From the September 21, 1962 issue of Commonweal, a followup to the announcement by the archbishop of New Orleans that all the parochial schools of the archdiocese would be desegregated for the 1962-1963 academic year.
When Archbishop Joseph F. Rummel announced last spring that segregation of parochial schools in New Orleans would end with the opening of school this fall, he laid to rest some lingering doubts about the effective meaning of the Church’s condemnation of segregation. He certainly knew, as did his coadjutor, Archbishop John P. Cody, that trouble could be expected.
Now, with more than a week of desegregation behind them, the Catholics of New Orleans have good, reason to take pride in their response to the Archbishop’s decision. To be sure, there were many instances of white parents’ boycotting the integrated parochial schools. And there were as well some nasty scenes of white and Negro parents’ being jeered and harassed. Yet, by and large, the opening week went off very well indeed. The only real trouble came in some of the outlying areas of the Archdiocese. In Buras, deep in the heart of Leander Perez’ domain, Our Lady of Good Harbor School lost all of its white pupils through parental boycott. As for the five Negro children who entered the school on the opening day, they did not return on the next. Continue reading →
At the request of Cardinal Agustin Bea, president of the Secretariat for Christian Unity, who also has as his area of responsibility relations with Judaism, the American Jewish Committee has already submitted twomemoranda regarding the treatment of Jews and Judaism in theology and liturgy, intended to guide the development of conciliar documents. The AJC asked the eminent theologian Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel to prepare this third memorandum on Catholic-Jewish relations, submitted today from New York.
A Memorandum to His Eminence Agostino Cardinal Bea,
President, The Secretariat for Christian Unity,
Submitted by Abraham Joshua Heschel, New York, May 22, 1962
With humility and in the spirit of commitment to the living message of the prophets of Israel, let us consider the grave problems that confront us all as the children of God. Continue reading →
On April 16, after a long period of negotiations with leading conservative segregationists of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, several of whom backed down from their opposition to his plans to integrate the parochial schools, Archbishop Joseph Francis Rummel excommunicated three defiant racists. These three insisted the archbishop was a heretic and Communist seeking to undermine God’s wish that the races be separate and black people be subject to the oppression of the white majority.
The following is a photograph and caption from Life Magazine showing one of the excommunicated conservatives engaging in a dramatic gesture, calling on the archbishop to repent of his heresy. Continue reading →
The decision of Archbishop Joseph F. Rummel to put an immediate end to segregation in the parochial schools of the Archdiocese of New Orleans is a particularly welcome and significant one. It is welcome because the existence of segregated parochial schools is a scandal to the Church and a disservice to the nation. It is significant because it indicates that the Church in New Orleans is quite willing to risk its temporal welfare for a basic principle of social justice.
This latter point is of special importance. The Church’s position on segregation and discrimination could hardly be more clear. As Archbishop Rummel has said, it is “morally wrong and sinful.” But what has been far less clear is the extent to which the Church in the South is willing to put into practice this basic Catholic teaching. It has often appeared as if the Church lacked the nerve or the conviction to withstand hostile pressure—as if it valued its financial security and social position more than anything else. It is quite possible that such an accusation has been an unjust one. Yet the Church always leaves itself open to this kind of charge when there is a seeming discrepancy between its principles and its practice. Continue reading →
Today Archbishop Joseph Francis Rummel announced that all schools of the Archdiocese of New Orleans will begin the 1962-63 academic year fully integrated. The decision, coming two years after a bitter and violent struggle against integration of the city’s public schools, is expected to uncover much ugly racism before it becomes a reality for the 75,000 students enrolled in the Catholic schools of the archdiocese. Continue reading →
From the March 24, 1962 issue of America, a look at President Kennedy’s controversial secretary of defense:
The record of the Kennedy Administration in the field of military human relations is the opposite of its generally good record in the field of civilian human relations. However pleasant he may be in his personal dealings, Secretary of Defense McNamara has transmitted a public “image” of coolness, aloofness and, sometimes, even of disdain.
This impression seemed to have been confirmed last fall when the Department of Defense announced a one-dollar-per-visit charge for out-patient treatment of military “dependents” in military hospitals.
Out-patient treatment in the average military hospital has all the joys of a city hospital charity clinic. Continue reading →