Thursday 22nd February 2018

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June 16, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. I have homosexual friends who are angry at the Church for describing them as “disordered” because of their homosexual inclinations. How should I respond to them? — M.K., Florida.
A. By pointing out that it is their actions, not themselves, that the Church describes as “intrinsically disordered.” Thus, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 2357) says:
“Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity [cf. Gen. 19:1-29; Romans 1:24-27; 1 Cor. 6:10; 1 Tim. 1:10], tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered’ [CDF, Persona humana, n. 8]. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”
Note that the language has to do with “acts,” not with the persons committing the acts. Regarding those with same-sex tendencies, the Catechism says that “this inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition” (n. 2358).
The Church has from the beginning labeled as “intrinsically disordered” or “intrinsically evil” acts of abortion, adultery, euthanasia, torture, slavery, sex trafficking, terrorism, and homosexuality, but never has she called the perpetrators of these acts evil persons who are beyond the reach of God’s grace. The old adage is true, that we are called to hate the sin, but never to hate the sinner; rather we are called to love them and to pray for their conversion.

Q. Since Muslims believe that Allah has no son, and Jews likewise believe that God has no son, how can they get to Heaven when Jesus says He is the way? Are they exempt? If so, why didn’t Jesus mention exemptions? — D.L.H., Iowa.
A. Jesus didn’t mention any exemptions because there are none. No one gets to Heaven except through Him. This does not mean, however, that people who do not explicitly accept Jesus as Lord and Savior are going to Hell. St. Paul said that God “wills everyone to be saved” (1 Tim. 2:2), and He will make it possible, in ways not known to us, for all who respond sincerely to His grace to reach Heaven. Here is how the Catechism (n. 847) puts it:
“Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience — those too may achieve eternal salvation [LG, n. 16; cf. DS 3866-3872].”
This is not a new teaching. Back in 1863, for example, Blessed Pope Pius IX said that “those who labor in invincible ignorance concerning our most holy religion and who, assiduously observing the natural law and its precepts which God has inscribed in the hearts of all, and being ready to obey God, live an honest and upright life can, through the working of divine light and grace, attain eternal life since God, who clearly sees, inspects, and knows the mind, the intentions, the thoughts, and habits of all, will, by reason of his supreme goodness and kindness, never allow anyone who has not the guilt of willful sin to be punished by eternal sufferings” (Quanto Conficiamur Moerore).
More than a century later, Pope St. John Paul II noted that “many people do not have an opportunity to come to know or accept the Gospel revelation or to enter the Church” because of “the social and cultural conditions” in which they were brought up.
Nevertheless, he said in his encyclical Redemptoris Missio, salvation is possible “to all people of good will in whose hearts grace is secretly at work. Since Christ died for everyone, and since the ultimate calling of each of us comes from God and is therefore a universal one, we are obliged to hold that the Holy Spirit offers everyone the possibility of sharing in this paschal mystery in a manner known to God” (n. 10).
This is not saying that all those who are sincerely ignorant of the Gospel of Christ are automatically saved. They must still seek the truth and do the will of God as they understand it, and God does put in each person’s heart a natural law that calls him to love good and avoid evil. Such persons might not be culpable for sins against faith (their ignorance of Jesus and the Gospel), but they might very well be culpable for other sins (abortion, adultery, theft, hatred, racism, terrorism, etc.) that would keep them out of Heaven unless they repented.

