Sunday 18th March 2018

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April 21, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. When I was young, the Fifth Sunday of Lent was Passion Sunday and the Sixth Sunday was Palm Sunday. Now the Sunday before Easter is called Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord. Why the change? — T.L.H., Massachusetts.
A. The change came about in 1970 when the two feast days were combined into one. According to the document Paschales Solemnitatis, which explains the feasts connected with Easter, “Holy Week begins on ‘Passion (or Palm) Sunday,’ which joins the foretelling of Christ’s regal triumph and the proclamation of the Passion. The connection between both aspects of the Paschal Mystery should be shown and explained in the celebration and catechesis of this day.”
Prior to 1970, the Gospel read on Passion Sunday was not one of the accounts of the Passion of the Lord, but rather John 8:46-59, where Jesus infuriated the Pharisees by saying that “‘before Abraham came to be, I am.’ They therefore took up stones to cast at Him, but Jesus hid Himself, and went out from the temple.” The Passion of the Lord back then was read on Palm Sunday, as it is now, and there was then, as now, a solemn procession before Mass when the palms were blessed and the Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem was recounted. Hence the two names for the Sunday that begins Holy Week.

Q. A fellow parishioner told me today that two male employees of our parish are “married” to each other. One of them has a rather prominent role in the parish — supervising and scheduling the altar servers and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. The pastor has been approached through conversations and letters, so he is aware of the situation. I am inclined to get together a group of parishioners to meet with the pastor and ask him to do something about this situation. He is close to retirement, so some parishioners think we should wait until he leaves, but I see some problems with that: 1) we don’t know when that will happen, 2) waiting and doing nothing implies that we are okay with the situation, and 3) there is no reason to assume that the new pastor will act in the way we want.
My questions to you are what recourse do parishioners have in this situation, and do we have any rights at the chancery level? — Name and State Withheld.
A. This is one of those not uncommon situations today where the obvious and correct solution would be to remove these men from the parish staff because they are living a lifestyle that is contrary to the teachings of the Church and is a cause of scandal in that it might lead others to think that one can ignore Church teachings and remain in apparent good standing in the parish.
The problem is that any effort to remove these men will result in a media firestorm against the pastor and the Church, which may be why your pastor has not acted on concerns expressed by parishioners. Perhaps he is hoping to ease into retirement quietly and leave the problem to his successor.
So what can you do? You should gather a group of people together and ask for a meeting with the pastor because you need to find out exactly where he stands on the situation. Does he consider it a problem and, if so, is he willing to do the right thing and risk the outrage that will be directed at him? Or would he rather just let sleeping dogs lie and leave the problem to whoever comes after him? Once you know where he stands, you can either back him to the fullest if he decides to remove the men from his staff, or if he chooses not to, you can take the next step of contacting the chancery and the bishop.
As a baptized and practicing Catholic, you have a right to petition your bishop to correct an immoral and scandalous situation. There would be no hesitation in doing so if it were a question of a staff member who was embezzling parish funds or sexually abusing children. But when homosexual behavior is the issue, there is a double standard these days that scares people from doing what is right because of the fallout that will ensue.
We will pray for you, for your pastor, and for your bishop that all will have the fortitude to do what is right in this situation. And we will pray for the two men involved, that they will conform their lifestyle to God’s plan for marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Q. The Knights of Columbus in my parish have a monthly breakfast that donates the profits to a different local organization. Last month the money went to the Church of the Brethren. This doesn’t sit well with me since my parish is in debt and could use the money. Am I being overly sensitive about this, or am I right? Also, Catholic Relief Services is having its annual Lenten Rice Bowl collection. Haven’t I read something about CRS being involved in some activities that do not meet Catholic Church standards? — J.E.S., Indiana.
A. 1) Our own K of C Council donates money raised by Bingo to a variety of Church and community causes. We don’t see anything wrong with donating to a non-Church organization — we give to the local Ecumenical Food Pantry, as well as to groups that fight abortion and offer assistance to women facing problem pregnancies — as long as the needs of local Catholic parishes and schools are also taken into account. You should find out if your K of C Council helps your parish too and, if so, it would be okay for them to help other worthy causes as well.
2) Back on February 2 of this year, we devoted an entire column to CRS involvement in facilitating the distribution of more than two millions units of contraceptives and abortifacients into the Democratic Republic of the Congo between 2006 and 2010. CRS spokesmen claimed that they were not doing anything wrong since the distribution of the products was carried out by an organization called IMA World Health. But as Michael Hichborn of the Lepanto Institute pointed out, since CRS was responsible for the overall management of the specific health zones where the contraceptives were delivered, “this means that CRS was directly permitting contraception to be delivered and dispensed in its health centers, even if CRS itself didn’t technically ‘touch’ the contraceptives.”

