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October 14, 1979 - Image 14

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-10-14
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Page 4-Sunday, October 14, 1979-The Michigan Daily

The Michigan Daily-Sunday,
Charismatic pope shepherds moral crusade in Chi

By Keith Richburg

IS ROAD TOUR swept the East and Mid-
west with enough fury to make an Ameican
political candidate envious. Everywhere
he went, from the Iowa cornfields to the
ew or streets, his loyalists flocked by the millions
to see him. But when Pope John Paul II last week
became the first Catholic pontiff to set foot in
Chicago, this nation's largest archdiocesce, his
mission there was to quell a rebellion. The American
Catholic Church has been in open revolt against the
Vatican for over a decade, ever since Pope Paul in-
troduced his controversial 1968 encyclical, the
Humanae Vitae, reaffirming the church's traditional
ban on artificial birth control. Now only Pope John
Paul, with his own style of personal magnetism and
charisma, could hope to bring America's runaway
Catholics back into the Vatican line.
The pope's message to American Catholics was
clear as he delivered it at Chicago's Quigley
Preparatory Seminary to a meeting of all this coun-
try's 350 Roman Catholic bishops-the church reaf-
firms its traditional hardline doctrine forbidding-bir-
th control, premarital sex, divorce, abortion,
homosexuality, and demanding cellibacy of its
clergy. And Pope John Paul made it incumbent upon
himself to take that message personally to the people,

harsh scolding for America's 50 million Catholics.
The pope's theme was unity, a unity around the
common faith, and before it was over, the pontiff had
warned each one of those listening that the fling with
permissiveness was over. He challenged each to
return to Catholicism's traditional, conservative doc-
trine.
America, the pope recognized, is admittedly a
diverse land, and the American Catholic Church con-
sists of diverse-and often divergent-parishes. Yet,
he homilized, "We are all bound together as the
people of God, the body of Christ, in a unity that tran-
scends the diversity of our origin, culture, education,
and personality-...
"Our unity in faith must be complete," the pope
told his audience, and, quoting his conservative
predecessor Pope Paul IV, author of the Humanae
Vitae and the indirect cause of the current disunity,
Pope John Paul added, "While being translated into
all expressions, the content of the faith must neither
be impaired nor mutiliated. While being clothed with
the outward forms proper to each people . . it must
remain the content of the Catholic faith exactly as the
ecclesial Magisterium has received and transmits
it."
Whether the message will be heeded is too early to
d ka b t th crnwd', sfervent reaction-which in-

Catholicism may eventually take even more than
Pope John Paul's charisma, since the Ameican
Catholic tradition is rooted in the unique nature of
American society. America has always prided itself
on the separation of church and state, and for

series of sweeping reforms that, to traditionalists from
strict Catholic backgrounds, must have bordered on
the radical. Suddenly, Masses were being conducted
in English instead of the traditional Latin, and
parishioners were astounded to one Sunday walk into
a church and actually be able to understand the
prayers. And the priest, who for centuries had con-
ducted the rituals with his back to the audience, sud-
denly turned around and looked at his followers
showing them he had a real face with real features
and emotions. Nuns, too, long imprisoned in flowing
black robes, began to reveal arms and legs, wearing
shortened skirts and dresses. Before his death in 1963,
the kindly Pope John had succeeded in putting
humanism not only into the papacy, but in every
Catholic church in America.
But Pope John was followed by Pope Paul VI, one
of the truly tragic figures in the Church's history.
Despite Pope Paul's stewardship through the chur-
ch's transition perdiod under his predecessor, this
pope became the victim of his own attempts to walk
the delicate middle between conservatives bent on
preserving tradition and liberals pressing for more
reforms faster. In America, which has always been
the vanguard of radical change and truly out-of-step
with most Catholics worldwide, Paul would not allow
the church to keep pace with the fast-changing
American society. So when in 1968 Pope Paul reaf-
firmed the church's birth control ban in his en-
cyclical, the American faction openly revolted.
Catholics in this country ignoredsthe birth control ban
overwhelmingly, and for the first time began to

secular society-for all tl
as ill-counts more heavi
church."
But the revolt of -Am(
limited only to church-goe
was restless-perhaps no
structure of the Church a
revision, or, perhaps mc
reality that liberalization
Catholic Church to surviv
there was insurrection it
jumped ship, opting for ci
nounced outright that th
birth control ban. Also, tli
nulments in this country
And in 1976, a "Call To Ac
and nuns passed radical
church to change its har
issues of birth control, ma
women priests.
HEN POPE Ji
pope in rec
last year to I
Roman Cath
perona l 59-year-old pot
towards, or at least mo
Americanized version of
developed over the last d
made it clear from the I
he would follow the same

