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Saudi Arabia And Iran Battle For Dominion Of Islamic World

January 20, 2016 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. SAMIR KHALIL SAMIR, SJ (Editor’s Note: AsiaNews posted the following essay by Fr. Samir Khalil Samir, SJ, an Egyptian Jesuit and one of the best-known Catholic scholars on Islam. The article was posted on January 8. All rights reserved.) + + + The emerging clash between Saudi Arabia and Iran has certain political and economic motives: differing positions on the issues of Syria and Yemen; competition in oil production; the struggle for power on the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf. But this confrontation also has religious roots and it is about whose form of Islam is destined to dominate. Islam has been going through a crisis for decades, its most profound in the last two centuries. This crisis…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . New Book On Mercy: A Fuller Portrait Of Francis

January 18, 2016 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK My availability as a confessor prior to all weekend Masses at my parish and at additional times during the week has been a blessing for me as well as for all of those who have come with confidence, seeking the availability of God’s mercy. It doesn’t always translate into increased parish membership. But shouldn’t every parish be a place where people go expecting to find a priest waiting for them in the tribunal of God’s forgiveness if he is available outside of Mass, when most of the faithful find themselves at church for the Lord’s Day? I was glad to see that venerable journalist Andrea Tornielli is at the helm for Pope Francis’ new book-length…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course . . . Why, Then, Should We Try To Convert People?

January 17, 2016 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA Part 37 “Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus” — “outside of the Church there is no salvation” — is a formal Catholic teaching. There is only one Lord, one faith, and one Baptism (Eph. 4:5) and One Church of God, the Pillar and Mainstay of the Truth (1 Tim. 3:15). And yet people who are faithful to divine grace (which God gives to all) and to the natural law (which is written in men’s hearts) can be saved. Naturally, an objection emerges in full force: If people can be saved like this, why should we try to convert them, anyway? Just let them be and God will take care of them. . . . A couple of principles…Continue Reading

The Resurrection Of The Body

January 16, 2016 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By DON FIER The centrality and foundational importance of article 10 of the Creed (“I believe . . . in the forgiveness of sins”) cannot be exaggerated. Simply stated, the all-encompassing reason mankind is in need of a Redeemer is because he separated himself from an infinite, all-loving God through sin. Without reconciliation, mankind is unable to attain the final end for which he was created: communion with God. When asked why he became a Catholic, G.K. Chesterton acknowledged this primordial need and gave his well-known response: “To get rid of my sins.” “The mission and the power to forgive sins through the ministry of the apostles and their successors,” teaches the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), “[is] the…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

January 15, 2016 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

Q. An article in a recent issue of The Wanderer quoted Pope Francis as saying that “we Catholics have…many who believe in the absolute truth and go ahead dirtying the other with calumny, with disinformation, and doing evil. We have to combat it; religious fundamentalism is not religious.” Now I believe in the absolute truth of the Nicene Creed and the divinely inspired teaching Magisterium of the Church and the inerrancy of Sacred Scripture. All faithful Catholics that I know believe the same. Therefore, I must ask the following: Just who are these fundamentalist Catholics? What are the absolute truths that they are spreading? How does that do evil? Has our Holy Father been misquoted? — D.M., Virginia. A. No, Pope Francis…Continue Reading

The Gift Of The Scriptures

January 14, 2016 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Neh. 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10 1 Cor. 12:12-30 Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21 At the beginning of the Gospel reading today, St. Luke states that many have undertaken to compile narratives of the events that had taken place regarding our Lord and His work of redemption and salvation. What is important for us to note in this regard is that of the many narratives, only four of them were determined to be inspired by God. Unlike the various books that have been written over the centuries and of which we can say that some are classics, must-read books, or just simply better written that others, the books of the Bible are not judged on literary…Continue Reading

Pope’s Homilies For The Solemnity Of Mary… “Show Us The Face Of Jesus Your Son”

January 13, 2016 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

(Editor’s Note: Below is the Vatican-provided text of Pope Francis’ homily in St. Peter’s Basilica the morning of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, on New Year’s Day, which also marked the World Day of Peace. Below that is the ZENIT-provided text of his homily during the celebration in St. Peter’s Basilica, December 31, of the First Vespers of the Solemnity of Mary Most Holy, Mother of God. (Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament, the singing of the traditional Te Deum hymn in thanksgiving for the past year, and eucharistic benediction came after the First Vespers. (ZENIT News Agency transmitted both texts. All rights reserved. + + + We have heard the words of the Apostle Paul: “When the…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Dedication To The Lord In 2016

January 11, 2016 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The challenges our families face as they strive to hand on the faith and keep salvation before the eyes of their children in the world every day will continue in this year of our Lord 2016. As we move forward in this new year, we receive gifts from the Lord to support us in this most important work. In a new year as in every new day we always prepare ourselves to receive these graces and to see the Lord’s hand at work in our relationships and our world. Any of us at any time of day or night have the privilege of opening the word of God in the Holy Scriptures and thus coming…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course… “Outside The Church There Is No Salvation”

January 10, 2016 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM The sentence that reads “extra Ecclesiam nulla salus,” that is, “outside of the Church there is no salvation,” is attributed to St. Cyprian, rather of the Church (Epistle 73, c. 21, Origen, homily in Josue, 3, 4). It has been confirmed in different ways by Popes over the centuries, and naturally has been a source of ardent controversy for centuries as well, especially by those who left Catholicism and created their own churches that were more in line with their doctrinal and moral preferences. In the next few articles, we shall face the challenge and expound Church teaching on this controversial matter. First, let us establish some basic principles, some common ground upon which to…Continue Reading

The Forgiveness Of Sins

January 9, 2016 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By DON FIER In concluding an extensive examination of the ninth article of the Creed — our firm belief in the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church — it was quite appropriate to end by scrutinizing the place that devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is to hold in the life of the faithful. As Mother of God, Mother of the Redeemer, Mother of the Church, the new Eve, and so many other majestic titles too numerous to name, our Lady truly is, as portrayed so movingly by the 19th-century English poet William Wordsworth, “our tainted nature’s solitary boast.” In light of her Immaculate Conception and unique collaboration in the salvific mission of her Son, the transition made by the…Continue Reading