Friday 21st September 2018

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

First Teachers… The Hope For Victory

July 13, 2018 Frontpage No Comments


For those of you firmly in the Catholic pro-life movement, Joe Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League cautions the great many who cheered the pending resignation of Justice Anthony Kennedy. Even if we manage to nominate and appoint a rock-solid pro-life member to the bench? It will not be a victory, merely the hope for a victory.
Consider first things. Our public education system is in a shambles, and our Catholic education system with notable exceptions here and there is just as bad. Instead of teaching Catholicism in the home and in the parish, we have handed this duty off to rigid classes in the imitation of mainline Protestantism, hoping against hope that maybe our experience will be different than theirs.
Mass attendance — while seeing a minor uptick among young families — remains at historic lows from what our parents and grandparents knew.
Anti-Catholicism remains the last acceptable prejudice, and woe to those who insist on a pro-life litmus test while being absolutely seared if one mentions the reality of a pro-abortion litmus test.
In short, even with a fifth U.S. Supreme Court pick? The hard work of undoing the damage of Roe v. Wade will have to plow through decades of jurisprudence. Planned Parenthood v. Casey — the landmark 1989 decision that makes Kennedy responsible for the onslaught of 32 million babies butchered at the hands of Planned Parenthood — is the so-called “backup plan” for when Roe comes apart, meaning that the “right to murder” will become the decision of state legislatures.
Does anyone think for a moment that Planned Parenthood will rest? To the contrary, just imagine the marriage amendments of ten years ago in reverse, with Planned Parenthood passing referenda and pushing legislation enshrining abortion in state constitutions. Progressives and liberals certainly know what to do, and there’s always that handful desperate for fame and looking to make the transition to statesman who know how to bend just so to a fawning media for their bipartisan leadership.
Scheidler is 100 percent correct. Even if by some miracle Roe v. Wade is repealed, and even if the ruling is sweeping enough to bring the entire rotten barn down, the legislative paths are still open to the professional left.
Of course, this is not an effort to cast doubt at a moment where Catholics should feel most emboldened. In fact, we should meet this moment with all the courage and strength we can muster, knowing that with a potential fifth pro-life vote on the U.S. Supreme Court, the end of the beginning may very well be in place.
A longtime pro-life stalwart once told me that at the beginning of the fight for life, activists truly thought they would be in for a 10-year fight and nothing more. With the Human Life Amendment, nothing could be easier. Then came the Hyde Amendment, then came further compromises, and then a professional coterie of incrementalists who could never quite understand that not all increments are gains.
What instead happened was that pro-lifers in Washington unwittingly colluded in the enshrinement of abortion throughout the 1980s. What they could never understand was that the basic premise we all understand to be true — that social justice (sic) begins in the womb — is instantly undone the very moment when we pick and choose which lives are worthy of life. Or as the Nazis put it, Lebensunwertes Leben — a life unworthy of life.
At the end of the day, either human beings in their full personhood are created in the imago Dei of their Creator and to be defended to the last…or we are not. Either we are members of the Body of Christ…or we are not. Either we believe Christ when He says “this is My Body….” or we believe Planned Parenthood when they say “this is my body.”
Michael Collins — hero of the Irish War for Independence — argued that the advent of peace in Ireland that split the nation in two was not the full freedom that Irish patriots had fought for over generations. Rather, Collins argued that what had been accomplished was the freedom to achieve freedom.
That freedom — that hope for victory — is what a fifth justice on the U.S. Supreme Court might give us. It is only the signal that a true fight for the hearts and minds of a generation to come has begun.
Poll after poll reminds us that the generation most victimized by abortion is the one that rejects it the most. Do we have the courage to meet their enthusiasm with our own? To do so in a spirit of compassion and love that says not only is America worth fighting for, but that the generations yet to be born deserve the basic right to exist?
Like Scheidler, I hope so…and I know we are not alone.

