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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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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.

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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

Obama Tweaks the Birth Control Mandate—and the Right Is Still Angry

By Jonathan Cohn @citizencohn The controversy over Obamacare’s contraception mandate is back in the news. And it’s the same old story as before. Religious conservatives who run businesses and provide health insurance to employees don’t want those policies to cover all forms…Continue Reading

The “Closure Crisis” Within The Church.

(RNS) What happens to a community when a Roman Catholic school closes its doors? That’s the question Nicole Stelle Garnett and Margaret F. Brinig, two Notre Dame law professors, pondered as they studied closures in Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. There were 7,000…Continue Reading

Satanists Return Stolen Host to Archbishop Coakley

The organizer of a Sept. 21 black mass surrendered the consecrated Host, one day after the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City filed a lawsuit for its recovery. by CNA/EWTN NEWS 08/21/2014 OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City’s archbishop voiced relief that Satanists…Continue Reading

Slain journalist James Foley on praying the rosary in captivity

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Black Mass Organizers Face Lawsuit Over Stolen Host

Oklahoma City, Okla., Aug 20, 2014 / 11:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Organizers of a satanic black mass slated to take place in Oklahoma City next month face a lawsuit on grounds that the consecrated Host used for the sacrilegious event…Continue Reading

Archbishop of Mosul: ‘I Have Lost My Diocese to Islam; You in the West Will Also Become Victims of Muslims’

At our pro-Israel rally on Sunday, leaders from across the world warned the crowd of the impending threat of Islam to America. One million Christians have been killed or have had to flee Iraq because of persecution by jihadists. But…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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Today . . .

The Ice Bucket Challenge’s Ethical Surprise

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Denver Archbishop Supports Alternative Charities; Recalls One Life Can’t Be Sacrificed for Another Denver, Colorado, August 26, 2014 (Zenit.org) By Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver, Colorado From Conan O’Brien to little kids inspired to help those in need, people across the country have taken up the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in the past few weeks. The campaign has achieved astronomical success,…Continue Reading

Iraqi Patriarch Appeals To World: Do Not Remain Indifferent To Our Suffering

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(Vatican Radio) “The international community, and in particular the European Union and the United States cannot remain indifferent” to the “humanitarian catastrophe” unfolding at the hands of Islamic State militants. Those, the words of the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Raphael Louis Sako I who has renewed his urgent appeal on behalf of Christians and other persecuted minorities in…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “The Dizzying World Of Margaret Sanger’s Birth Control Review”

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Reconnecting With Mary… The Apparition At Knock, Ireland, August 1879

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Memo To The Wanderer Family

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A Book Review… The Most Secure Way To Sanctity

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Totus Tuus Maria: Personal Consecration to Our Lady Following the Spiritual Teaching of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, by Msgr. Florian Kolfhaus (Gracewing Publishing, 168 pages, $14.91, www.gracewing.co.uk; also available at amazon.com). The author is a priest of the Diocese of Regensburg in Germany. He works in the Secretariat of State…Continue Reading

The 35.4 Percent: 109,631,000 On Welfare

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Pope’s Address To Young People Of Asia… “Today Christ Is Knocking At The Door Of Your Heart”

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A Leaven In The World… Changing Papacy Under Changing Demands

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Who would have thought that a 21st-century Pope would be accused of leading the charge of a new crusade? Not me. But that’s what has happened in the wake of U.S. air strikes on Iraq in defense of religious minorities at Mount Sinjar and in the effort to retake Mosul Dam. Pope Francis undoubtedly felt…Continue Reading

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

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The Creeds

By DON FIER In last week’s column, we laid the groundwork to begin an in-depth exposition of what the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) teaches that we, as Catholic Christians, are called to believe: the one, true faith we profess in the Creeds of the Church. For it is in the formulas of the Creeds that, “through the centuries,…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I saw a letter-to-the-editor recently that asked why, if a member of the Mafia is to be excommunicated for cooperating with murder, then why isn’t a member of any group that murders unborn children (or enables the killing, e.g., politicians who vote for abortion bills) also excommunicated? The editor made no comment, but how would you respond to this…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

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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