Thursday 23rd March 2017

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March 10, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Editor’s Note: One of our readers, D.M. of Virginia, has forwarded a letter that he had published in his diocesan paper, the Arlington Catholic Herald, regarding President Trump’s executive order on immigration. D.M. was responding to two articles in the paper. Here are his comments:
“The reactions reported by the Herald from Church leaders, the USCCB, lay Catholics, political leaders, and others I found not to be at all commensurate with the executive order and its intention. I suspect that most, if not all, of the protests came from people who had not bothered to read the text of the executive order, but rather relied on reports from a media that apparently have considerable animosity toward our president and are rather quick to bring heavy criticism on his presidency. Here is a portion of the order that explains its purpose:
“‘In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including ‘honor’ killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own), or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.’
“Were I to rely on the Herald for news of this matter, I would assume that the executive order was unlawful, un-American, in violation of Church teaching, not going to make our nation safer, a dark moment in U.S. history, cruel, devastating, and an animus toward Muslims. However, that is not at all what I understand after reading the actual order. In fact, after reading the order and the overreactions recorded in the Herald, I might easily assume that Church leadership and others must have no objection to immigrants coming into our country who are bigots, racists, violent persecutors of other religions, and do not respect our laws and our Constitution.”

Q. After Mass today, a woman asked me a question that seemed sort of strange. If there is a High Mass on a particular day, is there any rule that it must be the last Mass of the day (or at least of the morning)? Do you have anything on this? — T.L., Colorado.
A. Our recollection from our younger days is that High Mass (see description below) was usually celebrated as the final Mass on Sunday morning. Whether that was required, or whether it was the choice of the pastor, we don’t remember. Perhaps some reader can enlighten us about the “old days” and whether a High Mass celebrated today in the Extraordinary Form (Latin Mass) must be the last Mass of the day.
What about the distinction between High and Low Masses? According to our St. Joseph Daily Missal, which was published in 1959, “a High Mass is sung. A Low Mass is read. A High Mass is called Solemn Mass when it is sung with the help of a Deacon and Subdeacon. A High Mass sung by a priest, with the assistance of those Sacred Ministers, is known as Missa Cantata. Low Mass is one in which the priest, assisted by one server, recites in a speaking tone the parts that are sung in a High Mass. It is in fact the abridgment of the Solemn Mass which, in ancient days, was the normal way of celebrating the Holy Sacrifice. Low Mass was evidently introduced on account of the difficulty of securing the help of Deacon and Subdeacon.”
The Missal goes on to say that “in recent years the Dialogue Mass or Missa Recitata (which combines features of both High and Low Mass) has become quite popular. Its purpose is to join the faithful closer to the priest celebrating at the altar and to each other by the common recitation of certain prayers of the Mass. On September 3, 1958, the Sacred Congregation of Rites issued an Instruction greatly urging the use of the Dialogue Mass.”

Q. In your recent response about the unfortunate debate/controversy over the repose of the remains of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, you wrote that he died in 1984. I believe, however, that he died in 1979. Thank you for your wonderful column all these many years. You have educated and enlightened many in the teachings of our precious Catholic faith. — J.K., Arizona.
A. You are correct that Archbishop Sheen died in 1979. He was 84 when he died, and we mixed up the two numbers. Thanks for catching this and for the kind words.

Q. In my youth, my mother often spoke of Therese Neumann. She said that she, like Padre Pio, carried the five wounds of Christ (the stigmata). Is this true? Was she ever canonized a saint or even considered for sainthood? – J.G., Minnesota.
A. Therese Neumann (1898-1962), the German stigmatist, was born on Good Friday in 1898 and received the wounds of Christ in 1926. Thousands of people visited her because of her bleeding wounds, her mystic visions, and her ability to exist for many years on no food at all, except Holy Communion. She was miraculously cured at different times from blindness, paralysis, and back ulcers and had not only the five wounds given to most stigmatists, but also the marks of the scourging and the crowning with thorns.
Therese also had the gifts of bilocation and prophecy. Her cause for beatification has been underway for years.
For more information about her, see books by Michael Freze (They Bore the Wounds of Christ), Johannes Steiner (The Visions of Therese Neumann and Therese Neumann: A Portrait), and Albert Vogl (Therese Neumann: Mystic and Stigmatist).

Q. Was it possible for Christ to have sinned even though He never did? — D.C., via e-mail.
A. No, it was never possible for Jesus to commit a sin because it would have meant that God was capable of sinning against Himself. Since Christ was a divine Person, whose every act was an act of God, He could not sin.
“In him there is no sin” (1 John 3:5), said John the Evangelist. And the Letter to the Hebrews says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15).
When we are tempted, our will wavers and we find ourselves leaning toward evil. There was no wavering will in Christ, no inclination toward sin, and no struggle in choosing between good and evil. Jesus had both a human will and a divine will, but as the Third Council of Constantinople (680-681) taught, His human will followed His divine will “without resistance or reluctance” (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 475).
So why did Jesus subject Himself to temptations (cf. Matt. 4:1-11 and Luke 22:39-46)? Perhaps to show us how to overcome them in our own lives. “Because he himself was tested through what he suffered,” says Hebrews (2:18), “he is able to help those who are being tested.”

Q. Our Blessed Mother told the children of Fatima that their young friend Amelia would remain in Purgatory until the end of time. Does that mean that our prayers and plenary indulgences can’t really help the souls in Purgatory? — C.S., Arizona.
A. No. It is a clear teaching of the Church that we can offer plenary indulgences for the souls in Purgatory and, if all the conditions are carried out perfectly, the souls for whom we are offering them will indeed be released from their time of purification so that they can experience the joys of Heaven.
Amelia must have been sorry for whatever sins she had committed or she wouldn’t have been in Purgatory. But only God knows why she would have to remain there until the end of the world.

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Raymond Desouza . . . Shield of Faith PART 4

Chris Manion . . . European Union's Demographic Whimper; Vatican Hosts The Enemy; Can Rogue Federal Judiciary Be Controlled?

 

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

MINNEAPOLIS — The Catholic Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota filed for bankruptcy protection on Friday, the 14th U.S.  Catholic diocese nationwide and third in Minnesota to do so in the face of mounting claims of sexual abuse by clergy. The…Continue Reading

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

CHICAGO — Archbishop Blase Cupich told Chicago’s Catholic priests Tuesday not to allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on to church property without a warrant. In a letter to the archdiocese’s priests, Cupich said the Archdiocese of Chicago “stands in…Continue Reading

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’

COLUMBUS, Ohio, February 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — In a rare move of legislative activism, all of Ohio’s Roman Catholic bishops officially expressed support for the state’s proposed Pastor Protection Act (HB-36). The Catholic Conference of Ohio (CCO) testified last week…Continue Reading

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

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 more than a thousand pro-eugenics quotes, including those by Margaret Sanger, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + “The eugenic movement, therefore, cannot be a short campaign like many political…Continue Reading

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

By POPE ST. LEO I (AD 390-461) (Editor’s Note: This sermon was delivered during the Lenten fast by Pope Leo the Great, whose date of birth is cited as AD 400 as well as AD 390. This is a translation of a sermon from Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, Second Series: volume XII, in the public domain. We have generally…Continue Reading

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