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March 13, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. In Matt. 10:38, we read Jesus’ words, “and he who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” This is repeated in Mark 8:34 and Luke 9:23. The only reference to a cross that I could find in the Old Testament is in Gen. 40:19, where Joseph is interpreting a dream of the Pharaoh’s baker that within three days the Pharaoh will have the baker hanging on a tree and the birds will tear his flesh. Without any other particular history of the “cross” that the apostles and others at the time would have been familiar with, what would have been their understanding of taking up one’s cross? — L.E., via e-mail.
A. Although it is true that death on a cross is not specifically mentioned in the Old Testament, the manner of Jesus’ death was foreshadowed in the Book of Numbers (cf. 21:8-9), when the Lord told Moses to make a serpent of bronze and mount it on a pole so that those who looked at the bronze serpent would recover from poisonous snakebites. In his conversation with Nicodemus many centuries later, Jesus indicated that those who looked at Him on the cross would be healed of the poison of sin when He said: “And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life” (John 3:14-15).
Crucifixion is also hinted at in Ezek. 9:4 where the Lord tells the prophet to “pass through the city [Jerusalem] and mark an X on the foreheads of those who moan and groan over all the abominations that are practiced within it.” The X refers to the Hebrew letter tau, which had the form of a cross and which St. Jerome saw as a symbol of the cross of Christ.
But the apostles did not need biblical references to the cross to know about this cruel punishment that had long been practiced by the Romans, but was abolished in the fourth century by the Roman Emperor Constantine, a convert to Christianity near the end of his life. It was such a terrible way to die that no Roman citizen could be crucified, so it was generally inflicted on slaves and on those guilty of such crimes as murder, robbery, piracy, rebellion, and treason. Jesus was crucified after being falsely accused of the latter two crimes. Had His punishment been left to the Sanhedrin, He would have been stoned to death for blasphemy.
If the apostles did not at first know what Jesus meant by taking up one’s cross and following Him, or if they did not understand His prediction that His enemies would “hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified” (Matt. 20:19), they certainly got the message when they saw their Master carrying a heavy cross to Calvary.

Q. In view of all the propaganda in favor of providing the birth control Pill to women, aren’t there some serious side effects associated with this contraceptive? — M.K., Florida.
A. There sure are, and it’s no secret. Even the commercials on TV are filled with scary warnings.
But before getting into the side effects, we should note how the Pill works. According to an article by Sr. Clare Hunter, FSE, in the October 2013 issue of Ethics & Medics, a publication of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, “the birth control pill works by releasing a mixture of estrogen and progesterone, which prevents ovulation, thickens the cervical mucus to block sperm from reaching the egg, and thins the lining of the uterus to prevent a fertilized egg from implanting there. [This latter effect causes an early abortion and is the reason why the Pill is not just a contraceptive but also an abortifacient.] These mechanisms of action prevent pregnancy and in effect stop the reproductive organs from functioning according to their original design. The woman’s body is tricked into believing that it is pregnant.”
An estimated 16 million women in the United States are on the Pill and, according to Janet Smith, 50 percent of those who start on the Pill stop within the first year because of unpleasant side effects. “So these side effects are really largely those of the 16 million who continue,” she said, “so you can imagine how bad they must be for the 50 percent who stop.”
Dr. Smith, who is professor of moral theology and life ethics at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, has written and spoken widely on the issue of contraception. Her audiotape “Contraception: Why Not” has been heard by millions of people. You can visit her web site at www.janetesmith.org.
According to the Ethics & Medics article, Dr. Sherrill Sellman has listed the “minor” side effects of the Pill as “decreased immune system function, disturbances in liver function, fluid retention and bloating, hair loss, hay fever, asthma, skin rashes, loss of libido, migraines, depression, mood changes, secretions from the breast, weight gain, systemic yeast infection, urinary tract infection, venereal warts, and varicose veins.”
The major side effects, said Dr. Sellman, include “disturbance to blood-sugar metabolism (possibly contributing to diabetes or hypoglycemia), greatly increased chance of suffering a stroke . . . increased chances of hardening of the arteries and high blood pressure, increased risk of blood clots, increased risk of gall bladder disease (gall stones), liver tumors (increasing with duration of Pill usage), possible link with cancer of the endometrium, cervix, ovaries, liver, and lungs, significant risk of ectopic pregnancy, strong probability of more rapid development of pre-existing cancers and progression of cancer of abnormal cells, three to six-fold increase in risk of heart attacks (according to age), [and] osteoporosis.”
The article said that one contraceptive pill known as “Yaz” (Yasmin) was vigorously promoted by Bayer Pharmaceuticals not only to avoid pregnancy but also to get rid of acne. More than 10,000 users of this pill have sued Bayer after experiencing dangerous side effects, including blood clots and strokes.
Another major side effect of the Pill is increased risk of breast cancer, which has gone up worldwide by huge numbers as the use of the Pill has increased. In fact, the World Health Organization has labeled the Pill a Class A cancer-causing agent, in the same category as cigarettes.
But you will find little acknowledgment of these facts in the mainstream media or in national politics. Instead, you will find praise heaped on a Georgetown Law student who at the Democratic National Convention in 2012 demanded free contraceptives for women at a time when a month’s supply of the Pill could be purchased for nine dollars.
It should be abundantly clear that the real “war on women” is being waged by those who would fill female bodies with dangerous and life-threatening chemicals.

