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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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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

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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 . . .

Polish archbishop criticises priest who wished for death of Pope Francis

Former seminary rector Fr Edward Staniek questioned the direction in which Pope Francis was taking the Church A Polish archbishop has criticised a priest and theologian who wished Pope Francis a quick death if he did not open his heart to “wisdom”. Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski of Krakow said he had heard the comments with “great pain and regret” and had spoken to the priest about them. Fr Edward Staniek, a noted theologian and former rector…Continue Reading

Catholic principal defies Planned Parenthood. Her worst enemy? The local bishop.

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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’

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Judge bans pro-lifers from going near abortion centers in unprecedented ruling

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Make A Church Post Satan’s Phone Number?

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of Creators Syndicate,, distributes his column.) + + + Jerry Brown once said he saw “the killing of the unborn as crazy.” This was just after the once-and-future pro-abortion governor of California returned to the United States in 1988 after spending…Continue Reading

A Decision From Outer Space

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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


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Horror Of The Passion

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Palm Sunday (YR B) Readings: Mark 11:1-10 Isaiah 50:4-7 Phil. 2:6-11 Mark 14:1-15:47   As we celebrate Palm Sunday, we begin with a Gospel reading recounting our Lord’s entrance into Jerusalem to the joyful shouts of the people proclaiming Him to be the Son of David, that is, the Messiah. Our Lord had preached and worked…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… “Fear Is Useless”

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Lent is about death. The Lord’s death, of course: “Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies it remains just a grain of wheat.” He Himself in His human nature must be the seed of future glory for all of mankind. Fear is mankind’s most instinctive response before the vast and uncharted…Continue Reading

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

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