Monday 29th May 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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Trump Is Pushed and Pulled on Climate Change, A Year After Pledging to Cancel Paris Deal

(CNSNews.com) – Exactly one year after pledging in a speech to “cancel” the Paris climate agreement, President Trump will attend a Group of Seven summit Friday in Sicily where he’s expected to come under sustained pressure from his counterparts to…Continue Reading

St. Louis archbishop resists law requiring Catholics to hire abortion activists: ‘We will not comply’

LOUIS, Missouri, May 24, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis, led by the Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, has drawn a line in the sand for the protection of innocent human life. In February, the city…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood Closing Multiple Abortion Clinics in Iowa After State Defunds It

The abortion chain Planned Parenthood announced plans Thursday to close four Iowa clinics as a result of a new state law that defunds it. At the end of June, Planned Parenthood facilities in Burlington, Keokuk and Sioux City, Iowa will…Continue Reading

Graduates walk out on Pence at Notre Dame commencement

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Dozens of graduates and family members silently stood and walked out Sunday as Vice President Mike Pence began his address at Notre Dame’s commencement ceremony. Pence, the former governor of Indiana, was invited to speak…Continue Reading

Trump nominates Callista Gingrich for ambassador to the Vatican

President Trump has nominated Callista Gingrich, the wife of former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), as ambassador to the Holy See, the White House announced Friday. The nomination comes just five days before Trump is set to meet with Pope Francis…Continue Reading

The murder case of Blessed Oscar Romero has been reopened

San Salvador, El Salvador, May 19, 2017 / 01:14 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A nearly 40 year-old murder case was reopened this week to properly prosecute the suspected killer behind the Salvadorian archbishop’s martyrdom. Because of an amnesty law that prohibited…Continue Reading

Notre Dame Protest of Pence Twists Catholic Social Teaching

This Sunday, vice president Mike Pence will return to his home state of Indiana to deliver the commencement address at the University of Notre Dame. For the third time in several years, the school’s graduation ceremony will be plagued by…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood is Ditching the Failed “Pro-Choice” Label. Here’s Why

The “pro-choice” label has not been working out so well for the abortion chain Planned Parenthood. The labels pro-choice and pro-life have been used for decades to help identify people’s positions on abortion, but young adults seem to be moving…Continue Reading

Bishop Conley: The Pro-Choice Political Dictatorship of Relativism

In 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who would soon be elected Pope Benedict XVI, preached that “we are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and…Continue Reading

These Republicans Voted Against the Bill to Defund the Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz

Republicans in the House of Representatives yesterday voted for a Reconciliation bill that would defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business. This was the second attempt to get enough votes on the reconciliation bill that would not only defund the nation’s…Continue Reading

Cecile Richards Comes Unglued After House Defunds Planned Parenthood: Republicans Hate Women

Planned Parenthood abortion business president Cecile Richards it’s not happy that the House of Representatives voted yesterday to defund Planned Parenthood. The main response of the CEO of the nation’s biggest abortion conglomerate can be summed up in three words:…Continue Reading

Despite pro-life provisions, healthcare bill raises serious concerns

Vatican City, May 4, 2017 / 05:27 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The House passed a repeal of the Affordable Care Act and a replacement health care bill on Thursday, but one bishop warned that the new bill poses serious problems for…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 . . .

US bishop says Trump budget at odds with Catholic, American ideals

Louisville, Ky., May 26, 2017 / 05:22 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The former head of the US bishops decried President Trump’s budget plan, claiming its cuts to social services conflict with both the Catholic faith and American principles. “Whether through Social Security, Medicaid, food stamps or foreign aid, our nation has recognized that our worth is judged by how we treat the most vulnerable among us,” Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky said in a May…Continue Reading

Cardinal Müller on Amoris Laetitia, Paul Ehrlich, Antonio Spadaro and the Three Dismissed Priests

muller

Yesterday, 25 May, the Catholic channel EWTN aired an interview of Raymond Arroyo’s The World Over which was conducted a week ago with Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). In this interview – which was conducted in English – the German cardinal touches upon several important matters which are of interest to the larger Catholic world. When Raymond Arroyo asks Cardinal Müller about the post-synodal exhortation…Continue Reading

‘Comfortable’ Catholics are ‘unwilling’ to see dangers facing Church: Scholar

ROME, May 23, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Too many Catholics are caught up in a “comfortable” Catholicism that makes them unwilling, and even unable, to see the “grave problems” currently besetting the Church, said a renowned theologian and one of the world’s top Catholic experts on the Church Fathers. “Most Catholics seem to live their life on a sort of comfortable zone, just the way that a lot of bishops live in a sort of safety-first…Continue Reading

Catholic bishops denounce a Trump budget championed by Mulvaney – a lifelong Catholic

