Friday 9th October 2015

Recent Articles:

Diary Of A Synod . . . Positions, Preparations, And Maneuvers

October 8, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off


Even before the long-awaited (and sometimes feared) Synod of Bishops on the Family commenced in Rome on October 4, several prelates, priests, and lay groups published important statements with regard to the desired and desirable outcome of that synod. I shall name now only four examples, hoping thereby to shed some helpful light.
First, two major lay organizations in Germany — the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK) and the Association of the German Catholic Youth (BDKJ) — have both made statements concerning their wishes for the outcome of that synod.
As the official website of the German Bishops Conference,, reports, the president of the German Catholic Youth Organization, Wolfgang Ehrenlechner, said that he will be disappointed if the synod, in the end, “will merely make a recommendation that one should treat the remarried divorcees in a more generous manner.”
According to, he requested that the Church accept the empirical factual disparities, that is, the worldwide cultural differences, so that the local churches themselves, “based on the Christian Faith, may lead their own discussions about how the faithful can lead their personal lives in their varied relationships, in light of a Christian responsibility.”
The speaker of the ZdK, Birgit Mock, spoke about the same topic in Bonn, Germany, and promoted the idea of a moral diversity within the Church. For her, it will be a “test for the ‘pastoral change’ as expressed by Pope Francis,” as to whether the individual bishops conferences “receive more freedom in order to develop standards that are fitting for their area of competence and in order to define how the pastoral care should deal — in accordance with the Gospels — with those people who have failed in their marriages.” … Continue Reading

Wikipedia: A Reliable Source?

October 7, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off


I have been hearing for years that it is unwise to use the website for my research because, people say, “anyone can put anything in there.” Which is largely true.
Wikipedia — a combination of “wiki,” the Hawaiian word for quick, and encyclopedia — is a collection of nearly 5 million articles in its English version, written and edited by people who feel they have expertise to offer on a particular subject. This means that when you look up a topic on Wikipedia you are reading articles by anonymous individuals, who may or may not know what they are talking about.
The people who run the website state that they “strive for articles that document and explain the major points of view, giving due weight with respect to their prominence in an impartial tone” and that “all articles must strive for verifiable accuracy, citing reliable, authoritative sources, especially when the topic is controversial or is on living persons.” But they can’t remain on top of all 5 million articles.
Anyone reading an article on Wikipedia can click on the “edit” button at the top of the page and add corrections or observations about the content. The hope is that readers of Wikipedia will call attention to anything erroneous that has been posted. It is hard to tell whether that happens in a reliable manner.
That said, I have found Wikipedia a valuable research tool. I would not trust it as the final arbiter on a controversial topic, such as Obamacare or papal infallibility. The last editing of the article may have been by an angry partisan or mischievous tenth-grade student from Beverly Hills. But the site can provide quick access to basic information. … Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… The Hug And The Shrug: Kim Davis And The Pope

October 6, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off


As with all things Catholic and all things in life, we must always put the most charitable interpretation on events that come to our attention. If they come to our knowledge through sinful curiosity, it is, of course, none of our business. In our voyeuristic culture, however, where the news cycle knows no sleep and many people record their entire existence on the Internet, it becomes increasingly heroically virtuous to observe private boundaries in our culture and to ask that others do the same. In this milieu almost every word and action of Pope Francis is recorded, analyzed, and spun.
To our Holy Father Pope Francis we owe a great deal in the way of respect for he is the Vicar of Christ: There is no office on Earth more important to Christ and His plan for our salvation in and through the Church. To the Pope, and his Successors, we owe obedience of intellect and will as he reaffirms Church moral teaching. We owe our assent likewise if he should, as has happened very rarely in … Continue Reading

On The 50th Anniversary Of Dei Verbum . . . The Inerrant Truth Of God’s Word

October 5, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off


(Editor’s Note: Professor Josef Froula has taught dogmatic theology at Holy Apostles College and Seminary since 2003. He holds a master’s in humanities, a master’s in dogmatic theology, and is pursuing a doctorate in education.)

