Thursday 21st September 2017

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September 8, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Editor’s Note: Continuing our summary of the six appearances of Our Lady of Fatima 100 years ago, here is an account of what happened on September 13, 1917.
On July 13, some four thousand people had gathered for the apparition, but now the word had spread even farther, so that an estimated 25,000 were present for the appearance in September. The children had difficulty getting through the crowd because so many were kneeling before them and begging for our Lady’s help. “If these people so humbled themselves before three poor children, just because they were mercifully granted the grace to speak to the Mother of God,” Lucia wrote later, “what would they not do if they saw our Lord Himself in person before them?”
When our Lady arrived, she insisted again on praying the rosary for an end to World War I, which concluded a year later. This should be a reminder to us of the power of the rosary to end the wars in our own time. The Virgin foretold some of the appearance in October, saying that our Lord would come at that time, that she herself would appear as Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and that St. Joseph would appear with the Child Jesus to bless the world.
After praising the children for their sacrifices, she cautioned them to modify the penance of tying a piece of rope around their waists, saying that God only wanted them “to wear it during the daytime.” This practice had caused the children much suffering, either because the rope was too rough or tied too tightly, and God wanted them to have some relief during the night. Imagine little children offering this kind of sacrifice for sinners!
As the Blessed Mother departed, Lucia cried out, “If you want to see our Lady, look there!” She pointed toward the east, and many people, without seeing the Virgin herself (only the children saw her), testified later that they had seen something like a luminous cloud moving toward the east. Many priests were there for the first time and later gave testimony that contributed to the official approval of the Fatima apparitions by the Church in 1930.

Q. A friend sent me an e-mail saying that a Catholic school in California had removed statues of Jesus and Mary so that students wouldn’t be offended. Please check this out. If it is true, it is an outrage. — D.L.H., Iowa.
A. Statues have been removed from San Domenico Catholic School in San Anselmo, Calif., including one of the Virgin Mary holding the Christ Child that had graced the school’s center courtyard, in order to make the school “inclusive of all faiths,” said Sr. Maureen McInerney, prioress general of the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael. Of the 660 students enrolled at the school, which was founded in 1850, many are not Catholic and come from various religious traditions, such as Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. The annual tuition for an incoming kindergarten student is $29,850.
“Over the last few years,” said Head of School Cecily Stock, “we’ve had fewer Catholic students as part of the community and a larger number of students of various faith traditions. Right now, about 80 percent of our families do not identify as Catholic.”
She said that rather than educate students about Catholicism, instruction is given in world religions and philosophy, adding that “it’s really about empowering each student and giving them the information so they can discover their own purpose, their own truth [!]. We believe the best way to understand your own faith is to learn about the faiths of others.”
All of which has led to removing the word “Catholic” from the school’s mission statement and getting rid of statues of Jesus and Mary and many saints. “If you walk on campus and the first thing you confront is three or four statues of St. Dominic or St. Francis,” said Amy Skewes-Cox, head of the school’s Board of Trustees, “it could be alienating for that other religion, and we didn’t want to further that feeling.” About 160 statues or icons were removed.
While Sr. McInerney insisted that “San Domenico is a Catholic school” that “welcomes people of all faiths,” it doesn’t sound much like a Catholic school to us since the students are apparently not given much information about Catholicism, but are rather encouraged to discover “their own truth.” We thought the purpose of a Catholic school was to lead the students to the discovery of the truth, who is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. We can’t understand why any faithful Catholic parent would pay that astronomical tuition to have their child’s faith undermined or lumped in with other “faith traditions.”

