Wednesday 18th July 2018

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

‘Tis The Season For “Bah, Humbug”

December 26, 2017 Frontpage No Comments


Well, it’s Christmas time again, it rolls around every year or so (I remember we had one last year) and every time it does it brings with it controversy and division. “Do you think that I have come to establish peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division” (Luke 12:51).
If you’ve been following the political wars over Christmas in recent years you know, the Lord was right about bringing division, even more so now that political correctness has taken root in the body politic.
The latest outrage involves a bus ad, or, more properly, a proposed ad designed by the Archdiocese of Washington, which was to have run on the sides and backs of buses of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Transit Authority. The ad depicted white silhouettes of a few shepherds and sheep standing on a hill against a black background. The caption read, “Find the Perfect Gift,” and was accompanied by the web address,, which contained links to Mass times, charitable service opportunities, and information about Christmas traditions and reflections on the Advent and Christmas seasons.
According to the archdiocese, “Bus advertising offers a unique and powerful format for the ‘Find the Perfect Gift’ campaign. Advertising on public buses offers high visibility with consistent daily views. Bus advertising offers a prominent way to reach both drivers and pedestrians on public sidewalks and thoroughfares throughout the metropolitan area. Moreover, public buses travel to many areas of the metropolitan region that are otherwise underserved and that other, more static advertising campaigns might miss.”
Donald Cardinal Wuerl and the D.C. Archdiocese had planned that the ad would run from the beginning of Advent through the Christmas season. The goal of the ad campaign was to encourage individuals to seek spiritual gifts during the Christmas season and to “offer members of the community public service opportunities to serve our most vulnerable neighbors in the winter months when many material needs increase and become more challenging,” said the archdiocese.
In fact, similar ads were purchased by the archdiocese through Clear Channel Outdoors which sells bus-shelter advertising, as it has for over 20 years through a contract with the District of Columbia.
But, as in all of these stories, the Christmas Grinch appeared in the form of the transit authority that refused to sell the bus advertising to the archdiocese. Why? Well, according to the transportation authority, the Perfect Gift ads were deemed “issue-oriented advertising,” which is not allowed on metro buses.
In May of 2015 the metro authority’s board adopted a temporary rule banning such advertising as well as all political advocacy and religious advertising. The following November, the board, fearing that issue-oriented ads might provoke community discord, discriminatory statements, and threats to safety by those opposed to the message contained in such ads, made the rule permanent. The board’s guidelines specifically banned any advertisements “that promote or oppose any religion, religious practice, or belief.”
So, apparently the transit board, concerned that ads encouraging service to “vulnerable neighbors” during the winter months might lead to violence, refused to sell to the archdiocese and took up the Ebenezer Scrooge banner.
Comes now Cardinal Wuerl with the archdiocese, filing suit in the D.C. district court asking that the court enjoin the transit authority from enforcing its rule against the ads.
The archdiocese claimed the rule violates its First Amendment freedom of speech in that the rule is a content — and viewpoint — based restriction on message; that it violates the Church’s free exercise of religion in that the prohibition restricting religious advertisements is not tailored to advance any compelling governmental interest; that it violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in that it “substantially” burdens its right to exercise its religious freedom to exercise its belief; that it violates the archdiocese’s right of equal protection in that there is no rational basis for the rule; and finally that it violates the right of due process by depriving the archdiocese of its liberty interest without due process.
The case was assigned to Federal District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, an Obama appointee who ruled in 2013 that Obamacare regulations required that the archdiocese must provide birth control and abortifacients for its employees. She is also currently assigned to hear Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s case against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates whom she has put under house arrest.
She scheduled a hearing on the archdiocese’s motion for a temporary injunction for December 5. By all accounts the hearing did not go well for the archdiocese. According to press reports, Judge Jackson peppered the archdiocesan attorney with questions as to why the transit authority’s rule limiting speech was unreasonable.
Michael Williams, the attorney representing the archdiocese, answered that the transit authority allowed Christmas-themed ads that were commercial in nature but not the Church’s religious view of the holiday. In fact, the petition for the injunction averred that a representative of the vendor that contracts with the transit board for ad sales, Jack Costello, had suggested that if the archdiocese would modify its ad, the transit authority might reconsider.
“Costello had mentioned that if the advertisement had a commercial purpose, such as selling goods or services, then the advertisement would be more likely to comply with [the board’s] guidelines,” the petition read, which led Ed McFadden, secretary of communications for the archdiocese, to say, “[I]f the ads are about packages, boxes or bags…if Christmas comes from a store…then it seems [the transit authority] approves.”
The transit attorneys argued that the restriction on advertising was lawful. The policy was adopted in response to concerns about safety. “[A] proposed ad featuring a cartoon depiction of the Prophet Mohammad raised concerns because of violent reaction to such depictions in the past,” it said in its reply. It also claimed that vandalism of some ads caused an administrative burden for the transit authority which went into the decision to prohibit religious ads.
“Here, [the transit board] has simply prohibited advertisements related to the subject of the religious half of Christmas, but not the secular half,” the Church’s petition said, adding that the transit board accepts advertisements promoting yoga and from the Salvation Army.
The judge said she expected to make a decision within the next few days, which she did: Shortly before The Wanderer went to press this week, the judge denied the archdiocese’s request that WMATA be required to post its ad promoting its annual “Find the Perfect Gift” initiative. The archdiocese has appealed that denial.
Now if that isn’t enough to get you into the Christmas spirit, consider this: You can now purchase a Hillary Clinton Christmas tree topper. Yes, the high priestess of secularism, dressed in a white pantsuit with wings protruding from her back can be yours to enjoy for only $140.
Sorry if that takes you out of the holiday mood. But maybe this will get you back into the Christmas spirit: She lost the election!
Merry Christmas (the guy who beat her said we can say that again). May our infant Savior and His family bless and protect you and your family.
Now, go out and make Christmas great again.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter Elects New Superior General

