Panel Agrees Pope Had Right to Remove Celibacy From Council Deliberations

Pope Paul was fully within his rights in notifying the ecumenical council that he has decided to preserve the practice of celibacy in the Western Church, it was agreed by speakers at the U.S. bishops’ press panel.

The Pope, in a letter sent to Eugene Cardinal Tisserant, the chief council president, announced in effect that celibacy is not to be a matter for council discussion.

Later that day, speakers at the press panel told newsmen that the Pope’s decision was in line with the thinking of the majority of the bishops.

Father John J. King, O.M.I., superior of the Oblate house of studies in Rome, said the decision was easily justified because the Pope is not just a member of the council but the council’s decisions are subject to his ratification, and its acts are promulgated by his authority as Pope. Continue reading

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Pope Takes Celibacy Issue Off the Table at Council

146th General Congregation
October 11, 1965

Pope Paul VI informed the Second Vatican Council that he intends not only to preserve the ancient law of celibacy of the clergy of the Latin-rite Church, but also “to reinforce its observance.”

The Pope thus in effect removed the subject of celibacy from the competence of the council. His decision was revealed in a letter read to the council during its 146th general congregation (Oct. 11) by the secretary general, Archbishop Pericle Felici. The letter was addressed to Eugene Cardinal Tisserant, first of the council presidents. In it, the Pope said he was aware that some council Fathers had asked to speak on the law of clerical celibacy in the Western Church when the schema on the priestly life and ministry came up for debate.

The Pope said that “without impeding in any way the liberty of the Fathers,” he wanted to express his own opinion. Continue reading

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Education Draft Completely Revised; New Wording on Parents, Teachers, State Aid to Education

As it stands, the ecumenical council’s revised draft on Christian education does not go as far as present Church law in demanding that Catholic parents send their children to Catholic schools.

Commenting on the new draft distributed in the council for a vote, Msgr. Mark J. Hurley, vice chancellor of the San Francisco archdiocese, told newsmen at the U.S. bishops’ press panel that it was possible to hold new discussions on the draft because it has been extensively revised since last year’s council debate. He cautioned, however, that such a move, if it comes, should not be interpreted as a “plot involving progressives against conservatives.”

The decision on what to do about the new material has been a serious one among the bishops, he said; even the voting procedure has been changed since the vote was first announced Oct. 1. At that time, Archbishop Pericle Felici, the council’s secretary general, said the text would be divided into five sections for voting purposes. Since then, Msgr. Hurley said, it has been decided to further narrow down the material in each section to be voted on by having 14 votes, thus making it easier for the bishops to eliminate specific sections they don’t like without having to vote against a large section of the document.

Comparing the text debated last year with the present revision, Msgr. Hurley said the suggestion for a post-conciliar commission on educational matters has been retained. The present text goes further than the old one, however, in trying to counteract any overemphasis on the role of parents in their children’s education by stating clearly that the teacher is not only a delegate of the home or state or Church, but also a representative of society as a whole in the task of perpetuating culture, he said. The interlocking role of all these influences on the child’s education is stressed.

New wording in the section dealing with state aid to education, he said, represents a compromise. Although not as clearly worded as Francis Cardinal Spellman of New York had asked last year, the text does favor assistance in the name of distributive justice so that the freedom of parents is safeguarded in the choice of education for their children. Continue reading

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Missionary Importance Stressed at Council Session

145th General Congregation
October 8, 1965

The ecumenical council’s completely revised schema on the missions offers a remedy for the modern crisis of the missionary conscience, Joseph Cardinal Frings of Cologne, Germany, declared in the name of “many missionary bishops.”

The Cardinal outlined the agonizing question some missioners are asking themselves: If God can save men who remain outside the visible Church, why carry the Gospel to them?

The council Fathers, said these many missionary bishops through Cardinal Frings, should be grateful to the present schema for replying to the question. The schema stresses that the Church by its very nature is missionary and that the ultimate reason for all missionary activity is Christ’s wish to unite the whole of mankind in a single people of God.

The same idea was taken up by Switzerland’s Charles Cardinal Journet, who asked that the schema be even more explicit on the absolute necessity of missionary activity. Continue reading

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Text of Liverpool Archbishop on Threats to World Peace

This is a translation of the speech on the Church in the modern world, given by Archbishop George A. Beck of Liverpool on Oct. 7.

Chapter V is the most important in the schema. All the other proposals, economic, social, cultural, political, depend on the way the ideas expressed in this chapter are put into effect. Until men are able to “beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks” sufficient economic resources for these ambitious schemes of help and development will not be available. They can only be made so if the insanity of the armaments race is brought to an end. Indeed, if this is not done, war on a massive scale can scarcely fail to come.

In Sections I and II, the schema insists that the community of nations must organize itself in accordance with its present responsibilities. It must establish effective international institutions for the preservation of justice and peace. The document does not emphasize sufficiently, however, that one of the biggest obstacles to the setting up of international institutions which will be truly effective, is what has been called the “fragmentation of society” into now more than 120 sovereign states, which will admit no limitation of their independence of action except by treaties which in the final analysis they may revoke.

The greatest menace to peace at the present time is the power of sectional interests which are, in most cases, the fruit of the history of the past 200 years. National sovereignty, imperialism, class war, race war, political or economic exploitation must give way to a wider acceptance of human solidarity. And this can be done effectively only if the governments of those nations play their part. Continue reading

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Text of Cardinal Ottaviani’s Speech on What Council Should Say on Modern Warfare

This is a translation of the speech delivered in Latin by Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani, secretary of the Congregation of the Holy Office, during debate on chapter five of the schema on the Church in the modern world on Oct. 7.


In the schema of the pastoral constitution on the Church in the modern world, very brief reference is made to methods to be employed to avoid war in controversies between nations. But in my humble opinion there must be an expansion on these methods by which peace can be preserved so that the ecumenical council may lead the way along the path of calmness.

We must set forth the aims of justice and charity which are needed to overcome wars.

They will be these:

  1. a) Civic and religious education of peoples will set the souls of the populace and of the rulers selected by them on the path of cooperation and toward a mutual honorable recognition and exchange of laws and services among the nations. [These must be] devoid of class or race struggle, or of the struggle of political or economic imperialism, all of which are the principal sources of wars.

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Bishop Explains Psychoanalysis of Monks in His Diocese

The psychoanalysis undergone by monks of the Benedictine monastery of the Cuernavaca diocese in Mexico was carried out on a group basis and over a period of 16 years, the bishop of Cuernavaca disclosed here.

Bishop Sergio Mendez Arceo said that the world press had given a “wrong impression” of his appeal to the ecumenical council to give recognition to the findings of Sigmund Freud in the schema on the Church in the modern world.

Press reports had tied Bishop Mendez’ council statement to reports that 60 monks of the Benedictine monastery in his See had been psychoanalyzed in a mass experiment, and that 40 had left the monastery — several having decided that their vocation was marriage rather than the monastic life. Continue reading

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