Politique d’Abord

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Politique d’Abord

W. H. MARSHNER

Triumph
Vol. VII No. 9
November 1972

Lest the reader head for his dictionary, let me clarify at once that the title means “politics first.” Then let me qualify the translation by pointing out that politique does not mean to a literate Frenchman exactly what “politics” means to the speakers of Amer-English. But thereby hangs a good part of my tale; so let me postpone further explanation of that point for just a bit.

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Virginia Bishop Cracks Down On Disobedient Priest

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Virginia Bishop Cracks Down
On Disobedient Priest

W. H. MARSHNER

THE WANDERER
(Special to the Wanderer)
November 9, 1972

WASHINGTON — Bishop John J. Russell of Richmond has removed Fr. Robert J. Walsh, pastor of St. Mark’s Church, Vienna, Va., for employing the unauthorized Communion-in-the- hand method of distributing the Blessed Sacrament and for repeatedly ignoring orders to desist. Demoted and transferred, Fr. Walsh is to become an assistant in Portsmouth, Va., while the pastorate at St. Mark’s goes to Fr. Robert C. Brooks.

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Permanent Committee On Priestly Life And Ministry: A Case For The Negative

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Permanent Committee On Priestly Life And Ministry?:
A Case For The Negative

By WILLIAM H. MARSHNER

THE WANDERER
November 9, 1972

At their annual meeting next week, the American Bishops will be asked to vote on a proposal to form a permanent committee and secretariat on priestly life and ministry, to take the place of the present Ad Hoc Committee chaired by Archbishop Hannan of New Orleans. Their Excellencies should approach this decision with extreme care. On paper, an affirmative vote by the Bishops will do nothing more than approve the general idea of having such a committee and staff. Continue reading “Permanent Committee On Priestly Life And Ministry: A Case For The Negative”

The Wright Intervention

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THE WRIGHT INTERVENTION

W.H. MARSHNER

THE WANDERER (Section Two)
November 2, 1972

In September of 1971, a “joint assembly” of priests and Bishops met in Madrid to adopt guidelines on pastoral action. When they were finished, a week later, they had approved a gigantic document, divided into seven parts (ponencias — an untranslatable word which means both “theses” and “chapters”). Each part consisted of a long body of texts followed by 50 or so “propositions” or conclusions, each of which had been voted on separately. The finished document was held to be a milestone in Spanish Church history, and its approval by the full hierarchy of the national conference was thought to be a rubber stamp affair. Continue reading “The Wright Intervention”

A Threat To Every American Priest

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A Threat To Every American Priest

By WILLIAM H. MARSHNER

THE WANDERER
The Hannan Committee Report
November 2, 1972

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Priestly Life and Ministry, organized to implement the results of the half-million-dollar study of the priesthood, and presided over by Archbishop Philip Hannan of New Means, has completed its initial report, or rather, the initial part of its initial report, which has been sent to each of the Bishops.

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Fr. McManus Stunned By Vatican Moves

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Fr. McManus Stunned By Vatican Moves

W. H. Marshner

THE WANDERER
(Special to The Wanderer)
October 26, 1972

DETROIT — Fr. Frederick R. McManus, director of the secretariat of the Bishops Committee on the Liturgy, denounced steps taken by the Holy See in recent months to regulate intercommunion, sacramental absolution, and minor orders as “negative indications of retrenchment and misunderstanding.” McManus made the remarks during a “State Of The Liturgy” address to the national meeting of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions, held here October 9th through 13th.

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Liturgists Badly Split On Key Issues

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Liturgists Badly Split On Key Issues

By W.H. MARSHNER

THE WANDERER
(Special to The Wanderer)
October 26, 1972

DETROIT — The 1972 Detroit meeting of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions, co-sponsored by the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy and the Archdiocese of Detroit, revealed deep splits and strongly divergent tendencies among the several hundred delegates as well as between the delegates and their federal leadership. Indeed, a hefty minority of American dioceses sent no representatives to this meeting at all, preferring to “vote with their feet,” as several well- informed persons told this reporter.

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This Time Father McHugh Has Gone Too Far: Part 2

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This Time Fr. McHugh Has Gone Too Far

By WILLIAM H. MARSHNER

THE WANDERER
October 26, 1972

PART II

When the head of the Family Life Division of the USCC decides to repudiate the chief Catholic doctrine relating to family life, namely the indissolubility of marriage, he needs a plausible gimmick. It would never do simply to come out and say, “Marriages are dissolvable.’’ One must come up with some ingenious way of saying, “I pledge allegiance to the Catholic doctrine,” while emptying the doctrine of all vitality. The trick, if you will, is to promote the Faith into Heaven, so that here below more comfortable ideas may prevail. And the exact method of performing this trick may be learned by reading the October 7th issue of America, in which Msgr. McHugh signed a committee document called “The Church and Second Marriages.”

