Friday 17th August 2018

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

A Leaven In The World… Confusion, Straw Men Mar Papal Document

April 16, 2018 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

Pope Francis gets high marks in his latest apostolic exhortation on personal holiness, Gaudete et Exsultate (GE), for defending solid teaching on at least one embattled doctrinal truth: “Jesus wanted us to conclude by asking the Father to ‘deliver us from evil.’ That final word does not refer to evil in the abstract; a more exact translation would be ‘the evil one.’ It indicates a personal being who assails us” (GE, n. 160).
The Devil is real, he affirms, and he is the “evil one.” If we are to be holy we must steadfastly renounce him, his works, and his empty promises as affirmed at our Baptism.
There is also solid material here of a practical nature which helps the “middle class” of holiness, as Pope Francis here coins it, “The Saints Next Door,” to grow in sanctity. He writes:
“I like to contemplate the holiness present in the patience of God’s people: in those parents who raise their children with immense love, in those men and women who work hard to support their families, in the sick, in elderly religious who never lose their smile. In their daily perseverance I see the holiness of the Church militant. Very often it is a holiness found in our next-door neighbors, those who, living in our midst, reflect God’s presence. We might call them ‘the middle class of holiness’” (GE, n. 7).
A heartwarming and pastoral tone is evident here, that of a loving spiritual father who tends and cares for his children along the path of life’s journey to eternity. We certainly cannot have too much of this kind of encouragement in the often toxic environment in which we find ourselves.
In a bow to more traditional terminology for our daily battle to live faithfully, he uses the phrase “the Church militant.” This more combative characterization of Catholic life has come itself under attack in recent years, as a misguided emphasis on ecumenism and false irenicism has led some to dismiss the real warfare evident in the Martyrology. Many witnesses in our own day are shedding their blood for the faith. If this is not a real war that requires “soldiers” for the Lord, then what is?
Pope Francis also sounds once again Vatican II’s universal call to holiness: “We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves” (GE, n. 14).
There was, however, a discordant tone which provoked dissension among the faithful and contrasting reactions to the text in the media.
Francis X. Rocca’s April 9 headline in The Wall Street Journal showed the result of an equivocation: “Pope says fighting abortion and poverty are ‘equally sacred’ causes.” The pro-abortion crowd jumped on this and retweeted with abandon. Thus, an excuse to resurrect the “seamless garment” approach to life issues. The grave matter of murder which is abortion becomes thereby muted by admixture with something not proscribed by divine law: the advocacy for immigration, for example, including the illegal variety.
The first problem presented by this is that the Church does not require her faithful to break the law. Certainly not as a requirement for holiness.
And therein lies the rub. Why does Pope Francis say this? We know that the Christian work of welcoming the stranger has its undoubted place and remains a high priority for the Pope. But not in all cases and not without discernment. The Church must cooperate with the civil authorities and there is an overlap in this area between the two.
It is right that the Pope teaches that the lives of the poor are equally as sacred as those of unborn children. It’s true. But some carefully chosen filler words can result in confusing apples and oranges.
Purely prudential issues like immigration, about which we can legitimately differ in the Church, remain fundamentally different from life and death issues like abortion. I’m not sure that using an apostolic exhortation, especially one on holiness, is the right context for floating papal prudential preferences.
Personal holiness, the stated purpose of the exhortation, does not depend upon agreeing with the Pope on prudential matters. The Pope’s personal holiness does depend, however, on preaching consistently and with clarity the moral teachings of Christ. These cannot be set aside for anyone.
Abortion is one of the moral issues covered by the divine command “Thou shalt not kill.” Insisting or implying that those who are pro-life but who may disagree with him on immigration issues are wrong is out of bounds. Or should be. The papal scolding of those who disagree with him on merely prudential matters continues to set a disappointing and unworthy tone that we never saw in John Paul II or Benedict XVI.
The list of the intrinsic goods that are bartered away keeps growing. The constant barrage of confusing messages that hint at equality between merely prudential matters and moral teachings which proscribe intrinsic evil is becoming a drumbeat of this papacy.
Some keep asking: Who are these pro-life people who do not also support those “already born,” to whom the Pope periodically refers? The charge of using “straw men” surfaced, for some with satire, as in a meme tweeted @BruvverEccles: “As a scarecrow I am very upset that Pope Francis is attacking straw men in his latest Apostolic Exhortation,” accompanied by a photo of the scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz.
“Our defense of the innocent unborn, for example, needs to be clear, firm, and passionate, for at stake is the dignity of a human life, which is always sacred and demands love for each person, regardless of his or her stage of development. Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery, and every form of rejection” (GE, n. 101).
And @bokofittleworth on Twitter reacted to this paragraph: “It’s the mention of the ‘already born’ that’s offensive here. It repeats a grave calumny hurled at heroic pro-lifers by defensive baby killers. Shame on @Pontifex.”
Then there was n. 115, wherein the Pope trains his sights on unwanted voices raised on social networks like those I have quoted here from Twitter. Perhaps more on that some other time.
For many years, some of us sought from our Popes what was never theirs to give. We must obey the Pope in matters of faith and morals, as from our “sweet Christ on Earth,” as St. Catherine affectionately and loyally called Peter’s Successor. But this does not amount to replacing with the human what only the divine Lord can do.
This is a bad time for papolatry because, for the first time in living memory, to side reflexively with the Vicar of the Church in all things can conflict with basic teachings. I recommend you read the exhortation but with constant reference to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Priests: Why we’re urging Cardinals to challenge Pope Francis on death penalty