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November 18, 2015 marks the golden jubilee of the promulgation of Dei Verbum, the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation. This momentous document of the Second Vatican Council sought to clarify the nature and scope of divine Revelation by answering the following questions. How does God manifest Himself to us? How do we participate in His life and knowledge? Can we really trust the words of Scripture?
With so much dissent and disagreement among Catholics of our day, it seems at times that our beliefs about God and how we relate to Him are thorny issues that present difficulties beyond resolution. Dei Verbum, however, offers consoling words to the contrary. If we submit our hearts and minds to the teaching Church, it becomes clear that “God, the first principle and last end of all things” can “be known by all men with ease, with firm certainty, and without the contamination of error” (Dei Verbum, n. 6).
Twenty years ago as a young graduate student in theology, I enrolled in a course on the Second Vatican Council. One of the many strong points of this class was that we read and discussed all sixteen documents, focusing on the texts themselves rather than on summaries or the interpretations of others. This experience was an eye-opener for me. Time and again, the teaching of the council leapt off the page to dispel my misconceptions which were based on what I had heard was in Vatican II. Dei Verbum was no exception: It is a common opinion among Catholic theologians that this document allows for error or falsehood throughout the books of the Bible. … Continue Reading

Homily of Pope Francis during the Mass for the opening of the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

October 4, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off

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Vatican Basilica
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 4 October 2015


“If we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us” (1 Jn 4:12).

This Sunday’s Scripture readings seem to have been chosen precisely for this moment of grace which the Church is experiencing: the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the family, which begins with this Eucharistic celebration.

The readings centre on three themes: solitude, love between man and woman, and the family.


Adam, as we heard in the first reading, was living in the Garden of Eden. He named all the other creatures as a sign of his dominion, his clear and undisputed power, over all of them. Nonetheless, he felt alone, because “there was not found a helper fit for him” (Gen 2:20). He was lonely.

The drama of solitude is … Continue Reading

Boehner’s Self-Defeat . . . Will It Finally Teach GOP Establishment To Fight?

October 4, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off

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A rumor was afoot that John Boehner would be challenged for the U.S. House speakership in two weeks, after immediate budget negotiations were out of the way, former California Cong. Robert Dornan told The Wanderer during a September 20 telephone talk.
Congress can be a glacial institution, big, cold, and slow-moving, a source of frustration to conservative reformers who want to hack away at its corruption.
If Republican Boehner were removed, said Dornan during the call, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would have to wonder what happens to him once his established relationship with the leader of the other congressional chamber is gone.
The glacier, for a change, strapped on racing wheels. By the time Dornan and The Wanderer spoke again six days later, on September 26, Boehner had startled the political world by announcing his resignation effective the end of October, not only from the speakership but Congress itself.
Now what was to become of McConnell, quickly showing his determination to continue doing business the old way that brought Boehner to grief? Some well-placed Republicans began calling for McConnell to quit, too.
In his surprise announcement on September 25, Boehner said he woke up that morning, said his prayers, “as I always do,” and decided the time to step down had come, to spare the institution from irreparable harm due to prolonged leadership turmoil.
Was prayerful Boehner’s conscience perhaps pricking him a bit as a Catholic who, along with the Senate’s McConnell, was going to try to force through approval once again for about a half-billion dollars of federal funding for abortion giant Planned Parenthood? … Continue Reading

The Enigma That Is Pope Francis

October 3, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off


Now that the dust has settled from Pope Francis’ little Fiat 500 during his papal visit to the United States, I can reflect on some of what I learned from the entire event.
I learned mainly that most people in America don’t know what the heck they’re talking about when it comes to the Catholic Church, the Pope, and what it all means. Certainly the propaganda news media do all they can to co-opt, distort, or misrepresent who Pope Francis is and what his words mean, further confusing just about everyone, including many Catholics.
It doesn’t help that Pope Francis tends to shoot from the hip and speak from his heart; sometimes his message can be easily manipulated, and it often is manipulated, to fit the narrative of the secular media. It’s almost as though the Pope likes to speak in code, as if all of us were smart enough to figure out what he means to say when he really isn’t saying it.
If the mainstream news propaganda were our only source, they would have had us thinking that Pope Francis had repainted the Sistine Chapel in rainbow colors, made abortion the newest sacrament, and demanded that every Catholic married couple plant a tree instead of having children.
But, as an example of messages that can be distorted, when I attended Francis’ address to Congress, he spoke in no uncertain terms about things like the environment, immigration, and the death penalty. He discussed life and family in fewer words, without the elaboration and definition many of us wanted to hear. … Continue Reading

