilots and their families-a very significant exception) but for which we bear both political and moral responsibility. The point of this extended example is to illustrate that without consciousness conscience tends to be dormant even in the face of the most serious moral questions. B. Conscience

To build an ethic equal to the issues we face in international affairs today consciousness is a necessary but not a sufficient condition; moral consciousness must find expression in judgments of informed consciences. Consciousness can yield a sensitivity to the moral fabric of a social or political issue; conscience, informed by moral analysis, articulates what our responsibilities are in the face of such an issue. Consciousness generates aspirations toward the right and the good or produces moral outrage in the face of injustice and oppression ; conscience translates aspirations into specific objectives and transforms inchoate outrage into critical judgment.



Consciousness without conscience, moral awareness without moral analysis remains ineffective and uncommunicable. In the face of problems of public policy, where effective moral witness implies not only coming to the proper conclusion, but convincing others of the value of that conclusion, consciousness must be combined with the process of informing consciences through rigorous analysis and argument at the personal and the social level. Only by pursuing both of these tasks, sharpening consciousness and conscience, will the Church be following a strategy which has the potential for affecting foreign policy and international affairs. What are the elements involved in passing_ from awareness to analysis? Three factors will be briefly examined here: the instruments available to the Church; the objectives she should seek; and the style of teaching these objectives imply. The instruments available to the Church are her institutional posture and presence in society, expressed primarily through her teaching on international issues, and her pastoral position in the lives of individuals who regard her as an authoritative voice, or simply a respected opinion on moral issues. These two resources are designed to achieve distinct but complementary objectives. They are the objectives which have been implicit in the best known Church teaching on international issues since its inception, the Just War Doctrine, and they have always been reflected in its style of ethical analysis. The first objective of the Just War Doctrine (and of any other teaching on international affairs today) is to help set the frame of reference, and to some degree the content, of public discussion and policy debate on significant international issues. This objective recognizes and relies upon the fact that the Church's influence in a society, national or international, is not limited to interpersonal relationships; she exerts also an institutional influence, having a right and responsibility to shape public dialogue by her participation in it. The second objective is a reflection of and a means toward the first. It is to inculcate in the conscience of individuals a way of approaching, understanding and deciding upon issues which have international implications. The Just War Doctrine has always sought, for example, to avoid what occurred at Mylai : men bearing arms, prosecuting war in a moral vacuum. The



Just War Doctrine teaching as a pastoral instrument is designed to provide every person who may be called upon to bear arms a set of criteria and a method of reasoning which do not leave an individual at the mercy of "superior orders" without a means to evaluate these orders from a critical standpoint. The failure to inculcate these norms, or some similar standard of reasoning, was illustrated not only in the pressure of battle at Mylai, but, more frighteningly, in the public discussion which swirled around the Calley trial in this country. Removed from the atmosphere of combat, as a civil polity we manifested in many cases not much more sensitivity to ethical reasoning than the original event revealed. In contrast to this experience, the objectives of the Church's ministry in international affairs is to shape the personal and public conscience of society, so that it knows why Mylai and its analogues in the international arena cannot be tolerated if civilization is to remain even minimally civil. The final question to be addressed in this section is which style of teaching will provide the most adequate means for achieving these objectives. The suggestion offered here is a style based upon substantive principles, but with a capacity to move toward specific application at times, and an ability to utilize these principles in structured discourse with prevailing policy proposals or justifications for policy. In historical perspective, it is undoubtedly true that the Church's most significant contribution to the ethics of international affairs has been and continues to be the constant reassertion and on-going refinement of a system of principles which bear upon the conduct of international issues. These include the radical unity of the human community, the legitimacy but also the limitations of state authority, the presumption against the use of force to resolve disputes coupled with the articulation of restraints upon using force as the ultima ratio of policy, the equal dignity of each human life, and the inviolability of the rights of every man. While the continuation of this process is essential, a complementary need is for Church teaching to manifest the ability, when circumstances require it, to move from the level of general or middle range principles to the level of specific policy