Q. Can a Roman Catholic meet his Sunday obligation by attending an Eastern Orthodox Mass and receiving Communion there? — D.M.D., Massachusetts.
A. First of all, according to canon 1248 of the Code of Canon Law, every Catholic is bound to assist “at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day [Sunday] or on the evening of the preceding day.” Second, since Eastern Orthodox churches have a valid priesthood and valid sacraments, Catholics may attend Mass and receive Communion in those churches under certain conditions that are spelled out in canon 844 §2:
“Whenever necessity requires or genuine spiritual advantage suggests, and provided that the danger of error or indifferentism is avoided, it is lawful for the faithful for whom is it physically or morally impossible to approach a Catholic minister, to receive the sacraments of penance, Eucharist, and anointing of the sick from non-Catholic ministers in whose churches these sacraments are valid.”
So attending Mass and receiving Communion in an Eastern Orthodox church are permissible if it is necessary, there is a genuine spiritual advantage, there is no danger of error or indifferentism (i.e., believing that one church is as good as another), and it is impossible to attend Mass in a Catholic church.
We don’t know the circumstances that prompted D.M.D.’s question, but they would have to be highly unusual, such as danger of death, or imprisonment, or persecution, to justify having a Catholic attend Mass in an Eastern Orthodox church.
That is the Catholic point of view, but one ought also to consider the Eastern Orthodox point of view, which was presented to us some time ago by an Eastern Orthodox priest. He told us that having a Catholic receive Communion in his church would be “a totally unacceptable practice according to Orthodox canon law and spiritual practice. The Orthodox Church sees Holy Communion as the seal of unity in a common faith already achieved and not an individualistic act in which any priest may give Holy Communion to any person who wishes to receive a ‘dose of grace,’ as it were.”
He said that any Orthodox priest who would give Communion to a non-Orthodox person who had no intention of converting to Orthodoxy would be “introducing ‘modernistic,’ ‘relativistic,’ and ‘syncretistic’ practices into the life of the Church. As I understand from your columns, this is the very thing you condemn the Roman Catholic priests in this country for doing so eagerly. How can you condemn a Roman priest for ignoring the various injunctions of the Church and yet encourage an Orthodox priest to violate the injunctions of the Church?”
Q. I thought that Jesus died at the age of 33, but Bill O’Reilly says in his book Killing Jesus that He was 36 when He died. Who is right? — J.P.D., New York.
A. In his book, O’Reilly has Jesus dying on the cross in the year AD 30, and says that He was born in 5 BC. Don’t worry about how He could have been born five years “before Christ.” That apparent contradiction was the result of a miscalculation by a sixth-century monk named Dionysius Exiguus, who drew up a calendar that fixed the birth of Jesus in the Roman year 753, but scholars today agree that Dionysius was off by a few years. So it is certain that our Lord was born before year one of the Christian era.
We know that King Herod wanted to kill Jesus and that Herod died around 4 BC, so Jesus would have had to be born before Herod’s death. The actual year of His birth, then, would have been around 4 BC, so if he died in AD 30, He would have been around the age of 33 or 34. By using the year 5 BC for Jesus’ birth, O’Reilly can set Jesus’ death at the age of 36 and, without precise historical evidence about the actual year of our Lord’s birth, that is not that far removed from 33 or 34.

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Popular priest disinvited from Catholic University’s seminary after protests over his LGBT book

The Rev. James Martin, a popular priest who published a book earlier this year encouraging a bridge between the LGBT community and the Catholic Church, has been disinvited from giving an address at Catholic University’s seminary. Martin, who was planning…Continue Reading

Latin Mass fans celebrate 10-year anniversary _ without pope

Fans of the old Latin Mass descended on Rome on Thursday for their annual pilgrimage, facing indifference to their cause, if not outright resistance, from none other than Pope Francis. Ten years after Pope Benedict XVI passed a law allowing greater use of…Continue Reading

Pro-gay Vatican adviser gets Catholic group suspended from Twitter

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 12, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A faithful Catholic lay apostolate was suspended by Twitter last week after Vatican adviser Father James Martin complained about a tweet that teasingly stated the pro-gay Jesuit had been bested in a theological…Continue Reading

Durbin, Feinstein and Catholic judges

Washington is currently embroiled in one of its “gotcha” controversies, which often arise when minor missteps are blown into major crimes. It’s a game both parties and a variety of activists play whenever they see political advantage in it. The…Continue Reading

Pope issues new directives on revision, translation of liturgical texts

Vatican City, Sep 9, 2017 / 08:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Holy See has released a new “motu proprio” from Pope Francis outlining a shift in the responsibility of local bishops and the Apostolic See for the revision and approval…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke ‘treasured’ work with deceased dubia Cardinal to oppose ‘gravely harmful confusion’

