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November 6, 2013 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Editor’s Note: Regarding a recent reply about whether brothers in a monastery can pray the Confiteor using just the word “brothers” (as in “and to you my brothers and sisters”) when there are no females present, B.R. of Minnesota received the following reply from the Secretariat of Divine Worship at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:
“The Secretariat holds that the formula you refer to may be adapted, for example to omit ‘sisters’ if the assembly is all male. This judgment is based on the Roman Missal itself, which adapts the formula in the ‘Order of Mass with the Participation of a Single Minister.’ The concern about doing so would only be a pastoral one, so that a group does not become accustomed to omitting the word and then continues to do so when female visitors are present — something which it would be easy to do out of habit.”
Q. Is there anything in the Bible that tells us that we will be reunited with our family members in Heaven? — S.M., Michigan.
A. Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said that there would be three surprises in Heaven. First, there would be people there whom we did not think would make it. Second, there would be people not there whom we thought would make it. Third, we would be there.
We are not aware of any verse in the Bible that specifically states that we will be reunited with family members in Heaven, but this reunification is implied in some verses. For example, Jesus says that “there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance” (Luke 15:7). This suggests that those in Heaven are aware of persons on earth, perhaps family members, who repent, and they are looking forward to the time when they will share their joy together for eternity.
Also, the author of Hebrews speaks of us being “surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses” (Heb. 12:1). These witnesses are those, says the Catechism of the Catholic Church, who “share in the living tradition of prayer by the example of their lives, the transmission of their writings, and their prayer today. They contemplate God, praise him, and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth” (n. 2683).
It seems logical that concern for those left behind on earth would include family members who would one day have the opportunity in Heaven to express their gratitude for the constant care that helped them get to Heaven.
The Catechism (n. 1023) also quotes Pope Benedict XII as having proclaimed that “the souls of all the saints…and other faithful who died after receiving Christ’s holy Baptism (provided they were not in need of purification when they died…or, if they then did need or will need some purification, when they have been purified after death)…have been, are, and will be in heaven, in the heavenly Kingdom and celestial paradise with Christ, joined to the company of the holy angels” (Benedictus Deus).
The Catechism also says that Christ “makes partners in his heavenly glorification those who have believed in him and remained faithful to his will” (n. 1026), and that “in the glory of heaven the blessed continue joyfully to fulfill God’s will in relation to other men and to all creation” (n. 1029). Since family members will surely be among the blessed in Heaven, it wouldn’t make sense for those who were closely united on earth not to be united in Heaven.
Q. Can you give me some Bible passages about homosexuality? I have been told that homosexual acts are only condemned in the Old Testament. — M.K., Florida.
A. The relevant verses in the Old Testament are Gen. 19:1-11, Lev. 18:22 and 20:13, and Judges 19:16-24. In the New Testament, see Romans 1:18-32, 1 Cor. 6:9-11, 1 Tim. 1:8-10, and Jude 7. In Paul’s Letter to the Romans, verses 1:26-27 are particularly important since they are often omitted when the first chapter of this letter is used in the readings for Mass and the reading is stopped at verse 25.
This omission leaves the faithful ignorant of one of the strongest condemnations of homosexual behavior in the Bible, where Paul says, “Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity.”
As for those who contend that the sin of the people of Sodom was lack of hospitality for the two angels who visited the house of Lot, see verse 7 of Jude, which says that Sodom, Gomorrah, and the surrounding towns “indulged in sexual promiscuity and practiced unnatural vice” and suffered “a punishment of eternal fire.”
Q. Regarding your column about whether Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York has excommunicated himself and is no longer a Catholic because he lives with his mistress and supports abortion and same-sex unions, I think you compromised the answer you gave. When the Blessed Virgin appeared in Akita, Japan, in the 1970s, she said that “the work of the Devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their confreres… churches and altars will be sacked. The Church will be full of those who accept compromises, and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.” — A.C.R., Pennsylvania.
A. What we said in two replies about Gov. Cuomo is that while we don’t know the state of his soul, he would appear to be obstinately persisting in what canon law calls “manifest grave sin” (canon 915), which should preclude him from worthily receiving Holy Communion. Whether he has automatically excommunicated himself, we do not know, but even if he has, that does not separate him from the Catholic Church. Excommunication is a medicinal penalty that prohibits the person excommunicated from receiving the sacraments, but it does not render a person no longer a Catholic.
We quoted Pope Pius XII as having said in his 1943 encyclical on the Mystical Body of Christ (Mystici Corporis) that “not every sin, however grave it may be, is such as of its own nature to sever a man from the Body of the Church, as does schism or heresy or apostasy. Men may lose charity and divine grace through sin, thus becoming incapable of supernatural merit, and yet not be deprived of all life if they hold fast to faith and Christian hope, and if, illumined from above, they are spurred on by the interior promptings of the Holy Spirit to salutary fear and are moved to prayer and penance for their sins” (n. 23).
As for the reported apparition at Akita, it has been investigated for many years, but as far as we know no bishop in Japan has yet declared it to be worthy of belief. Be that as it may, what our Lady allegedly said in Akita is certainly happening in the Church.
Back in 1972, Pope Paul VI said in a homily that the confusion in the wake of the Second Vatican Council had given him the feeling that Satan’s influence had permeated the Church. He said, “We believe that some preternatural power has come into the world to upset and stifle the fruits of the Ecumenical Council and to prevent the Church from breaking out into a hymn of joy for having regained a full awareness of itself. Precisely because of this, we would like to be able, now more than ever, to exercise the function assigned by God to St. Peter, namely, to confirm our brethren in the faith.”
It was also around that time that a Polish cardinal named Karol Wojtyla, who would become Pope John Paul II in 1978, made the following statement at a Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia in 1976:
“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced. I do not think the wide circle of the American society, or the wide circle of the Christian community, realizes this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the Gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the antichrist. The confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is therefore in God’s plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously.”

