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April 11, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. When was it decided that Sunday is the Sabbath and not Saturday? Is it in the Bible? — R.E.G., Nevada.
A. Yes, it’s in the Acts of the Apostles where it says that “on the first day of the week when we gathered to break bread [i.e., celebrate Mass], Paul spoke to them because he was going to leave on the next day, and he kept on speaking until midnight” (20:7). The Jews had celebrated the Sabbath on Saturday, the seventh day of the week, because that is the day on which God rested after creating the world and its creatures.
But the early Christians changed the celebration of the Lord’s Day to Sunday. Pope John Paul II explained why in Dies Domini:
“Because the Third Commandment depends on the remembrance of God’s saving works and because Christians saw the definitive time inaugurated by Christ as the new beginning, they made the first day after the Sabbath a festive day, for that was the day on which the Lord rose from the dead” (n. 18).
In the second century, St. Justin Martyr wrote that “we all gather on the day of the sun, for it is the first day [after the Jewish Sabbath, but also the first day] when God, separating matter from darkness, made the world; and on this same day Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead.” Two centuries later, St. Jerome echoed Justin when he said:
“The Lord’s Day, the day of Resurrection, the day of Christians, is our day. It is called the Lord’s Day because on it the Lord rose victorious to the Father. If pagans call it the ‘day of the sun,’ we willingly agree, for today the light of the world is raised, today is revealed the sun of justice with healing in its rays.”

Q. Our nation since our beginning has been involved in numerous wars and so-called police actions. Which of these would the Church consider “just”? It would appear from St. Augustine’s writings that not many were just, such as the war against Germany in World War II since we were not directly threatened. The same would hold true with Vietnam and, more recently, Iraq. Regarding the latter, I believe the Pope indicated that the Iraq War was unjust, but nobody seemed to acknowledge this. I remember asking two priests at a dinner table during the Iraq situation if they thought the war was just, and both said yes.
I recognize the Pope was not speaking infallibly, but why no response? Why no responses from Catholic soldiers who would not fight in view of the Pope’s declaration? What about their souls in cooperating with an apparent evil conflict? — R.B.K., Virginia.
A. Trying to decide which wars in our nation’s history would be considered “just” is beyond our competence. We can list the strict conditions that the Church requires for the legitimate use of military force, and people a lot smarter than we are can try to apply those conditions to various conflicts, most recently those in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the bottom line is the fervent prayer of recent Popes — “No more war” — because of the evils and injustices that accompany all war.
In any case, here are the conditions that must exist at one and the same time, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 2309):
“ — the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
“ — all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
“ — there must be serious prospects of success;
“ — the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.”
The Catechism goes on to say that “the evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good.” This seems problematical to us since it puts the decision to go to war in the hands of people who may not be at all influenced by Catholic principles of just war.
Regarding Iraq, Pope John Paul and the U.S. bishops did object to the U.S. invasion of that country in 2003 on the grounds that there was no imminent threat of an Iraqi invasion of the United States, and there was not sufficient evidence to establish that Saddam Hussein was directly connected to the attacks on September 11, 2001 or that he would launch future attacks on the United States.
As you point out, however, little attention was paid to what the Holy Father said.
Even World War II, which many consider to have been a just war, featured mass destruction of cities (Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki) and the killing of thousands of innocent people. Vatican II and the Catechism have called such bombings gravely immoral, saying that “every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation” (n. 2314).
A further problem is our government’s penchant for waging “no-win wars” and for concealing the truth from the American people. For example, recent studies have confirmed what many have long suspected, namely, that there was no North Vietnamese attack on U.S. ships in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964. It was that alleged attack that led to the loss of nearly 60,000 American lives in a war that culminated in the takeover of South Vietnam by the Communists, which our decade-long presence there was supposed to prevent.
We can see a similar scenario being played out today in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the loss of thousands of American lives and the expenditure of tens of billions of dollars are resulting in the return to power of the bad guys we were supposedly trying to keep out of power. It’s hard to find much justice in those wars.

