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June 8, 2018 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. I would like to know about Loreto Publications. Is it a trustworthy Catholic publishing house? — J.F., New York.
A. Loreto Publications, which is located in Fitzwilliam, N.H., was started in 1999 to publish and distribute “Catholic books designed to aid Catholics in their efforts to convert America to the Catholic religion. . . . We intend to make available only those works that are completely in line with Catholic dogma and morals and to defend and promote the Catholic religion with no compromises.”
They say on their website that “all of us who labor in this apostolate with our families are militant Roman Catholics loyal to the Holy Father, faithful to the Magisterium of the Church, and consecrated to Jesus through Mary according to the True Devotion of St. Louis Marie de Montfort. We are far more afraid of disappointing Our Lady than we are of any ‘failure’ in a worldly or financial sense.”
They are indeed “militant Roman Catholics,” descended from the late Fr. Leonard Feeney and staunch supporters of their understanding of the doctrine of “Outside the Church there is no salvation.”
Fr. Feeney was excommunicated by the Vatican’s Holy Office in 1949 for teaching that this doctrine meant that one had to be formally and visibly a member of the Catholic Church to be saved. He was reconciled with the Church before his death in 1978, but his books, and those of some of his followers, are still available through Loreto Publications.
On their website, Loreto said that the “underlying evil” of the day is “the denial of the necessity of belonging to the Catholic Church for salvation. The whole collapse in the Church today can be traced to the silencing or weakening of this one doctrine….Not until this fundamental truth is preached again from every Catholic pulpit shall we see again the triumph of Catholic values and Christian morals.”
They said that “there can be no Christian civilization without this most fundamental of all Catholic truths, the belief of innumerable multitudes who have gone before us: Outside the Church there is no salvation.”
As we have mentioned in past columns, the Church has never wavered in her teaching that salvation is only possible through the Catholic Church, but she understands this doctrine in a different way from the followers of Fr. Feeney. The Church states in the Catechism of the Catholic Church that “all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body,” and that “the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church” (n. 846). The Catechism adds, however, that this does exclude those who, “through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience — those too may achieve eternal salvation” (n. 847).
In his 1991 encyclical Redemptoris Missio, Pope St. John Paul II said that it is necessary to keep two truths together, “namely, the real possibility of salvation in Christ for all mankind and the necessity of the Church for salvation” (n. 8). He went on to explain that the universality of salvation “is granted not only to those who explicitly believe in Christ and have entered the Church. Since salvation is offered to all [cf. 1 Tim. 2:4], it must be made concretely available to all. But it is clear that today, as in the past, many people do not have an opportunity to come to know or accept the Gospel revelation or to enter the Church. The social and cultural conditions in which they live do not permit this, and frequently they have been brought up in other religious traditions” (n. 10).
For these people, the Holy Father continued, “salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace which, while having a mysterious relationship to the Church, does not make them formally part of the Church but enlightens them in a way which is accommodated to their spiritual and moral situation. This grace comes from Christ; it is the result of his sacrifice and is communicated by the Holy Spirit. It enables each person to attain salvation through his own free cooperation” (n. 10).
So in answer to your original question, many of the books in the Loreto catalog — e.g., those by Warren Carroll, G.K. Chesterton, Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Hilaire Belloc, etc. — are good sources of Catholic teaching. But there are others — e.g., by Fr. Feeney, Antonio Socci, Fr. Nicholas Gruner, and Fr. Paul Kramer — that take issue with magisterial teachings on salvation and Fatima. Caveat emptor.

