Friday 21st October 2016

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Banned Books Week: Again

October 21, 2016 Frontpage Comments Off on Banned Books Week: Again


It is that time of the year again as I write this, the last week of September, Banned Books Week. I keep thinking that the trendy leftists behind this yearly tub-thumping against censorship will get hit with an “uh-oh moment” and start sending emails to each other to stop this annual bout of self-congratulatory posturing.
Why would they do that? Well, wouldn’t you think they would be alarmed that the American people will notice that they are the same crowd that is leading the charge to censor everything they disagree with in the name of political correctness?
Shouldn’t they be worrying about what their response will be if someone asks them how they can lead the charge against “microaggressions” and to disinvite conservative speakers on campus, while at the same time becoming indignant when some parents’ group wants to remove a book glamorizing teenage homosexual encounters from a high school’s reading list? But they are unfazed. The champions of Banned Books Week go on, head high and undaunted. The “free speech” advocates get away with ignoring the list of the books that they ban.
What books am I talking about? Check it out for yourself. Your local high school library is not likely to have copies of Joel Chandler Harris’ Song of the South, or the children’s story about “Little Black Sambo,” or books by former homosexuals describing how they were able to cure themselves of a same-sex attraction, books that could be described as anti-Semitic, books glamorizing right-wing militias. There will be no videos in the school library of the old Amos and Andy show or The Our Gang comedies, because of what critics allege is material demeaning of African-Americans that can be found in them. … Continue Reading

The Right To Life “Trumps” All Else

October 20, 2016 Frontpage Comments Off on The Right To Life “Trumps” All Else

A last-minute plea … To the Glenn Becks, Never Trumpers, Third Party Crowd, and the rest of the voters who are facilitating a Hillary Clinton victory:
Each presidential election becomes more critical than the last, as our country continues its fast track to distance itself from our Creator and His laws. Here we are again with another election more important than the last. To the Catholic and the Christian, the two most crucial issues of the day are the right to life and the right to religious liberty, period.

Without life, the most fundamental right, all other rights become insignificant. If we lose the right to practice our faith, every other right also becomes inconsequential. Any person or politician who does not respect these two rights will ultimately compromise or negotiate on any other right.
Either major candidate in this year’s presidential election will have a direct and lasting impact on both of these issues. And they draw a stark contrast.
Donald Trump has said he will support the pro-life cause, from the appointment of pro-life Supreme Court justices to upholding the Hyde Amendment to defunding Planned Parenthood. He also has assured us he will protect our religious liberties.Witness the last debate.
Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has promised us that she … Continue Reading

Of Straw Men And “Toxic Commentators”

October 20, 2016 Frontpage Comments Off on Of Straw Men And “Toxic Commentators”


The term “a straw man” is a useful figure of speech. It points to a tactic used by commentators to create an unfair or overly simplistic caricature of an opponent or opposition point of view. It is done to carry the day in a debate by casting the opposition’s ideas in the worst light — to make them as easy to cut apart as a child’s straw doll.
Everyone — on the left and on the right — agrees it is a cheap shot to use the tactic. But only in theory. Journalists and politicians — and the folks around the water cooler — do it all the time when it is useful for them. What is hard to determine is whether they do it deliberately and dishonestly, or if they fail to recognize this faulty logic when they employ it themselves. The latter is possible: Political enthusiasm can blur one’s judgment.
For example, I am not sure if Stephen Colbert was being deliberately dishonest when he scolded white conservatives for condemning the black rioters in Charlotte a few weeks ago for their violent tactics, when those white conservatives also condemned the football player Colin Kaepernick for kneeling silently in peaceful protest during the National Anthem. Colbert’s point was that this was hypocritical of whites, a reflection of a frame of mind that condemned blacks whether they protested peacefully or resorted to violence.
Please. One would be hard pressed to find a white conservative who condemned the violence in Charlotte, who would also have condemned the protesters in that city if they had knelt like Kaepernick in a peaceful prayer vigil. Their argument against Kaepernick was based on other grounds. Colbert created a straw man of white conservatives who could not make this distinction. … Continue Reading

Will Trump’s Towering Inferno Of Public Outrage Prevail Over Hillary?

October 19, 2016 Frontpage Comments Off on Will Trump’s Towering Inferno Of Public Outrage Prevail Over Hillary?


Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump tweets attention-getting remarks, but one of his comments on October 11 was so sadly, obviously true, it was boring.
With the exception of Bernie Sanders being cheated of this year’s Democratic presidential nomination, Trump tweeted, “the Dems have always proven to be far more loyal to each other than the Republicans!”
Exactly. No matter how outrageous a Democrat candidate’s record or life, party members unify and lock arms in his defense, but Republican officials scatter and run for cover or collapse if hostile media say bad things about a GOP hopeful.
Of course, these media are a lot less likely to attack their Democrat pals than assault Republicans, so Democrats know they can get away with lots more darned mischief.
Trump’s mentioning Sanders being cheated referred to WikiLeaks revelations of the Democratic National Committee scandal that top party officials worked secretly to ensure the nomination this year for crime-covered Hillary Clinton rather than dreamy socialist theorist Sanders.
Sure enough, Sanders threw his post-primaries support to Clinton despite her knife in his back.
The morning after the story burst that Trump engaged in lewd talk 11 years ago, the October 8 online front page of The Wall Street Journal, while reporting that scared Republicans were stampeding away from Trump, also had a story about Sanders standing firm for Clinton despite a new WikiLeaks embarrassment to her. … Continue Reading

Catholics Must Hold Hillary Accountable

October 18, 2016 Frontpage Comments Off on Catholics Must Hold Hillary Accountable


My friend Brian Burch who heads has launched an ongoing campaign this election season which I encourage us all to take part in until Hillary Clinton’s campaign realizes that they messed with the wrong tribe.
In an email sent out October 12 by Catholic, Burch starts out with this message; “Two words Hillary Clinton should use at her morning staff meeting: ‘You’re fired!’,” referring to Clinton staff caught demeaning Catholics and evangelicals in recently released hacked emails by Wiki
Of course the likelihood of Clinton firing any of her crooked campaign staff is nil, particularly for insulting Catholics. We’re more likely to see Clinton reward that kind of misbehavior.
Burch goes on to explain in his email about how these recently “leaked” email transcripts bring to light what Clinton’s staffers truly think about Catholics and evangelicals, referring to us as “unaware” and “severely backwards,” painting us Christian Americans as a bunch of antiquated religious zealots who are out-of-touch with their Godless modernist utopian agendas.
Burch writes about “an email exchange entitled ‘Conservative Catholicism’ between Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, campaign spokesperson Jennifer Palmieri, and John Halpin, a staffer at the Clinton-allied Center for American Progress. … Continue Reading

Foes Of Columbus Day . . . Should Open Themselves To Discover Its Social Riches

October 17, 2016 Frontpage Comments Off on Foes Of Columbus Day . . . Should Open Themselves To Discover Its Social Riches


PHOENIX — Those old enough to have been in Catholic elementary school back in the mid-20th century probably remember October’s Columbus Day being celebrated with an added religious perspective.
Like the larger U.S. society, the school kids observed the advent of what was regarded as the gift of the beginning of Western, Christian civilization on North American shores. But they also knew that heroic Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, acting for the Spanish crown, and the vanguard he represented meant the arrival of Catholicism to a pagan people.
Not anti-religious people, but ones with an incomplete, pagan religious understanding of a limited place in the cosmos. The Cross was planted in a part of the world that wasn’t new to the indigenous already here, but it was the New World to Europeans far from their native places.
In the 1960s in the U.S., virulent new strains of leftism and multiculturalism began to plant their own banners on this soil. Jealous of competition, they looked forward to supplanting the prevailing faith with their own. It was sort of Columbus in reverse. The Italian explorer no longer was the legate of God, but a face on a contrived wanted-criminal poster, maybe designed in a university art class. … Continue Reading

Fr. Pavone . . . Analyzes Presidential Debate Remarks About Court Vacancies

October 16, 2016 Frontpage Comments Off on Fr. Pavone . . . Analyzes Presidential Debate Remarks About Court Vacancies

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The Wanderer asked Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of the New York-based Priests for Life, to comment on remarks by the two major-party presidential candidates about filling U.S. Supreme Court vacancies. Pavone replied that he would comment only in his capacity as a private citizen.
Q. In the October 9 St. Louis presidential debate, Hillary Clinton specifically cited Roe v. Wade and “marriage equality” as what she wants to protect with her Supreme Court appointments, but Donald Trump cited neither, instead holding up Justice Antonin Scalia as a positive example. At best, this is inferential support for conservatives.
Republican candidates often never mention the actual babies and moms to be saved from abortion, which fails to help educate the public, and Trump seems to be taking the same default stand.
What would you say to this?
A. In regard to issues being debated in an election, the most important consideration is not what a candidate believes, but what he or she (and the party they represent) are willing to actually do. Mr. Trump has made it crystal clear what he will do, including nominate pro-life judges and sign pro-life legislation.
Knowing he will do these things, I leave it to his campaign strategists to figure out what he should say to each audience, and how much time he should spend talking about each issue. That depends on the context and target audience of any particular speech. We don’t so much need a talker as a doer. … Continue Reading

In Light of all the Latest Praise of Martin Luther . . .

