Tuesday 12th December 2017

Recent Articles:

A Theological “Night Before Christmas”

December 12, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on A Theological “Night Before Christmas”

By SHAUN KENNEY

(A poem, wistfully written by an anonymous soul. Kirchensteuer refers to a church tax in Germany.)

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Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Church
Not a bishop was stirring, though attendance was in the lurch;
The collection plates were extended in Germany aplenty
With one very small problem — the pews were still empty.

Scowling with displeasure while snug in minor palaces.
With visions of guitars, sandals, and wooden chalices;
“A reform of the reform!” came the collective sigh,
To save the Kirchensteuer and keep their piece of the pie.

When out on the Internet there arose such a clatter,
Where tradition was prized to a Church now in tatters.
Not crazy, just faithful, were these voices so bold,
Defending the Faith of our Fathers of old.

The sons and daughters of the New Evangelization,
Raise on John Paul the Great and Benedict of high station.
“Who dares question progress?!” the German bishops saith,
“These unwashed poor Catholics defending their faith?”

Not rigidity, but fidelity, these faithful Catholics pled,
Neither vicious nor vile their arguments said.
And when the response these Germans did botch,
Came the vision of Cardinals like shepherds at watch. … Continue Reading

Pocahontas And The Deep State

December 11, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on Pocahontas And The Deep State

By MIKE MANNO

Until the last few weeks, more people probably knew of the teenaged Indian princess Pocahontas, whom American mythology credits with having saved the life of Captain John Smith in 1607, than knew of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But in a brash and unsuccessful attempt to keep the CFPB under control of the former Obama administration, that all changed overnight.
And, for most people, confusion abounded. But it shouldn’t because it is fairly easy to figure out.
As we all know, the federal government (as well as state and local governments) employs bureaus and agencies to carry out day-to-day activities of government. Most of these agencies are established by an act of Congress (or state legislature, etc.) and are created to carry out a particular function of government. They typically have the ability to draft rules and regulations for their sphere of responsibility that will carry the force of law. … Continue Reading

Cascade Of News Events… Creates A Sensory Overload Around The Christmas Tree

December 10, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on Cascade Of News Events… Creates A Sensory Overload Around The Christmas Tree

By DEXTER DUGGAN

PHOENIX — If news events were Christmas ornaments, many homes’ trees would be shivering with sensory overload this season instead of shimmering beautifully.
Some of the baubles and trinkets among the pine needles would be lovely, others ugly. But there was such a profusion of them that limbs were near to breaking.
The synergy of social media, the assortment of electronic choices, and the Internet feed off each other and speed along news developments. The cascade of events suggested that society had taken up residence at the foot of Niagara Falls.
Each second, the Niagara Falls website says, 3,000 tons of water crash into the gorge. Does that sound like the volume of events sweeping us along today? Some would be lasting, some temporary, others entirely ephemeral. The depth of their durability in history might not be evident immediately.
Some reaction said that President Trump’s formal recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel on December 6 would be remembered by Jews not just for centuries but millennia, like Cyrus the Great decreeing rebuilding the Temple 2,500 years ago. … Continue Reading

Capital Punishment Revisited

December 9, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on Capital Punishment Revisited

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

Here’s a highly recommended book that sheds the patient, clear light of reason on the issue of capital punishment. Every U.S. bishop should read it.

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Edward Feser and Joseph M. Bessette: By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed: A Catholic Defense of Capital Punishment. (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, $24.95). Visit ignatius.com or call 1-800-651-1531.

