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June 27, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. A Catholic friend recently gave me a copy of the magazine Signs and Wonders for Our Times. It contained some very interesting articles. Are you familiar with this publication and, if so, what do you think of it? — D.M., Virginia.
A. We were not familiar with the publication until a Catholic friend recently gave us a copy of the 80-page spring 2014 issue, which we read from cover to cover. It is published by the Signs of the Times Apostolate in Herndon, Va., and the editor-in-chief and publisher is Maureen Flynn, author, with Ted Flynn, of the book The Thunder of Justice, which discusses “The Warning, The Miracle, The Chastisement, and The Era of Peace,” and author herself of a new book entitled Signs, Secrets and Prophecies.
As you might guess, the magazine is full of apocalyptic information that is very professionally and attractively presented, with eye-catching color photographs and full-page ads for similar materials. A dedication page says that the Signs of the Times Apostolate, Inc., “is a group of lay and religious Catholics whose primary objective is to live and spread Our Lady’s messages of prayer, fasting, faith, conversion, and peace. We distribute literature, including books, audio and video materials, on the Catholic faith.”
The dedication also says that “articles published in this magazine regarding apparitions do not reflect the editor’s or the apostolate’s preference, nor importance of one apparition over another. It is simply the wish of this Organization to inform the readership of approved apparitions, and specific apparitions and locutions currently being investigated. . . . We respectfully recognize and accept that the final authority regarding apparitions and locutions presently reported around the world rests with the Holy See in Rome, to whose judgment we humbly submit.”
Before commenting on that last sentence, we should point out that there are some good articles in the magazine. For example, there is one about Our Lady: Undoer of Knots and a novena to her. This devotion has been revived by Pope Francis, and we wrote favorably about it in our column dated February 20, 2014. There is a summary of the “Great Rosary Victories of Our Lady,” including the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, and a good article by Fr. Dermot Roache, SMA, on “The Consecration of the Family to the Divine Mercy.”
There are some powerful testimonies as well, including an excerpt from the book I Just Came for Ashes, in which Robin Beck tells of her conversion after 30 years in the “gay community,” and the story of Sean Corrigan’s long battle back from drugs through immersion, along with his wife Elaine, in the Comunita Cenacolo.
There is a lengthy article about the Cenacle, which was founded in Italy in 1983 by Mother Elvira Petrozzi and now has many houses, including one in Jacksonville, Fla., where young people caught up in a variety of addictions can get their lives back through a simple, disciplined family style of life based on prayer, work, sacrifice, and faith in Jesus. The Cenacle describes itself as a “School of Life” consisting of consecrated religious brothers and sisters, married couples, single men and women, and children.
But in the magazine there are also pages of “Catholic Prophecies,” containing alleged messages from our Lady to a Pedro Regis, and the most problematic article of all — the one entitled “Now Is the Time for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart in Union with All the Bishops of the World.” That article said that Pope John Paul II did not consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1984, but the consecration will be done by the Pope after Benedict XVI (Pope Francis?), according to “Locutions to the World” given in Scranton, Pa., from December 2010 until the present day.
The locutions allege that the Pope who consecrates Russia will also move the papacy from Rome to Jerusalem, and two men will claim to be Pope, one in Rome and one in Jerusalem. The true Pope will die quickly, according to the locutions, but his death will usher in a time of peace for the whole world, and especially for Jerusalem.
The magazine then quotes at length from Fr. Paul Kramer, who has long contended that Pope John Paul did not reveal the entire Third Secret of Fatima in 2000, that he left out the alleged part about terrible wars and devastating natural disasters, fire falling from the sky, and a great apostasy in the Church. An editorial note says that “many current Marian devotees believe the 100 years granted by God to Satan [in Pope Leo XIII’s vision of 1886] to try to destroy the Church will end in 2017, 100 years after the Fatima visions in 1917.”
In the Signs and Wonders dedication, the magazine’s staffers said that they would humbly submit to the judgment of the Holy See on the matter of apparitions and locutions. But the Holy See, in the judgment of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI, said in 2000 that the entire Third Secret of Fatima had been revealed and that “those who expected exciting apocalyptic revelations about the end of the world or the future course of history are bound to be disappointed. Fatima does not satisfy our curiosity in this way.”
That is the official judgment of the Holy See, and readers of books and magazines like Signs and Wonders ought to be prudent and, in the magazine’s own words, “respectfully recognize and accept that the final authority regarding apparitions and locutions presently reported around the world rests with the Holy See in Rome.”