October 15, 2016 Frontpage Comments Off on In Light of all the Latest Praise of Martin Luther . . .

The Wanderer is pleased to announce it will be featuring a series of videos on Martin Luther by our popular columnist Raymond de Souza, KM. Each week we will feature a segment which you will be able to revisit in our Catholic Faith Section.

The Catholic Faith section is an excellent collection of catechetics and Catholic commentary from the last two years in the pages of The Wanderer. Simply click the Our Catholic Faith icon found in the middle of our home page to peruse the many resources. If you are interested in Raymond speaking at your local parish or event, please email us at   generalinfo@thewandererpress.comCatholicfaith


Avoiding A Moral Precipice

October 15, 2016 Frontpage Comments Off on Avoiding A Moral Precipice


The coming election may be the last opportunity to turn back the transforming of America into an irreligious society. The advance of militant secularism poses a grave threat to the Catholic faith and to the nation. Today, government policies and secularist actions are impeding the public recognition of God and expressions of faith, limiting apostolic works, restricting religious freedom, and coercing individual consciences, while supporting abortion, euthanasia, various aberrations of gender, and the redefinition of marriage and the family.
This societal movement is in direct opposition to the principles upon which this nation was founded. Our forefathers began this country with an appeal to God for its independence, and adopted a constitution that guarantees the free exercise of religion among the people. The nation is secular in the sense that it separates the political realm from the religious. The state is non-devotional, and should be concerned solely with the temporal concerns of its people, while the religious sphere is to be allowed to operate, including conducting spiritual, social, and charitable activities, as the communities of believers see fit. … Continue Reading

The Same Old, Same Old

October 14, 2016 Frontpage Comments Off on The Same Old, Same Old


I can’t remember exactly which educational reform was involved in the discussion I had with the principal in the public school in a suburb of New York City where I used to teach. I can’t even recall exactly when it took place. If I had to guess it would be somewhere in the mid-1980s.
But the authorities in Albany that year were proposing new standards to raise the level of achievement of the high school students in the state. The guidelines sent to the local schools stressed that students would no longer be promoted if they did not demonstrate competency in their classwork.
I can remember leaving a meeting where the new standards had been introduced to the teachers. I was walking down a hall with the principal and said privately to him, “You know, if we go ahead with these standards, a really large number of our students won’t graduate from high school.” He replied, “I know it. They’ll drop the new standards once they realize that. It is more of the same old, same old.”
Which the authorities did. The reform in question disappeared into the memory hole where all the great educational reforms seem to end up, everything from the open classroom to schools without walls to holistic grading to open book tests to team teaching to. . . . You get the point.
Well, it looks as if Common Core is next in line. On September 24, the website Education News ( announced, “New York Education Department officials have made draft changes to improve Common Core academic standards with the pledge of better lessons that will also remain rigorous. … Continue Reading

Live From New York Should a Catholic Vote for Hillary or Trump?

Almighty God has been very good  in giving us as the day’s Gospel passage that of Our Lord’s famous admonition to “render to Caesar what is Caesar’s but to God what is God’s.” I say that in view of the…Continue Reading

Catholic university blasts ‘Unborn Lives Matter’ posters as ‘bigotry,’ bans them on campus

CHICAGO, Illinois, October 18, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – College Republicans at DePaul University were prohibited by the university president from displaying posters on campus advertising their group with the pro-life message, “Unborn Lives Matter.” Vincentian Father Dennis Holtschneider indicated to the…Continue Reading

For Archbishop Chaput, ‘Catholic Spring’ group did untold damage

Philadelphia, Pa., Oct 14, 2016 / 05:53 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Charles J. Chaput did not enjoy his first and only encounter with two leaders of Catholics United. “It was an interesting experience,” Archbishop Chaput recounted in his Oct. 13 column…Continue Reading

The anti-Catholic Catholics (and the bishops who support them)