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Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

21 Sep 2017

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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 for which he provided his illuminating insights are the Message of Our Lady of Fatima, an appraisal of the situation in which the Church finds herself in contemporary times, and the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy. (This interview appeared in three parts in The Wanderer in August 2017.) + + + Part 1 Q. We are in the midst of…Continue Reading

Bishop Schneider: priests must resist pressure on Communion for remarried

Bishop Schneider said that priests should ‘lovingly and respectfully’ tell their superiors that they cannot abandon the Church’s perennial teaching Bishop Athanasius Schneider has said priests have to follow the Church’s constant practice on Communion, even if their bishops and…Continue Reading

Popular priest disinvited from Catholic University’s seminary after protests over his LGBT book

The Rev. James Martin, a popular priest who published a book earlier this year encouraging a bridge between the LGBT community and the Catholic Church, has been disinvited from giving an address at Catholic University’s seminary. Martin, who was planning…Continue Reading

Latin Mass fans celebrate 10-year anniversary _ without pope

Fans of the old Latin Mass descended on Rome on Thursday for their annual pilgrimage, facing indifference to their cause, if not outright resistance, from none other than Pope Francis. Ten years after Pope Benedict XVI passed a law allowing greater use of…Continue Reading

Pro-gay Vatican adviser gets Catholic group suspended from Twitter

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 12, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A faithful Catholic lay apostolate was suspended by Twitter last week after Vatican adviser Father James Martin complained about a tweet that teasingly stated the pro-gay Jesuit had been bested in a theological…Continue Reading

Durbin, Feinstein and Catholic judges

Washington is currently embroiled in one of its “gotcha” controversies, which often arise when minor missteps are blown into major crimes. It’s a game both parties and a variety of activists play whenever they see political advantage in it. The…Continue Reading

Pope issues new directives on revision, translation of liturgical texts

Vatican City, Sep 9, 2017 / 08:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Holy See has released a new “motu proprio” from Pope Francis outlining a shift in the responsibility of local bishops and the Apostolic See for the revision and approval…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke ‘treasured’ work with deceased dubia Cardinal to oppose ‘gravely harmful confusion’

ROME, September 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke paid tribute today to fellow dubia signer Cardinal Carlo Caffarra on his passing after a long illness. In a statement to LifeSiteNews, Burke said he was “deeply saddened” by the 79-year-old’s…Continue Reading

