Sunday 18th March 2018

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February 16, 2018 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

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 supposed to meditate while we are praying, but doesn’t this cause us not to be able to concentrate on the words of the Hail Mary as much as we should? What exactly did our Blessed Mother say? — E.G., Florida.
A. The Virgin Mary urged the three children in each of the six apparitions in 1917 to pray the rosary for an end to World War I and for peace in the world and, on October 13, she identified herself as “the Lady of the Rosary.” It was after these apparitions, however, that she talked about making the rosary part of the five First Saturdays devotions. Appearing to Lucia in Pontevedra, Spain, on December 19, 1925, the Blessed Mother said:
“I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess [their sins], receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the rosary, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”
Just as an aside, Jesus appeared to Lucia in Tuy, Spain, on the night of May 29-30, 1930 and explained to her why there were five First Saturdays. He said that had to do with “five kinds of offenses and blasphemies spoken against the Immaculate Heart of Mary: blasphemies (1) against her Immaculate Conception; (2) against her perpetual virginity; (3) against her divine maternity, refusing at the same time to accept her as the Mother of mankind; (4) by those who try publicly to implant in the hearts of children an indifference, contempt, and even hate for this Immaculate Mother; and (5) for those who insult her directly in her sacred images.”
As for when we should meditate on the mysteries, our Lady did not specify whether it should be before or during the Hail Marys. Notice that her request is to recite five decades of the rosary, but then to spend fifteen minutes meditating on all fifteen (at that time) mysteries. This could be interpreted as saving the meditation until after the rosary has been said.
In his book Fatima for Today, Fr. Andrew Apostoli said: “Our Lady wants us to begin by meditating (reflecting) on the various mysteries of the rosary, but then end in a kind of heart-to-heart talk with her about what we reflect on in order to make reparation to her for the blasphemy and indifference that she suffers. This kind of prayer truly deepens our personal relationship with the Lord and His Blessed Mother” (p. 243).
He said that “we can gain much from meditating on the mysteries. The Joyful Mysteries help us to learn the meaning, the virtues, and trials of family life. The Luminous Mysteries help us to see how we must carry out our Christian mission in the world. The Sorrowful Mysteries teach us how to deal with the trials and sufferings of life. The Glorious Mysteries help us to focus on the goal for which God made us, namely, eternal life in Heaven. Knowing the reward God is preparing for us will help us to have joy and perseverance through the difficulties of life.
“As we reflect on these sacred mysteries, the Holy Spirit will enlighten us to offer our thoughts and prayers to Our Lady in the spirit of reparation for the sins by which she, and ultimately Jesus, are offended” (ibid.).
You are correct that the consensus has been to meditate on each mystery while praying the Hail Marys, and there is no reason to discontinue that practice. Or you may meditate before or after each decade, and then spend time when you are finished in a “heart-to-heart talk” with Our Lady. But whatever method you choose, the important thing is to pray the rosary daily and with fervor. It is a powerful instrument for bringing about God’s will on Earth through the intercession of the Blessed Mother.

Q. The Church has a rather detailed, structured, and inviolate citizenship process called RCIA. Why do you think that Pope Francis and other esteemed prelates feel entitled to support this citizenship process while not extending that same courtesy to the United States, which embraces the religious freedom the Church cherishes? — A.C., Tennessee.
A. Assuming that you are referring to the Church’s criticism of the Trump administration’s efforts to tighten up the immigration process to keep out dangerous people, it is a case of stretching the principle of welcoming the stranger to unreasonable lengths. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 2241) makes clear, countries “may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions,” such as protecting the common good.

