Monday 20th October 2014

Recent Articles:

The Synod’s Mid-Term Report . . . Church Leaders, Lay Faithful Call For Rejection

October 20, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off


(Editor’s Note: Maike Hickson holds a doctorate in French literature from the University of Hannover. This edition of The Wanderer was published October 16, three days before the conclusion of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops.)

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On the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, October 13, the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family released a midterm report on its discussions in Rome — and that release has caused some havoc in the Catholic Church.
Wide-ranging Catholics all over the world were shaken about some unofficially proposed revolutionary changes of the traditional moral teaching of the Catholic Church in matters of marriage and the family. This document constitutes at least a grave provocation; perhaps it is even a strategic, not just a tactical, provocation.
Many Catholic organizations and laymen fittingly requested that the synod fathers reject that interim document and return to the fullness of the teaching of Christ on the nature and sacramentality of marriage, as it has been handed down to us throughout the centuries.
The coalition The Voice of the Family posted on its website ( a strong critique of the midterm report. John Smeaton, the cofounder of the coalition, to which Human Life International and LifeSiteNews also belong, forthrightly stated:
“Catholic teaching on human sexuality and the family has been dramatically and disastrously undermined by the Vatican’s midway report on the synod. Catholic parents worldwide will be feeling bewildered and betrayed.”
Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, as well as other participants in the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops, such as South African Wilfrid Fox Cardinal Napier, have come out into the public and criticized the document.
Cardinal Burke, the prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, declared that the mid-term report to be “manipulated” and said that it represents neither the content, nor the true proportions, of the various discussions and individual presentations of the past week. … Continue Reading

The Missing Piece In The Pro-Life Movement

October 19, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off


A few weeks back, I had a column about miscarriage, in which I shared my family’s personal experience with having lost one of our children this way. The column touched a few readers who expressed their gratitude via emails because of their own heart-wrenching experiences and stories about their own individual losses.
Just this past week, American Life League had the pleasure of participating in a national presentation by the newest American Life League Associate group, Elizabeth Ministries International. The presentation was titled “Honoring Miscarried Babies — The Missing Link in the Pro-Life Movement,” presented by cofounder and Executive Director Jeannie Hannemann.
Mrs. Hannemann shared that one in every four pregnancies ends in miscarriage, yet even as pro-lifers, we often overlook the equal importance of a baby lost through miscarriage as we tend to primarily focus on the babies who are being aborted. Jeannie’s point is that once we start to educate others about the importance of the lives of each of these miscarried babies, we can then honestly say we are absolutely 100 percent honoring all the lives of the unborn. … Continue Reading

Pope Francis Speech At The Conclusion Of The Synod

October 18, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

(Vatican Radio) At the conclusion of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, Pope Francis addressed the assembled Fathers, thanking them for their efforts and encouraging them to continue to journey.

Below, please find Vatican Radio’s provisional translation of Pope Francis’ address to the Synod Fathers: 

Dear Eminences, Beatitudes, Excellencies, Brothers and Sisters,

With a heart full of appreciation and gratitude I want to thank, along with you, the Lord who has accompanied and guided us in the past days, with the light of the Holy Spirit.

From the heart I thank Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod, Bishop Fabio Fabene, under-secretary, and with them I thank the Relators, Cardinal Peter Erdo, who has worked so much in these days of family mourning, and the Special Secretary Bishop Bruno Forte, the three President delegates, the transcribers, the consultors, the translators and the unknown workers, all those who have worked with true fidelity and total dedication behind the scenes and without rest. Thank you so much from the heart.

I thank all of you as well, dear Synod fathers, Fraternal Delegates, Auditors, and Assessors, for your active and fruitful participation. I will keep you in prayer asking the Lord to reward you with the abundance of His gifts of grace!

I can happily say that – with a spirit of collegiality and … Continue Reading

How’s Life Treating You?

