Wednesday 25th November 2015

Recent Articles:

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 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

U.S. Students Seeking “Safe Space”. . . Compete With French Victims Lacking It

November 21, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off


Apparently without enough real frights in their lives, some privileged U.S. university students looking for grievances were taking offense this fall at phantom oppressors like — boo! — politically incorrect Halloween costumes.
Shortly thereafter, some young people in Paris who just wanted entertainment with California rock music on the evening of Friday November the 13 paid with their lives in an attack by deadly real Islamic terrorists at the Bataclan theater.
Lacking enough real worries, the U.S. students went searching for discontent. Meanwhile, some folks just wanting to enjoy themselves as the weekend began in France came to a crushing conclusion of all their earthly tomorrows. Were both groups equally ill-treated?
The human condition, once its material needs are satisfied, doesn’t rest. The ghetto may have more charity kitchens, but Beverly Hills has more psychiatrists when it probably needs more fully occupied churches and synagogues.
If more young Americans were military volunteers with daily lives truly on the line in these days of free-floating global terrorism, they probably wouldn’t be spending time dreaming up how to be offended on an overly accommodating campus — or at least accommodating of leftist political correctness. They instead would be more grounded in reality, on the parade ground or dug into a foxhole. … Continue Reading

Can A Radical Be A Patriot?

November 20, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off


Can a radical be a patriot? Yes. The standard definition of patriot is an individual with a love for the “patria,” the Roman word for country, the nation, the homeland. That does not mean loyalty to a particular administration or political party. A patriot can oppose them both.
It is not hypocritical for a patriot to advocate a radical change in his country’s system of government, nothing illogical about someone making the case that he loves his country so deeply that he wants to change its political system into one that will make life better for his countrymen. I would go so far as to argue that the change might even be some form of Marxism, if the Marxist in question were genuinely convinced that a Marxist government would be best for his fellow-Americans.
What crosses the line is engaging in treason: putting the interests of another country or ideological movement above the interests of your countrymen, being willing to work with a foreign power or revolutionary group to impose its will upon your own people.
There are individuals like that. We should not let charges of “McCarthyism” or “right-wing paranoia” or a fear of “being judgmental” deter us from pointing them out. City Journal, a publication of the Manhattan Institute, gave us some examples on October 9 in an article by Seth Barron. Not every radical is part of the loyal opposition that engages in the healthy give-and-take in a democratic society. There is such a thing as the disloyal opposition. … Continue Reading

College Grads’ Legacy . . . Home Network For Pregnant Women Looks Back At 15 Years

November 19, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off


PHOENIX — She absent-mindedly put the phone in the refrigerator when she meant to put the milk away.
She felt she couldn’t confront one more care-providing issue but she managed to do so, and at the end of the day felt her own weakness was being replaced by a strength not her own.
She concluded it’s possible to learn to love being spit up on.
This could sound like the diary of many people’s family lives, but in this case it’s about serving others who don’t have their own family, or are struggling with family issues.
These are experiences by three young women blogging about their work as “MissionCorps” members with the Maggie’s Place network of homes for needy pregnant women (
They’re serving at least a year by living in community with the expectant women, their newborns, and other MissionCorps members at individual homes in the network.
It’s the kind of creativity and sacrifice that mark the pro-life movement around the United States, and the world, even while the Culture of Death sneers that these self-giving efforts only amount to “fetus worship.”
The Maggie’s Place enterprise has grown to four residential homes and an administrative center in the Phoenix metropolitan area and one residence in the Cleveland suburb of Parma, Ohio.
The first home opened near downtown Phoenix on Mother’s Day, 2000, with the title of The Magdalene House, in honor of the biblical woman suffering from seven demons that Jesus cast out.
But maybe that title sounded too formal, especially to women down on their luck, so it became Maggie’s Place.
It was an abandoned old home from 1926 that had to be gutted then thoroughly renovated over nine months so it could house a few needy women, along with the Maggie’s Place live-in staff. … Continue Reading

Diversity And Equality: Myth Or Reality?

November 18, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off


(Editor’s Note: Alberto Piedra holds doctorates in economics, political economy, and law.)

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Recently there appeared an article in The Washington Post in which it was stated that early education is seen as key to narrowing achievement gaps. According to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), this should be the model going forward all over this country. I do not doubt the mayor’s good intentions in his attempts to help the less privileged sectors of society at an early age; a policy that may permit them to acquire the necessary skills that will help them reach higher levels of education at a later stage in their lives. The educational gap between the “haves” and “have nots” will be narrowed and, as a consequence the results will be more equalized.
In theory this policy seems plausible but the reality of life teaches us that very often this is not the case. Equality of opportunity at an early stage in life, especially in education, is laudable and should be encouraged but this does not necessarily guarantee the desired equality of results.
There is an important factor that tends to be overlooked. The Creator has not dotted all of His creatures with an equal level of intelligence or endowments. In a class of ten, for example, all the students are given the same opportunity to reach the desired goal but not all of them will succeed, independently of their race, color, or other personal attributes. To have a greater diversity, racial or otherwise, within the class will not solve this innate problem. … Continue Reading