Q. The Bible has many instances of demonic possession. However, in recent times not so often. In view of our current moral climate, would you agree that some world leaders, political and religious, are in fact possessed in a very subtle manner by the Devil? — R.B.K., Virginia.
A. We would agree that the Devil seems to have a significant influence over the actions and decisions of some political and religious leaders, as well some in the entertainment industry, the media, the field of education, and other spheres of our society. Whether he is directly responsible for the wars, acts of terror, racial tensions, school shootings, hatreds, contempt for human life and the dignity of the family, and loss of a sense of sin, we do not know, but he certainly must be thrilled with the frightening descent of our world into the abyss.
Remember that the Devil can influence us in extraordinary and ordinary ways. While diabolical possession is the most striking of his assaults on the human person, it is also the rarest phenomenon. Much more common are the frequent temptations to turn away from God and disregard His laws.
In his book An Exorcist Explains the Demonic, Fr. Gabriele Amorth said that it is necessary “to have a well-formed conscience” and “to guard our heart and our external senses from indecent spectacles: each of us becomes what we see, what we listen to, and what we read. Therefore, let us be discerning in what we see and listen to, and above all let us choose good friends” (p. 64).
Fr. Amorth said (pp. 64-65) that “the ordinary temptations of the Devil are played mainly in the area of intelligence. Let us think of the many theoretical errors that are passed off as modern ideas in order to unhinge the principles of the Faith, as in all the new lifestyles that are contrary to morality: cohabitation, separation, divorce, betrayal, abortion, same-sex marriage, and euthanasia. Not to speak of corruption, wars, and egoism in all its innumerable forms. The list is truly long.
“What is the cause of this moral decline? Principally it is the diminution of the Christian conscience in the struggle against the powers of darkness. It is St. Paul who warns us: ‘For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places’ ” (Eph. 6:12).
That would be enough to account for the Devil’s influence in the world today, but Fr. Amorth also mentioned diabolical vexation, obsession, and infestation. He said that vexations, which can include physical and psychological attacks on a person, “are caused by a person’s cultivation of imprudent habits, by frequenting wizards or seances, through repeated and persistent sins, or by submitting to spells” (p. 70).
Diabolical obsessions are “extremely strong hallucinations” that the demon imposes on the mind of the victim. Amorth said that “the objects of these hallucinations can be manifested as visions, as voices, as rustlings; they can also appear as monstrous figures, horrifying animals, or devils. In other cases, it can be an impulse to commit suicide or to do evil to others” (p. 72).
Diabolical infestations are “disturbances that act on houses, objects, and animals, rather than on people,” said Amorth, adding that they can damage electrical appliances, automobiles, and home heating systems. They also include doors and windows slamming with no apparent cause, lamps, TVs, and computers turning on and off for no reason, noises in the walls, unpleasant odors, and the invasion of insects” (cf. pp. 73-74).
One must try to overcome diabolical influences, and this can be done by repenting of one’s sins, frequenting the sacraments, especially Penance and the Holy Eucharist, spending time in Eucharistic adoration, reading Holy Scripture, praying the Our Father (“deliver us from evil”), and keeping sacred images and holy water in one’s home. In some cases, an exorcism or some prayers of deliverance may be necessary.
One ought at least to pray several times a day to St. Michael the Archangel to defend us from the “wickedness and snares of the Devil” and to cast into Hell those demons who “prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.”

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Cardinal says clock ticking for all in Catholic hierarchy over abuse issue

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Pennsylvania clergy sex abuse report still not released

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Vatican archbishop: Critics of Pope Francis are not faithful to Tradition

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Conservatives skeptical of Twitter’s latest shadow-banning denial

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Pope Francis’ top ‘reform’ cardinal slams seminarians for exposing homosexuality inside seminary

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Veteran Catholic Journalist: All Bishops Involved in Sex Abuse Scandal Must Resign

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Catholic Relief Services is a major funder of contraception lobbyists

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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 . . .

Cardinal Burke: U.S. Catholic Church in ‘possibly the worst crisis that it’s ever experienced’

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Cardinal Burke Addresses the Clergy Scandal


Thomas McKenna: Your Eminence, a new wave of clergy sexual abuse has surfaced and is indicating a widespread practice of homosexuality among clergy in dioceses and seminaries across the country. What would you say is the root cause of this corruption?   Cardinal Raymond Burke: It was clear after the studies following the 2002 sexual abuse crisis that most of the acts of abuse were in fact homosexual acts committed with adolescent young men. There…Continue Reading

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley will not attend the World Meeting of Families

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Cardinal Wuerl named in Pennsylvania grand jury report, responds to criticism

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Vatican advisor: Pope ‘breaks Catholic traditions whenever he wants’

Fr Thomas Rosica said the Church is now ‘ruled by an individual rather than by… its own dictates of tradition plus Scripture’ Under Pope Francis, the Church is now “openly ruled by an individual rather than by the authority of Scripture alone or even its own dictates of tradition plus Scripture,” a Vatican advisor has said. Fr Thomas Rosica wrote that Pope Francis “breaks Catholic traditions whenever he wants” because he is


Who Determines “Universal Values”?

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Refuting An Eastern Orthodox Priest’s Erroneous Comments

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KCs Pledge Support For Persecuted Christians

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A Book Review… Finding A Map For Matters Of Life And Death

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Book Review… A Classic Critique Of Postconciliar Modernism

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Levels Of Conscience

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Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: To a recent question about whether the ordination of a secret Communist would be invalid because he did not have the right intention, we said yes, citing canon 1029 of the Code of Canon Law, which says that those seeking the priesthood must “have an integral faith, are motivated by a right intention, possess the required knowledge, and…Continue Reading

Amid Church Scandals… Fix Your Hearts On Christ

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The Eucharist Is Jesus Himself

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A Leaven In The World… Teaching Failures At Root Of Sexual Immorality

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. “But you have turned aside from the way; you have caused many to stumble by your instruction; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the Lord of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Clare Of Montefalco

By CAROLE BRESLIN In central Italy about one hundred miles north of Rome, lies the peaceful town looking down on the Clitunno River named Montefalco. It attracts tourists with its wildlife, wineries, and vineyards, and stunning churches. One of the most beautiful churches with its vaulted, painted ceilings, marble pillars, and inspiring altars is the Basilica of St. Clare of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Lawrence

By CAROLE BRESLIN Valencia, claim its inhabitants, is the premier city in all of Spain. Located along Spain’s eastern Mediterranean coastline, it boasts stunning beaches, ancient history, and magnificent churches. Perhaps the most famous is the Valencian Cathedral, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption, which holds a chalice which has been defended as the relic of the true…Continue Reading