Sunday 23rd July 2017

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July 14, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Editor’s Note: At a time when it’s easy to get discouraged about developments in the Church and in the world, Fr. George Rutler reminds us that “to discourage is to lose heart. It is a trick of the Anti-Christ and the very opposite of Christ, who encourages: ‘Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day’ (2 Cor. 4:16).”
Reflecting on the parable of the unjust judge (cf. Luke 18:1-8), Fr. Rutler, pastor of the Church of St. Michael in New York City, compared the widow whose persistence compelled the judge to hear her case with the “Ladies in White, who are wives and mothers of political prisoners in the gulags of Communist Cuba. Mostly Afro-Cubans, they formed in 2003 to protest the large-scale arrest of their kin, who included journalists and human rights activists. From then on, every Sunday they attend Mass in Havana and process in white clothing to a park where, despite their peaceful witness, they frequently have been beaten and jailed.”
Rutler wrote in his church bulletin that “their persistence has been an embarrassment to many outside Cuba who choose to ignore the devastation wrought by Marxism. Even some leading churchmen indulge the gossamer hope that appeasement will convert evil to good. The Ladies in White were hurt but not thwarted when a U.S. presidential executive order in 2013 lifted sanctions against Cuba, while requiring no reform of its dictatorship. ‘Peace in our time’ was predictably delusional, and political oppression increased. There were 1,095 detainees in 2016, up from 718 in 2015.”
This past June, however, said Fr. Rutler, our new president “fulfilled a campaign promise by signing a directive imposing sanctions that will not be lifted until Cuba frees political prisoners and holds free elections. He also explicitly mentioned the persistence of the Ladies in White. Berta Soler, a leader of the Ladies in White, whose husband has been serving a 20-year sentence, replied: ‘These days, Mr. President, when most of the world responds with a deafening silence to the harassment, arbitrary detentions, beatings, house searches, and robberies against peaceful opponents, human rights activists, and defenseless women, your words of encouragement are most welcomed’.”
This is like the parable of the undaunted widow, said Rutler. “And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night?” His article reminds us of the importance of praying fervently for the relief of God’s elect, that is, our persecuted brothers and sisters throughout the world.

Q. I have two questions: 1) Is the Society for the Propagation of the Faith still a reputable organization to donate to? 2) When I lead the rosary for the Third Glorious Mystery, I always say, “The Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary.” My husband says I shouldn’t add the Blessed Mother, but I say that Mary was there on Pentecost. What do you think? — E.C., via e-mail
A. First, we contribute to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and know of no reason why Catholics should not donate to this charity, which provides assistance to priests, brothers, and sisters in the mission fields of the world.
Second, the Descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost is described in chapter two of the Acts of the Apostles, and the Blessed Virgin is not mentioned as being present. The tongues of fire came to rest that day on the 12 apostles, the first leaders of the Church, and they were inspired to leave the Upper Room and go outside to evangelize the large crowd of people gathered in the streets.
While Mary is mentioned in chapter one of Acts (verse 14) as being with the Twelve in the Upper Room at least some of the time during the 10 days between the Ascension and Pentecost (“All those with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the Mother of Jesus, and with his brethren”), there is no indication that she was there on Pentecost. So we would suggest identifying the Third Glorious Mystery in the traditional way, that is, without including the Blessed Mother.

Q. Vatican II has done a great job in diluting the reverence and intimacy of the Mass with the feel-good practices adopted from Protestant services. Of particular note is the recitation of petitions and even inviting petitions from the congregation. The Lord said not to babble like pagans who think they will be heard because of their many words. He said that your Father knows what you need better than you and even before you ask Him. So my question is: Which of the Lord’s words does the Church not understand or, worse yet, not believe? — A.C., Tennessee.
A. We don’t see a problem with presenting our needs to the Lord during the Prayers of the Faithful at Mass since He told us: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matt. 7:7-8). He invites us to ask Him for things, so we should accept His invitation.
The reason for these petitions is explained in the following paragraph from the General Instruction of the Roman Missal:
“In the Prayer of the Faithful, the people respond in a certain way to the word of God which they have welcomed in faith and, exercising the office of their baptismal priesthood, offer prayers to God for the salvation of all. It is fitting that such a prayer be included, as a rule, in Masses celebrated with a congregation, so that petitions will be offered for the holy Church, for civil authorities, for those weighed down by various needs, for all men and women, and for the salvation of the whole world” (n. 69).
Granted, there are times when these intercessions stray far from what was spelled out in the GIRM, and this problem can be exacerbated when members of the congregation are invited to offer their own petitions. But this should not happen if the guidelines of the GIRM are followed, namely, that “the intentions announced should be sober, be composed freely but prudently, and be succinct, and they should express the prayer of the entire community. The intentions are announced from the ambo or from another suitable place, by the deacon or by a cantor, a lector, or one of the lay faithful. The people, however, stand and give expression to their prayer either by an invocation said together after each intention or by praying in silence” (n. 71).
Praying at Mass for the needs of Church, country, friends, neighbors, and self is not a “feel-good practice adopted from Protestant services,” but rather a response to the Lord’s call to come to Him with all our needs and the needs of others.

