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May 27, 1994     The Message
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May 27, 1994

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana C ning the Catechism: lity means living in Christ FILTEAU Service N (CNS) -- is the title which the new the Catholic morality. which was Paul II in French in 1992, English for time this June 22. page text is divided the third of ;t" as the 3 signals that approach tions, their first leading a of the Gospel of into Christ by are "dead alive to God in and so partici- life of the risen introduction to church's catech- on moral life ,ban a list of do's it includes ,of: Spirit. forgiveness. virtues. virtues of command- set forth in the Decalogue. -- The church as the com- munity within which Christian life grows, develops and is communicated. Part 3 is divided into two sections. The first is a 77-page overview of the basis of Christian morality, titled "Man's Vocation: Life in the Spirit." The second is a 115- page survey of moral law and church teaching on specific moral issues, built around the 10 Commandments. The first section is divided into three thematic chapters: -- The first, "The Dignity of the Human Person," consists of eight articles. They treat the human person created in the image and likeness of God, the Christian vocation to beat- itude, human freedom, the morality of human acts, the morality of the passions, moral conscience, the virtues, sin. The second, "The Human Community," has three arti- cles: the person in society, par- ticipation in social life, social justice. The explicit integration of the social dimensions of moral responsibility into the text of the catechism, reflecting a century of development in church social teaching, was widely welcomed. -- The third chapter, "God's Salvation: Law and Grace," has articles on the moral law, grace and justification, the church as mother and teacher of moral life. It is only after thoroughly framing Christian moral life in terms of human dignity, human community and life in Christ that the catechism addresses specific moral responsibilities in terms of the. 10 Commandments. The second section of Part 3 covers each commandment of the Decalogue-in sequence, after first placing the discus- sion in the framework of the two great commandments to love God and neighbor. Some theologians have said there are "new sins" in the cat- echism, such as its condemna- tion of the production of "human embryos intended for exploitation as disposable bio- logical material." If there are new acts of evil, there are also new acts of good. For example, when cer- tain conditions are met, "organ transplants conform with the moral law and can be meritori- ous .... The free gift of organs after death is legitimate and can be meritorious." Readers who recall tradi- tional catechetical formulas used to describe duties and prohibitions in the Ten Commandments may find some interesting differences in the new catechism's treatment of the same topics. lor example, the Baltimore Catechism described the third commandment as forbidding "all unnecessary servile work on Sunday;" the new cate- ning the Catechism: central to Christian Life Service (CNS) -- life of the around the crifice and the , Says the new of the Catholic the memorial ation," it Was first pub- in 1992. The In, the last to kt among the will sly in and Canada cate- ed "The the Christian with the life and two main on the seven y and rgical celebra- ion sets the discussing the church Sacrame nts, liturgy and ental terra theolo- the cen- hal mys- tery in the life of God's people, the church. "It is this mystery of Christ that the church proclaims and celebrates in her liturgy so that the faithful may live from it and bear witness to it in the world," the catechism says. Quoting from the Second Vatican Council, it says, "The liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the church is directed; it is also the font from which all her power flows." While it is at the center of Christian life, the liturgy does not exhaust the church's activ- ity, the catechism says: "It must be preceded by evange- lization, faith and conversion. It can then produce its fruits in the lives of the faithful: new life in the Spirit, involvement in the mission of the church and service to her unity." While Catholics often use "liturgy, almost as a synonym for Mass, the church s liturgy includes the celebrations of all the sacraments and other acts of worship as well, such as the Liturgy of the Hours and funeral rites. To treat the sacraments individually the catechism breaks them into three groups. It begins with a chapter on the three sacraments of Christian initiation m bap- tism, confirmation and the Eucharist. The next chapter deals with the two sacraments of healing penance, or rec- onciliation, and the anointing of the sick. A third chapter, titled "The Sacraments at the Service of Communion," covers holy orders and matrimony. Common elements in the discussion of each sacrament include its place in the econo- my of salvation, how the sacrament is celebrated, who is the minister of the sacra- ment and who can receive it. The article on penance and reconciliation also includes a brief discussion of indul- gences. Viaticum is discussed under anointing of the sick. Under matrimony are includ- ed the topic of matrimonial consent, conjugal love and the family as the "domestic church." After its treatment of all the sacraments individually, Part 2 concludes with short articles on sacramentals and Christian funerals. The article on sacramentals focuses especially on blessings, noting that "every baptized person is called to be a "bless- ing' and to bless." It also dis- cusses piety and popular devo- tions "such as the veneration of relics, visits to sanctuaries, pilgrimages, processions, the stations of the cross, religious dances, the rosary, medals, etc." chism places the law in the the performance of works of context of its purposes: "On mercy and the appropriate Sundays and other holy days relaxation of mind and body." of obligation, the faithful are It goes on to say, "Family to refrain from engaging in needs or important social ser- work or activities that hinder vice can legitimately excuse the worship owed to God, the from the obligation of Sunday joy proper to the Lord's Day, rest. Catechisms compared: Chastity and Greed By Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Here are a few selected pas- sages on the sixth and 10th commandments from the "Baltimore Catechism No. 3," the text generally used until | the 1960s with U.S. Catholic children in the upper elemen- ! tary grades, and parallel passages from the new "Catechism of the Catholic Church": BALTIMORE CATECHISM OF THE CATECHSIM CATHOLIC CHURCH WHAT ARE WE COMMANDED BY THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT? By the sixth command- ment we are commanded to be pure and modest in our behavior. (No. 255) God is lovel.., God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion .... Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul .... The tradition of the church has understood the sixth commandment as encom- passing the whole of human sexuality. .... - Chastity means .the.ou6j r cessful integration of sexu- ality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man's belonging to the bodi- ly and biological world is expressed, becomes person. al and truly human when it is integrated into the rela. tionship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman. The virtue of chastity therefore involves the integrity of the person and the integrality of the giR .... Chastity has laws of growth .... Chastity repre- sents an eminently person-- al task .... Chastity is a moral virtue .... The virtue of chastity blossoms in WHAT DOES THE 10th COMMANVM0000 DO FOR . iii  :(i:i '