+ + +

Mr. B — writes from Virginia Beach thanking me for my June 28 article regarding violence and abortion, and does so with a line that ought to be framed: “Socialism is a form of legalized slavery where the fruits of one’s labor are forcibly taken and given to one who has not earned.”
I doubt Winston Churchill himself could have said it any better.
We have been discussing the unique impact of Protestantism on North America, specifically with the United States’ and Canada’s experience versus the Catholic South, so to speak. More to the point, while you find individual prosperity in America, the United States is somewhat unique in the fact that our prosperity has been so widespread (unlike say, Mexico where 50 percent of the country lives in a definition of poverty that would shock America’s working poor).
One point made? Christianity helped found the West, yet not all Christian nations succeed. That is a powerful observation, if for no other reason than it might unlock the “did Christianity make the West or did the West make Christianity?” argument.
Of course, the West gave us modern secularism as well…and Brad Gregory’s The Unintended Reformation comes to mind regarding the link between Protestantism and secularism. Still, I am very much enjoying the correspondence — if we excavate new truths, I’ll be sure to faithfully report.

+ + +

Dr. C — writes from the Caribbean (take us with you!) and thanks this column for its dissection of Ireland’s and Argentina’s submission to the culture of abortion. In his letter, he offers what has to be one of the better responses to my question as to how to transmit the Catholic faith to others:
“Man in Sin cannot progress. To be effective, Man must be Holy and strive for increasing Holiness with Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving, followed by exemplary Action. A simple start-up plan, which parents can initiate, is to pray a decade of the rosary every day, at a fixed but flexible hour, the Hour of the Family, the Hour of Christ. Slowly parents can teach their children to contemplate, by reflecting on the mystery in Silence, for 15-30 seconds or more, before starting the oral recitations. Posture in Prayer is important. Making the Sign of the Cross slowly, deliberately, with meaning, preferably kneeling if possible, with folded arms and bowed heads, in respectful reverence to the presence of God.”

+ + +

Another reader helpfully observes that there are two great tools for the modern Catholic to use in today’s world, either to create new converts or to reignite the faithful — the Eucharist and the Rosary.
That’s it . . . either you will fall in love or you will fall away.

+ + +

Finally, Mr. D — writes from New York with an exceptionally kind thank-you note regarding Ireland’s collapse toward the culture of death.
For those who are wondering, I do indeed deeply appreciate correspondence from readers, and I do try to maintain a healthy back-and-forth for those interested. Every letter and e-mail gets a response in kind, and for someone from my generation to receive actual mail (from people who care) in an age of e-mail and text messages? You have no idea what a treat your letters really are!

Send Me Your Thoughts

Of course, I am succeeding (but not replacing) the inestimable Mr. James K. Fitzpatrick for the First Teachers column. Please feel free to send any correspondence for First Teachers to Shaun Kenney, c/o First Teachers, 5289 Venable Road, Kents Store, VA 23084 — or if it is easier, simply send me an e-mail with First Teachers in the subject line to:

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Load More...

Yet another US bishop calls for Youth Synod to be canceled so Church can ‘deal with abuse crisis’

TYLER, Texas, September 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Texas bishop has called for the Youth Synod to be canceled in light of the ongoing scandal regarding the cover-up of episcopal sexual abuse of minors and seminarians. On September 8, Bishop…Continue Reading


ATLANTA ( – Celebrity Jesuit Fr. James Martin is heading to Georgia, courtesy of pro-gay Abp. Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, Georgia. On Friday, Martin announced on Twitter that Abp. Gregory has invited him to speak in October at two Atlanta-area locations.…Continue Reading

Leaked sex abuse report rocks German church, 3,677 victims

September 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Two German major media outlets – Der Spiegel and Die Zeit – leaked today the findings of a sexual abuse commission funded by the German Bishops’ Conference and which Cardinal Reinhard Marx had planned to present to the public…Continue Reading

US bishops’ president accused of allowing reported sex abuser access to kids

September 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, has been accused of allowing a priest who confessed to sex abuse of a minor to function as a pastor of a parish,…Continue Reading

Cdl. Cupich on abuse crisis: We shouldn’t be ‘distracted’ by this, Church has ‘bigger agenda’

CHICAGO, September 10, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – When challenged about the clergy sexual abuse scandal now facing the Church, Cardinal Blase Cupich told a large gathering of seminarians that the Church’s agenda is “bigger” than the sexual corruption now facing the…Continue Reading

