Friday 19th January 2018

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Catholic Replies

November 24, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. I have two questions: 1) The Jewish Talmud depicts Christ as the bastard offspring of Mary and a Roman soldier. Is there any truth to this? 2) Pope Francis has called upon the nations of the world to open their borders without reservation to refugees fleeing their own lands. Since the Vatican is a sovereign state, shouldn’t the Pope, to be consistent, open the borders of the Vatican to accommodate, say, a couple of thousand refugees? — P.A., New York.
A. 1) The Talmud is a collection of Jewish writings compiled over several centuries before and after the time of Jesus. In his book Jesus in the Talmud, Peter Schafer, professor of Judaic Studies at Princeton University, says that there are stories scattered throughout the Talmud that present a very distorted portrait of Jesus. These stories reject Jesus’ claim to be the Messiah and say that He was rightfully executed as a blasphemer and never rose from the dead. They also contend that Mary was an adulteress who conceived Jesus through a sexual encounter with a Roman soldier. Of course, there is no truth to these stories.
2) You are being facetious in suggesting that the Vatican open up its walls to admit thousands of refugees, but you do raise a good point about what our obligation is to welcome refugees. The problem is how does one balance the obligation expressed by Jesus to welcome the stranger with the fact that some of the “strangers” are intent on wrecking the countries to which they have been welcomed?
Unlike previous waves of immigration, where those coming to another country sought to assimilate themselves and become productive citizens of their new land, many immigrants today isolate themselves in enclaves where their own law takes precedence over the country’s laws and where they become not productive citizens but dangerous enemies of freedom and harmony.
One spokesman for radical Islamic terrorism recently urged his followers in other countries to “smash their heads with stones, butcher them with knives, run them over with cars, throw them from high places, suffocate or poison them.”
While the Pope and some bishops seem to give unqualified support for welcoming all refugees and immigrants, wouldn’t it make more sense to show some prudence in determining which ones are legitimate refugees and which ones are intent on harming the countries which admit them? This is the course advocated by the Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 2241):
“Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws, and to assist in carrying civic burdens.”
Yet anyone who suggests such a prudent course of action is branded as a xenophobe, or as a cruel and heartless foe of innocent refugee children, or as an opponent of peaceful coexistence with, for example, Islam.
One Catholic prelate who does not buy these slurs is Raymond Cardinal Burke, who has said that “there’s no question that Islam wants to govern the world.”
In an interview with Religion News Service, Cardinal Burke said that when Muslims “become a majority in any country, then they have the religious obligation to govern that country. If that’s what the citizens of a nation want, well, then, they should just allow this to go on. But if that’s not what they want, then they have to find a way to deal with it. There is no place for other religions…as long as Islam has succeeded in establishing its sovereignty over the nations and over the world.”
The cardinal said that “it is important for Christians to realize the radical differences between Islam and Christianity in matters concerning their teaching about God, about conscience, etc. If you really understand Islam, you understand that the Church really should be afraid of it.”

Q. A friend of mine says that I shouldn’t support those who criticize the statements of Pope Francis since I used to be critical of those who disagreed with Pope John Paul. He says there is no difference in the two situations. What do you think? — J.H., via e-mail.
A. We think that your friend is wrong and that there are differences between the two situations. Those who criticized John Paul were dissenting from core teachings of the Catholic faith, while those who are critical of Francis are dissenting not from core teachings but from the Holy Father’s somewhat ambiguous way of presenting those core teachings. There was no doubt about what John Paul meant when he spoke on matters of faith and morals, but there is confusion about what Francis means when he speaks on such matters.
Take, for example, the question of giving Holy Communion to couples who have remarried after being divorced and are living in a state of adultery.
In his 1981 apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio, Pope John Paul said that “the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist.
“Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: If these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage” (n. 84).
Contrast this with some comments by Pope Francis in his 2016 apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. In that document, the Holy Father did make some clear statements of Catholic teaching. For example, he rejected the “ideology of gender,” saying, “Let us not fall into the sin of trying to replace the Creator” (n. 56). He ruled out contraceptive acts (n. 80) and abortion (n. 83) and said that “large families are a joy for the Church” (n. 167).
The Pontiff also said that the presence of a mother and father “creates the environment best suited to the growth of the child” (n. 175); that “divorce is an evil,” but that “Christian communities must not abandon divorced parents who have entered a new union but should include and support them in their efforts to bring up their children” (n. 246); and that “there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family” (n. 251).
But it is in the area of “irregular” marriage situations that the controversy has arisen. Pope Francis expressed “agreement with the many synod fathers who observed that ‘the baptized who are divorced and civilly remarried need to be fully integrated into Christian communities in the variety of ways possible while avoiding any occasion of scandal’” (n. 299). He urged pastors to enter into a “process of accompaniment and discernment” with these couples (n. 300) without compromising the “demands of the Gospel” (n. 301), but added that “it can no longer simply be said that all those in any ‘irregular’ situations are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace” (n. 301) since there may be “mitigating factors,” such as ignorance, duress, fear, habit, immaturity, anxiety, or “other psychological or social factors that lessen or even extenuate moral culpability” (n. 302).
For this reason, the Holy Father said, it is not enough “simply to apply moral laws to those living in ‘irregular’ situations, as if they were stones to throw at people’s lives. This would bespeak the closed heart of one used to hiding behind the Church’s teachings, ‘sitting on the chair of Moses and judging at times with superiority and superficiality difficult cases and wounded families’” (n. 305).
He said that “because of forms of conditioning and mitigating factors, it is possible that in an objective situation of sin — that may not be subjectively culpable, or fully such — a person can be living in God’s grace, can love, and can also grow in the life of grace and charity while receiving the Church’s help to this end” (n. 305).
Attached to this last sentence was the famous footnote 351, which said that “in certain cases this can include the help of the sacraments.” This footnote has led bishops in some countries to permit Communion to those living in adultery, while other bishops have insisted that the ban on Communion to those in “irregular” situations remains in effect.
“This ability of Amoris simultaneously to sustain orthodox, non-committal, and heterodox interpretations of the gravest ecclesiastical import,” said canon lawyer Edward Peters, is “exactly why” four cardinals sought clarification of these matters from Pope Francis.
As of this writing, however, the Holy Father has still not replied to their questions, and that is why the two situations involving John Paul and Francis are quite different.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

