Tuesday 1st December 2015

Recent Articles:

Playing With Life . . . The Unknown Consequences Of IVF

December 1, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off


(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. All rights reserved.)

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Using artificial reproduction techniques is often seen as the solution for couples who have problems conceiving, or for women who prefer to postpone pregnancy. Yet, apart from any moral judgments, there are considerable drawbacks with various aspects of IVF.
When a woman wishes to postpone childbirth, freezing some of her eggs is often proposed as a way to ensure successful pregnancy in future years. This solution, however, is far from being uncomplicated.
“Women in their late 30s and in their 40s are being given false hope that freezing their eggs gives them a good chance of having children, according to leading fertility experts,” England’s Observer newspaper reported October 25.
Women do not know enough about the success rates regarding egg freezing, said Melanie Davies, a fertility expert at University College London hospital.
Adam Balen, chair of the British Fertility Society, told the Observer that women who are in their late 30s and in their 40s are being given “false hope” that freezing their eggs gives them a good chance of having children.
According to the article, the number of women freezing their eggs is rising sharply, from 2,476 in 2008, to 7,047 in 2013. … Continue Reading

Be Careful What You Wish For

November 30, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off


My hunch is that large numbers of secular leftists are experiencing what people mean when they say, “Be careful what you wish for; you might get it.” They won’t admit to it openly, of course. That is what often happens in these situations. It is like the episodes when you were a kid, when you did something stupid, even after being told by your parents or teachers not to do it.
It might have been when you were warned not to put too much hot sauce on your food, or to wear a heavier coat when you went out on a cold day. You didn’t listen and ended up with a burning mouth and shivering on a street corner. But instead of admitting that you were wrong, you pretended that the food was fine and kept eating it; or insisted that you liked it when was a little cold.
Or was I the only one who had experiences along those lines? I don’t think so. I can remember seeing friends of mine putting a happy face on their mistakes in the manner I am describing.
What got me on this tangent? Was it all the bizarre tattoos we see on 20-somethings? No. Even though I am confident that the day will come when the tattooed folks will look in the mirror and moan about how stupid they were not to listen to their parents before they trotted off to the tattoo parlor.
What I have in mind is something else: the posturing liberals who pushed for transgender teenagers to be able to choose the locker room and bathroom of their choice at high school. I can’t believe that they are happy now that they see the Obama administration making their wishes come true; certainly not if they have daughters, or know someone who has daughters, or have a niece or two in their families. … Continue Reading

Jihadi Recruiting Jumps Into News . . . Shortly After Tea Partiers Ponder Their Movement’s Future

November 29, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off


PHOENIX — Where’s the Tea Party conservative political movement headed? Events can turn on a dime these days. Is the Tea Party a spent force? Or does it have a future you can bank on?
When curiosity about the answers arises from state to state, local conditions enter into the evaluation, as well as the difficulty of getting an accurate view if many avenues of communication are distorted.
Moreover, the rise of worldwide Islamist terrorism injects deadly new uncertainties in life, politically and on every other front, and potentially on every doorstep.
On November 20 Fox News, citing Arizona’s porous border with Mexico, reported, “Phoenix flagged as potential ‘hotbed’ for terror recruiting.”
Alert Americans fear how accessible their country is to foreign terrorists.
However, the establishment elite of both major U.S. political parties and Big Business, as well as lobbying groups including the Arizona Catholic Conference and U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, have a sorry record of opposing the strengthening of border security being given priority.
Improving border security has been a major Tea Party aim, but so far the bishops and their allies have had their reckless way on this issue instead. … Continue Reading

Paul Johnson And The Paris Terror Attacks

November 28, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off


I have often wondered what I would select if someone asked me to put together a list of five or ten books that I would recommend to a young Catholic to help them understand the great cultural and political issues that divide the left and the right in Western society.
Whenever I try to devise such a list, I experience the same reaction as when someone asks me to list my ten favorite movies or songs. Within seconds of finishing the list, I smack my forehead over four or five favorites that I have left out.
Still, I can say with confidence that my list of books would include a title or two from Paul Johnson, maybe The Intellectuals, Modern Times, or The Birth of the Modern. I’d be tempted to list all three, except that doing so would exclude too many other authors of great merit. Johnson is that good. There was a time in the 1990s when younger conservative intellectuals would refer to Johnson as “Chairman Paul,” whimsically comparing his influence to that of Chairman Mao in China.
The recent terrorist attacks in Paris illustrate why it is well worth it to spend serious time with Johnson’s work.
In the mid-1960s, at the height of the Cold War, James Burnham wrote Suicide of the West, one of the most widely discussed books at the time in conservative circles. His theme was that liberalism was undermining the cultural and political heritage in the countries that were part of what was once routinely called the Christian West. Paul Johnson updates the scenario. … Continue Reading

