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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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What US Catholics see as Pope Francis’ most notable action


Washington D.C., Mar 17, 2018 / 04:35 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- What has been Pope Francis’ most notable action so far in his papacy? A group of some 300 U.S. Catholics was recently asked this question in a recent study conducted by the…Continue Reading

Vatican admits doctoring photo of Benedict’s letter praising Pope Francis

VATICAN, March 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — One of the world’s leading news agencies has said the Vatican breached journalistic standards by doctoring a photo of a letter from Benedict XVI praising Pope Francis. According to the Associated Press, the doctoring…Continue Reading

Cardinal Müller: The Pope has no power to change Humanae Vitae

ROME, March 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Pope has no power to change or relax the Church’s ban on artificial contraception, just as he can never allow women to be ordained, Cardinal Gerhard Müller said on Wednesday. The former prefect…Continue Reading

Catholic bishops stand by spokesman after racism comment

New Mexico’s three Catholic bishops on Tuesday rejected a call by 33 Republican state legislators to punish the Catholic Church’s spokesman for saying racism played a part in the defeat of an initiative to expand early childhood education. In fact,…Continue Reading

Jim Caviezel tells university students to ‘stand out’ and ‘be saints’

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio, March 5, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Catholic actor Jim Caviezel, who famously played Jesus in The Passion of the Christ, told university students on Sunday that they must set themselves apart from this “corrupt generation” and “be saints.” “You weren’t…Continue Reading

Catholic hierarchy to be confronted over gender inequality

“Powerful vested interests” within the Catholic church are being challenged at a conference in Rome on International Women’s Day as calls grow for women to be given positions of authority and influence in the church. In a sign that a new assertive…Continue Reading

Study shows why young Catholics leave the church

They stopped believing in God. They saw a disconnect between what Catholics say and what they do. They disagreed with the church’s stance on social issues such as homosexuality and birth control. They are the growing numbers of young Catholics…Continue Reading

Number of Catholic weddings falls by two-thirds since 1990

The number of Catholic weddings in England and Wales has fallen dramatically in the last 25 years, according to new figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). In 2015, the most recent year for which statistics have been recorded,…Continue Reading

Georgetown honors pro-abortion Senator whose bishop just barred him from Communion

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 28, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Tonight, Georgetown University will present pro-abortion Senator Dick Durbin, D-IL, whose bishop recently barred him from Holy Communion, with an award for devoting “his life to the core Jesuit value of service to…Continue Reading

Dozens of Catholics arrested as they ask Congress to help ‘Dreamers’

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Dozens of Catholics, including men and women religious, were arrested near the U.S. Capitol Feb. 27 in the rotunda of a Senate building in Washington as they called on lawmakers to help young undocumented adults brought to…Continue Reading

Catholic Church frets that religion ‘slipping off agenda’ in schools

The Catholic Church has raised concerns in meetings with State education officials that religion is “slipping off the agenda” in their schools. In a record of a meeting between the Education and Training Boards Ireland(ETBI) and Catholic Church representatives it was suggested that…Continue Reading


Beyond decades, for generations the Catholic bishops of Texas, saying they are obeying the law, but hiding behind the convenient cover of saying they are fearful of losing their tax exempt status, have said they must remain silent about those…Continue Reading

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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 . . .

Polish archbishop criticises priest who wished for death of Pope Francis

Former seminary rector Fr Edward Staniek questioned the direction in which Pope Francis was taking the Church A Polish archbishop has criticised a priest and theologian who wished Pope Francis a quick death if he did not open his heart to “wisdom”. Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski of Krakow said he had heard the comments with “great pain and regret” and had spoken to the priest about them. Fr Edward Staniek, a noted theologian and former rector…Continue Reading

Catholic principal defies Planned Parenthood. Her worst enemy? The local bishop.

March 16, 2018 (Rorate Caeli) – It is always local situations that show how deep the problems in the Church are at the present time. The problematic issuances from Rome, Germany and  Chicago are indeed disturbing, but to see how far things have gone, one must go to the local level of the Church:  the diocese and the parish.  Go to a typical parish Mass to see the fruit of the liturgical experiment of the…Continue Reading

Full text of Pope emeritus Benedict’s letter released

The decision to withhold parts of a letter by Pope emeritus Benedict XVI was motivated by concerns for discretion, according to a new statement from the Secretariat for Communications. By Vatican News A statement from the Secretariat for Communication, released by the Press Office of the Holy See, takes note of polemical statements in the press suggesting censorship of a letter by Pope emeritus Benedict XVI. The controversy arose over the digital alteration of a…Continue Reading

Vatican prepares to issue two documents on ‘gender theory’

ROME, March 15, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and the Congregation for Catholic Education are each preparing to release documents on “gender theory,” the radical ideology behind transgenderism. The Congregation for Catholic Education’s document, expected to be released in the next two months, won’t “enter the heart of the debate,” the dicastery’s secretary Archbishop Angelo Vincenzo Zani said. Instead, it will repeat “important educational principles.” The CDF’s document…Continue Reading

Judge bans pro-lifers from going near abortion centers in unprecedented ruling

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Make A Church Post Satan’s Phone Number?