analysis. At times the capacity for specificity is the ultimate test of effectiveness. An example of a lack of specificity resulting in a failure to engage a policy in need of moral review has been the American Bishops Statements on the war in the Fall of 1971 and the Spring of 1972. Although the statement of last November was the strongest the Bishops had made on Vietnam, it was strong in general terms, tending to say things which had already been said by other groups. What was required then, and is still necessary now, is an attempt to engage the specific issue which, from the American side of the war, stands most in need of ethical analysis: the bombing policy in the North. The policy of virtually unrestrained bombing in the North (and only slightly more restrained in the South) should not go unmolested on two counts. First, we know from past experience that a much more restricted policy of bombing in the sixties had produced, according to a 1967 intelligence estimate by the CIA, 29,000 civilian casualties in North Vietnam (The Pentagon Papers, N.Y. Times edition, p. 523). The qualitatively more destructive course we have recently been following requires moral censure if we have any respect for civilian immunity in a war zone. To say this is not to overlook the fact that the proximate cause of the escalation has been the equally unjustified recent invasion by the North into South Vietnam with the brutally indiscriminate tactics which have accompanied it; it is only to say that political and moral brutality by our adversary does not justify our abandoning the minimal restraints of humanity in our conduct of warfare. Secondly, apart from the direct killing of civilians, the bombing should at least be questioned in terms of indirect civilian damage on the grounds of proportionality. The spectre of literally devastating an entire country with air power while we continually readjust the political objectives of our negotiating posture, conceding more and more of the points which provide much of the rationale for the bombing, gives the justification offered for the policy a very hollow ring. Prestige, saving face, posture, are not irrelevant considerations in international affairs, but they are also not self-validating reasons for any extremes of policy. There is more than one way to lose honor in leaving Vietnam. From a pragmatic as well as an ethical



viewpoint the means we are using can corrupt the end of honorable withdrawal we are seeking. Specificity in either of the Bishops' statements of the past year could have fulfilled two distinct functions. In the Fall, the bombing campaign had not yet begun, but there were signs on the horizon that our strategy was moving toward an increasing reliance upon aripower. A statement at that time specifying the moral problems raised by a new resort to airpower might have sharpened public sensitivities to this issue and served as some restraint on government decision making. In the Spring the bombing had been renewed, although the massive campaign pursued since the invasion from the North had not yet begun; here again a reassertion of the principle of civilian immunity from direct attack, a direct opposition to bombing the dikes as a strategic measure and a specific condemnation of any policy of hitting urban centers for the purpose of breaking civilian morale all would have been relevant restraints to assert vis-avis American policy planning. Rather than being undue interference, this form of specificity demonstrates the utility of the substantive principles of the ethic we hold. The third characteristic of an effective form of Church teaching in international affairs is a capacity for structured dialogue, for probing the rationale of policies, for questioning the justifications offered for policy. For example, the Just War reasoning allows us to distinguish an ethic of intention from an ethic of consequences. To argue, for example, that there is no intention present in U.S. bombing policy to kill civilians is a !audible assertion, but also an insufficient one to judge the rectitude of our policy. A further question about the consequences of the policy, in spite of our intentions, must be pursued. Good intentions cannot justify the 80% civilian casualty rate cited by the CIA estimate in its 1967 report. (ibid., p. 523.) The same kind of critical questioning needs to be pursued when policy justifications are made on the basis that the action was required "to save American lives." The goal of saving American lives is unexceptionable; the implicit premise that it is a self-validating reason for any policy action must be met with the affirmation that all lives, Asian and American, are equally valuable and this places some restraints on American policies, even in defense of American lives.