Terrorists Leap Through History . . . To Drag Us Back To Their Darkness

November 27, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off


The Middle Eastern guys with assault rifles rather than scimitars want to play Saracen while anachronistically shooting with big ballistics.
They look at you, in your sweatshirt and jeans, armed with an iPhone, as the Christian Crusader, even if your religion is confined to worshiping entertainment venues.
This is a thousand-year-old war you don’t want. And if you’re not prepared to fight it, so much the better for your weapons-bristling assailants’ odds of survival then triumph.
They, after all, enter this urban battle with the traditional aim of victory, not some modernist politicians’ military notions of pinpricks, standoffs, stalemates, and sinuous negotiations that leave the lacerated opponents shell-shocked back where they started.
It’s said today’s jihadis have the mindset of a thousand years ago and the steely determination to take us back there. Even though we have no desire to climb into this time machine of their choosing, might many Westerners’ circumstances revert to the more circumscribed lives of past centuries? Might material life within a perpetually war-torn fortress become worse than better?
Even today, life and lifespan still never are certain, and disease and tragedy continue to walk hidden among us, wearing masks to conceal themselves until their opportunity arises. … Continue Reading

The Turkey Of The Year Awards Go To . . .

November 26, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off


It’s Thanksgiving Day once again as I write this, and rather than sharing some syrupy and sentimental thoughts with you about gratitude and about how we should all be grateful for God’s blessings, let’s just be grateful every day and have some fun with The Wanderer’s first annual “Turkey of the Year Awards” instead!
There are three Turkey Awards and we will be counting them down here from third to first place. The awards are based on how awful and terrible these individuals and/or organizations truly are in terms of how they have brought harm instead of help to humanity.
These individuals and organizations not only have brought harm to humanity, but continue to mock God through their actions, words, and deliberate participation in evil. Certainly right off the top of our heads, I’m sure we can all come up with the most obvious “turkeys” this past year, so let’s get started and see if you can guess who they are.
At number 3, we present the most obvious “Turkey of the Year Award” to none other than President Barack Obama. I understand that he is probably on everyone’s list as the number one turkey, but believe it or not, there were actually two bigger turkeys this past year!
Obama gets his third place “Turkey of the Year Award” for his ongoing disastrous Obamacare nightmare. The Affordable Care Act was supposed to bring universal health care to all Americans and make the world a much better place. … Continue Reading

Archbishop Chaput Warns… Dishonest Mercy Helps No One

November 25, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off

PHILADELPHIA (CNA/EWTN News) — True mercy and trust in the transformative power of God’s grace are key to helping divorced and remarried Catholics, Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap., of Philadelphia has said in a critique of proposals to admit them to sacramental Communion without a change in their lives.

“Ironically, a pastoral strategy that minimizes sin in the name of mercy cannot be merciful, because it is dishonest,” the archbishop said in a December 2015 essay for the U.S. journal First Things.
Authentic mercy is evangelical and believes “God’s grace has the power to transform us.” This is relevant to the Church’s pastoral response to the divorced and remarried, he wrote.
“The divorced and civilly remarried remain welcome members of the believing community. But neither can the Church ignore the Word of God on the permanence of marriage, nor mitigate the consequences of the choices that grown people freely make,” Archbishop Chaput said.
He recounted the Gospel of John’s account of Christ and the woman caught in adultery, who was about to be stoned. All persons need God’s mercy, including those who consider themselves righteous, the archbishop explained.
“Only Jesus can free us. Only he could have justly cast the first stone. But he didn’t, saying instead, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again’.”
“God does not owe us forgiveness or redemption — or anything else. Nor does God’s mercy license us to continue in sin,” he said, repeating: “It demands a response to ‘go, and do not sin again’.” … Continue Reading

Good Morning, Vietnam!

November 24, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off


“Jesus Christ brought us freedom from sin; America brought us freedom to sin” — Archbishop Emeritus Jean-Baptiste Cardinal Pham Minh Man of Saigon.”

