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Catholic Replies

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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Bishops to Trump: Don’t abandon young people to deportation

Washington D.C., Jul 20, 2017 / 06:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Undocumented young people brought to the U.S. by their parents contribute to American society and deserve continued protections from the Trump administration, said the U.S. Catholic bishops this week. “These…Continue Reading

Facing outrage – Facebook unblocks Catholic pages

Dozens of Catholic Facebook pages have been blocked, according to several Catholic news organizations. UPDATE: Facebook has unblocked more than 20 Catholic-interest pages – blaming the issue on a technical glitch. “All Pages have now been restored,” a Facebook spokesperson…Continue Reading

Bishops stress hospitality for Camino de Santiago hosts

Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Jul 14, 2017 / 04:38 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The bishops of Spain and France have published a new letter emphasizing the importance of hospitality for people who host pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, offering guidelines…Continue Reading

Cardinal Sarah wants ‘liturgical reconciliation’ between old and new forms of Mass

Sarah says phrase ‘reform of the reform’ should no longer be used but wants ordinary version of Mass to be more like the extraordinary form The Cardinal leading the Vatican’s divine worship office has called for a truce in the…Continue Reading

Video game store promotes graphic animated porn to 35 million child users

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 10, 2017 (NCOSE) – A mainstream online video game store, with an estimated 35 million users under the age of 18, is facilitating gamified sexual coercion and animated pornography featuring genitalia, ejaculation, to users of all ages. This…Continue Reading

Trump: ‘If We Do Not Have Strong Families and Strong Values…We Will Not Survive’

(CNSNews.com) – The values that bind America and Europe together – freedom, faith and family — are threatened from the outside by common enemies and from the inside by bureaucracy, President Donald Trump told a cheering crowd of Poles in…Continue Reading

House Republican says health care bill in jeopardy over Planned Parenthood

Rep. Trent Franks said Wednesday that if Planned Parenthood funding is added to the GOP health care bill, numerous Republican senators will no longer support it. “I think a lot of us are ‘no’ votes,” the Arizona Republican said. “We can’t continue…Continue Reading

Müller has a clear criticism of Francis

Critical criticism of Pope Franziskus was voiced by the Kurien Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Mueller. He told the “Passauer Neuen Presse” (Thursday) that Pope Francis Francis had informed him of the decision not to extend his office as a prefect of the…Continue Reading

Cardinal Joachim Meisner, one of the four ‘dubia’ cardinals, has died aged 83

Former German Bishops’ Conference president and Archbishop of Cologne Cardinal Joachim Meisner has died at the age of 83. Cardinal Meisner served as Archbishop of Cologne for 25 years. A spokesman for the archdiocese said he died on Wednesday morning…Continue Reading

Vietnamese Catholic blogger sentenced to 10 years in prison

HANOI, Vietnam – A Vietnamese court sentenced a Catholic blogger to 10 years in prison for propaganda against the Communist government. Rights activists described the sentence as “heavy.” Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, 37, also known as “Mother Mushroom,” was tried…Continue Reading

‘It’s not all black and white’: New cardinal criticizes 4 cardinals asking Pope for clarity

ROME, June 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — One of Pope Francis’ newly appointed cardinals is already calling out fellow cardinals who are questioning the new direction in which the Pope is trying to move the Church. Archbishop Juan José Omella of…Continue Reading

Vatican’s Cardinal Pell charged with sex abuse, vows to defend himself in Australia

Australian police on Thursday charged Cardinal George Pell, a top adviser to Pope Francis, with multiple historical sex crimes, bringing a worldwide abuse scandal to the heart of the Vatican. As Vatican economy minister, Pell is the highest-ranking Church official…Continue Reading

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Today . . .

These Chicago Catholics have a game plan for evangelization

Chicago, Ill., Jul 26, 2017 / 03:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Taking its cue from the recent and massive Convocation of Catholic Leaders in the U.S., one Chicago-based organization is partnering with parishes to form missionary disciples. The convocation took place in Florida July 1-4, drawing several thousand participants. Aimed at equipping and invigorating Catholic leaders, the event addressed challenges that inhibit parishes from evangelization, especially the deflating attendance of parishioners in

Catholic nuns urge senators to oppose any bill repealing Obamacare, cutting Medicaid

More than 7,000 Catholic nuns are urging senators to oppose a motion to proceed to debate on a healthcare bill before the Senate this week, and called the GOP’s plan to repeal and replace parts of Obamacare “immoral and contrary to the teachings of our Catholic faith.” The letter, organized by the Catholic social justice organization NETWORK, was sent to senators Monday and signed by 7,150 Catholic sisters. The nuns are being led by Sister Simone…Continue Reading

Bishop Paprocki Responds to Fr. Martin

There has been quite a bit of consternation since I sent an internal communication to my clergy and staff last month that was unfortunately leaked to the public concerning my “Decree Regarding Same-sex ‘Marriage’ and Related Pastoral Issues.” While the underlying doctrinal issues are not new, these norms were necessary to address situations in the pastoral context arising from the new reality in the law and in our culture, given that same-sex marriage is now recognized by…Continue Reading

Pastoral Guidelines for Implementing Amoris Laetitia | Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon – Archbishop Alexander K. Sample

The Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia completes the reflection on the family conducted by the Synods of Bishops of 2014 and 2015, a reflection that engaged the Church throughout the world. In issuing Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis once again calls the Church to renew and intensify the Christian missionary proclamation of God’s mercy, while presenting more persuasively the Church’s teaching about the nature of the family and the Sacrament of Matrimony. In all of this the

Could a California bill make Catholic conduct codes illegal?

