Tuesday 9th February 2016

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Catholic Replies

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).

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

COMPLETE 3 PART Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Insights On The State Of The Church In The Aftermath Of The Ordinary Synod On The Family

Cburke3

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, recently traveled from Rome to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., a magnificent place of worship which he founded and dedicated. (His Eminence graciously granted an extensive interview to The Wanderer during which he…Continue Reading

‘Justice has been served’ – Bishop Conley on why he invited Bishop Finn to Lincoln

Lincoln, Neb., Feb 5, 2016 / 11:29 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln defended his decision to allow Bishop Robert Finn, former bishop of Kansas City, Mo., to take a position as chaplain of a community of…Continue Reading

Marco Rubio, David Daleiden; Chi-Town priest ‘outs’ himself

The young investigative journalist and pro-life activist David Daleiden – whom GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio recently defended – will present himself before Judge Brock Thomas in Houston on February 4. Peter Breen, special counsel for the Thomas More Society,…Continue Reading

Catholic Italy mobilises as conservatives mount last stand against same-sex unions

It has been 2,000 years since Romans gathered at the Circus Maximus to watch chariots roar around the racetrack, but a new battle was brought to the ancient site on Saturday . Clutching banners reading “We defend our children” and…Continue Reading

New documents prove Planned Parenthood profited from selling aborted body parts: pro-life group

HOUSTON, January 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A pro-life organization has released documents that may show Planned Parenthood illegally profited from the sale of aborted babies’ body parts, furthering a Texas state investigation and possibly triggering a new grand jury in…Continue Reading

TRUMP’S SPOKESWOMAN MUST APOLOGIZE

Bill Donohue comments on a remark made by Donald Trump’s national spokeswoman, Katrina Pierson: On December 18, 2011, Katrina Pierson sent the following tweet: “Just saw a commercial from Catholic Church stating that Catholic Church

Faithful Catholic Education Offers Understanding of True Freedom, Says Archbishop Lucas

Catholic education prepares students to live a life of faith, but also offers students a true understanding of God-given freedom in an environment in which they can grow in virtue, said Archbishop George Lucas of the Archdiocese of Omaha, Neb.,…Continue Reading

NFL star who refused to meet Obama over abortion gives powerful talk at March for Life

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 22, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – All the speakers at the 2016 March for Life play a pivotal role – but only one was regularly called an MVP. Matt Birk, the former center for the Minnesota Vikings and the…Continue Reading

2016 March for Life heats up blizzard-stricken Washington (PHOTOS)

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 22, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The blizzard snows are falling on the nation’s capital, layering the city in a blanket of frost that could be two to three feet thick by tomorrow morning. But for awhile this afternoon,…Continue Reading

SPECIAL REPORT: Planned Parenthood Offices Located Near Half of Catholic Colleges, Alarming Pro-Life Leaders

Half of all four-year, residential Catholic colleges in the U.S. are within five miles of Planned Parenthood facilities, a study by The Cardinal Newman Society has found. Catholic pro-life leaders warn that the close proximity of these Planned Parenthood centers…Continue Reading

81 percent of Americans support dramatically stronger pro-life reforms: Poll

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 19, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – An overwhelmingly majority – including two-thirds of self-described “pro-choice” Americans – would support greatly strengthening laws that protect the unborn, according to a new poll released this morning. In all, 81 percent of…Continue Reading

New initiative aims to make Catholic men ‘watchmen’

For years, Chad Crow has attended the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ annual conference for men. And the father of four, who is a parishioner at Transfiguration in Oakdale, said that he and other men who attend the conference…Continue Reading

Vatican Parishes Are Now Welcoming Refugees

Diocese of Rome Responds to Holy Father’s September Invitation for Parishes to Host a Family of Refugees January 15, 2016  By ZENIT Staff Responding to Pope Francis’ appeal this September, Vatican parishes have begun welcoming refugee families. In his Sept.…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  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.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Pope’s Angelus reflection: Trust in the word of the Lord

(Vatican Radio) Do not be afraid but trust in the word of the Lord: that was Pope Francis message to the crowds gathered in a windswept St Peter’s Square on Sunday for the recitation of the Angelus prayer. The Pope based his reflections on the Gospel reading which tells the story of Jesus calling his first disciples by Lake Galilee. After fishing all night without a catch, they are washing their nets when Jesus gets…Continue Reading

Christie and Bush attack Cruz, Rubio for being too pro-life

Fr. Mark Hodges WASHINGTON, D.C., February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-lifers across the nation are scratching their heads and saying, “With friends like Chris Christie and Jeb Bush, who needs enemies?” Their frustration comes from both Christie and Bush attacking other presidential candidates as unelectable because they are pro-life without compromise. This morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program, New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie attacked Florida’s Senator Marco Rubio for not favoring aborting children conceived in…Continue Reading