In recent years, position statements and lobbying efforts of the USCCB have ranged across a wide variety of prudential issues, from global warming and tax policy to immigration and the death penalty.
There are many policy approaches to such issues that might conform to the precepts of legitimate Catholic social teaching, so Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Church, requires that action on in this area be left to the laity.
However, leaders and bureaucrats at the USCCB routinely violate that magisterial teaching, and pretend that theirs is the only permissible “Catholic” position when they choose a particular agenda item to champion. … Continue Reading

Naughty Retailers To Avoid This Christmas

December 8, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on Naughty Retailers To Avoid This Christmas

BImage result for manger and christmas treey REY FLORES

Once again, Americans are performing an annual ritual known as Christmas shopping. Most are racking up credit card bills, but supposedly it’ll all be worth getting deeper in debt when you see your loved ones’ faces light up as you give them the latest piece of Made in China plastic junk.

Do we give each other gifts in honor of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ? Not likely. We give each other gifts because that’s just what we’re supposed to do; right? We are well-trained consumers.

I’ll get off my soapbox for now regarding what I believe is for the most part a gross display of hypocrisy when we give each other gifts once a year, and the rest of the year we often treat each other in uncharitable ways.

Since Christmas shopping isn’t going anywhere, let’s address a problem at hand which we do have some control over — our own spending.

Every second half of the calendar year, retailers are preparing for their busiest shopping season. Executives at many of these companies are laser-focused on a big, fat bottom line. They want to sell us as much stuff as possible, … Continue Reading

Is Flynn’s Defection A Death Blow?

December 8, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on Is Flynn’s Defection A Death Blow?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN

Why did Gen. Mike Flynn lie to the FBI about his December 2016 conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak?
Why did he not tell the FBI the truth?
As national security adviser to the president-elect, Flynn had called the ambassador. Message: Tell President Putin not to overreact to President Obama’s expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats. Trump will be president in three weeks, and we are committed to a new relationship.
Not only was this initiative defensible, it proved successful.
Putin accepted the loss of his diplomats and country houses on Long Island and the Eastern Shore. Rather than expel U.S. diplomats in retaliation, he invited them and their families to the Kremlin’s New Year’s parties.
“Great move . . . (by V. Putin),” tweeted Trump, “I always knew he was very smart.” This columnist concurred: … Continue Reading

May One Do Evil That Good May Come Of It?

December 7, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on May One Do Evil That Good May Come Of It?

By ARTHUR HIPPLER

(Editor’s Note: Dr. Hippler is chairman of the religion department and teaches religion in the Upper School at Providence Academy, Plymouth, Minn.)

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The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that a “good intention (for example, that of helping one’s neighbor) does not make behavior that is intrinsically disordered, such as lying and calumny, good or just” (n. 1753).
In teaching this, the Catechism reaffirms the teaching of St. Paul, as St. Thomas explains: “Someone might steal to feed the poor; his intention is right, but he is lacking the requisite good will. So no evil can be excused because it is done with a good intention (Romans 3:8): ‘Those who [say we] say “Let us do evil so that good may come” are justly condemned’” (“On the Ten Commandments,” cited at CCC, n. 1759). Since many people seem to accept “necessary evils,” this is an important principle to understand.
First, one should distinguish the different components or “sources” of a moral act. First is the object; what is chosen, for example, giving to the poor or robbing a bank. The object is judged as it conforms to or conflicts with the basic commands of the natural law. Second, we have the intention — that is, why the action is chosen. Intentions, like object, may conform or conflict with the moral law. … Continue Reading

Reclaiming Christmas

December 6, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on Reclaiming Christmas

By LAWRENCE P. GRAYSON

Two thousand years ago, Rome was the center of the civilized world — economically, commercially, socially, militarily. Its material greatness, however, was accompanied by moral depravity. Prostitution, pornography, homosexuality, same-sex unions, other lustful perversions, and suicide were accepted.
Does not the permissiveness of that ancient culture appear familiar? As we in America — and indeed the West — strive for material greatness, are we not recreating a pagan moral climate?
The Roman world changed, however. On a day now known as Christmas, the “Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” God came to Earth in the person of Jesus Christ. Conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, the Second Person of God assumed a fully human nature, with all of the joys and agonies, trials and tribulations, thoughts and emotions, sufferings and death that are innate to man.
Through His teachings and the Church He left behind, a new era began for the human race. His doctrines elevated women to equality with men, asserted the role of charity and social justice, showed the debasement and immorality of slavery, established the sanctity and indissolubility of marriage, and raised the status of the family and children. … Continue Reading

