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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 5, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas 4 Now Braunfels Herald Ze/ftmy    Tuesday.    July    5,1963 Opinions Hnrald-Zfltini) Dave Kramer, General Manager Robert Johnson* Editor Guest viewpointChanges affect future of church By RICK HAMPSON Associated Press NEW YORK - Two decades after Pope John XXIII called the Second Vatican Council to “open the windows” and let fresh air into the Roman Catholic Church, gusts still buffet the nation’s largest religious body. The winds of Vatican II, said historian David O’Brien, “ended an era and opened the future” for the UJS. church, a future in which the authority of the hierarchy is tempered by the rise of the laity. In this evolving church of 52 million Americans: —There are fewer and fewer priests for a congregation that grew by 883,638 members in 1982 alone. That gap is expected to widen as the century ends. Some parishes are served by nun pastors and circuit-riding priests, and lay men and women are spreading the Word. —Some Catholics who left the church in the 1960s and 70s are returning, not to the immigrant-era church of Hollywood’s “Going My Way,” but to a post-Vatican II church in which many Catholics are going their own way, doctrinally and ethically. —As the laity moves into the church, the clergy moves into the world. Bishops who once banned books now try to ban the bomb. Nuns leave their habits, convents and schools for new Jobs and causes. —The Catholic schools, traumatized by the decline in religious teachers, lose students and money while winning respect as an alternative to public schools and a support system for Catholicism. As late as 1962 the church seemed impervious to change. In those days, Catholics ate fish on Friday, confessed sins on Saturday and attended Mass on Sunday. The priest stood before an altar with his back to the congregation, speaking Latin. The faithful, many of whom had gone without breakfast to receive Holy Communion, sat, stood and knelt in silence, eyes forward. The seminaries were full, and parishes typically had three or four priests. Father's word was law on everything from holy Scripture to the church heating bill. The only comparable figure was Sister, unchallenged ruler of her parochial school classroom. It was a world of naves and ancient chants, a world in which divorce and birth control were anathema. It was a world, in many ways, like the one of the medieval theologians who shaped it. But it was a world that vanished almost overnight in a swirl of liturgical change, symbolized by the end of meatless Fridays in 1966. Suddenly the Mass was in English and the priest was facing the people. No more dark old confessionals but “reconciliation rooms” where priest and penitent sat and discussed sin face to face. The new liturgy and rules were not the only changes. Ten years after Vatican II, 4,750 U.S. diocesan priests — 13 percent of the total — had resigned. Almost a third of the 180,000 nuns left religious life. Half the 48,000 seminarians dropped out, and a like percentage of the 450 seminaries closed. Surveys by the Gallup Organization and the National Opinion Research Center showed weekly Mass attendence dropped from around 70 percent of Catholics to 50 percent. What caused the --decline in devotion? Critics nominated many candidates: Vatican II, which in a few years abolished 1,500-year-old religious traditions; Pope Paul Vi’s unpopular reaffirmation in 1968 of the ban on artificial birth control; the move from close-knit urban parishes to affluent suburbs without parochial schools. To Paul Hendrickson, who left the seminary in 1965, it seemed “things were simply going too fast, though for some others they weren’t going fast enough.” And, he wrote in a memoir, “What was going on in the church was only one wave behind what was going on in America" — at Berkeley, Chicago, Woodstock. Kent State. But the 1980s have seen signs of revival. This year candidates for the priesthood increased for the first time since the 1960s. In the past two years about 250,000 Catholics have returned to the church, and the rate at which others are leaving has slowed. The rate of weekly church attendance has leveled off after a long decline, and those at Mass are more likely to receive Communion than in the pre-Vatican II church. About 6 million Catholics have joined the charismatic renewal movement, an attempt to forge a personal relationship with God through small, intense prayer groups and Bible study. Old and new mix in every parish, because many elderly and middle-aged Catholics still say the Rosary and go to confession each week. Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in suburban Scarsdale, N.Y., has many such parishioners who cling to deemphasized traditions. But it also has a monthly “healing Mass” at which prayers are said over the sick, and a curate who once lay down during his sermon to make a point about paralysis. At Thanksgiving, there is liturgical dancing, and the parish has an active social ministry', directed by a laywoman. Most Catholics seem to like the post- Vatican II church. “The preaching, the music and the liturgy are better,” said the Rev. Alvin I Big of the Paulist Evangelization Aaaocation. Others are not as sanguine. Studies by the Rev. Francis Scheets, a church planner, indicate the percentage of Catholics at Mass may be drifting down toward the usual Protestant attendance figure of 40 percent as younger Catholics and Hispanics — groups that tend to go to Mass less often — make up a greater share of church membership. Meanwhile, up to 15 percent of Hispanics, the U.S. church’s fastest growing ethnic group, converted to other religions. Fundamentalist Protestant groups win converts by helping them deal with everyday problems and by training community leaders as ministers. Years after Vatican II, cross breezes still blow. For example bishops who came to power after Vatican II have taken an increasingly political role, giving rise to charges of a new clericalism, in which their liberal politics are illiberally foisted on the laity. Jack Anderson Dilly- dallying with car problem causes deaths Mailbag _v Resident appreciates Independence Day WASHINGTON - Critics of overzealous government regulation often state their case in terms of the cost in dollars and cents. But reluctant regulation often has a cost measured in human lives. A grim example of regulatory foot-dragging is the 18 months it took the National Highway Traffic Safety administration to announce that there was a rear-brake problem with 320,000 General Motors’ 1980 X-Cars. During that long stretch of bureacratic dillydallying, NHTSA recorded IO deaths and at least one crippling injury in X-Cars. Here s a partial chronology of death and delay: -July I, 1981: NHTSA safety engineers decided to begin an investigation afer receiving 212 owner complaints of brake lockups, in-voloving 58 accidents. GM was notified privately; no press release was written, though this is customary. A week later, initial tests gave evidence that “gripping” brake linings were causing lockups. GM was notified, the public was not. — Aug. 2, 1961: Kiln Sutton, 18, of Maryville, Term., lost control of her Buick Skylark after applying ghe brakes on a ram-.slick road, spun intothe opposite land and was hit by an oncoming jeep. She died 12 days later. Robert Olive, the Sutton family’s attorney, told my associate Tony Capaccio the accident “sure looked Uke a brake lockup.” — Aug. 5 1981: GM voluntarily recalled 47,000 X-Cars I though not the model Kim Sutton had been driving.) NHSTA had evidence Unking the linings to the brake lockups, yet the agency allowed GM to replace only the valves that control the rear-brake hydraulic pressure. — November 1961 to June 1962: Further NHSTA tests confirmed that the brake linings, not the hydraulic valves, were at fault. The raw data lay in the files for seven months before it was collated, and even then was not made public. During those months, three more people died and one person was permanently crippled in X-Cars suspected of the brake lockup. — June 1982 to December 1962: After the brake-lining report was prepared, NHTSA inexpUcably sat on it. — Dec. 15,1982: Kathryn Tapp, 17, of Teton Wyo., was driving her Citation in a light snow when its front end went into a slight fishtail. According to witnesses, when Tapp put on the brakes, the car swerved violently into an oncoming vehicle. She died of her injuries. Robert Tipp. Kathryn’s father, said he “didn’t know about the X-Car problem,” and added: “Had we known about it, my wife would have taken the car in, or she would nothave allowed it to be driven until it was teed.”    _ Doe. 17, UM, NH1KA seat GM a stem letter demanding more information on the brake problem and implying that a recall might be necessary. — Jan 12, 1983: Dorothy Belt of Elmhurst, 111., was driving her Phoenix on a slippery road, applied the brakes and spun across the center line into the path of an oncoming car. Mrs. Belt and a passenger died. — Jan 13. 1983: NHSTA safety engineers recommended a formal “defect finding.” — Jan 14, 1963: The agency finaUy issued a public announcement: Rear brakes on 1980 X-Cars were defective. Feb. 9,1963: GM announced a recall of 240,000 X-Cars. Footnote: A GM spokesman said the company knows of no fatalities caused by X-Car brake lockups and said the problem was “complex.” Dutch treat The CIA cynically suspects that officials in the Netherlands are secretly rejoicing at the leftist direction taken by their former colony, Surinam. Ever since they granted the South Amercian nation independence in 1975, the Dutch have been trying — in the CIA’s view — to find an excuse to cut off the 10-year, SI 5 billion aid program that was part of the deal. A secret CIA report notes the blinding speed