Tuesday 21st April 2015

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Catholic Replies

April 25, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

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 of the saints are indeed most interesting, but they have not yet been collected in book form. We are sure that she will inform Wanderer readers of such a book if one is published in the future.

Q. I have a question about the appropriateness of a layperson reading the Gospel at Mass. At the parish I attend here in Houston, for the past few Sundays (all during Lent but before Palm Sunday) the Liturgy of the Word has included a deacon, a layperson, and the pastor each reading parts of the Gospel. In the cases I witnessed, the layperson was a woman, and she read parts of the Gospel which included the words spoken by Christ. I know that laypeople participate in the reading of the Passion on Palm Sunday, but is it appropriate for them to read the Gospel at other Masses? And is it ever appropriate for a layperson to read the Gospel words spoken by Christ? I asked one of the deacons as I was leaving Mass a couple of weeks ago, and he said yes, that during Lent it is acceptable, as long as the deacon “opens the book” (starts the reading) and the pastor closes it (reads the last words of the reading). I didn’t want to be argumentative, so I declined to ask him, “Since when?” What is the truth? And if this is appropriate, when and who decreed it so? — P.G., Texas.
A. As we have noted in the past, canon law (c. 767.1) restricts the proclaiming of the Gospel to members of the clergy, except for Palm Sunday and Good Friday, when the laity may assist in the reading of the Passion of the Lord (Paschales Solemnitatis, nn. 33 and 66). But even on those days, the priest should take the part of Christ since he is standing at the altar in the person of Christ. The restriction of the Gospel proclamation to an ordained person was reaffirmed in the 2004 Vatican instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum, which said:
“Within the celebration of the sacred liturgy, the reading of the Gospel, which is ‘the high point of the Liturgy of the Word,’ is reserved by the Church’s tradition to an ordained minister. Thus, it is not permitted for a layperson, even a religious, to proclaim the Gospel reading in the celebration of Holy Mass nor in other cases in which the norms do not explicitly permit it” (n. 62).
We have never heard of shared reading of the Gospel apart from Palm Sunday and Good Friday. Ask your deacon to show you where in the Church’s official liturgical documents it says that it is permitted for the deacon to open the reading, a layperson to chime in, and the pastor to close the reading.

Q. How can Pope Francis say that “if atheists do good works, they surely can get into Heaven”? What about John 14:6, in which Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”? I have doubts about Pope Francis. — D.M.D., Massachusetts.
A. Jesus is unquestionably the only way to Heaven, not only for Christians but for every person who ever lived, even those who profess to be atheists. As St. Peter told the Sanhedrin in reference to Jesus: “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved” (Acts 4:12). So what about those who deny the existence of God?
Calling atheism “a sin against the virtue of religion” (n. 2126) and “a sin against the first commandment” (n. 2140), the Catechism of the Catholic Church also says that the guilt of an atheist can be “significantly diminished in virtue of the intentions and the circumstances.” It quotes from n. 19 of Vatican II’s Gaudium et Spes, which says it is undeniable that “those who willfully shut out God from their hearts and try to dodge religious questions are not following the dictates of their consciences. Hence they are not free of blame.”
However, the Vatican II document also says that some atheists are not as culpable because they are rejecting “a fallacious idea of God,” or because they have never experienced any “religious stirrings,” or because they have witnessed the bad example of believers who “neglect their own training in the faith, or teach erroneous doctrine, or are deficient in their religious, moral, or social life,” thus concealing rather than revealing “the authentic face of God and religion.”
The Catechism clearly states that “all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body” and that one could not be saved “who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it” (n. 846). But this does not mean that only Catholics can be saved, as the Catechism makes plain in these words:
“Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience — those too may achieve eternal salvation” (n. 847).
This is not to say that all those who are sincerely ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and His Church are automatically saved. They still must seek the truth and do the will of God as they understand it, and God does put in each person’s heart a natural law that calls him to do good and avoid evil. Such persons might not be culpable for sins against faith (their ignorance of the Gospel), but they might very well be culpable for other sins (abortion, adultery, theft, hatred, racism, etc.) that would keep them out of Heaven.
In his encyclical Redemptoris Missio, Pope St. John Paul II explained how atheists of goodwill can be saved when he said that God’s plan of salvation “applies not only to Christians but to all people of goodwill in whose hearts grace is secretly at work. Since Christ died for everyone, and since the ultimate calling of each of us comes from God and is therefore a universal one, we are obliged to hold that the Holy Spirit offers everyone the possibility of sharing in this paschal mystery in a manner known to God” (n. 10).
We concede that the statement by Pope Francis, standing alone, can sound off the wall, but it is very much in the context of the Church’s long tradition about salvation.