Yesterday Ross Douthat of the New York Times embarked on a lengthy Tweetstorm —21 tweets in all—questioning whether it’s accurate to refer to the leaked emails from the Clinton campaign as evidence of “anti-Catholic” bigotry. Douthat—who is no friend of…Continue Reading

The next ‘deplorables’? Clinton campaign rips ‘backwards’ Catholic beliefs in leaked e-mails

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – “Conservative Catholics” are the latest Americans to be smeared by members of Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign, leaked emails revealed on Tuesday show. Catholic beliefs are bashed as “backwards” and conservative Catholics…Continue Reading

German Bishop’s New Proposal: “There Exists More Than Man and Woman”

The Catholic Church in Germany seems to be becoming more and more unbounded in its proposals. In the recent past, for examples, the official website of the German Bishops’ Conference,, has reported about the idea to have women cardinals; about…Continue Reading

Cardinal Sarah presents counter-vision to Francis as he launches new book

After being reprimanded by Pope Francis over the summer for calling on priests to face east while saying Mass, Cardinal Robert Sarah is refusing to back down and is becoming a rallying point of opposition to this papacy.  The Vatican’s…Continue Reading

Massachusetts’ highest court grants full parental rights to unmarried gay woman

BOSTON – The Mass. court that paved the way for same-sex marriage in the United States ruled Tuesday that an unmarried gay woman whose former girlfriend gave birth to two children through artificial insemination has the same parental rights as…Continue Reading

Shunned for supporting natural marriage, former Mozilla CEO is back with new browser

SAN FRANCISCO, September 28, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The former CEO of Mozilla has released a new Internet browser called Brave. Brendan Eich, the creator of JavaScript, continues to lead the technological revolution with Brave, an innovative concept in Internet browsers.…Continue Reading

Lay Catholic Group: Tim Kaine’s Radical Views Stem From Embrace of Liberation Theology

An organization of committed lay Catholics is challenging Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine, who’s invoking his Catholic faith and the words of Pope Francis as a basis for his radical positions on abortion and marriage, as well as his…Continue Reading

Quebec cardinal won’t refuse funerals for those choosing assisted suicide

Cardinal Gerald Lacroix of Quebec said he has no intention to follow in the steps of his fellow Canadian bishops of Alberta and the Northwest Territories in refusing funerals for those who asked to be euthanized. “I don’t plan specific…Continue Reading

Shocking Report Reveals Scientists Have Created the Word’s First Baby With Three-Parents

A shocking new report claims the world’s first three-parent baby (pictured above) has been born. Children born through ‘three-person IVF’ would contain some genetic material from each of three different people. There are about 50 known mitochondrial diseases (MCDs), which…Continue Reading


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This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Philadelphia Archbishop Chaput welcomes ‘smaller church’ of holier Catholics

(RNS) In a stark prognosis for contemporary Catholicism, a leader of the conservative wing of the U.S. hierarchy has said that “a smaller, lighter church” of fewer but holier believers is preferable to one that promotes inclusion at the expense of traditional orthodoxy. In a speech delivered Wednesday (Oct. 19) at the University of Notre Dame, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput also suggested that many prominent Catholics are so weak in their faith that they ought…Continue Reading

Kansas archbishop blasts Kaine: He’s an ‘orthodox’ Democrat but a ‘cafeteria Catholic’


KANSAS CITY, Kansas, October 17, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The archbishop of Kansas City, Kansas, has lambasted Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Tim Kaine for supporting abortion on demand while simultaneously touting his Catholic faith. Kaine is an “orthodox” Democrat but only a “cafeteria Catholic” who picks and chooses “the teachings of the Catholic Church that are politically convenient,” Archbishop Joseph Naumann wrote in a devastating critique of the Virginia senator. “It was painful to listen…Continue Reading

U.S. Catholics Under Attack

WikiLeaks did it again with another e-mail release, 1,200 of them, and this time exposing the deliberate attempts by the Clinton campaign to disrupt, undermine and, yes, try to destroy the Catholic Church. Their intent was (is) to plant the “seeds of the revolution” within the institution. Among the e-mails are communications between Clinton operatives that are clearly filled with bigotry. If anyone had any doubt that Hillary Clinton and the people around her have…Continue Reading

Fake Catholic Groups and the “Catholic Spring” Emails


It is now impossible to deny that Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United have worked for years to undermine and manipulate Catholic leadership Beginning in 2007, orthodox Catholic writers including myself wrote dozens of articles in an attempt to expose the funding and duplicitousness of two fake Catholic groups: the George Soros-funded Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United. (For example, see here and here and here.) Now,…Continue Reading