Pope’s World And The Real World

October 2, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off


Pope Francis’ four-day visit to the United States was by any measure a personal and political triumph.
The crowds were immense, and coverage of the Holy Father on television and in the print press swamped the state visit of Xi Jinping, the leader of the world’s second-greatest power.
But how enduring, and how relevant, was the Pope’s celebration of diversity, multiculturalism, inclusiveness, open borders, and a world of forgiveness, peace, harmony and love is another question.
The day the Pope departed Philadelphia, 48 percent of Catalonia, in a record turnout of 78 percent, voted to deliver a parliamentary majority to two parties that advocate seceding from Spain.
Like the Scots in Britain, the Walloons in Belgium, and the Italians of Veneto, they want to live apart, not together.
While the Pope called on America and Europe to welcome the migrant millions of the Third World, Bishop Laszlo Kiss-Rigo, whose diocese stretches across the southern reaches of Catholic Hungary, says of those pouring into Europe: “They’re not refugees. This is an invasion. They come here with cries of ‘Allahu Akbar.’ They want to take over.” … Continue Reading

From Courtroom To Campaign Trail . . . CMP’s Videos Continue Making An Impact

October 1, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off


Sting videos from the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) about abortionists’ greed and cruelty continue to prove their visual power, both because of people who say to view them and people who want to censor them.
Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina kept bringing Planned Parenthood videos up in her campaign after she rocked the second GOP debate, by issuing a challenge to watch them, while the National Abortion Federation (NAF) continued trying to block the release of additional CMP videos it feared would expose its practices.
After the southern California-based CMP began releasing the videos in mid-July, the NAF dashed off to a strongly pro-abortion federal judge in San Francisco, William Orrick, appointed by Barack Obama, to ask that he block any videos that may have been shot at two of its conventions.
Although this would be prior restraint, Orrick, who had bundled campaign contributions for Obama, was happy to oblige and issued a temporary restraining order.
After CMP appealed Orrick’s strategy to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, three judges on that court, appointed by liberal Democrat presidents, ruled against the pro-life group on September 23. … Continue Reading

Pope Francis at daily Mass: joy of the Lord our strength

October 1, 2015 Frontpage Comments Off

(Vatican Radio) The joy of the Lord is our strength, and in Him we discover who we really are: this was the focus of Pope Francis’ reflection following the readings of the day at Mass in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta on Thursday morning, the feast of St. Therese of Lisieux. The Holy Father focused especially on the need to cultivate nostalgia – deep yearning – for God in the Christian life.

Drawing on the First Reading, from the Book of the Prophet Nehemiah, Pope Francis reflected on the people of Israel, who, after long years of exile, had at last returned to Jerusalem. He recalled that, in the years of Babylonian captivity, the people always remembered their homeland. After so many years, the day of return finally came, and with it the rebuilding of Jerusalem, as narrated in the First Reading. Nehemiah asked the scribe Ezra read to the people the Book of the Law, and the people were happy, “They were weeping in their joy, and felt God’s Word; the experienced joy, … Continue Reading

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Pope FrancisAn Open Letter To His Holiness Pope Francis      Given the controversy and confusion surrounding the 2014 Synod on the Family, the staff of The Wanderer and its supporters thought it appropriate to address Pope Francis with an open letter . . .

Canadian Catholic Schools Defy Archbishop on Transgender Policy

DMONTON, Alberta, Canada, October 8, 2015 ( – A Catholic school district in Canada is planning to approve a transgender policy contrary to its archbishop’s guidelines. The Edmonton Catholic school district in Alberta wants to push through a radical transgender…Continue Reading

Synod Showdown Report—October 5, 2015

We’re just out of the first press briefing of the Synod 2015, and things have pretty much picked up where they ended last year. The lead story, if you want to say there’s a lead to this, was a question…Continue Reading