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Ligaya Acosta and I stepped out of Tan Son Nhat International Airport and into the blazing heat of Vietnam. We had just traveled from Bangkok, where we conducted a one-day pro-life conference entitled “Silent Screams,” cosponsored by Human Life International and Couples for Christ-Foundation for Family and Life.
Dr. Ligaya is HLI’s regional coordinator for Asia and Oceania, and this pro-life missionary journey would not have been possible without her efforts. She had visited Vietnam in 2011, trusting totally in our Lady. She knew no one in the country, but expertly laid the foundation for future visits as she has in so many other Asian nations.
The pro-life movement is sorely needed in Vietnam. The nation’s demographic situation can legitimately be called desperate. Its two-child policy has been in force for nearly half a century, and the country has the highest abortion rate on Earth.
Despite a population that is less than one-third that of the United States, it suffers nearly twice as many abortions, meaning its abortion rate is six times higher than that of the USA. More than half of all pregnancies are aborted, some 1.4 million a year. Vietnam has suffered 40 million abortions since 1975, or 30 percent of its entire current population. … Continue Reading

Hispanic Conservatism Is On The Rise

November 23, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off


As the 2016 election year draws nearer, many people are wondering where our country will be headed after eight long and tedious years of Obama’s liberalism and renegade politics.
If anything, at least we can say that the Republican Party has the most interesting set of presidential candidates it has ever showcased. While I tend to stay away from politically correct words like “diverse” and “diversity,” there’s no denying that the GOP has the most diverse group of candidates with two Hispanic-Americans, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, for example. Bobby Jindal, who withdrew from the race as I was writing this column, is an Indian-American.
Meanwhile, back at the Democratic Party side of things, we have the old progressive warhorse Hillary Clinton and the over-the-hill hippie Bernie Sanders, both putting out the old snake-oil sales pitch about free everything for everyone!
As a Hispanic-American, I am glad to finally see two Hispanic-Americans running for president, but I want to make it clear that it isn’t because Cruz and Rubio are Hispanic that I would be willing to vote for either one of them.
Let’s say Illinois Cong. Luis Gutierrez and Texas Cong. Joaquin Castro were both running for president. You can rest assured that I would not vote for either of these socialist, anti-constitutionalist individuals. … Continue Reading

Of This And That

November 22, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off


Our readers will read this email from Katie McMenamin, the director of external relations for Young America’s Foundation, too late for them to participate in the group’s “Standing Up for Faith and Freedom (When Your Catholic Campus Does Not)” program that was held on November 6 and 7 in Washington, D.C.
But the organization is one that college-age Catholics may want to contact for more information. McMenamin describes Young America’s Foundation as “a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting conservative ideas to high school and college students and giving them the resources they need to promote these ideas on their campuses and in their communities.”
The YAF’s goal, in McMenamin’s words, is to “help conservative students at Catholic schools by providing the conservative response to the left’s agenda on ‘social justice’ and traditional values, offering guidance on how to discuss these important topics in a politically correct environment, and helping students learn how to better advance the right to life on campus and inspire activism on other conservative issues.” There is additional information about YAF on the organization’s website yaf.org. It is worth a look.
Moving on to another topic: The question of whether Catholic colleges and universities are the best place for Catholic young people. It is a topic that has come up several times in the past in First Teachers. Some argue that modernist and left-wing views are now so embedded in the curriculum at these schools that attending them will do more harm to a young person’s faith than studying at a nonsectarian or public university. Archbishop Sheen took this position several years before his passing. … Continue Reading

Police officer killed at Planned Parenthood was pro-life, Christian pastor

Nov. 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Officer Garrett Swasey, the police officer killed during a standoff with a lone gunman at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs Friday, was reportedly a leading figure in his church who was also pro-life.…Continue Reading

In Australia, bishops face legal complaint for defending marriage

Sydney, Australia (CNA/EWTN News) — The Sydney archbishop has strongly defended the freedom of the Catholic Church in response to a legal complaint claiming the Australian bishops’ pastoral letter on marriage violated Tasmania’s strict anti-discrimination law. “Australia is party to…Continue Reading

Obama Just Sent MAJOR Threat To Every US State That Won’t Take Syrian Refugees

The Obama Administration is issuing a showdown with states that are refusing to accept Syrian refugees. The administration sent a letter telling states they would be subject to enforcement action if they do not comply with federal plans to import…Continue Reading

Pope at UN in Africa: We Have a Choice: Either Improve or Destroy the Environment

Says It Will Be ‘Catastrophic’ If Individual Interests Prevail Over the Common Good in Paris Meeting, and Information Is Manipulated to Protect ‘Plans and Projects’ Kenya, November 26, 2015 (ZENIT.org) Staff Reporter Here is a Vatican translation of the address…Continue Reading

