Wednesday 18th July 2018

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March 9, 2018 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. In St. Matthew’s account of the Ascension of Jesus into Heaven, he says that when the disciples saw Jesus and worshiped Him, some of them “doubted” (Matt. 28:17). I thought only Thomas doubted that Jesus had risen, but that he was convinced otherwise at the second appearance of our Lord on the Sunday after Easter. So what is Matthew talking about? — P.H., New Jersey.
A. Although all of the disciples saw Jesus after His Resurrection, perhaps the faith of some of them was not as strong as you might think. We know that ten of them saw Jesus on Easter and eleven of them on the following Sunday, but only seven were present at the Sea of Tiberias when Jesus prepared breakfast for them and three times asked Peter if he loved Him (cf. John 21:1-19).
Is it possible that the faith of the four who were missing on that occasion, which John describes as the “third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples after being raised from the dead” (21:14), had waned? This could be true if they hadn’t seen the Lord between the Sunday after Easter and the Ascension more than 30 days later.
In any case, if all doubts were not resolved at the Ascension, they certainly were erased when the Holy Spirit came down upon them on Pentecost. They left the safety of the Upper Room and went out into the streets of Jerusalem boldly proclaiming that Jesus had risen from the dead and that if the people wished to be saved from “this corrupt generation,” they should “repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).

Q. What can you tell me about the Neocatechumenal Way? Also, is the Human Life Review still being published? — M.S., Connecticut.
A. Answering the last question first, yes, the Human Life Review is still being published four times a year. A subscription to this excellent publication is available for $40 a year by writing to the Human Life Foundation, P.O. Box 574, New York, NY 10157.
As for your first question, the Neocatechumenal Way was founded in Spain in 1964 by Kiko Arguello and Carmen Hernandez to evangelize the poor. It is organized into parish-based communities of 20 to 50 people, claims a worldwide following of more than one million members in 124 nations, has about 2,000 priests, operates some 100 Redemptoris Mater seminaries, sends thousands of families to spread the faith around the world, and has been praised by recent Popes.
In 1990, for example, St. John Paul II recognized the Way “as an itinerary of Catholic formation valid for our society and modern times.” He expressed the wish that the evangelical work of this new movement “may be realized according to the guidelines proposed by its initiators, in the spirit of service to the Ordinary of the place and in communion with him, and in the context of the unity of the particular Church with the universal Church.”
In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI praised them for helping “those who have already been baptized to rediscover the beauty of the life of faith, the joy of being Christian.”
And in March 2015, Pope Francis received members of the Way in audience and expressed “my appreciation and my encouragement for the great benefit they bring to the Church….I always say that the Neocatechumenal Way does great good for the Church.”
The Holy Father said that “our meeting today is a missionary commissioning in obedience to what Christ asked us: ‘Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature’ (cf. Mark 16:15). And I am particularly glad that this mission is carried out thanks to Christian families, united in a community, who have the mission to give witness to our faith that attracts people to the beauty of the Gospel. In the words of Christ: ‘This is how all will know that you are my disciples’ (cf. John 13:24), and ‘be one that the world may believe’ (cf. John 17:21).
“These communities, called by the bishops, are formed by a priest and four or five families, with children, including grown-up ones, and are a ‘missio ad gentes’ with a mandate to evangelize non-Christians. Non-Christians who’ve never heard about Jesus Christ and the many non-Christians who’ve forgotten who Jesus Christ was…baptized non-Christians but who have forgotten their faith because of secularization, worldliness, and many other things. Reawaken that faith!”
However, the Way is not without controversy as it has been accused of becoming a disruptive faction in parishes by acting contrary to the wishes of the pastor, looking down on those whom they deem not as Catholic as they are, and insisting that their members attend their own services rather than the usual Sunday Masses. The group has also introduced certain novelties into the liturgy, such as lay preaching, standing during the Eucharistic Prayer, receiving Holy Communion while sitting down, and passing the Precious Blood from person to person.
Pope Benedict may have been thinking about these criticisms in 2012 when he said that “the progressive growth in faith of the individual and of the small community should promote their integration into the life of the greater ecclesial community, which finds its ordinary form in the liturgical celebration of the parish, in which and for which the Neocatechumenate is implemented.”
He said that “it is important not to separate oneself from the parish community, and particularly in the Celebration of the Eucharist, which is the true place of universal unity, where the Lord embraces us in our various states of spiritual maturity and unites us in the one bread that makes us one body.”