ROME, August 15, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Over 75 clergy, lay scholars and prominent intellectuals today took the unprecedented step of issuing an open appeal to the Cardinals of the Catholic Church, to urge Pope Francis to “withdraw” his new teaching on…Continue Reading

Rector Placed On Leave Amid Allegations Of Sexual Misconduct Against Boston Catholic Seminary

Following allegations of a culture of sexual misconduct and alcohol abuse at a Boston-based Catholic seminary owned by the Archdiocese of Boston, the head priest is being placed on sabbatical. Rector James P. Moroney has been placed on immediate leave pending…Continue Reading

Pennsylvania clergy sex abuse report still not released

A last-minute round of legal manoeuvring to keep some names from appearing in a grand jury report detailing a months-long investigation of clergy sex abuse claims in Pennsylvania may have kept the document from being made public on Wednesday –…Continue Reading

Vatican archbishop: Critics of Pope Francis are not faithful to Tradition

VATICAN CITY, August 7, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Those who criticize the teaching of Pope Francis on the basis of former magisterial documents are not faithful to the tradition of the Catholic Church, a high-ranking Vatican official has said. In an interview with Vatican…Continue Reading

PRO-LIFE ACTRESS SLAMS BISHOPS’ INACTION ON PRIEST SEX ABUSE CRISIS

DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) – A pro-life Hollywood actress is slamming the U.S. bishops for their failure to prevent priest sex abuse. Actress Patricia Heaton is openly pro-life and a Catholic revert. On Twitter on Aug. 2, she responded to Cdl. Daniel DiNardo’s…Continue Reading

Conservatives skeptical of Twitter’s latest shadow-banning denial

July 27, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Twitter has released an official response to the latest round of shadow-banning allegations, but the statement has failed to impress conservative, Christian, and pro-life voices affected by the practice. On Thursday, LifeSiteNews covered a Vice News report accusing the social…Continue Reading

Pope Francis’ top ‘reform’ cardinal slams seminarians for exposing homosexuality inside seminary

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, July 26, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – One of the Vatican’s most influential cardinals, already suspected of looking the other way while gay relationships were conducted in his personal residence, has now admonished fifty seminarians for speaking out against their seminary’s…Continue Reading

Veteran Catholic Journalist: All Bishops Involved in Sex Abuse Scandal Must Resign

Christopher Manion, a veteran journalist and political analyst, makes the striking call that all U.S. bishops should resign who knew about the ongoing abuse crisis within the U.S. hierarchy for years and yet did not intervene. He also now reveals…Continue Reading

Catholic Relief Services is a major funder of contraception lobbyists

NOTE: The following information was provided to Catholic Relief Services in person in April, 2018.  After three months of discussion on the matter, the Lepanto Institute was told that while Lepanto is convinced that CRS should withdraw from InterAction, CRS…Continue Reading

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

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

Cburke3

  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

Catechism

Today . . .

Cardinal Burke Addresses the Clergy Scandal

Cburke13

Thomas McKenna: Your Eminence, a new wave of clergy sexual abuse has surfaced and is indicating a widespread practice of homosexuality among clergy in dioceses and seminaries across the country. What would you say is the root cause of this corruption?   Cardinal Raymond Burke: It was clear after the studies following the 2002 sexual abuse crisis that most of the acts of abuse were in fact homosexual acts committed with adolescent young men. There…Continue Reading

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley will not attend the World Meeting of Families

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, OFM Cap, Archbishop of Boston and Chair of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Children, unfortunately will not be able to participate in the World Meeting of Families to be held in Dublin, Ireland from August 21-26. Though previously scheduled to moderate a panel presentation and discussion at the World Meeting of Families, important matters pertaining to the pastoral care of St. John’s Seminary in the Archdiocese of Boston and…Continue Reading

Cardinal Wuerl named in Pennsylvania grand jury report, responds to criticism

Washington D.C., Aug 14, 2018 / 02:30 pm (CNA).- Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C., and the former Bishop of Pittsburgh, has been named more than 200 times in a Pennsylvania grand jury report, released Aug. 14, after an 18-month investigation into historic allegations of sexual abuse in six Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses. The cardinal released a statement in response to the report, underscoring the gravity of the sexual abuse for the Church and the…Continue Reading

Vatican advisor: Pope ‘breaks Catholic traditions whenever he wants’