These questions do not presume to be a comprehensive analysis of the moral issues involved in the Vietnam war. The actions of our adversaries should be placed under the same kind of examination for a complete picture. The issues raised here are designed to be illustrative of the type of specific analysis needed in a comprehensive analysis of the war. C. CaBes. The preceding discussion of Vietnam has been designed to show how specific cases must be part of Church teaching on international issues. Two brief comments will suffice for this topic. First, it should be obvious from a review of international affairs today that a plethora of issues beyond Vietnam require attention; these range from economic policy, to strategic arms policy and arms control to environmental and population policy to the role of international institutions. Secondly, commentary on specific cases need not be, and hopefully will not be, only of the critical genre of the Vietnam discussion. There is also a role for the Church in building public support behind controversial but necessary and farsighted policies such as the SALT policy and the recent shift in our policy to engage China fully¡ in the life of the international community. CONCLUSION

An essential dimension of the argument proposed here about the Church in international affairs cannot be included in this article, already grown too long. It is the place of the priest in this ministry. It is critically important, but too complex for summary comments. How to cultivate in people an appreciation of the issues discussed here; how specific he should or should not be in the pulpit; what the relationship between his teaching and his active witness on issues should be are questions which require another article. What can be said here is that working in the sector of the Church where he confronts part of the constituency of the most active participant in world politics means that ignoring the issues of international affairs as superfluous to ministry, out of the range of his responsibility, is surely a misreading of ministry in the Church today.

Eugene Boyle

Ministry (or justice and Peace .Imperative (or .Priests/ USA What is the proper role of the · priest and the Christian community in the struggle for social justice?

There is no future for a Church which cares too little about the shape of the future, or about the welfare of the human community. Yet I have grave doubts about the shape the future will take and the quality of welfare the human community will attain without the Church. The society in which we live has been profusely and variously described. From my viewpoint and in biblical terms, ·our society is under judgment, the most severe judgment since its foundation. This judgment emanates from within our society as well as from without. And no institution of ·the society can escape its verdict, especially the Church. From within, there is the abrupt emergence and sustained pressure of Black and Brown Power and the hard fact that youth is in revolt. From without there is the deflating experience of the Vietnam War and the ominous signs of an ecocatastrophe, as Paul Ehrlich calls the decay of our environment. 209



One would have hoped that the initiation of such a protest and the first call to such a struggle would have sprung from the prophetic tradition of our religious heritages. But, unfortunately, our religious heritages are so completely wedded to the techno-society that they could no longer furnish the distance and disengagement necessary for the prophetic act. Our society suffers from what Gibson Winter calls a collapse of transcendence. Our traditional resource of self-criticism and restraint, the Church, has for the most part been bought off. The challenges, then, from within and from without hurled against the system must be viewed as the transcendent judgments, of our time. The responses of our society to these judgments, particularly to those from within, can claim neither originality nor inventiveness As their predecessors, the prophets, the contemporary internal challengers of the system have been in diverse ways disclaimed, discredited, harassed, impt¡isoned, killed. If there is anything original stemming from our high level of sophistication, it is our ability to domesticate our fury and cloak our pursuit with the mantle of respectability. Here at home, at least, our heads are but rarely soiled with stone or stained with blood. We have frequently managed by some perverted alchemy to transform our vaunted symbols of justice, the police and the courts, into clinical instruments for the suppression of dissent. Without doubt, we are living through one of those periods of cultural collapse that from time to time overtake history, a time when the tide of human endeavor recedes and is but tenuously connected to the sources of its replenishment. We are living, as it has become fashionable to say, under the dispensation of alienation. Deep divisions, strong polarizations characterize our day. I believe these are at root but the symptoms of turmoil ever present where judgment has been passed and rejected, where transcendence has been offered and refused. FUNCTION OF THE CHURCH

Our deepest need ¡is for liberation, liberation to open ourselves to the challenge of judgment and transcendence, to the renewal of life and the promise of reconciliation. It is precisely here I dare locate the contemporary function of the Church.