Gov. Brown signs controversial assisted-suicide bill

Caught between conflicting moral arguments, Gov. Jerry Brown, a former Jesuit seminary student, signed a measure Monday allowing physicians to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients who want to hasten their deaths. Brown appeared to struggle in…Continue Reading

Someone is Lying About the Pope’s Meeting with Kim Davis

Papal spokesman Father Thomas Rosica flatly denies Kim Davis met privately with Pope Francis when he visited Washington, D.C. which stands in flat contradiction to Davis’s claims. In Roscia’s telling Davis was part of a large number of people as…Continue Reading

Top Universities Defend Research Using Body Parts From Aborted Babies

Some of America’s top universities have signed a letter urging states not to support legislation that would ban the sale of aborted babies for research. The letter comes after ten videos surfaced exposing Planned Parenthood’s organ harvesting business, along with…Continue Reading

Catholic Hospitals Sued For Refusing Emergency Care To Pregnant Women

The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday announced that it is suing Trinity Health Corporation, which operates 80 hospitals nationwide, for refusing to provide pregnant women suffering from life-threatening emergency complications with abortions. Trinity Health hospitals have “repeatedly and systematically…Continue Reading

Too Scared to Pray? ISIL Cancels Prayers for Fear of Russian Airstrikes

The Islamic State terror group cancelled Friday prayers in the Syrian city of Raqqa and emptied mosques there out of fear of further Russian airstrikes, according to activists and city residents. According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights,…Continue Reading

Putin defends Russia’s ban on youth-focused gay propaganda: ‘I believe we should leave kids in peace’

MOSCOW, September 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – In 2013, Russia passed an amendment to the country’s Child Protection Law against “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to minors,” which also safeguards children from being adopted by homosexuals. Western governments, led by the…Continue Reading

EXPOSED: The billionaire Planned Parenthood donor who wants his donations kept very, very secret

Sept. 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Three weeks after I left my job at the clinic, Planned Parenthood took me to court. I am always asked, “Why would they take you to court? Did they have something to hide?” Well, yes.…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke Brought Back Into Roman Curia By Pope Francis

Raymond Cardinal Burke has been re-appointed to Congregation for the Causes of Saints from which he had been removed in December of 2013.

The Secret Meeting of the Papal Trip

Washington, D.C. One meeting during Pope Francis’ whirlwind trip to America has remained secret. Until now. It was, arguably, the most significant meeting, symbolically, of the entire trip. It should, therefore, be brought to the attention of the public, both…Continue Reading

Angry Pope Blasts Mayor of Rome as a ‘Pretend Catholic’

Pope Francis raised eyebrows in Italy on Tuesday by slapping down the left-leaning mayor of Rome as someone who “pretends to be Catholic”. The unforgiving assessment of Ignazio Marino — a man the Italian media love to hate — further…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 . . .

Synod on the Family: Press Briefing Day 4

(Vatican Radio) On Thursday Oct. 8 Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckley of Accra, Ghana, said that the world needs to be patient with Africa when it comes to dealing with issues like homosexuality. “Give countries time to deal with issues from our own cultural perspectives,” he said. He added that the dignity and rights of all God’s son and daughters need to be upheld. The Synod Fathers continued to work in groups on Thursday. Archbishop Edoardo Menchelli…Continue Reading

Synod on the Family: Press Briefing Day 3

(Vatican Radio) At the press briefing today the Holy See Press Office announced that the Synod Fathers had elected chairpersons and moderators for their “circuli minori” (small groups). The thirteen groups were determined by language. The groups began to work on Wednesday morning on the first part of  Instrumentum Laboris which outlines the context in which contemporary family life is lived. Jesuit Father and director of the Holy See Press Office, Federico Lombardi, was joined…Continue Reading

Pope Francis makes first direct intervention; was Cardinal Erdö undermined?

