Friday 24th October 2014

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September 19, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

Q. I am currently reading Paul Likoudis’ excellent but shocking book Amchurch Comes Out, regarding incidents of immoral conduct among our clergy, the cover-up, and the accompanying damage that has been wrought within the Church. I recall being alarmed while involved with religious education in our then parish in the late 1980s and attending diocesan seminars for teachers and hearing such things as, “Conscience is formed by our life experiences — Church, television, movies, society. If the Church says ‘Y’ but your conscience says ‘X’ you must do ‘X’ and it is not a sin. You may be criticized by the Church. We must take possession of our conscience and follow it.” However, my wife and I are no longer…Continue Reading

Our Attitude Should Be The Same As Christ’s

September 18, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Sixth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Ezek. 18:25-28 Phil. 2:1-11 Matt. 21:28-32   In the Gospel reading today our Lord asks the question of which son did the will of his father: the one who said he would not go into the field but eventually did or the one who said he would go but never arrived there? This becomes a critically important reading for each of us who is baptized, because all the baptized have told the Lord that we would reject Satan and all his lies and that we would serve the Lord. How many of us are actually doing what we have vowed? Baptism is a great privilege for us because,…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . “And Who Is My Neighbor?” The Embryo And The ALS patient

September 15, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The prophet Jeremiah in chapter 20 bewails his isolation as a result of the scorn of nonbelievers: “The word of the Lord has brought me derision and reproach all the day.” He describes his temptation to throw in the towel as a prophet tasked by God with a message for mankind: “I say to myself, I will not mention him, I will speak in his name no more.” This speaks to the situation of Catholics when a popular social fad or campaign sweeps the country only to be brought up short by the prophetic voices of our bishops and pastors. We can become tempted to feel that it is simply too difficult to be a…Continue Reading

Priestly Celibacy: Unnatural? Or . . . Supernatural? Celibacy In The Teachings Of St. Paul

September 14, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 4 St. Paul was not one of the twelve, but he is known as “the Apostle,” certainly because of the richness of his apostolic zeal in teaching, possibly more than all the other apostles put together. He was educated in the faith by Jesus Himself, and after that intense training, he became as zealous as the fiery prophet Elias — who wouldn’t, after spending years alone with Jesus in a monastic atmosphere receiving His teachings? St. Paul understood very well the distinction between commandment and counsel, taking from Jesus’ exhortation to the rich young man to leave everything and follow Him. Jesus said: “if” you will be perfect. It was a counsel, not a…Continue Reading

The Implications Of Faith In One God

September 13, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By DON FIER Over the past three weeks, we have reflected on but an infinitesimal fraction of all that the faithful affirm when they reverently and genuinely say the first four [or five] words contained in the Creeds of the Church: “I believe in [one] God.” In saying these words with heartfelt sincerity, one is acknowledging his belief in who God revealed Himself to be — I AM WHO AM — and all the unfathomable attributes that are part of the perfection of His being. One is admitting that God is Truth and God is Love, and that He is also Justice and Mercy and Beauty and every good that exists. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) now makes…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

September 12, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

Q. I have recently read a book entitled Constantine’s Sword by James Carroll. I was taken aback by its premise and wonder about its veracity. Do you have an opinion on the book? — E.J.S., New Jersey. A. You have good reason to wonder about the veracity of Constantine’s Sword (and the movie based on the book) since its author, James Carroll, is a former Paulist priest who has written a 756-page volume that, in the words of Robert P. Lockwood, “is not history at all, but an amateur’s meditation on various historical events skewed to reflect the prejudices of his own thesis. This is not careful scholarship. This is simply a very long anti-Catholic essay.” Reviewing the book for…Continue Reading

Magnify The Lord

September 11, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 55:6-9 Phil. 1:20c-24, 27a Matt. 20:1-16a In the first reading today, Isaiah cries out to all the people that they are to seek the Lord while He may be found. This becomes extremely important to us because Scripture speaks of the possibility of the Lord coming to a soul and, being rejected, does not return again in that singular manner. Of course, our Lord will accept anyone who comes to Him at any time, but if we refuse to cooperate with the grace when it is present, chances are that we may not recognize the grace when we begin to seek for something beyond ourselves. I trust…Continue Reading

Bishop Mark Davies Of Shrewsbury . . . Urges Youth To Stand Up For The Faith

September 10, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

LONDON (ZENIT) — Young Catholics are being called to be authentic and convincing witnesses if their contemporaries are to come to know Jesus Christ, the bishop of Shrewsbury, England, has said. He reflected on how often young people are being offered no direction in life except “make your own mind up. Go left, go right — see what works for you!” “It is not opinions we need,” the bishop told 1,000 young people gathered at Walsingham in eastern England. “We need the truth, we cannot find our way without the Truth.” In the faith and teaching of the Church, Bishop Mark Davies insisted, we will never be deceived but find our sure direction. In his homily at an August 24…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… “Do Not Recognize The Voice Of Strangers”

September 8, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK There are many voices in the world today. In addition to cell phones, email, Facebook, chat, and Skype we have the Internet, news outlets, presidents on one side and terrorists on the other, bloggers, TV demagogues and talk-show hosts, self-help gurus and purveyors of popular spiritual books through public appearances. All these and more have joined the chorus of voices calling out for our very limited attention along with those of our family members, our communities, and our bishops. With our great limitations as human beings, how do we remain open to others in a way that would be pleasing to God, would be holy and in imitation of Jesus Christ our Lord, who exercised…Continue Reading

Priestly Celibacy: Unnatural? Or …Supernatural? Celibacy In The New Testament

September 7, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 3 Hints in the Old Testament point to realities in the new. In Jesus’ days there were several Jewish sects: The Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, and the Zealots were the most famous. The publicans were not a sect as such, but just the practical-minded Jews that worked for the Romans as tax collectors. And yet there was another sect, less conspicuous in the land, who practiced celibacy: the Essenes. The Jewish Virtual Library refers to the Essenes as “The Dead Sea Sect” and states that they had emerged out of disgust with the Sadducees and Pharisees. The Essenes believed that the others had corrupted the city and the Temple. They moved out of Jerusalem and…Continue Reading