Sunday 30th April 2017

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

French Parties Woo Catholics

January 9, 2017 Frontpage No Comments

By JOHN BURKE

(Editor’s Note: John Burke is a Catholic journalist based in England.)

+ + +

PARIS — There are six Sunday Masses, all in the old Latin rite, at Saint Nicolas du Chardonnet, a classical pile almost within sight of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. Two blocks away stand propagandists (the Lefebvrist priests have warned them off) with royalist and other right-wing pamphlets.
Such incidents have long lent themselves to a myth, promoted equally by liberal Catholics and secular left-wingers, that the St. Pius X Society (SSPX) and the National Front (Front National) were ultra-reactionary allies. In fact, the political preferences of the French, whether baptized or not, have always been far more complicated, but there is now an element of truth just when presidential and legislative elections are looming.
The reason is that France’s very identity is at risk from Islam, immigration, and internationalism, while terrorism and unemployment have discredited the leftist coalition. With the Socialists’ popularity put at just 7 percent in the polls, President François Holland is breaking with the custom of standing for a second term. Among Catholics, support for the left is reckoned to have slumped from 35 percent back in 1981 to 16 percent.
Everything suggests that the presidential run-off in May will be between two veterans of the right who know they need the broadly Christian vote.
One is Marine Le Pen, who co-chairs an alliance of nationalistic parties in the European Parliament where the Front forms the largest French bloc. In 2011 she supplanted her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, a Catholic from Brittany, who had founded the party out of extreme and populist elements in 1972. He got into the second round once during five bids to take the presidency, and the daughter then took 18 percent of votes during her attempt in 2012.
The grouping of conservative and center parties has picked François Fillon, a Catholic family man and veteran of the Republicans (Parti Républicain) whose previous incarnations had the initials UDR, RPR, and UMP. A one-time party leader, Fillon came up through local government and held five ministerial posts before being prime minister from 2007 to 2012.
His unprecedented 55 percent of primary votes is credited to new Catholic members.
All this suggests shifting attitudes among believers and nonbelievers — that is how the French classify themselves — who were long conditioned by the unhappy history of relations between the Church and a state that has been reconstituted 15 times since 1792. It continues to spawn political parties, factions, and lobbies.
Because churchmen were privileged under the ancient monarchy, all the faithful were persecuted during the atheistic French Revolution. Napoleon’s cynical concordat of 1801 was followed by a monarchical and clerical revival, but once France became a republic again, a socialist-liberal government subordinated the Church in 1905, nationalizing all its real estate. Yet after Germany defeated France in 1940, the Vichy puppet-government made concessions to Catholics, such as returning land at Lourdes, to gain their support.
The educational curriculum emphasizes that France remains a secular republic, in which all religions are private and equal, although the law of 1905 has been invoked in recent years (partly by Fillon) to curb Muslim expression. Catholics have had to accept legislation favoring anything from Freemasonry and divorce to abortion and homosexuality, while any parents wanting a religious education for their children must fund their own schools.
Today, however, aggressive agnosticism is replaced by Muslim militancy that has led to 591 churches’ suffering malicious damage in 2014 alone, and more atrocities may follow the assassination of a priest outside Rouen where St. Joan of Arc was burnt in 1431. Incidentally, she is a patriotic heroine for the Front, although the French Republic’s symbol is a revolutionary peasant girl dubbed Marianne, often portrayed turning away from a church.
Yet there is a renewal of religious consciousness among even those who merely call themselves Catholic in social surveys that also record 500,000 Protestants and five million Muslims.
There are no accurate figures for belief, especially as the French bishops’ conference (CEF) ceased issuing figures of Baptisms after they had slumped from 449,531 in 1992 to 290,282 ten years later — hardly three percent of all births. A realistic estimate is that 44 million out of France’s 66 million inhabitants have a Catholic background, and that includes just over half of the two and one-fourth million Parisians. Even so, barely one Frenchman in four attends Mass at all, and of 55,752 remaining churches, mostly owned by the state, 10,000 face closure.
One quarter of all Catholics are aged between 35 and 49, but senior citizens account for almost half of those who practice. Sunday regulars are put at a mere three million, and there are claims that most attend the Tridentine rite which is offered by more than the 170 Lefebvrists.
The Institute of Christ the King has 34 priests in France, where the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter uses 65 centers for the old Mass, and then there are the Benedictines at Fontgombault, Barroux, Randol, Triors. . . .
There is more clarity about the Catholic vote. A survey by Opinion Way, published at the end of 2013 in La Vie Catholique, found that one churchgoer in ten, under the age of 35, had close contacts with the Front. This compared with only 1 percent of Catholic senior citizens. At the same time, one-third of practicing Catholics had a good opinion of Marine Le Pen, although she is a double divorcee.
During the county elections of March 2015, when the Front took 25 percent of the votes, it seems that these included 16 percent from Catholics or 9 percent from practicing ones. On the other hand, a little over half of all Catholics, or 69 percent of regular churchgoers, may have supported the traditional conservative or centrist parties which collected only one-third of all French votes.