Q. I think you would agree that many faithful Catholics are frustrated when so many Church leaders overlook political leaders’ support for abortion. I understand that President Trump has many flaws, but anti-life is not one of them. I believe that many Church leaders have accepted the premise that if you believe in balanced budgets and limited government, if you would rather help people help themselves rather than rely on the government, that you are somehow mean-spirited, unfeeling, uncaring.
I believe Church leaders are also trying to retain and attract more members by being popular rather than worrying about what is right. It is always going to be easier and more popular to buy things on credit than to work and save to pay for them. But Christ did not tell us it would be easy to enter into Heaven. What do you think? — R.J.S., via e-mail.
A. We think that you are correct. Just recently, on May 19, 2017, the heads of six USCCB commissions sent a letter to all members of the U.S. House and Senate on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The letter was about the proposed federal budget for fiscal year 2018.
Among other things, the letter said that “sharp increases in defense and immigration enforcement spending, coupled with simultaneous and severe reductions to non-defense discretionary spending, particularly to many domestic and international programs that assist the most vulnerable, would be profoundly troubling. Such deep cuts would pose a threat to the security of our nation and world, and would harm people facing dire circumstances. When the impact of other potential legislative proposals, including health care and tax policies, are taken into account, the prospects for vulnerable people become even bleaker.”
The letter went on to say that instead of increasing defense spending, “our nation should elevate diplomacy and international development as primary tools for promoting peace, regional stability, and human rights. The USCCB has repeatedly called for robust diplomatic efforts to end longstanding conflicts in a range of countries, including Syria and Iraq. It is hard to reconcile the need for diplomacy and political solutions with significant cuts to the State Department budget.”
This letter is a classic example of what happens when you replace the general principles of Catholic social justice with the talking points of the left-wing of the Democratic Party on particular issues, about which reasonable people may disagree.
The U.S. government has over the years wasted trillions of dollars on the very programs that the bishops say should not be cut. The problems that this spending was supposed to solve are worse than ever, but the six bishops are opposed to cutting them back when, in fact, many of them could be eliminated without impacting the most vulnerable among us.
But how to do that is the responsibility not of the U.S. Catholic bishops, who cannot possibly comprehend what is in the vast 2018 budget, but of our elected officials. Holding the line on current spending is a recipe for economic and social disaster for all Americans.

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Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter Elects New Superior General

LINCOLN, Neb. — The general chapter of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, a society of apostolic life that celebrates the extraordinary form of the Roman rite, Monday elected Father Andrzej Komorowski as its next superior general. The July 9…Continue Reading

Catholic-heavy Supreme Court moves right as the church moves left

(RNS) — With his nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, President Trump has succeeded in doing for the judicial branch what he has often failed or neglected to do in his administration: acting efficiently…Continue Reading

Election of the Superior General . . . Society of Saint Pius X

Election of the Superior General On July 11, 2018, Father Davide Pagliarani was elected Superior General, for a mandate of 12 years, by the 4th General Chapter of the Society of Saint Pius X. The new Superior General is 47…Continue Reading

Paradoxes and indicators of Capella’s and McCarrick’s cases

These days we will find out whether Monsignor Carlo Alberto Capella, the former advisor to the Washington nunciature that the Vatican sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for possession and distribution of “large quantities” of child pornography, will present an appeal…Continue Reading

Diocese led by pro-gay bishop says it’s ‘up to each parish’ whether to promote homosexuality

LEXINGTON, Kentucky, July 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic church in the heart of Appalachia has attracted media attention for the Gay Pride Month banner stretched across its front lawn. The local ordinary, Bishop John Stowe, has a record of collaborating with a…Continue Reading

Al Gore: Pope Francis a ‘moral force’ for solving climate crisis

(Vatican.news) Nobel Peace Prize Winner and former U.S. Vice President, Al Gore, is one of the world’s most vocal defenders of the environment. His 2007 documentary film, “An Inconvenient Truth”, won an Oscar and his Climate Reality Project recently hosted…Continue Reading

Catholic bishops heading to border to tackle family separation issues

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — A delegation of Catholic bishops from across the country are heading to the border on Monday. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will lead the delegation in its visit to the…Continue Reading

Catholic Church teaching on homosexuality ‘evil’, McAleese says

The Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality is “evil”, former president Mary McAleese has said. Speaking ahead of her inaugural participation in the Dublin Pride event on Saturday, where she will march with her son Justin and his husband, the former…Continue Reading

Senate Will Vote Before Elections on Replacing Pro-Abortion Justice Anthony Kennedy

The United States Senate will vote before the elections this November on a replacement for pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made that announcement today shortly after the surprising but welcome announcement that the longtime abortion…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke, Bishop Schneider respond to Pope Francis’ inflight intercommunion comments

ROME, June 27, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The reception of Holy Communion in the Catholic Church — even in exceptional cases — by a Protestant or other non-Catholic constitutes a “lie” that betrays the Apostolic tradition and the Church’s constant practice…Continue Reading

German Bishops Publish Intercommunion Handout with a Rhetorical Trick

Today, the German bishops have published their very controversial pastoral handout which allows Protestant spouses of Catholics, in certain cases, to receive Holy Communion. Since Pope Francis, on 21 June, objected to a national bishops’ conference publishing such an official text, the…Continue Reading

Vikings host ‘LGBTQ summit’ to promote ‘inclusion’ in sports

EAGAN, Minnesota, June 21, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Minnesota Vikings are hosting a conference and fundraiser today for “LGBTQ inclusion in sports,” the first of its kind in the National Football League (NFL). The event will include speeches, interviews, and…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 . . .

