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January 9, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. In one of the readings at Mass after Christmas, St. John talked about the Antichrist. He said that “many antichrists” had appeared “and thus we know this is the last hour” (1 John 2:18). What are we to believe about the Antichrist? — T.K., California.
A. The Antichrist is specifically mentioned only in the letters of John (cf. 1 John 2:18, 2:22, 4:3, and 2 John 7), and John identifies the Antichrist as “whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Whoever denies the Father and the Son, this is the antichrist” (2:22). St. Paul doesn’t use the word “Antichrist,” but talks about “the lawless one…the one doomed to perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god and object of worship, so as to seat himself in the temple of God, claiming that he is a god” (2 Thess. 2:3-4).
Paul goes on to say that “the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord [Jesus] will kill with the breath of his mouth and render powerless by the manifestation of his coming, the one whose coming springs from the power of Satan in every mighty deed and in signs and wonders that lie, and in every wicked deceit for those who are perishing because they have not accepted the love of truth so that they may be saved. Therefore, God is sending them a deceiving power so that they may believe the lie, that all who have not believed the truth but have approved wrongdoing may be condemned” (2 Thess. 2:8-12).
Commenting on these verses, the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible says that the lawless one is “a man of extraordinary evil. When he comes, he will deify himself, claiming to be God (2:4); he will dazzle the wicked with displays of his power (2:9); and he will deceive the world with falsehoods of every kind (2:10). Most identify this figure with ‘the antichrist’ prophesied by John (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 7) (Catechism of the Catholic Church, nn. 675-677).”
The commentary also says that “the Antichrist will declare himself God and demand to be worshiped,” but “Christ will descend from heaven as a divine Warrior to destroy the man of lawlessness with a word and trample the last remnants of evil underfoot (1 Cor. 15:24).”
While some evil historical figures, such as Nero and Hitler, have been labeled as antichrists, and there are even those misguided souls who think that the Pope is the Antichrist, the common Catholic interpretation is that the Antichrist is a real person who will engage in a final apocalyptic struggle with Christ before the end of the world. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 675) says that “before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers [cf. Luke 18:8; Matt. 24:12].”
The persecution of the Church, the Catechism continues, “will unveil the ‘mystery of iniquity’ in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh [cf. 2 Thess. 2:4-12; 1 Thess. 5:2-3; 2 John 7; 1 John 2:18, 22].”
In n. 676, the Catechism says that “the Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment.” After going through “this final Passover,” says the Catechism (n. 677), the Church “will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection [cf. Rev. 19:1-9]. The kingdom will be fulfilled, then, not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by God’s victory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down from heaven [cf. Rev. 13:8; 20:7-10; 21:2-4]. God’s triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of th  e Last Judgment after the final cosmic upheaval of this passing world [cf. Rev. 20:12; 2 Peter 3:12-13].”
Q. If the Jews could not legally put Jesus to death, how could they put Stephen to death? — M.W., via e-mail.
A. According to the Book of Numbers, certain crimes could be punished by stoning outside the camp. Thus, when the Israelites wondered what to do with a man guilty of violating the Sabbath by gathering wood on that day, “the Lord said to Moses, ‘This man shall be put to death; let the whole community stone him outside the camp’” (Num. 15:35).
Jesus was tried before the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of Israel which, according to John 18:31, was prohibited from imposing capital punishment. So Jesus was taken before the Roman authorities, falsely accused of political crimes, and sentenced to death by crucifixion. Stephen, on the other hand, was not given a trial, but was taken outside the city by an enraged mob and stoned to death.
Q. In his column in the parish bulletin on the Feast of the Holy Family, my pastor said that “the first family of Christianity reminds us that there is no such thing as normal. Every family is different and this means that we need to broaden our understanding of family life beyond TV sitcoms and applaud the virtues of family living wherever we find them: two-parent families, single-parent families, blended families, families with two mommies or two daddies, and adoptive families.” But what virtues are exemplified in “families” headed by two homosexual men or two lesbian women? Doesn’t the Church teach that such relationships are contrary to God’s plan and therefore sinful? — T.L.H., Massachusetts.
A. Yes, that is what the Church teaches, and we find it hard to believe that the pastor of a Catholic parish would applaud those living in sin. It’s one thing to love the sinner, but aren’t we also supposed to “admonish the sinner,” a spiritual work of mercy, and lead persons to holiness? The Lord told the Prophet Ezekiel how to act toward those engaged in sin:
“If I say to the wicked man, You shall surely die; and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his wicked conduct so that he may live: that wicked man shall die for his sin, but I will hold you responsible for his death. If, on the other hand, you have warned the wicked man, yet he has not turned away from his evil nor from his wicked conduct, then he shall die for his sin, but you shall save your life” (Ezek. 3:18-19).
But perhaps your pastor doesn’t consider sexual activity between persons of the same sex sinful, even though God and the Church teach that such activity is permitted only between a man and a woman married to each other for life. Or maybe your pastor was thinking about the statement of Pope Francis last summer that he would not judge “a gay person who is seeking God, who is of good will.” He said that “the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well. It says one must not marginalize these persons, they must be integrated into society. The problem isn’t this [homosexual] orientation — we must be like brothers and sisters.”
Yes, the Catechism does explain this matter very well. “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,” says the Catechism, “tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved” (n. 2357).
Conceding that those with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” have a difficult struggle, the Catechism says that “they must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided” (n. 2358). However, the Catechism also says that “homosexual persons are called to chastity” and that “by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection” (n. 2359).
We are all for applauding “the virtues of family living,” as your pastor suggested, but two men and two women do not constitute a family and their sexual activity is far removed from anything virtuous, as the statement from the Catechism indicates. Your pastor would have done these couples a far greater service by calling them to chastity.

