Friday 28th November 2014

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August 15, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Editor’s Note: Over the years, we have tried to correct columns in the Boston Herald by Margery Eagan because they have greatly distorted Catholic teaching. Now we learn that the longtime Herald columnist has joined the anti-Catholic Boston Globe as a writer for its new Catholicism website, Crux.
According to the press release from the Globe, Eagan will focus on “issues of spirituality, contemplation, and devotion, drawing on her personal experience with her Catholic faith, as well as that of other Catholics and those of various religious traditions.”
Teresa Hanafin, editor of the site, said that “there are many, many Catholics who engage in a very deep spiritual examination of their faith and their personal relationship with God. Margery is of that world. She understands it, she experiences it, and now she will discuss it with readers of Crux.”
All we can say is that asking Margery Eagan to write accurately about Catholicism is like asking Hamas to write objectively about Israel.

Q. Is it a sin against my spouse to do something behind his/her back that he/she believes is immoral and would offend him/her? Five priests have already told me it is not immoral and does not offend God. If it is a sin, is it mortal or venial? — Name and State Withheld.
A. Without knowing exactly what the sin is, we can’t say whether it’s mortal or venial. But if five priests have said that this “something” is not immoral, why not take their advice? On the other hand, though, even if this action is not immoral, why would you do it if it would offend your spouse?

Q. Following the Prayers of the Faithful at Mass, the priest sang the following prayer: “God the Father, hear our prayer. Hear us, God the Son. Holy Spirit, hear our prayer. Mercy on your people, Lord.” Is this prayer an optional part of the revised liturgy? — M.S., Michigan.
A. Not that we know of. At least it doesn’t appear in Appendix V at the back of the Roman Missal, where there are some suggested prayers for the priest to say at the conclusion of the Prayers of the Faithful. There are prayers for Ordinary Time, as well as for Advent, Christmas Time, Lent, Easter Time, and Masses for the Dead. Here are two typical concluding prayers:
“O God, our refuge and our strength, hear the prayers of your Church, for you yourself are the source of all devotion, and grant, we pray, that what we ask in faith we may truly obtain. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
“Incline your merciful ear to our prayers, we ask, O Lord, and listen in kindness to the supplications of those who call on you. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Q. Yes, one only true God, as witnessed to in the true Catholic faith, exists and always has existed. Since we cannot fully comprehend Him, how do we logically respond to one who asks, “If God exists, who or what created God?” — R.P., New Hampshire.
A. No one created God; He always existed and is the Creator of everything else. Look at this question from the point of causality. Everything that exists in our world was caused by someone or something else; nothing is or can be the cause of itself. The bacon and eggs we had for breakfast didn’t just appear on the table. The ingredients came from a pig and a chicken and were prepared by a family member or a cook in a restaurant.
We ourselves didn’t suddenly appear on earth. We came from our parents, and they from their parents, and so on back to the beginning. This chain of causes cannot go back forever. There must have been someone who caused the first man and woman to come into existence; there must have been a first cause, or an uncaused cause, that was not caused by anyone else.
That First Cause we call God. Here is how Peter Kreeft and Fr. Ronald Tacelli explained this one of 20 arguments for the existence of God that are discussed in their Handbook of Christian Apologetics:
“The hypothesis that all being is caused, that there is no Uncaused Being, is absurd. So there must be something uncaused, something on which all things that need an efficient cause of being are dependent. Existence is like a gift given from cause to effect. If there is no one who has the gift, the gift cannot be passed down the chain of receivers, however long or short the chain may be. If everyone has to borrow a certain book, but no one actually has it, then no one will ever get it.
“If there is no God who has existence by his own eternal nature, then the gift of existence cannot be passed down the chain of creatures and we can never get it. But we do get it; we exist. Therefore there must exist a God: an Uncaused Being who does not have to receive existence like us — and like every other link in the chain of receivers” (p. 51).