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This Time Father McHugh Has Gone Too Far: Part 1

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This Time

Fr. McHugh Has Gone Too Far

By WILLIAM H. MARSHNER

THE WANDERER
October 19, 1972

I

Msgr. James T. McHugh’s years as head of the Family Life Division of the USCC have been years of unparalleled opportunity for prophetic witness. These have been the years when the Church was left standing totally alone on contraception, almost alone on abortion, alone on the indissolubility of marriage, alone even on the nature of marriage. Yet, incredibly, American Catholics are less certain about these teachings now than they were ten years ago, less certain both in their own minds and in their grasp of what the Church herself teaches. Somehow, the heroic stand which the Church has made for truth and human love has not been communicated to vast numbers of the laity. How has this been possible? In greatest measure, of course, the fault lies with an anti-Catholic press, and with apostate Diocesan bureaucracies. But it would be hard to deny a share of the blame to one man.

Continue reading “This Time Father McHugh Has Gone Too Far: Part 1”

Contra Gentiles: Non-Cartesian Sociology

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Contra Gentiles: Non-Cartesian Sociology

W. H. Marshner

Triumph
Vol. VII No. 8
October 1972

One day during TRIUMPH’S summer dormancy, I received the manuscript which is published elsewhere in this issue under the title, “Non-Sociology.” It was a memorable day because the manuscript turned out to be a refutation of the commission which had procured it. As I recall, my commission had asked the redoubtable J. Wisner to assist our readers in their task of making a new Christendom by exposing them to the personalities and doctrines of the great Catholic sociologists of the last century: men like LePlay, Mun, and La Tour du Pin. They were the direct forbears of Christopher Dawson, as who (savor this syntax) they deserve to be as well known. But Wisner’s response was to sweep them all away; in fact — and this is the worst of it — he dismissed them with an argument from which I cannot dissent, though it makes me distinctly uncomfortable. Continue reading “Contra Gentiles: Non-Cartesian Sociology”

Decrees Give Layman More Status In Church

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Decrees Give Layman More Status In Church

By WILLIAM H. MARSHNER

THE WANDERER
SEPTEMBER 28, 1972

Like a lot of things Rome does, the two decrees released last week on the reform of “minor orders” (henceforth to be called “ministries”) made nobody very happy, at least in America. The so-called liberals were furious over the exclusion of women, while the conservatives were angered by yet another series of “changes.” Some were genuinely terrified that the Church might be depriving herself of exorcists, and one knows with moral certainty that somewhere, probably in California, a nut-group is already proclaiming that suppression of the sub-diaconate means extinction of the priesthood.

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National Congress on the Word of God: A Two-Edged Sword

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National Congress On The Word Of God: A Two-Edged Sword

By WILLIAM H. MARSHNER

The Wanderer
September 21, 1972

WASHINGTON, D.C. — When Rome was informed that a national effort would be made in Washington this September to produce a renewal in preaching, Cardinal Villot dispatched a letter to Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle expressing the Holy Father’s delight at the idea and his blessing upon the enterprise. One sentence in that letter sums up the advice Rome wanted to give to the American sponsors and participants: “In short, preaching must proceed,” Villot said, “from deep conviction, serious learning, and loving compassion.”

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The Bishops’ Strange Love

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The Bishops’ Strange Love

W. H. MARSHNER

Triumph
Vol. VII No. 6
June 1972

As a journalist, I dedicate this report to His Eminence John Cardinal Krol, in gratitude for honest answers to honest questions.

—WM

This is a discussion of the spring meeting of the American bishops in Atlanta. It appears at least a month after other commentators have finished their slight remarks upon the subject, which evidently bored them immensely, and in a magazine which seldom publishes lengthy discussions of bishops’ meetings. These two circumstances seem to make an explanation desirable, if one is to avoid the charge of talking very late about very little. Continue reading “The Bishops’ Strange Love”

Send This Man To School

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Send This Man To School

W. H. MARSHNER

Triumph
Vol. VII No. 5
May 1972

The USCC Department of Education is “helping” the American bishops to produce a pastoral letter on Catholic education, the provisional text of which I recently had occasion to see. It characterizes the rival, public education, as a “system which does not systematically embrace faith-inspired values. Such a school system,” the pastoral continues, “may seek ‘neutrality’ with regard to religious and moral values; but neutrality is impossible, since all education involves values, and morality is deeply imbedded in all formal education.”