The vision of the Church as a facilitator of Iibert}', a conveyor of judgment and transcendence, an instrument of reconciliation is rightly considered by man¡ a most unlikely prospect. Have we not already considered the fact that the Church is so completely assimilated to the technological system that it, too, failed to heed judgment and provide transcendence? Admittedly, for the Church to perform this function it must be something quite different from what it is today; a radical transformation is required. So, I realize the implication of my thought; to declare that creative response to judgment and deliberate effort to broadcast its essential message is the contemporary function of the Church, and that the Church's future depends on the successful exercise of that function, is in fact to call for a radical transformation. But, lest this be thought another call for an exclusive Church renewal, let me say at once that the sole business pressing upon us all is the transformation of man and his world. I see little, if any, value in transformation of the Church that is not at the same time related to a transfonnation of man and his world. Some crucial questions confront a Church that would venture to be a.sel"ious force in the renewal of man and his world. Can the Church find liberation (redemption) to create within itself an attitude of receptivity and a mood of welcome from the varied voices of judgment and prophecy broadcast in our land? Or, put in another way, can the'Church correct its vision to read and discern accurately the signs of the times? Traditionally familiar with the ambiguity of most prophecy and the usual enigmatic character of the prophet, can the Church provide for contemporary prophecy a service of translation and interpretation? Can the Church succeed in bringing its lifestyle and structure up to date for the sake of a "disalienated" human community in urban society? Can the Churcl1 restate her teachings so that they sound with sense and meaning on the ears of modern man? Can the Church reshape her liturgy to speak with persuasive power amid the life rhythms of the twentieth century? I believe the Church has within itself the Spirit-sustained resilience to respond affirmatively to these challenges. But first it must rediscove1¡ itself as primarily and essentially a com-



munity or communities of reconciliation amid the alienations that vex humanity today. But, though the Churches have maintained a presence of a sort in a variety of worldly fields, there seems little evidence today of movement, hardly any sign of progress or development. A tacit agreement seems to have been made that the limit of advance has been reached and now is the time to retrench. This culTent mood is reflected, I believe, in the inability of the Churches for the most part to survive the transition from Civil Rights to Black Power or to sustain the emergence of Brown Power. Witness the dismay and confu" sion of the Churches when confronted with the Black Manifesto and the demand for reparations when Black or Brown caucuses, clerical and lay, made singular and separate demands. This mood is reflected, too, in the insensitivity of the Churches generally to the extent of the. desire for peace in our day. Witness the sluggish response of the official bodies of most Churches on the specific issue of the Vietnam War, even though proof is overwhelming that more than a majority of Americans want out, and want out now. The cause usually advanced for this retrenchment are diminishing Church membership and economic chastisement from the pews. Now, I certainly would not discredit these as factors. I personally have experienced their power. But I submit they are merely symptoms of a far deeper malady, a malady which has long plagued the Churches and whose virulent spread is again winning the day. What I am pointing to is the tragic split in much of our religious vision between the religious and the worldly, the natural and the supernatural, heaven and earth, the Church and human society. This doctrine of cleavage, still prevalent, would consider a Church ministry geared to healing human alienations a merely "humanistic endeavor" and only peripheral to the main concerns of a soul-saving, person-saving, comfort-station Church. SHALOM:



This theology of rift clearly rejects the theme which is the very core of biblical revelation: God's will for the universal reconciliation of all men with himself. The whole course of Biblical history portrays the Lord's struggle to establish the



reconciling peace, the shalom, among men and with Himself. The Hebrew word "shalom" means much more than personal salvation ot· a life of tranquility or a period of history that is without struggle and hardship. Shalom is no easy peace. Shalom describes the state of men who live on earth in reconciliation with nature, with themselves, their neighbors and God. In the New Testament, a community of Shalom in Jesus Christ and the Spirit is the most accurate expression of the meaning of Christianity. Better than any other New Testament writer, Paul highlights the reconciling of shalom launched by the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus. Paul tells us that 'Christ is our peace' because in His life, death and resurrection, He broke down the walls of hatred that alienate men from one another and thus from God. In His blood, He has torn down the barrier of enmity that separates Jew and Gentile, slave· and freeman, man and woman. We must extend this reconciling work of Christ in the Christian ministry today by seeing as a principal task of our institutions, a similar demolition of the walls of human alienation. These are the walls of inequality and injustice that hatefully divide the rich and the poor, the economically advanced nations and the developing countries, Blacks and Whites, Marxists and Christians, radicals and liberals, the police and the minority communities. I could extend indefinitely these couplets of alienation. They exist to some extent in every country, in every city, in every neighborhood, in every family. The walls of enmity, which stubbornly block the redemptive effort of Christ, are built on such flimsy foundations as race, nationality, class, education, sex, religion and ideology. Such a theology of reconciliation would maintain that Christ is found at the eye of twisted reality, in the turbulent mainstream of man's alienated history. It constantly confronts us with the question: How can we orient the whole institutional ministry, toward building a just city of man, toward making the human family more humane? In this way we meet Christ in the midst of a world already deeply gt·aced by His redemptive presence. Convinced of His real presence, not only inside but also outside the confines of the visible Church, in a sinfully