Q. Do you have any information on the book The Holy Longing by Ronald Rolheiser? Our parish has selected the book for a discussion group, and I wonder if it reflects Catholic teaching. — M.K., via e-mail.
A. Fr. Rolheiser is a Catholic priest and member of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. He is a popular speaker, writer of a syndicated column carried in more than 50 newspapers worldwide, and author of many books, including The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality, which was published in 1999. We have not read the book and can only pass along the following comments from one reviewer:
“This book is for those searching to understand what Christian spirituality means and how to apply it to their own lives. Rolheiser explains the non-negotiables — the importance of community worship, the imperatives surrounding social action, the centrality of the Incarnation, the sustenance of the spiritual life — and how spirituality necessarily impacts every aspect of human experience. At the core of this readable, deeply revealing book is an explanation of God and the Church in a world that more often than not doubts the credibility of both.”
Another reviewer, Dan Burke, founder of Catholic Spiritual Direction and a writer for the National Catholic Register, took a look at Fr. Rolheiser’s book Prayer: Our Deepest Longing and said that the author “seems to have a sincere desire to help and encourage those on the edge of faith but who are still seeking answers. It seems important to him to convey to people that God loves them and will accept them where they are.” However, there are some problems with his approach, said Burke. For example, there is this quote from page 53 of the book:
“Is Satan, the devil, to be conceived of as a personified force, a fallen archangel, Lucifer? Or is Satan a code name for that vast range of inner disturbances (addictions, scars, paranoia, fear, bitterness, and sexual wounds) that habitually torment us? What exactly are the principalities and powers that are beyond us?”
On November 15, 1972, Pope Paul VI made clear how we are to conceive of the Devil. He described him as “a living, spiritual being, perverted and perverting. A terrible reality. Mysterious and frightening….He is the enemy number one, a tempter par excellence. So we know that this dark and disturbing spirit really exists, and that he still acts with treacherous cunning; he is the secret enemy that sows errors and misfortunes in human history.”
This small sample of Fr. Rolheiser’s opinions makes it difficult to determine whether his writings are always faithful to Catholic teaching. Perhaps one of our readers has read The Holy Longing and could offer additional insights into this book.

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Catholics, Keep Away, Lest You Hear What You Ought Not

The former president of Ireland Mary McAleese will deliver the Rosemary Goldie Lecture at Sydney Town Hall on Sunday week but local Catholics, it seems, are being discouraged from attending. The Catholic Weekly newspaper refused to take advertisements for the lecture which…Continue Reading

“Adopt a Christian from Mosul” to respond directly to Iraq’s emergency

AsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis’s urgent appeal “to guarantee all necessary assistance – especially the most urgently needed aid…Continue Reading

Federal Judge Blocks Texas Law That Would Stop Abortions at Most Facilities Across State

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal judge Friday threw out new Texas abortion restrictions that would have effectively closed more than a dozen clinics in the state. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel sided with clinics that sued over one of…Continue Reading

Tax-funded PBS To Air ‘After Tiller’ Documentary Glorifying Late-term Abortionists

Pro-life activists are up in arms after the taxpayer-funded Public Broadcasting System (PBS) announced it will air the pro-abortion documentary “After Tiller” – named for George Tiller, the notorious late-term abortionist who boasted of killing more than 60,000 unborn babies before he…Continue Reading

Outcry flares over California abortion push in Catholic colleges

August 27, 2014 “California Catholics are no longer safe to practice their faith within their own institutions.” Sacramento, Calif., Aug 26, 2014 / 03:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Amid backlash from religious liberty and education advocates, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration…Continue Reading

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

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'From our friends at The Foundry'


Today . . .

