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January 11, 2018 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. In the Mass readings leading up to Christmas, we have the Angel Gabriel appearing first to Zechariah and then to Mary. Both seemed to have the same doubts about the angel’s words, but Zechariah was struck mute and Mary was not. Why were they treated differently? — E.M., via e-mail.
A. Zechariah was punished because he doubted (“How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”) that God could give his elderly wife a child, while Mary was unpunished because she did not doubt God, but only wanted to know the manner in which she would conceive a child since she had taken a vow of virginity (“How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?”).
Zechariah expressed doubt about the possibility of a miracle, and Gabriel so understood him, while Mary did not doubt the possibility of a miracle, but was inquiring 1) about her freedom to assent to such an invitation because she was a virgin and 2) about the credentials of Gabriel to make such a stupendous offer to her — to be the Mother of God. Gabriel interpreted her query not as a doubt about the power of God, but as a legitimate and prudent question about her future motherhood.
The archangel confirmed his credentials by explaining that the power of the Holy Spirit would overshadow Mary and allow her to become a mother without loss of her virginity. He also gave her a sign by saying that her barren kinswoman Elizabeth had conceived a child in her old age, “for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary then responded, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”

Q. My pastor is a charismatic-type priest and has one Sunday Mass where individuals play the drums, piano, and guitars during the Mass. What is the best that can be said in regards to faith not being based on emotions because I have heard parishioners say that they go to a “praise-and-worship” church, non-denominational, to get lifted up to the Lord, and others go to a non-denominational church run by a former Catholic in order to learn more about the Bible? Also, our archbishop holds interdenominational prayer services at our cathedral, which I feel confuses borderline Catholics into thinking that maybe the Catholic Church is not the only true Church. What do you think? — W.J.B., via e-mail.
A. Let’s look at the three points you raise one by one. First, we work in a predominantly Hispanic parish where there are English Masses and Spanish Masses each weekend. The atmosphere is quite different at these Masses. While there is singing at the English Masses, accompanied by an organ at one and a guitar at the other, there is not the enthusiastic participation that is typical of the Spanish Masses. We have bilingual Masses on certain occasions, such as the Easter Triduum, and we enjoy the Spanish hymns, particularly Alabare and Pescador de Hombres.”
Is our faith based on emotions? No, it is based on our understanding of who Jesus is and of His indispensable role in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, wherein He feeds us with His word and His Body and Blood. Our worthy reception of both is what makes the Mass so vital for our spiritual growth. If the music and singing can enhance that experience, all the better, but we try to remember that whatever the atmosphere at Mass might be, we are still participating in a liturgy that is linked with the eternal liturgy going on in Heaven.
Second, if parishioners you know are going to non-Catholic churches because they have better music or because they can learn more about the Bible, these parishioners have lost their understanding of what Catholic Mass is all about. Sure, they can “get lifted up to the Lord” in those services, but they cannot have the Lord come down into their bodies and souls in the Holy Eucharist. Jesus did not say that we can get to Heaven by singing or hearing explanations of the Bible, although both are helpful, but rather by eating His Flesh and drinking His Blood. That can only happen at Mass in a Catholic church.
Third, there is nothing wrong with interfaith prayer services as long as they focus on matters that are of importance to all believers in God. For example, peace and justice, the right to life from conception to natural death, or prayers for the victims of terrorist attacks or natural disasters. Holding such services in a Catholic cathedral shouldn’t confuse any Catholic about the truths of his faith, or about the singular role of the Catholic Church in God’s plan of salvation, since those are not at issue in an interfaith service. And who knows, perhaps those of other faiths who are exposed to the beauty of a Catholic cathedral might be moved by God’s grace to seek to learn more about Catholicism.

