THE BULLETIN OF THE CATHOLIC LAYMEN’S ASSOCIATION OF GEORGIA
JANUARY 4, 1958.
Union No. 23 AFL-CIQ
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19th Christmas Message
Holy Father Calls Christian
World To Be Vigorous Defender
Of "Divine Order In The World
(By Elmer Von Feldl)
(N.C.W.C. News Service)
VATICAN CITY — His Holi
ness Pope Pius XII has called
upon the Christian world to shake
off a pessimistic lethargy and to
become, the “vigorous defender”
of the “divine order in the
The Holy Father issued this
challenge in his 19th Christmas
message, dedicated to showing a
troubled world the Christian way
The message was given in re
sponse to the Christmas greetings
extended to the Pontiff by His
Eminence Eugene Cardinal Tis-
serant, dean of the Sacred College
of Cardinals. Eleven other Cardi
nals and some 200 other high Vat
ican dignitaries were present.
Following last year’s practice,
the Holy Father did not deliver
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the entire 9,000-word address. He | providence and has the flavor
of arrogance on the part of the
creature. There are even some
passed over a part of the first I
section and the entire second sec
tion, to avoid lengthening the ce
In addition to his challenge to
the Christian world, the Pope’s
three-part message, released here
made these points:
1. Warned against a “blind fas
cination for progress,” cautioning
that technology by itself may im
prison man “within its own limi
2. Emphasized that a rejection
of Christ in society means “the
iron discipline of collectivism,”
entailing the “anonymous exist
ence of one group alongside that
of the other.”
3. Reminded that Catholics
should work with all men of good
will to bring about “divine har
mony” in the world.
4. Warned that common Christ
ian action in a pluralistic society
may not degenerate into “an ex
clusively ‘human’ plan”, if this
means “agnosticism with regard
to religion and the true values
5. Defended the existence of
strictly Catholic organizations as
necessary for the training of
leaders in thoroughly Christian
6. Declared that the divine law
of harmony in the world imposes
on all rulers of nations the obli
gation to prevent war by means
of suitable international organi
zations and to reduce armaments
under an effective system of in
6. Reasserted that the Holy Fa
ther regards it “as a special task
imposed by God on Our pontifi
cate to forge between nations
bonds of true brotherhood.”
“The Christian is primarily an:
admirer of the divine order of the |
world, one who loves its presence
and does his utmost to see it rec-
lognized and proclaimed," the
Holy Father stated. “Consequent
ly he will be its vigorous defend
er against the forces and ten-
who hint that it is Christian pru
dence to return to the so-called
modest ambitions of the period of
Sweeping aside all these ex
cuses, Pope Pius declared that
the Christian “would implicitly
be denying to Christ Himself the
prerogative of that ‘power where
by He is able to subject all
things to Himself.’ ” His Holiness
“He ought, on the contrary, to
reckon it a disgrace to allow him
self to be surpassed by the en
emies of God in energy of spirit,
work and initiative, joined to a
spirit of sacrifice.
“It is no secluded territory nor
restricted administration which
is being entrusted to the activity
of the Christian; no field of life,
no institution, no exercise of
power can be forbidden to those
who cooperate with God to main
tain the divine order and har
mony in the world.”
The Pope’s warning against
blind absorption with technology
came as the world’s two greatest
blocs poured new energies into
the battle for technological su
premacy. His Holiness noted that
men are “tortured by a real anx
iety” as today’s scientists are
making an “unheard of invasion
into both the greatest and tiniest
elements of the universe.”
The Pontiff said that the
Christmas liturgy urges the faith
ful to raise their eyes on high
with hope, but noted that this
Christmas season finds “men
with their gaze indeed raised on
high, but with their hearts heavy |
with anxious thought for the un
certain fate of the human family
and of the earth itself oh which
The Pope declared that “in eve
ry respect technology by itself
is incapt .ole of recognizing and j
developing the divine seed of
unity and harmony implanted in
dencies which will oppose its rea- j creatureS; „ stat ed that indiffer-
lization, whether these are con-1 f(jr human life and values
cealed within himself, his evil in- C£m be tl , ac6d t() the “ preponder ant
nlinations, or come from .without ! material prflgVess » which has
Satan and his deceits and snares, j “ shattered the harmonious and
“The call to Christianity is not! h£jppy completeness of man ;- and
then an invitation from God | « somehow mutilated his appreci .
simply to aesthetic pleasure in; ation of those ideas and values;
the contemplation of His marvel
ous order,” the Pontiff continued, I
“but a call to unceasing action
under obligation and strict dis-
giving him completeness only in
one particular direction.”
His Holiness added:
“Indeed, to the man born and
cipiine, with respect to all the, e4ucated in the surroundings of
paths and conditions of life.
“Intervention in the world to
maintain the divine order is a j
right and ,a duty which belongs J
essentially to a Christian’s re
sponsibility and permits him law
fully to undertake all those ac
tions, private or public or or
ganized, which aim at and are
suited to that end.
“Subtle pretexts, made up to
excuse the laziness of some Chris
tian. or suggested by an unfound
ed jealousy on the part of ad
versaries, cannot permit the
evasion of such a responsibility;
especially if it is asserted that
Christian action in the world is a
mask for seeking after power
which is contrary to the spirit of
Christ; that it arouses opposition!
to the Christian faith among]
those already ill disposed; that it
is the result of a lack of confi
dence in God and His omnipotent
strict technology, there will nec
essarily be lacking a part, , and
(Continued on Page Eight)
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