fractured world, we fashion our ministry to find Him there. Such this-worldly ministry reveals the basic gospel truth that the Father so loved the world (yes, really loved the world) that in Jesus He healed and continues to heal in the midst of man's brokenness. A theology of reconciliation lays the foundation for the thisworld involvement of the Church because it conceives of the Church wherever placed as a servant community. It cannot isolate itself on some aseptic island and content itself with hurling condemnatory invectives against a world it considers truly bad and clearly beyond redemption. As Christ, the servant community must immerse itself with the world in which it is placed in all things except sin. As Christ, too, it must not shrink from this task for fear of getting its hancls dirty, or because it may be called bad names, or get a black eye or two, or lose money, or because it may be considered the friend of publicans and sinners. Such a community does not think first of its own survival, of its membership statistics, of the grandeur of its Churches and Cathedrals and the prestige of its leaders. No, the servant Church is a foot-washing community. Its lords and masters have true spiritual authority-thus credible and inspiring authority-because they are not afraid to wash the feet of their disciples and suffer and die for them if need be. Consider how this-worldly and incarnate was the service of Jesus when He wanted to emphasize for His followers His main message. He issues no official, legal statement about the love commandment: He washes tired, dirty, dusty feet, as was the custom. The Great Se1-vant is telling His community that they must exist in the world for others, for the reconciliation of the family of man. The Churches today must strive again to realize themselves as communities of reconciliation in the world. This labor demands the closing of the gap between religious and life, theology of rift and theology of reconciliation, Church and World. To effect this transformation in the practical life of the Churches will demand a serious rethinking of structures and styles of life. The Spirit of New Testament Shalom will have to be instilled into the concrete ministries of reconciliation amid human alienation.



Our principal concern is how to instill this Spirit of New Testament Shalom into the concrete ministries of the priest today. The sacramental act of the Church in Holy 01¡ders commissions the priest an office holder within the Church. As in the human community at large, so also in the Church, the primary business of office is to promote the unity and right functioning of the group in the pursuit of its stated goals. The mission of the Church is, as we have seen, the reconciliation of all men in Christ, the creation of the kingdom of justice, peace and love that is the perfected kingdom of God. Since Jesus Christ alone, "the one mediator between God and men" (I Tim. 2 :5), can bring humanity together in the unity of the Kingdom, the priest as office holder is a living sign or witness who announces the presence of his Lord forever engaged in works of unity. This is the office of the priest: to be a vivid sign and living agent and faithful herald of the reconciling work of Christ for and in the world, and to be so publicly and visibly. For the priest is called, selected and commissioned to public office in the Church. He must be held accountable in a way others in the Church are not, for the clarity of his witness and the authenticity of his word and deed. This point is of vital importance in understanding the form and function of ministry of the priest in the world today, particularly in the face of recent contentions by some high-placed prelates that the priest should remain in the backgTOund, maintain a low profile, limit himself to rooting his people on from the pulpit and performing the cultic acts. The argument here is based on an incontestable truth: that all Christians by their baptism and confirmation are called to be ministers of the reconciling work of Christ in the world. But, though correct, that concept expresses the vision of an ideal which is far from reached. The priest, has been selected for the community and burdened with this special full-time office of constantly reminding the Christian community of their obligation for the ministry of reconciliation and peace through actions for justice. And