Pope Francis makes first direct intervention; was Cardinal Erdö undermined? There appear to be two main contingents at the Synod: one favoring the proclamation of the fullness of the truth to be taught with clarity and Christian charity; and the other favoring mercy at any and all costs October 06, 2015 03:00 EST Fr Nicholas Gregoris Pope Francis arrives for the morning session of the Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican Oct.…Continue Reading

Synod on the Family: Press Briefing Day 2


(Vatican Radio) Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J. opened the daily press conference by explaining what had happened in the morning session. He said that the general secretary of the Synod, Cardinal Baldisseri, had explained “certain processes of the methodology” and its new elements. Lombardi said that Pope Francis also thought it was important for him to make a contribution and so he too said a few words. “The Holy Father thought it important to say that…Continue Reading

Biblical Types Of Our Lady

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY A previous article looked at the role of Mary as the New Eve, and now we will look at some biblical types of our Lady, and see how the early Church fathers saw different types and prophecies concerning Mary in the Old Testament, that is, that particular incidents or artifacts pointed…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “What is Transgenderism?”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For all of the previous Culture of Life 101 articles on homosexuality, e-mail him at + + + While those fortunate few who still possess a lingering sense of reality cringed at the bizarre…Continue Reading

Liberty Counsel Says . . . Pope’s Words And Meetings Support Conscientious Objection

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Liberty Counsel issued the following statement on October 2: Mat Staver, county clerk Kim Davis’ attorney, is the chairman of Liberty Counsel: + + + Despite a statement this morning by a Vatican official, the Pope’s own words about conscientious objection being a human right and his private meeting with Kim Davis…Continue Reading

A Book Review… The Ideal Artist

By JUDE P. DOUGHERTY Santayana, George. The Life of Reason: Reason in Art. A critical edition, co-edited by M.S. Wokeck and M.A. Coleman. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 2015. lvi + 276 pp. The Life of Reason is Volume VII, Book Four, of the Collected Works of George Santayana. Professor James Gouinlock of Emory University…Continue Reading

Why Isn’t Kim Davis A Hero To The Left?

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK I have been waiting for weeks now for the keepers of the flame in the liberal establishment to express some begrudging admiration for Kim Davis’ decision to go to jail, rather than violate her conscience by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Kentucky. Or at least some ambiguity over what…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Choose To Serve Rather Than To Be Served

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Ninth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Isaiah 53:10-11 Heb. 4:14-16 Mark 10:35-45 In the Gospel reading today our Lord tells us that He came, not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. This is our hope for eternal salvation and, obviously, it is our hope…Continue Reading

Pope Francis In Philadelphia . . . Religious Liberty Transcends Places Of Worship

PHILADELPHIA (ZENIT) — Here is a Vatican translation of the address Pope Francis gave September 26 in Philadelphia, at a meeting with immigrants on the theme of religious freedom. ZENIT’s transcription and translation of his few off-the-cuff remarks are found in brackets. The Holy Father was in Philadelphia to attend the World Meeting of Families. ZENIT provided the text. All…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Pope Francis’ Visit Leaves Us Blessed And Strengthened

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The chair under me is rolling from starboard to port and back as I write to you this week because I do so aboard the USS San Antonio at sea. In my ministry here I am following through on something Pope Francis has asked of all of us: I am seeking souls at the periphery.…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course . . . The Church Of Christ Is Universal, For Everyone

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA Part 22 It is true that Jesus came first for the Jews. Many individuals accepted Him, like the apostles, disciples, and their converts, but as a nation they refused Him. So the apostles spread their mission to the Gentiles — that means, to our ancestors. But even if the Jews had accepted Him, the apostles would…Continue Reading

Mission Of The Catholic Laity: Priest, Prophet, And King

By DON FIER Thus far in our examination of the vocation of the laity in the mission of the Church, it has become manifestly clear that theirs is a role that is distinctive and indispensable. Characterized especially by their secular nature, it pertains in a unique way to the lay faithful “to illuminate and order all temporal things with which…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Pope St. John XXIII

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 1 Although rare, it is not unknown for a poor man, who had no connections and did not seek to develop them, to rise above all other men in stature and in influence over mankind. Such was the case of the sharecroppers’ son, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli. Throughout his ecclesiastical career, he was obedient and kind, but…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Thomas of Hereford

By CAROLE BRESLIN During the High Middle Ages the power of kings began to disintegrate, as shown by the Magna Charta, which was established in 1215. Although neither party of the agreement held up to its commitments, the beginning of more democratic rule had arrived. Three years later a noble family gave birth to a man who played a significant…Continue Reading