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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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Speaker Ryan Proposes a Return to Catholic Social Doctrine at Prayer Breakfast

Washington, D.C. – House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) spoke at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast Thursday about how he believed the answer to many of the political problems society faces today, including “moral relativism” and “tribalism,” can be found in Catholic…Continue Reading

Judge rules ‘transgender’ high-schooler should have been allowed opposite-sex bathroom

NEWPORT NEWS, Virginia, May 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A judge has ruled that a Virginia high school should have allowed a gender-confused former student to use the restrooms designated for the opposite sex. Gavin Grimm is a female Gloucester High School…Continue Reading

One of the most ‘liberal abortion regimes’ if vote passes

Ireland will have one of the most liberal abortion regimes in Europe if Friday’s referendum is passed, the No campaign warned during its final press conference on Wednesday. With the broadcasting ban set to come into force on the eve of the…Continue Reading

Pope asks for prayers for Catholics in China

Pope Francis has appealed to all Christians to be spiritually close to Catholics who live in China, and to pray they may live their faith in full communion with the Holy See. Speaking during the General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope recalled…Continue Reading

Life is the ‘true source of America’s greatness,’ President Trump tells pro-life gala

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 22, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — President Donald Trump affirmed the importance of the right to life and called on pro-life voters to help secure it Tuesday night, in his keynote address at the Susan B. Anthony List’s 11th…Continue Reading

Bishop Schneider: Priests who ‘bless’ gay unions will answer for it on Judgement Day

May 21, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Clerics who “bless” homosexual unions are “reintroducing a kind of pagan temple prostitution,” which is “akin to apostasy,” Bishop Athanasius Schneider said in a newly-published interview addressing ongoing controversies and crises in the Catholic Church.…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: Catholics must let Christ reign as King in face of ‘apostasy’ within Church

ROME, May 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Catholics must consciously place themselves under the “Kingship of Christ” in the face of enemies of the Church today attempting to “infiltrate the life of the Church herself and to corrupt the Bride of…Continue Reading

President Trump to cut Planned Parenthood funding

The Trump administration is announcing its intentions to cut a significant amount of taxpayer funding from Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses. The proposed regulation will also better protect victims of sexual assault, incest and rape because it will require that…Continue Reading

Bishop Tobin is right: the Catholic Church must stay true to itself

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, who is the Bishop of Providence, Rhode Island, in the United States, has tweeted, and it is a mighty tweet, a gem amidst the dross and banality of Twitter. The Bishop has written:

Alfie Evans laid to rest today with no coroner’s investigation, no toxicology report

LONDON, May 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The question of what caused the death of UK toddler Alfie Evans may never be known. The UK High Court refused today to order a post-mortem examination of the toddler’s remains at the request…Continue Reading

Google and Facebook Censor Pro-Life Free Speech Ahead of Ireland Vote to Legalize Abortion

This has been coming on in Ireland for months, really since the outlines of the wording for the May 25 referendum to gut protections for unborn children were released. Simon Harris, the Minister of Health, and others, committed to overturning…Continue Reading

Bill Nye the Science Guy Headlines Fundraiser for Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz

Bill Nye “the Science Guy,” a man who became famous for teaching children about science, has anything but children’s best interests at heart. Nye is an abortion activist who spoke Tuesday at fundraiser for Planned Parenthood in Texas. San Antonio…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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Ireland votes to legalize abortion: ‘a tragedy of historic proportions’

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IRELAND, May 26, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Irish citizens voted to legalize abortion on Friday, ending Ireland’s legacy as one of the world’s most pro-life nations. The votes are still being officially counted, but the pro-abortion campaign is declaring victory and pro-lifers are calling this a “tragedy of historic proportions.” “The 8th amendment did not create a right to life for the unborn child – it merely acknowledged that such a right exists, h

Irish Times exit poll projects Ireland has voted by landslide to repeal Eighth Amendment

Ireland has voted by a landslide margin to change the constitution so that abortion can be legalised, according to an exit poll conducted for The Irish Times by Ipsos/MRBI. The poll suggests that the margin of victory for the Yes side in the referendum will be 68 per cent to 32 per cent – a stunning victory for the Yes side after a long and often divisive campaign

Voting underway on Ireland’s abortion referendum

Voting was underway in Ireland on Friday on a referendum that could legalize abortions in the country, which currently bans the practice except in rare cases when the mother’s life is in danger. The referendum in the largely Roman Catholic country will decide whether to repeal a constitutional amendment, in place since 1983, that protects the life of fetuses from the moment of conception. If citizens vote to repeal the amendment, new abortion laws would…Continue Reading

