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January 16, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. After reading Rey Flores’ excellent column in the December 12, 2013 Wanderer, I agree wholeheartedly except for the “we should all include people like these in our prayers.” Why pray for devils? We are taught that there are many devils prowling about the world seeking the ruin of souls. I for one cannot and will not pray for the Devil and his minions, be they on our streets or in the government. — G.B., via e-mail.
A. We think that if you go back and read the column again, you will see that Mr. Flores was not advocating prayer for devils, who are in Hell and beyond the reach of our prayers. He was talking about a pro-abortion protest in Argentina where the protesters “acted like they were possessed by demons” and where “some solid young Catholic men” formed a human chain of protection around a Catholic cathedral.
He said that “while it’s easy to hate these protesters, especially after watching them abuse these good young men, I don’t think that’s the best option. I think we should all include people like these in our prayers and trust that God will either reach their hearts or administer whatever punishment He will.”
Mr. Flores was urging prayers for those who acted “like they were possessed by demons,” not for demons themselves. There is no question that abortion is a demonic activity influenced by the one whom Jesus said was “a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44). But it is also true that Jesus has overcome the power of the Devil, and prayers directed to the Lord can convert even the most ardent practitioner and promoter of abortion.
Dr. Bernard Nathanson is a classic example of the journey from abortionist to pro-lifer, from atheist to Catholic.
Prayer is also an important part of the rite of exorcism, not for the demon or demons possessing a person, but that the person possessed may be released from the power of the Devil.

Q. An article in the November 23 edition of The Economist magazine says that “a trickier controversy has been triggered by findings from the genome that modern humans, in their genetic diversity, cannot be descended from a single pair of individuals. Rather, there were at least several thousand ‘first humans.’ That challenges the historical existence of Adam and Eve, and has sparked a crisis of conscience among evangelical Christians persuaded by genetic science” (p. 37). What is the Catholic answer to what is being said? — E.G., Florida.
A. In his World Day of Peace Message 2014, Pope Francis gave the Catholic answer when he said that “according to the biblical account of creation, all people are descended from common parents, Adam and Eve, the couple created by God in His image and likeness (cf. Gen. 1:26), to whom Cain and Abel were born. In the story of this first family, we see the origins of society and the evolution of relations between individuals and peoples.”
It is Catholic teaching that there could not have been several thousand “first humans” because that would undermine the doctrine of original sin. In his 1950 encyclical Humani Generis, Pope Pius XII said that Catholics could not “embrace the opinion which maintains either that after Adam there existed on earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents” (n. 37).
That opinion is known as polygenism, and the Holy Father said that it cannot be reconciled with the Church’s teaching on original sin, “which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual, Adam, and which through generation is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own.”
According to the Economist article, which was reporting on a recent meeting in Baltimore of America’s largest society for evangelical theologians, “academic papers on Adam are flying. Perhaps a dozen Adam books are out or due out soon.” But whatever scientific truth comes out of these discussions, it cannot contradict religious truth since God is the author of both.

Q. The scientific analysis of the Shroud of Turin seems to reveal it as the shroud of Christ, but a Catholic neighbor says that the Gospel of John 20:7 refers to “the napkin which had been on his head.” My neighbor doubts that the Shroud of Turin is of Christ because the head covering was on first and then the linen cloths covered Him for three days. Please explain what you can. And have there been any miracles connected to the Shroud of Turin? — D.P., New Jersey.
A. John 20:6-7 reads as follows: “When Simon Peter arrived after him [John], he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.”
The word “cloths” is plural because it refers to the large linen sheet wrapped around Christ’s body, which is believed to be the Shroud of Turin, from the town in Italy where the relic is kept, and to a smaller cloth that had been placed on His head, which today is known as the Sudarium of Oviedo, from the town in Spain where it is kept. In her book Sacred Blood, Sacred Image: The Sudarium of Oviedo, Janice Bennett concluded after much investigation that the Sudarium, which is also stained with blood, was used before wrapping the body in the larger shroud. She explained:
“The Sudarium, therefore, was not part of the shrouding process. It was used during the descent from the cross and during the transport of the body to the tomb in order to cover the disfigured face of Jesus, according to the orders of the Sanhedrin, and to prevent loss of blood. It was then removed and placed separately in the tomb. John 20:7 also indicates that Jesus had the Sudarium placed on his head before the burial, but not after. It would have been necessary to remove the cloth in order to anoint the facial wounds, and would not have been used to cover the face once again due to the large amount of blood it contained.
“It was sufficient to wrap the body in a clean white linen shroud, and is unthinkable that a dirty, bloodstained linen would have [been] left in place on the head of Jesus. While Jewish burial customs would have exempted Jesus from the washing ritual, a clean shroud was required by law” (p. 151).
There have been miracles of healing associated with the Shroud of Turin. For example, an 11-year-old girl in England was dying of a severe bone disease in 1954 and was partly cured by holding a photograph of the Shroud. She later went to Turin and was completely healed when the rolled-up Shroud was placed across the arms of her wheelchair. She attended a public exhibition of the cloth in 1978 at the age of 35 and said that after her healing, she had resumed a normal life, was married, and had a daughter of her own.

