March 11, 2011

What was in the news on March 10, 1961? The dark future of Poland and Ghandi's position on birth control

By Brandon A. Evans

50 Year LogoThis week, we continue to examine what was going on in the Church and the world 50 years ago as seen through the pages of The Criterion, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Here are some of the items found in the March 10, 1961, issue of The Criterion:

  • ‘Prepare for the worst’: Future dark, Primate warns Poles
    • “BERLIN—Poland’s Primate has warned that dark days lie ahead for hte Church in his communist-ruled country and called on Polish priests to defend Church rights at any cost. Cardinal Stefan Wyszynsky spoke in a letter to the nation’s priests dated January 12, but only now reported here. The Cardinal noted that the Church’s difficulties are growing because of the ‘fighting, fanatic spirit of atheism that  has arrived’ and told priests to ‘prepare for the worst.’ Her urged priests to resist government attacks on Church rights—increasingly severe in recent months—‘even at the prices of punishment, exile or loss of freedom.’ ”
  • Constitution doesn’t forbid school aid, expert declares
  • NCWC official: Expresses optimism on school loan plan
  • Education bodies split over issue of school loans
  • Asks execution of priests who oppose Fidel Castro
    • “HAVANA—Demands that priests who oppose the Castro regime be made to face firing squads have spurred the tempo of attacks against the Church in Cuba. Cuban labor union chief Jesus Soto told some 5,000 screaming school children (March 1) at an anti-American, anticlerical mass meetings: ‘We are here to ask the wall [firing squad] for priest and counterrevolutionaries.’ ”
  • Report Cuba sends children to USSR for indoctrination
  • Most Congo missionaries report no interference
  • Question Box: Is square dancing proper in Lent?
  • Two experts refute charges U.S. clergy ‘soft’ on Reds
  • Pope links joy with obedience
  • Greater use of religion in social work is urged
  • Two prelates cite Ghandi in opposing birth control
    • “BOMBAY, India—The archbishops of Bombay and Calcutta have hotly contested the government’s birth control campaign. Both Cardinal Valerian Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, and Archbishop Vivian Dyer of Calcutta quoted Mahatma Ghandi in support of their contention that the contraception campaign of the government is immoral. Ghando, whose efforts brought about the creation of an independent India, was a tenacious opponent of artificial birth control. Archbishop Dyer quoted a statement Ghandi made in 1925: ‘…Those men, therefore, who light-heartedly are advocating artificial methods cannot do better than study the subject afresh, stay their injurious activity  and popularize Brahmacharya—self-control for the married and unmarried. That is the only noble and straight method of birth control.’ ”
  • Father Hesburgh: ‘Piety no substitute for competence’
  • New Vatican institute aims are announced
  • Veteran missionary nun to be honored at Woods

(Read all of these stories from our March 10, 1961, issue by logging on to our special archives.)

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