Q. As Catholics watch evangelical Protestants, like the owners of Hobby Lobby, spend millions of dollars and risk the loss of their large business enterprise that employs thousands to appeal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court the immoral mandate of the U.S. government to provide birth control and abortifacient products to their employees, and as administrators of some Catholic universities not only accept the mandate and even celebrate providing such insurance coverage to their employees, and as Catholic nuns that operate and administer Catholic hospitals are celebrated as supporters of the authorizing legislation that created the immoral mandates, and as Catholic nuns who serve the poor while holding fast to traditional vows and habits appeal the same government mandates, just like Hobby Lobby owners, and as preaching at Masses and articles in Catholic newspapers and publications assiduously ignore this prime aspect of the current controversy, my question is:
What is the moral obligation of Catholic employers and Catholic workers when told to provide and/or pay for health insurance that includes and pays for (with the purchaser’s payments) birth control and/or abortifacient drugs, devices, and other paraphernalia? — J.B., Minnesota.
A. At their Fall General Assembly in Baltimore in November 2013, the U.S. bishops said that there are three basic problems with the Health and Human Services health-care mandate: “It establishes a false architecture of religious liberty that excludes our ministries and so reduces freedom of religion to freedom of worship; it compels our ministries to participate in providing employees with abortifacient drugs and devices, sterilization, and contraception, which violates our deeply held beliefs; and it compels our faithful people in business to act against our teachings, failing to provide them any exemption at all.”
They said that the mandate not only undermines “our ministries’ ability to witness to our faith…but the penalties it imposes also lay a great burden on those ministries, threatening their very ability to survive and to serve the many who rely on their care.”
For that reason, the bishops said that they will resist the mandate if it is not changed, even if it means paying heavy fines. Catholic employers and employees must do the same lest they be guilty of cooperating in evil.

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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.

  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

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

August 20, 2014 08:45 EST By Catherine Harmon The news broke late yesterday that Islamic State jihadists executed freelance journalist James Foley and posted a video of his beheading. Foley, 40, had been missing for two years while covering the conflict in Syria.…Continue Reading

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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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”

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 900 of the best quotes from The Birth Control Review, which is more than 300 pages long and is organized by topic, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) +    +    + The…Continue Reading

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

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Part 1 This is the first of two articles on the apparition of the Blessed Virgin at Knock in Ireland, on August 21, 1879. At the time the country was going through a period of upheaval in the aftermath of the Great Famine of 1845-1849, during which a million and a…Continue Reading

Memo To The Wanderer Family

By PAUL LIKOUDIS With all my heart I want to thank the many Wanderer readers who have supported me with their Masses and prayers through what has been a very challenging time, and is likely to become more challenging. The July 16 surgery was not a success, and complications required a two-week hospital stay, which…Continue Reading

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

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSnews.com. To find out more about him, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com. All rights reserved.) +    +    + A total of 109,631,000 Americans lived in households that received benefits from one or more federally funded “means-tested programs” — also…Continue Reading

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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”

SEOUL (ZENIT) — The Holy Father gave the following address to the young people of Asia on August 15. Pope Francis visited South Korea from August 14-18. ZENIT News Agency provided the text and translation of his address; all rights reserved. +    +    + Dear Young Friends, “It is good for us to be here!” (Matt. 17:4). These words were…Continue Reading

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

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 1 Years ago in New Zealand I listened to a talk by Scott Hahn where he told the story of a conversation he had had with a young man from Steubenville University. The youth has shared his desire to go to the seminary to become a priest. Some time later, the same young man…Continue Reading

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

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?

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?

This article appeared in the March 20, 1941 issue of The Wanderer. (Well, 70 years later we can add 15 trillion into the example.) Here’s a simple and homely illustration of what one billion dollars amounts to: Suppose we take an imaginary boy, aged 15 years, and assign to him the task of counting one billion dollars in one-dollar bills.…Continue Reading

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