Saturday 25th June 2016

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Persecution In Northern Nigeria… Bishop Kukah Says Church In Nigeria Has Crucial Role

May 11, 2016 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

NEW YORK (ZENIT) – Bishop Matthew Kukah of Sokoto, Nigeria, delivered this talk on April 26, 2016 at a conference held at the Cardinal Egan Catholic Center of New York University. The event was sponsored by Aid to the Church in Need-USA. + + + In Nigeria, as well as many other parts of Africa with significant Muslim populations, the persecution of Christians has long been familiar, its successive waves characterized only by variations in themes, levels of violence, and scope — but not in essence. In northern Nigeria, Islam as we know it today arrived with the sword and blood, then slavery, subjugation, and oppression. The Fulani jihad, which overran existing Hausa city-states, established a caliphate (1804-1903), leaving in…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Reinventing The Church As “Average Christianity”?

May 9, 2016 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Last month my parish celebrated the marriage of two young people in the Traditional Rite with a Solemn High Mass. The new bride visibly trembled with the faith-filled knowledge that she had just called the power of God Himself down into her new marriage as she exchanged vows with her husband. Tears streamed down her new spouse’s face as he was overcome with the sense of God’s goodness and faithfulness. For these young people God and His grace is only and always extraordinary. If C.S. Lewis were to pen his classic and beloved Christian apologia today, would he still title it Mere Christianity? His ironic title was crafted to indicate that Christianity is in fact…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course… The Inquisition: Further Replies To Objections

May 8, 2016 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 53 Second objection: Were the penalties of the Inquisition too harsh? The answer is simple: If we wish to judge — by modern standards — the penalties inflicted by the Inquisition on heretics and enemies of Church and state, yes, they were undoubtedly severe. Penalties in our time are, more often than not, so lenient that they do not deter crimes, as the ever-growing prison population proves ad nauseam. And yet, the penalties were no means harsh in the terms of the standards of the time. Was the death sentence applied? Yes, it was. However, unlike the practice of the civil courts, the Inquisition often admitted appeals against the sentence, while most civil courts…Continue Reading

The Seven Sacraments — Common Doctrine

May 7, 2016 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By DON FIER During the course of our consideration of the work of the Most Holy Trinity in the Church’s liturgy over the past four weeks, we ended by examining how the Holy Spirit recalls and manifests Christ to the assembly, makes present and active Christ’s saving work, and unites members of the liturgical assembly to Christ as their Head so they might “bear much fruit” (John 15:8, 16). We saw that when the Holy Spirit finds in the faithful “the response of faith which He has aroused,…He brings about genuine cooperation…[and] the liturgy becomes the common work of the Holy Spirit and the Church” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n. 1091). As beautifully summarized by Fr. John A.…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

May 6, 2016 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

Q. Catholic doctrine establishes that a patient terminally ill must not be denied food and nutrients. But what about a patient over 80 and otherwise in fair condition, who after a chronic renal failure has no renal function left and faces treatment with chronic hemodialysis with the possible complications of infection, anemia, discomfort, etc.? Can he in good faith refuse treatment? In other words, is hemodialysis ordinary or extraordinary means to preserve the life of this person? — C.G.D., Maryland A. As we have noted in the past, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 2278) says that “discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of…Continue Reading

Faith And Courage

May 5, 2016 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER The Solemnity Of Pentecost (YR C) Readings: Acts 2:1-11 1 Cor. 12:3b-7, 12-13 John 20:19-23 In the Gospel reading today we hear about our Lord breathing on His disciples so that they would receive the Holy Spirit. This, of course, is a reference back to the creation when God breathed the breath of life into the nostrils of Adam. At the time God had created a body for Adam, but there was as yet no life in him. On the contrary, the apostles of our Lord were all in possession of natural life, but they lacked supernatural life. This is what Jesus breathed into them. In the first reading we hear what happened on the day…Continue Reading

“Love One Another”. . . But Logic Cannot Be Separated From God

May 4, 2016 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. JOHN DE CELLES (Editor’s Note: Fr. John De Celles, pastor of St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church, Springfield, Va., gave the following homily on the Fifth Sunday of Easter, April 24, 2016, at his parish. (Fr. De Celles based his homily on the readings for that day, including the Gospel which has the passage, “Love one another as I have loved you.” He commented on that: “We can say that the love of Christ has a certain reasoning or logic to it.” (Logic, however, is missing from many current understandings of love, Fr. De Celles said, explaining that during the week: “I read that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled that if a girl thinks she’s…Continue Reading

Race And Religion . . . Commitment To Religion Improves Lives

May 2, 2016 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. JOHN FLYNN, LC (Editor’s Note: Fr. John Flynn, LC, wrote this commentary for ZENIT News Agency. Fr. Flynn, a regular ZENIT contributor, holds degrees from the University of New South Wales and from the Pontifical Gregorian University. (We are running this commentary in the space usually reserved for Fr. Kevin M. Cusick’s column, as Fr. Cusick appears on the front page of this week’s issue.) + + + Couples from minority groups are more likely to enjoy stronger and happier married lives if they are religiously committed. This is the conclusion of a recent book, Soul Mates: Religion, Sex, Love, and Marriage Among African-Americans and Latinos (Oxford University Press). In their extensively researched book, which is also the…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course… The Inquisition: Answering Objections

May 1, 2016 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 52 First objection: The Inquisition was intolerant! Reply: Before we dissect the Inquisition, we first have to define the terms we use, to ensure that we share the same meaning. What is “tolerance”? In today’s liberal parlance, it means something like accepting other opinions, views, and preferences, so that we are not seen to “impose” our views on anyone. That is, to keep our views to ourselves and share them only if we do not intend to change other people’s views, and, conversely, to expect them to reciprocate. To oppose other people’s views might be seen to be judgmental, and therefore “intolerant.” But true tolerance is something quite different: When you know that something…Continue Reading

The Liturgy — Work Of The Holy Trinity

April 30, 2016 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By DON FIER Part 4 The cooperation between the Holy Spirit and the Church that is at work in the liturgy is so close that the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) treats the two together. As stated in the section’s opening paragraph, when the Advocate “encounters in us the response of faith…the liturgy becomes the common work of the Holy Spirit and the Church” (n. 1091). Four distinct ways are identified to describe the mission of the Holy Spirit in the Church’s liturgy: “to prepare the assembly to encounter Christ; to recall and manifest Christ to the faith of the assembly; to make the saving work of Christ present and active by his transforming power; and to make the…Continue Reading