Wednesday 21st February 2018

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September 15, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

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 give him life. This is only for those whose sin is not deadly. There is such a thing as deadly sin, about which I do not say that you should pray. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly.”
While it is not completely clear what St. John meant by sin in the first instance, he was probably referring to mortal sin since he said that life would be given to the sinner who petitions God, primarily through the Sacrament of Penance. The “deadly” sin probably refers either to apostasy (the total rejection of the Catholic faith by one who was baptized in the faith) or to final impenitence (the stubborn rejection of God’s love and mercy at the moment of death).
John was not saying that we shouldn’t pray for those who are steeped in mortal sin because only God knows whether a person is finally impenitent or not. We know from Scripture that God wants all persons to be saved (cf. 1 Tim. 2:4) and that He takes “no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, but rather in the wicked man’s conversion, that he may live” (Ezek. 33:11).
So by all means pray fervently for sinners, for as Our Lady of Fatima said, “many souls go to Hell because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them.” That’s why she taught the three children this prayer to be said after each decade of the rosary:
“O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fire of Hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy.”

Q. On the Feast of the Assumption, the priest offering Mass stated that on this day the body and soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary were reunited in Heaven. I was taught differently. Are there not different opinions on whether the Blessed Mother died or not? — W.B., Oregon.
A. The Church has never formally declared that the Virgin Mary died before she was assumed, body and soul, into Heaven, but saints, holy writers, and Popes have said that she underwent death but not the decay of the grave. For example, St. John Damascene (675-749) referred to an “ancient tradition” that Mary did die and was placed in a coffin in the Garden of Gethsemane. After three days of singing and chanting by angels, the coffin was opened, but the apostles “were unable anywhere to find her most lauded body.”
In his proclamation of the Assumption in 1950, Pope Pius XII seemed to think that the Blessed Mother died when he said that the fathers and doctors of the Church, in their explanations of the meaning of the Assumption, brought “into sharper light the fact that this feast shows, not only that the dead body of the Blessed Virgin Mary remained incorrupt, but that she gained a triumph out of death, her heavenly glorification after the example of her only begotten Son, Jesus Christ” (Munificentissimus Deus, n. 20).

Q. Can a Catholic who endorses same-sex “marriage” remain in good standing in the Church? — T.H., California.
A. No, and here are the reasons why as explained by canon lawyer Dr. Edward Peters in a recent blog discussing just such an endorsement by an Australian Jesuit priest (CIC means Code of Canon Law):
“As I have explained [before], that marriage can only exist between one man and one woman is a truth taught with infallible certainty by the Catholic Church, meaning that for a Catholic to endorse any other kind of union (same-sex, group, inanimate objects, etc.) as a form of marriage is for that person to be ‘opposed to the doctrine of the Catholic Church’ (1983 CIC 750 §2), rendering him or her liable to a just penalty (1983 CIC 1371, n. 1).
“Moreover, if, as seems to be the case, the divine establishment of marriage as uniting one man and one woman is a ‘revealed truth,’ then a Catholic’s endorsement of any other kinds of unions as marriage is actually heresy (1983 CIC 750), in turn rendering a Catholic liable to even more severe ecclesiastical sanctions, including excommunication (1983 CIC 1364 §1), expulsion from religious life (1983 CIC 696 §1), and dismissal from the clerical state (1983 CIC 1364 §2).”

Q. What are the regulations for hearing Confessions? In my parish, there are confessionals with a screen that are used and some Confessions are heard face to face. — C.G.D., Paraguay.
A. Both are permissible ways of going to the Sacrament of Penance, whether in North America or South America. In 1974, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said that it is “considered desirable that small chapels or rooms of reconciliation be provided in which penitents might choose to confess their sins through an informal face-to-face exchange with the priest, with the opportunity for appropriate spiritual counsel.”
The bishops said that “it would also be regarded as desirable that such chapels or rooms be designed to afford the option of the penitents kneeling at the fixed confessional grille in the usual way, but in every case the freedom of the penitent is to be respected.”
Even in reconciliation rooms, the anonymity of the penitent is to be respected by providing the option of a fixed confessional screen between the person and the priest. Persons cannot be compelled to go face-to-face. This requirement was reiterated in canon 964.2 of the Code of Canon Law, which said that “confessionals with a fixed grille between penitent and confessor are always located in an open area so that the faithful who wish to make use of them may do so freely.”
Confessions may be heard outside a church or oratory for a “just cause.” A just cause would include the inability of the penitent to get to a church or oratory for a variety of reasons, such as confinement in a hospital, nursing home, prison, one’s own home, or on a military outpost or ship.

Q. I have always had a problem with the concept of veracity in the moral law. I refer to bogus passports and identification papers given to Jews and others during World War II. Another example occurred during the post-Henry VIII era in England when Catholic priests assumed false names and identities. If these people were questioned, wouldn’t they have to lie, and isn’t lying immoral? — R.B.K., Virginia.
A. Yes, lying is immoral, but are there circumstances when lying would be permissible to avoid a greater evil, namely, the deaths of Jews and Catholic priests? Would it be better to be truthful about the identity of certain persons, knowing that it would mean their deaths, or would it be better to conceal the truth? There are other exceptions in the moral law. For example, it is morally wrong to kill another person, except in cases of self-defense when there is no other way to save your own life than to take another person’s life. It is also morally wrong to steal, but what about a person who is starving and can only obtain food by stealing it? Aren’t these transgressions of the moral law permissible because of the dire circumstances?
It reminds us of the time when the apostles plucked grain that did not belong to them while passing through a field because they were hungry (cf. Luke 6:1-5). Did Jesus denounce them for stealing the grain? No. He reminded the Pharisees who had accused the apostles of violating the law on the Sabbath of the time when King David and those with him took the bread of offering in the Temple, which only the priests could lawfully eat, and ate it because they were hungry.
A footnote to this passage in the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament says that “Jesus appeals to a scriptural precedent from 1 Samuel 21:1-6. The legal exception once made for King David and his men to eat the holy bread permits Jesus and his disciples to eat grain on the holy day of Sabbath. In both cases, the strict regulations of the Torah were allowed to bend to meet a pressing need (hunger) and to serve the anointed king of Israel (David and Jesus).”
Similarly, was it not allowable to bend the strict regulations against lying to meet a pressing need, i.e., saving the lives of innocent Jews and priests?

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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 . . .

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

Scholar stumps Cardinal Cupich, asks if Pope’s ‘paradigm shift’ means ‘radical’ doctrinal change

CAMBRIDGE, England, February 15, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A respected Catholic historian and philosopher challenged Cardinal Blase Cupich during a lecture last week about Pope’ Francis so-called “revolution of mercy” that has caused what many are defending as a “paradigm shift” in Catholic practice. Professor John Rist, after listening to a February 9 lecture at Cambridge Universityin which Cardinal Cupich praised Pope Francis’ “paradigm shift” in Catholic practice, asked the Cardinal at the end of the lect

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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