Q. Why do Pope Francis and other Vatican officials continue to sound the alarm about “global warming” and “climate change” as serious problems facing the world? Aren’t there good arguments to dispute what the alarmists are saying? — M.L., Florida.
A. Despite all the hysteria about the dangers of “climate change” to the future of the planet, those who question this alarmist propaganda are being heard more and more. We have reported the contrary views of some reputable scientists in previous columns, but this time let us quote extensively from the remarks of social scientist and author Steven Mosher, who is president of the Population Research Institute in Virginia (
Speaking recently at an international symposium on “Environmentalism and Climate Change as an Avenue for Population Control,” Mosher recalled that in the 1970s the same “experts” who are worried today about “global warming” were “warning about a coming ‘ice age.’ Now it has flipped over 180 degrees to be ‘global warming.’ The truth is, nobody really knows what’s going to happen to the climate in the future. We’ve seen extremes of temperatures on the cold side and on the warm side that make any projection of one or two degrees pale in comparison….We had global warming and ice ages a long time before human beings invented the internal combustion engine, and a long time before there were a million of us running around the planet giving birth to little ‘carbon dioxide emitters’.”
Mosher said that he is “really appalled at how the scientific community has sold out for big research grants and to get their name highlighted in the faculty journal and get invited to UN conferences. This is the biggest scientific fraud ever perpetrated on the family of man.” He said that scientists jump on the “global warming” bandwagon because “they are well paid to do so. When you spend billions of dollars subsidizing research, you generally get what you pay for. The climate scientist who gets a million-dollar grant and says, ‘After study, there’s really no danger of global warming,’ doesn’t get his grant renewed. But the guy who gets ten million dollars for ‘finding’ global warming probably gets a hundred million after that.”
Asked why the Pope and Vatican officials are so supportive of this movement, Mosher said that “Catholic teaching promotes stewardship of the environment, but some of the participants of recent Vatican conferences have a history of promoting population control [and] abortion. That’s in opposition to Catholic teaching.”
He said that while the Church believes that “mankind is only a little lower than the angels, created in the image and likeness of God,” population control advocate Paul Ehrlich, who has been invited to Vatican conferences, “believes that we’re only a little higher than the apes, and it’s necessary now to thin the herd. He believes that we’re only animals, [so] there’s no moral question to be answered. It’s just a simple question of number and power.” He quoted Ehrlich as comparing population growth to the growth of “the cancer cell” and said that “I can hardly imagine a more derogatory description of the human family then comparing it to a cancer cell.”
Because “some in the Vatican are allowing themselves and the Catholic Church to be misused” by the “radical environmental movement,” and “are more interested in winning applause from the world than…evangelizing and getting as many people home to Heaven as possible,” said Mosher, the solution is to invite to Vatican conferences “only people who are Catholic. If you do not have the trinitarian worldview, then your position on many of these issues is going to be radically different than what the Catholic Church teaches,”

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What US Catholics see as Pope Francis’ most notable action


Washington D.C., Mar 17, 2018 / 04:35 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- What has been Pope Francis’ most notable action so far in his papacy? A group of some 300 U.S. Catholics was recently asked this question in a recent study conducted by the…Continue Reading

Vatican admits doctoring photo of Benedict’s letter praising Pope Francis

VATICAN, March 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — One of the world’s leading news agencies has said the Vatican breached journalistic standards by doctoring a photo of a letter from Benedict XVI praising Pope Francis. According to the Associated Press, the doctoring…Continue Reading

Cardinal Müller: The Pope has no power to change Humanae Vitae

ROME, March 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Pope has no power to change or relax the Church’s ban on artificial contraception, just as he can never allow women to be ordained, Cardinal Gerhard Müller said on Wednesday. The former prefect…Continue Reading

Catholic bishops stand by spokesman after racism comment

New Mexico’s three Catholic bishops on Tuesday rejected a call by 33 Republican state legislators to punish the Catholic Church’s spokesman for saying racism played a part in the defeat of an initiative to expand early childhood education. In fact,…Continue Reading

Jim Caviezel tells university students to ‘stand out’ and ‘be saints’

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio, March 5, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Catholic actor Jim Caviezel, who famously played Jesus in The Passion of the Christ, told university students on Sunday that they must set themselves apart from this “corrupt generation” and “be saints.” “You weren’t…Continue Reading

Catholic hierarchy to be confronted over gender inequality

“Powerful vested interests” within the Catholic church are being challenged at a conference in Rome on International Women’s Day as calls grow for women to be given positions of authority and influence in the church. In a sign that a new assertive…Continue Reading

Study shows why young Catholics leave the church

They stopped believing in God. They saw a disconnect between what Catholics say and what they do. They disagreed with the church’s stance on social issues such as homosexuality and birth control. They are the growing numbers of young Catholics…Continue Reading

Number of Catholic weddings falls by two-thirds since 1990

The number of Catholic weddings in England and Wales has fallen dramatically in the last 25 years, according to new figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). In 2015, the most recent year for which statistics have been recorded,…Continue Reading

Georgetown honors pro-abortion Senator whose bishop just barred him from Communion

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 28, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Tonight, Georgetown University will present pro-abortion Senator Dick Durbin, D-IL, whose bishop recently barred him from Holy Communion, with an award for devoting “his life to the core Jesuit value of service to…Continue Reading

Dozens of Catholics arrested as they ask Congress to help ‘Dreamers’

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Dozens of Catholics, including men and women religious, were arrested near the U.S. Capitol Feb. 27 in the rotunda of a Senate building in Washington as they called on lawmakers to help young undocumented adults brought to…Continue Reading

Catholic Church frets that religion ‘slipping off agenda’ in schools

The Catholic Church has raised concerns in meetings with State education officials that religion is “slipping off the agenda” in their schools. In a record of a meeting between the Education and Training Boards Ireland(ETBI) and Catholic Church representatives it was suggested that…Continue Reading


Beyond decades, for generations the Catholic bishops of Texas, saying they are obeying the law, but hiding behind the convenient cover of saying they are fearful of losing their tax exempt status, have said they must remain silent about those…Continue Reading

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


  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


Today . . .

Polish archbishop criticises priest who wished for death of Pope Francis

Former seminary rector Fr Edward Staniek questioned the direction in which Pope Francis was taking the Church A Polish archbishop has criticised a priest and theologian who wished Pope Francis a quick death if he did not open his heart to “wisdom”. Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski of Krakow said he had heard the comments with “great pain and regret” and had spoken to the priest about them. Fr Edward Staniek, a noted theologian and former rector…Continue Reading

Catholic principal defies Planned Parenthood. Her worst enemy? The local bishop.

