Sunday 18th March 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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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’

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Catholic hierarchy to be confronted over gender inequality

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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

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

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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

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

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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