Q. Can a Catholic who believes in millenarianism be in good standing with the Church? — M.G., Alabama.
A. The theory of millenarianism, which comes from chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation, talks about a thousand-year peaceful reign of Christ before the final battle with the Devil at the end of the world. The Church has expressed her agreement with St. Augustine that the thousand years is not a literal number, but rather a symbolic one that refers to the spiritual reign of Christ from His birth in Bethlehem until His Second Coming. Your Catholic friend may be mistaken in his adherence to this theory, but it is not the same as rejecting an infallibly defined doctrine of the Church, such as the Immaculate Conception or a male-only priesthood.

Q. I had to laugh at a recent Wanderer article about public education and how it supposedly emasculates boys. Isn’t Christianity, with its demand that all be meek and humble, the most emasculating thing in the universe? — G.P., Florida.
A. Please! To emasculate means to deprive a male of virile or procreative power or to weaken masculine vigor and spirit. That has nothing to do with being meek. Our dictionary defines meek as “enduring injury with patience and without resentment.” Who does that remind you of? How about Jesus? It wasn’t an emasculated man who patiently and freely endured brutal torture and then carried a heavy cross on His wounded shoulders for half a mile before being executed on that cross. It took a strong and virile man to suffer in this way in order to bring about our salvation.
The same can be said for the apostles and for the thousands of men, and women, whose blood has been the seed of Christianity for two millennia. Being meek and humble, as opposed to boastful and arrogant, is a sign of a strong and vibrant Christianity for when we are weak, as St. Paul said, then we are strong (cf. 2 Cor. 12:10).

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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?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN “Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.” Jefferson’s brutal verdict comes to mind in the fierce debate over inversions, those decisions by U.S. companies to buy foreign firms to move their headquarters abroad…Continue Reading

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?

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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

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 6 MThe Catholic priesthood is God’s holy calling (2 Tim. 1:5-9) to some men to follow Jesus’ footsteps more closely (St. Augustine). The priest is called to be an angel of the Lord, always keeping His Law in his mouth (Mal. 2:7). A truly celibate priest is one who is a real man, who…Continue Reading

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

By CAROLE BRESLIN As you drive into Lisieux, France, from Caen on highway D613, you can see clearly the Basilica of Lisieux — it dominates the landscape rising high above the hills and other buildings. A little to the north is the cathedral where Therese received her sacraments and where her family dedicated an altar. A little farther north is…Continue Reading

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