ROME, September 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke paid tribute today to fellow dubia signer Cardinal Carlo Caffarra on his passing after a long illness. In a statement to LifeSiteNews, Burke said he was “deeply saddened” by the 79-year-old’s…Continue Reading

Some Personal Reflections on the Late Cardinal Caffarra

As Steve Skojec reported this morning, our beloved Cardinal Carlo Caffarra died today, in Italy. Our hearts are broken over this news since he was such a lovable and charitable and truthful man for us. Just to know that he was out…Continue Reading

Remarks by President Trump at Signing of Day of Prayer Proclamation

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Bishop Schneider: The Pope who ‘seems to’ permit adultery bears a ‘grave responsibility’

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REPORT CARD: Faithful college praised for financial aid; Praying for Notre Dame; ‘Pride Prom’ at Marquette

With college affordability becoming an increasingly prominent (and problematic) issue, Thomas Aquinas College’s recognition by The Princeton Review’s national Financial Aid Honor Roll is especially refreshing. “We are pleased that, once again, The Princeton Review has featured Thomas Aquinas College in its annual guide,”…Continue Reading


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. ( – The flagship school for the diocese of Jefferson City has updated its handbook with clear Catholic instruction to counter the LGBT agenda being foisted on schools. Just in time for the new school year, St. Joseph…Continue Reading

Australian priest rips confession proposal as government ‘intrusion’

An Australian priest has called the Royal Commission’s recent proposal to enforce law requiring that clergy face criminal charges if they do not disclose details of sexual abuse revealed in the confessional a breach of religious tolerance. Fr. Kelvin Lovegrove,…Continue Reading

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Today . . .

Pro-Life Speaker Ben Shapiro Answers Pro-Abortion Student’s Question With an “Epic Takedown”

Popular conservative author and speaker Ben Shapiro continued to impress his audience Thursday at UC Berkeley when he rapidly refuted a young man’s abortion arguments. Shapiro’s speech at the liberal California university drew massive media attention because of the violent protests that have broken out on campus during past conservative speakers’ talks. The university and local police increased security, and several people were arrested Thursday. Inside the sold-out auditorium, Shapiro received a huge applause when…Continue Reading

Cardinal Sarah: Reverent liturgy is essential to fighting the culture of death

ROME, September 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – One of the chief antidotes to a world “marked by the blight of Godless terrorism, of an increasingly aggressive secularism” and an “advancing culture of death” is to restore primacy to God in the Catholic liturgy, Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, said Thursday. The cardinal was speaking to an international gathering of cardinals, priests, religious and laity at the Fifth Roman Colloquium on Summorum…Continue Reading

Pope to new bishops: ‘Discernment’ means avoiding ‘rigid’ answers to moral questions

ROME, September 14, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Pope Francis told a group of newly ordained bishops that “authentic discernment” cannot be reduced to repeating “rigid” moral formulas to persons whose situations “can’t be reduced to black and white.” Discernment, the pope said, “can’t be reduced to repeating formulas such as ‘high clouds send little rain’ to a concrete person, who’s often immersed in a reality that can’t be reduced to black and white.” He cautioned bishops…Continue Reading

Catholic leaders defend Trump after Pope challenges his pro-life views

September 12, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life Catholic leaders are defending President Trump against Pope Francis after the Pontiff questioned Trump’s pro-life views, despite the fact that Trump has racked up major pro-life accomplishments during his short time in office. “If Pope Francis is so concerned with the commitment of others to the defense of preborn children, he should consider his own words and actions, as well,” said Michael Hichborn, founder and president of the Lepanto…Continue Reading

Sex, sanity, and beliefs that ‘live loudly’ within us

“I do not know any country where, in general, less independence of mind and genuine freedom of discussion reign than in America.” — Tocqueville, “Democracy in America” Alexis de Tocqueville was the great French chronicler of the early United States.  Nearly 200 years ago, he spotted a basic tension in our national character.  It’s this:  Americans place a big stress on individual rights.  But we’re also big conformists.  The dynamic of self-assertion and fear of being…Continue Reading


Who Were The Colombian Martyrs Beatified By Pope Francis?