Q. My 37-year-old nephew, a loose Catholic who went to Catholic school for 12 years, watched a documentary on the science channel that discussed the theory of the earth freezing over, then “defrosting,” throughout its existence. He believes the creation story and the Big Bang theory can’t be proven, that both rely on faith, and he doesn’t understand why both can’t be right. He said that “they should instead be embracing each other’s strengths and weaknesses, but that Catholicism is all heart and no brains.” How can I help him combat the stuff he hears and sees on TV and elsewhere? Any book suggestions would be appreciated. — M.L., California.
A. If your nephew really knew about the Catholic Church, he would know that the Church is both heart and brains, both faith and science. Not only was the Catholic Church never against science, it was the Church that invented modern science. Fr. Nicholas Steno, a Catholic priest, has been called the father of geology; Fr. Roger Boscovich has been credited as the father of modern atomic theory; Fr. Gregor Mendel is the father of modern genetics; Fr. Georges Lemaitre first proposed the “Big Bang” theory for the birth of the universe; and some 35 craters on the moon are named for Jesuit scientists and mathematicians.
As J.L. Heilbron of the University of California at Berkeley, who is not a Catholic, has pointed out: “The Roman Catholic Church gave more financial aid and social support to the study of astronomy [from the 12th century to the 18th century] than any other and, probably, all other, institutions” (The Sun in the Church, p. 3).
In fact, the Catholic Church helped to rebuild Western civilization after the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century. It was the Catholic Church that preserved not only the Bible but the ancient secular writings of men like Aristotle, Plato, Cicero, Horace, and Virgil. It was the Catholic Church that began the system of universities in Europe, established the first hospitals, pioneered modern international law, and sparked the scientific revolution. For more details, see Thomas Woods’ book How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization.
It might also help your nephew to combat the stuff he sees on TV to read the writings of Fr. Robert Spitzer, a Jesuit priest who has published eight books on faith, reason, and philosophy and is currently co-authoring a book entitled The Grand Designer: The Evidence for Creation in Modern Physics. You can learn more about Fr. Spitzer by Googling

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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 . . .

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

WEST BLOOMFIELD, Michigan, March 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A judge sentenced five pro-life activists today to one year of reporting probation, eight days of community service, more than $1,000 in fines each, and forbade them from going within 500 feet of any abortion facility in the United States. Several of them will likely serve jail time for refusing to pay the fines or perform community service. Some of them could end up being in jail…Continue Reading

Over 10,000 sign petition urging Disney not to make Frozen’s Elsa a lesbian

March 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – More than 10,000 people have signed a petition asking Disney to not depict Elsa as a lesbian in Frozen 2. “From every corner of society, young girls already face confusing and troubling messages about sexuality,” the petition, hosted on LifeSiteNews’ petition platform LifePetitions, says. The petition platform also gives signers the option to send Disney a postcard expressing their concerns. So far, over 200 postcards h

Don’t let gender ideology confuse students, English cardinal urges

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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

Fatal Delusions Of Western Man

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN “We got China wrong. Now what?” ran the headline over the column in The Washington Post. “Remember how American engagement with China was going to make that communist backwater more like the democratic, capitalist West?” asked Charles Lane in his opening sentence. America’s elites believed that economic engagement and the opening…Continue Reading

The Holy Week Tradition Of Tenebrae

By JAMES MONTI As many of our readers know, for at least thirteen centuries, and very probably longer, there has existed in the Roman liturgy a uniquely ceremonial recitation of the offices of Matins and Lauds from Holy Thursday to Good Friday known as Tenebrae (“Darkness”). The thirteenth-century prelate and liturgist William Durandus of Mende…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

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

The Hour Of The Covenant

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Sunday Sermon for March 18, 2018 Fifth Sunday Of Lent (YR B) Readings: Jer. 31:31-34 Hebrews 5:7-9 John 12:20-33 The first reading today is one of the most important in all of the Old Testament because it plainly declares that God is going to make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house…Continue Reading

Cardinal Mueller… The Magisterium Is Not Supposed To Lead Faithful “Into Confusion”

(LifeSiteNews) — Formulating pastoral practices based on “individual cases” is a “rhetorical trick” that undermines the unity of the faith, said Gerhard Cardinal Mueller in an interview published the past week in German and translated into English by LifeSiteNews. “That is why papal and episcopal statements on the reception of the Sacraments have to be prepared in such a clear…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