INTERVIEW: Padre Pio In Rome: Saints as Living Icons of Divine Mercy

Stefano Campanella, Director of Padre Pio TV and Author of Publications on the Friar of Pietrelcina, Reflects on Significance of the Historic Transfer •February 4, 2016•Osvaldo Rinaldi• Stefano Campanella, born in 1964 in Putignano, Italy, lives with his family at San Giovanni Rotondo. He has been a parliamentary journalist and Vatican expert. Currently, he serves as director of Padre Pio TV and heads the press office of the religious province of Sant’Angelo and Padre Pio…Continue Reading

Pope: The Faith is the greatest inheritance we can leave

(Vatican Radio) The most beautiful inheritance we can leave to others is the Faith: that was Pope Francis’ message during Holy Mass on Thursday morning at the Casa Santa Marta. In his homily, he invited us to not fear death, because the course of life continues. Thinking about death illuminates life The day’s first reading tells the story of the death of King David. “In every life there is an ending,” the Pope said. This…Continue Reading

The Pope: consecrated life must be close to the people

pope301

Vatican City, 2 February 2016 (VIS) – The following are extensive extracts of the Holy Father’s extemporaneous address to the participants in the Jubilee of Consecrated Life, which took place yesterday in the Paul VI Hall. This afternoon in St. Peter’s Basilica he will celebrate the Mass to conclude the Year of Consecrated Life. “I have prepared a text for this occasion regarding the themes of consecrated life and three of its most important pillars:…Continue Reading

Begging For Mercy

By DONALD DeMARCO When we do not hear another person’s words correctly we say, “I beg your pardon.” A moderator appears on stage and apologizes for a momentary inconvenience by saying to the audience, “I beg your indulgence.” These words flow easily from our lips, usually without much reflection. They have become automatic responses, polite…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “How Dissenters Attack The ‘Holiness’ Of The Church”

By BRIAN CLOWES Conclusion (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of the book Call to Action or Call to Apostasy, consisting of a detailed description of the current forms of dissent and how to fight them, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.)…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic . . . The New Literalism And Fundamentalism

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

Sources, Methods, And Lives

By JUDGE ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO This has not been a good week for Hillary Clinton. She prevailed over Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Iowa Democratic presidential caucuses by less than four tenths of one percent of all votes cast, after having led him in polls in Iowa at one time by 40 percentage points. In…Continue Reading

Is A New Era Upon Us?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Whoever wins the nominations, the most successful campaigns of 2016 provide us with a clear picture of where the center of gravity is today in both parties and, hence, where America is going. Bernie Sanders, with his mammoth crowds and mass support among the young, represents, as did George McGovern in…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World . . . Jesus Gave Witness In The Public Square

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “Seems to me that Jesus wants us to love our neighbors and leave the judging up to Him.” This is a typical response of many people when they encounter the Church and her members witnessing to their faith by speaking out on moral teachings in the public square. Christian witness in a visible, public way…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course . . . Hostility Against The Church

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 40 Fourth objection: Why do so many people have hostility to the Catholic Church? Reply: Why was Jesus the object of hostility from so many people? In simple terms, the Pharisees may have refused Him as they could not accept His doctrine and felt threatened by His power to perform miracles. The Sadducees may…Continue Reading

Life Everlasting — The Particular Judgment

By DON FIER In concluding our examination of the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) on article 11 of the Creed, we saw that in order “to rise with Christ, we must die with Christ” (CCC, n. 1005). Death, with all the mystery which surrounds this common fate of all mankind, is the gateway to everlasting life.…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I know that in this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we are supposed to practice more fervently the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. Most of these are fairly easy to understand, but I wonder about the one that says we are to “admonish the sinner.” How can one do that without judging another person, which we’re not supposed to…Continue Reading

One Truth, One Lord, One God

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER First Sunday Of Lent (YR C) Readings: Deut. 26:4-10 Romans 10:8-13 Luke 4:1-13 In the Gospel reading today we hear about Satan tempting our Lord. In the third temptation the Devil offers all of the kingdoms of the Earth to Jesus if He would just bow down and worship the tempter. In response, our Lord quotes…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Boleslava Maria Lament

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Catholic Church observes the Church Unity Octave from January 18 through January 25. For each day of the octave, we pray for a different form of unity. For example, on January 18, the intention is for the return of separated Eastern Christians to communion with the Holy See. Another day the intention is for the restoration…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Vincent Pallotti

By CAROLE BRESLIN Throughout the history of the Church, beginning with Christ Himself, disenfranchised youth have found a friend in the followers of the Lord. St. John Bosco and St. Philip Neri come to mind. There is another saint who also helped both young men and young women, St. Vincent Pallotti, a man born and raised in Rome during the…Continue Reading