Wednesday 18th July 2018

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April 13, 2018 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Editor’s Note: In agreeing with our advice about not attending an invalid wedding of a family member or friend, D.B. of Pennsylvania sent along a form letter that one might send in response to an invitation to attend such a ceremony. As an aside from the letter, D.B. wondered if John the Baptist would have attended the wedding of King Herod to his brother’s wife — “you know, just to keep the lines of communication open.” Or whether Thomas More would have attended the wedding of “his pal King Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn after leaving his wife Catherine of Aragon” — “you know, just to keep up their relationship and, incidentally, to save his own head.” Here is the text of D.B.’s letter:
Dear (Name):
I have been invited to attend your “wedding” scheduled for (date). It appears that the “marriage” will be invalid for one or more of the following reasons, and therefore will be a life without grace (Catechism, nn. 1648-1650).
First, a Catholic getting married outside the Church (w/o Church approval).
Second, one of the parties is already married to someone else.
Third, the parties are of the same sex.
Since we love you, and also want to save our own souls, we ask you to understand that we must follow our own conscience and Church teaching, and not attend what will be an invalid marriage. We trust you will respect that we would not want to compromise on such an important issue.
To help you understand this decision, we ask you to consider:
To attend would water down and show disrespect for our own valid, indissoluble marriage (Catechism, n. 1614, Matt. 19:6).
We would show disrespect of the scriptural passages regarding “unlawful marriages” (Mark 10:11-12, Luke 16:18, Acts 15:29).
We would part company with St. John the Baptist and St. Thomas More, who lost their heads out of love for marriage.
Thank you for understanding our (and the Church’s) position, and be assured of our prayers for you.
Sincerely, (Name)

Q. A 19-year-old man had a serious case of the flu which led to sepsis. He subsequently had his hands and feet amputated in an attempt to save his life. The Church teaches that it is morally permissible to refuse extraordinary means for survival. Could this unfortunate man have chosen to refuse the amputations and put himself in God’s hands? — R.M., New York.
A. An important part of Catholic ethical teaching, from St. Thomas Aquinas until today, is the principle of totality, which says, in the words of Pope Pius XII, that “each particular organ is subordinate to the whole of the body and ought therefore to yield to it in case of conflict.” Speaking in 1952 at the First International Congress of Histopathology of the Nervous System, the Holy Father said that “the principle of totality states that the part exists for the whole, and that consequently the good of the part remains subordinate to the good of the whole, that the whole is decisive for the part and can dispose of it in its own interest.”
It is easy to see how removal of a diseased organ, such as a breast, a uterus, a gall bladder, or a gangrenous leg, could be morally justified, but the Church also teaches that a healthy organ can be excised if that is the only way to preserve the integrity of the body. As Pius XII said: “It can also happen that the removal of a healthy organ and the suppression of its normal functioning will remove from a disease, cancer, for example, its field of growth, or in any case, essentially change the conditions of its existence. If there is no other means at our disposal, surgical intervention on the healthy organ is permitted.”
What makes the case cited by R.M. more complicated is the scope of the procedure, not just amputation or excision of one or two organs, but the removal of both hands and both feet. So the question is, would it have been morally permissible for this man to refuse the amputations because they constituted the use of extraordinary means?
Let’s define what is meant by extraordinary means by first defining ordinary means.
According to Catholic moral teaching, a person is always bound to take ordinary steps to preserve his life or health. The usual conditions for ordinary means are hope of benefit for the patient, a procedure that is not difficult (i.e., not experimental or exotic), in accord with one’s financial and psychological status, and not unreasonable. Anything else would be considered extraordinary, and one is not morally obliged to use such means, unless a person is not reconciled with God or the lives of others depend on the life of the patient.
In its 1980 Declaration on Euthanasia, the Vatican’s Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said that while the term “extraordinary means” is still valid, the principle is “perhaps less clear today by reason of the imprecision of the term and the rapid progress made in the treatment of sickness. Thus, some people prefer to speak of ‘proportionate’ and ‘disproportionate’ means. In any case, it will be possible to make a correct judgment as to the means by studying the type of treatment to be used, its degree of complexity or risk, its cost and the possibilities of using it, and comparing these elements with the result that can be expected, taking into account the state of the sick person and his or her physical and moral resources.”
Considering the amazing advances today in the field of prosthetics, it is probable that the young man in question will be able to function at a high level and to lead a fairly normal life. Since this is so, we think that he was right to undergo the amputations, and thus, in a different sense that what R.M. had in mind, to “put himself in God’s hands.” This was a brave decision on his part, and we pray that God will sustain him in the future.

Q. What do you think about the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Divine Mercy Sunday? Some books and papers I have read are against it. — M.G., Alabama.
A. We don’t know what you have read, but any Catholic who is against the Divine Mercy devotions is way off base. They trace back to Sr. Faustina, a Polish nun to whom Jesus appeared in 1931. Our Lord asked Faustina to have a painting done of Him that would say across the bottom, “Jesus, I trust in you.” If you have seen the image, you know that it shows two rays coming from the side of Jesus — the white rays signifying water and the red rays signifying blood.
The water from the side of Christ, of course, symbolizes the water of Baptism, which washes away original sin. The blood symbolizes the Holy Eucharist, when the wine is changed into the Blood of Christ. Jesus said that all the sin and evil in the world are just a drop in the ocean of His mercy. In 1935, Jesus appeared again to Sr. Faustina and dictated to her the Divine Mercy Chaplet, a series of prayers said on the rosary that will help even the most hardened sinner get to Heaven if he sincerely prays that chaplet. This chaplet is to be prayed every day at three o’clock, the hour when Jesus died on the cross.
Sr. Faustina never saw the fruits of her efforts since she died from tuberculosis in 1938 at the age of 33. At first, her wishes and those of Jesus were not heeded because some Church leaders weren’t sure that they were authentic, but after John Paul became Pope in 1978, he concluded that Faustina’s requests were legitimate and, in 2000, he declared her a saint and proclaimed to the whole world that the Sunday after Easter would henceforth be celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday.
How anyone could reject this great gift of mercy to the Church is beyond us.

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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

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, July 11, 2018, (LifeSiteNews) – Hailed by free speech and religious liberty advocates alike, the United States Supreme Court recently ruled that public sector employees can no longer be required to pay mandatory fees to support unions which promote causes and political activities – including abortion – to which they are opposed. The ruling has also exposed a significant rift among the nation’s Catholic bishops. Despite public sector unions’ unabashe

Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 9, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Brett Kavanaugh is Donald Trump’s choice to succeed the pro-abortion, pro-gay Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court, the president announced Monday night. Trump praised Kavanaugh’s committment to “equal justice under the law” and called him a “brilliant jurist with a clear and effective writing style.” He is “universally regarded as…one of the finest legal minds of our time.” Kavanaugh formerly clerked for Kennedy. “Justice Kennedy devoted his career to…Continue Reading

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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Federal District Court . . . Orders End To HHS Mandate For Ave Maria Law School

FORT MYERS, Fla. — A federal district court issued an order Wednesday, July 11 that permanently prevents the federal government from enforcing the HHS mandate against a Catholic law school in Florida represented by Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys. The order also declares that the mandate violates the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The Obama-era mandate…Continue Reading

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

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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

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Leadership Studies?

By DEACON JAMES H. TONER (Editor’s Note: Deacon James H. Toner, Ph.D., is professor emeritus of Leadership and Ethics at the U.S. Air War College, and author of Morals Under the Gun and other books. He has also taught at Notre Dame, Norwich, Auburn, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and Holy Apostles College & Seminary. He serves in the Diocese…Continue Reading

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 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