Sacramento, Calif., Jul 21, 2017 / 12:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pro-abortion groups are lobbying for a California law that Catholic leaders warn would open employers like Catholic schools to lawsuits for asking teachers to follow their codes of conduct. “The bill unmistakably targets religious organization employers in the state, and goes further, inviting expensive litigation that could take years to sort out,” the California Catholic Conference said July 14, adding that it “sets a dangerous…Continue Reading

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Romero At 100 . . . The Background Of A Modern Catholic Icon

By RAY CAVANAUGH When hearing of Blessed Oscar Romero, one tends to think of his assassination and martyrdom. With good reason, the former Salvadoran archbishop’s violent 1980 death has received thorough coverage. Neglected by comparison, however, has been the earlier part of his life, which began 100 years ago this August 15. Óscar Arnulfo Romero…Continue Reading

New Research Says… Shroud Of Turin Bears Blood Of A Torture Victim

TURIN, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) — New research indicates that the Shroud of Turin shows signs of blood from a torture victim, and undermines arguments that the reputed burial shroud of Jesus Christ was painted. Very small particles attached to the linen fibers of the shroud “have recorded a scenario of great suffering, whose victim was…Continue Reading

The Voters Rejected You?… Push Them Aside And Push To Deliver The Agenda

By DEXTER DUGGAN SAN DIEGO — Including six color photos, this area’s largest newspaper co-celebrated the annual “Pride Parade,” positioned as its Sunday lead story, with about half the news space on page one and about three-quarters of an inside page, marching to the activist theme of “Allied in Action, United for Justice.” The San…Continue Reading

A Word About Useful Tools

By MOST REV. CHARLES J. CHAPUT, OFM Cap. (Editor’s Note: Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap., of Philadelphia posted this commentary on July 18 at CatholicPhilly.com. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia granted reprint permission to The Wanderer; all rights reserved.) + + + History is full of great quotations that people never said. One of the…Continue Reading

Wellington Mara… A Pro-Life Giant

By DONALD DeMARCO An unexpected gift arrived in the mail some time ago — a copy of Judie Brown’s autobiography, courtesy of Wellington Mara, co-owner of the New York Football Giants. It was on the basis of my friendship with Mrs. Brown and the fact that I was seen as “a co-worker in her mission…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Respectful, If Unsolicited, Advice To The Bishop Of Burlington, Vt.

By DEACON JAMES H. TONER (Editor’s Note: Deacon Toner is professor emeritus of leadership and ethics at the U.S. Air War College, and author of Morals Under the Gun and other books. He has also taught at the U.S. Air Force Academy and Holy Apostles College & Seminary. (Below is his open letter to the Most Rev. Christopher Coyne, bishop…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Benedict XVI: “Resist The Dictatorship Of The Spirit Of The Age”

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK What did Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI mean by his metaphor of the Church as a boat taking on so much water that it is “in danger of capsizing”? The questions are coming thick and fast as a result of the reaction to this passage in Pope Benedict’s eulogy for Joachim Cardinal Meisner, delivered by Archbishop…Continue Reading

The Church Of Jesus Christ . . . The Church Is The Bride Of Christ

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 2 Jesus promulgated the Church on the day of Pentecost. It was the Church’s formal birthday. I remember my smile when, on Pentecost Day, a priest in New Zealand said to the people, “Happy Birthday!” The people were a bit puzzled and did not know what to think, and then the priest explained that…Continue Reading

The Sacramental Seal Of Confession

By DON FIER Only bishops and priests, as we saw last week, are valid ministers of the Sacrament of Penance. Just as Christ works through His ordained ministers in the Eucharist to transform bread and wine into His Body and Blood, so too He works through bishops and priests to forgive the sins of repentant sinners. The Vicar of Christ…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I never hear our priest talk about the Apostolic Pardon. Please explain this blessing to me and why I don’t hear much about it. — M.G., Alabama. A. Once the Sacrament of Penance has been given to a dying person, says the document Pastoral Care of the Sick (n. 201), “the priest may give the Apostolic Pardon for the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Edmund Bojanowski

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are many lay saints throughout the history of the Church from all different walks of life. There is the peasant girl, St. Maria Goretti, patron of young women. St. Thomas More, patron of lawyers, comes to mind when thinking of putting God before government. There are the many lay martyrs, especially in the first few centuries…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bonaventure

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are many saints who have been called saints long before the formal process for canonization was put in place. Some of the names by which we know them may not be the names they were given at birth, but indicate their special gifts. For example, St. Veronica, known from the sixth station of the cross, may…Continue Reading