‘Catholic’ Georgetown to Offer LGBT Housing to Students

Georgetown University, founded in 1789 and ostensibly a “Catholic” school, will offer a “gender & sexuality” housing complex for students starting in the 2018-19 academic year, which will operate as a residential center for homosexual, transgender, and “q

Catholic Bishop: “Abortion is a Uniquely Intimate Form of Violence With Bitter Public Consequences”

The “March for Life” this January, like every January over the past several decades, reminds the nation that killing an unborn child is never a private matter. Abortion is a uniquely intimate form of violence – but violence with bitter…Continue Reading

Vikings quarterback lists winning pass as 3rd best life-moment, behind finding Jesus

January 15, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) –  Vikings Quarterback Case Keenum said throwing the game-winning pass in the last few seconds of Sunday’s championship game against the New Orleans Saints was only the third best moment in his life. Keenum’s first best…Continue Reading

On the purpose of politics and the salvation of souls

“Beloved, our Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal creator of all things, today became our Savior by being born of a mother. Of his own will he was born for us today, in time, so that he could lead us to…Continue Reading

Don’t let fear keep you from welcoming the stranger, Pope says

Vatican City, Jan 14, 2018 / 04:45 am (CNA/EWTN News).- At a special Mass Sunday for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis said that while it is normal to be afraid of the unknown, we can’t let…Continue Reading

Notre Dame could face legal investigation for flip-flopping on contraception coverage

SOUTH BEND, Indiana, January 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A group of over sixty Notre Dame alumni attorneys has written an open letter to the university’s president, Father William Jenkins, CSC, to protest the university’s decision to continue the dissemination of…Continue Reading

Poland: Marches of the Three Kings Draw 1.2 Million

Under the motto “God is for everyone”, 1.2 million Poles in more than 660 cities and towns in Poland and abroad joined in the March of the Three Kings. This year’s event was accompanied by fundraising “Kings for the East”,…Continue Reading

Bishops’ letter on sexual identity prompts LGBT counter-lobbying

Washington D.C., Jan 5, 2018 / 12:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Several Catholic bishops’ call for clarity and compassion on sexual identity issues such as transgenderism drew the ire of a dissenting Catholic group which is part of a well-funded LGBT…Continue Reading

Rural Minnesota Catholic parish dismisses musicians over gay marriages

For weeks now, a Catholic parish in the rural St. Croix River Valley north of the Twin Cities has been praying through turmoil, brought by a trio of startling dismissals. On one hand, even many of the most distressed don’t…Continue Reading

Trump replaces Obama-appointed gay ambassador with family man: report

MADRID, January 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Trump Administration recently installed a new Ambassador to Spain. The former Obama appointee who was a pro-LGBT openly gay man ‘married’ to a man was replaced with a family man who has a…Continue Reading

Former bishop of Charlotte’s Catholic diocese dies at 90

Bishop William Curlin, who presided over the rapidly growing Catholic Diocese of Charlotte from 1994 to 2002, died Saturday at Carolinas Medical Center. He was 90. The cause of death was cancer, which he had battled for years. Curlin was…Continue Reading

Pope takes 27 candidates a step closer to sainthood‎

Pope Francis has authorized 12 decrees on miracles, martyrdom and heroic virtues of 22 men and 5 ‎women. ‎ by Robin Gomes Pope Francis on Monday took 27 men and women a step closer to sainthood.  The Pope received Card. Angelo Amato,…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

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

Cburke3

  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

Catechism

Today . . .

">45 years of legalized abortion . . . When will our Country Awake?