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of Creators Syndicate,, distributes his column.) + + + Jerry Brown once said he saw “the killing of the unborn as crazy.” This was just after the once-and-future pro-abortion governor of California returned to the United States in 1988 after spending…Continue Reading

A Decision From Outer Space

By DONALD DeMARCO A number of science-fiction movies, especially those from the 1950s when the threat of an atomic attack loomed, revolved around a decision made by highly intelligent beings from outer space to destroy all human life on planet Earth. The usual reasons put forth for the destruction were that human beings were violent,…Continue Reading

Globalists & Nationalists: Who Owns The Future?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Robert Bartley, the late editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal, was a free trade zealot who for decades championed a five-word amendment to the Constitution: “There shall be open borders.” Bartley accepted what the erasure of America’s borders and an endless influx of foreign peoples and goods would mean…Continue Reading

The Stoneman Douglas Shootings And Divine Providence

By C.F. MONTESANO (Editor’s Note: C.F. Montesano is vice president with a maritime trade association in Virginia. He serves as a lector at the Cathedral of St. Matthew in Washington, D.C. Last summer, he was selected by Signum University to be a presenter at its annual “Mythmoot” conference for enthusiasts of J.R.R. Tolkien.) + +…Continue Reading

Key Abuse Charge Against Cardinal Pell Withdrawn

By HANNAH BROCKHAUS MELBOURNE, Australia (CNA/EWTN News) — An Australian prosecutor on March 2 withdrew a charge of abuse against George Cardinal Pell, who is currently undergoing a trial in Australia for accusations of past sexual abuse. The charge was dropped by Prosecutor Mark Gibson March 2 after its key complainant died in January. It…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Horror Of The Passion

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Palm Sunday (YR B) Readings: Mark 11:1-10 Isaiah 50:4-7 Phil. 2:6-11 Mark 14:1-15:47   As we celebrate Palm Sunday, we begin with a Gospel reading recounting our Lord’s entrance into Jerusalem to the joyful shouts of the people proclaiming Him to be the Son of David, that is, the Messiah. Our Lord had preached and worked…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… “Fear Is Useless”

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Lent is about death. The Lord’s death, of course: “Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies it remains just a grain of wheat.” He Himself in His human nature must be the seed of future glory for all of mankind. Fear is mankind’s most instinctive response before the vast and uncharted…Continue Reading

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ . . . Can We Receive Communion In An Eastern Orthodox Church?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 20 Here we enter a delicate matter, which requires much prudential judgment from the Church. The matter is normally titled Communicatio in sacris, which refers to receiving Holy Communion in separated Eastern Churches. Here the situation is totally different from receiving “communion” in a Protestant church of whatever denomination, because Protestants do not have…Continue Reading

Sacramentals In The Life Of The Church

By DON FIER For almost two years we have been examining the Church’s teaching, as articulated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), on the seven sacraments. As has been emphasized repeatedly, it is an infallibly taught dogma of our faith that Christ Himself instituted each of the seven sacraments during His visible stay on Earth. Moreover, it has…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. In discussing the Arian heresy, which denied the divinity of Christ, a friend wondered why Christ, who is omniscient, would say that only the Father knows the end of the world. Please clarify this. — L.S., via e-mail. A. In Mark 13:32, Jesus said of the day that the world will end, “no one knows, neither the angels in…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Clement Mary Hofbauer

By CAROLE BRESLIN It has been said that the four characteristics of good prayer are that it must be sincere, it must be humble, it must be confident, and it must be persevering. This can also be said of the Christian life and a person’s approach to seeking to do the will of God: humble, sincere, confident, and persevering. St.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Luigi Orione

By CAROLE BRESLIN Suffering, great persecutions, humiliations, obstacles to entering the religious life — all of these seem to be the lot of those destined to become saints. In fact, without these pains present in their lives, chances are that their causes for canonization would not proceed. Why would someone want to become a saint if that is the path?…Continue Reading