Q. I have had people say to me that they don’t believe in God because they can’t see Him. I have thought of responding to them by saying that if God were to appear to them in all of His infinite goodness, beauty, and glory, then their free will would be taken away, there would be no doubt left. They would not have the power to choose anymore. Their free will would be gone. What do you think of this argument? — L.G.S., Arkansas.
A. We think that those people could still refuse to believe, as they did after witnessing Jesus perform spectacular miracles, such as the raising of Lazarus. Recall that there were two reactions to that miracle: Members of one group had their belief in Jesus strengthened; the other group decided to kill Him. The hearts of the latter group remained hardened, just as the Pharaoh’s did after Moses performed numerous miracles.
C.S. Lewis once said of such people:
“If the end of the world appeared in all the literal trappings of the apocalyptic vision of the Book of Revelation, if the modern materialist saw with his own eyes the heavens rolled up and a great white throne appearing, if he had the sensation of being himself hurled into the lake of fire, he would continue forever, in that lake itself, to regard his experience as an illusion, and to find the explanation of it in psychoanalysis or cerebral pathology.”
The people of whom you are speaking have only to take the blinders off and look around to see God — in the beauty of a sunrise or sunset, in the magnificent works of nature, in the face of a child. “I see His blood upon the rose,” said the Irish poet Joseph Mary Plunkett, “and in the stars the glory of His eyes. His body gleams amid eternal snows, His tears fall from the skies.”

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Pope: When we become worldly, we lose Christian flavor

Vatican City, Aug 31, 2014 / 09:39 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Christians must avoid the temptation to conform to the world, Pope Francis cautioned Aug. 31, stressing that they should instead allow their faith to transform the world around them. “Christians…Continue Reading

Catholics, Keep Away, Lest You Hear What You Ought Not

The former president of Ireland Mary McAleese will deliver the Rosemary Goldie Lecture at Sydney Town Hall on Sunday week but local Catholics, it seems, are being discouraged from attending. The Catholic Weekly newspaper refused to take advertisements for the lecture which…Continue Reading

“Adopt a Christian from Mosul” to respond directly to Iraq’s emergency

AsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis’s urgent appeal “to guarantee all necessary assistance – especially the most urgently needed aid…Continue Reading

Federal Judge Blocks Texas Law That Would Stop Abortions at Most Facilities Across State

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal judge Friday threw out new Texas abortion restrictions that would have effectively closed more than a dozen clinics in the state. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel sided with clinics that sued over one of…Continue Reading

Tax-funded PBS To Air ‘After Tiller’ Documentary Glorifying Late-term Abortionists

Pro-life activists are up in arms after the taxpayer-funded Public Broadcasting System (PBS) announced it will air the pro-abortion documentary “After Tiller” – named for George Tiller, the notorious late-term abortionist who boasted of killing more than 60,000 unborn babies before he…Continue Reading

Outcry flares over California abortion push in Catholic colleges

August 27, 2014 “California Catholics are no longer safe to practice their faith within their own institutions.” Sacramento, Calif., Aug 26, 2014 / 03:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Amid backlash from religious liberty and education advocates, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration…Continue Reading

SATANIC ‘BLACK MASS’ GETS GREEN LIGHT FROM U.S. CITY

Concerns mount about ‘dark powers that this invites into our community’ The Catholic Archbishop of Oklahoma City has agreed to drop a lawsuit against a satanic cult that plans to perform a “black mass” in the city now that the…Continue Reading

California reverses: Catholic colleges must now pay for all abortions

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Two California Catholic universities must cover elective abortions in the health care plans they provide employees, according to a decision released Friday by Governor Jerry Brown. The affected schools are Loyola Marymount University and Santa Clara University. The decision comes…Continue Reading

Catholic Church Warns Pro-Lifers About Ice Bucket Challenge Donations

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 8/25/14 11:59 AM A Catholic Archdiocese is warning pro-life advocates about the final destination of donations for the popular Ice Bucket Challenge, which has become a pop culture and social media…Continue Reading

Why Top Catholic Education Organization Says Common Core Could Threaten Religious Liberty

Aug. 21, 2014 10:25pm Fred Lucas A leading Catholic education organization is warning that Common Core could pose a threat to religious freedom for Catholic schools that adopt the controversial education standards. The Cardinal Newman Society’s summer newsletter named among the 10 things…Continue Reading

It’s hard to engage in interfaith dialogue when your head has been cut off.