By ELISE HARRIS ROME, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) — During his six-day visit to Colombia, Pope Francis beatified martyrs Bishop Jesus Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve and Fr. Pedro Maria Ramirez Ramos, who provide testimony as the country heals from decades of conflict. Bishop Jaramillo was killed by Colombian Marxist guerrilla forces in 1989, while Fr. Ramirez was…Continue Reading

20 State Attorneys General Lauded… For Opposing Pro-Abortion Judge Orrick’s Gag Order Against CMP

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — “It is definitely very encouraging, and it’s great news” that 20 state attorneys general filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court to oppose the gag order against videos by pro-life investigators, an official with one of the law firms representing David Daleiden and the California-based Center for Medical…Continue Reading

Preparing To Enter Into The Awesome Mystery Of The Mass

By JAMES MONTI For every Catholic, there can be no more important event in one’s spiritual life than Holy Mass. For in the mystery of the Holy Eucharist we encounter our God in a more intimate manner than in any other sacrament, sacramental, or form of prayer. I recall hearing of a modern writer who…Continue Reading

Moral Judgments — Facts Or Opinions?

By ARTHUR HIPPLER (Editor’s Note: Dr. Hippler is chairman of the religion department and teaches religion in the Upper School at Providence Academy, Plymouth, Minn.) + + + Allan Bloom began his Closing of the American Mind with this memorable observation: “There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the…Continue Reading

The Complete Thinker

By DONALD DeMARCO “The Complete Thinker” is borrowed from the title of Dale Ahlquist’s 2012 book, the subtitle of which is The Marvelous Mind of G.K. Chesterton. “Thinking,” for Chesterton, “means connecting things.” Ahlquist regards G.K.’s thinking as “complete” in the sense that it deals with a wide variety of subjects and integrates them in…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Professor Josef Seifert… Amoris Laetitia’s “Immense Threat” To The Moral Teaching Of The Church

By MAIKE HICKSON (Editor’s Note: In light of Professor Josef Seifert’s recent essay examining some of the dangerous logical consequences of Amoris Laetitia — an essay for which he was dismissed from his teaching position by the archbishop of Granada — Dr. Maike Hickson of reached out to the Austrian philosopher to ask him some additional questions about not…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Can Division In Worship Bring Unity Of Faith?

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Pope Francis has given authority through a new motu proprio, Magnum Principium, issued this month, to local bishops’ conferences to approve translations of the liturgy from Latin into local languages. By doing so he hopes to accomplish a couple of things. First, as we know by now Pope Francis places full trust and confidence in…Continue Reading

God The Sanctifier Of Men… Other Christs

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 3 In a previous article, I mentioned that sanctifying grace makes us brethren of Christ. It is, by the way, one more reason to have devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ and Mother of us, our common Mother. The reason is quite simple to understand: Christ is the Head of the…Continue Reading

The Effects And Fruits Of Anointing Of The Sick

By DON FIER The proper time for receiving the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick for a baptized Catholic “has certainly arrived when the believer begins to be in danger of death because of illness or old age” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n. 1528). However, as we saw last week, the sacrament is not exclusively for those who…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. Please clarify 1 John 5:16-17. Does this refer to mortal sin? What is meant by not praying for one in deadly sin? Isn’t deadly sin a top priority for prayer? — P.S., Indiana. A. The passage in question reads: “If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, he should pray to God and he will…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Thomas Villanova

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord drew amazing men and women from the population of Spain to protect that country from the ravages that swept through Germany and the Scandinavian countries in the Reformation era. Two events marked by Augustinian monks sparked these events. In Germany, an apostate Augustinian monk who fell from grace led hundreds of thousands into error —…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Simon De Rojas

By CAROLE BRESLIN The subject of this article lived in a time of great saints, great Spanish saints, so it is not surprising that he is little known. St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) who wrote the Spiritual Exercises, St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) who reformed the Carmelites and wrote The Interior Castle, and St. John of the Cross who wrote…Continue Reading