Q. At Mass the other morning, the Gospel had Jesus saying that “no one patches an old cloak with a piece of unshrunken cloth, for its fullness pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse. People do not put new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved” (Matt. 9:16-17). What point was our Lord trying to make? — G.V., North Dakota.
A. He was comparing an old cloak with the Old Covenant, implying that both were worn out and in need of replacement (cf. Heb. 1:10-12). Just as an old cloth cannot be salvaged merely by sewing on new patches, so the Old Covenant cannot be patched up with the New Covenant. The same is true of new and old wineskins, as a footnote says in the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament:
“Fermenting wine is accompanied by a build-up of pressure. If kept in skins already used and dried out, the wine would certainly burst them. Jesus thus illustrates the impossibility of inaugurating the New Covenant while maintaining the Old. The abundance of New Covenant grace cannot be contained within the structures of the Old Covenant (cf. John 1:16). A new kingdom is needed to contain it — one fashioned to endure forever.”

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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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Bishop Conley: 50 years after Land O’Lakes, Catholic education needs renewal

Denver, Colo., Jul 21, 2017 / 04:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The 50th anniversary of a historic statement that changed Catholic higher education in America represents both a cautionary tale and a chance to reflect on Catholic renewal, said Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska. “The Land O’Lakes statement proposed to redefine the mission of the Catholic university. It rejected the authority of the Church, and of her doctrinal teaching,” Bishop Conley said. “It rejected…Continue Reading

Self-pitying and disgruntled, Cardinal Müller takes more jabs at Pope Francis

Cardinal Gerhard Müller has issued new, thinly veiled criticism of Pope Francis by complaining that the pontiff has effectively eliminated Germans from top positions in the Vatican and by insinuating that he is allowing a “pope cult” to fester. In an interview with the German news agency Deutsche Presse Agentur (dpa), which spanned some two hours, the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) complained once more and at length…Continue Reading

Pro-Life Group Slams Republican Opposing Senate Bill to Defund Planned Parenthood

Senator Shelly Moore Capito is one of three Republicans in the Senate who opposes the Senate bill to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal Obamacare. She has flip-flopped from suporting the bill to opposing it — but her political calculations are not playing well at home. The junior senator from West Virginia previously voted to repeal the failing ObamaCare legislation but did so expecting a certain veto from then President Obama. Now, it appears that Capito…Continue Reading

In latest appointments, Pope names new members of Roman Rota

Vatican City, Jul 20, 2017 / 06:15 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Fr. Pierangelo Pietracatella and Fr. Hans-Peter Fischer are the newest members of the Roman Rota, and mark the latest in a string of appointments Pope Francis has made this summer as part of his ongoing effort to restructure the Roman Curia. Hailing from the northern Italian diocese of Toronta, Fr. Pietracatella, a member of the Rota, has been named as it’s new Chief of Office.…Continue Reading

Archbishop Chaput Responds to Vatican Magazine Attack On Pro Trump Supporters . . .

chaput

History is full of great quotations that people never said. One of the best lines comes from Vladimir Lenin. He described Russian progressives, social democrats, and other fellow travelers as “useful idiots” – naïve allies in revolution whom the Bolsheviks promptly crushed when they took power. Or so the legend goes. In fact, there’s no evidence Lenin actually spoke those words, at least in public. But no one seems to care. It’s a compelling line,…Continue Reading

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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

Alliance Defending Freedom… Condemns ABC’s “Journalistic Malpractice”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel and Director of Communications Kerri Kupec commented July 13 on ABC News’ abandonment of objectivity in repeating false accusations against ADF made by the ultra-partisan Southern Poverty Law Center. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke at an Alliance Defending Freedom meeting on July 11, “and some in…Continue Reading

A Book Review… A Non-Polemical Study The Third Secret Of Fatima

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY On the Third Part of the Secret of Fatima, by Kevin Symonds (En Route Books and Media, 2017, 582 pages, $35.00 paperback, $10.05 Kindle). On the Third Part of the Secret of Fatima is a quite comprehensive treatment of this difficult subject, and one based on extensive documentation and copious footnotes.…Continue Reading

A Pope Who Understood The American Vision

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate distributed this column.) + + + It was a bright April day in Washington, D.C., when a large crowd gathered on the South Lawn of the White House to greet a man celebrating his 81st birthday. The…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic . . . A Disturbing Portrait Of The Present-Day American Left

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly] in Crisis. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also cofounder and president of…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

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

The Pearl Of Great Price

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Seventeenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: 1 Kings 3:5, 7-12 Romans 8:28-30 Matt. 13:44-52 In the Gospel reading today, our Lord tells us that the Kingdom of Heaven is like something that is hidden: a treasure buried in a field, a merchant searching for a pearl, or an item pulled ashore in a net.…Continue Reading

Maiorem Hac Dilectionem . . . A New Way Toward Beatification

(Editor’s Note: Below we publish the full text of the Holy Father’s motu proprio on a new way toward beatification, titled, Maiorem hac dilectionem. It takes its title from the words of our Lord as recorded in the Gospel According to St. John, “Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends”…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Charlie Gard Case A Warning For Faith

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The world has become embroiled in the story of Charlie Gard, the British infant caught in the web of the National Health System, the bureaucrats of which have decided that he must be denied any further help and “allowed to die.” Any further efforts of doctors to aid him are seen as the cause of…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

Catholic Heroes… St. Bridget

By CAROLE BRESLIN One of St. Teresa of Calcutta’s most quoted sayings would fit with this column’s saint, “God hasn’t called me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful.” What encouraging words for anyone seeking to do God’s will, knowing that the cross, the setbacks, and the obstacles are all part of working for the Kingdom of…Continue Reading