Friday 27th November 2015

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Catholic Replies

October 23, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

Q. At a Bible study on the Acts of the Apostles, there was a reference to the 71 members of the Sanhedrin. The facilitator didn’t know why the number was 71. Do you know? — N.C., Massachusetts. A. After consulting several sources, we know that the Sanhedrin wielded considerable power in New Testament times and that its 71 members consisted of chief priests, elders, and scribes, with the high priest serving as president of the council, but we’re not sure where the number 71 came from. There is a possibility that it originated in the Book of Numbers, when the Lord said to Moses: “Assemble for me seventy of the elders of Israel, men you know for true elders and…Continue Reading

The Solemnity of All Saints

October 22, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Readings: Rev. 7:2-4, 9-14 1 John 3:1-3 Matt. 5:1-12a Living Like Children Of God We live in a day and age where it has become vogue to adhere to the idea of universal salvation. This is the idea that everyone goes to Heaven. Others would suggest that there may be a few people in Hell, like Stalin, Hitler, and their ilk, but everyone else goes to Heaven. These ideas run contrary to the teaching of our Lord who spoke of trying to enter through the narrow door, of the road to perdition being wide and smooth with many on it, while the road to life is rough and narrow with few on it. This has led…Continue Reading

Synod Interventions . . . Concerns About Threats To The Families, Hopes For True Renewal

October 21, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

(Editor’s Note: Below are four interventions from the ongoing Synod on the Family, which express fears over attacks on marriage and the family and hopes for the renewal of authentic family life in Christ. Texts are from various sources; all rights reserved.) + + + Robert Cardinal Sarah Prefect Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments October 7, 2015 Your Holiness, Your Eminences, Your Excellencies, participants of the Synod, I propose these three thoughts: 1) More transparency and respect among us I feel a strong need to invoke the Spirit of Truth and Love, the source of parrhesia in speaking and humility in listening, who alone is capable of creating true harmony in plurality. I say frankly…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… A Tale Of Two Synods

October 19, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK One of the most haunting memories from the time of turmoil in the Church after Vatican II was the terrifying remark of Paul VI, no less than the pastor himself at the helm of the universal Body of Christ, who said, “from some fissure the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God.” That alarum has been raised again in the Synod Hall in Rome this month as our bishops and cardinals meet to hammer out a document in aid of families today. The concern which gave rise to this is the overwhelming sense among some that doctrine on marriage and family may not come out of the synod unscathed. As many of our…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course… Christ’s Church Is One, Not A Collection Of Churches

October 18, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA In the previous article, the characteristics that identify the Church founded by Jesus Christ were made clear for all to see: His Church is One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, Imperishable, Infallible, and Visible. Let us take a look at the kind of churches claiming to be the Church of Christ in existence today, and assess their claims in the light of the seven marks, and not according to the individual interpretations of the Bible chosen by their founders or by the majority opinion of their members. The first mark of the Church of Christ is that she must be one in faith, worship, and government to the end of time, because her divine Founder has promised to…Continue Reading

The Consecrated Life

October 17, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By DON FIER So great is the dignity and vocation of the lay faithful that they are able to participate in the priestly, prophetic, and kingly offices of Christ. They share in His priestly office “especially in the Eucharist by offering as a spiritual sacrifice ‘acceptable to God through Jesus Christ’ (1 Peter 2:5) their own lives with all of their works, their prayers, their apostolic undertakings, their family life, their daily work and hardships borne with patience, and even their consolations of spirit and body” (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCCC], n. 189). By gathering up all their activities and spiritually uniting them to Christ’s sacrificial offering on Calvary, “the laity consecrate the world itself to…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

October 16, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

Q. I noticed that when the priest was celebrating benediction at the end of eucharistic adoration, he wrapped a vestment around his hands before he picked up the monstrance to bless the people. Why did he do this? — T.S., Massachusetts. A. The vestment is called the humeral veil and the priest covers his hands with it before elevating the monstrance to show that it is Jesus Himself who is blessing the people and not the priest. Q. In a column some time ago, you said that lay people should not anoint others with blessed oil. But I am sending you a packet of St. Anne’s blessed oil from St. Anne’s Shrine in Cleveland, Ohio. The card accompanying the oil…Continue Reading

Redemption From Slavery

October 15, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Thirtieth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Jer. 31:7-9 Heb. 5:1-6 Mark 10:42-56 In the first reading today we hear the Prophet Jeremiah proclaim that the Lord has delivered His people. In this context it implies the deliverance of the people from their exile and the return of the people of Israel to their own land. They were freed from slavery and were allowed to live, once again, as God’s own Chosen People. More than being freed from slavery on a natural level, the freedom to worship and serve the Lord is the far greater freedom granted to these people. There are so many people today who have given into the worldliness and the sinfulness…Continue Reading

Cardinal Erdo’s Address to The Synod . . . The Demanding Teaching Of Christ On Indissolubility

October 14, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

VATICAN CITY (CNA) — On October 5, the opening day of the 2015 Synod on the Family, Peter Cardinal Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest — who is the synod’s relator general — gave an introductory speech to the synod fathers. Drawing from the working document for the synod as well as recent magisterial documents, Cardinal Erdo surveyed the work the assembly is called to do. The full text of his prepared remarks was published in Italian on the Vatican’s website. Below are excerpts from Catholic News Agency’s English translation of his remarks. All rights reserved. To read the full text of Erdo’s lengthy address, please visit Also, see this week’s News Notes column to read about the controversy that followed his…Continue Reading

Mexican Exorcist Moves Toward Sainthood

October 12, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By ELISE HARRIS VATICAN CITY (CNA/EWTN News) — Among the eight causes for sainthood advanced by Pope Francis is a Mexican exorcist who lived during the time of the Cristero War, and was mentored by a bishop who has since been canonized. The Pope gave the green light to move the causes on to the next step in a private September 30 audience with Angelo Cardinal Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Fr. Juan Manuel Martin del Campo was one of five priests recognized for heroic virtue, and who have now received the title of “venerable,” only two steps away from canonization, which takes place after the requirement two miracles has been fulfilled. Born in in…Continue Reading