By Lewis Willis
Meanwhile, In Catholic Country. . .
Some interesting things are happening, A campaign has been started for the canonization to sainthood of New York’s Cardinal Terence Cooke who died of leukemia on October 6, 1983. The campaign is said to be “a spirited public relations campaign.” The Akron Beacon Journal (12/25/84) quoted David O’Brien, a church historian, as saying, “Most people . . . think (saint-hood) just emerges, . . . but it has a lot to do with politics and who has the energy and staff to keep things moving along.” Realizing this, the Cardinal Cooke Guild, under the direction of his successor, Archbishop John J. O’Connor, was formed to promote his sainthood.
In Catholic terminology, a “saint” is one who was “a living example of outstanding holiness and heroic Christian virtue. The key word is heroic, because the world is full of “good people.” Cardinal Cooke’s heroism was manifested, according to his supporters, in the last painful days before his death. To qualify, a candidate for sainthood must have been credited with at least three miracles. A medical miracle “must be a spontaneous, unexplainable, complete, instant recovery from a severe physical pathology. ” The Guild reports, “we have a couple, of cases we’re keeping our eye on, one involving the remission of cancer in a very well-known woman in the Catholic community.” Each day the Guild receives letters from people who have prayed to Cooke. These letters report favors such as recovery from illness or that he has helped them find a new job.
It usually takes fifty years after the death of a person for sainthood to be bestowed. However, in this case, the Guild hopes for a papal exemption. To accomplish this, the Guild is raising funds and will wage an effort which “in some ways resembles the campaigns carried out by college sports departments or film studios.” I rather suspect that Cardinal Cooke will become the Heisman Trophy winner of Catholic sainthood! He will join the ranks of their other dead saints.
A saint, by New Testament definition, was a person who was very much alive (1 Cor. 1:2; 2 Cor. 1: 1). These were people who had been sanctified or set apart as children of God (1 Cor. 6:9-11). This blessing was realized as these people lived, and not fifty years after their death. They made up the church in the city of Corinth so, there is a remarkable difference between New Testament sainthood and that of the Roman Catholic variety. I was just thinkin’, that Cardinal Cooke was -not a-New Testament-type saint while he was living and this campaign will not make him a New Testament-type saint now that he is dead. I will, however, encourage all who read this to obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ and become one of those Gospel-made saints that you read about in the New Testament.
Catholics Want To Re-Write The Bible
The Akron Beacon Journal (11/14/84), reported the action of American Catholic bishops regarding a new translation by The Graff publishing house of London. The company has recently translated the Psalms. The translators had hoped their efforts “would send a positive message to women who complain the church is too male-oriented. ” Its design was to settle the ruffled feathers of Catholic women who are frustrated by the church’s refusal to grant them greater roles such as the right to become priests.
The newspaper said, “In typical changes designed to show inclusion of both sexes, where various psalms referred to ‘him’ or to ‘brothers,’ the new version might have said ‘them’ or ‘brothers and sisters’ or ‘family.’ Where the original asked, ‘What is man?’ the new asked, ‘What are we?'”
When the vote was taken, the adoption of the new translation failed by a count of 154 to 117. The debate on the translation was lengthy, but the arguments of several bishops were summed up in a few words: “The goal was great but the translation wasn’t.” Several of those bishops who voted against the translation recommended “detailed study” of it “by Scriptural scholars.” What a truly outstanding idea! Let the Scriptural scholars in Catholicism study the efforts of this feminist translation and its harm to the original text. And, I was just thinkin’, while those Scriptural scholars are assembled, why not have them study the Scriptures to determine if the Catholic church even has a right to exist, or if the New Testament makes any provision for a Pope? This could keep those “fellas” busy for years.
Guardian of Truth XXIX: 8, pp. 245-247
April 18, 1985