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Cardinal Burke Rebuts ‘Outrageous’ Claim That Cardinal Kasper Speaks For Pope

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Cardinal Raymond Burke strongly defended his criticism of the “Kasper proposal,” and said it was “outrageous” for Cardinal Walter Kasper to suggest that such criticism was actually aimed at Pope Francis, during a teleconference with reporters on September 30. “I…Continue Reading

There Are Dirty Political Games Behind The Iraq Conflict, Says Chaldean Patriarch Sako

Louis Raphael I warns: Our Church risks disappearing and not just because of the jihadists Gianni Valente Rome “There’s no future for us if the Lord does not help us.” There’s suffering and concern in Louis Raphaël I Sako’s words.…Continue Reading

On the Way to a Troubled Synod

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Cardinal Newman once remarked that anyone boarding the Barque of Peter shouldn’t look too closely at the engine room. Sometimes when there are storms brewing in the Vatican – as there are right now over the Synod on the Family…Continue Reading

Liberalism, Choice and Compulsion

Social liberals consider traditional moral restrictions cruel in their very essence. Each of us, they believe, should be as free as possible to pursue his happiness as he sees it, consistent with the equal ability of others to do the…Continue Reading

Vatican says bishop’s dismissal not the result of sex abuse

By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican denied Pope Francis had dismissed a controversial Paraguayan bishop because of his mishandling of sex abuse accusations, attributing the decision instead to other failings of governance and…Continue Reading

Padre Pio Was The Opposite Of A Fan-hugging, Autograph-signing Celebrity

Brusque to the point of being rude’, the Italian saint was only interested in one personality – the Son of God By FR ALEXANDER LUCIE-SMITH on Friday, 26 September 2014 There is a somewhat strange passage of scripture which by…Continue Reading

Music Director Hasn’t Resigned Despite Archbishop’s Request

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) – On Sept. 12, Jamie Manzi-Moore was asked by Archbishop John Nienstedt to resign from the church where he has served as music director for more than 17 years — but he hasn’t done it yet.…Continue Reading

“The Teachings Of The Church Must Be Upheld.”

Minnesota Archbishop Backs Removing Gay Liturgist Who Married Partner LifeSiteNews reported Thursday that Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis backed the removal of parish liturgist Jamie Moore after “marrying” his partner on September 20 in strict violation of the Catholic…Continue Reading

State Medical Board Lets Clinic Get Away With Killing Woman in Botched Abortion

The State Medical Board of Ohio has stunned pro-life supporters by dropping all complaints related to the death of abortion patient Lakisha Wilson. Those who filed complaints seeking an investigation into Wilson’s death at Preterm, a Cleveland abortion facility, have…Continue Reading

Former Crystal Cathedral Undergoing Catholic Makeover

(CNA/EWTN News) – “Through this innovative design process an insightful plan has emerged that will establish Christ Cathedral as a place for involvement in the sacraments, a place to hear the Word of God proclaimed and a place for personal…Continue Reading

True Mercy and the Indissolubility of Marriage

September 25, 2014 In his foreword to a new book, Cardinal George Pell argues that “one cannot maintain the indissolubility of marriage by allowing the ‘remarried’ to receive Holy Communion.” Cardinal George Pell The following appears as the foreword to…Continue Reading

Professor Douglas Kries on Cupich

Well, this is interesting.  Professor Douglas Kries at Gonzaga University in Spokane gives his assessment of Bishop Blase Cupich, the Spokane Bishop tapped to head the Chicago Archdiocese: Bishop White Seminary at Gonzaga, which was nothing short of an extraordinary…Continue Reading

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Pope At Santa Marta: The Angels Defend Us

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(Vatican Radio) The angels battle Satan for the destiny of mankind and win.  They defend and custody  the greatest mystery of the Church, God-made-Man.  Even though in Satan often presents “humanistic explanations” for his attacks on mankind.  This was the focus of Pope Francis homily at Mass Monday morning at Casa Santa Marta, marking the Feast of the Holy Archangels…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Synod Prayer To Holy Family

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      _________________(Vatican Radio) Sunday, 28 September is to be set aside as a Day of Prayer for the III Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, scheduled to take place from 5 to 219 October to treat the topic: The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization. The Holy See on Saturday released a prayer guide,…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke Says… Media Are Hijacking Synod On The Family

By ANN SCHNEIBLE VATICAN CITY (CNA/EWTN News) — The upcoming Synod on the Family has undergone an attempted hijacking by some media sources, which are fueling expectations that impossible changes will be made to Church doctrine, said the head of the Church’s highest court. “I don’t think you have to be brilliant to see that…Continue Reading

Mistakes Of The Past Are Back

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Is Burger King An Economic Patriot?