Some Personal Reflections on the Late Cardinal Caffarra

As Steve Skojec reported this morning, our beloved Cardinal Carlo Caffarra died today, in Italy. Our hearts are broken over this news since he was such a lovable and charitable and truthful man for us. Just to know that he was out…Continue Reading

Remarks by President Trump at Signing of Day of Prayer Proclamation

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  Americans have always come to the aid of their fellow countrymen.  Friend helping friend, neighbor helping neighbor, stranger helping stranger — we’ve seen it perhaps more so than at any time, so vividly at…Continue Reading

Bishop Schneider: The Pope who ‘seems to’ permit adultery bears a ‘grave responsibility’

POLAND, August 31, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia “seems to” go in the direction of a pastoral “discernment” that “allows the adulterers to continue in adultery,” says Bishop Athanasius Schneider. The consequences for many could be…Continue Reading

REPORT CARD: Faithful college praised for financial aid; Praying for Notre Dame; ‘Pride Prom’ at Marquette

With college affordability becoming an increasingly prominent (and problematic) issue, Thomas Aquinas College’s recognition by The Princeton Review’s national Financial Aid Honor Roll is especially refreshing. “We are pleased that, once again, The Princeton Review has featured Thomas Aquinas College in its annual guide,”…Continue Reading

JEFFERSON CITY’S CATHEDRAL SCHOOL RESISTS LGBT POLICY

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (ChurchMilitant.com) – The flagship school for the diocese of Jefferson City has updated its handbook with clear Catholic instruction to counter the LGBT agenda being foisted on schools. Just in time for the new school year, St. Joseph…Continue Reading

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Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  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 . . .

Pope: “Doctrine” does not come before mercy

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – “The door that leads to encounter with Jesus is recognizing ourselves as we are, the truth. Sinners. And He comes”. “I want mercy and not sacrifices” said Pope Francis at Mass this morning at Casa Santa Marta, commenting on the gospel song of the day recalling the conversion of St. Matthew to return

Pro-Life Speaker Ben Shapiro Answers Pro-Abortion Student’s Question With an “Epic Takedown”

Popular conservative author and speaker Ben Shapiro continued to impress his audience Thursday at UC Berkeley when he rapidly refuted a young man’s abortion arguments. Shapiro’s speech at the liberal California university drew massive media attention because of the violent protests that have broken out on campus during past conservative speakers’ talks. The university and local police increased security, and several people were arrested Thursday. Inside the sold-out auditorium, Shapiro received a huge applause when…Continue Reading

Cardinal Sarah: Reverent liturgy is essential to fighting the culture of death

ROME, September 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – One of the chief antidotes to a world “marked by the blight of Godless terrorism, of an increasingly aggressive secularism” and an “advancing culture of death” is to restore primacy to God in the Catholic liturgy, Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, said Thursday. The cardinal was speaking to an international gathering of cardinals, priests, religious and laity at the Fifth Roman Colloquium on Summorum…Continue Reading

Pope to new bishops: ‘Discernment’ means avoiding ‘rigid’ answers to moral questions

ROME, September 14, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Pope Francis told a group of newly ordained bishops that “authentic discernment” cannot be reduced to repeating “rigid” moral formulas to persons whose situations “can’t be reduced to black and white.” Discernment, the pope said, “can’t be reduced to repeating formulas such as ‘high clouds send little rain’ to a concrete person, who’s often immersed in a reality that can’t be reduced to black and white.” He cautioned bishops…Continue Reading

Catholic leaders defend Trump after Pope challenges his pro-life views

September 12, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life Catholic leaders are defending President Trump against Pope Francis after the Pontiff questioned Trump’s pro-life views, despite the fact that Trump has racked up major pro-life accomplishments during his short time in office. “If Pope Francis is so concerned with the commitment of others to the defense of preborn children, he should consider his own words and actions, as well,” said Michael Hichborn, founder and president of the Lepanto…Continue Reading

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A Book Review … Reflections On Our Lady’s Message Of Fatima