Politicians For Jesus

In the equivalent of gubernatorial elections, the Front then got its best result ever with almost seven million votes amounting to 27 percent of the electorate, although the system robbed it of any regional control. This surge is not just a reaction to the Islamic threat, but also loss of sovereignty that earlier led 55 percent of the entire electorate to reject (though in vain) the constitution of the European Union.
It has spurred various political leaders to hark back to when France was called the elder daughter of the Church, starting with ex-President Chirac whose memoirs include praise for Gregorian plainchant. Nicolas Sarkozy stated, “The roots of France are essentially Christian” when visiting the Vatican as president in 2007, repeating this during his failed bid to re-enter the race.
Among the other two losers, a former prime minister, Alain Juppé, did a bulk email to Catholics, while Bruno Le Maire, an ex-minister, published his letter to the bishops. Curiously, all but Sarkozy remain ambivalent regarding Muslims, with Fillon himself publishing a book about defeating Islam, having been the first prime minister to inaugurate one of France’s 2,052 mosques in 2010.
Yet even Bernard Cazeneuve, the latest prime minister in the demoralized government, has been moved to say, “Socialism has its roots in the values of the Gospel.” Doubtless, they all remember Henry IV’s historic one-liner: “Paris is worth a Mass!” Deserting his Huguenot brethren, he converted so that the Catholic majority would have him as king.
Another telltale sign is that certain Socialists such as Dominique Potier, a Catholic who abstained when Christiane Taubira got homosexual partnerships legalized, have visited the parliamentary chaplaincy, founded in 1995 by the late Cardinal Lustiger. Since its third incumbent, Fr. Laurent Stalla Bourdillon, was appointed in 2012, he has met at least 200 politicians — out of 577 in the lower house and 348 in the Senate.
These discreet encounters take place at what is named the Pastoral Service for Political Studies (SPEP), opposite the society church of Saint Clotilda and a short walk from the Bourbon Palace housing the national assembly. Most of them are from the right such as Philippe Gosselin, a Republican and Catholic who voted against Taubira, but backed Juppé in the primary.
Stalla Bourdillon does not deny meeting Marion Maréchal Le Pen, the Catholic niece of the Front’s leader and granddaughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen, himself a product of the Jesuits.
Maréchal is one of only two Frontists in the lower house (two more are in the Senate), her colleague being Gilbert Collard who is among several Freemasons to join the party.

