Thursday 18th December 2014

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Catholic Replies

February 20, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

Q. How would you talk to children in grades four to six about such things as adultery, premarital sex, contraception, homosexuality, and similar topics? Is there a resource for catechists and parents of children in middle school and high school that would provide short answers to these and other hot-button issues? — S.H., Massachusetts. A. Catechists of young people face a dilemma when talking about sexuality. Do they ignore or gloss over this difficult topic, or do they give the children a truthful explanation that is appropriate for their age? The first point that must be emphasized, regardless of the age group, is that our sexuality is a gift from God that He expects us to use according to His…Continue Reading

Fr. Lombardi On The UN Committee’s Report . . . Is This An Inability, Or An Unwillingness, To Understand?

February 19, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

VATICAN CITY (ZENIT) — Here is the translation of the Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi’s February 7 note on the recommendations by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. ZENIT News Agency provided the text; all rights reserved. +    +    + After the large number of articles and comments that followed the publication of the recommendations of the audit of the Committee of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, it seems useful to make a few comments and clarifications. It is not appropriate to speak of confrontation “between the UN and the Vatican.” The United Nations is a reality that is very important to humanity today. The Holy See has always provided strong moral support to…Continue Reading

Seek First The Kingdom Of God

February 18, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Eighth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 49:14-15 1 Cor. 4:1-5 Matt. 6:24-34 In the first reading today, we hear the despairing cry of Israel in the midst of its suffering: “The Lord has forsaken me. The Lord has forgotten me.” This is a complaint that has been spoken by countless people over the course of history while they are in the midst of torments and temptations of various kinds. Two of the questions that often come up are why God is allowing these difficulties and why does He take away the feeling of His presence when we need it the most? At times the troubles are the effects of our own choices. For…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Public And Private Spheres Get Confused With Dangerous Results

February 16, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The pattern is well established: a talented, wealthy, successful, famous, and usually beautiful public figure reveals his or her same-sex attraction and everyone gets in line to “canonize” and congratulate this person for heroic honesty and integrity. The glamorization of this endless parade of self-congratulatory egomaniacs is nearly limitless. It can provide somewhat amusing entertainment as a kind of modern circus, but there the diversion ends. The results for young people and families of this kind of exhibitionism can be devastating. For our young people just starting out in life, acting out and speaking out on their feelings which can very well be transitory and very likely can change, following the examples they see lionized…Continue Reading

Debunking The Sola Scriptura Myth . . . Sola Scriptura Is Unscriptural

February 15, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 2 Is the Bible alone sufficient for us to know all about divine Revelation? Is the written word of God the sole rule of faith? What does the Bible itself have to say about it? The fact is that, according to Sacred Scripture itself, the Bible is not, and was never meant to be, the only source of divine Revelation and sole rule of faith. Jesus, in His infinite bounty and love for us, gave us much more: the Apostolic Tradition and the Magisterium of His Church. To demonstrate this truth, let us establish a basic, simple premise with which all baptized Christians agree: Everything that Jesus said or did was God speaking to…Continue Reading

The Characteristics Of Faith

February 14, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By DON FIER Faith, or the obedience of faith, was characterized in last week’s installment on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) as man’s most fitting and proper response to God’s self-revelation. Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, concisely defines this assent to all God has revealed as “the free submission to God’s Word because its truth is guaranteed by God, Who is Truth itself” (The Faith, p. 35). Our previous column appropriately closed with a brief reflection on the human person whom the Church sets before us as the “most perfect embodiment” (CCC, n. 144) of the obedience of faith — the Blessed Virgin Mary. Is it possible to conceive of a more apt expression to describe “our mother…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

February 13, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

Q. A question in a recent edition renewed a bit of ire I have had for some time concerning Food For The Poor appeals for donations. How can any organization claim such greatly charitable work while paying out huge salaries? Mr. Mahfood earns $391,627 yearly, and I am not going into all the other paid employees. Their web site lists an income of $939.5 million and claims Mr. Mahfood’s salary is only .04 percent of all expenses (data from their web site). Is this “charity” using the poor for a very lucrative business? Is it honest to rake off such large sums for employees, even if it is a small part of the take percentage-wise? While I wish I could…Continue Reading

In His Holiness’ Service . . . Why Diplomatic Relations Matter

February 12, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. JOHN L. UBEL (Editor’s Note: Fr. John L. Ubel is the rector of the Cathedral of St. Paul, St. Paul, Minn. The following commentary appeared in the February 2, 2014, cathedral bulletin, and it is reprinted here with permission. All rights reserved.) +    +    + I’d be a lousy diplomat, mostly because I lack the necessary skills to refrain from offering my own opinions! Diplomacy requires significant restraint and a willingness to represent another without regard for one’s own personal opinions. The history of U.S. relations with the Vatican is long, involved, and complicated. As the central government of the Church, the Holy See has a legal personality that allows it to enter into treaties as the juridical…Continue Reading

The Holiness Of The Wisdom Of God

February 11, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Seventh Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Lev. 19:1-2, 17-18 1 Cor. 3:16-23 Matt. 5:38-48 In the first reading Moses relates the words spoken to him by the Lord Himself when He told Moses to instruct the people of Israel to “be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy.” To be holy is to be like God. So, the more one grows in likeness to God, the holier that person becomes. In order to fulfill the deepest desires of our hearts or, to put it another way, to become the persons God made us to be, it is necessary that we grow in holiness. This precept of God telling us to be holy…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . The Pope Reminds Us: “Communion Is Essential”

February 9, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Recently Pope Francis reminded us that “Communion is essential” in an address delivered to members of the Neocatechumenal Way. Communion is experienced in two senses in the Church and both are essential. These two senses of communion are interdependent and cannot exist without each other. The communion of the Body of Christ comprising the members of the Church and the Communion of the Real Presence of the Body of Christ which is the Eucharist are these two senses of “communion.” They always have an interior connection. Contemporary treatment or understanding of the value of community or the common good affects the sense of Communion made possible by the Eucharist and vice-versa. The various aspects of…Continue Reading