  By Benedict Kiely In times of evil, prophets who see it in what Ronald Knox called a “clear light” are not necessarily heeded, though they are desperately needed. Such a man was Hilaire Belloc, as Monsignor Knox described him at…Continue Reading

Archbishop Kurtz Provides Initial Response To Revised HHS Mandate Regulations

August 22, 2014 Disappointed that regulation will not expand exemption, only modifies ‘accommodation’ Extending ‘accommodation’ to exempted businesses reduces religious freedom More thorough study and detailed comments to come WASHINGTON–Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced…Continue Reading

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  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.

 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

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President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

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Pope at Santa Marta: Find The Living Jesus In The Gospel

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(Vatican Radio) We need to proclaim the Gospel with humility not with ‘wise words’ because Jesus Himself is the power of the Word of God, and only those who have an open heart can receive Him said Pope Francis Monday morning, as he resumed his daily mass at Santa Marta after the summer break. Commenting on the readings of the…Continue Reading

Slaughter of the Innocents . . . Sex-Selective Abortions in India

Rome, August 31, 2014 (Zenit.org) Father John Flynn, LC The ratio of female to male infants continues to decline in India and a recent report by the United Nations warned that urgent action is needed to reverse the trend. The report, “‘Sex Ratios and Gender Biased Sex Selection: History, Debates and Future Directions,” was published by the organization UN Women. The ratio has…Continue Reading

The Absent Father — A Meditation

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A Decent Lawyer Should Tell Liberals They’re Damned Fools And Ought to Stop

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Senior Chaldean Official Says… Islamists Have Long Been Planning To Empty Iraq Of Christians

By FEDERICO CENCI ROME (ZENIT) — The year was 1840, when the Italian city of Otranto witnessed one of the most brutal massacres of Christians in history, perpetrated at the hands of Muslims. Eight hundred thirteen people perished in the 18 days of siege by the Ottoman army, bravely refusing to renounce their faith in…Continue Reading

Why Pope Benedict Called For The Rebirth Of The Church

By FR. JEROME ROMANOWSKI (Fr. Romanowski is a priest of the Diocese of Camden, N.J.) +    +    + In studying the important summary of a meeting Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger attended in July 22-24, 2001, Fontgombault, France, I thought again of why the Holy Father had to retire. The proceedings were held in the Benedictine Monastery…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… The Natural And Supernatural “Keys Of The Kingdom”

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK In the Gospel of Holy Mass on a recent Sunday we heard again the beautiful and consoling words by which the Lord consigns a gift to Peter and his Successors for the benefit of us all: the “Keys of the Kingdom.” We learn that these “keys” open the doors of Heaven to us because of…Continue Reading

Priestly Celibacy: Unnatural? Or…Supernatural? The Levitical Priesthood

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God Reveals His Name

By DON FIER In last week’s installment of this series on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), we examined the fundamental significance of coming to know that all that we believe begins with God and ends with God. “I believe in God” is the first affirmation of the Apostles’ Creed, and likewise, Sacred Scripture begins with the words, “In…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. My nine-year-old grandson asked why, on August 15, the Gospel of Luke about the Visitation was read when it was the Feast of the Assumption. What should I tell him? — E.C., via e-mail. A. You can tell your grandson that there is no Gospel reading about the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven because that event is not…Continue Reading

Justice And Charity

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Third Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Ezek. 33:7-9 Romans 13:8-10 Matt. 18:15-20 In the second reading today, St. Paul tells us that we are to owe nothing to anyone except to love one another. The fact that St. Paul puts this into the category of something that is owed to another person is of…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes . . . St. John The Baptist

By CAROLE BRESLIN Thousands of years before the time of Christ, the Pharaoh of Egypt held the children of Israel in bondage. Our Lord proved His love for them when Moses led them out of Egypt. When Mary was carrying Jesus, she and Joseph, because of an imperial decree, had to travel to Bethlehem in order to be counted in…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Pope St. Pius X

By CAROLE BRESLIN This month the Catholic Church celebrates the 100th anniversary of the death of Pope St. Pius X who had so many things in common with the last few Popes. Like Pope Francis, he had a special affinity for the poor — especially since he came from a poor family. Like Pope John Paul II, who updated the…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

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