British pro-lifers say abortion clinic ‘buffer zones’ harm women and children

London, England, Jul 12, 2018 / 12:49 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- After a decision from the United Kingdom’s High Court, two women are attempting to overturn a ban on prayer and public discussion of abortion near a British abortion clinic. On July 2, the High Court of England and Wales upheld a “buffer zone” imposed by Ealing Council, west London, around a Marie Stopes abortion clinic. The zone prevents any pro-life gathering or speech, inc

Calligraphers face jail time for not promoting same-sex ‘weddings’

PHOENIX, Arizona, July 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Two Arizona calligraphy artists faced with fines and jail time for declining to take part in promoting gay “weddings” are asking the state’s Supreme Court to hear their challenge to the city of Phoenix’s law that compels them create artwork that violates their religious beliefs. Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush & Nib Studio, face up to six months in jail, $2,500 in fines, and three

Bishop Paprocki disagrees with US bishops’ support for unions that fund abortion, LGBT

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Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

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Prof fired by Catholic university for defending marriage has huge court win

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin, July 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The professor forced out by a Jesuit-run Catholic university for blogging about an undergrad student being assailed by his teacher for his having voiced defense of marriage has won in court. In a landmark decision Friday the Wisconsin Supreme Court said Marquette University violated John McAdams’ right to free speech when it suspended him for writing the blog post, and it ordered the University to restore McAdams immediately with his full rank,…Continue Reading

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Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic … Old And New Tyrannies Borne Of Lust

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

A Book Review… What Man Does Not Reverence, He Will Profane

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN Society and Sanity, by Frank Sheed (Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 2013), 261 pp. $17.95. Available from www.ignatius.com or at 1-800-651-1531. This new edition of Sheed’s 1953 classic work of apologetics brings to mind the famous myth of Procrustes’ bed. The wicked king captures his victims then tortures them if their legs do…Continue Reading

How Vice Can Absorb Virtue

By DONALD DeMARCO Just as the Devil is at war with God, so too, vices are at war with virtue. The Devil wants people to believe that God does not exist. He also wants people to believe that neither does virtue exist. He would like to demolish virtue. One way of achieving this is to…Continue Reading

Henan, China… New Limits Imposed On The Religious Freedom Of Catholics

BEIJING (AsiaNews) — The Chinese government is approving increasingly restrictive measures against Catholics in the central province of Henan. As Eglises d’Asie reports, five new rules have been imposed which include the requirement of religious working in the province to collect data and information on their faithful. A priest from the Diocese of Zhengzhou reports…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Solzhenitsyn Remembered

By JUDE DOUGHERTY Congdon, Lee. Solzhenitsyn: The Historical-Spiritual Destinies of Russia and the West. DeKalb, Ill.: NIV Press, 2017; 163 pp. This book is descriptive of the prophetic voice of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008), who was convinced that the West has set out on a road similar to that which “led Russia into the abyss.” Solzhenitsyn…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Sheep Without A Shepherd

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Sixteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Jer. 23:1-6 Eph. 2:13-18 Mark 6:30-34 In the first reading today, God speaks a word of woe through the Prophet Jeremiah to the shepherds who mislead the Lord’s flock entrusted to their care. God says that these shepherds scattered the flock and drove them away and did not…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . In Death The Church Gives Everything

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Funerals, as many priests have learned, can often be pastorally challenging and problematic episodes. Grieving family members who are not dealing with death on a regular basis by practicing their faith are suddenly confronted with its reality upon the passing of a parent or other family member. Parents who have to bury a child sometimes…Continue Reading

Martin Luther… The Man And The Myth

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 2 (Editor’s Note: As this October marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Raymond de Souza is taking a break from his usual apologetics to correct the popular image of Luther.) + + + In the last article, I quoted from…Continue Reading

The Anatomy Of A Moral Act

By DON FIER Last week, as we considered the role that human freedom plays in the economy of salvation, it was immediately acknowledged that “man’s freedom is limited and fallible” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n. 1739). Free will, so wondrously bestowed upon man as an essential element of his great dignity of being created “in the image and…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. What can one say to a teenage daughter or granddaughter who wears skimpy bathing suits? I know that is the “style” these days, but it seems wrong for many reasons. — M.M., Virginia. A. When our five daughters were teens, my wife and I ruled out the wearing of skimpy bathing suits, as well as skin-tight jeans or shorts…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Veronica Giuliani

By CAROLE BRESLIN In July, the month of the Precious Blood, the Catholic Church remembers saints by the name of Veronica. On July 12, the memorial of Veronica (meaning “true image”), the saint from the first century who presented her veil to wipe the face of Jesus, is celebrated. Three days before that, on July 9, St. Veronica Giuliani is…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord had a special love for the poor when He walked this earth. At one time He rebuked one of the apostles, saying, “The poor you will always have with you” (Matt. 26:11). Rather than avoiding the destitute or shun the homeless, Christians are called to love them as we love ourselves. At the beginning of…Continue Reading