Catholic prelates must speak out, now, as the faithful are attacked by their own shepherds

September 4, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The following reflection is the result of a couple of days of my reading and thinking about the last five years, but then also about the last fifty years. Trying to get an interview with…Continue Reading

Oklahoma archbishop: I’ve ‘deepest respect’ for Viganó. His claims demand ‘deeper examination’

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma, August 31, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley has issued a statement saying he has the “deepest respect” for Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganó and his “integrity.” Some on the left have attempted to cast doubt…Continue Reading

One Mad Mom . . . Martin’s Cozy with Proximate Occasions of Sin

Let me say this, I am a mom of a multitude of kids and have spent their lives trying to ensure their safety and well-being.  I have THE biggest stake with what’s been going on in the Church for decades. …Continue Reading

Thousands of Catholic women ask Pope: Did you cover-up for McCarrick, as Viganò claims?

August 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A group of prominent Catholic women have written an open letter to Pope Francis imploring him to provide clarity on the “escalating” sex abuse crisis currently “engulfing” the Church. Expressing anger, betrayal, and heartbreak, the women bluntly…Continue Reading

Ave Maria University president slams Viganò, Cardinal Burke

AVE MARIA, Florida, August 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Citing the “God of Surprises,” the president of a Roman Catholic University once known for its orthodoxy has slammed two faithful prelates for their challenges to the Pope, particularly in regard to…Continue Reading

Pope handpicks US cardinal enmeshed in McCarrick scandal as youth synod delegate

August 28, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis has named Cardinal Joseph Tobin, a prelate who former papal nuncio Archbishop Carlo Viganò has testified owes his rise to power to disgraced ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, as a delegate to the October synod on…Continue Reading

U.S. bishop disappointed with Pope’s ‘no comment’ answer on sex-abuse cover-up

MADISON, Wisconsin, August 28, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Bishop Robert Morlino vouched for the integrity of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, joining a growing chorus of faithful prelates who have expressed support for the former papal nuncio’s astounding testimony pointing to Pope Francis and other high-ranking…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love


  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading


Today . . .

US bishops’ silence on meeting with Pope could put their credibility on sex abuse at risk

ROME, September 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Have the jocular images and low-key statements of US Bishops following their meeting with Pope Francis last week set back their attempts to address the grave situation in the Church, especially the handling of sexual abuse cases by bishops? The details that have been revealed of the bishops’ meeting with Francis last Thursday give no indication that they addressed the extent of the McCarrick coverup or the need for…Continue Reading

Cardinal Maradiaga rebukes papal critics: McCarrick abuse scandal ‘of a private order’

September 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The scandal of ex-Cardinal McCarrick’s homosexual abuse of young priests and seminarians and Pope Francis’ alleged cover-up are “of a private order,” and a merely “administrative affair,” according to one of the Pope’s top advisers, Cardinal Andrés Rodriguez Maradiaga. He made these remarks in a recent interview in one of the most revealing statements to date on the Viganò testimony. In an interview published on Wednesday evening by Religion Digital, the religious portal…Continue Reading

Dutch Catholic church accused of widespread sexual abuse cover-up

More than half of the Netherlands’ senior clerics were involved in covering up sexual assault of children between 1945 and 2010, a press report claimed on Saturday, further engulfing the Catholic church in a global abuse scandal. Over the course of 65 years, 20 of 39 Dutch cardinals, bishops and their auxiliaries “covered up sexual abuse, allowing the perpetrators to cause many more victims”, the daily NRC reported. “Four abused children and 16 oth

Steve Bannon Drafting Curriculum for Right-Wing Catholic Institute in Italy

(Reuters) – Former Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon is helping to craft the curriculum for a leadership course at a right-wing Roman Catholic institute in Italy, stepping up his efforts to influence conservative thinking in the church. Benjamin Harnwell, director of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute based in a mountaintop monastery not far from Rome, told Reuters Bannon had been helping to build up the institute for about half of its eight-year life. Cardinal Raymond…Continue Reading