Ireland . . . Abortion referendum: Last call for campaigners as voting starts

Both Yes and No campaigns have been holding events in Dublin on Thursday as the two sides prepare for the final day of campaigning before voting. Both sides are making their final appeals to voters ahead of the moratorium on broadcast coverage, which begins on at 2pm on Thursday. The ballot boxes are open from 7am to 10pm across the country and the results will be counted on Saturday morning

Cardinal Sarah: Ordaining married men would be a ‘break’ with Apostolic Tradition

CHARTRES, France, May 22, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Ordaining married men to the Catholic priesthood would be a break with apostolic tradition, a leading Catholic prelate has said. Robert Cardinal Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, said that “serious consequences” would arise in the Church if she were to admit married men of sound reputation, or “viri probati” into the priesthood. The Cardinal, who is 72, made

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Can A Pope Change Moral Truth?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN (Editor’s Note: Please see commentary from The Wanderer on p. 4A.) + + + That joking retort we heard as children, “Is the Pope Catholic?” is starting to look like a serious question. Asked five years ago about a “gay lobby” in the Vatican, Pope Francis responded, “If a person is…Continue Reading

Teacher-Strike Movement . . . Looks Ahead To Using Experience Gained To Help Dems In November

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — It looked like one of those YouTube man-at-the-beach interviews by Mark Dice where random clueless passers-by don’t know what country Mt. Rushmore is located in, or where Donald Trump lives. But these particular questions were posed to red-clad protesters outside the Arizona State Capitol. They had answers, all right, but…Continue Reading

Laboratory Rats And Their Masters

By GEORGE A. KENDALL I recently heard a story which upset me more and more the longer I thought about it. It concerned a young man getting ready to go off to college. The young man’s father is a very successful executive, and his son has been accepted for admission to his father’s alma mater,…Continue Reading

In Defense Of An Ancient And Universal Tradition Of The Church

By JAMES MONTI On Sunday, June 3, here in the U.S., we will be observing the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. In other places this same feast will be celebrated on the preceding Thursday, the day of the week originally chosen by Pope Urban IV (+1265) for this commemoration of the Holy Eucharist in accord with…Continue Reading

Iraqi “Republic”: No Christian Converts

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSnews.com. His column is distributed by Creators.com.) + + + The 2017 State Department report on human rights in Iraq, which was released last month, begins by unambiguously declaring: “Iraq is a constitutional parliamentary republic.” It says, “The outcome of the 2014…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ… The Sacrament Of Confession

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 30 Confession is certainly the most controversial of all sacraments that Christ instituted for our salvation, especially among Protestants of every denomination. The most common objection is, “Why should I confess my sins to a man just like me, and perhaps a worse sinner?” The objector misses the point completely, since Confession is not…Continue Reading

Blessed Are The Pure In Heart

By DON FIER In our treatment up until now of the eight Beatitudes, it has been demonstrated that the first three, in keeping with the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas, are mainly associated with “flight from and deliverance from sin. The next two…are the beatitudes of the active life of a Christian who, freed from evil, engages in the pursuit…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. Can you explain how the date for Easter is determined? It changes every year. — R.W., Massachusetts. A. Since the Council of Nicaea in 325, the date on which Easter falls is determined by the full moon. It is celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon occurring after the vernal equinox, that is, the time of…Continue Reading

The Tenth Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum… “Any Experience Of Rupture Must Come To An End”

By ARCHBISHOP ALEXANDER K. SAMPLE (Editor’s Note: The Most Rev. Alexander Sample of the Archdiocese of Portland, Ore., gave this homily for the Pontifical High Mass at the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., on April 28, 2018. (The occasion was a celebration of the tenth anniversary of Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic letter that…Continue Reading

The Oneness Of God

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Solemnity Of The Most Holy Trinity (YR B) Readings: Deut. 4:32-34, 39-40 Romans 8:14-17 Matt. 28:16-20 In the first reading today, Moses addresses the people of Israel, challenging them to think about what they might believe about God and about themselves in relation to God. The problem for the Jewish people, having come out of Egypt,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Louis-Zéphirin Moreau

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the late 19th century the Canadians endured a crisis of education called the Manitoba question. Prelates, priests, politicians, and laity joined in both the private and the public debate that lasted for years. The Catholic Church was deeply divided over the question of the schools and letters crossed the Atlantic to and from Rome in efforts…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Ivan Merz

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord paid the laborers the same wage whether they worked from early morning or began in the afternoon. The rewards were the same (Matthew, chapter 20). So too are the rewards for serving the Lord with zeal and perseverance. St. Augustine, converting at the age of 33, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Francis of Assisi — all…Continue Reading