he is required to do this not only by his teaching and preaching but by his personal involvement in the action as well. Second only to the theology of cleavage, and, no doubt, because of it, nothing has so tragically compromised the Church's witness for justice and prevented her from serious and specific entry into the common human pursuit of peace in the world as the generally accepted ecclesial precept banning the priest from the action. Incredibly, the priest-the public, full-time office holder, the leader of the community, uniquely accountable for its mission and ministry-has been (and still is) excluded from the arena where the Church's principal action is (or should be); and the action is declared the exclusive business of the laity, who are, in most instances, part-time volunteers. How must priestly work be transformed to affect the mission of the Church in the world today? "The People of God finds its unity, first of all, through the word of the living God, which is quite properly sought from the lips of priests" who ... "have as their primary duty the proclamation of the gospel to all." (Decree on the Ministry & Life of Priests) So the Vatican Council! But the urgency of the contemporary mission of the Church, together with the realistic appraisal of where most of the people are, demands that this ministry of the word go beyond, far beyond formal preaching in the Church. There are literally hundreds of ways by which the gospel message can be conveyed. In today's diverse society proclamation of the word may take the form of dialogue, presence, protest. Faithfulness to the word of God requires of the priest that he propose it to his people for their instruction and inspiration, and, especially for their development and growth-and that he do this in season and out of season by any means necessary. But ministry of the word includes more than proclamation. Its meaning must be explained in the idiom of the day. This is best achieved not by the mere imparting of information, but by the development of the sensitivity and initiative of the person to a discovery of the word in the contemporary context. The priest most effectively performs this task and facilitates the growth of his people in appreciation of the Word and their personal response to it when he shares with them his own in-



sights and reflections on his personal engagement in the ministry of reconciliation. The contemporary service of the word frequently chaUenges the priest to prophetic word and act in line with the great prophets of the Old Testament and of Jesus himself. Vatican ![ clearly spelled out the type of prophecy most needed in the Church today-a preaching of the word to heal the breech between the religious and secular lives of men: "This split between the faith which many profess and their daily lives deserves to be counted among the most serious enors of our age. Long since, the prophets of the Old Testament fought vehemently against this scandal, and even more so did Jesus Christ himself in the New Testament threaten it with grave punishment." (Gaudium et Spes) Practically, as an example, the priest must move his people from an over-concentration on individual and personal morality to a serious concern for the evils of social and institutional injustice. He must shock them with the good news that they can answer Christ at the judgment only if they have done something to shape the institution to promote the common good of all men. Certainly, he must continue to encourage them to give witness to Christian charity by doing all in their power to alleviate the present suffering of the poor-their need today for food, clothing, housing, health care, etc. But he must alert them to the truth for our times--that the demand or love for the poor today is not satisfied by such temporary acts of individual relief-as generous as these may be; that if they were to rest content with these acts alone, they could still rightly be judged unprofitable servants; that the law of love--here and now-demands that together with all men of good will they work to lay bare the root causes of poverty and degradation, and resolutely lock into programs struggling to strike the death blow to these roots; and that finally if they are truly to serve the world they must join with the many constructive efforts to move established institutions toward a greater measure of justice for all people. "(Priests) gather God's family together as a brotherhood of living unity and lead it to Christ and in the Spirit of God our Father." (Vatican II: Decree on Minisby & Life of