Fr Thomas Rosica said the Church is now ‘ruled by an individual rather than by… its own dictates of tradition plus Scripture’ Under Pope Francis, the Church is now “openly ruled by an individual rather than by the authority of Scripture alone or even its own dictates of tradition plus Scripture,” a Vatican advisor has said. Fr Thomas Rosica wrote that Pope Francis “breaks Catholic traditions whenever he wants” because he is

A Priest Responds to the Catholic Church’s ‘Summer of Shame’

The ongoing scandals are the bitter fruit of a corrupt clerical culture, marked by a widespread failure to accept traditional teaching on sexual morality. A few weeks before I was ordained a Catholic priest in the late autumn of 1994, my superior in the seminary told me that, in his opinion, it was probably the most difficult time in a century to become a priest. Yet, he went on, it was also the most exciting time.…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

KCs Pledge Support For Persecuted Christians

By COURTNEY GROGAN BALTIMORE (CNA) — Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson pledged the fraternal organization’s continued efforts to aid and rebuild persecuted Christian communities in the Middle East, during his August 7 address at the 2018 Knights of Columbus convention in Baltimore. Anderson also unveiled a new pilgrim icon, Our Lady Help of…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Finding A Map For Matters Of Life And Death

By DONALD DEMARCO Matters of Life & Death: A Catholic Guide to the Moral Questions of Our Time, by Gerard M. Verschuuren (Angelico Press, Brooklyn, NY, 2018, 201 pp.). Available in paperback at amazon.com for $16.95. The state of perplexity and the need for guidance has long been characteristic of human beings. Rabbi Moses Maimonides…Continue Reading

Book Review… A Classic Critique Of Postconciliar Modernism

By JAMES MONTI Dietrich von Hildebrand, The Charitable Anathema, new 2017 foreword by Raymond Cardinal Burke. $22.95; Roman Catholic Books, P.O. Box 1209, Ridgefield, CT 06877; BooksForCatholics.com. In his address at the July 21, 2018 “Humanae Vitae at 50” conference brilliantly organized by Fr. Sean Connolly at Immaculate Conception Church in Tuckahoe, N.Y., which I…Continue Reading

Are Globalists Plotting A Counter-Revolution?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN On meeting with the EU’s Jean-Claude Juncker last month, Donald Trump tweeted: “Both the U.S. and the EU drop all Tariffs, Barriers and Subsidies! That would finally be Free Market and Fair Trade.” Did Larry Kudlow somehow get access to Trump’s phone? We know not. But, on hearing this, Steve Forbes,…Continue Reading

How Not To Resolve A Discrepancy

By DONALD DeMARCO Procrustes, according to the Greek legend, was a robber who carried with him an iron bed on which he compelled his victims to lie. If the victim was shorter than the bed, he stretched him until he fit the bed. If the victim was longer than the bed, he cut of a…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Amid Church Scandals… Fix Your Hearts On Christ

By FR. JOHN DE CELLES (Editor’s Note: LifeSiteNews on August 6 featured the following homily by Fr. John De Celles of St. Raymond of Penafort Church, Springfield, Va., the Diocese of Arlington. (Father reminded his flock: “We follow Jesus Christ, ‘the God of Jacob,’ and we follow the Holy Catholic Church which He founded.” (In May 2005, Fr. De Celles…Continue Reading

The Eucharist Is Jesus Himself

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twentieth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Prov. 9:1-6 Eph. 5:15-20 John 6:51-58 In the Gospel reading today our Lord makes several statements that we either have to believe are true or we have to run as far and as quickly from Him as we can. People who want to call themselves Christian while ignoring…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Teaching Failures At Root Of Sexual Immorality

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. “But you have turned aside from the way; you have caused many to stumble by your instruction; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the Lord of…Continue Reading

Martin Luther… The Man And The Myth

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 6 (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.) + + + Gerhard Cardinal Muller, the former prefect of…Continue Reading

The Judgment Of Conscience

By DON FIER When the average person hears the word “passion” spoken in the hyper-sensualized culture in which we live, the first thought likely to come to mind is sexual desire, and perhaps with a disordered association. However, as we saw last week, in the parlance of moral theology the term has a more basic, neutral meaning. As defined in…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Clare Of Montefalco

By CAROLE BRESLIN In central Italy about one hundred miles north of Rome, lies the peaceful town looking down on the Clitunno River named Montefalco. It attracts tourists with its wildlife, wineries, and vineyards, and stunning churches. One of the most beautiful churches with its vaulted, painted ceilings, marble pillars, and inspiring altars is the Basilica of St. Clare of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Lawrence

By CAROLE BRESLIN Valencia, claim its inhabitants, is the premier city in all of Spain. Located along Spain’s eastern Mediterranean coastline, it boasts stunning beaches, ancient history, and magnificent churches. Perhaps the most famous is the Valencian Cathedral, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption, which holds a chalice which has been defended as the relic of the true…Continue Reading