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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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Conference of Catholic Leaders Focuses On Future of Schools

April 22, 2014 10:31 PM By Peter Smith / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette More than 6,000 Catholic teachers, administrators and other educators launched a three-day national conference Tuesday morning at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center with spirited worship, upbeat talks and…Continue Reading

Parents’ group wants Catholic teachers to withdraw from World Pride Parade

BY THE CANADIAN PRESS APRIL 21, 2014  TORONTO – A parents’ group is calling on Ontario’s Catholic teachers’ union to withdraw from participation in this summer’s World Pride Parade in Toronto. Parents As First Educators president Teresa Pierre announced a petition…Continue Reading

‘Nothing Is Ever Without Hope,’ Ailing Cardinal George Tells Catholics On Easter

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Good Friday Reflection on the Nature of Sin

By Michael Terheyden 4/18/2014 Catholic Online (www.catholic.org) So when we look upon the crucified Christ today, let us take a long, hard look at the sin which resides in our heart and in our world. Let us then cast it aside and…Continue Reading

Roman Catholic bishops from England and Wales call for Church to allow priests to marry

JONATHAN BROWN  Thursday 17 April 2014 Roman Catholic bishops have called for the Church to take the historic step of allowing priests to be married amid growing signs of liberal reform under Pope Francis. The controversial issue is set to…Continue Reading

">Radical abortion bill dies in Colo. Senate after call to prayer, action

Denver, Colo., Apr 16, 2014 / 09:42 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Amid growing protests led in large part by the Catholic Church, the Colorado Senate on April 16 killed a controversial bill that could have banned all pro-life laws in the…Continue Reading

Catholic Priest Creates Arabic App to Support Persecuted Christians

BY MORGAN LEE , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER April 16, 2014|11:13 pm A self-described Italian “technologic” priest has launched an Arab language version of his Catholic app that he hopes will support Christians in heavily persecuted Middle Eastern countries where printed breviaries are banned.…Continue Reading

Denver Archbishop Rallies Coloradans Against ‘Extreme’ Abortion Bill

Denver, Colo., Apr 16, 2014 / 12:32 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Archbishop of Denver on April 15 rallied opposition to a Colorado bill he says is “both extreme and dangerously ambiguous” in its ban on all abortion regulations and other…Continue Reading

CATHOLIC PARENTS BEG MASS. DCF TO LET THEIR HOSTAGE DAUGHTER CELEBRATE EASTER, FILE ‘HABEAS CORPUS’ MOTION

By: Raquel Okyay 4/16/2014 08:41 AM Parents of the ailing Connecticut teen held captive by Massachusetts authorities for more than a year are pleading with the bureaucrat captors to let them celebrate Holy Week and Easter with their daughter, whose health…Continue Reading

Common Core stirs controversy for Catholic schools

By Peter Doocy Published April 15, 2014 FoxNews.com Classrooms at some Catholic schools are undergoing a transformation, as decades-old traditions are being updated with Common Core state standards. Although the standards are not federally mandated for Catholic schools, dozens of dioceses…Continue Reading

Catholic League’s Donohue: Church’s Pedophilia Crisis Is Over

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Catholic Malta Legalizes Same-sex Civil Unions

Staunchly Catholic Malta has legalized same-sex civil unions and has given gay couples the right to adopt children. The vote comes nearly three years after the Mediterranean island nation legalized divorce. The Maltese parliament legalized same-sex unions and gay adoption…Continue Reading

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Pope Francis . . .

Why Do You Seek The Living Among The Dead?

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2014-04-23 Vatican Radio (Vatican Radio) Pilgrims thronged St. Peter’s Square, the long boulevard of Via della Conciliazione, spilling all the way down to the banks of the Tiber this Wednesday for Pope Francis’ weekly general audience, the first of the Easter season. The crowd was such, that the Holy Father’s open topped jeep took even longer than usual to tour…Continue Reading

Business: A “Noble Vocation”

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK There are two ways for a publication to provide a forum for a point of view that challenges the views of its editors. One is to pick an article that casts the other side in an unfavorable light, as peevish, unenlightened, and narrow-minded, the proverbial straw man. The other is to…Continue Reading

What God Has Put Together

By JOHN F. KIPPLEY (Editor’s Note: John F. Kippley is the author of Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality and other books and articles. With his wife Sheila, he is a coauthor of Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach. The commentary below is reprinted with permission from his blog at johnkippley.com. All…Continue Reading

Communicating With C.S. Lewis

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Contraception: The Ultimate Judas Kiss

By REY FLORES “Every time a married couple engages in the act of coitus, that act signifies life. By the union of their flesh, they express without words not only their unity, but the sacrament of new life. But when they contracept with a contraceptive mentality, their motive is to use the act which expresses…Continue Reading

After Calls To Prayer, Action . . . Radical Abortion Bill Dies In Colorado Senate

By KEVIN JONES DENVER (CNA/EWTN News) — Amid growing protests led in large part by the Catholic Church, the Colorado Senate on Wednesday, April 16 killed a controversial bill that could have banned all pro-life laws in the state. “Lift up your hearts in gratitude to God,” said Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila in a post…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Office For The Liturgical Celebrations Of The Supreme Pontiff . . . The Way Of The Cross At The Colosseum Led By Pope Francis

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A Leaven In The World . . . “Resurrexit Sicut Dixit!”

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Alleluia! He is risen as He said! Alleluia! A most joyful and grace-filled Easter celebration to all of our readers and their families. The octave of Easter is one long Easter day, the Sunday of Sundays. On this extended Easter “Day,” and every Sunday throughout the year, we identify ourselves as members of the one…Continue Reading

Mary’s Perpetual Virginity . . . Did Joseph Know Her As A Husband Knows His Wife?

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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. I read every issue of The Wanderer, including the reports on the lives of the saints by Carole Breslin, which I find to be most interesting. Do you know if the Catholic heroes of which she writes are published in a book? If so, I would like to have two copies. — R.D., Pennsylvania. A. Carole Breslin’s biographical sketches…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Adalbert

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Catholic Heroes… St. Bernadette Soubirous

By CAROLE BRESLIN Throughout the history of mankind, God has chosen the lesser person to be His messenger, prophet, or king. He chose, Moses, the stutterer, to lead the Jewish people out of the slavery of the Egyptians. He chose Ruth, the pagan Moabite, to be an ancestor of Jesus. He chose King David, the youngest of Jesse’s sons, to…Continue Reading

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

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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

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Fathers . . . The Essential Role of the Father

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How Much is One Billion Dollars?

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Planned Parenthood

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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