The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedRolf Hochhuth
Title QuotedDeputy / Translation from the German Der Stellvertreter
Date (Year/Month/Day)1964/03/03
Imprint[S.l.] : [s.n.]. 1964
QuotationA letter from the new Abbot General [Dom Ignace Gillet] came in concerning the articles on peace in Seeds of Destruction. [These articles were part of a manuscript Merton wrote in 1962 called Peace in a Post-Christian Era.] I was sure, since these had been cleared before by the previous Abbot General, with difficulties, but yet cleared and published, that I had the right to go ahead with them. However, the new Abbot General dug out all the correspondence, had a meeting with the definitors, and said that these articles are not to be "republished" in book form and implicitly in any other form... Naomi, frankly I must say that this whole thing leaves me a bit dizzy. And sick. I can't say exactly that it constitutes a temptation against my "vocation," but it certainly raises some pretty profound questions indeed. I know, one must just take it on the chin and shut up, etc., etc. But with all the attention that has been drawn to the obedience of an Eichmann and now even the question of Pius XII [the reference is to Hochhuth's play The Deputy], the props given by the conventional arguments don't offer much support. One is faced with the very harrowing idea that in obeying one is really doing wrong and offending God. I know of course that my conscience tells me that this is by no means certain and that the only thing is to trust Him and hope for the best. But it certainly wrings all the last drops of alacrity out of one's obedience and one's zest for the religious life.
Quotation SourceWitness to Freedom: The Letters of Thomas Merton in Times of Crisis.; Selected and edited by William H. Shannon. / New York : Farrar Straus Giroux. 1994, p. 142-43
Letter toNaomi Burton Stone
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