Friday 26th May 2017

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Catholic Replies

March 17, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Editor’s Note: At a time when some Catholics are afraid to stand up for their faith in the face of secular disdain and ridicule, Fr. George Rutler of the Church of St. Michael in New York City put things into perspective in a bulletin column the Sunday before Ash Wednesday:
“Exactly two years ago this month, twenty young Coptic Christian Egyptians were kidnapped by Islamic State militants while on a work crew in Libya. They refused to renounce Christ and chanted in chorus, ‘Ya Rabbi Yassou!’ — ‘Oh my Lord Jesus!’ A black youth from Chad, Mathew Ayairga, not a Christian, was watching and, when asked by the captors, ‘Do you reject Christ?’ he replied, ‘Their God is my God.’ He was baptized by blood when all twenty-one were beheaded.
While these martyrs had never heard of the theological disputes over grace and justification, they were confident that Christ can raise life eternal from dust and ash. The purpose of Lenten disciplines, not salvific in themselves, is to train voices to join their chorus of faith.”

Q. At Sunday Mass recently, I noticed several pews reserved for something called “Little Church.” Before the readings, those in the reserved pews — mostly preschoolers with parents — were then gathered before the altar and met by the celebrant. Then the “Little Church” group was sent out of the church to another site. Your comment? — M.S. Michigan.
A. We are familiar with this practice of dismissing the children (although not the parents) before the Scripture readings and homily, and then having them return for the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The point of the exercise, which is usually conducted by a layperson, is to have the children hear readings and an explanation suited to their age.
We have never thought that this was a good idea. We would prefer to have families together at Mass. If those in attendance are primarily children, then the readings and the homily can be adapted to them. If the congregation is mostly adults, there could be a class afterwards that would help the children to understand what they had just witnessed, or parents could exercise their role as the primary educators of their children and talk with them at home.

Q. Why is the Church so silent on birth control? As a Catholic mother of seven wee ones, and physically worn out from childbearing, I want to avoid another pregnancy. If I use birth control in my marriage, does the Church teach that I am likely to go to Hell? Am I really to sit out Communion and not go to Confession right now? With my Catholic hospital the one to initiate my birth control, and because of poor catechesis, I knew nothing of mortal sin, only that the Church frowned on birth control. When I decided to learn more about my faith and started reading more, did I suddenly burden myself with sin, whereas before I was innocent and Heaven-bound? This is upsetting to me, and I would love some advice. Can I still be a Catholic if I intend to use birth control? — Name and State Withheld.
A. First of all, if every Catholic guilty of committing sin ceased to be a Catholic, there would be no Catholic Church. The Church is made up of sinners and all are called to, in the words of Jesus, “repent, and believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:15). No grave sin automatically sends a person to Hell; only persistent and stubborn adherence to that sin until the end of one’s life results in final damnation.
Second, the three conditions for a mortal sin are grave matter, sufficient knowledge that the matter is gravely sinful, and deliberate consent of the will. If you at first were truly ignorant of the sinful nature of birth control (more properly called contraception since one can control births by moral means), then you were not in a state of mortal sin. That may no longer be true since you now possess sufficient knowledge of the immorality of contraception. However, one’s degree of guilt or moral responsibility can be mitigated by such things as fear (of future pregnancies) or concupiscence (the rebellion of one’s passions against reason). You should discuss your situation with a priest who is loyal to the Church’s teaching on the immorality of contraception.
Third, the Church herself has never been silent on the evil of contraception. She has condemned this sin since the first century, and every Pope in the past century, as well as the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, has reaffirmed that condemnation. The definitive statement on the matter was issued in 1968 with the promulgation of Humanae Vitae by Pope Paul VI, who declared as immoral “every action which, either in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” (n. 14).
Fourth, while the Church’s Magisterium has always been vocal about the evil of contraception, many of her bishops and priests have been virtually silent, which is why so many Catholics, even today, think that there’s nothing wrong with practicing contraception. They have never been told by their clergy that contraception is not only a great moral evil, but it is also a betrayal of marriage as the mutual and fruitful self-giving of two persons to each other. Just as the Father and the Son pour out the gift of themselves to each other, and the Holy Spirit is the fruit of their self-giving love, so husbands and wives are to model themselves on the Trinity and make a free, total, sincere, and fruitful gift to each other.
Man and woman were made for each other. For one or both of them to say, “I give you all of myself, except my fertility,” is a lie and a betrayal of the self-giving love that the Creator intended in the beginning when He invented marriage.
Fifth, bishops and priests who failed to teach that contraception is evil will have much to answer for. In Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI specifically told the Catholic bishops of the world that their mission of safeguarding the holiness of marriage was “one of your most urgent responsibilities at the present time” (n. 29). The Holy Father had even stronger words for priests, telling them that “your first task…is to expound the Church’s teaching on marriage without ambiguity.”
He told them to “be the first to give, in the exercise of your ministry, the example of loyal internal and external obedience to the teaching authority of the Church….You know, too, that it is of utmost importance, for peace of consciences and for the unity of the Christian people, that in the field of morals, as well as in that of dogma, all should attend to the Magisterium of the Church, and all should speak the same language” (n. 28).
Sixth, perhaps these clergy who failed in their duty to guide their flocks were afraid of driving people away, and so they avoided homilies on contraception. How did that work out? Attendance at Mass still dropped from about 70 percent on Sundays before Humanae Vitae to around 20 percent today\ These members of the clergy should have heeded the advice of Pope Paul, that “to diminish in no way the saving teaching of Christ constitutes an eminent form of charity for souls. But this must ever be accompanied by patience and goodness, such as the Lord Himself gave example of in dealing with men. Having come not to condemn but to save [cf. John 3:17], He was intransigent with evil, but merciful to individuals” (n 29).
Seventh, here is the consolation that you are looking for — the knowledge that the Lord did not come to condemn, but to save us, to be intransigent with such evils as contraception but to be merciful to those individuals caught up in this web. We can identify personally with your situation, having once had seven “wee ones” ourselves under the age of nine. But with God’s help, we survived, even with the birth of two more children. Looking back, my wife and I wonder how we did it, but we did, and now we have 22 grandchildren as well.
Eighth, the answer to your plight is Natural Family Planning, which the Church approves as a method of spacing out the births of children, or of avoiding another birth for the time being, after taking into account what St. John Paul II called the “physical, economic, psychological, and social conditions” facing a family.
The beauty of NFP is that it involves the loving cooperation of both parties, rather than putting the burden on one spouse, usually the woman, who endangers her health by taking powerful drugs (the Pill) or using dangerous devices.
For information on NFP, check with the Family Life Office in your diocese or contact John Kippley of Natural Family Planning International at P.O. Box 112035, Cincinnati, OH 45211. His website is www.nfpandmore.org.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

