Sunday 20th January 2019

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December 29, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Editor’s Note: What better way to start the new year than to pass on the insights of Fr. George Rutler, pastor of the Church of St. Michael in New York City, on the “moral madness” of the day. After noting that as a chaplain in a state mental hospital, he quickly learned that “sometimes it was easy to mistake a psychiatrist for one of the patients,” Fr. Rutler said:
“Our society has employed cleverness to justify moral madness, rationalizing a radical overhaul of social order as ‘hope and change.’ George Orwell anticipated this in his ‘doublethink,’ which means holding two contradictory beliefs simultaneously and accepting both of them, so that, for instance, ignorance is strength, war is peace, freedom is slavery. Currently, there are those who call censored speech ‘freedom of speech’ and redistribution of wealth ‘income equality,’ and who varnish anarchy as ‘resistance.’ Infanticide is responsible parenthood, infidelity is independence, decadence is progress, common sense is bias, and natural law is hate speech.”
Fr. Rutler said that “ ‘doublethinkers’ cannot cope with the consequences of their manipulation of logic. Immature students riot when a professor disagrees with them, and voters scream at the sky when an election does not go their way. Their intolerance calls itself tolerance, but it is a false kind of tolerance, which, as Chesterton said, is the virtue of a man without convictions. The same people who ask, ‘Who am I to judge?’ judge right judgment to be tactlessly judgmental, and they politicize the judiciary to appoint justices who will usurp the function of legislators. Certainly, Our Lord forbids any attempt to judge the human heart or the fate of a soul (Matt. 7:2), but blurring the line between right and wrong, which the theologians call antinomianism, turns an entire culture into a raucous asylum.”

Q. I always thought that a vigil Mass to satisfy the Sunday obligation could begin at 4:00 p.m. or later. Is it permitted for a parish to regularly have this Mass earlier, say, at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday? — M.L., Arizona.
A. Canon 1248 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law says that “a person who assists at a Mass celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the feast day itself or in the evening of the preceding day satisfies the obligation of participating in the Mass.” However, according to Pope Pius XII’s apostolic constitution Christus Dominus (January 6, 1953), an evening Mass on the day before Sunday or a holy day should not begin before 4:00 in the afternoon. So pastors who schedule anticipated Masses before that time on a Saturday are stretching the meaning of “evening,” which the dictionary defines as “the latter part and close of the day and early part of the night” or “the period from sunset or the evening meal to the time to go to bed.”

Q. At a play about the Nativity just before Christmas, the narrator referred back to the Annunciation and quoted the Blessed Virgin as telling the Angel Gabriel that she could not be the mother of Jesus because she was not married. I think you have commented in the past that Mary was not an unwed mother, but could you repeat what you said? — M.C., Massachusetts.
A. Gladly. Regarding the mistaken belief that the Blessed Virgin Mary was not married at the Annunciation, we have previously made the following points:
First, Matthew tells us in his Gospel that when Mary was found to be pregnant, “Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly” (1:18-19). Notice that Matthew calls Joseph Mary’s “husband” and says that he had decided to divorce her quietly, but how could he divorce Mary unless they were already married?
Second, when the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, he told him, “Do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her” (1:20). The angel calls Mary Joseph’s “wife.”
Third, in his apostolic exhortation Guardian of the Redeemer, St. John Paul II said that “according to Jewish custom, marriage took place in two stages: first, the legal or true marriage was celebrated, and then, after a certain period of time, the husband brought the wife into his own house. Thus, before he lived with Mary, Joseph was already her ‘husband.’ Mary, however, preserved her deep desire to give herself exclusively to God” (n. 18).