Finding Life-In-Death

November 17, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off


Early in his Confessions (book I, chapter 6), St. Augustine raises a question that is rich in existential implication and, at the same time, sheds important light on the human condition:
“What have I to say to Thee, God, save that I know not where I came from, when I came into this life-in-death — or should I call it death-in-life?”
Augustine expresses his amazement, as we all might, over the fact that he exists as a unique human being not knowing how he came to be and what may be asked of him. He speaks for all of us, we individual human beings who stand outside of nothingness and, not through our own designs, nonetheless exist, have consciousness, and can question how and why we are here.
In referring to the polarities of “life-in-death” and “death-in life,” Augustine is alluding to the unalterable human condition. We would prefer life to be detached from any trace of death and strive mightily to achieve that condition — sex without tears, life without toil, wealth without work, choices without regret.
But we are haunted by the death factor and cannot break loose from it. St. Augustine is telling us that human existence is a mosaic of life and death, and, consequently, that our only choice is between “life-in-death” and “death-in-life.”
The pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus gave a name to this tendency to move between opposites. He called it enantiodromia (enantios, opposite, and dromos, a quick movement). Nothing is fixed. Life is a contest of opposites: birth and death, health and sickness, hope and disillusionment, giving and taking, day and night, summer and winter, love and hate. In fragment 62 he writes: “Immortals, mortals; mortals, immortals; our life is their death and our death is their life.” … Continue Reading

Conservative Election Results . . . Show “Something Happening In The Electorate Out There”

November 16, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off


With the November 3 elections having helped reveal how deeply the Democratic Party has been hollowed out by public revulsion at the misrule of Barack Obama, a former Republican conservative congressman urged the GOP to keep the pressure up.
Former California Cong. Robert Dornan said during a telephone interview with The Wanderer that congressional Republicans should send Obama bills every week that the radical president said he opposes, so the extremism he has imposed on his party keeps being exposed to the voters.
During the November 7 interview, Dornan, 82, a Catholic and former actor and talk host, declared, “Make him veto something every week!”
Dornan mentioned serious setbacks for Obama’s left-wing causes in recent widely watched elections, including in Virginia, Kentucky, and Texas.
Now a resident of Virginia, Dornan noted that state’s liberal Democrat governor, Terry McAuliffe, failed to flip Virginia’s State Senate to Democrat control in a push for more gun regulation, even though wealthy former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg poured more than $2 million into the effort. … 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 Against ‘Vicious’ Bill Donohue Attack

by Church Militant • • November 24, 2015 65 Comments Bishop Rene Henry Gracida is criticizing the Catholic League The bishop emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas is defending 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

Australia investigating archbishop for distributing pamphlet defending true marriage

TASMANIA, Australia, November 13, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — An Australian Catholic archbishop is facing legal action after recently distributing a pamphlet to local Catholic school children that supported Catholic teaching on marriage being between a man and woman. “Dear Friends, I…Continue Reading

A ‘most powerful woman’ – National Geographic’s major hat tip to the Virgin Mary

Washington D.C., Nov 10, 2015 / 03:45 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Our Lady. Blessed Mother. Virgin Mary. Queen of Peace. Theotokos. Handmaid of the Lord. Mother Mary. These are just some of the titles used to describe the young woman to…Continue Reading

At Al Smith Dinner, Former Mayor Bloomberg Honors Vets

Speaking at the Al Smith Dinner on the eve of Veterans Day, former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg took time from his humorous political remarks to remind guests “there are a lot of places around the world where…Continue Reading

Bishop Rebukes Catholic College for Allowing Massive Planned Parenthood Display on Campus

A Catholic bishop in Indiana is calling out a Catholic college for promoting Planned Parenthood and abortion this week. As LifeNews previously reported, Saint Mary’s College, a Catholic school in Notre Dame, Indiana, hosted the large pro-Planned Parenthood display in…Continue Reading

Former Planned Parenthood abortion clinic reopens as pro-life pregnancy center

BRYAN, TX, November 12, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The former Planned Parenthood abortion facility where Abby Johnson once worked as director is now a pro-life haven for women in crisis pregnancy. The facility is now aptly named, “Hope.” It celebrated its…Continue Reading

Supreme Court agrees to rule on birth control insurance mandate

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court agreed Friday to settle a widespread dispute between the Obama administration and religious non-profits over insurance coverage for birth control, which is sure to elevate issues of religious freedom and reproductive rights in next year’s…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 Francis en route to Kenya


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has departed from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport amid tight security and is scheduled to arrive in Kenya on Wednesday afternoon at the beginning of his six-day Apostolic Visit to three African Nations. Linda Bordoni is in Nairobi awaiting the Pope and sent us this report: Day one of Pope Francis’ apostolic visit to Kenya begins at five pm Nairobi time on Wednesday when he touches down at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport…Continue Reading