Street Power

Educated by traditional Dominican nuns, Maréchal is crucial to obtaining Catholic support. She was propelled into Parliament in 2012 with the backing of a million demonstrators against the Taubira bill, subsequently approved by 331 votes to 225.
She was involved in marches by Manif pour tous (satirizing “marriage pour tous,” it means demo for all), from which 9,000 activists broke away as Sens Commun (common sense) in 2013 to become a moral ginger group among the 240,000 members of the Republican Party.
The next sensation came when Maréchal was invited to address the Catholic summer school at Sainte-Baume in 2015. Amid protests from some of his 130 fellow bishops, Dominique Rey of Fréjus-Toulon explained that the Front was a big force between Nice and Marseilles (immigration is highest here), while the Dominican organizer, François Régis, pointed out that it was an all-party event.
The national media speculated that the Church was dropping its opposition to a party previously excoriated for racism, but the French Episcopal Conference’s spokesman, Vincent Neyron, merely replied that the Front was a legal political organization. It is significant, however, that the bishops’ booklet with electoral advice for Catholics alludes to “patriotism” and “nationality”; mentions “Christian tradition”; and acknowledges the violent side of Islam.
There is a warning, however, from France’s oldest Catholic newspaper, La Croix, which reckons that one-quarter of the faithful now support the Front. It sent out to 74,000 households the reprint of a Jesuit study, urging Catholics to “reflect, understand, and act.”
Marine Le Pen’s partner, Louis Aliot, who is the Front’s vice-president, dismissed La Croix as left-wing, saying, “I am a baptized and believing Catholic.” Gilles Lebreton, one of 24 FN members of the European Parliament, said, “Like the Church, the FN defends the model of the traditional family, constituted in the union of a man and a woman.”

Fillon Evades Issues

This too is the view of Fillon with five children by his Welsh wife, Penelope, who also happens to be a municipal councilor in Solesmes. Both have attended Mass at the abbey so famous for plainchant, but she seems to have avoided joining Mayors for Childhood, a lobby of 12,585 local councilors who are campaigning not to officiate at homosexual weddings.
Franck Meyer, the Democratic Independent mayor of Sotteville-sur-le-Val, claims the total support of 20,000 elected officials and there is a class action by 146 of them, invoking liberty of conscience, before both the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations’ human rights committee. They are represented by François-Henri Briard, a Catholic jurist who has many friends in American legal and defense circles.
Over half of France’s 213,000 councilors are now on the right, including 1,496 in the Front. But the most prominent Republican member of Mayors for Childhood is probably Yannick Moreau, one of several Catholics from Brittany; on entering the French Parliament, he called for Christiane Taubira to be replaced as justice minister. Remaining mayor of Olonne-sur-Mer in the westerly Vendée, he also tried to ban the Euro-flag from his townhall.
Fillon is pro-Europe, but he did vote against Taubira, and also promised Sens Commun to amend the right of homosexual couples to adopt children. On the other hand, instead of keeping strictly to Catholic ethics, his record is confused. As the prime minister under Sarkozy in 2009, he cut funding for Planned Parenthood, but reversed this, following protests.
In 2013 he voted against embryonic research, but ignored further legislation toward it. In 2014, he was absent while abortion was being extended, and in 2015 he voted with the camp for euthanasia. All this makes him less ideal than one of his defeated rivals, Jean-Frédéric Poisson, a royalist who goes to Fontgombault for retreats.
Sympathetic toward Maréchal, this Christian-Democrat also said Trump was preferable to Clinton. Like him, there are Catholic ex-ministers in Fillon’s own party, such as Christian Jacob and Laurent Wauquiez, who have vowed to amend or repeal Taubira if the right wins the legislative elections in June.
Meanwhile, the Front has suffered a major split. Maréchal wants to campaign outright against the state funding of abortions whereas her aunt continues to make equivocal statements on the entire subject, although she has three children. Marine Le Pen’s right-hand man, Florian Philippot, has branded Maréchal as “isolated,” while himself being under attack after Closer magazine published photos of him and his alleged boyfriend in Vienna.
The infiltration by a homosexual lobby is criticized by Jean-Marie Le Pen, who still has a seat in the European Parliament but keeps a foothold in his own party merely as honorary president. Meanwhile the Catholic wing of the Front is rallying to Maréchal. Most of these members are among the 85,000 in its youth organization, the largest of any party.
Some will also belong to Civitas, the Catholic youth movement founded in Brittany but led by Alain Escada from Belgium, with Fr. Régis de Cacqueray, who has headed SSPX in France, as its chaplain. On the other hand, Civitas demonstrations in Paris and the Breton capital, Rennes, against a blasphemous play in 2011 were backed by 40 politicians in the UMP, including Lionnel Lucca who represents Alpes-Maritime.
Support also came from the tiny Movement for France (MPF) whose aristocratic leader, Philippe de Villiers, represents the staunchly Catholic Vendée region in the European Parliament. Villiers has his own opinion of Fillon, whose parents were Vendeans, accusing him of being an ambitious Bilderberger.
Nor is Fillon rated that highly by Civitas, which is also militant against abortion, and consequently praised Jean-Marie Le Pen for reminding French women about motherhood.
The stance puts a line between Civitas and Manif pour tous whose ebullient leader goes by her showbiz name, Frigide Barjot (satirizing Brigitte Bardot, it means frigid loony).
Barjot, who converted to Catholicism after going to Lourdes, visited Fillon as soon as he was nominated. His newest ally is another Catholic who was once a parachutist in the Foreign Legion, something which could describe old man Le Pen exactly. This time, however, it is another aristocrat, Henri de Castries, who succeeded a fellow-Catholic, Claude Bébear, as head of the world’s second largest insurer, AXA. Having previously marched in favor of Catholic education, Castries also took part in the original demonstration of Manif pour Tous.