Q. I have two questions: (1) What is the meaning of Jer. 14:14? (2) If I refuse to follow some of the teachings of the Pope, am I in schism, and is the Pope in heresy for denying some of the truths of the Church? — M.G., Alabama.
A. (1) One of God’s chosen prophets, Jeremiah lived hundreds of years before Christ and for more than 40 years (circa 627-582 B.C.) he tried to call the people of Judah away from their idolatry and immorality, warning them of the coming fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians. He fled to Egypt and was reportedly stoned to death there for predicting that the Babylonians would overcome the Egyptians as well.
The verse that you asked about was preceded by God’s threat of famine, drought, and the sword if the people did not heed the warnings of Jeremiah. Instead of listening to him, however, the people listened to false prophets, who told them that these events would not befall their nation. Referring to these false prophets, Jeremiah says in chapter 14, verses 14-16:
“Lies these prophets utter in my name, the Lord said to me. I did not send them; I gave them no command nor did I speak to them. Lying, visions, foolish divination, dreams of their own imagination, they prophesy to you. Therefore, thus says the Lord: Concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name, though I did not send them; who say, ‘Sword and famine shall not befall this land’: by the sword and famine shall these prophets meet their end. The people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out into the streets of Jerusalem by famine and the sword. No one shall bury them, their wives, their sons, or their daughters, for I will pour out upon them their own wickedness.”
(2) Canon 751 of the Code of Canon Law defines schism as “the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.” Your concerns about accepting some of the things the Pope said, for example, in Amoris Laetitia, about Communion for the divorced and remarried, does not put you in schism. It puts you in league with the four cardinals who have asked the Holy Father to clarify some of his statements in Amoris Laetitia lest they lead the faithful into thinking that what Christ forbade can somehow be permissible today.
Canon 751 defines heresy as “the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith.” To be guilty of heresy, a baptized Catholic must be acting in bad faith and must knowingly, consciously, and intentionally reject some Catholic teaching. Is the Pope in heresy?
“No,” said Raymond Cardinal Burke, one of the four cardinals mentioned above, “that’s not what we have implied at all. We have simply asked him, as the Supreme Pastor of the Church, to clarify these five points that are confused, these five very serious and fundamental points. We’re not accusing him of heresy, but just asking him to answer these questions for us as the Supreme Pastor of the Church.”
In an interview in the December 19, 2016 issue of Catholic World Report, Cardinal Burke said that “I have absolute respect for the Petrine office. If I didn’t care about him and his exercise of the Petrine office, I would just remain silent and let everything go as it is. But because in conscience I believe he has an obligation to clarify these matters for the Church, I made it known to him, not just on this occasion, but on other occasions. The publication of the dubia [questions] was done with complete respect for his office. I am not the enemy of the Pope.”

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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 . . .

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’

ROME, March 15, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and the Congregation for Catholic Education are each preparing to release documents on “gender theory,” the radical ideology behind transgenderism. The Congregation for Catholic Education’s document, expected to be released in the next two months, won’t “enter the heart of the debate,” the dicastery’s secretary Archbishop Angelo Vincenzo Zani said. Instead, it will repeat “important educational principles.” The CDF’s document…Continue Reading

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

WEST BLOOMFIELD, Michigan, March 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A judge sentenced five pro-life activists today to one year of reporting probation, eight days of community service, more than $1,000 in fines each, and forbade them from going within 500 feet of any abortion facility in the United States. Several of them will likely serve jail time for refusing to pay the fines or perform community service. Some of them could end up being in jail…Continue Reading

Over 10,000 sign petition urging Disney not to make Frozen’s Elsa a lesbian

March 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – More than 10,000 people have signed a petition asking Disney to not depict Elsa as a lesbian in Frozen 2. “From every corner of society, young girls already face confusing and troubling messages about sexuality,” the petition, hosted on LifeSiteNews’ petition platform LifePetitions, says. The petition platform also gives signers the option to send Disney a postcard expressing their concerns. So far, over 200 postcards h

Don’t let gender ideology confuse students, English cardinal urges

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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

Fatal Delusions Of Western Man

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN “We got China wrong. Now what?” ran the headline over the column in The Washington Post. “Remember how American engagement with China was going to make that communist backwater more like the democratic, capitalist West?” asked Charles Lane in his opening sentence. America’s elites believed that economic engagement and the opening…Continue Reading

The Holy Week Tradition Of Tenebrae

By JAMES MONTI As many of our readers know, for at least thirteen centuries, and very probably longer, there has existed in the Roman liturgy a uniquely ceremonial recitation of the offices of Matins and Lauds from Holy Thursday to Good Friday known as Tenebrae (“Darkness”). The thirteenth-century prelate and liturgist William Durandus of Mende…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

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

The Hour Of The Covenant

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Sunday Sermon for March 18, 2018 Fifth Sunday Of Lent (YR B) Readings: Jer. 31:31-34 Hebrews 5:7-9 John 12:20-33 The first reading today is one of the most important in all of the Old Testament because it plainly declares that God is going to make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house…Continue Reading

Cardinal Mueller… The Magisterium Is Not Supposed To Lead Faithful “Into Confusion”

(LifeSiteNews) — Formulating pastoral practices based on “individual cases” is a “rhetorical trick” that undermines the unity of the faith, said Gerhard Cardinal Mueller in an interview published the past week in German and translated into English by LifeSiteNews. “That is why papal and episcopal statements on the reception of the Sacraments have to be prepared in such a clear…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