Give President Trump Credit for Protecting Pro-Life Doctors and Nurses From Abortion

I am sometimes asked how religious people could vote for a man with the personal history of Donald Trump. Consider this Smith on the Election, but I always answer that I think it was an act of self defense. The Obama Administration had been very hostile to the free exercise of religion–even to the point of trying to force nuns to participate in contraception coverage–and Hillary Clinton threatened to be even worse. And now, Trump…Continue Reading

Canon lawyer calls for Amoris Laetitia’s 8th chapter to be ‘withdrawn’ on EWTN show

January 16, 2018 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Fr. Gerald Murray, a regular commentator on EWTN’s news program The World Over, told show host Raymond Arroyo in a recent interview that the infamous chapter 8 of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia is in “error,” and that he hopes it will be “withdrawn” by the pope. Murray, a canon lawyer, also condemned the interpretation of Amoris laetitia published by the Argentinean bishops of the Pastoral Region of Buenos…Continue Reading

Dutch abortion activist: Pope Francis honoring me is a ‘confirmation’ of my abortion work

January 15, 2018 (Lepanto Institute) – On January 12, OnePeterFive and The Lepanto Institute reported that Liliane Ploumen, a Dutch politician and international abortion activist, was received into the Order of St. Gregory by the Vatican in 2017 — a pontifical honor given for “meritorious service to the Church.” Multiple diplomatic sources around the Vatican have now confirmed to OnePeterFive and the Lepanto Institute that the award was given to Ploumen last year when she took part in…Continue Reading

U.S. Congressman: Pro-life ‘turf battle’ preventing vote on bill to ban nearly all abortions

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life groups and members of Congress are divided over whether on the day of the March for Life, the U.S. House should vote on a bill that would ban nearly all abortions, or instead a bill to ban infanticide after botched abortions. The Heartbeat Protection Act would make it illegal to abort babies whose heartbeats can be detected. “It’s the most protective incremental bill in existence,” said one…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Planned Parenthood Now Offers “Transgender” Hormone Therapy

ORLANDO, Fla. — Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, has expanded its services to offering “transgender” hormone therapy, according to a January 10 report from Liberty Counsel. Planned Parenthood’s 2016-2017 annual report states: “We’re expanding access to care — from pioneering research on self-injectable birth control to offering new services for our transgender patients.…Continue Reading

Chinese Government Destroys Major “House Church”

BEIJING (AsiaNews) — New details have come to light about the forced demolition of the Golden Lampstand Church in the city of Linfen on January 9. The faithful have also released a video of the building being destroyed, while they were forced to watch from a distance as the walls, the tower, and the cross…Continue Reading

Toadies For Evil

By DEACON JAMES H. TONER “Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him” (Luke 17:3). Like the rest of us, priests are sinners — a fact made only too clear during the past two decades. At work is something I call the “Paired Power Principle,” by which…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred Humility In The Sacred Liturgy

By JAMES MONTI One of the most serious and endemic problems in how the sacred liturgy is celebrated in many parishes in our own age is a conspicuous lack of humility. Certain contemporary hymns seem calculated to drum into the congregation how supposedly holy, gifted, lovable, and prophetic they are, with scarcely a word about…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… The Sexual Harassment “Crisis” — Time For Some Clear Thinking

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. 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 co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. Jesus is the king of the universe, so why did He choose to be born in a lowly stable instead of in a palace, or at least in an ordinary house? — R.S.. via email. A. If Jesus came into the world as a powerful king, or perhaps as a military warrior, or as a wealthy member of the…Continue Reading

Love And Obey The Lord

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fourth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Deut. 18:15-20 1 Cor. 7:32-35 Mark 1:21-28 In the first reading today God tells Moses that He will raise up a prophet like Moses for the people of Israel. We know there were many prophets in Israel; some have writings contained in the Scriptures, some are mentioned by…Continue Reading

A Theologian Responds To Fr. Chiodi’s Talk . . . Moral Relativism Ends In Justifying All Moral Disorders

(Editor’s Note: Please see page one for a LifeSiteNews report on December 14 remarks by Fr. Maurizio Chiodi saying that responsible parenthood can obligate a married couple to use contraception. Fr. Chiodi, a recently appointed member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, based his theory on Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia. He gave this public lecture…Continue Reading

“Ad Orientem” Dei Gloriam

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK We have all heard the saying that “he who hesitates is lost.” We don’t hear enough about the fact that dithering in the face of opportunity can also mean the loss of an immortal soul. How many priests hesitate every day to courageously proclaim the truth or to offer the traditions of the Church in…Continue Reading

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ… Confirmation: A Spiritual Coming Of Age

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 11 In previous lessons, we have learned that out of the seven sacraments instituted by Our Lord Jesus Christ, three of them can be received only once in life, namely, Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders. This is so because they imprint a “character,” that is, a spiritual, indelible mark that lasts forever, and, therefore,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Raymond Penafort

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Catholic Church has been blessed with a plethora of doctrinal resources, thanks in large part to Pope St. John Paul II. The Code of Canon Law, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the many encyclicals, apostolic exhortations, books, and letters continue to provide the Church with a solid foundation for learning and applying the truths of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Marguerite Bourgeoys

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord has no limits and conditions for persons whom He calls to sainthood. They may be the richest, such as St. Francis of Assisi, or the poorest such, as the children of Fatima. They may be powerful, such as St. Louis, king of France, or humble, such as our Lady. They may be the most brilliant,…Continue Reading