Monday 21st August 2017

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The Effects Of The Sacrament Of Penance

July 29, 2017 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on The Effects Of The Sacrament Of Penance

By DON FIER As we saw last week, so exacting is a priest’s obligation to maintain the “seal of confession” that it admits no exceptions, even to avert a war or to save the life of oneself or another. Absolute secrecy applies to everything that is disclosed during the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance. Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, stresses that confidentiality must be observed “whether the confession was finished or not, whether it was worthy or sacrilegious, and whether absolution was given or refused” (Basic Catholic Catechism Course [BCCC], p. 166). The priest’s obligation to secrecy outside the confessional applies to all persons, including the penitent himself, unless he explicitly gives his permission without being coerced in any…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

July 28, 2017 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Commenting on President Trump’s speech in Warsaw a month ago, which was belittled by many on the left as “racist” and “xenophobic,” Fr. George Rutler said that “the President spoke of a culture with which a generation of ‘millennials’ have been unfamiliar: ‘Americans, Poles, and the nations of Europe value individual freedom and sovereignty. We must work together to confront forces, whether they come from inside or out, from the South or the East, that threaten over time to undermine these values and to erase the bonds of culture, faith, and tradition that make us who we are’.” Writing in the parish bulletin of the Church of St. Michael in New York City, Fr. Rutler said that the…Continue Reading

Feast Of The Transfiguration (YR A)

July 27, 2017 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on Feast Of The Transfiguration (YR A)

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Readings: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14 2 Peter 1:16-19 Matt. 17:1-9 Hear The Voice Of The Father Today we celebrate one of those rare occasions when the regular Sunday Mass is replaced by a different feast. Even though the Transfiguration is, liturgically speaking, a feast rather than a solemnity, the fact that it is celebrated even on Sunday tells us just how important the Church sees this event to be. In this way, one can understand how important the profession of faith in the Resurrection by St. Thomas has been for so many people throughout history, so too, the Transfiguration has been instrumental in helping people to believe in our Lord’s divinity. In saying this, we have to…Continue Reading

Respectful, If Unsolicited, Advice To The Bishop Of Burlington, Vt.

July 26, 2017 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on Respectful, If Unsolicited, Advice To The Bishop Of Burlington, Vt.

By DEACON JAMES H. TONER (Editor’s Note: Deacon Toner is professor emeritus of leadership and ethics at the U.S. Air War College, and author of Morals Under the Gun and other books. He has also taught at the U.S. Air Force Academy and Holy Apostles College & Seminary. (Below is his open letter to the Most Rev. Christopher Coyne, bishop of Burlington, Vt.) + + + Your Excellency: You are recently quoted as saying that you must find new ways to engage Catholics and to keep them in the faith: “We need to think about new ways of engaging generations X, Y, and Z.” Before convening a synod next year for Vermont Catholics, your diocese is embarking on a year-long…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Benedict XVI: “Resist The Dictatorship Of The Spirit Of The Age”

July 24, 2017 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on A Leaven In The World… Benedict XVI: “Resist The Dictatorship Of The Spirit Of The Age”

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK What did Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI mean by his metaphor of the Church as a boat taking on so much water that it is “in danger of capsizing”? The questions are coming thick and fast as a result of the reaction to this passage in Pope Benedict’s eulogy for Joachim Cardinal Meisner, delivered by Archbishop Ganswein at the funeral in Cologne. Meisner was one of the signers of the dubia questioning Pope Francis over the ambiguities in Amoris Laetitia. The Pope Emeritus and the retired archbishop of Cologne, one of the premier dioceses in the Catholic world, were friends and collaborators. Based on comments in Benedict’s eulogy, they evidently spoke frequently by phone after both…Continue Reading

The Church Of Jesus Christ . . . The Church Is The Bride Of Christ

July 23, 2017 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on The Church Of Jesus Christ . . . The Church Is The Bride Of Christ

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 2 Jesus promulgated the Church on the day of Pentecost. It was the Church’s formal birthday. I remember my smile when, on Pentecost Day, a priest in New Zealand said to the people, “Happy Birthday!” The people were a bit puzzled and did not know what to think, and then the priest explained that on Pentecost Day we celebrate the birthday of the Church, when the Holy Spirit descended onto Mary and the apostles. Yes, this is the Church of Christ, with Mary and the apostles! God chose her to be the Mediatrix to give Christ to the world, and the Mediatrix to receive the Holy Spirit to the apostles and the Church. Having…Continue Reading

The Sacramental Seal Of Confession

July 22, 2017 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on The Sacramental Seal Of Confession

By DON FIER Only bishops and priests, as we saw last week, are valid ministers of the Sacrament of Penance. Just as Christ works through His ordained ministers in the Eucharist to transform bread and wine into His Body and Blood, so too He works through bishops and priests to forgive the sins of repentant sinners. The Vicar of Christ (as visible head of the universal Church) and bishops (as visible heads of particular Churches) are the principal “moderators of penitential discipline” (Lumen Gentium, n. 26 § 3), whereas a priest must be delegated with the necessary faculties by his bishop (or religious superior) or by the Pope. Moreover, priests “who possess the faculty of hearing confessions habitually . .…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

July 21, 2017 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on Catholic Replies

Q. I never hear our priest talk about the Apostolic Pardon. Please explain this blessing to me and why I don’t hear much about it. — M.G., Alabama. A. Once the Sacrament of Penance has been given to a dying person, says the document Pastoral Care of the Sick (n. 201), “the priest may give the Apostolic Pardon for the dying, using one of the following: “ ‘Through the holy mysteries of our redemption, may almighty God release you from all punishments in this life and in the life to come. May He open to you the gates of paradise and welcome you to everlasting joy. Amen. “‘By the authority which the Apostolic See has given me, I grant you…Continue Reading

The Pearl Of Great Price

July 20, 2017 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on The Pearl Of Great Price

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Seventeenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: 1 Kings 3:5, 7-12 Romans 8:28-30 Matt. 13:44-52 In the Gospel reading today, our Lord tells us that the Kingdom of Heaven is like something that is hidden: a treasure buried in a field, a merchant searching for a pearl, or an item pulled ashore in a net. In each of these examples there is something hidden that, when found, requires a choice on the part of the one who finds it. One could say, for instance, that each of us is a pearl of great price which our Lord has found. He could have marveled at the beauty and value of the pearl, but decided that the…Continue Reading

Maiorem Hac Dilectionem . . . A New Way Toward Beatification

July 19, 2017 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on Maiorem Hac Dilectionem . . . A New Way Toward Beatification

(Editor’s Note: Below we publish the full text of the Holy Father’s motu proprio on a new way toward beatification, titled, Maiorem hac dilectionem. It takes its title from the words of our Lord as recorded in the Gospel According to St. John, “Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). The translation of the motu proprio is by ZENIT News Agency. (But just below, before the text of the motu proprio, we reprint Fr. John T. Zuhlsdorf’s commentary on it, which first appeared July 11 on his wdtprs.com. (All rights reserved.) + + + The Pope issued a Motu Proprio Apostolic Letter today by which he established a…Continue Reading