October 18, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off


The question, “How’s life treating you,” is one we hear often enough. And, as is the case with many commonly heard statements, it is philosophically far richer than what it may appear to be on the surface. In fact, it holds the key to that vexing and perennial philosophical question, “What is the meaning of life?”
“How is life treating you” presupposes a distinction between your life, which you are experiencing, and you who are the subject of your life’s experiences. You are, in some way, prior to your life.
Life is somehow external to you and imposes itself on you in ways that you may not like. Your life is not always what you want it to be. Indeed, it often seems alien to you, almost as if it were an enemy. During times when life opposes your reasonable plans or even assaults you, you may very well ask the question, “What is the meaning of life?” … Continue Reading

“Dear Saul” . . . Hillary’s Letters To Saul Alinsky

October 17, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off


Should we cut Hillary Clinton some slack over her letters to Saul Alinsky, unveiled by Alana Goodman of the Washington Free Beacon in late September? The letters were obtained by Goodman from the archives of the Industrial Areas Foundation, a training center for community organizers founded by Alinsky, housed at the University of Texas at Austin. Hillary has gone to great effort for many years to keep these letters secret, along with her senior Wellesley College thesis on Alinsky and his theories.
Hillary deserves no slack. But not because of what we learned about her in the letters. (You can read the exchange in its entirety at The letters reveal Hillary to have been in the late 1960s what most of us suspected she was: an impressionable, self-important, posturing, middle-class Baby Boomer from the suburbs, caught up in the radical counterculture politics of the era.
People like her were all over the place during those years. I can remember young teachers at the public high school where I was teaching at that time sitting around the faculty room pondering whether the time had come to resort to “direct action” to end the Vietnam War, in between making plans for their ski vacations and trips to see Broadway plays. Tom Wolfe, you will recall, described it as “radical chic.” … Continue Reading

More On Spanking

October 16, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off


It was strictly coincidental, of course, but First Teachers featured a discussion about whether parents should be permitted to spank their children weeks before the story of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson beating his four-year-old son became a national subject of discussion.
Our focus on September 11 was on whether the United States should follow the model of certain European countries that have made spanking illegal, or if doing so would be an unwarranted intrusion into parental authority. It must be stressed that no one quoted in the column suggested that beating a child with a stick, in the manner that Adrian Peterson is charged, should be condoned. But there were those who argued that it should be left up to parents to decide whether a slap on the hand or on the rear end is warranted in certain instances.
First Teachers was confident there would be a difference of opinion among our readers on this matter. A letter we received from E.B. of Walpole, Mass., is a case in point. E.B. informs us she is an “83-year-old grandmother.” E.B. relays an experience she had while babysitting her four grandchildren. She tells us her duties that day consisted of “mostly preparing lunch for them and cleaning up afterwards” until their parents came home from work. … Continue Reading

As North America Gets Merged . . . Here’s A Catholic Prelate Who Says People Shouldn’t Emigrate

October 15, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off


PHOENIX — The Catholic prelate warned people that it’s better not to leave their native land.
He’s the top Church official thereabouts and cautioned against the migrants’ mistaken belief they’ll find “a promised land” elsewhere.
Despite their suffering and dangers, he said, they shouldn’t fall prey to “this leaving frenzy,” just thinking “about seeking a more comfortable life.”
When a religion reporter said that “many just want to run away,” the Church official replied:
“We are being tested right now. Each of us is called to look into our hearts, and we may discover that the Lord’s consolation is the only source of strength and the only treasure. It is the thing that is most dear to us. But many fall victim to this leaving frenzy.
“They don’t even stop to think about what is really going on in their lives. They seek a future,” he continued. “But for those who have the gift of faith, hope for a better future cannot just be about seeking a more comfortable life.”
The prelate criticized Americans who beckon the people to leave their homeland with asylum-request forms. He condemned clergymen who want to use foreign newcomers to “beef up” the numbers of Catholics in their own areas and who behave like “businessmen instead of remaining shepherds of souls.”
Here’s this Catholic prelate’s outlook when reporter Gianni Valente asked him about a U.S. bishop trying to arrange for “tens of thousands” of these aliens to come to the U.S.: … Continue Reading

My Recollections Of The Saintly Bishop Sheen

October 14, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off


(Fr. Romanowski is a priest of the Diocese of Camden, N.J.)

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The Diocese of Camden is changing for the good. We hear the words coming from important places: The message of Our Lady of Fatima — consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This is a promise to the Blessed Mother and her Divine Son to offer our lives, every moment, to God in order to give the Almighty the proper place in our world and in eternity where we all are going, our destiny, our true home.
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, now Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, allowed Fr. Edward Sommers and me to visit him in his retirement apartment by the East River in New York City. Why did we get this privilege that every Catholic in the world would have wanted? That is, to have a personal conversation with this worldwide personality who taught the whole world about God. I thought I had the original article I had written about our personal conversation with this man and priest who touched millions of hearts with the love of God, the pure love of God that flows from the depths of our being. A number stand out in my heart, however — “1012” — that was his … Continue Reading

Can America Fight A Thirty Years’ War?