March 16, 2018 (Rorate Caeli) – It is always local situations that show how deep the problems in the Church are at the present time. The problematic issuances from Rome, Germany and  Chicago are indeed disturbing, but to see how far things have gone, one must go to the local level of the Church:  the diocese and the parish.  Go to a typical parish Mass to see the fruit of the liturgical experiment of the…Continue Reading

Full text of Pope emeritus Benedict’s letter released

The decision to withhold parts of a letter by Pope emeritus Benedict XVI was motivated by concerns for discretion, according to a new statement from the Secretariat for Communications. By Vatican News A statement from the Secretariat for Communication, released by the Press Office of the Holy See, takes note of polemical statements in the press suggesting censorship of a letter by Pope emeritus Benedict XVI. The controversy arose over the digital alteration of a…Continue Reading

Vatican prepares to issue two documents on ‘gender theory’

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Judge bans pro-lifers from going near abortion centers in unprecedented ruling

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Make A Church Post Satan’s Phone Number?

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of Creators Syndicate,, distributes his column.) + + + Jerry Brown once said he saw “the killing of the unborn as crazy.” This was just after the once-and-future pro-abortion governor of California returned to the United States in 1988 after spending…Continue Reading

A Decision From Outer Space

By DONALD DeMARCO A number of science-fiction movies, especially those from the 1950s when the threat of an atomic attack loomed, revolved around a decision made by highly intelligent beings from outer space to destroy all human life on planet Earth. The usual reasons put forth for the destruction were that human beings were violent,…Continue Reading

Globalists & Nationalists: Who Owns The Future?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Robert Bartley, the late editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal, was a free trade zealot who for decades championed a five-word amendment to the Constitution: “There shall be open borders.” Bartley accepted what the erasure of America’s borders and an endless influx of foreign peoples and goods would mean…Continue Reading

The Stoneman Douglas Shootings And Divine Providence

By C.F. MONTESANO (Editor’s Note: C.F. Montesano is vice president with a maritime trade association in Virginia. He serves as a lector at the Cathedral of St. Matthew in Washington, D.C. Last summer, he was selected by Signum University to be a presenter at its annual “Mythmoot” conference for enthusiasts of J.R.R. Tolkien.) + +…Continue Reading

Key Abuse Charge Against Cardinal Pell Withdrawn

By HANNAH BROCKHAUS MELBOURNE, Australia (CNA/EWTN News) — An Australian prosecutor on March 2 withdrew a charge of abuse against George Cardinal Pell, who is currently undergoing a trial in Australia for accusations of past sexual abuse. The charge was dropped by Prosecutor Mark Gibson March 2 after its key complainant died in January. It…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Horror Of The Passion

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Palm Sunday (YR B) Readings: Mark 11:1-10 Isaiah 50:4-7 Phil. 2:6-11 Mark 14:1-15:47   As we celebrate Palm Sunday, we begin with a Gospel reading recounting our Lord’s entrance into Jerusalem to the joyful shouts of the people proclaiming Him to be the Son of David, that is, the Messiah. Our Lord had preached and worked…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… “Fear Is Useless”

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Lent is about death. The Lord’s death, of course: “Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies it remains just a grain of wheat.” He Himself in His human nature must be the seed of future glory for all of mankind. Fear is mankind’s most instinctive response before the vast and uncharted…Continue Reading

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ . . . Can We Receive Communion In An Eastern Orthodox Church?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 20 Here we enter a delicate matter, which requires much prudential judgment from the Church. The matter is normally titled Communicatio in sacris, which refers to receiving Holy Communion in separated Eastern Churches. Here the situation is totally different from receiving “communion” in a Protestant church of whatever denomination, because Protestants do not have…Continue Reading

Sacramentals In The Life Of The Church

By DON FIER For almost two years we have been examining the Church’s teaching, as articulated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), on the seven sacraments. As has been emphasized repeatedly, it is an infallibly taught dogma of our faith that Christ Himself instituted each of the seven sacraments during His visible stay on Earth. Moreover, it has…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. In discussing the Arian heresy, which denied the divinity of Christ, a friend wondered why Christ, who is omniscient, would say that only the Father knows the end of the world. Please clarify this. — L.S., via e-mail. A. In Mark 13:32, Jesus said of the day that the world will end, “no one knows, neither the angels in…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Clement Mary Hofbauer

By CAROLE BRESLIN It has been said that the four characteristics of good prayer are that it must be sincere, it must be humble, it must be confident, and it must be persevering. This can also be said of the Christian life and a person’s approach to seeking to do the will of God: humble, sincere, confident, and persevering. St.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Luigi Orione

By CAROLE BRESLIN Suffering, great persecutions, humiliations, obstacles to entering the religious life — all of these seem to be the lot of those destined to become saints. In fact, without these pains present in their lives, chances are that their causes for canonization would not proceed. Why would someone want to become a saint if that is the path?…Continue Reading