Q. It has become a common practice in the Catholic Church when reenacting the washing of the feet of the twelve Apostles (all men) on Holy Thursday to include women. Isn’t this practice contrary to Scripture and history? — C.G.D., Maryland.
A. As we have noted in the past, the Roman Missal used at Mass contains the following rubrics for the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday:
“Depending on pastoral circumstances, the washing of the feet follows the homily. The men who have been chosen are led by the ministers to chairs prepared in a suitable place. Then the priest (removing the chasuble if necessary) goes to each man. With the help of the ministers, he pours water over each one’s feet and dries them.”
This practice was reaffirmed in 1988 by the Congregation for Divine Worship, which said that “this tradition should be maintained, and its proper significance explained” (Paschales Solemnitatis, n. 51). However, the U.S. bishops in June 1996 approved a document, entitled Pastoral Introduction to the Order of Mass, which said that “those whose feet are washed should be chosen to represent various people who constitute the parish or community: the young and old, men and women.”

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Untitled 2

Attention!

Our On-line Store is currently experiencing problems. If you are ordering a print edition of The Wanderer 

CLICK HERE!

ISIL video purports to show killing of Ethiopian Christians

A video purporting to show the killing of Ethiopian Christians by Islamic State-affiliated militants in Libya has been released online. The 29-minute video appears to show militants holding two groups of captives, one by an affiliate in eastern Libya known…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke Responds to Recent Criticisms

In an Italian-language interview, the patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta said, ‘I am not against the Pope; I have never spoken out against the Pope. … My purpose is to serve the truth.’ Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke,…Continue Reading

‘Prominent’ Catholics attacking Archbishop Cordileone are big donors to Pelosi and pro-abort Democra

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, April 17, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — Big donors to the Democrat Party and pro-abortion Nancy Pelosi are among those publicly harassing San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone for protecting Catholic identity in the area’s Catholic high schools. A big-ticket…Continue Reading

American Sisters accept Vatican reforms on doctrine, theology

Vatican City, Apr 16, 2015 / 04:15 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a joint report marking the conclusion of a multi-year mandate for reform, members of the LCWR have agreed to corrections called for by the Vatican, and said they will…Continue Reading

Cardinal George, archbishop emeritus of Chicago, dies at 78

DEVELOPING: Cardinal Francis George, the archbishop of Chicago from 1997 to 2014, died Friday at the age of 78 after a long battle with cancer, the Archdiocese of Chicago has confirmed.

We Must Pray For And Defend This Good Bishop

bishopcord

I call on all the readers here to pray and offer fasting and alms for the spiritual defense of Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco. Will San Francisco be the Alamo of the Church in these USA? Today, in the ultra-liberal…Continue Reading

Prominent Catholics call on pope to oust S.F. archbishop

In an unprecedented move, more than 100 prominent Roman Catholic donors and church members signed a full-page ad running Thursday in The Chronicle that calls on Pope Francis to replace San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone for fostering “an atmosphere of…Continue Reading

This teacher cannot sue the Catholic Church for firing him because he openly rejects Catholic teachings: Legal experts

OMAHA, NE, April 14, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Legal experts agree that, if you openly flout Christian teachings, you have no right to sue a religious school for firing you – in most instances. That analysis comes after a sexually active…Continue Reading

PETITION TO POPE FRANCIS: Declare St. John Paul II “Doctor of the Church”!

johnpaul

I, Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, do hereby petition our Holy Father, Pope Francis, to declare St. John Paul II Doctor of the Church. I ask that St. John Paul II, who instituted the Feast of Divine Mercy, be declared Doctor of…Continue Reading

Cardinal Brandmüller: Advocates for changing Catholic teaching on marriage are ‘heretics’ – even if they are bishops

April 14, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — Cardinal Walter Brandmüller has been among the leading voices critical of proposals stemming from the Vatican’s Synod on the Family that risk subverting Catholic teaching on the sacraments and morality. He was one of five…Continue Reading

Obama administration: Catholic school upholding marriage is ‘sex discrimination’

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 13, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — The Obama administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has found “reasonable cause” to rule that a Catholic prep school has unlawfully discriminated against a homosexual band director formerly in the school’s employ. Mount…Continue Reading

God or Nothing

ROME, April 10, 2015 – He has said so himself, with candor: “I have the feeling that God has put me here for a short time.” Four or five years, or even less. It is natural that this disclosure of…Continue Reading

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 subscribe 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 appeals to the world to act to avoid more tragedies of migrants

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has appealed to the international community to take swift and decisive action to avoid more tragedies of migrants seeking a better life. His heartfelt cry to the world came following news of the sinking of yet another boat carrying migrants in the Mediterranean Sea in which it is feared 700 people may be dead. The Pope was speaking on Sunday morning after the Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square, where he…Continue Reading

May His Soul Rest In Peace . . .