Archbishop Chaput’s Weekly Column: About Those Unthinking, Backward Catholics

Back in 2008, in the weeks leading up to the Obama-McCain presidential election, two young men visited me in Denver.  They were from Catholics United, a group describing itself as committed to social justice issues.  They voiced great concern at the manipulative skill of Catholic agents for the Republican Party.  And they hoped my brother bishops and I would resist identifying the Church with single-issue and partisan (read: abortion) politics. It was an interesting experience.…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Advance Medical Directives: The Living Will”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, “Euthanasia,” e-mail him at + + + “Evil committed for a good cause remains evil.” “Even when it succeeds?” “Above all when…Continue Reading

The Joke’s On Us

By DONALD DeMARCO The definitive Jack Benny joke is well known. Originally aired in a March 28, 1948 episode, the legendary comedian is accosted by a mugger and given the option, “Your money or your life!” A long pause follows. The gunman reiterates, “Look, bud! I said your money or your life?” Benny replies, “I’m…Continue Reading

“Pope’s Day” . . … The Lost Tradition Of A November 5 Anti-Catholic Feast Day

By RAY CAVANAUGH In much of colonial America, November 5 was known as Pope’s Day. This was not a day of celebrating the Pontiff, however. In fact, violence would erupt over who got the privilege of burning the Pope’s effigy. Pope’s Day (also known as “Pope’s Night” or just “Pope Day”) was the colonial offshoot…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred . . . Words Of Timeless Faith And Truth From An Old Irish Hymnal

By JAMES MONTI Sacred music has been a fundamental component of the Church’s liturgy from Day One, as manifested by the hymn that the apostles sang when our Lord was about to leave the Cenacle for Gethsemane following the Last Supper (Matt. 26:30). Even earlier, music had been a key feature of Jewish worship for…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Channels Of Grace: Famous U.S. Converts

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN The Mississippi Flows Into the Tiber: A Guide to Notable American Converts to the Catholic Church, by John Beaumont (South Bend, Ind.: 2014), 1013 pages. Limited copies available through A collection of short biographies of American converts from colonial times to the 21st century, these accounts provide biographical information about each…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: J.H.T. of North Carolina, a deacon who has been a witness to the “liturgical wars” of the past half-century, has recommended an “extraordinary book” — Peter Kwasniewski’s Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis: Sacred Liturgy, the Traditional Latin Mass, and Renewal in the Church — that he says should be read by all Catholics, clergy and lay, who…Continue Reading

The Lover Of Souls

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Thirty-First Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Wisdom 11:22-12 2 Thess. 1:11-2:2 Luke 19:1-10 In the first reading today, we are given a good perspective on things: Before the Lord, the entire universe is less than a drop of morning dew on the Earth. When we consider one tiny drop of dew in comparison to…Continue Reading

The Clergy’s Silence, Ambiguity, And Dissent Are Destroying The Family

By FR. SHENAN BOQUET (Editor’s Note: Fr. Shenan Boquet is the president of Human Life International, and he travels around the world spreading the Gospel of Life in that role. He is a priest of the Houma-Thibodaux Diocese in Louisiana where he served before joining HLI in August 2011. (Fr. Boquet’s commentary below on the silence of the shepherds first…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… We Are All Lepers, Marred By Sin

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK In the Rossellini film The Flowers of St. Francis, a series of black and white vignettes drawn from the saint’s life are strung together. In one of these St. Francis encounters a leper. He is repulsed by the man’s wounds, because he is human like the rest of us. Having come to love the Lord…Continue Reading

What Is Faith?… God’s Knowledge And Love

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA Part 7 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jer. 1:5). It is impressive to realize that God’s knowledge is infinite, and His love is eternal. Before Jeremias was even conceived in his mother’s womb, God…Continue Reading

Blessed Giuseppe Puglisi

By CAROLE BRESLIN When a society is riddled with evil and corruption, the worst thing we can do is to remain quiet. If we truly believe in God, then it is our obligation to do all we can to save the souls in danger of being lost in such a society. The threats and dangers of this world are not…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Gerard Majella

By CAROLE BRESLIN God works many miracles through the weakest persons so that their lives read like a fairy tale. Old or young, sick or poor, powerful or destitute, all are touched deeply by their encounters with such men of God. Such was the life of St. Gerard Majella, the patron saint of expectant mothers and young children. Domenica, a…Continue Reading