October 13, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off


“The power to declare war, including the power of judging the causes of war, is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature.”
With this citation from Madison, Cong. Walter Jones (R., N.C.) is calling for a debate and decision on whether America should go to war in Syria and Iraq, when Congress reconvenes after November 4.
The past week’s events make Jones’ request a national imperative.
For former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says we are heading into a “30-year war” against the Islamic State and the emerging threats in Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, and elsewhere.
He faults Obama for not bombing Syria when Assad crossed his “red line” and used chemical weapons. U.S. credibility was damaged, says Panetta. “There’s a little question mark to, is the United States going to stick this out?” This new war is the opportunity “to repair the damage.”
Yet consider the man Panetta wants to lead the United States into a war to restore America’s credibility. … Continue Reading

Did Darwin Ever Cry?

October 12, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off


Charles Darwin, on November 24, 1859, published a treatise that was destined to become the foundation of evolutionary biology. Its unabridged title, nonetheless, remains not only controversial, but politically incorrect: On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. The science of biology has advanced considerably since 1859. Darwin knew nothing of molecular biology, for example. In retrospect, Darwin’s theory of chance leading to the evolution of species is as infantile as the theory of the atom as postulated by Democritus who lived from 460 to 370 BC.
No doubt Charles Darwin had occasion to cry. Had he submitted his tears to scientific analysis, however, he would have found yet another reason to believe that Divine Intelligence had an important role to play in biological evolution. In other words, had Darwin been more scientific, he would have realized that his own “scientific” theories were not all that scientific. … Continue Reading

Catholic Synod: Gay Rights Groups ‘Disappointed’

Catholic gay rights groups say they are disappointed after bishops rejected proposals for wider acceptance of gay people, which had the Pope’s backing. The call to “accept and value” homosexuals was in a draft report, but failed to win the…Continue Reading


Cardinal Burke Confirms: Yes, Pope Has Demoted Me.

“Pope has done a lot of harm by not saying openly what his position is” Synod “designed to change Church’s teaching“ We post here for the record of current events all the quotes published by BuzzFeed from their interview with…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke’s Major Interview to Il Foglio on the Synod

The world likes Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke very little or not at all.  And , if it is possible, the Church likes him even less than does the world.  On the other hand, this 66-year-old American from Richland Center, Wisconsin,…Continue Reading

Pope Paul VI to be beatified Oct. 19, 2014


Pope Francis will officially declare Pope Paul VI Blessed on Sunday, Oct. 19, during the closing ‎Mass of the 3rd Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family.  Pope Paul VI was cleared for ‎beatification when Pope Francis on May 9…Continue Reading

Church Militant . . . Synod On The Family

Houston, we have a problem

Angry over voter lawsuit, city demands to pick through sermons, other communications from pastors who aren’t involved Monday, October 13, 2014 HOUSTON – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys have filed a motion in a Texas court to stop an attempt by…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: Synod’s mid-term report “lacks a solid foundation in the Sacred Scriptures and the Magisterium”

Yesterday’s presentation of the mid-term report (Relatio post disceptationem) of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family was met with a remarkable level of interest among both Catholic and non-Catholic media outlets. The Vatican Radio site, in its introduction to…Continue Reading

Having Patience for the Sausage-Making Synod

The midterm report on the deliberations of the Synod on the Family has appeared and there is a fair amount of hysteria all around. John Thavis, a veteran Vatican reporter who should know better, has declared this statement “an earthquake,…Continue Reading

Advice for the Pope in Light of the Synod

The Holy Father has been very good in lecturing priests and telling us what to do. We are to go out into the world and “make a mess.” We are to “smell like the sheep.” We are to welcome all…Continue Reading

Catholic Church in Minnesota Settles Sex-Abuse Claim

MINNEAPOLIS—The Catholic Church in Minnesota and a lawyer for victims of sexual abuse on Monday announced the settlement in the first-of-its-kind lawsuit claiming that clergy abuse and subsequent inaction by church leadership constituted a “public nuisance.” The settlement also laid…Continue Reading

Pro-family Catholics reject Synod mid-way report, calling it ‘a betrayal’

ROME, 13 October 2014: An international coalition of pro-family groups has rejected the mid-way report of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, calling it “a betrayal”. Voice of the Family responded to the report (relatio post disceptationem), published this morning…Continue Reading

">Catholic Social Injustice


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'From our friends at The Foundry'

Today . . .