george

Pope Francis: Christian humility is not masochism, but love

Vatican Radio) Humiliation for its own sake is masochism, but when it is suffered and endured in the name of the Gospel it makes us like Jesus. That was what Pope Francis said in his homily at the Mass at Casa Santa Marta, as he invited Christians to never cultivate sentiments of hatred, but to give themselves time to discover within themselves sentiments and attitudes that are pleasing to God: love and dialogue.   Is…Continue Reading

Pope Francis to visit Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay

(Vatican Radio)  A communique from the Holy See’s Press office on Thursday announced that Pope Francis will make an apostolic visit to three Latin American countries in early July. It said following invitations from the respective heads of state and the Catholic Bishops, the Pope will be in Ecuador from the 6-8th, Bolivia from the 8th- 10th  and Paraguay from the 10th-12th. Full details of the programme for the visit will be published at a…Continue Reading

The Long Retreat In The Culture War

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN The Republican rout in the Battle of Indianapolis provides us with a snapshot of the correlation of forces in the culture wars. Faced with a corporate-secularist firestorm, Gov. Mike Pence said Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act would not protect Christian bakers or florists who refuse their services to same-sex weddings. And…Continue Reading

Cardinal Brandmüller Says . . . Advocates For Changing Church Teaching On Marriage Are Heretics

By MAIKE HICKSON (LifeSiteNews) — Walter Cardinal Brandmüller has been among the leading voices critical of proposals stemming from the Synod on the Family that risk subverting Catholic teaching on the sacraments and morality. He was one of five cardinals who contributed to the book Remaining in the Truth of Christ, which focused on criticizing…Continue Reading

Income Inequality: Married Couples With Kids Make Average Of $107,054

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate provided this column. All rights reserved.) + + + If American politicians wanted to drive down the income of the American people and make this a poorer nation — and they actually studied the government’s own data…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . The Artful Ploys Of The Noonday Demon

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN The Noonday Devil: Acedia, The Unnamed Evil of Our Time, by Jean-Charles Nault, OSB (Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 2015), 203 pp. $16.95. Available through www.ignatiuspress.com. Some temptations are bold and brazen in their seduction, and some are subtle and artful. While the temptations of the flesh disorder the appetites and produce uncontrollable…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Can We Use Our Consciences On Contraception?”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 21 of The Facts of Life, “Contraception,” e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + “Surveys in many countries consistently show that most Catholics believe that decisions of conscience about…Continue Reading

The Wanderer Interviews His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke . . .

burk10

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, who previously served as Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome from June 2008 until November 2014, recently visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis. Prior to that he served as Archbishop…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… Traditional Latin Mass Leading A Southern Baptist To Rome

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “The Lord is risen, Alleluia!” A most blessed Easter season to you and your family. Only the Lord knows what He wants to accomplish with our obedience, and we must trust Him to see His will through to the end, while asking only for the grace that we remain faithful in doing His will as…Continue Reading

Did Jesus Christ Found A Church? If He Did, How Can She Be Identified?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 2 In the previous article we saw that Jesus gave to the apostles the royal ministry, that is, the power to exercise authority over the people in His Church, to shepherd over, to rule over, and even to judge them. He also gave to the apostles the prophetic ministry, to be the teachers of…Continue Reading

The Church’s Origin, Foundation, And Mission

By DON FIER Sacred Scripture reveals a rich and diverse tapestry of images to describe the Church. Each of these symbols enables one with faith to gain additional insights into the various complementary aspects which are present in this great mystery which the Fathers of Vatican Council II refer to as the “universal sacrament of salvation” (Lumen Gentium, n. 48…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. In the second reading on Good Friday (Heb. 5:8-9), there is a phrase toward the end of the epistle that says: “Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” I am puzzled by the words “when he was…Continue Reading

The Good Shepherd

BY FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fourth Sunday Of Easter (YR B) Readings: Acts 4:8-12 1 John 3:1-2 John 10:11-18   In the Gospel reading today we hear our Lord telling us that He is the Good Shepherd. We have all heard this many times and, in our minds, we have our own notions of what that means. We can think about…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Anselm

By CAROLE BRESLIN St. Anselm was born in France near the Swiss Alps around 1033. At the age of 15, he wished to enter religious life by joining a monastery. Sadly, his influential father was so against it that the monastery refused to accept him. This so discouraged the youth that he drowned his sorrows in worldly pursuits. He deeply…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Marguerite D’Youville

By CAROLE BRESLIN By 1701 the European colonies in North America had expanded beyond the Appalachian Mountains. The Anglo population in the English American colonies had reached 275,000. The French had recently established a colony in Detroit. Catholics, however, were persecuted as Massachusetts passed a law ordering all Roman Catholic priests to leave or face execution. New York passed a…Continue Reading