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February 17, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Editor’s Note: Following up on a recent reply about the failure of Jesuit colleges and universities to uphold Catholic morality, the Cardinal Newman Society has reported that most members of Congress who graduated from Catholic institutions have pro-abortion voting records. Of the 56 Jesuit college alumni who hold seats in the new Congress, said Matt Archbold of the Cardinal Newman Society, only two senators and 12 representatives have pro-life voting records.
The two pro-life senators are John Barrasso (R., Wyo.) and Dan Sullivan (R., Alaska).
The dozen pro-life congressmen, all Republicans, are Vern Buchanan (Fla.), Barbara Comstock (Va.), Dan Donovan (N.Y.), John Faso (N.Y.), Jeff Fortenberry (Neb.), Mike Gallagher (Wis.), Paul Gosar (Ariz.), Trey Hollingsworth (Ind.), Frank LoBiondo (N.J.), Mick Mulvaney (S.C.), Timothy Murphy (Pa.), and Francis Rooney (Fla.).
“Those who defend and promote the abhorrent evil of abortion are not deserving of praise for ‘leadership’ nor of ‘service to others’,” said Archbold.
“One would think that the rejection of fundamental Catholic teachings on the dignity of life by alumni might cause Jesuits to reconsider how they’re educating their students.”
Unfortunately, he might have added, many alumni of Jesuit institutions are voting and living in exactly the way that their education pointed them.

Q. The Psalm response at Mass this morning said, “You are a priest forever, in the line of Melchizedek,” but in his homily the priest said that there is no line of Melchizedek. Why then would the response contain those words? — T.H., Massachusetts.
A. Here is why. First of all, Melchizedek was the king of Salem (later Jerusalem) and is mentioned briefly in the Book of Genesis. After Abraham had returned from defeating four kings, it says that “Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine, and being a priest of God Most High, he blessed Abram with these words: ‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High,/ the creator of heaven and earth;/ And blessed be God Most High,/ who delivered your foes into your hand.’ Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything” (Gen. 14:18-20).
Second, he is also mentioned in the Letter to the Hebrews (7:1-3, 15-17):
“Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of God Most High, met Abraham as he returned from his defeat of the kings and blessed him. And Abraham apportioned to him a tenth of everything. His name first means righteous king, and he was also ‘king of Salem,’ that is, king of peace. Without father, mother, or ancestry, without beginning of days or end of life, thus made to resemble the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.
“It is even more obvious if another priest is raised up after the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become so, not by a law expressed in a commandment concerning physical descent but the power of a life that cannot be destroyed. For it is testified: You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
Third, in his Dictionary of the Bible, Fr. John L. McKenzie, SJ, said that “the explanation of the Melchizedek-Christ relationship in Hebrews 7 is somewhat involved. Christ is like Melchizedek in having no human father, for no genealogy is given of Melchizedek. (Hebrews certainly did not intend to imply that Melchizedek was unbegotten, but seizes upon this external similarity as a point of illustration.) Therefore Christ, unlike priests of the line of Aaron, is priest by divine appointment and not by descent. But Abraham, the carnal ancestor of Aaron, recognized the priesthood of Melchizedek by giving him tithes and receiving his blessing; therefore the priesthood descended from Abraham had to await the greater priesthood which its ancestor had recognized. This priesthood is that of Christ” (p. 563).