American Catholics, secular values grew to dominate
the sectarian. And the modern American society of

and to rely on his own dynamism to sway the, juge, uui. eU
wayward back onto the path of the faithful. Only cluded a spontaneous chant of "Long live the the 1960s was growing more receptive to the taboo
hours after that meeting with the bishops, the pope Pope! "-indicated that the people were too caught up previous decades-birth control, sexual freedo
went to Grant Park on Chicago's lakefront, where an in the moment to really care. The true test of whether divorce, and even abortion.
estimated 1.5 million worshippers and watchers had the pope's mission was a success or failure in The Church at this time, under the jovial Pope i
braved the midwestern October chill to gather for his bringing the American church back into line will XXXIII, was in a state of transition to modern tim
words of salvation, come in the weeks and months ahead, after the The controversial Vatican II Council institute
There, from atop a 20-foot altar and with a euphoria of his first American tour finally has sub-
judicious amount of the requisite pomp and splendor, sided.
the leader of the world's 700 million Roman Catholics But to turn around the liberal trend of American
delivered a half-hour homily that was, in reality, a
Keith Richburg is co-editor of the Daily Edi-
China subjugate
By R J. Smith

s of question the church's authority to regulate morality. bee rut
ms, A 1974 report prepared for the National Council of
Bishops found that for Americans, "the influence of ,,,." ""'
es.... ' "
d a
Dalai Lama wi
austere Tibetan ii

wwwo

brought to Tibet a respect for and belief in com-
passion and wisdom. With Buddhism acting as a
tranquilizing influence which also helped to create a
loose power structure, the country developed a
unified culture. It was a culture that valued inwar-
dness and eschewed material conquests.
For centuries after the teachings of the Buddha
took hold in Tibet, probably in the late 7th century, a
social system was established which centered around
Buddhist monasteries. Buddhism helped establish a
sedentary culture, and tended to shape a pacific
people of modest ambition, a people attuned to the
elements of nature which forged their lifestyle.
But, when the Western World last glimpsed a free
Tibet, what many saw was a nation detached and '
backwards, a nation edging fearfully closer to a
takeover by China. Today, of course, China claims
Tibet as a part of "the big family of the Motherland."
Reports from many sources indicate that over 2,5001
Buddhist monasteries have been closed down or
destroyed; since the Chinese army took over in 1950,1
genocidal practices have resulted in there being
today more Chinese than Tibetans living in what only
two decades ago was the capital of the free nation of
Tibet.
Tibet's anguish today is caused both by the im-
perialist tactics of modern China and by a people's
unwillingness to reassess their beliefs in the light of
the pattern of global events.
To some degree, the cause of Tibet's anguish-and
at the same time perhaps the solution to it-revolve
around the religious leader, the Dalai Lama.
* ..* .*

HE SACRED AND the secular uniquely
T intersect in the person of the Dalai Lama.
To Tibetan Buddhists he is the holder of the
highest monastic degree, and the foremost
representative of the Gelugpa sect, the major Bud-
dhist sect in Tibet. The Buddhists consider him a
Bodhisattva-one who could leave earth to experien-
ce the ultimate state of enlightenment, but who in-
stead chooses to turn back and help others until all
can enjoy such enlightenment. -
On the secular side, since the 17th century, the
Dalai Lama has been considered part of the lineage
of kings who ruled in ancient, pre-Buddhist Tibet, and
thus has been regarded as the temporal ruler of
Tibet.
So when His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the fourteenth
Dalai Lama, visited Ann Arbor last weekend, cen-
turies of cultural and religious history were em-
bodied in one person speaking alone on a stage.
There are countless detajls to the story of how the
present Dalai Lama was "discovered"-indeed,.
there are countless complete narratives. One goes
like this: When he realized his death was imminent,
the thirteeneth Dalai Lama gave cryptic directions to
the place where his reincarnation could be found.
Many sources, including the old Dalai Lama's dying
words, the consultations of an oracle, and signs found.
in nature-such as mushrooms on the northeast side
of a pillar in the temple in which the thirteenth Dalai
Lama was laid to rest-hinted at the new Dalai
Lama's location. The signs indicated he could be
found outside the geographical confines of Tibet, in
",See DA1.A-LA MAPage

A frescoe detail from t
depicts the fifth Dalai La
by the Chinese in 1959, an

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