Pope Francis: Middle East Without Christians Unthinkable


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis convened a Consistory of Cardinals on Monday morning in the Vatican. Originally scheduled in order to proceed with the causes of candidates for beatification, the Holy Father expanded the agenda of the meeting to include discussion of the ongoing crisis in the Middle East. In remarks to the gathered Cardinals at the morning session of the…Continue Reading

At Closing Mass For The Synod Pope Francis Beatifies Paul VI


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday celebrated the Closing Mass for the Extraordinary Synod on the Family. During the Mass in Saint Peter’s Square, the Holy Father beatified his predecessor, Pope Paul VI, whom he described as a “great Pope,” a “courageous Christian” and a “tireless apostle.” Below, please find the complete English text of Pope Francis’s homily for the…Continue Reading

Pope At Santa Marta: Heaven In Our Hands


(Vatican Radio) The Holy Spirit is the “seal” of light with which God has placed Heaven in Christians’ hands. Often, however, Christians avoid this light in preference of a life spent in the shadows, or worse still, in a false light, that sparkles with hypocrisy. Pope Francis’ homily at Mass Friday morning, followed the First Reading from St. Paul who…Continue Reading

Synod: Working Groups Call For More “Christ-centric” Focus On family


(Vatican Radio) The vision of the world, and above all of the family,  must be one which “passes through the lens of the Gospel, to encourage men and women to the conversion of the heart”.  In short there must be a more “Christ-centric” focus on the family. This – in summary – is the conclusion reached by the ten Small…Continue Reading

Our Judicial Dictatorship

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Do the states have the right to outlaw same-sex marriage? Not long ago the question would have been seen as absurd. For every state regarded homosexual acts as crimes. Moreover, the laws prohibiting same-sex marriage had all been enacted democratically, by statewide referenda, like Proposition 8 in California, or by Congress…Continue Reading

The Government And Freedom

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO This past week, FBI Director James Comey gave an interview to 60 Minutes during which he revealed a flawed understanding of personal freedom. He rightly distinguished what FBI agents do in their investigations of federal crimes from what the NSA does in its intelligence gathering, when the two federal agencies are…Continue Reading

Religious Freedom In Belarus . . . Strict Controls, “An Invisible Ghetto,” Continue

By FR. JOHN FLYNN, LC (Editor’s Note: Fr. John Flynn, LC, wrote this commentary for ZENIT News Agency. Fr. Flynn, a regular ZENIT contributor, holds degrees from the University of New South Wales and from the Pontifical Gregorian University.) + + + Current events in the Middle East have drawn attention to the plight of…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “The Crisis Pregnancy Center Movement”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995.) + + + “Speak, yourself, on behalf of the dumb, on behalf of all the unwanted; speak, yourself, pronounce a just verdict, uphold the rights of the poor, of the needy” (Prov. 31:8-9). + +…Continue Reading

Famed Dancer’s Daughter . . . Reflects On A Century Of Her Father’s Tradition-Breaking Legacy

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — Before international fame shone on Pope Francis, he was an easily ignored man wearing a Roman collar, seated on the everyday benches of the Buenos Aires subway. A spotlight, when switched on, confers instant celebrity. But when the light’s not being brilliant, who knows who’s there in the next seat?…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World . . . Being Exposed To Synod’s Deliberations Is Not For The Fainthearted

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “But the one who peers into the perfect law of liberty and fixes his attention there, and does not become a forgetful listener but one who lives it out — he will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:25). “Peering into freedom’s ideal law,” as St. James’ letter exhorts and as the fathers of…Continue Reading

Debunking The Myth… Sola Scriptura Is Unscriptural

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 3 Evidently, Jesus did not stay with the apostles and disciples for long after the Resurrection. He founded a Church, His Church. Now, did He found it as a visible Church, with authority to guide, teach, and sanctify the people? Or didn’t He? Either He did or He didn’t. It is one or the…Continue Reading