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

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Enter Comments Below

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 . . .

‘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.

Trump budget completely defunds abortion providers, and Planned Parenthood is furious

May 23, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Pro-abortion feminists are bemoaning and pro-lifers are celebrating President Trump’s 2018 budget proposal that would withhold all federal funds from abortion-provider Planned Parenthood. Breitbart reported yesterday that Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney told the media on Monday that the new budget would defund the abortion business, but only if the new Republican healthcare legislation passed recently by the House is also passed by the Senate and…Continue Reading

Catholic Church Sues St. Louis to Stop It From Becoming a “Sanctuary City” for Abortion

Several Missouri Catholic groups filed a lawsuit Monday challenging a St. Louis ordinance that could force them to hire abortion activists and rent to pro-abortion groups. The Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis, the pro-life maternity home Our Lady’s Inn and a local Catholic businessman said the city ordinance violates their constitutional freedoms. In their lawsuit, they ask the court to block the city from enforcing the measure. In February, the St. Louis Board of Alderman…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

A Movie Review… “Outcasts” And True Social Justice

By REY FLORES “A bold example of social justice in action” — Follow the cameras of Grassroots Films, the Award-Winning producers of The Human Experience and Child 31, on an unexpected journey across the globe. Travel to the prisons of Central America, walk the dark city streets of London, New York, and Ireland’s most treacherous…Continue Reading

Kentucky Printer Can Refuse LGBT Message

LEXINGTON, Ky. — A Kentucky Court of Appeals ruling on May 14 affirmed a printer who objected to promoting a message for Lexington’s Gay and Lesbian Services Organization (GLSO) which conflicted with his sincerely held religious beliefs. Hands On Originals’ managing owner, Blaine Adamson, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, refused to print T-shirts for the…Continue Reading

No Help For Minor Children… Gender Confusion Prevails In The Courts

By DEACON MIKE MANNO (Editor’s Note: Deacon Mike Manno, an attorney, is director of deacons for the Diocese of Des Moines and host of Iowa Catholic Radio’s Faith On Trial program [www.iowacatholicradio.com]. He can be reached at deaconmike@iowacatholicradio.com.) + + + This month the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a Ninth…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

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

The Canonization Mass For Jacinta And Francisco . . . Pope Francis Says: “Dear Pilgrims, We Have A Mother”

(Editor’s Note: Pope Francis on May 13 canonized Jacinta and Francesco Marto, as the highlight of his May 12-13 Apostolic Pilgrimage to Fatima. Below is the Vatican translation of the Pope’s homily during the Mass, as provided by ZENIT News Agency. (It is followed by the text of Pietro Cardinal Parolin’s homily at the vigil. Earlier at the vigil, the…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… 25th Ordination Jubilee Solemn High Mass And Celebration

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK (Editor’s Note: The staff of The Wanderer congratulates Fr. Cusick on his upcoming 25th anniversary of Ordination.) + + + Thank you for reading my column so faithfully over the years and for all that you have done to support the apostolate of The Wanderer. As we mark the 25th anniversary of my June 6,…Continue Reading

Our Savior And Redeemer… More On The Gabirah, The Queen Mother

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 8 St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, in his celebrated book True Devotion to Mary, explains that our Lady is not only the Mother of Christ, the Mother of God Incarnate, but she is also the spiritual Mother of All Christians, of all those who are baptized into the Church founded by her Son. He…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