LINCOLN, Neb. — The general chapter of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, a society of apostolic life that celebrates the extraordinary form of the Roman rite, Monday elected Father Andrzej Komorowski as its next superior general. The July 9…Continue Reading

Catholic-heavy Supreme Court moves right as the church moves left

(RNS) — With his nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, President Trump has succeeded in doing for the judicial branch what he has often failed or neglected to do in his administration: acting efficiently…Continue Reading

Election of the Superior General . . . Society of Saint Pius X

Election of the Superior General On July 11, 2018, Father Davide Pagliarani was elected Superior General, for a mandate of 12 years, by the 4th General Chapter of the Society of Saint Pius X. The new Superior General is 47…Continue Reading

Paradoxes and indicators of Capella’s and McCarrick’s cases

These days we will find out whether Monsignor Carlo Alberto Capella, the former advisor to the Washington nunciature that the Vatican sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for possession and distribution of “large quantities” of child pornography, will present an appeal…Continue Reading

Diocese led by pro-gay bishop says it’s ‘up to each parish’ whether to promote homosexuality

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, July 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic church in the heart of Appalachia has attracted media attention for the Gay Pride Month banner stretched across its front lawn. The local ordinary, Bishop John Stowe, has a record of collaborating with a…Continue Reading

Al Gore: Pope Francis a ‘moral force’ for solving climate crisis

( Nobel Peace Prize Winner and former U.S. Vice President, Al Gore, is one of the world’s most vocal defenders of the environment. His 2007 documentary film, “An Inconvenient Truth”, won an Oscar and his Climate Reality Project recently hosted…Continue Reading

Catholic bishops heading to border to tackle family separation issues

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — A delegation of Catholic bishops from across the country are heading to the border on Monday. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will lead the delegation in its visit to the…Continue Reading

Catholic Church teaching on homosexuality ‘evil’, McAleese says

The Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality is “evil”, former president Mary McAleese has said. Speaking ahead of her inaugural participation in the Dublin Pride event on Saturday, where she will march with her son Justin and his husband, the former…Continue Reading

Senate Will Vote Before Elections on Replacing Pro-Abortion Justice Anthony Kennedy

The United States Senate will vote before the elections this November on a replacement for pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made that announcement today shortly after the surprising but welcome announcement that the longtime abortion…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke, Bishop Schneider respond to Pope Francis’ inflight intercommunion comments

ROME, June 27, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The reception of Holy Communion in the Catholic Church — even in exceptional cases — by a Protestant or other non-Catholic constitutes a “lie” that betrays the Apostolic tradition and the Church’s constant practice…Continue Reading

German Bishops Publish Intercommunion Handout with a Rhetorical Trick

Today, the German bishops have published their very controversial pastoral handout which allows Protestant spouses of Catholics, in certain cases, to receive Holy Communion. Since Pope Francis, on 21 June, objected to a national bishops’ conference publishing such an official text, the…Continue Reading

Vikings host ‘LGBTQ summit’ to promote ‘inclusion’ in sports

EAGAN, Minnesota, June 21, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Minnesota Vikings are hosting a conference and fundraiser today for “LGBTQ inclusion in sports,” the first of its kind in the National Football League (NFL). The event will include speeches, interviews, and…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 . . .