Pope’s Q-and-A on the Challenges of Education

“To rethink the works of mercy, the 14 works of mercy; to rethink how to do them, but in education” Rome, November 23, 2015 ( Staff Reporter On Saturday, the Holy Father received in audience participants in the World Congress “Education Today and Tomorrow: A Passion that Is Renewed” (Rome, November 18-21, 2015), organized by the Congregation for Catholic Education (of the Institutes of Studies) to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Gravissimum Educationis (Declaration of…Continue Reading

“One who looks at the cross cannot help but see the surprising gratuitousness of love”

Here is a translation of the address Pope Francis gave today before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square, on this solemnity of Christ the King and also the feast of St. Cecilia. * * * Dear brothers and sisters, good morning! On this last Sunday of the liturgical year, we celebrate the solemnity of Christ the King. And the Gospel of today brings us to contemplate Jesus as…Continue Reading

U.S. Bishops clash as Pope Francis appointees push to downplay battle for life and family

LifeSiteNews/ Lisa Bourne and Patrick B. Craine  Nov 20, 2015 – BALTIMORE, Maryland, November 20, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — A group of Pope Francis’ episcopal appointees and other like-minded prelates provoked an open clash at the American Catholic bishops’ fall meeting in Baltimore this week as they pressed the conference to rewrite its election guide for 2016 to downplay the importance of the battle for life and family. Ahead of a vote on a revision to…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: the Church must not worship “holy bribery


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said that the Church must not be obsessed by money or power, nor worship “holy bribes”. Instead her strength and joy should come from the words of Christ. He was speaking at the morning mass at Casa Santa Marta on Friday. The Holy Father reflected on the reading from Maccabees, which tells of the people’s joy following the reconsecration of the Holy Temple, which had been destroyed by pagans and those…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “How To Organize A Pro-Family Group”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 1 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For the complete guide to organizing an effective pro-family group, e-mail him at + + + Our problem: Many people are concerned about the homosexual special rights agenda, and are amazed at…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke . . . Marriage Catechesis Should Be Priority For Catholic Schools

By ADAM CASSANDRA (Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted from the November 16 Catholic Education Daily, an online publication of The Cardinal Newman Society. All rights reserved.) + + + Sound catechesis on marriage is “a great, great responsibility” for Catholic schools and colleges, Raymond Cardinal Burke told a representative of The Cardinal Newman Society…Continue Reading

Drug Smugglers Flow Across Our Border, Syrian Christians Don’t

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of Creators Syndicate provided this column. All rights reserved.) + + + Whom should Americans see as worthier candidates for entering our country? Syrian Christians fleeing persecution — and possible beheading by the Islamic State — or smugglers moving drugs across our…Continue Reading

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn: A Forgotten Beatitude

By JAMES MONTI When reflecting upon the sacredness of all human life, a cemetery is probably not the first thing that comes to our mind. And yet a Catholic cemetery is actually one of the Church’s most profound expressions of this truth by affirming in practice that every human life is so sacred that even…Continue Reading

Escape From Cynicism

By DONALD DeMARCO Cynicism results when a person believes that he has conquered hope. Since it is a conquest of sorts, though surely a negative and counterproductive one, it can endow the cynic with a certain amount of pride. In a similar way, a younger brother can take pride in knocking over the tower of…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Irish Priest In Kenya . . . Describes What The Pope Will Find

By KATHLEEN NAAB (Editor’s Note: Fr. Conor Donnelly is a priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei, a medical graduate from University College Dublin, and has a doctorate in theology from the University of Navarre. He has lived for 10 years in Manila, 12 in Singapore, and has been in Nairobi for ten years. (In the November 17 interview below…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Defenseless Europe A Lesson For Defending Faith

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK While recently on retreat in New York, you might say I celebrated the Church’s year of consecrated life as I prayed daily Mass for the sisters who kindly hosted me. I invited them to kneel at the Communion rail to receive our Lord as I do at every Mass at my home parish. They all…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course… “Sola Scriptura” — The End

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Here is a simple question for those people who believe in sola Scriptura: If every Christian had the ability — a God-given ability, of course — to interpret Scripture on his own, why is it that there are so many contradictory doctrines held by those who espouse it? Bible interpretation is not an easy thing…Continue Reading

Forms Of Consecrated Life Within The Church

By DON FIER Part 3 The majority of last week’s column dealt with the third form of consecrated life outlined by the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), that of religious life. Generally recognized as the most familiar and visible form of consecrated life in the Church, religious life encompasses many different expressions: from nuns or monks who devote their…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. Regarding a recent reply about the steps to be taken by a man who wanted to return to the Catholic Church after having been a Mormon, I have a similar question, and I wonder if your answer would be the same. Someone close to me, who was a practicing Catholic, now denies the existence of God. If this person…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

Catholic Heroes… St. Raphael Kalinowski

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are many terms we use in our language which are clichés. We hear people say that somebody “kicked the bucket,” meaning that he has died, or “I’ll send you to outer Mongolia,” meaning that they will ship you so far away no one will find you. Fr. Kalinowski not only went to a place just north…Continue Reading