Q. It seems to me that everybody goes to Heaven if you follow the rules of the Divine Mercy Chaplet. But in his book on Purgatory, Fr. F.X. Schouppe, SJ, said that everyone will have to spend some time in Purgatory to atone for the temporal punishment attached to forgiven mortal sins. What is your opinion on this? — M.G., Alabama.
A. There is no contradiction between what Jesus told St. Faustina about His divine mercy, and what Fr. Schouppe said about Purgatory. The Church has always taught that every person who is sorry for his sins, but has not fully atoned for the temporal punishment stemming from those sins (for example, a person who turns back to God near the end of his life), will have to make up for those sins in Purgatory.
In the words of the Catechism: “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven” (n. 1030).
What St. Faustina was emphasizing was that Jesus’ mercy is so vast that it can pardon even the most hardened sinner if that sinner is truly sorry for his sins. This doesn’t mean that the sinner will go straight to Heaven, only that Jesus’ forgiveness will make it possible for him to get to Heaven after a period of purification in Purgatory.
Jesus told Faustina that “I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to my merciful Heart. I use punishment when they themselves force Me to do so. My hand is reluctant to take hold of the sword of justice. Before the day of justice, I am sending the day of mercy.”
He cautioned that “souls perish in spite of my bitter Passion. I am giving them the last hope of salvation, that is, the Feast of My Mercy. If they will not adore my mercy, they will perish for all eternity. Tell souls about this great gift of mine because the awful day, the day of my justice, is near.”
That doesn’t sound like everyone is going to Heaven. Those who stubbornly ignore the “bitter passion” of Jesus and deliberately turn away from His divine mercy will have said by their actions that they want nothing to do with Jesus. They will get their wish by going to Hell, where Jesus is not present.

Q. Would you expand on your recent answer to M.A.C. of Maryland about responding to Confirmation students who claim that they have no sins to confess? Besides Msgr. Pope’s column (where is that located?), are there other sources along the same lines? — D.T., Ohio.
A. Msgr. Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., writes a blog on moral and spiritual matters that is often reprinted by LifeSiteNews. In the blog that we referenced, he listed a bunch of “little sins” that people pay no attention to, but which ought to be part of one’s examination of conscience when preparing for Confession.
Two other good sources of this kind of information were written by Pope St. John Paul II. One is his document Reconciliation and Penance, and the other is his encyclical The Splendor of Truth. Both contain much valuable information on the moral life, on conscience, and on mortal and venial sin. For example, in the latter document, you will find extensive lists of mortal sins in paragraphs 13, 49, 80, 81, 100, and 101.

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FRENCH CATHOLICS TO PRAY NATIONAL ROSARY

PARIS (ChurchMilitant.com) – Catholics in France are rallying for a nationwide Rosary on April 28. In the past five months, Church Militant has reported on about a half dozen national Rosary rallies organized in countries such as Poland and Ireland. Inspired by…Continue Reading

Told he has not long to live, Catholic Studies founder Don Briel reflects on dying well

Don Briel, founder and longtime director of Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, was diagnosed in mid-January with two forms of acute leukemia. He was told the cancers were untreatable and he had a month…Continue Reading

Pope Francis says Paul VI will be canonized this year

Vatican City, Feb 17, 2018 / 08:53 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During his annual Lenten meeting with the priests of Rome last week, Pope Francis confirmed that Blessed Pope Paul VI will be made a saint sometime this year. “Paul VI…Continue Reading

Pope reappoints O’Malley to head further work of safeguarding commission

Vatican City, Feb 17, 2018 / 05:10 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Saturday the Vatican announced that Pope Francis has reconfirmed Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston as head of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, also reconfirming seven members…Continue Reading

The Latest: Trump to visit Florida after school shooting

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s response to the Florida school shooting (all times local): 11:36 a.m. President Donald Trump says he’ll visit Parkland, Florida, the site of Wednesday’s shooting that killed 17 people. Trump said from…Continue Reading

U.S. bishops: federal budget should not be balanced ‘on backs of the poor’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the Trump administration’s 2019 federal budget proposal on Monday, the U.S. Catholic bishops are urging for a budget that shows greater concern for “‘the least of these” and warning that the U.S. “must never seek…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood sticker stirs controversy at Connecticut Catholic high school

A Connecticut high school student may have to decide whether to remove a Planned Parenthood sticker on her laptop or leave her Catholic school after administrators told her to remove it, her parents said. Sophomore Kate Murray’s parents told the Greenwich Time that…Continue Reading

