Insight on the News
● Writing in the “National Catholic Reporter,” Clarence J. Walker told of the results of his discussions with 300 Catholics after they attended Mass at various churches. Noting the apathy at Mass, he asked these questions and got the following answers:
“Did you think the priest gave a good sermon today?” 100 percent answered, Yes. “Can you tell us what the sermon was about?” 82 percent could not.
“Can you tell us what the first or second readings were about?” None could.
“Can you tell us what the gospel was about?” 80 percent could not.
“Did you know anyone in church today well enough to speak to?” 98 percent did not.
“Do you read the Bible regularly?” None did. “Would you be interested in knowing more about the Bible?” 98 percent said, Yes. “Would you attend a Bible study before Mass or in the evening if such were available?” 94 percent said, No.
Walker concluded with this observation to fellow Catholics: “See you in church for 45 minutes next Sunday. Unless you have become a convert to a group that makes you a part of it.”
“The Good Old Days”?
● A German newspaper says that the world is becoming so filled with trouble and so ungovernable that the period of time we are entering will make the one that included the two world wars seem like “the good old days.”
In a series of articles entitled “Is the World Becoming Ungovernable?” the publication “Welt am Sonntag” (The World on Sunday) said: “We have shot a man to the moon and sent vehicles to other stars, have plunged into the depths of the ocean, and are at the point of creating artificial life; we can split the atom and destroy mankind. But we are no longer quite sure what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad.’ . . . In any case the world is becoming scarcely governable by methods we would consider acceptable. That does not mean it will stop revolving. But it does mean that a period of upheaval has begun in comparison to which this century’s first 80 years including its two world wars will be the good old days.”
Jesus accurately foretold the conditions that we see in our time, and that these troubles will lead to a “great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again.” (Matt. 24:21) At that time God will take over all of earth’s affairs by means of the heavenly kingdom for which Christians have long prayed. That will pave the way for a new order in which “righteousness is to dwell.”—Dan. 2:44; Matt. 6:9, 10; 2 Pet. 3:13.
Problem of Married Priests
● When the Vatican announced that Anglican clergymen could be ordained as Catholic priests, it pleased Anglicans who had defected from the Episcopal Church. One reason why is that the Vatican decision permitted married Anglican clergymen who convert to Catholicism to be ordained as Catholic clergy and remain married, if they qualify in other respects. Single Anglican clergy converting will have to remain celibate, and no married priest can become a bishop.
However, the decision has caused problems. Many Catholics feel that it is unfair, or at least inconsistent, to accommodate married Anglican priests but not Catholic priests who want to marry and remain in the priesthood. They point to the growing shortage of priests, and cite widespread opposition to mandatory celibacy as one of the main reasons for the shortage.
Yet, need there be any problem? No, for God’s Word says, according to the Catholic “Knox” Bible: “A bishop, then, must be one with whom no fault can be found; faithful to one wife, . . . one who is a good head to his own family, and keeps his children in order.” (1 Tim. 3:2, 4) Thus, the Bible authorizes marriage and the raising of children even for “bishops.” Can any human laws contrary to God’s clearly stated Word have his blessing?