Q. Revelation 22:2 mentions the “tree of life” being on both banks of the river. In simple terms will you explain why the tree of life has multiplied? I always felt that Jesus was the tree of life. — D.L.H., Iowa.
A. This is the same tree of life mentioned in Gen. 3:24, which says that when God expelled Adam from the Garden, “He settled him east of the garden of Eden; and He stationed the cherubim and the fiery revolving sword, to guard the way to the tree of life.” A footnote to Rev. 22:2, in the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament, says that “a single stream issues from the throne of God, and that is the grace of the Holy Spirit in the stream of the Scriptures. That stream has two banks, the Old Testament and the New, and the tree planted on either side is Christ (St. Jerome, Tractate on the Psalms, 1).”

Q. In sharing our beliefs with a Protestant woman who has taught Bible classes, she mentioned the Alpha program favorably. What do you know about this program? — D.M., via e-mail.
A. All we know about this program is what we learned on the Alpha website. It is described as a 10-week course about basic Christian teachings, usually facilitated by the laity, that includes a one-day or two-day retreat. The number of participants in the weekly two-hour sessions can range from a dozen to a hundred. It is suggested that each session begin with a meal to break the ice and bring people together and be followed by a DVD talk covering one aspect of the Christian faith. Discussion and questions round out the evening.
According to the website, Alpha “is designed for those on the fringes of their faith and those outside the Church. Alpha creates a non-threatening environment of hospitality allowing people to explore the claims of Christ against the backdrop of our culture. Alpha provides an opportunity to encounter the love of God in a personal relationship through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. Alpha focuses on the kerygma and the basic tenets of Christianity. Alpha also serves as a refresher course for practicing Catholics and a point of re-entry for lapsed Catholics.”
Churches and groups are encouraged to offer the course free of charge, but the Alpha Essentials Kit for 25 people costs around $500. This kit includes DVD talks, leader’s guides, and study materials. The validity or value of courses such as this depends on the materials being used and the knowledge and orthodoxy of the facilitators conducting the sessions. We are not in a position to comment on either, so you will have to measure Alpha against the official teachings of the Church as found, for example, in the Catechism.

Q. Have the bones of St. Peter been found at the Church of Santa Maria in Capella in Rome? — N.W., via e-mail
A. During reconstruction work on the Church of Santa Maria last September, two clay pots were discovered containing bone fragments that might be from St. Peter. Inscriptions on the lids of the pots indicated that the fragments came not only from Peter but also from three other early Popes: Cornelius, Callixtus, and Felix. DNA and other tests are being considered to see if these fragments can be matched with bones of St. Peter that were found under the high altar in St. Peter’s Basilica in the 1940s. They were in a casket with an engraving in Greek that read, “Petros eni,” or “Peter is here.” In 1968, an official report was presented to Pope Paul VI, who said that the bones had been “identified in a way in which we can hold to be convincing.” Some of these bones were publicly displayed in 2013 by Pope Francis, who venerated them but did not make any statement. For the full story, see John Evangelist Walsh’s book The Bones of St. Peter.

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Wow—first, Dreamers shafted by Obama, who enforced DACA w/o congressional approval & failed to ensure them a permanent path to citizenship, and now they’re left hanging by Pelosi & her ilk. Maybe Dems don’t care about them as much as they pretend to?

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“Trump offers Democrats deal on immigration in bid to end shutdown but top Democrat Pelosi calls it "unacceptable" https://t.co/edz3WEREm3&#8221...

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it is striking how so many advocates of abortion in public life cling to their frayed fabric of fantasy and repeat the mantra — “I’m personally opposed but. . . .” https://t.co/TwIrf7G6GT

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Priest gives pulpit to homosexual partners to share ‘witness’ story prior to Sunday Mass

Update Jan. 18, 2019: St. Joan of Arc pulled the video this morning of the two homosexual men giving their pre-Mass presentation. We are now using a source for the video provided by Complicit Clergy.  MINNEAPOLIS, MN, January 17, 2019…Continue Reading

China’s crackdown on Christians continues

Beijing, China, Jan 15, 2019 / 02:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A campaign by the Chinese government to ‘Sinicize’ religion is ongoing, with detention and indoctrination of Muslims in the far west of the country, and the closing of underground churches…Continue Reading

Cdl. Wuerl will not celebrate youth Mass prior to March for Life

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 16, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Embattled Cardinal Donald Wuerl will not celebrate the Archdiocese of Washington’s January 18 Mass for Life, which is scheduled to occur before the annual March for Life. Instead, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to…Continue Reading

Support Archbishop Viganò on his 78th birthday!

