s Wishes Hadn’t Come Up Bishop Asserts Kennedy’s Right The Texas Observer An Independent-Liberal Weekly Newspaper Page 9 Sept. 30, 1960 THE ISSUE AND EVENTS AUSTIN Catholic public official is told by “I was very sorry to see a Catholic run and see the thing brought up at all,” said Bishop Louis J. Reicher of the Catholic diocese of Austin. “There is no need in this country of ours we’re all brothers and should keep our shoulders to the wheel and keep our country united.” Of course, the Bishop said, ‘.’we don’t mention the politics. That’s taboo with uswe just don’t do it, it’s forbidden under law.” Canon law, he amplified, prevents priests from endorsing or opposing given candidates. “We’d rather the matter didn’t come up,” he told the Observer. Bishop Reicher designated as his further spokesman Jack Darrouzet, a leading Catholic layman in Austin, attorney and one of the co-chairmen of brotherhood week in Austin last year. The Bishop explained Darrouzet has been conducting a study of the problem \(he is the lawyer for the on it. “No Pope or no cardinal that I know of is going to say to Kennedy, you have to do such and so. If he did, and if he violated that, he wouldn’t be violating an order of the church,” Darrouzet said in his law office. “Kennedy would or would not have to obey as his conscience demanded.” Citing Pope Pius XII, St. Thomas Aquinas, and a statement made recently by the American bishops on behalf of the separation of church and state, Darrouzet said the theology of the matter goes lag.ck to Jesus’ statement, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesas and unto God the things that are God’s.” “The church’s position is that in the public realm . . . the common good has to be decided in accordance with what kind of government the people want over them, whether it’s a dictatorship, a democracy, an oligarchy, a Republic,” Darrouzet said. ‘Right to Intervene’ What about the Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano’s assertion this year of the right of the church to intervene in political matters, as cited in Baptist Rev. W. A. Criswell’s July ser. mon? \(“The church has the duty and right to intervene even in the political field. A Catholic can never prescind the teachings and directives of the church,” said Darrouzet argued that the church teaches that even when a Rather Not SAN ANTONIO The Observer also asked Most Rev. Robert E. Lucey, Archbishop bf San Antonio, for an interview on religion and the presidency. A spokesman for the Archbishop responded that the Archbishop “said he would prefer not to make any statement because of the unfortunate controversy.” the church that one course of action is right in a public matter, if the official in his conscience believes another course is right, he violates church teaching if he does not follow his conscience. Suppose, Darrouzet said to the reporter, Darrouzet had told the reporter not to kill someone, but the reporter did: the queStion of right or wrong would not be one of disobedience, but of murder. The Catholic Church believes it has the right to state its position, just as Criswell does. “He’s doing it, isn’t he?” Darrouzet said with a smile. “The Pope says to me, ‘You do so and so.’ Am I bound to obey? Noit would be a simple act of disobedience.” Darrouzet said the Pope’s commands “ex cathedra” \(from the do not instruct heads of state how to act. When the Pope declared the bodily assumption of Mary into heaven, this became an article of faith, and Catholics “have to believe that,” but such pronouncements would not instruct public men about public acts, he The church, asserting the “right to intervene in affairs of social significance,” does not mean the right to direct, but that “it has a right to state its position,” he said. Would the church come along and say that a law is no good as a matter of faith? Well, she never has done that,” Darrouzet said, adding he has not read all of the encyclicals. Is the Church totalitarian? Darrouzet granted, “There is no local autonomy in matters of faith and morals in the sense that one can decide to believe, for example, there is no such thing as the immaculate conception.” There is local autonomy, he said, in the “local rules of a parish.” What about alleged Catholic persecution of Protestants abroad? Darrouzet said each time he has looked into these matters, he has found that the critical accounts have omitted important facts. For instance, a Church of Christ church was said to have been thrown out of Rome: actually there are a “tremendous number” of Protestant churches in Rome, and the one challenged had applied to build a church where the zoning law said a church could not be built. Would a Catholic president help the Catholics proselytize for new members? Darrouzet conceded that since Eisenhower has been president “a hell of a lot of people took up golf” and added, “I don’t think you. can get away from that angle,” but, he said, “I’m ‘sure the church as a church would never look on this a \(Cathpiece.” Kennedy’s Position In his own reading of Kennedy’s statements of ndependence of the Church ‘in public affairs at Houston, Darrouzet said he had found nothing to object to, and talking to ‘laymen and clergymen, he has not found anyone who would “come out and say” that Kennedy’s stand contravened Church teaching. Darrouzet’s understanding of Kennedy’s position: “He’s not going to tell the church what to do and in political life they’re not gonna tell him what to do.” Were the church to tell President Kennedy not to sign a law on birth control, Darrouzet said although the church would not do this, he footnotedKennedy ,would not be bound to do it. AUSTIN “The religious issue” continues to make news almost daily in Texas as ministers, politicians, booksellers, businessmen, even a teen-age idol come forth with their views. Seriously launched by the sermons against Kennedy by Revs. W. A. Criswell and Harold Lindgious issue then matured into the rebuttals from Rev. Baxton BryThe discredited “Knights of Columbus oath” was widely circulated in Texas during July and August, but the backlash against it caused Lindsey to drop it from the text of his July talk. The Observer has received no reports on its circulation during the last month. From the time Kennedy-Johnson Texas manager Gerald Mann said on radio that religion was regrettably the “first” issue in Texas, the politicians have bandied it about ‘volublyfrom Baptist Gov. Price Daniel’s declaration that the Navy’ did not ask Kennedy what his religion was, to this week’s statement by Dallas Republican chairman