Priests) In the mind of Vatican II the priest is a leader in the formation of community, a community organizer, no less! The People of God of a particular Church must form a united community, for all the reasons so clearly enunciated by Father Richard McBrien: "It must be a community marked by faith, hope, love and truthfulness-not only in its proclamation or in its official pronouncements, but also in its life-style." Someone has to assume the responsibility of bringing it all togetherand that too is the business of the priest, the public, full-time office holder in the. Church. Certainly, if he is a wise leader, he will share his authority with his people and encourage them to an awareness of their peculiar responsibility and competence, indispensable for building up the community. He best views himself as a cordinator of the charisms of the community as displayed by individual members. Necessarily, he will delegate or share many administrative tasks with his people; but, nonetheless, he can never escape the fact that the responsibility for organization rests on him. He is accountable because he holds the office which is entrusted not only with the care of individuals, but primarily with "the formation of a genuine Christian community." (Vatican II) He cannot absolve himself by any appeal to long hours spent in parlor, confessional or counting room. If the community the priest gets together effects the mutual -support of its members, all well and good. But that certainly is not its principal purpose. The Church, as Christ, is a servant community. It exists in the world for others-a servant of God for the sake of his Kingdom. It exists, as Father Richard McBrien says, "to do more than proclaim the Lordship of Jesus, to offer praise and thanksgiving to God, or to establish communities which are credible foretastes of the coming Kingdom. It also has the task of striving here and now to realize and to extend the reign of God throughout all creation in the sociopolitical order." This is the thrust of Gaudium Et Spes which po1trays an aspect of Church ministry till then not clearly articulated: "Thus through her individual members and her whole community, the Church believes she can contribute greatly toward making the family of man and its history more human." (n. 40)



The bishops of the Third International Synod gave even sharper articulation to this aspect of Church mission: "Action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world appear to us a constitutive dimension of preaching the gospel, or, in other words, the Church's mission for the redemption of the human race and its liberation from every oppressive situation ... The mission of preaching the gospel dictates at the present time that we should dedicate ourselves to the liberation of man even in its present existence in the world. For, unless a Christian message of love and justice shows its effectiveness through action in the cause of justice in the world, it will only with difficulty gain credibility with men of our times." (Synod of Bishops: 1971-Justice in the World). Christian life, in other words, forms a whole, and cannot be neatly compartmentalized into a purely sacred and a purely secular sphere. In this effort, too, the priest, as leader of the community, has a singular, active and visible l"ole to play. He is expected to provide leadership by the authentic witness of his own involvement in the Church's concern for the alleviation of suffering, eradication of socially structured injustice, and the promotion of justice and peace among men. "Priests are obliged," state the bishops of Synod 1971, (The Ministerial Priesthood) "to the utmost of their ability, to select a definite pattern of action, when it is a question of the defense of fundamental human rights, the promotion of the full development of persons and the pursuit of the cause of justice and peace." The form of the priest's involvement in this service function will vary and will be dictated by his personal endowment of charisms, the needs of the situation and the opportunities at hand. The ministry for justice and peace, more clearly than any other aspect of the priest's ministry, highlights the qualities of service and leadership which offer the best description of priestly ministry in our time.


Eugene J. Boyle is Director for Justice and Peace of the National Federation of Priests' Councils. He was Chairman of the Commission on Social Justice and an inner-city pastor in San Francisco. Thomas Fenton is a Maryknoll Missioner serving on the staff of Project 4. Project 4-a unit within Maryknoll's mission education effot1:s in the United States, provides resources and educational materials for those engaged in popular education about issues of world justice and peace. J. Bryan Hehir is a visiting lecturer in Theological Ethics, St. John's Seminary, Brighton, Mass. Doctoral Candidate in Ethics and International Politics, Harvard Divinity School. Peter J. Henriot, S.J., is a staff associate of the Center of Concem, Washington, D.C., and holds a S.T.M. from the Jesuit School of Theology of the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in Politican Science from the University of Chicago. James R. Jennings taught business practice at Indiana University, and is Associate Director of the Division of World Justice and Peace of the U.S. Catholic Conference in Washington, D.C. Patrick Kerans, S.J., is a member of the English Canadian province of the Society of Jesus. He has been co-direCtor of Social Action, Canadian Catholic Conference, since 1970. Lawrence McCulloch is a Maryknoll Missioner ser¡ving on the staff of Project 4. Patrick P. McDermott, Ph.D., was formerly the Assistant Director of the Division of World Justice and Peace at the United States Catholic Conference and is presently the 223



Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Power and Peace in Washington. John J. Myers is associate pastor of St. Matthew Parish, Champaign, Illinois and a staff affiliate of a Center of Concern, . Washington, D.C. He was formerly with USCC, Dept. of International Affairs. Eugene Toland is a Maryknoll Missioner serving on the staff of Project 4.

Summer 1972  

Volume 11:2