Sunday 24th June 2018

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

A Leaven In The World… “In Meam Commemorationem”

September 4, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments


Visiting us at our little parish in southern Maryland for nearly two months is Fr. Michael, a Catholic priest from the Diocese of Onitsha in Nigeria. He is with our parish family to learn how to offer the Traditional Latin Mass and how to plant the sacred liturgy among the priests and people when he returns to his home country.
Fr. Michael tells an interesting story of his conversion. He was raised as an Anglican and, as an adult, suffered the rejection of his family as a result of converting to the Catholic faith. This is the example of someone who would never want to “go back.” Fr. Mike went forward to the faith in order to be in communion with Christ: the Way, the Truth and the Life. His choice to embrace the faith meant that he crossed a divide which is now forever closed to him. To go back in his case would be to cross a Rubicon of betrayal of all that he holds most dear.
When any Catholic in reference to matters of the true faith, however, says that he is “never going back,” he betrays a dangerous misunderstanding of the faith itself. Recently a Catholic academic did precisely this when she posted her reaction on Facebook to a pronouncement by Pope Francis.
As you may recall, the Holy Father recently stated that the reform of the sacred liturgy put into motion as a result of Vatican II is “irreversible.” In response, the practicing Catholic professor posted the comment:
“Yes. Thank God! Even without this pronouncement there is no going back!”
Her response betrays a serious misunderstanding of the process and purpose of reform and of the purpose of the liturgy itself. She also violates a basic principle enunciated by Pope Benedict XVI in Summorum Pontificum when he said, “What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too.”
When a lifelong Catholic exults with the cry “no going back,” he betrays the very faith which he claims for himself. Does such a person include Jesus and the apostles among the class of things he will never revisit in memory or understanding? We always go forward to the Resurrection and the life in Jesus Christ; however, we can never do it without first “going back.”
The history of sacred tradition is the history of all those things necessary for our salvation coming from Christ through the apostles. Among these things coming from the past toward which we look back in memory, with gratitude and for understanding, is the most Sacred One who is handed down: Jesus Himself in the Mass which is handed on through the Church.
But these are not the most important reasons for always looking back in memory and love. Jesus Christ in the act of instituting the Sacred Liturgy of the Holy Mass Himself commanded, “Do this in memory of me.” The reason why we look back in memory every time we celebrate the Holy Mass is Christ Himself. If we do not look back, we disobey God. We cannot celebrate the most sacred gift of the liturgy which brings us God in the Eucharist without looking back in time through the gift of memory.
The sacred liturgy is precisely a “going back” because it is, par excellence, the memorial of the Lord’s Passion, death, and Resurrection.
Pope Francis’ comments were completely misinterpreted by the Catholic academic who thanked God that she doesn’t have to look back. I would warn her that she will never be able to move forward to a future through, with, and in Christ who is the Resurrection and the Life, if she doesn’t first look back in order to recall His Passion and death. Just as there is no meal without sacrifice, there would be no resurrection for all human flesh were it not for the suffering and death of the Incarnate God at a particular place and time, 2,000 years ago.
The Holy Father stated a verity that is always relevant for the Church. He offered the context for his comments by reminding us that the Church is always being reformed, semper reformanda. This is true, however, not because of God but because of us. The members of the Body of Christ, prone to sin as we are, must always be purified of the effects of sin. Our motives and intentions must always be illumined and raised up by grace to be used for the purposes of God in saving our souls.
Pope Francis’ comments that the reforms of the liturgy are “irreversible” have also been misinterpreted. Many people have been scandalized into believing that the innovations of a Protestant flavor which have wormed their way into the celebration of Holy Mass in many places are from the Vatican Council itself. The only elements mandated by the fathers, however, are those which preserve the tradition. Mass offered with the Canon prayed in Latin, celebrated ad orientem, and with Latin Gregorian chant sung responses is in fact what we should have in mind when we think of Vatican II’s “irreversible” reforms.
Our repentance for sin which welcomes God’s mercy is the most intimate kind of reform necessary for all people who would seek to put their hopes in Christ and their future in His hands. We will always suffer the ill-conceived comments of those who believe they have perfect understanding. These serve as perhaps unwitting proof of the need for the purification of the Church through constant reform.
Let us pray that we may always shun the irrationality of emotions unguided by intellect and will in obedience to truth. One who is puffed up with sinful pride betrays a lack of docility that nearly guarantees the Lord’s work will be blocked for the redemption of that soul.
A Catholic can never go forward without at the same time always going back: returning to Christ through the fullness of sacred Tradition. To be in Christ is to always go forward by going back.
Jesus Christ commanded in the act of instituting the sacred liturgy, “Do this in memory of me.” Memory always requires a “going back” in time to the events remembered. Salvation history is the story of the Chosen People which they recalled in their celebrations precisely to remember and celebrate how God is active among them.
We do the same every time we celebrate the sacred Liturgy. Now our remembering is the perfect remembrance because it accomplishes what it signifies. Christ remembered becomes Christ truly present through the actions of the priest in persona Christi.
Fr. Michael may be seeking a sign of hope within our Catholic community for better inoculating the people of Nigeria against the heretical infection of Pentecostalism. But we also look to him as a sign of hope for a Church always being reformed throughout the world.
We are always in need of purification through Christ, who is recalled in the liturgy and who becomes truly present, the Risen One who is the way to future glory, realized by a share in His Resurrection.
Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