The Modern Tower Of Babel

December 5, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on The Modern Tower Of Babel

By SHAUN KENNEY

The Tower of Babel has always been one of my favorite stories of the Holy Bible. A bunch of people literally build a skyscraper in the desert only for God to confuse their speech, thus rendering the project useless for the simple reason that no one can communicate.
Of course, Google Translate isn’t perfect, but the degree of interaction we enjoy by means of the Internet has certainly edged us closer to the idea of a Babel.
Perhaps this is where the interest in the story becomes the interest of the modern day. Babel was the birth of nations, and perhaps was even the birth of the ancient city of Babylon where the Ziggurat — a 300-foot-tall structure eventually destroyed by Alexander the Great — was by legend built upon the ruins of the tower.
Today’s ziggurats carry different names, of course. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and a host of other social media outlets flood the senses. Antiquated news, fake news, 24/7 news all filter through the senses as well, thus leaving the reader with precious little time to reflect and placing them in a constant position to act, judge, proscribe, and above all else to level judgment at people reduced to objects. … Continue Reading

A Scouting We Will Go…Or Not

December 4, 2017 Frontpage Comments Off on A Scouting We Will Go…Or Not

By MIKE MANNO

“Our greatest responsibility as a church is to the children and young people in our care. We have a limited time and number of opportunities to impact the formation of our young people. It is essential that all youth programs in our parishes affirm virtues and values consistent with our Catholic faith.”
So said Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kans., announcing his decision to terminate the archdiocese’s relationship with the Girl Scouts USA (GSUSA) in a statement May 1.
Fifteen months earlier, St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson made a similar decision — not banning the scouts — but asking pastors which allow Girl Scout troops to meet on parish property to review concerns arising out of several years of questions about the organization’s program.
So what is it with the Girl Scouts? Their cookies are great and don’t they teach independence, responsibility, and leadership skills to our daughters? Isn’t that want we want them to do? Well, yes; and well, no. It’s kind of complicated. … Continue Reading

Please Pray for Dr. Robert Hickson

Over the past couple of years, Maike Hickson has become a very important part of our work here. She has helped us greatly in our coverage of European stories, particularly in the German-language press. She has built relationships with other…Continue Reading

Archbishop Naumann: “If the Church is silent on the destruction of life, we’re being negligent”

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas was recently chosen by his brother bishops to lead the U.S. Catholic Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee of Pro-Life Activities. The 68-year-old native of St. Louis, Missouri, was selected on November 14 by…Continue Reading

LA convent sale controversy ends in favor of archdiocese, Katy Perry

Los Angeles, Calif., Dec 6, 2017 / 12:51 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- This week, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and singer Katy Perry were awarded a joint $10 million sum for punitive damages over a church-owned hilltop property which was illegally…Continue Reading

CDL. BURKE TO OFFER PONTIFICAL MASS AT WISCONSIN SHRINE

LA CROSSE, Wis. (ChurchMilitant.com) – Cardinal Raymond Burke will offer Pontifical High Mass on Sunday, December 10. The Mass will be at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin, at 9:30 a.m. The date of the…Continue Reading

Newly revealed vision of St. Pope John Paul: Islam will invade Europe

Bienno, Italy, November 23, 2017 (LifeSiteNews): A close friend of Saint John Paul II has affirmed that the late pope, revealed to have been a mystic, told him that Europe would be invaded by Islam. Speaking to a large group…Continue Reading

Cardinal Dolan, alumni ‘baffled’ over Notre Dame decision to offer birth control coverage

SOUTH BEND, Indiana, November 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The University of Notre Dame’s recent about-face to provide birth control via its health coverage is baffling, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said. “We rejoiced when Notre Dame united with us in our expression…Continue Reading