Divine Revelation: Gradual And Progressive

By DON FIER We left off last week reflecting on God’s motive for revealing Himself to us in a supernatural manner. In a word, His sole motive was that of boundless love for mankind. God gratuitously and unconditionally chose to “communicate His own divine life to the men He freely created, in order to adopt them as His sons in…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: R.H.T. of Florida writes to say that “this week’s question [The Wanderer dated October 16, 2014] about Doctors Without Borders caught my attention. If R.B. from Michigan is interested in supporting an organization like Doctors Without Borders, but one that is absolutely committed to strict adherence to the Catholic Church’s rules on things like abortion, contraception, etc., I…Continue Reading

Union With The Afflicted

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Thirtieth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Exodus 22:20-26 1 Thess. 1:5c-10 Matt. 22:34-40 In the second reading today St. Paul commends the Thessalonians for the way they received the Gospel and for the manner in which they lived it out. First he says that they received the Word in great affliction, then he reminds…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Ignatius Of Antioch

By CAROLE BRESLIN Who are the fathers of the Church? They were holy men of God; most were bishops, although some were priests and one man, St. Justin the Martyr, was a layman. They lived primarily in the first three centuries of Christianity, but one of the fathers died in 750, generally considered the end of the Church fathers’ era.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Denis, Patron Of France

By CAROLE BRESLIN On the hill of Montmartre, the French have built a Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Sacré-Coeur de Paris. Since 1885, this church has held perpetual adoration; the practice began before construction on the church was completed in 1914. As tourists quietly walk through the church to admire the beautiful mosaics and woodwork, high above on the altar…Continue Reading

What to Do If Your Boyfriend Wants You to Get an Abortion?

by Krisi Burton Brown | Washington, DC | | 2/20/14 4:00 PM Washington, DC (LiveActionNews) — Note: This article is for any girl or woman who is feeling pressured into having an abortion. If you are a guy who is trying to find out how to stop an abortion, please see this article written for dads. 1.  Stand your…Continue Reading

It’s Time to Build Schools, from the Ground Up

February 13, 2014 by Anthony Esolen   It might have been worth repairing, if it had once been noble and beautiful, or at least conceived in an orderly way, for ordinary human purposes. But it wasn’t. It was constructed upon false principles. Its walls looked like those of a bad factory. It smelled like a warehouse. It could be terribly…Continue Reading

Why I am Pro-Life

February 4, 2014   Pro-Lifers   By Therese Recinella   Editor’s note. This tribute was posted on Therese Recinella’s Facebook account. She is graciously allowing us to reprint it in NRL News Today.   There are many things that I could say about my Dad, but what I want people to know is this: My parents faithfully raised 8 children…Continue Reading

Fathers . . . The Essential Role of the Father

Posted on February 10, 2014 by The Catholic Gentleman 13 Comments   Divorce rates skyrocketing; adultery rampant; non-married cohabitating couples; children abandoned by their fathers or mothers; “same-sex unions” adopting children and calling this the “modern family”; pornography invading homes, leading to powerful addictions and total alienation from other members of the family: all of this is a bird’s eye view…Continue Reading

How Much is One Billion Dollars?

This article appeared in the March 20, 1941 issue of The Wanderer. (Well, 70 years later we can add 15 trillion into the example.) Here’s a simple and homely illustration of what one billion dollars amounts to: Suppose we take an imaginary boy, aged 15 years, and assign to him the task of counting one billion dollars in one-dollar bills.…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood

This article appeared in The Wanderer, April 3, 1941.  (WOW, Look what we have 70 years later.) A group which calls itself the National Committee for Planned Parenthood has begun a nationwide campaign to have the promotion of birth control included in State and national health programs. The committee—which, according to propaganda sheets reaching our desk has a branch in…Continue Reading

Questions of Non-Catholics . . . Answered by Father Richard Felix, O.S.B.

Reprinted from The Wanderer April 10, 1941 Why Does God allow us to be tempted? God allows us to be tempted so that we may prove our attachment to him and merit a higher place in heaven. Temptations are the lot of all men; they are the battle ground upon which heaven is won or lost. “The kingdom of heaven…Continue Reading