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

Catholic bishops are quick to attack Trump but slow to advise their voters

(RNS) — President Trump had no sooner returned home from his historic photo op with Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Singapore when he faced condemnation from a host of religious leaders, from Southern Baptists to African Methodists to Catholics,…Continue Reading

Bishop: Deny Communion to Border Agents. It’s a ‘Life Issue.’

Is enforcing U.S. immigration law a moral evil that demands excommunication? Or would a new proposal politicize the Eucharist, strengthen organized crime, and hurt even more migrant children? Roman Catholics must face these questions after Bishop Edward Weisburger of Tucson suggested “canonical…Continue Reading

Argentina steps closer to legalising abortion

Catholic Argentina’s lower house has backed a bill legalising abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. After a divisive debate lasting more than 22 hours, 129 members of the Chamber of Deputies voted in favour and 125 against while…Continue Reading

Pope Francis rejects German proposal for inter-communion

Vatican City, Jun 4, 2018 / 06:37 am (CNA/EWTN News).- One month after Vatican and German delegates met in Rome to discuss a proposal put forward by German bishops to allow Protestant spouses in inter-denominational marriages to receive the Eucharist…Continue Reading

St. Paul archdiocese settlement is largest-ever in Catholic bankruptcy case

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has agreed to a $210 million settlement with 450 victims of clergy sexual abuse as part of its plan for bankruptcy reorganization, making it the second-largest U.S. payout…Continue Reading

Church’s teaching on male-only priesthood is ‘infallible’: Vatican doctrine chief

ROME, May 29, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The head of the Vatican office overseeing Church doctrine has insisted that the Church’s teaching on the male-only priesthood is “infallible,” and has offered a veiled rebuke of a prominent Cardinal who recently claimed the…Continue Reading

The revolt against Humanae Vitae continues to haunt us today

ROME, May 25, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — As in 2017, 2018 is also a year that is rich with important and significant anniversaries which we need to remember, because the roots of the present are found in the past. The best known…Continue Reading

Cardinal: Communion cannot be shared with non-Catholics like beer or cake

BUCKFASTLEIGH, England, May 25, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Protestants who want to receive Holy Communion should become Catholics, Cardinal Francis Arinze said this week, and added that “it is rather serious” to presume marriage can be dissolved for the purpose of…Continue Reading

Speaker Ryan Proposes a Return to Catholic Social Doctrine at Prayer Breakfast

Washington, D.C. – House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast Thursday about how he believed the answer to many of the political problems society faces today, including “moral relativism” and “tribalism,” can be found in Catholic…Continue Reading

Judge rules ‘transgender’ high-schooler should have been allowed opposite-sex bathroom

NEWPORT NEWS, Virginia, May 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A judge has ruled that a Virginia high school should have allowed a gender-confused former student to use the restrooms designated for the opposite sex. Gavin Grimm is a female Gloucester High School…Continue Reading

One of the most ‘liberal abortion regimes’ if vote passes

Ireland will have one of the most liberal abortion regimes in Europe if Friday’s referendum is passed, the No campaign warned during its final press conference on Wednesday. With the broadcasting ban set to come into force on the eve of the…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 . . .

Fr. James Martin praises Catholic parish booklet affirming active gays

NEW YORK CITY, June 22, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Fr. James Martin, SJ, cheered his own parish’s publication of a booklet that seeks to further normalize gay sexual activity within the Catholic Church. The “LGBT Catholics and Friends Ministry” at New York City’s St. Ignatius Loyola Church issued “Being LGBT And Catholic,” a slick 32-page collection of brief testimonials about how sexually active g

Cardinal Burke responds to Francis: We hand-delivered dubia letter to Pope’s residence

ROME, June 21, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Speaking with Reuters in an interview which appeared yesterday, Pope Francis criticized Cardinal Raymond Burke and three other cardinals who joined him in begging the Pope for clarification on key issues of faith. The cardinals used the long-standing ecclesial practice of issuing dubia, or questions to the Pope. There were five such questions altogether. But, according to Reuters the Pope said that “he had heard about the cardinals’ letter criticizing him…Continue Reading