China, Vatican ‘May Sign Deal’ on Chinese Catholics, Bishops: Taiwan

Beijing and the Vatican are on the verge of an agreement on the status of China’s Catholic Church and the controversial appointment of bishops by the ruling Chinese Communist Party, reports indicate. A report in the Wall Street Journal on Friday cited two people close to negotiations as saying that a deal was very close. In Taipei, Taiwan foreign affairs spokesman Li Hsien-chang said the democratic island’s officials had a similar understanding of the situation.…Continue Reading


Chaplain Tells Medical Workers…. Discovering God’s Will Leads To Love And Joy

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — Although those seeking a direction in life may turn to searching for God’s will, a Phoenix chaplain reminded listeners that another ruler from beyond the Earth also has a plan for their lives, Satan. Fr. Ignatius Mazanowski, FHS, chaplain of the Phoenix Guild of the Catholic Medical Association, explored a…Continue Reading

Solzhenitsyn: Truth Is Light

By DONALD DeMARCO Without the truth we are in the dark, not knowing how to think, judge, act, or live. Please tell us the truth. Please dispel the darkness. Readers of The Wanderer will understand my plea without my needing to divulge names. We do, as Marshall McLuhan explained to us, live in a global…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic . . . Skewed Ideas About Education And Minority Groups

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

Is Trump Going Neocon In Syria?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Is President Donald Trump about to intervene militarily in the Syrian civil war? For that is what he and his advisers seem to be signaling. The past week, Trump said of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s campaign to recapture the last stronghold of the rebellion, Idlib province: “If it’s a slaughter, the…Continue Reading

Pro-Lifer… Arizona Governor Names Successor To Fill McCain’s Seat

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — With its own strange brand of politics, Arizona acquired a new U.S. senator who agreed to fill the upper-chamber seat for at least a few months. Huh? With the late John McCain’s health slipping away for more than a year to an aggressive brain cancer, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey had…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. It’s been several years since a Vatican commission was appointed to investigate the legitimacy of the alleged apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje. What is the status of that investigation? — M.K., South Carolina. A. In 2014, the commission concluded a four-year study of the Medjugorje phenomenon and sent a report to the Congregation for the Doctrine of…Continue Reading

HLI’s Mission To Mongolia… There Are Setbacks, But The Church Continues

By FR. SHENAN BOQUET (Editor’s Note: Fr. Shenan Boquet is the president of Human Life International. This commentary first appeared September 3 at and was reprinted by All rights reserved.) + + + “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in…Continue Reading

True Wisdom From Above

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Wisdom 2:12, 17-20 James 3:16-4:3 Mark 9:30-37 In the second reading today, St. James tells us that where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice. As we look around, we can certainly see an abundance of disorder and foul practices. To eliminate these…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Why Evangelists Need An Interior Life

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Spiritual Handbook for Catholic Evangelists: How to Win Souls Without Losing Your Own, by Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard (Sophia Institute Press, 192 pages, Amazon paperback and Kindle). This is a new version of an old spiritual classic, originally written about a century ago, but still valid for today’s Church, and particularly for those involved in evangelization. The…Continue Reading

The Sacrament Of Confession… Confession Among The Early Christians

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 4 Here are some more testimonies from the Early Christians about the Sacrament of Confession, how they understood the sacrament and how it was administered by the priests to the people when they sinned. Those writers are known in history as the Fathers of the Early Church, the theologians and Bible scholars of the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Servant of God Rozalia Celak

By CAROLE BRESLIN The closer one comes to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the hotter the flame, as many saints have attested. St. Catherine of Siena bore the marks in her heart where the arrow of Christ’s love pierced it. With the flame of the burning love, the Sacred Heart touches those whom He loves in a special way. To…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Our Lady Of Mount Carmel

By CAROLE BRESLIN In northern Israel between the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea, a mountain range stretches inland. This range, although named Mount Carmel, is really a series of mountains stretching inland. The main site of the Mount, the Stella Maris monastery of the Discalced Carmelites, sits on a limestone bluff overlooking the city of Haifa. The view…Continue Reading