Pacific Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives May 15 1983, Page 21

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Pacific Stars And Stripes (Newspaper) - May 15, 1983, Tokyo, Japan 22 Pacific stars and stripes religion May 1983 pious voices loud on nuke new York a in which strictly guards the separation of Church and religious groups Are raising their voices on political especially loud is the cry against nuclear armaments and most of those voices Are at Odds with the administration in washing and president Reagan is concerned about the Impact they might have on although the question of building and deploying nuclear weapons is and a matter for govern it also is a moral say religious and thus a matter of Faith and the whole realm of violence Domestic were dealing with it As a moral says Margaret a staff associate of the Branch of Pax an International Catholic peace organization based in Bel the group has focused recently on stopping the arms we Are not political if it happens to impinge upon political movements or that she we Are not we do not our Pri Mary purpose is the influence of the stand of the country major religions on such monumental issues is Best illustrated by the adoption two weeks ago of a pastoral letter on nuclear War by roman Catholic Bishops meeting in after two years of preparation and the Bishops called for a halt to the production and deployment of nuclear arms and denounced the first use of such we have addressed a very critical Issue facing our it is one of the most important undertakings of the Bishops in a Long said Cardinal Joseph Arch Bishop of Chicago and head of the National conference of Catholic its the most profound and comprehensive statement by the Church on a critical Issue that is troubling All said Cardinal John Krol of a teaching guideline the document is considered to be a teaching guideline for the 51 million catholics in the United states and a Means of sharing the ideas of the Church leaders with experts say it will be very but it is too soon to measure its especially in a country where Many catholics Are Apt to decide questions of conscience for rather than following rigidly the thinking of the while Many protestant churches have Long spoken out against nuclear the Catholic Church has attracted the most attention the american Church traditionally had a reputation for supporting military that role began to change in the 1960s and when Many priests and nuns were Active against combat in but the Church As a body did not take a stand then As it has i think there is no question but that the roman Catholic Church is having genuine Impact on two issues our nation is engaged said methodist Bishop James birr that cold president of the National Council of an organization of protes Tant the pastoral letter on nuclear Dis armament has received a great Deal of attention from the Media and the administration and will have an Impact on the consciousness of the american people without any ques the second and More specific area where the Catholic and other churches Are having an Impact is the conflict in Central he the increased american involve ment in Al Salvador and the killings in 1980 of four Catholic missionaries there have made the Church More outspoken against military whereas once religious leaders were perceived As upholding the status they Are now coming Down on the Liberal Side of political issues with More steered Clear of freeze for a recent study by the Roper Center of the University of Connecticut of the views of americas Seminary professors found them to hold traditional concepts of Faith and social but to be More Liberal than the general Public on Public policy in their pastoral the Bishops never used the word which is the catchword of the broader peace movement in the United which advocates a freeze in the number of missiles although the Content of their state ment is basically the the Bishops did not want to appear to align themselves with a political the House of representatives recently passed a Resolution calling for a Mutual and verifiable freeze on american and soviet nuclear but two months of debate resulted in a Compromise version that linked a freeze with a reduction in priority says earlier drafts of the Bishops letter caused controversy chiefly because of a change from advocating a halt to nuclear arms to curbing Many perceived that As a conces Sion to reagans which the Church leaders themselves but the administration clearly was concerned about the Bishops the state comment ing on the pastoral said the priority in arms control efforts should be placed on a search for deep reductions in nuclear a Call for a halt on production and As a would have the practical effect of diminishing the prospects for achieving the deep reductions that we Are seeking at the arms control talks in spokesman Alan Romberg last Reagan made an impassioned plea in support of his military policy to the National association of an umbrella group of protestant churches that includes Many conservative in an old fashioned moral Ity Reagan denounced the soviet Union As he received a standing Catholic opposition to letter while the Liberal face of the Catho Lic Church has been most there is a conservative strand As Well and it is trying to counter the Bishops a group of conservative clergy and led by Catholic scholar Michael recently published a letter entitled moral clarity in the nuclear that letter draws heavily upon the traditional notion of a just War and concludes that a halt or a freeze to the arms race is not the we judge that a negotiated freeze May Well be inferior to negotiated and thus cannot be insisted on by the letter calling a freeze we judge that the Hope that the soviets will consent to onsite verification is same different conclusions the Bishops also draws its applications from the Church just War which holds that warfare must respect immunity of civilians and the damage inflicted must be proportionate to the Good results nuclear warfare is portrayed As overstepping these and the Bishops Are sceptical of any claims that nuclear exchanges could be in addition to the Christian Church the nations jewish organizations Are involved in the arms rabbi David director of the religious action Center for the Union of american hebrew Congress a lobbying group for the nations Reform jews says the arms race and the Middle East situation Are his offices top any Issue called religious any Issue is a religious Saperstein anything that deals with gods the but his group is also Active in fighting efforts by the so called religious right to legislate such issues As abortion and school involvement of religious groups in american political affairs is not Church leaders were instrumental in the abolition of slav the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War in the Early Days of the atomic various protestant organizations be Gan debating the morality of nuclear because of the autonomy of each the results have but by most of the denominations have denounced nuclear the fundamentalist Christian groups remain the most

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