The Big If

The polls already put Fillon in the Élysée Palace, but French politics are unpredictable. With seven candidates vying to run for the left, the Socialists might sideline the doughty Manuel Valls, who disdains all religions, in favor of another ex-minister, Benoit Hamon, a Breton who attended a Marist school up to sixth grade, and still calls himself Catholic.
Moreover, there is now an independent candidate for the presidency. He is Emmanuel Macron, who left the Socialist Party in 2007 when he began a career at Rothschild that made him a millionaire. Well, at least he attended a public school founded by Jesuits.
In the background, though, is that Valls, the last prime minister, repeatedly renewed France’s state of emergency he imposed in November 2015 after the massacre in Paris, which was followed by more in Brussels, Nice, and Berlin. It needs only another one touching France to swing more voters to the National Front.
As to the Church, what the French bishops note in Dans un monde qui change retrouver le sens politique (finding the political way back in a changing world) is almost the same as a point in the latest SSPX bulletin: “On the one hand, the French government seeks to impose secularism as the state religion while, on the other, Islam becomes more aggressive and dominant every day with the complicity of politicians and the culpable blindness of churchmen. . . .”

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Raymond Desouza . . . Shield of Faith PART 5

Chris Manion . . . European Union's Demographic Whimper; Vatican Hosts The Enemy; Can Rogue Federal Judiciary Be Controlled?

 

Pope Francis: Don’t be ‘more Papist than the Pope’

ROME, Italy, April 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) –  Pope Francis spoke critically again of the faithful who have a strong embrace of Catholic doctrine, resorting to pejorative terms he has often used such as hypocritical and phariseeism. “You cannot be more…Continue Reading

Trump appoints pro-life leader to top Health and Human Services spot

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – President Trump appointed well-known pro-life activist Dr. Charmaine Yoest to be Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The man Yoest is replacing is now a…Continue Reading

Advisor close to Pope Francis accuses dubia cardinals of ‘a new pharisaism’

April 24, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The leader of the Pope’s Council of Nine cardinals said the dubia cardinals haven’t read Amoris Laetitia and wondered why they haven’t “said anything about those who manufacture weapons.” Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga made these remarks during a radio interview…Continue Reading

NYC Catholics accuse Cardinal Dolan for ‘playing both sides’ as shuttered churches open doors to illegal immigrants

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) – The banner was a line from Matthew 25, in which God will speak to those who cared for their neighbor. The scripture states: “When the Son of man comes in his glory, escorted by…Continue Reading

Iowa lawmakers pass bill defunding Planned Parenthood

DES MOINES, Iowa, April 21, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The Iowa House of Representatives and the state Senate voted this week to deny $400,000 to 12 Planned Parenthood clinics in the state and redirect patients to other federally-qualified community health facilities.…Continue Reading

Black Abortionist Calls Pro-Life People Racist Because We’re Upset Black Babies Are Aborted