Q. In a recent Wanderer article (November 24, 2016), Raymond Cardinal Burke is quoted as saying that if there is a conflict between Church Tradition and the Pope that the Tradition is binding. If the Pope is infallible, how can he be wrong in a matter of faith and morals? — E.G., Florida.
A. In the article, Cardinal Burke said that “ecclesial authority exists only in service of the Tradition. I think of that passage of St. Paul in [the Letter to the] Galatians (1:8), that if ‘even an angel should preach to you any Gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema’.” He said that in those rare cases where Popes have taught heresy, “it is the duty…and historically it has happened, of cardinals and bishops to make clear that the Pope is teaching error and ask him to correct it.”
Burke is one of four cardinals who have asked Pope Francis to clarify remarks in Amoris Laetitia that are being interpreted as allowing couples living in adultery to receive Holy Communion. “For us to remain silent about these fundamental doubts, which have arisen as a result of the text of Amoris Laetitia,” he said, “would, on our part, be a grave lack of charity toward the Pope and a grave lack in fulfilling the duties of our own office in the Church.”
To answer your question, the word “Tradition” (capital T) means the transmission of the teachings of Christ and the apostles, whether expressed in writing or orally, through customs or liturgy, that have been passed down by the Church over the centuries. It is one leg of a three-legged stool — the other two are the Bible and the Magisterium or teaching office of the Church — upon which Catholics rely for the truth. These three elements, said Vatican II, “are so linked and joined together that one cannot stand without the others, and that all together and each in its own way under the action of the one Holy Spirit contribute effectively to the salvation of souls” (Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, n. 10).
Yes, the Pope is infallible when speaking authoritatively about a matter of faith or morals. But Pope Francis was not speaking infallibly in Amoris Laetitia, that is to say, he was not proclaiming a teaching that is binding on all Catholics for all time. He was instead using rather ambiguous language that has led some bishops to defend the long-held teaching of the Church that bars those in adulterous unions from receiving the Eucharist, and other bishops, such as those in Malta, to declare that divorced and remarried Catholics “cannot be precluded from participating in…the Eucharist.”
“This ability of Amoris simultaneously to sustain orthodox, noncommittal, and heterodox interpretations in matters of gravest ecclesiastical import,” said canon lawyer Dr. Edward Peters, “is exactly why the Four Cardinals’ dubia [questions] so urgently needed answering — if not by Francis himself (and no one can force Francis’ hand) — then at least by Francis’ right-hand man in matters of faith and morals, Cardinal Mueller of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to whom the dubia was also (few seemed to have noticed) addressed.”
Peters said that the stakes were raised dramatically when L’Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper, published the letter of the Maltese bishops, and he expressed the hope that Pope Francis will distance himself from the Maltese bishops, and that the bishops themselves will “repent of their failure to ‘exercise vigilance so that abuses do not creep into ecclesiastical discipline especially regarding…the celebration of the sacraments’ (canon 392 §2).”
On February 1, Gerhard Cardinal Mueller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, criticized those bishops who use Amoris Laetitia to “justify situations against the will of God. Adultery is always a mortal sin and the bishops who create confusion about this must study the doctrine of the Church. We have to help the sinner overcome sin and convert.”
In an interview on an Italian TV channel, Cardinal Mueller, who had previously criticized the four cardinals who had asked Pope Francis for clarity on the issue, said that “it is impossible for there to be a contradiction of doctrine and personal conscience. For example, it cannot be said that there are circumstances according to which an act of adultery does not constitute a mortal sin. For Catholic doctrine it is impossible for mortal sin to coexist with sanctifying grace. In order to overcome this absurd contradiction, Christ has instituted for the faithful the Sacrament of Penance and reconciliation with God and with the Church.”
Mueller told those “who are talking too much…to study first the doctrine on the papacy and the episcopate of the two Vatican Councils.” He said that “the bishop, as teacher of the Word, must himself be the first to be well-formed so as not to fall into the risk of the blind leading the blind. The Church can never justify a situation which is not in accordance with the will of God.”

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Raymond Desouza . . . Shield of Faith PART 4

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Chaput: Everyone who’s a legal citizen should come pray for immigrants

Philadelphia, Pa., Mar 18, 2017 / 05:32 am (CNA).- As fears of deportation threaten to keep many immigrants home from a prayer service on Sunday, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia is calling on citizens and legal residents to attend the…Continue Reading

Rabbi says Pope’s homilies could threaten Catholic-Jewish relations

March 13, 2017 An Italian rabbi has raised a protest against the topic of a conference to be held by the Italian Bibilical Association: “Israel, people of a jealous God. Consistencies and ambiguities of an elitist religion.” Rabbi Giuseppe Laras…Continue Reading

This man drives for Uber to spread the pro-life message

TROY, Ohio, March 10, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – As an abortion abolitionist, Bryan Kemper wears many different hats – including sharing the pro-life message while driving for Uber. “I am in an area where I drive a lot of college students…Continue Reading

The secret obsession that will destroy modern feminism

March 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – What does it mean to be a woman? Planned Parenthood and the modern-day feminist movement are profoundly confused about this. Today is International Women’s Day. Planned Parenthood and its allies would have people believe that…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood refuses Trump offer to give up abortions and keep funding

March 7, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Planned Parenthood has declined an offer from President Trump to keep – and possibly increase – its federal funding in exchange for ceasing to commit abortions. The proposal was an “impossibility” for Planned Parenthood officials,…Continue Reading

Pope’s Address to Roman Clergy (Part I)

The Holy Father’s Meditation The Progress of Faith in the Life of a Priest “Lord, increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5). This question arose spontaneously in the disciples when the Lord was speaking to them of mercy and said that we…Continue Reading

Southern MN Catholic diocese files bankruptcy over abuse claims

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Trump hit with ultimatum on global ‘atrocity’

An organization representing the sentiments of more than a quarter-million Americans is asking the nation’s new U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, to urge the global body to launch a campaign to protect Christians and other Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2017/03/trump-insider-hit-with-plea-to-stop-genocide-of-christians/#5TeczOEyZqlCUFew.99

Cardinal Cupich: No Immigration Agents In Catholic Churches Without Warrant

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Scholas Occurrentes: Another Vatican-Soros Connection?

After our recent report about Pope Francis’ praise of a Soros-funded left-wing organization called PICO — People Improving Communities through Organizing — we have been informed by some Spanish-speaking sources about a connection between Pope Francis’ papal foundation Scholas Occurrentes…Continue Reading

Ohio bishops support bill protecting clergy’s religious liberty in same-sex ‘marriage’

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Leaders call for Catholic sanctuary movement to blunt deportation crackdown

MODESTO, Calif. (CNS) — The push for sanctuary was on a lot of minds at the U.S. Regional World Meeting of Popular Movements. Concerns about President Donald Trump’s intention to deport millions of unauthorized immigrants rose throughout the Feb. 16-19…Continue Reading

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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 . . .