January 16, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, turns 78 years old today. Born in northern Italy, Archbishop Viganò was ordained to the priesthood in 1968. He spent the next several…Continue Reading

Cdl. Burke: Pope Francis’ response to abuse crisis is ‘more confusing than anything’

January 14, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke told German TV in a January 8 interview that Pope Francis’ response to the abuse crisis is “confusing.” Cardinal Burke stated that Pope Benedict was “very clear on this [matter of abuse],”…Continue Reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Trashes Pro-Life People: You’re “Not in Line With Society”

Justin Trudeau, Canada’s radically pro-abortion prime minister, blasted pro-life advocates Wednesday amid a nation-wide outrage about barring pro-life groups from a federal grant program. “An organization that has the explicit purpose of restricting women’s rights by removing rights to abortion,…Continue Reading

Cardinal’s trial puts French Church in glare of Catholic abuse scandal

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Trudeau to issue new coin commemorating decriminalizaton of gay sex

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CARDINAL CUPICH KEYNOTE SPEAKER FOR DISSIDENT PRIESTS’ CONFERENCE

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (ChurchMilitant.com) – Cardinal Blase Cupich is slated to be the keynote speaker at the annual conference for a notorious dissident priests’ organization. The annual assembly of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests (AUSCP) will take place in June 2019, and…Continue Reading

Vatican spokesman, deputy, resign over strategy differences

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Chinese city bans public displays of Christmas, cites ‘clean city’ as reason

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Priest: Pro-LGBT rainbow rosary promoted by Fr. Martin ‘comes from the pit of hell’

December 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – During a radio interview about the pro-homosexual “social justice” rosary that Fr. James Martin has been promoting, Fr. Donald Calloway prayed for Martin’s “radical conversion” and that the Jesuit might “repent of the things he has…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 . . .

Pope Francis issues decree suppressing ‘Ecclesia Dei’

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Trump promises to veto any abortion legislation in March for Life address

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WASHINGTON, D.C., January 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – In a surprise appearance, President Donald Trump addressed pro-life advocates at the 2019 March for Life, telling them that “every life is worth protecting” and that he will veto any legislation that crosses his desk that “weakens the protection of human life.” “Today, I have signed a letter to Congress to make clear that if they send any legislation to my desk that weakens the

How to watch March for Life 2019 LIVE

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Today, marchers will gather on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., for a series of speeches and music before marching to the Supreme Court building, where Roe v. Wade forced all 50 states to allow abortion in 1973. EWTN is offering live coverage of the 20

Vatican: Abuse summit to help bishops know ‘what they need to do’

Vatican City, Jan 16, 2019 / 06:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Just over a month ahead of the much-anticipated February meeting on sex abuse, the Vatican said the summit’s goal is for bishops to leave the meeting knowing clearly what it is they need to do to stop the abuse of minors. According to a statement by papal spokesperson Alessandro Gisotti Jan. 16, the February meeting “has a concrete purpose: the goal is that all of…Continue Reading

Archbishop Viganò urges McCarrick to publicly repent in new open letter

ROME, January 14, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — With a tone of fraternal and priestly charity, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has written an open letter to former-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, encouraging him to publicly repent of his sins and thus to save his soul. In the brief letter, dated January 13, 2019 and published in English and Italian (see full text below), Archbishop Viganò has also sought to persuade McCarrick that he has a unique opportunity to greatly benefit the Churc

