Monday 22nd January 2018

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Catholic Replies

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.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Nikki Haley blasts Venezuela for targeting Catholic bishops

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s denunciation of a pair of Roman Catholic bishops is the latest example of a government turning to tyranny, according to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. “Maduro’s reign of violence, repression, corruption, and bankruptcy…Continue Reading

Wedding on Pope’s airplane not as spontaneous as it appeared, evidence indicates

January 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A wedding ceremony presided over by Pope Francis on a recent flight in Chile and portrayed as spontaneous by the couple appears in fact to have been planned well in advance. In the website of the Chilean…Continue Reading

NEW SURVEY: CATHOLIC WOMEN “DISENGAGED & DISENGAGING” — AND DON’T LISTEN TO US BISHOPS

Nearly five years into Pope Francis papacy, with its great expectations for a revival of Catholicism among the flagging faithful, a new large-scale survey of American Catholic women finds the flock faithful but disengaged from the rituals of the church…Continue Reading

‘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

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 . . .

Catholic bishops side with labor unions in Supreme Court case

WASHINGTON (RNS) — U.S. Roman Catholic bishops are backing public sector unions in an upcoming Supreme Court case, pitting church leaders against the Trump administration and conservatives in a legal battle over how organized labor is financed. In an amicus brief filed on Friday (Jan. 19) in the case of Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops sides with the union, which is being challenged by…Continue Reading

Trump’s historic speech to March for Life: Abortion is ‘wrong, it has to change’

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — In the first-ever live streamed address of a sitting president to the March for Life, Republican President Donald Trump vowed his administration will work to uphold the sanctity of life. “Under my administration, we will always defen

">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

Advertisement(2)

A Book Review… Priests As Builders Of Western Civilization

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN Heroism and Genius: How Catholic Priests Helped Build — And Can Rebuild — Western Civilization, by William J. Slattery (Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 2017), 272 pp. $24.95. Available through www.ignatius.com or call 1-800-651-1531. A work of great erudition and comprehensive scope, Fr. Slattery’s eloquent book provides a survey of the seminal ideas…Continue Reading

A Nation Of Sheep

By DONALD DeMARCO In a sociology text book (Sociology) that has been widely used in Canadian universities, the author makes the following statement: “Canadian society could not continue to exist unless the thousands of new members born each year eventually learned to think, believe, and behave as Canadians. . . . The continuity of our…Continue Reading

Bishop Schneider… Explains The Kazakhstani Profession Of Truths On Marriage

By CARL BUNDERSON ASTANA, Kazakhstan (CNA/EWTN News) — Fidelity to the words of Christ makes it necessary to profess the truth about sacramental marriage, Bishop Athanasius Schneider told Catholic News Agency (CNA) in a recent interview. Bishop Schneider, an auxiliary bishop of Maria Santissima in Astana, was a drafter of the “Profession of the immutable…Continue Reading

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

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… We Fight Distractions To Grow In Holiness

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Life in this world is a gift from God: Don’t let it become a distraction from the one He offers us forever in Heaven. We have more information, more images, more choices in our possession than ever before. Each of us has only so much concentration. If we don’t learn to discern and to make…Continue Reading

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ… Confirmation: From The Standpoint Of Tradition

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 12 We have studied the Sacrament of Confirmation from the point of view of Sacred Scripture. Now it is time to investigate it from the point of view of Tradition — that, is, the oral teachings from the apostles that were handed down through the early centuries of Christian history. Non-Catholics of all sorts…Continue Reading

Declaration Of Matrimonial Nullity

By DON FIER Last week, we saw that the Church teaches that certain conditions must be fulfilled for valid reception of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. As summarized by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, “to receive the Sacrament of Matrimony, a man and woman must both be baptized. They must be free to marry and to express their mutual consent.…Continue Reading

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

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