Cardinal Cupich tells national TV audience: Church ‘stands with’ immigrants

Town Hall meetings are out of fashion for certain Republican congressmen who have spent the start of 2017 dodging Democratic Party activists. But Cardinal Blase Cupich got an altogether warmer reception when he used a nationally broadcast town hall this weekend to tell recent immigrants, “the church stands with you.”

Gorsuch defends Hobby Lobby, religious freedom at confirmation hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 21, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Sen. Orin Hatch, R-UT, gave Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch the chance to explain how an important religious freedom law is applied today in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Regarding whether the Obama administration’s birth control mandate violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), Gorsuch ruled it “failed to meet RFRA’s standard,” Hatch recalled. While on the Tenth Circuit, Gorsuch sided with the majority in Hobby Lobby Stores v. Sebelius. The…Continue Reading

House bill’s ‘life protections’ said laudable, other aspects ‘troubling’

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The inclusion of “critical life protections” in the House health care bill is laudable, but other provisions, including those related to Medicaid and tax credits, are “troubling” and “must be addressed” before the measure is passed, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ domestic policy committee. Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, who is chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, sent a letter March 17 to…Continue Reading

Canon lawyers and theologians to hold conference on ‘deposing the pope’

PARIS, March 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Canon lawyers, theologians, and scholars will be meeting in Paris in two weeks to discuss a topic that has never been the focus of a Catholic conference before: How to depose a heretical pope. Titled Deposing the Pope: Theological Premises, Canonical Models, Constitutional Challenge, the conference seeks to explore the mechanisms that are built into the Catholic Church for dealing with a pope who openly teaches falsehood and even…Continue Reading

‘To hell with accompaniment’: Catholic prof points to damage Pope Francis is causing the Church

March 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — American Catholic writer Flannery O’Connor is famous for answering a pronouncement by leftist author Mary McCarthy that the Eucharist is a “symbol” by exclaiming, albeit in a shaky voice: “Well, if it’s a symbol, to hell with it!” Relating this encounter in a letter, O’Connor added: “That was all the defense I was capable of but I realize now that this is all I will ever be able to say…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101… The Early History Of The Eugenics Movement

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Restoring The Sacred The High Drama Of Palm Sunday

By JAMES MONTI As we advance through the later days of Lent, it is certainly not too soon to begin turning our attention to the days for which we are preparing, beginning with Palm Sunday, the great portal to Holy Week. Palm Sunday is one of the solemnities of highest drama in the liturgical year.…Continue Reading

The Pelosi Principle

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: This column was released March 15, one day before the House Budget Committee narrowly approved the Republican health-care bill.) + + + Suppose the federal government confiscated 90 percent of the income of every private sector worker who earned more than the poverty level. Then suppose the government used…Continue Reading

Jacques Maritain . . . On The Person Of The Church And Her Personnel

By JUDE DOUGHERTY At a time of when strong ecclesiastical leadership is warranted as the West drifts further from its historical anchorage, the voice of Church seems to be muted or confused. With reason, Pope Francis has been accused of deliberate ambiguity, given that he has not responded to repeated calls for clarification of his…Continue Reading

Should Some People In Irregular Unions Receive Communion?

By JOHN YOUNG A Catholic couple living in an adulterous relationship are not necessarily subjectively in a state of mortal sin. Objectively their state of life is mortally sinful, but there is such great ignorance today about marriage and sexual relationships that we can’t presume that these people are subjectively guilty of mortal sin, and…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Die To Sin And Live In Righteousness

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Sermon XXXIX: On Lent I

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A Leaven In The World… Contraception Dooms Secularism While Religion Grows

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Is the Trump victory, with the accompanying new wave of sexual morality and respect for life, the first hint of a societal sea change born, ironically, of contraception? It turns out that religious people have more babies and thus pass on the faith while secularists are self-obsolescing. It’s “news” that seculars are dying out because…Continue Reading

What Is Faith?… Original Sin And Answering More Objections

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 29 In this article we continue providing replies to objections against the Bible narrative about the fall of our first parents. Fourth objection: If the serpent that tempted Eve was not a real serpent but an evil spirit disguised as a serpent, why did God punish the whole serpent tribe by cursing them from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist: Sacramental Sacrifice

By DON FIER Part 3 The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, as we saw last week, is a true sacrifice in the fullest sense of the word “because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n. 1366). The perfect sacrifice of Christ on Calvary becomes present and actual each time the Holy…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Toribio Alfonso De Mogrovejo

By CAROLE BRESLIN Those who wish to attack the Catholic Church usually bring up two “weapons”: the Crusades and the Inquisition, which started in the Middle Ages. The Spanish Inquisition had the most just procedures and did not exile the Jewish people the way England (in 1290) and France (in 1306) did. In the late 16th century, King Philip II…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. José Gabriel Del Rosario Brochero

By CAROLE BRESLIN At the tip of the South American continent lies one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with its towering Andes Mountains, lush valleys, beautiful plateaus, and colorful glaciers. (Los Glaciares National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Andes Mountains.) Argentina, the eighth largest country in the world, established its nationhood in the…Continue Reading