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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 5

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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

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French presidential hopeful slams Pope Francis for welcoming migrants

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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

A bishop urges priests to encourage reception of Holy Communion on the tongue, kneeling. Wherein Fr. Z rants.

Last night, Tuesday in Holy Week, His Excellency Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino, the Extraordinary Ordinary, Bishop of Madison, celebrated the Chrism Mass.  The bishop blessed all the special oils used during our sacred rites in the upcoming year.  Customarily,…Continue Reading

Hillary Clinton Trashes Pro-Lifers: Just “Men Sitting Around a Table Trying to Defund Planned Parenthood”

Failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton lobbed criticisms at pro-lifers again this week during a women’s conference in New York City. Clinton, who ran on a radical pro-abortion platform that called for taxpayer funding of abortion and legalized abortion for any…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 . . .

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

A Short Summary of the 22 April Lay Conference on Amoris Laetitia

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Cardinal Müller on Medjugorje, Amoris Laetitia and radical Islam

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POLAND — The head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, traveled to Poland on April 19 for a conference honoring the 90th birthday of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. The theme of the conference was “The Concept of the State in the Teaching of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger – Benedict XVI.” Aleteia spoke with the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the offices of the Polish Bishops

Top Papal Adviser Insults the Four Dubia Cardinals

Several Catholic outlets around the world – including Infovaticana and Chiesa e postconsilio – have reported that Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, coordinator of the pope’s “council of nine“, has made some condescending and disrespectful remarks about the four dubia cardinals. The moderate and characteristically gentle Italian journalist and Vatican specialist Marco Tosatti went so far as to say that the elderly Honduran cardinal and papal adviser “attacked” these faithful cardinals “with great violence”. On 25 March, Maradiaga gave an interview…Continue Reading

Not Trump Who’s Big Threat . . . Left-Wing Activists Stir Disruption From Town Halls To Campuses

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — Jeff Flake, one of Arizona’s two Republican U.S. senators who runs for office as a conservative but votes as a “moderate” — like his buddy John McCain — would seem to be the kind of politician left-wing activists should love: a squish whose principles are open to intimidation from the…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101… Transhumanism’s Search For Godhood

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 24 of The Facts of Life, “Eugenics,” e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + “There is no time to wait for Darwinian evolution to make us more intelligent and…Continue Reading

A Tax Reform Plan That May No Longer Work

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate distributed this column.) + + + My father, who was born in 1922 and lived his teens and early twenties during the unfortunate reign of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whimsically embraced a tax reform plan that he sardonically…Continue Reading

Purity Vs. Prudishness

By ALICE von HILDEBRAND My Dear Friend: A young acquaintance of mine, who seems to have a serious religious vocation, told me that her “friends” accused her of prudishness because of her systematic refusal to get involved in what are called “affairs.” Someone even urged her to undergo psychiatric treatment. It never occurred to these…Continue Reading

Dietrich Von Hildebrand . . . A Man of Leonine Character

By DONALD DeMARCO Alice von Hildebrand titled the biography of her husband, The Soul of a Lion (2000). In the foreword to the book, chronicling the life of one of the 20th century’s greatest Catholic philosophers, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) refers to an “epiphanous” moment when Dietrich von Hildebrand first realized the…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World . . . “You Seek Jesus Of Nazareth”

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “. . . The crucified. He has been raised; He is not here.” In the night-watch of vigil, enveloped in the darkness of death and confusion, a single gleam which pierced the gloom has spread to become a profuse glow, a fire great enough to embrace every soul all over the world. The Source of…Continue Reading

Our Savior And Redeemer… Christ The King

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 4 A few years ago a low-budget movie caused a sensation among faithful Catholics: It was titled For Greater Glory. Although the story was not complete, it portrayed important aspects of the oppression of the Church in Mexico by the pro-Communist and Masonic government of an extremely evil man, named Plutarco Calles. The resistance…Continue Reading

Holy Communion

By DON FIER The Holy Eucharist, as we saw last week, is a sacrament three times over. As St. John Paul II pointed out in his first encyclical Redemptor Hominis, not only is it a Sacrifice-Sacrament and a Presence-Sacrament, but also a Communion-Sacrament. In this third dimension, the Eucharist is rightly referred to as the Paschal Banquet “in as much…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. When I was young, the Fifth Sunday of Lent was Passion Sunday and the Sixth Sunday was Palm Sunday. Now the Sunday before Easter is called Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord. Why the change? — T.L.H., Massachusetts. A. The change came about in 1970 when the two feast days were combined into one. According to the…Continue Reading

On The Road To Emmaus

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Third Sunday Of Easter (YR A) Readings: Acts 2:14, 22-33 1 Peter 1:17-21 Luke 24:13-35 The passage we hear in the Gospel today about the two disciples of our Lord going to Emmaus is one of the favorites of many people. The charity of the two disciples is almost as amazing as their blindness. I have…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