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Is Bolton Steering Trump Into War With Iran?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN “Stop the ENDLESS WARS!” implored President Donald Trump in a Sunday, January 13 night tweet. Well, if he is serious, Trump had best keep an eye on his national security adviser, for a U.S. war on Iran would be a dream come true for John Bolton. Last September, when Shiite militants…Continue Reading

Pope To Diplomats . . . Remember Transcendent Dimension Of Human Persons

By HANNAH BROCKHAUS VATICAN CITY (CNA/EWTN News) — Upholding the dignity of the human person and the rule of law are essential for good politics, Pope Francis said January 7 to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See. Such politics promote the common good and establish and maintain peace between nations, he said, by…Continue Reading

An Answer To A Sedevacantist Wannabe

By FR. JOHN T. ZUHLSDORF (Editor’s Note: Someone who is “seriously considering adopting some form of sedevacantism” wrote recently to Fr. John T. Zuhlsdorf, and Fr. Z posted his reply on his January 7 blog. The question and answer are reprinted here with permission.) + + + Quaeritur: Father, I’ll get straight to the point:…Continue Reading

Critics Warn… New Mexico Bill Could Allow “Suicide Tourism”

SANTA FE, N.M. (CNA/EWTN News) — Proposed legislation in New Mexico could legalize assisted suicide in the state, and may even allow for the prescription of deadly drugs outside the state via telemedicine, and by health-care professionals other than physicians. Deacon Steve Rangel, associate director for the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the…Continue Reading

The Case Against The Sign Of Peace At Mass

By REY FLORES O Lord Jesus Christ, Who said to Your Apostles: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you,” regarda not my sins but the faith of your Church, and deign to give her peace and unity according to Your will: Who live and reign God, world without end. Amen. — At…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Theological Virtues — Charity

By DON FIER As we reflected last week on Pope Benedict XVI’s brilliant critique of the crisis of hope in the modern world as set forth in his 2007 encyclical Spe Salvi (SS), we saw that for many, “hope in the Kingdom of God has been displaced by hope in the kingdom of man, the hope of a better world…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. It is my understanding that if a priest is removed from active service, the bishop continues to support him financially. Am I right? Is there a similar obligation if the priest is laicized? I would suppose there is no such obligation of support if the priest decides he doesn’t want to be a priest anymore and walks away. Does…Continue Reading

His Bride Is The Church

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Second Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Isaiah 62:1-5 1 Cor. 12:4-11 John 2:1-11 In the readings for the past three weeks, the Church has given us the three traditional events which manifested our Lord’s divinity. The word Epiphany means manifestation. These manifestations took place thirty years apart, but were celebrated together because they point…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… The Wall And Abortion: No Moral Equivalency

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The March for Life event each January draws thousands of pro-life Americans to Washington, D.C., to witness for the weakest and most defenseless among us, preborn boys and girls who cannot speak on behalf of the sacredness of their lives in the face of legalized abortion which, in some cases, threatens their existence at every…Continue Reading

The Authority Of Bishops . . . The Hierarchy Of Orders In The Catholic Church

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 8 It is a well-known fact that the Church today is going through a crisis, especially in faith, as can be seen as early as 1985 when Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger allowed the publication of The Ratzinger Report. I believe that Benedict XVI was the only Pope in Church history whose mind was already well-known…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. John Calabria

By CAROLE BRESLIN St. Teresa of Calcutta answered a call within a call by founding the Missionaries of Charity to help the poorest of the poor in Calcutta, India. Soon her apostolic endeavors to serve the most destitute of persons spread throughout the world, while she said that the greatest poverty is in the West where people do not know…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Anthony Of Egypt, Abbot

By CAROLE BRESLIN While we can understand that God is infinite, it is difficult to comprehend the stretch of such infinity. Certainly our finite minds cannot begin to comprehend it. Hence, since our minds are finite, the more we have cluttering our minds with worldly affairs such as possessions, relationships, and activities, the less time and room we have in…Continue Reading