Cardinal Pell bets against the odds: insists Pope Francis will strongly reaffirm Catholic tradition

ROME, November 25, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — Contradicting the statements of some of the pope’s closest advisors, the Vatican’s financial chief Cardinal George Pell has declared that Pope Francis will re-assert and “clarify” longstanding Church teaching and discipline that prohibits Communion…Continue Reading

‘Bleeding host’ under investigation by SL Catholic diocese

(KUTV) The Salt Lake Catholic Diocese has started an investigation into what is being described as a ‘bleeding host’ at a local parish, St. Francis Xavier in Kearns. Images of the host, given to 2News, showed circles of deep red,…Continue Reading

How did heterodox prelates try to change doctrine at synod?

In this address delivered at the Catholic Voice conference Faith of Our Fathers, Matthew McCusker of Voice of the Family discusses three key elements of the “progressive” strategy deployed at the Ordinary Synod: arguing for changes in the Church’s language,…Continue Reading

Bishop Defends ChurchMilitant.com Against ‘Vicious’ Bill Donohue Attack

by Church Militant • ChurchMilitant.com • November 24, 2015 65 Comments Bishop Rene Henry Gracida is criticizing the Catholic League The bishop emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas is defending ChurchMilitant.com against what he calls the “vicious attack” by Catholic League’s…Continue Reading

Pope Francis to German Bishops: Your Church is a mess! Fix it and … GO TO CONFESSION!

The German bishops are making their ad limina visit. Every few years diocesan bishops have to go to Rome to meet with offices of the Roman Curia and, usually, the Pope. Pope Francis gave an address to the German bishops…Continue Reading

Germany’s bishops discuss decentralizing the Church in meeting with Pope Francis

ROME, November 23, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — The German bishops, sixty-seven of them, recently visited Rome together for their obligatory Ad Limina visit with the pope from November 16-20. This Ad Limina visit, which is obligatory for all bishops of the…Continue Reading

In Australia, Catholic Bishops Face Court Action, Huge Fines Over Traditional Views on Marriage

Australians have always viewed America’s litigious culture with suspicion. Our “no worries mate” approach to life means we tend not to rush off to court at the drop of a hat. So last week when a state government commissioner ruled…Continue Reading

Cardinal Wuerl’s Embassy Row Penthouse

Walking through the posh neighborhood of Embassy Row in October, I stumbled across a scoop: that Washington, D.C.’s Cardinal Donald Wuerl lives in a penthouse atop a mansion priced north of $40 million. That Embassy Row mansion is the Our…Continue Reading


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A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Pope celebrates closing Mass of African Journey

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday celebrated Mass at Bangui’s Barthélémy Boganda Stadium for thousands of the faithful from the Central African Republic. Speaking of Paul’s missionary zeal in the Letter to the Romans, Pope Francis in his final Mass in the Central African Republic reflected on the great missionary effort which first brought the Gospel to the people of Central Africa. Times of difficulty, trial and suffering remind all of the Lord’s call to…Continue Reading

Pope Francis Arrives in Central African Republic

Francis Will Open Holy Door in Bangui Before Inauguration of Jubilee of Mercy in Vatican Bangui, November 29, 2015 (ZENIT.org) Deborah Castellano Lubov Pope Francis has arrived in the Central African Republic, the final leg of his first Apostolic Visit to Africa, after having visited Kenya and Uganda. The Pontiff arrived at the M’poko International Airport in the war-torn nation’s capital of Bangui around 10 a.m. local time, after a nearly three-hour flight from Uganda,…Continue Reading

Pope to young: Jesus can transform walls into a path


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday encouraged young people in Uganda to turn negative experiences into positive ones with the help of Jesus and his grace. In an address where the Pope ditched his prepared remarks and spoke off-the-cuff in Spanish, he urged the young people to open the door of their hearts to Jesus. More than 150,000 cheering and dancing young people had gathered at an airstrip near Kampala to hear the Pope and…Continue Reading

Pope Gives Youth Choice: Do You Want to Overcome Challenges or Be Overcome by Them?