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The Americanization Of J. Christ

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The Americanization Of J. Christ

New Mass for Independence Day

W. H. MARSHNER

Triumph
Vol. VII No. 4
April 1972

It was only a matter of time before we should be given this new Mass for civic occasions, because by now the liturgy club is really interested only in politics. Recall, for example, that the last meeting of the Liturgical Conference was devoted to the topic of revolution, the rationale for which was an elaborate business about liturgy expressing the needs of contemporary men in concrete situations of injustice. But the reason for it, of course, was the simple fact that politics is the ersatz religion of our time, and those who lose supernatural faith most commonly turn to the going ersatz. Continue reading “The Americanization Of J. Christ”

Hans Küng: Infallible? (Reaction)

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Hans Küng: Infallible? (Reaction)

M. J. Harsy

Triumph
Vol. VI. No. 7
JULY 1971

W. H. Marshner’s article on Hans Küng in your June issue (“Hans Küng: Infallible?”) is, in my opinion, the finest piece of writing and thinking you have ever published.

You introduce the author merely as a “Yale linguist.” Perhaps your readers would be glad to have him identified more fully in a succeeding issue.

M. J. Harsy
Washington, D.C.

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On Igor Stravinsky

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On Igor Stravinsky

W. H. MARSHNER

Triumph
Vol. VI. No. 6
June 1971

Stravinsky was talking once about the forms of sacred music — the Masses, Passions, motets, the cantatas — and the particular glory of them. His interlocutor asked whether one must be a believer to compose these forms. Stravinsky’s answer was a thing of trumpets. “Certainly,” he said, “and not merely a believer in ‘symbolic figures,’ but in the Person of the Lord, the Person of the Devil, and the Miracles of the Church.” Continue reading “On Igor Stravinsky”

Hans Küng: Infallible?

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Hans Küng: Infallible?

An Inquiry

W. H. MARSHNER

Triumph
Vol. VI. No. 6
June 1971

Hans Küng calls the preface to his new book “candid,” a word whose ambiguity is the key to this deeply equivocal volume. In “candid confession” it implies a full disclosure of one’s subjective state; in “candid camera” it implies unvarnished portrayal of the objectively real. Küng wants it both ways: his own growing sense of isolation since the Council is simultaneously predicated of the vast majority of the whole Church. Küng claims to know of no one who “really” believes in the birth control ban; Ignaz Döllinger said the same a century ago about infallibility.

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A Mass At The Valley Of The Fallen

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A MASS AT THE VALLEY OF THE FALLEN

W. H. Marshner

Triumph
Vol. VI. No. 3
March 1971

Sensible, modern governments work democratically for the betterment of all citizens by bringing the resources of science to bear upon the ancient woes of mankind and by waging occasional wars which are not really wars but wars against wars. When the wars are over, they build sensible memorials for the war dead. Continue reading “A Mass At The Valley Of The Fallen”

Biblical Theology in Crisis

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Biblical Theology in Crisis (Review)

Review of Brevard S. Childs, Biblical Theology in Crisis (The Westminster Press, 1970).

W. H. Marshner

Triumph
Vol. V. No. 9
November 1970

“The strain of using orthodox Biblical language for the constructive part of theology, but at the same time approaching the Bible with all the assumptions of Liberalism, proved in the end to cause an impossible tension” (p. 103). B. S. Childs, professor of Old Testament at Yale and a major figure in Protestant biblical scholarship, has exploded a theological bomb in this work. Continue reading “Biblical Theology in Crisis”

The Scripture Game II

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The Scripture Game II

W. H. MARSHNER

Triumph
Vol. V. No. 5
May 1970

The first part of this commentary on modem biblical scholarship argued that the Catholic biblical revival is producing suspicious fruits because the philological-critical method of exegesis has been misapplied to the task of Christian exegesis. It remains to show what Christian exegesis is, why it is theologically inevitable and how it can be defended against the charge of obscurantism.

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The Scripture Game

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The Scripture Game

W. H. MARSHNER

Triumph
Vol. V. No. 4
April 1970

No Christian can object to increasing the knowledge or the influence of Sacred Scripture. Yet the wide diversity of benefits that are expected to flow from the current “progress” in biblical studies suggests anything but unanimity as to how the subject ought to be approached. Continue reading “The Scripture Game”