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Fatima and the Triumph of Mary: Reflections on the Fatima Message, by Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR, (World Apostolate of Fatima, 2016); 228 pages, $17.95 available via:http://giftshop.wafusa.org/browse.cfm/4,2578.html. Fatima and the Triumph of Mary is a compilation of articles by Fr. Andrew Apostoli which originally appeared in the World Apostolate of Fatima USA…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Dispelling The False Images Of God

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN The Light Shines on in the Darkness: Transforming Suffering through Faith, by Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ, Ph.D. (Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 2017), 543 pp. $19.95. Available from www.ignatius.com or 1-800-651-1531. For anyone who struggles to make sense of human suffering or to reconcile the unconditional love of God with the weight of…Continue Reading

Who Were The Colombian Martyrs Beatified By Pope Francis?

By ELISE HARRIS ROME, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) — During his six-day visit to Colombia, Pope Francis beatified martyrs Bishop Jesus Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve and Fr. Pedro Maria Ramirez Ramos, who provide testimony as the country heals from decades of conflict. Bishop Jaramillo was killed by Colombian Marxist guerrilla forces in 1989, while Fr. Ramirez was…Continue Reading

20 State Attorneys General Lauded… For Opposing Pro-Abortion Judge Orrick’s Gag Order Against CMP

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — “It is definitely very encouraging, and it’s great news” that 20 state attorneys general filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court to oppose the gag order against videos by pro-life investigators, an official with one of the law firms representing David Daleiden and the California-based Center for Medical…Continue Reading

Preparing To Enter Into The Awesome Mystery Of The Mass

By JAMES MONTI For every Catholic, there can be no more important event in one’s spiritual life than Holy Mass. For in the mystery of the Holy Eucharist we encounter our God in a more intimate manner than in any other sacrament, sacramental, or form of prayer. I recall hearing of a modern writer who…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. At Our Lady’s July 1917 appearance at Fatima, she stated that a war greater than World War I would break out during the pontificate of Pope Pius XI. Ambrogio Ratti chose the name Pius XI when he became Pope in 1922. No doubt Our Lady knew he would be known as Pius XI, but why didn’t she say “the…Continue Reading

The Radical Call To Follow Christ

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Sixth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Ezek. 18:25-28 Phil. 2:1-11 Matt. 21:28-32 In the second reading today, St. Paul says we are to have in us the same attitude as Christ. As we continue through the reading we can see the attitude of Christ is marked by humility, obedience, and charity. This essentially repeats…Continue Reading

Professor Josef Seifert… Amoris Laetitia’s “Immense Threat” To The Moral Teaching Of The Church

By MAIKE HICKSON (Editor’s Note: In light of Professor Josef Seifert’s recent essay examining some of the dangerous logical consequences of Amoris Laetitia — an essay for which he was dismissed from his teaching position by the archbishop of Granada — Dr. Maike Hickson of OnePeterFive.com reached out to the Austrian philosopher to ask him some additional questions about not…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Can Division In Worship Bring Unity Of Faith?

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Pope Francis has given authority through a new motu proprio, Magnum Principium, issued this month, to local bishops’ conferences to approve translations of the liturgy from Latin into local languages. By doing so he hopes to accomplish a couple of things. First, as we know by now Pope Francis places full trust and confidence in…Continue Reading

God The Sanctifier Of Men… Other Christs

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 3 In a previous article, I mentioned that sanctifying grace makes us brethren of Christ. It is, by the way, one more reason to have devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ and Mother of us, our common Mother. The reason is quite simple to understand: Christ is the Head of the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Thomas Villanova

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord drew amazing men and women from the population of Spain to protect that country from the ravages that swept through Germany and the Scandinavian countries in the Reformation era. Two events marked by Augustinian monks sparked these events. In Germany, an apostate Augustinian monk who fell from grace led hundreds of thousands into error —…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Simon De Rojas

By CAROLE BRESLIN The subject of this article lived in a time of great saints, great Spanish saints, so it is not surprising that he is little known. St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) who wrote the Spiritual Exercises, St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) who reformed the Carmelites and wrote The Interior Castle, and St. John of the Cross who wrote…Continue Reading