Slaughter of the Innocents . . . Sex-Selective Abortions in India

Rome, August 31, 2014 (Zenit.org) Father John Flynn, LC The ratio of female to male infants continues to decline in India and a recent report by the United Nations warned that urgent action is needed to reverse the trend. The report, “‘Sex Ratios and Gender Biased Sex Selection: History, Debates and Future Directions,” was published by the organization UN Women. The ratio has…Continue Reading

The Closeness Of The Pastor – Pope Francis Receives The Parish Priest From Gaza

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2014-08-29 L’Osservatore Romano They are a minority, but like all the other people of Gaza they have suffered because of the conflict. They have been sustained by the certainty of being part of the universal Church and of feeling the solicitude and care of the Pope and the solidarity and prayers of Christians throughout the world. Fr Jorge Hernández Zanni…Continue Reading

The Absent Father — A Meditation

By PHILIP TROWER I’m sure, like me, you have all found over the course of your life that something you have experienced or read, perhaps even long ago, suddenly comes into your mind in a way that throws hitherto unnoticed light on some passage or theme in the Gospels. In my case it is what…Continue Reading

A Decent Lawyer Should Tell Liberals They’re Damned Fools And Ought to Stop

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Christendom Alumna Leads In “Future Of Pro-Life Movement”

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Senior Chaldean Official Says… Islamists Have Long Been Planning To Empty Iraq Of Christians

By FEDERICO CENCI ROME (ZENIT) — The year was 1840, when the Italian city of Otranto witnessed one of the most brutal massacres of Christians in history, perpetrated at the hands of Muslims. Eight hundred thirteen people perished in the 18 days of siege by the Ottoman army, bravely refusing to renounce their faith in…Continue Reading

Why Pope Benedict Called For The Rebirth Of The Church

By FR. JEROME ROMANOWSKI (Fr. Romanowski is a priest of the Diocese of Camden, N.J.) +    +    + In studying the important summary of a meeting Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger attended in July 22-24, 2001, Fontgombault, France, I thought again of why the Holy Father had to retire. The proceedings were held in the Benedictine Monastery…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… The Natural And Supernatural “Keys Of The Kingdom”

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK In the Gospel of Holy Mass on a recent Sunday we heard again the beautiful and consoling words by which the Lord consigns a gift to Peter and his Successors for the benefit of us all: the “Keys of the Kingdom.” We learn that these “keys” open the doors of Heaven to us because of…Continue Reading

Priestly Celibacy: Unnatural? Or…Supernatural? The Levitical Priesthood

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 2 The second type of priesthood in the Old Testament was the Levitical priesthood. It was established by God on Mount Sinai — whereto Moses took the people to offer sacrifice to God. There is one aspect of the Levitical priesthood that is often overlooked by those who read the Bible through anti-celibacy eyes:…Continue Reading

God Reveals His Name

By DON FIER In last week’s installment of this series on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), we examined the fundamental significance of coming to know that all that we believe begins with God and ends with God. “I believe in God” is the first affirmation of the Apostles’ Creed, and likewise, Sacred Scripture begins with the words, “In…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. My nine-year-old grandson asked why, on August 15, the Gospel of Luke about the Visitation was read when it was the Feast of the Assumption. What should I tell him? — E.C., via e-mail. A. You can tell your grandson that there is no Gospel reading about the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven because that event is not…Continue Reading

Justice And Charity

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Third Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Ezek. 33:7-9 Romans 13:8-10 Matt. 18:15-20 In the second reading today, St. Paul tells us that we are to owe nothing to anyone except to love one another. The fact that St. Paul puts this into the category of something that is owed to another person is of…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

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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