Throwing Aside Script, Pope Francis Asks Kenya’s Young People If They’ll Allow Difficulties Destroy or Use Them As Opportunities Nairobi, November 27, 2015 (ZENIT.org) Deborah Castellano Lubov Pope Francis has asked Kenya’s young people how they will respond to the challenges they face, including those of bad tribalism, corruption, and desperation, and challenged them to get out of vicious cycles. Speaking to tens of thousands gathered in Nairobi’s Kasarani Stadium, this morning, the Pope listened…Continue Reading

The Catholic Origins of Thanksgiving

Did you know that Thanksgiving is a Catholic holiday? True, it’s not on the Church calendar. And it is celebrated only in America, whereas Church holidays are universal. Our national holiday is certainly an event that has taken on a life of its own, with an established tradition involving turkey and mashed potatoes, football, shopping, and a four-day weekend—which is fascinating since none of those things have anything to do with the original event that…Continue Reading

What To Be Thankful For?

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO What if the government’s goal is to perpetuate itself? What if the real levers of governmental power are pulled by agents and diplomats and bureaucrats behind the scenes? What if they stay in power no matter who is elected president or which political party controls Congress? What if the frequent public…Continue Reading

Notre Dame Professor . . . Forced To Leave Project Aimed At Faithful Catholic Education

By JUSTIN PETRISEK (Editor’s Note: Catholic Education Daily, an online publication of the Cardinal Newman Society, published this report on November 24. All rights reserved.) + + + In an unexpected turn of events, University of Notre Dame professor Fr. Bill Miscamble, CSC, has been forced to disassociate himself with a new project recommending Notre…Continue Reading

Conversion To Pro-Life

By DONALD DeMARCO Before Roe v. Wade, but when the abortion issue was being hotly contested, certain pro-life leaders in Canada, as well as in the United States, told me that once people realized what abortion entails, the controversy would be settled solidly in favor of life. The plausible assumption in the minds of these…Continue Reading

How An Americanist/Modernist Continued To Undermine Catholic Teaching

By JAMES LIKOUDIS The author of Pilgrim Church: A Popular History of Catholic Christianity (Revised & Expanded; Twenty-Third Publications, 1989) that continues to circulate in Catholic parishes is Fr. William J. Bausch, who may be remembered by veterans of the sex education battles of the 1970s for his book A Boy’s Sex Life when he…Continue Reading

The End Of Obamaworld

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN In denouncing Republicans as “scared of widows and orphans,” and castigating those who prefer Christian refugees to Muslims coming to America, Barack Obama has come off as petulant and unpresidential. Clearly, he is upset. And with good reason. He grossly, transparently underestimated the ability of ISIS, the “JV” team, to strike…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World . . Critique Of Church Art Is Not Comment On Sponsors’ Faith

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK I recently received a phone call in which I was informed that a tweeted comment of mine on the Twitter social network about the interaction between some chapel visitors and sacred art recently installed therein had, in effect, called into question the faith of that chapel’s proprietors in the Real Presence. Although I did not…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course . . . The Rule Of Faith Is The Church’s Teaching Authority

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 30 In order to finish the discussion on the revolution caused by Martin Luther nearly 500 years ago, let us consider his first major dogma, namely, sola Scriptura. Any Catholic — especially The Wanderer readers — who want to take their faith seriously and apply the criteria laid down by John Paul II in…Continue Reading

The Communion Of Saints

By DON FIER For the past six weeks, we have examined and elaborated upon the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) on a state of life embraced by many loyal followers of Christ who have freely responded to a special call to follow with radical fidelity the way of life that the Lord Himself led. These generous…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I know the word “friend” appears many times in the Bible, but sometimes it is capitalized. For example, at daily Mass today there was a reading from 1st Maccabees which said that King Antiochus, who was about to die, “called in all his Friends” to tell them of his tribulations, and he chose Philip, “one of his Friends,” to…Continue Reading

The New Jerusalem

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Second Sunday Of Advent (YR C) Readings: Baruch 5:1-9 Phil. 1:4-6, 8-11; Luke 3:1-6 In the Gospel reading today we hear about the preaching of St. John the Baptist. However, unlike what we read in the other Gospels, St. Luke does not record the Baptist as saying that he is the voice in the desert calling…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. John Damascene

By CAROLE BRESLIN “The Fathers of the Church were those saintly writers of the early centuries whom the Church recognizes as her special defenders of orthodoxy. And the Patristic Age is the period during which they lived. “It is generally held that the last of the Western Fathers (Latin) was St. Bede the Venerable (673-735), and the last of the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Maria Virgo

By CAROLE BRESLIN When I visited my aunt in St. Louis, Mo., we would visit the basilicas, the museums, and other places of interest. She had many sites near her that were particularly special to her, such as her parish, The Little Flower, in Richmond Heights. In addition, she described a place where she frequently went for eucharistic adoration at…Continue Reading