Spain’s Catholic Church speaks out against Catalan independence drive

The head of the Catholic Church in Spain has criticised a declaration of independence approved by Catalonia’s regional parliament last month, calling it “serious and disturbing”, a spokesman said Monday. Cardinal Ricardo Blazquez Perez, the president of the Spanish bishops’…Continue Reading

Pope sends telegramme of condolence following terror attacks in Egypt

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a telegramme of condolence for Friday’s attack on a mosque in Egypt, saying he was “profoundly grieved to learn of the great loss of life caused by the terrorist attacks on Rawda mosque in North…Continue Reading

Can Catholic schools resist the new gender confusion?

Two months ago, parents at Sacred Heart girls’ school in Hammersmith received an unexpected letter. “In recognising Jesus as our teacher through the Gospels,” wrote headteacher Marian Doyle, “the first impulse for us as a Catholic school must be to…Continue Reading

‘Crucified cow’ on display at center of Catholic church, locals outraged Belgium , Catholic , Sacrilege

November 23, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Local Catholics in a Belgian town are outraged as a cruciform cow has been erected as art at the center of a consecrated Catholic church. They are urging the local bishop to have it removed…Continue Reading

Christian father loses appeal to shield kids from LGBT agenda in public school

HAMILTON, November 24, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — A Christian father has lost his appeal in a landmark parental rights case that pitted him against his public school board, the province of Ontario, and the elementary teachers’ union for his attempts to…Continue Reading

Bannon Discusses Growing Up in ‘a Very Observant Catholic Family’ in the South Where the KKK ‘Tarred and Feathered’ Priests

In a freewheeling new interview with author Keith Koffler, Steve Bannon recounted his upbringing in a “very observant Catholic family” in the 1950s and 1960s and how that molded who he is now. Koffler, author of Bannon: Always the Rebel, asked Mr. Bannon—Breitbart…Continue Reading

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Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

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  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Apple, Google attend China internet conference that promotes control and censorship

December 11, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – CEOs from Google and Apple participated last week in China’s World Internet Conference, bringing what critics called “credibility” to an annual event used by the country’s Communist government to promote a more controlled and censored internet globally. Apple Inc.’s Tim Cook went as far as praising the Communist country during his keynote speech at the conference, saying that China’s vision of cyberspace as promoted by the conference “is a vision…Continue Reading

Pope Francis calls for Lord’s Prayer translation to be changed

Pope Francis has called for the Italian translation of the Lord’s Prayer to be changed as it implies God leads people into temptation. The line, which is traditionally translated into English as “And lead us not into temptation”, was recently changed in French to say “do not let us enter into temptation.” Currently, the Italian translation is

Archbishop: Politicians who say they’re pro-abortion and a good Catholic must be admonished

KANSAS CITY, Kansas, December 7, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Politicians who “flaunt” being Catholic while asserting that they are also pro-abortion are guilty of “misleading” other Catholics and must be admonished, said U.S. Archbishop Joseph Naumann in a recent interview. Naumann, who was elected last month by his brother bishops over Cardinal Blase Cupich to be the next head of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life efforts, said that openly pro-abortion “Catholic” politicians are “particularly problematic” for the bishops to…Continue Reading

Denmark aborted all but 4 babies diagnosed with Down syndrome last year

December 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A Danish official is using the four children with Down syndrome who weren’t aborted in Denmark last year to argue that his country’s policy is not to kill everyone with an extra chromosome. Ireland may repeal its Eighth amendment, which protects the human right to life. Pro-life activist Liz McDermott pointed out to the committee on the Eighth Amendment in the House of the Oireachtas that Denmark has an extraordinarily…Continue Reading

Pope Francis urges Trump to respect ‘status quo’ in Jerusalem

Pope Francis has stated his “concern” over US president Donald Trump’s expected decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Pope said he “cannot keep silent” over the “situation that has arisen in recent days”, and called for respect for the “status quo of the city, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the Un