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How The Eastern Orthodox Misunderstand Catholic Marian Doctrine

By JAMES LIKOUDIS It is not only Protestants who seriously misunderstand the Marian doctrines of the Catholic Church. Surprisingly, various Eastern Orthodox who have traditionally manifested a deep and devout veneration of the Theotokos (Mother of God) are seen to deviate from their own ancient traditions. Thus one finds astonishing the views of Archbishop John…Continue Reading

Where Do We Begin?

By DONALD DeMARCO It often happens that the statement of a perceptive writer becomes more true many years after he originally framed it. Such is the case with George Orwell. The author of 1984, which he penned in 1948, stated: “We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Reparation For Black Mass . . . “The Chaotic Forces Of Evil Are Very Real”

By MOST REV. PAUL COAKLEY (Editor’s Note: The black mass took place as scheduled Sunday, September 21 in Oklahoma City’s Civic Center. Various news outlets reported that hundreds protested against the black mass while only dozens attended it. Below we reprint Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley’s September 18 statement, followed by his homily at the holy hour held shortly before…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . God Does Not Come Through The Computer

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Virtual reality can never serve as “parish replacement therapy” for “Catholics on leave.” Many believers remain alienated as a result of personal choices from the life of the Church. Some of them have been known to post about their frustrations on Facebook, writing such things as, “Continue to wait for answers…” God, however, does not…Continue Reading

Priestly Celibacy: Unnatural? Or…Supernatural? The Biblical Foundations Of Celibacy: Summing Up

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Catechism Of the Catholic Church: Prologue

By Don Fier “Father, . . . this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ” (John 17:3). This Scripture verse, the opening words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), succinctly and beautifully expresses its very purpose. The CCC’s first paragraph goes on to expand on…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. What do you know about the Concordant Literal Version of the Bible? — G.P., Florida. A. It is published by the Concordant Publishing Concern in Almont, Mich., which describes itself as “a nondenominational, nonprofit association founded in 1909 for the purpose of disseminating the facts and truths of the ancient manuscripts of the Scriptures.” The company’s website says that…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Therese of Lisieux, The Little Flower

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Catholic Heroes… Saints Cosmas And Damian

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the last book of the Old Testament, 2 Maccabees, we read of the mother who stood by her seven sons, encouraging them to hold true to the law of their fathers and not give in to the attempts of Antiochus IV Epiphanes to get them to abandon their faith by eating the flesh of a swine…Continue Reading

What to Do If Your Boyfriend Wants You to Get an Abortion?

by Krisi Burton Brown | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 2/20/14 4:00 PM Washington, DC (LiveActionNews) — Note: This article is for any girl or woman who is feeling pressured into having an abortion. If you are a guy who is trying to find out how to stop an abortion, please see this article written for dads. 1.  Stand your…Continue Reading

It’s Time to Build Schools, from the Ground Up

February 13, 2014 by Anthony Esolen   It might have been worth repairing, if it had once been noble and beautiful, or at least conceived in an orderly way, for ordinary human purposes. But it wasn’t. It was constructed upon false principles. Its walls looked like those of a bad factory. It smelled like a warehouse. It could be terribly…Continue Reading

Why I am Pro-Life

February 4, 2014   Pro-Lifers   By Therese Recinella   Editor’s note. This tribute was posted on Therese Recinella’s Facebook account. She is graciously allowing us to reprint it in NRL News Today.   There are many things that I could say about my Dad, but what I want people to know is this: My parents faithfully raised 8 children…Continue Reading

Fathers . . . The Essential Role of the Father

Posted on February 10, 2014 by The Catholic Gentleman 13 Comments   Divorce rates skyrocketing; adultery rampant; non-married cohabitating couples; children abandoned by their fathers or mothers; “same-sex unions” adopting children and calling this the “modern family”; pornography invading homes, leading to powerful addictions and total alienation from other members of the family: all of this is a bird’s eye view…Continue Reading

How Much is One Billion Dollars?

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Planned Parenthood

This article appeared in The Wanderer, April 3, 1941.  (WOW, Look what we have 70 years later.) A group which calls itself the National Committee for Planned Parenthood has begun a nationwide campaign to have the promotion of birth control included in State and national health programs. The committee—which, according to propaganda sheets reaching our desk has a branch in…Continue Reading

Questions of Non-Catholics . . . Answered by Father Richard Felix, O.S.B.

Reprinted from The Wanderer April 10, 1941 Why Does God allow us to be tempted? God allows us to be tempted so that we may prove our attachment to him and merit a higher place in heaven. Temptations are the lot of all men; they are the battle ground upon which heaven is won or lost. “The kingdom of heaven…Continue Reading