Abortionist Willie Parker seems to thrive on making nonsensical and outrageous statements that get him attention. Often, the southern abortion practitioner likes to say he is a Christian who performs abortions because of his faith. But this week, he turned…Continue Reading

Confirmed: Pope will canonize Fatima visionaries in May

VATICAN CITY, April 20, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Jacinta Marto and Blessed Francisco Marto, the two siblings who witnessed the Virgin Mary’s appearances at Fatima, during his upcoming visit to the site of the apparitions on…Continue Reading

The Catholic Church still cares about Latin

Vatican City, Apr 19, 2017 / 06:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Existing in some form since several hundred years before Christ, the Latin language seems like an unlikely subject to still be generating brand new research, especially among young scholars. Nevertheless,…Continue Reading

Trump signs law allowing states to defund Planned Parenthood

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – President Trump signed a law today overturning a last-minute Obama-era regulation forcing states to fund Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion business. The regulation, which pro-life groups call former President Obama’s “parting gift” to…Continue Reading

French presidential hopeful slams Pope Francis for welcoming migrants

ROME (RNS) France’s National Front presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen, slammed Pope Francis for welcoming migrants and attacked the Catholic Church for meddling in French politics. With just over a week to critical national elections, the far-right candidate said Friday…Continue Reading

GOP Leaders to Drop Funding for Border Wall from Budget – Paul Ryan Says Maybe Next Year

GOP leaders are ready to burn President Trump and remove funding for the Trump border wall in order to woo Democrats in the Senate. Republicans hold a majority in both the US House of Representatives and US Senate. And –ALREADY–…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood Will Give Pro-Abortion Hillary Clinton Its “Champion of the Century” Award

Hillary Clinton will receive a consolation prize from one of her top supporters, Planned Parenthood, in May. The abortion chain announced Thursday that it chose the failed presidential candidate to receive its “Champion of the Century” award for “her 40…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

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

In Trump’s first 100 days, Catholics find a mixed bag

Washington D.C., Apr 29, 2017 / 05:27 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholic leaders have found cause for both praise and concern after the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency. “Catholics have reason for optimism. But like the first 100 days, the road ahead remains difficult,” Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote.org, said on the organization’s scorecard for the first 100 days of the Trump presidency. Abortion Pro-life leaders have found a lot to like from the…Continue Reading

Enough with the liturgical translations!

The immortal Yogi Berra said it best: “It’s déjà vu all over again.” That was my first reaction to the news that a new Vatican commission had been established some time back to consider—again—the question of liturgical translations. Really, you can’t help wondering if another round in the debate about the words of the Mass is exactly what disputatious Catholics—already arguing amo

Trump admin keeps Obama rule requiring Little Sisters of the Poor to pay for contraception … for now

April 25, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The Trump administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) caused surprise today by signaling that it intends to continue the Obama administration’s court battle with the Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious groups over the HHS contraception mandate, at least for the time being. While Trump had promised on the campaign trail to drop the provision, the DOJ has now asked the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for 60 more…Continue Reading

FSSP Superior Distinguishes Fraternity from SSPX, Eschews “Traditionalist” Label

The usually cautious and reserved Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) has now given its current opinion concerning the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) and on its possible formal re-integration into the structures of the Catholic Church. Father Bernhard Gerstle – the head of the German district of the FSSP – just gave a 24 April interview to the German Bishops’ official website Katholisch.de in which he explains many of the positions and opinions…Continue Reading

Cardinal Sarah: Church is facing ‘grave risk’ of schism over morality

NEW YORK, April 24, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Robert Sarah warned that the Church’s unity is being threatened by influential leaders within the Church who “insist” that national churches have the “capacity to decide for themselves” on doctrinal and moral matters. “Without a common faith, the Church is threatened by confusion and then, progressively, she can slide into dispersion and

Pope Names New Head Of Chicago Eparchy

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Pope Francis has named Bishop Venedykt (Valery) Aleksiychuk, MSU, as bishop of the Eparchy of St. Nicholas in Chicago for Ukrainians, in Illinois. Prior to the appointment, Bishop Aleksiychuk was an auxiliary bishop of the Archeparchy of Lviv, Ukraine. The appointment was publicized in Washington, D.C., on April 20 by Archbishop Christophe…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred The Hands Of A Queen