Peter O’Donnell that the subject is not an issue and ought not be discussed any more. Anti-Catholic literature is continuing to circulate in the state at flood-tide. Copies of Paul Blanchard’s American Freedom and Catholic Power are displayed on several counters around the Baptist Book Store in downtown Austin. The Observer discovered the issue running quiet but deep in Boone, the singer, stopped overnight in Abilene, even he was questioned on the issue. \(he said he would not vote against KenNixon Group Charged “Texans for Nixon,” headed by Carr P. Collins Sr. of Dallas, has been financing Nixon broadcasts on 24 radio stations daily for weeks. “Alamo Messenger” charged that on these broadcasts the remark is heard repeatedly, “. . . do not be misled by Sen. John Kennedy and his Catholic friends.” The Washington Star, charged that the broadcasts alleged that Catholics “gave” Kennedy the Democratic nomination and also called him a “Khrushchev lover.” \(Collins said in defense that the reference to Catholics and the nomination was In Washington, Democratic na “There would be no fear of excommunication because what he would be performing is a political function that he’s required to perform.” By the same token, a Catholic judge granting divorces is “performing a judicial function he is required to by law” and is in a different situation than if he was “free and clear.” A man making decisions can depend strictly on himself; on the advice of others, and then on himself; or on “an intellectual basis” to which he assents or dis sents, the Catholic spokesman said. “Every individual Catholic examines the position of the church and assents or dissents on anything.” If he dissents on a matter of faith and morals, he is not a Catholic, but he can dis sent on a political matter with impunity, Darrouzet concluded. R.D. tional chairman Henry Jackson charged, “An organization of Texans for Nixon are spending $1,000 a day on 24 radio stations to appeal to religious intolerance.” He identified Collins as chairman. The national Republican chairman said that what Collins “was reported doing is wrong . . . I deplore this.” Peter Flanagan, national chairman of Volunteers for Nixon, said he had told Collins the broadcasts were contrary to instructions from Nixon and “extremely unfortunate.” A second Nixon group was discussed. This week, ex-Gov. Allan Shivers kicked off his campaign for the Nixon ticket. Shivers’ wife is a Catholic. Collins said the charges ,against his broadcasts were reckless and in some ways inaccurate and has enlisted Theo Weiss, a San Antonio Catholic and an attorney who specializes in the company side of labor disputes, as his co-chairman. Democrats of Texas Clubs, although relatively dormant in the campaign, are distributing the text of a Democratic National Committee memo quoting Sen. Kennedy on religion as an election issue, along with the text of Kennedy’s statement to the Houston ministers. Twenty-one Dallas business and professional men for Nixon deplored religious prejudice and urged that it be forgotten. The Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin chapters of the National Conference of Christians and Jews have urged citizens to vote without being swayed by religious differences. A Houston Council on Human Relations has been formed to combat religious hostilities in the campaign in Houston with Mrs. E. Pliny Shaw chairman. Other Ministers Fundamentalist religious convictions in Texas and elsewhere have been resolving against Kennedy’s election since his nomination. The 30,000-member Permian Basin Baptist Assn. this month resolved in Midland that “it is impossible for .a Roman Catholic President to divorce the directives of his church from the duties of his office . . . and at the same time remain ‘a good Catholic.” About 1,200 Baptist ministers and laymen attending the Texas Baptist Brotherhood Con * vention in Abilene this week called on Baptists to vote to preserve church-state separation. Many other ministers, in countless sermons, have joined in the discussion. In Waco, Rev. Roy Sherrod, Presbyter i a n, condemned use of the “spurious” oath. He said Kennedy has frequently asserted his belief in complete church-state separation. One Baptist minister’ in Waco sided with Lindsey; another said religion is a legitimate question but can “easily become bigotry.” Other pastors’ statements noted by the Observer: Rev. Buckner Fanning, Trinity Baptist, San Antonio, asked if Kennedy could be a Catholic and keep his public oath and argued the negative without stating a conclusion. Dr. Shubert M. Ogden, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, said voters still opposing Kennedy because of religion either in effect call him a liar, “which by Protestant conviction is a judgment reserved to God,” or pose as authorities on Catholicism, “which most of them quickly prove they are not.” Rev. James Coggin, Travis Avenue Baptist, Fort Worth, said from his pulpit that Kennedy could not keep both his religious and public oaths, that if the church lives up to its past he “can not” keep free from church control, and that if he wins, Pope John will kneel in thanks “for the most significant victory of Catholicism in all history.” Rev. J. W. Morgan, University Methodist Church, Austin, said in his newsletter that Kennedy has declared for separation of church and state and against state aid to church schools and a U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. “There are larger issues” than religion, he said. In Dallas ministers are still arguing over the nature of a 50minister meeting called by Rev. Tom Landers, Baptist. Rev. Bryant charged Landers quoted “political _leaders” warning of a backfire on the religious issue and that Landers urged the ministers “to get our congregations out to hear Nixon but not to hear Kennedy.” Landers said “it wasn’t a Nixon rally” but it wouldn’t take much sense to know “that if you’re against Kennedy, you’re for Nixon.” Bryant said Landers refused to tell questioners who the “political leaders” he quoted were. * Texas Church Census AUSTIN Statistics compiled by the Texas Council of Churches in August, 1960, show these figures on membership in the various religious denominations in Texas. They are presented here in round figures. Denominations under 15,000 are not listed. Church Membership African Methodist Episcopal 35,000 2,072,845 Catholic 1,848,000 115,000 Christian Methodist Episcopal 40,000 Church of Christ* 400,000 Episcopal 91,000 Latter Day Saints 20,000
You May Also Like
The documentary in Falfurrias is sinister and spiritual.