Fr. James Martin: ‘People take the Bible…out of context’ on homosexuality

February 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Bible’s condemnation of homosexual acts should be taken in “context” with Biblical times, Jesuit Father James Martin toldGeorgetown University students recently. Martin said as well that Catholics who support gay “marriage” should have no problem…Continue Reading

Mississippi state house votes to ban abortion after 15 weeks

JACKSON, Mississippi, February 2, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A bill banning abortion on babies more than 15 weeks old passed the Mississippi state House today 79-31. House Bill 1510 would make Mississippi the state with the most pro-life laws if it…Continue Reading

All But Three Democrats Voted to Allow Unlimited Abortions Up to Birth

Just three Democrats in the U.S. Senate supported a bill on Monday that would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks when unborn babies are capable of feeling pain. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which has strong public support from Republicans…Continue Reading

Athanasius Schneider invites world’s bishops to sign Profession of Immutable Truths

ROME, January 30, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – In an exclusive interview two weeks after issuing a profession of immutable truths about sacramental marriage, Bishop Athanasius Schneider is inviting his brother bishops around the world to join in raising a common voice…Continue Reading

Cardinal Eijk Asks Pope to Clarify Questions About “Remarried” Divorcees

As Katholisch.de, the official website of the German bishops, reports today, Cardinal Willem Eijk, the Dutch cardinal and Metropolitan Archbishop of Utrecht, requested that Pope Francis bring light into the confusion concerning the question as to how to deal with…Continue Reading

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Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

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  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

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Today . . .

State senator rebuffs Planned Parenthood activists: ‘Abortion is murder’

BOISE, Idaho, February 20, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Mainstream media is slinging mud at a pro-life Republican state senator in Idaho after he was filmed in a heated exchange with a dozen or so pro-abortion college students affiliated with Planned Parenthood, telling them that abortion is “murder.” When State Sen. Dan Foreman (R) canceled a meeting with University of Idaho students on Monday, the Planned Parenthood

Catholics urged to affirm ‘liberating truth’ of Humanae Vitae

The document ‘defended the integrity of married love and warned us against the danger of reducing sexuality to a source of pleasure alone’ The “liberating truth” of Blessed Paul VI’s encyclical “Humanae Vitae” is as relevant today 50 years after its promulgation, and maybe even more so, said Archbishop of Denver Samuel Aquila in his new pastoral letter, “The Splendor of Love.” “The 50th anniversary of ‘Humanae Vitae’ is an occasio

Correcting Fr. James Martin

Fr James Martin SJ has tweeted his rage against the firing of a gay teacher from a Catholic School. The story is here in the New York Times. It concerns a female Catholic school teacher who “married” her girlfriend and was then dismissed from her job. Fr Martin tweets: Again, where are the comparable firings of straight employees who do not follow Catholic church teaching? Men and women living together before being married? Divorced and remarried without…Continue Reading

Dozens of U.S. bishops sign up for Amoris Laetitia seminars at dissident Catholic colleges

CHICAGO, February 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich, a key promoter of the progressive agenda advanced under Pope Francis, has invited American bishops to a series of conferences about Amoris Laetitia in February. Catholic News Agency reported this week that it had “obtained” a letter by the Archbishop of Chicago about the seminars. Called “New Momentum Conferences on Amoris Laetitia”,  the series is advertised as a “tailor-made program that goes from why Amoris Laetitia provides New Momentum for Moral…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood Sues President Trump After He Defunded Its Programs Pushing Sex on Kids

There’s nothing, it seems, that the abortion chain Planned Parenthood won’t sue over. On Thursday, affiliates of the abortion chain in seven states sued the Trump administration for cutting funding for their questionable teen pregnancy prevention programs. The Daily Nonpareil reports the lawsuits argue that the Trump administration wrongly cut their funding prematurely and without cause. Nine groups, including Planned Parenthood affiliates in Washington, Iowa, North Carolina, South C

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Youth’s Predicament… The Longing For Love And Meaning