GOOD NEWS . . .Fr. Phillips Exonerated

We have confirmation that after several weeks the Congregation of the Resurrection has indeed concluded its hearings and investigation of the accusations directed against Father Phillips. An independent Review Board of three public-spirited leaders from the Chicago area, who are not members of St. John Cantius Church, was constituted. Thereafter, the Review Board interviewed the detractors and several witnesses, persons who personally know the accusers, and other individuals who

Cardinal Brandmüller Questions Francis’ Claim Not to Have Received the Dubia Before Publication

Today, on 20 June, Reuters published a new interview with Pope Francis. Although the interview is making headlines because of the Pope’s criticism of President Donald Trump’s immigration policy, it also contains another controversial assertion: the pope surprisingly now claims that he only heard about the Dubia (concerning his document Amoris Laetitia) “from the newspapers” — a claim that Dubia cardinal Walter Brandmüller has now questioned in comments to OnePeterFive. From the text of the interview: The pope also commented on internal criticism of his…Continue Reading

US Cardinal removed after ‘credible’ allegation he abused a minor

NEW YORK, June 20, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A high-profile liberal U.S. cardinal has been removed from public ministry for credible and substantiated allegations of abuse of a minor. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a former priest of the Archdiocese of New York and cardinal emeritus of Washington D.C., “is no longer to exercise publicly his priestly ministry,” says a news release from New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan. “The review board found the allegations credible and substantiated,” Dolan’s statement said. “The Vatican…Continue Reading


Memory Lapses At The FBI

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of Creators Syndicate distributed this column.) + + + The report on the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal that the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Justice released the past week makes one thing clear:…Continue Reading

But What Happened To The News Coverage? . . . Pope Says Homosexual Couples Are Not A Family

By BILL DONOHUE (Editor’s Note: Catholic League President Bill Donohue on June 18 commented on remarks by Pope Francis that have been censored by the media.) + + + Pope Francis says gay couples cannot be considered a family. The media know he said this but, with few exceptions, they refused to run this story.…Continue Reading

Holy Bashfulness Vs. Shame By ALICE von HILDEBRAND

My dear young friend, Years ago, Cardinal O’Boyle was discussing some sexual matters with a group of men; all of a sudden the cardinal noticed that a young girl had joined the group, and interrupting his talk, he said to her: “Please excuse me.” But he was immediately rudely rebuked by one of the men…Continue Reading

On The Role Of Beauty In The Spiritual Life

By JAMES MONTI In recent years, thanks largely to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the role of beauty in the sacred liturgy — and the appalling chasm created by its absence — has been a topic of frequent discussion among those concerned with a restoration of the sacred in divine worship — the beauty of the…Continue Reading

Civil Court… Rules Fulton Sheen’s Remains Can Go To Peoria

NEW YORK (CNA/EWTN News) — The Superior Court of New York ruled June 8 in favor of Joan Sheen Cunningham, who had petitioned to move the body of her uncle, Venerable Fulton Sheen, to the Cathedral of St. Mary in Peoria. The body of the late archbishop is currently in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ… More On Confession

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 34 I do not know who said that “Repetition is the Mother of Learning” or “Repetition is the Father of Learning,” or even that “Repetition is the Key of Learning.” The fact is that repetition is most important to anyone who wants to learn something in such a way that will become part and…Continue Reading

Freedom And Truth

By DON FIER A preeminent truth that no man can deny is the universal desire for happiness — it is a goal that is common to all. This innate desire was identified and written of more than three centuries before Christ by the Greek philosopher Aristotle in his classic work entitled Nicomachean Ethics. At the same time, the pagan philosopher…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. Following up on a recent question about a divorced and remarried non-Catholic adult who converts to the Catholic Church, you said that the conversion would not change the status of the person, that he would still be married to his previous spouse and could not marry again without a decree of nullity or the death of the first spouse.…Continue Reading

None Dare Call It Treason

By DEACON JAMES 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 of…Continue Reading

The Glorious St. John The Baptist

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Solemnity Of The Nativity Of St. John The Baptist (YR B) Readings Isaiah 49:1-6 Acts 13:22-26 Luke 1:57-66, 80 Today we celebrate the birth of a man who is important to us in a variety of ways. St. John the Baptist is, according to our Lord’s own words, the greatest man born of woman. For this…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph Cafasso

By CAROLE BRESLIN Truman Capote wrote: “Love is a chain of love as nature is a chain of life.” More important, grace is a chain of grace with one grace leading to another. And holiness a chain of holiness as God pours His love through one person to another, as the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mediatrix of all graces, pours…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph The Hymnographer

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the late sixth and early seventh century, the glories of Gregorian chant began to develop in Rome. Then, in the thirteenth century, St. Thomas Aquinas wrote beautiful hymns to celebrate Corpus Christi and to honor the Real Presence. In the Eastern Church, around Constantinople, they also sang hymns, but it was not until the late ninth…Continue Reading