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April 18, 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.”

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Catholic Synod: Gay Rights Groups ‘Disappointed’

Catholic gay rights groups say they are disappointed after bishops rejected proposals for wider acceptance of gay people, which had the Pope’s backing. The call to “accept and value” homosexuals was in a draft report, but failed to win the…Continue Reading

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Cardinal Burke Confirms: Yes, Pope Has Demoted Me.

“Pope has done a lot of harm by not saying openly what his position is” Synod “designed to change Church’s teaching“ We post here for the record of current events all the quotes published by BuzzFeed from their interview with…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke’s Major Interview to Il Foglio on the Synod

The world likes Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke very little or not at all.  And , if it is possible, the Church likes him even less than does the world.  On the other hand, this 66-year-old American from Richland Center, Wisconsin,…Continue Reading

Pope Paul VI to be beatified Oct. 19, 2014

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Pope Francis will officially declare Pope Paul VI Blessed on Sunday, Oct. 19, during the closing ‎Mass of the 3rd Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family.  Pope Paul VI was cleared for ‎beatification when Pope Francis on May 9…Continue Reading

Church Militant . . . Synod On The Family

Houston, we have a problem

Angry over voter lawsuit, city demands to pick through sermons, other communications from pastors who aren’t involved Monday, October 13, 2014 HOUSTON – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys have filed a motion in a Texas court to stop an attempt by…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: Synod’s mid-term report “lacks a solid foundation in the Sacred Scriptures and the Magisterium”

Yesterday’s presentation of the mid-term report (Relatio post disceptationem) of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family was met with a remarkable level of interest among both Catholic and non-Catholic media outlets. The Vatican Radio site, in its introduction to…Continue Reading

Having Patience for the Sausage-Making Synod

The midterm report on the deliberations of the Synod on the Family has appeared and there is a fair amount of hysteria all around. John Thavis, a veteran Vatican reporter who should know better, has declared this statement “an earthquake,…Continue Reading

Advice for the Pope in Light of the Synod

The Holy Father has been very good in lecturing priests and telling us what to do. We are to go out into the world and “make a mess.” We are to “smell like the sheep.” We are to welcome all…Continue Reading

Catholic Church in Minnesota Settles Sex-Abuse Claim

MINNEAPOLIS—The Catholic Church in Minnesota and a lawyer for victims of sexual abuse on Monday announced the settlement in the first-of-its-kind lawsuit claiming that clergy abuse and subsequent inaction by church leadership constituted a “public nuisance.” The settlement also laid…Continue Reading

Pro-family Catholics reject Synod mid-way report, calling it ‘a betrayal’

ROME, 13 October 2014: An international coalition of pro-family groups has rejected the mid-way report of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, calling it “a betrayal”. Voice of the Family http://voiceofthefamily.info responded to the report (relatio post disceptationem), published this morning…Continue Reading

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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.

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Today . . .

At Closing Mass For The Synod Pope Francis Beatifies Paul VI

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(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday celebrated the Closing Mass for the Extraordinary Synod on the Family. During the Mass in Saint Peter’s Square, the Holy Father beatified his predecessor, Pope Paul VI, whom he described as a “great Pope,” a “courageous Christian” and a “tireless apostle.” Below, please find the complete English text of Pope Francis’s homily for the…Continue Reading

Pope At Santa Marta: Heaven In Our Hands

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(Vatican Radio) The Holy Spirit is the “seal” of light with which God has placed Heaven in Christians’ hands. Often, however, Christians avoid this light in preference of a life spent in the shadows, or worse still, in a false light, that sparkles with hypocrisy. Pope Francis’ homily at Mass Friday morning, followed the First Reading from St. Paul who…Continue Reading

Synod: Working Groups Call For More “Christ-centric” Focus On family

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(Vatican Radio) The vision of the world, and above all of the family,  must be one which “passes through the lens of the Gospel, to encourage men and women to the conversion of the heart”.  In short there must be a more “Christ-centric” focus on the family. This – in summary – is the conclusion reached by the ten Small…Continue Reading

Pope At Santa Marta: In Praise Of God

(Vatican Radio) It’s easy to pray for a grace, it’s far more difficult to pray in praise of the Lord, but this is the prayer of true joy, said Pope Francis at Mass Thursday morning in Santa Marta. Reflecting on St Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, which joyfully elevates a prayer of blessing to God, the Pope noted that this…Continue Reading

The Government And Freedom

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Religious Freedom In Belarus . . . Strict Controls, “An Invisible Ghetto,” Continue

By FR. JOHN FLYNN, LC (Editor’s Note: Fr. John Flynn, LC, wrote this commentary for ZENIT News Agency. Fr. Flynn, a regular ZENIT contributor, holds degrees from the University of New South Wales and from the Pontifical Gregorian University.) + + + Current events in the Middle East have drawn attention to the plight of…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “The Crisis Pregnancy Center Movement”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995.) + + + “Speak, yourself, on behalf of the dumb, on behalf of all the unwanted; speak, yourself, pronounce a just verdict, uphold the rights of the poor, of the needy” (Prov. 31:8-9). + +…Continue Reading

Famed Dancer’s Daughter . . . Reflects On A Century Of Her Father’s Tradition-Breaking Legacy

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — Before international fame shone on Pope Francis, he was an easily ignored man wearing a Roman collar, seated on the everyday benches of the Buenos Aires subway. A spotlight, when switched on, confers instant celebrity. But when the light’s not being brilliant, who knows who’s there in the next seat?…Continue Reading

Or Do We?. . . “We’ve Got To Do Something In Iraq”

By GEORGE A. KENDALL At the moment, our rulers seem well on the way to getting us into our third Iraq war in a generation, the first two having exhibited, in the short term, the appearance of success (“a piece of cake”), but dismal failure in the longer run, wasting our nation’s resources and lives,…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Debunking The Myth… Sola Scriptura Is Unscriptural

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Divine Revelation: Gradual And Progressive

By DON FIER We left off last week reflecting on God’s motive for revealing Himself to us in a supernatural manner. In a word, His sole motive was that of boundless love for mankind. God gratuitously and unconditionally chose to “communicate His own divine life to the men He freely created, in order to adopt them as His sons in…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: R.H.T. of Florida writes to say that “this week’s question [The Wanderer dated October 16, 2014] about Doctors Without Borders caught my attention. If R.B. from Michigan is interested in supporting an organization like Doctors Without Borders, but one that is absolutely committed to strict adherence to the Catholic Church’s rules on things like abortion, contraception, etc., I…Continue Reading

Union With The Afflicted

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Thirtieth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Exodus 22:20-26 1 Thess. 1:5c-10 Matt. 22:34-40 In the second reading today St. Paul commends the Thessalonians for the way they received the Gospel and for the manner in which they lived it out. First he says that they received the Word in great affliction, then he reminds…Continue Reading

Cardinal Erdo’s Greetings To Pope At CCEE . . . Europe Needs Christ!

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Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Ignatius Of Antioch

By CAROLE BRESLIN Who are the fathers of the Church? They were holy men of God; most were bishops, although some were priests and one man, St. Justin the Martyr, was a layman. They lived primarily in the first three centuries of Christianity, but one of the fathers died in 750, generally considered the end of the Church fathers’ era.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Denis, Patron Of France

By CAROLE BRESLIN On the hill of Montmartre, the French have built a Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Sacré-Coeur de Paris. Since 1885, this church has held perpetual adoration; the practice began before construction on the church was completed in 1914. As tourists quietly walk through the church to admire the beautiful mosaics and woodwork, high above on the altar…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

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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