The Roman Catholic hierarchy in the United States may be faced with a major controversy in the wake of a row over the church’s role in battling racial discrimination.
The Rev. William H. DuBay, assistant at St. Albert the Great Church in Compton, California, called for the removal of James Francis Cardinal McIntyre, Archbishop of Los Angeles, and was promptly relieved of his administrative duties at the predominantly Negro parish.
The 29-year-old white priest, who charged in a letter to Pope Paul VI that the cardinal was guilty of “gross malfeasance” in not disseminating more actively the church’s precepts on racial equality, was allowed to continue his priestly duties, at least for the time being.
DuBay made his dramatic announcement about the 700-word letter to Pope Paul at a news conference he called at the Los Angeles Press Club. He said the pastor of his church was in Ireland and unaware of his action.
Responding to a question, DuBay held that his “insult” to Cardinal McIntyre was less than “the insult and injury suffered by the several hundred thousand Los Angeles Negroes at the hands of white Catholics whom the local church refuses to instruct in their specific moral obligations.”
He told reporters he had been “disciplined several times for speaking on the issue” of racial justice and was “threatened a year ago with suspension from priestly duties if I continue to preach that integration is a moral issue.”
It was not immediately apparent whether the incident would develop into a showdown case on Roman Catholic attitudes toward the race question.
Following the announcement of the action against the young priest, a group of white and Negro pickets, local parishioners and members of Catholics United for Racial Equality, formed a line outside the chancery. They carried such signs as “The Church Needs Father DuBay Now.”
Dubay said that “just recently sixty theological students were disciplined for their general commitment to racial justice and for taking part in an informal conversation with John Howard Griffin, noted Catholic author and spokesman for the civil rights movement.” He said that one student was dismissed, another was “recalled from receiving ordination to the subdiaconate,” one left the seminary for reasons of conscience, and others were sent home “for vacation on probation.”
Southern Baptist Radio and Television Commission broke ground for a new headquarters-studio building in Fort Worth by touching off an explosive charge with a signal bounced off the Echo II communications satellite.
Lutheran Church in America’s Board of World Missions will start provisional missions for the first time in Trinidad and Peru.
The Christian Advocate, Methodist fortnightly, called for more frequent sessions of the church’s General Conference. An editorial charged that “the executive branch of Methodism does the work of the legislative branch.”
THE RT. REV. ARTHUR BARKSDALE KINSOLVING, 70, retired Episcopal Bishop of Arizona; in Carmel, California.
DR. WILLIAM MCKINLEY BEAHM, 67, dean emeritus of Bethany Theological Seminary; in Chicago.
DR. ANDREW THAKUR DAS, 73, a regional secretary of the United Presbyterian Commission on Ecumenical Mission and Relations; in New York.
THE REV. AUBREY SHORT, 55, president of the Alaska Baptist Convention; in the crash of a single-engine private plane, near Anchorage.
Alabama Governor George C. Wallace was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree by Bob Jones University. He was lauded as “a David warring against the giant tyranny.”
The Rev. Hugh A. MacMillan elected moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Canada.
The Rev. Gordon Van Oostenburg elected president of the General Synod of the Reformed Church in America.
The Rev. Vincent A. Yzermans named director of the Bureau of Information of the National Catholic Welfare Conference.
The Rev. James B. Moellendick appointed executive secretary of the International Union of Gospel Missions.
Bishop Filaret of Brisbane, Australia, elected primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
American Association of Theological Schools granted full accreditation to Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Indiana; Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, Missouri; and St. Paul School of Theology (Methodist), also located in Kansas City.
A resolution adopted by the Military Chaplains Association assailing the American Civil Liberties Union was described by the ACLU as having distorted its official position. An ACLU spokesman said the organization “has never attacked the concept of the chaplaincy program.”
The U. S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a federal judge’s order that permitted doctors to give a blood transfusion to a Jehovah’s Witness who was seriously ill but refused such aid on religious grounds.
Maine’s Board of Education issued a policy statement permitting the state’s public schools to use the Bible in literature and history courses.
The New York State Court of Appeals upheld use of the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.
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