By GEORGE A. KENDALL Living in a nursing home has had an unexpected effect on my life — putting me in more contact with young people than I have been used to since I was young myself (about a hundred years ago). I am talking about the nurse’s aides who provide the day to day…Continue Reading

Notre Dame Professor… Criticizes University’s Provision Of “Simple Contraceptives”

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (CNA/EWTN News) — After the University of Notre Dame announced it would fund “simple contraceptives” in its insurance plan, one Notre Dame professor has criticized the move, calling it “a giant leap into immorality.” “Now the University [of Notre Dame] is to be sole funder and proprietor of a contraception giveaway,” wrote…Continue Reading

Fulton Sheen’s Final Resting Place Not Yet Final

NEW YORK (CNA/EWTN News) — Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s niece has said her uncle’s remains belong in Peoria, Ill., but a lawsuit seeking his internment there has been returned to a lower court for further consideration. “I just hate that this is dragging on and on and on,” Joan Sheen Cunningham said, according to The New…Continue Reading

Blessed Paul VI Revisited

By DONALD DeMARCO Unlike the daily news, papal statements are news that stay news. On January 1, 1977, Pope Paul VI delivered a Day of Peace message entitled, If You Want Peace, Defend Life. The need to conjoin peace with life is more relevant today than it was better than forty years ago and warrants…Continue Reading

President Trump Bans U.S. Aid for International Abortions

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Within a week of taking office on January 23, 2017, President Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, now called the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance, which bans U.S. funding for abortions overseas. The expanded policy prohibits $9 billion in U.S. taxpayer money from funding foreign organizations that perform or…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Cardinal Zen . . . “A Schismatic Church With The Pope’s Blessing Will Be Horrible!”

By DIANE MONTAGNA ROME (LifeSiteNews) — Hong Kong’s Joseph Cardinal Zen issued another strongly worded criticism February 13 of the Vatican’s proposed deal with China’s Communist regime, suggesting it would amount to a papal endorsement of schism. “There is no reason to fear a schismatic church created by the [Communist] Party. It will fade with the collapse of the regime,”…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… The “Inner Room” Of Lent

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “Go to your inner room and pray to your Father in private.” Another Lent is upon us. With the Mass of Ash Wednesday we hear once again the Lord’s call to grow into a deeper awareness and love of the Father who is always lovingly aware of us. The tasks of Lent in prayer, fasting,…Continue Reading

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ . . . Delving Into The Great Mystery Of The Eucharist

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 16 The Holy Eucharist is the greatest Mystery left to our faith by Our Divine Redeemer. Thus, to delve into it is something we do on our knees, as it were, spiritually speaking, since we are considering the Presence of a Divine Person under the appearances of bread and wine. We have His word…Continue Reading

The Effects Of The Sacrament Of Matrimony

By DON FIER For a variety of reasons (a defect of consent, a diriment impediment, or a defect of the required form), many supposed modern-day marriages entered into by Catholic persons are invalid from their origin in the eyes of God and the Church. However, as we saw last week, depending on the circumstances, the Church has procedures by which…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. Concerning what our Blessed Mother said in Fatima about the rosary, I am confused as to whether or not she meant us to meditate on the mysteries while we are praying the Hail Marys or whether she meant us to meditate on the mysteries right before we say the Hail Marys. The consensus seems to be that we are…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Agnes Of Bohemia

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the thirteenth century, many alliances were solidified by a marriage between members of royalty from other nations. There were also quite a few royal persons who were known for their holiness by following Christianity, including St. Elizabeth of Hungary and St. Ludmila and St. Wenceslaus of Czechoslovakia. Related to all of these saints, Princess Agnes also…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Margaret Of Cortona

By CAROLE BRESLIN Great sinners make great saints. It takes a strong-willed child to become a saint. These are statements which would easily fit saints such as Mary Magdalene and St. Augustine. In the thirteenth century, a young lady free in spirit and strong in will led such a life that she was essentially driven from her home village, but…Continue Reading