On the day that President Donald Trump met with Pope Francis in Rome, a top administration official defended a proposed budget that America’s Catholic bishops have strongly criticized for hurting the poor. The Trump administration official in the hot seat: budget chief Mick Mulvaney, a lifelong Catholic who grew up in Charlotte. Speaking Wednesday to the House Budget Committee, Mulvaney called Trump’s budget plan a “moral” document that puts “taxpayers first.” And he defended the…Continue Reading

Pope Francis Receives US President Donald J. Trump

Pope Francis received President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, today, May 24, 2017, at about 8:30 a.m. in the Apostolic Palace, before Francis’ weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square. The meeting was broadcasted by Vatican Television and can be watched via this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVCm1-toVFg According to a statement released by the Holy See Press Office, the discussions, which lasted about 30 minutes, were cordial.

Fr. John Paul Erickson… Calls On Catholics To Live The Cardinal Virtues

By PEGGY MOEN MINNEAPOLIS — “There was always something,” Fr. John Paul Erickson told his audience of 150 at the Church of St. Helena on May 18. “Always a struggle between light and darkness” ever since Adam and Eve took the apple and we’ve never had “a golden era.” With gender ideology and other aberrations,…Continue Reading

Serious Hitchcock Errors… Mean That Book Must Be Corrected

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — I loved to read St. Louis, Mo., historian James Hitchcock’s opinion column some decades ago in the National Catholic Register, when I also wrote for that paper. I was pleased, of course, when he occasionally referred favorably to something I’d written. In his August 30, 1981, Register column, Hitchcock cited…Continue Reading

The Blessed Virgin And St. Joseph… A Marriage Truly Made In Heaven

By JAMES MONTI For several centuries there was on the liturgical calendars of several religious orders a feast day that few know of today — Desponsatio beatae Mariae Virginis — the Espousal of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a celebration of the marriage of Our Lady to St. Joseph. Although the Sacred Scriptures recount scarcely more…Continue Reading

A New Birth Control Commission?

By JOHN F. KIPPLEY (Editor’s Note: At this point, reports about a possible new birth control commission are unconfirmed. This commentary first appeared on http://nfpandmore.org/wordpress/.) + + + The week of May 13th started wonderfully with widespread efforts to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Fatima. The work week was quickly dimmed,…Continue Reading

Wanda Poltawska… The Stubborn Insistence On Being Human

By DONALD DeMARCO The city was Toledo, Ohio. The year was 1990. The venue was the dining room in a private home. The audience consisted of several pro-life people, including myself. The speaker was Wanda Poltawska who was relating a series of events in her life that we were most privileged to hear. In 1962,…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… The Most Awkward Conversations Are The Most Important

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK There’s nothing more intense than being invited to share in the most intimate details of the life of another soul or family. Of course it is not done gratuitously. When a person is distressed or grieving and reaches out for help, it is often the priest to whom they turn for healing. Most commonly people…Continue Reading

Our Savior And Redeemer… The Redemption

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 9 In his book Crossing the Threshold of Hope, Pope John Paul II made a few interesting statements about Islam, which I quote in the following two paragraphs: “Whoever knows the Old and New Testaments, and then reads the Koran, clearly sees the process by which it completely reduces Divine Revelation. It is impossible…Continue Reading

Penance As A Laborious Kind Of Baptism

By DON FIER Sin, its dire consequences, and man’s continual need for conversion are realities that are often dismissed or even outrightly denied in modern secularized societies enamored, as they are, with materialistic pursuits. As noted last week, recent Roman Pontiffs, beginning with Pope Pius XII in 1946, cite as an underlying reason for this troubling phenomenon a “loss of…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: In his parish bulletin recently, Fr. George Rutler of the Church of St. Michael in New York City recalled the famous words of the great jazz singer Al Jolson: “You ain’t heard nothing yet” and compared them with the words of Jesus: “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now” (John…Continue Reading

Discover God’s Gifts And His Will

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Pentecost Sunday (YR A) Readings: Acts 2:1-11 1 Cor. 12:3b-7, 12-13 John 20:19-23 In the first reading today we hear about the Holy Spirit descending upon the apostles as they were gathered in prayer. The event was marked by some extraordinary phenomena: the noise like a driving wind filling the house and the tongues of fire.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Peter Sanz And Companions

By CAROLE BRESLIN In 1748, the Viceroy of Peking with great frustration asked, “What are we to do with these men? Their lives are certainly irreproachable. . . . Their jailers and their families become their disciples and embrace their religion. To prolong this state is only to give them the opportunity of increasing the number of Christians.” Thus Peter…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Pope St. Celestine V

By CAROLE BRESLIN After the death of Pope St. John Paul II, faithful Catholics rejoiced at the election of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as the next Vicar of Christ. The German prelate took the name of Benedict XVI for two reasons: in memory of Pope Benedict XV who led the Church during the turbulent times of World War I, seeking peace…Continue Reading