British pro-lifers say abortion clinic ‘buffer zones’ harm women and children

London, England, Jul 12, 2018 / 12:49 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- After a decision from the United Kingdom’s High Court, two women are attempting to overturn a ban on prayer and public discussion of abortion near a British abortion clinic. On July 2, the High Court of England and Wales upheld a “buffer zone” imposed by Ealing Council, west London, around a Marie Stopes abortion clinic. The zone prevents any pro-life gathering or speech, inc

Calligraphers face jail time for not promoting same-sex ‘weddings’

PHOENIX, Arizona, July 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Two Arizona calligraphy artists faced with fines and jail time for declining to take part in promoting gay “weddings” are asking the state’s Supreme Court to hear their challenge to the city of Phoenix’s law that compels them create artwork that violates their religious beliefs. Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush & Nib Studio, face up to six months in jail, $2,500 in fines, and three

Bishop Paprocki disagrees with US bishops’ support for unions that fund abortion, LGBT

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, July 11, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – Hailed by free speech and religious liberty advocates alike, the United States Supreme Court recently ruled that public sector employees can no longer be required to pay mandatory fees to support unions which promote causes and political activities – including abortion – to which they are opposed. The ruling has also exposed a significant rift among the nation’s Catholic bishops. Despite public sector unions’ unabashe

Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Brett Kavanaugh is Donald Trump’s choice to succeed the pro-abortion, pro-gay Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court, the president announced Monday night. Trump praised Kavanaugh’s committment to “equal justice under the law” and called him a “brilliant jurist with a clear and effective writing style.” He is “universally regarded as…one of the finest legal minds of our time.” Kavanaugh formerly clerked for Kennedy. “Justice Kennedy devoted his career to…Continue Reading

Prof fired by Catholic university for defending marriage has huge court win

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin, July 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The professor forced out by a Jesuit-run Catholic university for blogging about an undergrad student being assailed by his teacher for his having voiced defense of marriage has won in court. In a landmark decision Friday the Wisconsin Supreme Court said Marquette University violated John McAdams’ right to free speech when it suspended him for writing the blog post, and it ordered the University to restore McAdams immediately with his full rank,…Continue Reading


Federal District Court . . . Orders End To HHS Mandate For Ave Maria Law School

FORT MYERS, Fla. — A federal district court issued an order Wednesday, July 11 that permanently prevents the federal government from enforcing the HHS mandate against a Catholic law school in Florida represented by Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys. The order also declares that the mandate violates the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The Obama-era mandate…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic … Old And New Tyrannies Borne Of Lust

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

A Book Review… What Man Does Not Reverence, He Will Profane

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN Society and Sanity, by Frank Sheed (Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 2013), 261 pp. $17.95. Available from or at 1-800-651-1531. This new edition of Sheed’s 1953 classic work of apologetics brings to mind the famous myth of Procrustes’ bed. The wicked king captures his victims then tortures them if their legs do…Continue Reading

How Vice Can Absorb Virtue

By DONALD DeMARCO Just as the Devil is at war with God, so too, vices are at war with virtue. The Devil wants people to believe that God does not exist. He also wants people to believe that neither does virtue exist. He would like to demolish virtue. One way of achieving this is to…Continue Reading

Henan, China… New Limits Imposed On The Religious Freedom Of Catholics

BEIJING (AsiaNews) — The Chinese government is approving increasingly restrictive measures against Catholics in the central province of Henan. As Eglises d’Asie reports, five new rules have been imposed which include the requirement of religious working in the province to collect data and information on their faithful. A priest from the Diocese of Zhengzhou reports…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Leadership Studies?

By DEACON JAMES H. TONER (Editor’s Note: Deacon James H. Toner, Ph.D., is professor emeritus of Leadership and Ethics at the U.S. Air War College, and author of Morals Under the Gun and other books. He has also taught at Notre Dame, Norwich, Auburn, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and Holy Apostles College & Seminary. He serves in the Diocese…Continue Reading

Sheep Without A Shepherd

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Sixteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Jer. 23:1-6 Eph. 2:13-18 Mark 6:30-34 In the first reading today, God speaks a word of woe through the Prophet Jeremiah to the shepherds who mislead the Lord’s flock entrusted to their care. God says that these shepherds scattered the flock and drove them away and did not…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . In Death The Church Gives Everything

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Funerals, as many priests have learned, can often be pastorally challenging and problematic episodes. Grieving family members who are not dealing with death on a regular basis by practicing their faith are suddenly confronted with its reality upon the passing of a parent or other family member. Parents who have to bury a child sometimes…Continue Reading

Martin Luther… The Man And The Myth

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 2 (Editor’s Note: As this October marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Raymond de Souza is taking a break from his usual apologetics to correct the popular image of Luther.) + + + In the last article, I quoted from…Continue Reading

The Anatomy Of A Moral Act

By DON FIER Last week, as we considered the role that human freedom plays in the economy of salvation, it was immediately acknowledged that “man’s freedom is limited and fallible” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n. 1739). Free will, so wondrously bestowed upon man as an essential element of his great dignity of being created “in the image and…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Veronica Giuliani

By CAROLE BRESLIN In July, the month of the Precious Blood, the Catholic Church remembers saints by the name of Veronica. On July 12, the memorial of Veronica (meaning “true image”), the saint from the first century who presented her veil to wipe the face of Jesus, is celebrated. Three days before that, on July 9, St. Veronica Giuliani is…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord had a special love for the poor when He walked this earth. At one time He rebuked one of the apostles, saying, “The poor you will always have with you” (Matt. 26:11). Rather than avoiding the destitute or shun the homeless, Christians are called to love them as we love ourselves. At the beginning of…Continue Reading