with which the Hague suspended further aid after 15 prominent Surinamese citizens were executed by the leftist regime last December. The aid has not been renewed since then. The main reason the Dutch wanted to get rid of Surinam, the CIA concluded, was “domestic pressure to end the influx of poor Surinamers into Holland’s urban slums.” Since the early 1970s about one-fourth of Surinam’s population moved to the Netherlands. The Dutch stipulated that the $1.5 billion in aid must be spent on development and other useful projects. The CIA deduced that the Hague was “betting (The Surinamers would) be unable to fulfill this condition, and expected total financial support (to) be much lower.” As things turned out, the executions gave the Dutch government all the excuse it needed to welsh on the aid promise. WhitB House promise Meeting with the advisory council of the Small Business Administration, President Reagan observed that the agency “must run a pretty tough conference,” because the council members were still around for the meeting at 5:38 on a Friday afternoon — long after most Washington weekends begin. — Team America, the U.S. soccer standard bearers, gave the president a warmup jacket inscribed “Ron Reagan” on the back and “Commander-In-Chief” on the front. Editor: I am writing this letter to let all our citizens of Comal County be aware of our celebration of our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. The Declaration of Independence was adopted in Congress on July 4, 1776. Thanks to our founding Fathers of America who have contributed this document for all American citizens. The Declaration of Independence, as the United States Constitution, was written in a very specific general language so that there would be an understanding in our American legal system. Famous men like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, John Hancock and others were the original writers of these two documents. The United States Constitution ... considered to be a kind of “higher law.” The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The Declaration of Independence is also another document that states clearly that “all men are born free and equal and have certain natural, essential and unalienable rights.” The Constitution in general specifies certain man points, the individual rights, the separation of powers, about Federalism dealing with the federal government, and also the rights of the states. Our constitution of 1776 was refined in the federal constitution of 1787. I Rte tossy these in goner si and for all to have an understanding that our basic design of our American government is set in a formal Constitutional framework written by our Founding Fathers of America. We have a nice country, and God bless America. Happy Fourth of July. Signed, Aurelio Ayala New subscriber finds crossword small Sir: I am a new subcriber of the Herald. I am also a crossword puzzle addict, but I am disappointed in the Herald that they do not cater to us senior citizens with fading eyesight. The printing is so small, I have to use a magnifying glass to read it and the blocks are so small you can hardly get the letters in them I am sure there are more senior citizens out there who would enjoy your increasing the size of the puzzles. Thankyou, Grace Mosher Citizens, police help couple Dear Editor: On Sunday (June 36) in New Braunfels we had a terrible ex perience, but thanks to two individuals and the police department it w asn’t as bad as it could have been. While we were eating a picnic lunch at Prince Solms Park a thief broke into our old family van and drove it away. By coincidence we were carrying a few of the picnic supplies back to it just in tune to see it round a corner and head down the street. In the next fifteen minutes we became very grateful for the assistance of these local people: — A passerby on a motorcycle dropped off his beautiful passenger and pursued the escaping van. — A lady, presumably the propietor of the Mill Street Mercantile, let us use a phone and provided iced tea and compassion. — The police officers were very professional. They were quick to respond, thorough and sympathetic. The van was recovered within minutes and a suspect located and identified. Off-duty detective Mario Guerrero even interrupted his lunch to assist. We are indeed indebted to these people. Sincerely, Gail and Robert Lee Austin Your representatives Rap. Edmund Kuempol    Gov. Mark White Taxaa Housf of Rapraaontattvaa    Governor's Office P.O. Box 2910    Room 200 Blote Caphs! Austin, Tsxes 78700    Austin, Texes 70701 Rap. Tom Loothof    ton John Tractor U.B. Houss of Representatives    Texes Bernie 1212 Longworth House Office Building Capitol tttrthm Washington. D.C. Mill    Austin. TOMM J*711 ton. Lloyd Bantaon    ton. John Tower United State* Benote    United Biotas Banate Room 240 RumoH Building    Room 142 Russell Budding Washington. D.C. 20B10    Washington. OX. HBIO ;