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Advent With The English Martyrs

By JAMES MONTI Recently I learned from an English Catholic gentleman that in late October the BBC began airing in England a new television series called Gunpowder dramatizing the historical events surrounding the “Gunpowder Plot” of 1605, a violent plot of a few Catholic extremists arising from the desperate situation of Catholics persecuted under England’s…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic. . . The Supreme Court’s Overturning Of Bad Precedents: Don’t Hold Your Breath

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

Lead Us Not Into Temptation

By DONALD DeMARCO “I can resist anything but temptation,” quipped Oscar Wilde. His remark is really more humorous than cynical. But it does underscore a truth, namely, that there is some measure of difficulty for all of us in resisting temptation. Even the saints had to wrestle with temptation. “I am delighted with the law…Continue Reading

Our Lady Of Fatima… Apostle Of The Immaculate Heart: The Life Of Lucia Dos Santos

By FR. SEAN CONNOLLY (Editor’s Note: This is the eleventh in a series of articles on the one hundredth anniversary of our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima. Fr. Connolly is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York. Part eleven, because of its length, will appear in two separate issues of The Wanderer.) + + +…Continue Reading

Tampa Change-Counseling Ban Faces Legal Challenge

TAMPA, Fla. — Liberty Counsel filed suit in federal court against the city of Tampa for its adoption of Ordinance 2017-47, which prohibits licensed counselors from providing and clients from receiving counseling to reduce or eliminate their unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors, or identity. The ordinance imposes significant monetary fines on counselors who provide such counseling.…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Is The Pope A Protestant?

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK (Editor’s Note: See also Steve Skojec’s report on page 1 of this week’s issue, particularly the quotations from Dr. John Joy on Magisterial authority.) You know the joke; you’ve probably used it yourself. Someone asks a question and to stress that the answer is a most emphatic “yes,” you respond: “Is the Pope a Catholic?”…Continue Reading

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ…. The Effects Of The Sacrament Of Baptism

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 6 What does Baptism do, anyway? Isn’t it just a ceremony? No, it is not. The first, primordial effect of Baptism is to give sanctifying grace, a participation in the Life of God Himself: the indwelling of the Holy Trinity in the soul of the child or adult being baptized. It is never enough…Continue Reading

Marriage Under The Regime Of Sin

By DON FIER In beginning our consideration of the Sacrament of Marriage last week, it was immediately affirmed that “God Himself is the author of matrimony” (Gaudium et Spes, n. 48 § 1). Our Creator inaugurated this noble institution “from the beginning” (Matt. 19:4) when He formed Eve from Adam’s rib in the Garden of Eden on the sixth day…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: One of the most common arguments in favor of abortion is that it should be permitted in cases of rape. Not so, says Rebecca Kiessling, whose mother was raped. The founder and president of Save the 1, Kiessling, in a speech to an international pro-life conference in Peru in November 2017, offered the following reasons against this exception:…Continue Reading

Rejoice Always

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Third Sunday Of Advent (YR B) Readings: Isaiah 61:1-2a, 10-11 1 Thess. 5:16-24 John 1:6-8, 19-28 In the second reading today, St. Paul presents us with a huge challenge: Rejoice always. He follows this up by telling to us pray without ceasing and to give thanks in all circumstances because this is the will of God…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Miguel Pro

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Cristero War in Mexico (1926-1929) was one more episode in the universal and eternal conflict between the Catholic Church and secularist governments. The seeds of the conflict were sown at the turn of the century, leading to the enactment of the Mexican constitution in 1917. Then it was enflamed when President Plutarco Elias Calles (president from…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Pope St. Damasus I

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord gave us a very comforting promise in Matt. 16:18 when He said, “And I say to thee: ‘Thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’.” The Catholic Church has survived the intrigues of numerous antipopes. An antipope is a “false claimant…Continue Reading