By JAMES MONTI When in His infinite wisdom and love God fashioned man in His image and likeness, He imparted to the human body a remarkable and matching pair of members specifically crafted to imitate the Creator in His work of creation — the hands. And when in the fullness of time Our Lord refashioned…Continue Reading

At The Supreme Court… How The Media Reported On Trinity Lutheran

By JAMES ARNOLD (Editor’s Note: This commentary originally appeared on the ADF [Alliance Defending Freedom] Blog on April 26, 2017. See www.adflegal.org. The article is reprinted here with permission; all rights reserved. (James Arnold is the legal content manager for ADF. He wrote this post about Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Mo., applying for a…Continue Reading

Helen Hull Hitchcock… A Woman For Faith And Family

By DONALD DeMARCO Helen Hull Hitchcock passed away after a brief illness on October 20, 2014 at age 75. Accolades poured in from around the globe in honor of this extraordinary woman. Mary Shivanandan, a retired faculty member at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, and a longtime friend…Continue Reading

Fr. Jacques Hamel’s Cause Is Opened

VATICAN CITY (ZENIT) — The archbishop of Rouen, France, the Most Rev. Dominique Lebrun, confirmed the official opening of the Diocesan Cause of Beatification of Fr. Jacques Hamel, murdered by extremists while celebrating Mass in the church of St. Etienne du Rouvray, in Normandy. The archbishop made the announcement during the Chrism Mass over which…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Our Savior And Redeemer . . . Prophet And Priest

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 5 So, Christ is our King. Being the eternal Son of God, He is King by natural right. As our Redeemer, He is King by acquired right, for He purchased us with His own Blood: “You were bought with a price,” “ransomed . . . with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Cor. 6:20;…Continue Reading

The Fruits Of Holy Communion

By DON FIER “The love of Jesus Christ reaches its highest perfection and produces the richest harvest of graces,” proclaims St. Peter Julian Eymard, “in the ineffable union He contacts with the soul in Holy Communion.” So inestimable is the value of Holy Communion worthily received, the great saint of eucharistic piety goes on to affirm, that “we profit more…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I am a high school student who has been hearing from a teacher about how women like the late Betty Friedan did so much to free women from being “stay-at-home mothers” so they could fulfill themselves in the workplace. How true is this? — Z.M., Massachusetts. A. Not true at all. In his excellent new book Out of the…Continue Reading

Entering The Lord’s Sheepfold

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fourth Sunday Of Easter (YR A) Readings: Acts 2:14a, 36-41 1 Peter 2:20b-25 John 10:1-10 In the Gospel reading today, we hear Jesus explaining to His disciples about the sheep gate and that anyone who enters through this gate is with the shepherd while anyone who enters into the sheepfold through another means is a thief…Continue Reading

“O Crux, Ave Spes Unica”… The Cross, The Only Hope Of The World

By FR. RANIERO CANTALAMESSA, OFM Cap. (Editor’s Note: Here is the Good Friday 2017 homily delivered in St. Peter’s Basilica by Capuchin Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the Pontifical Household. ZENIT News Agency made this text available; all rights reserved.) + + + We have listened to the story of the Passion of Christ. Apparently nothing more than the account…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Peter Chanel

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are a number of small islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean, many of them predominantly Catholic. About 2,000 miles east of Australia is a tiny island nation for which one man paid the ultimate price for its conversion from paganism to Catholicism. St. Peter Chanel left his home in France to fulfill a lifelong desire to…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Conrad Of Parzham

By CAROLE BRESLIN St. Francis Mary of Camporosso, St. Veronica Giuliani, St. Joseph of Leonessa, St. Leopold of Mandic, and St. Seraphin of Montegranaro are just a few of the 115 Capuchin men and women who have been declared saints or blesseds by the Catholic Church. There are so many that Pope St. John Paul II remarked, “They say you…Continue Reading