Q. Can you tell me what the words “Catholic charismatic” mean? Is this something new in the Catholic Church? — E.S., Arkansas.
Q. I understand that Pope Francis has invited charismatics to the Vatican in 2017 and that he prayed with them recently at the Olympic Stadium in Rome. I don’t understand what the movement is about. They seem very animated, but does that make them more holy? Does anyone know what they are saying when they are speaking in so-called tongues? It sounds very cultish to me. — W.B., Kentucky.
A. The Catholic charismatic movement originated in the United States on the campus of Duquesne University in 1967 and has since spread throughout the country. It holds weekly meetings, sometimes called “Life in the Spirit Seminars,” that focus on a special relationship with the Holy Spirit through spontaneous prayer, singing, and personal testimonies.
Some of its participants claim to speak in tongues, a spiritual gift mentioned by St. Paul in First Corinthians 12:10, and it does sound odd to those not familiar with this form of prayer. However, as Paul warned, it is useless to speak in tongues if those listening cannot understand you. “I would rather speak five words with my mind, so as to instruct others also,” he said, “than ten thousand words in a tongue” (13:19).
Recent Popes have applauded the work of Charismatic Renewal, but have stressed the importance of fidelity to the teaching authority of the Church. For example, St. John Paul II told a group of charismatic leaders in 1992 that “whatever shape the Charismatic Renewal takes — in prayer groups, in covenant communities, in communities of life and service — the sign of its spiritual fruitfulness will always be a strengthening of communion with the universal Church and local churches.”
Speaking to more than 50,000 charismatics in Rome this past June, Pope Francis recalled that he didn’t think much of them when he first encountered them in Buenos Aires some years ago, that they struck him as “some kind of Samba school!” He said that he changed his mind when he saw the good the Charismatic Renewal was doing for the Church.
“You . . . have received a great gift from the Lord,” the Holy Father said. “Your movement’s birth was willed by the Holy Spirit to be ‘a current of grace in the Church and for the Church.’ This is your identity: to be a current of grace.”
When he thinks of charismatics, Francis said, “I think of the Church herself, but in a particular way: I think of a great orchestra where all the instruments and voices are different from one another, yet all are needed to create the harmony of the music. St. Paul speaks of this in the 12th chapter of the First Letter to the Corinthians.
“As in an orchestra, no one in the renewal can think of himself or herself as being more important or greater than the others, please! Because when you think of yourselves as more important or greater, disaster is already on the horizon.”
The Pontiff said that the role of charismatics is “evangelization, spiritual ecumenism, caring for the poor and needy, and welcoming the marginalized. And all of it is based on worship. The foundation of the renewal is worshiping God!. . . Seek unity in the renewal because unity comes from the Holy Spirit and is born of the unity of the Trinity. Who is the source of division? The Devil! Division comes from the Devil. Flee from all infighting, please! Let there be none of this among you!”

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Chaput: It Isn’t Possible To Be Pro-life And Simultaneously Forget The Cries Of The Poor

Interview with the Archbishop of Philadelphia who is preparing to receive the Pope for the World Meeting of Families in September 2015: defending the unborn child is a vital part of the social doctrine of the Church. We need to…Continue Reading

Homosexual Activist Organization in New York Receives Catholic Grant

Washington, DC—The Lepanto Institute issued a report exposing the activities of an organization which received a $35,000 grant from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).  According to the report, the Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC) launched its…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: Church teaching on sexuality must be clarified, and only Pope Francis can do it

In an interview with Ireland’s state broadcaster, RTE, one of the Catholic hierarchy’s most outspoken defenders of life and family and the Church’s sexual moral teachings again indicated Pope Francis needs to “clarify” that divorced and remarried Catholics, and active…Continue Reading

Pope Appoints New Bishop For Gary, USA

(Vatican Radio) The Holy Father has named an Auxiliary Bishop of Milwaukee, Donald J. Hying as the new Bishop of Gary, USA. He succeeds Bishop Dale J. Melczek, whose resignation Pope Francis accepted upon having the age limit. On Monday…Continue Reading

TOP CATHOLIC BISHOPS AIDE ON EXECUTIVE AMNESTY: OBAMA’S ‘LAST CHANCE TO MAKE GOOD ON PROMISE’

In a statement last Friday in the New York Times, the top aide on immigration for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) said that executive amnesty is President Barack Obama’s “last chance to make good on his promise…Continue Reading

Catholics Want To Learn More About Their Faith, Bishops Report

BALTIMORE – For three and a half years, members of several U.S. bishops’ committees have been trying to pinpoint what Catholics in the pew are thinking and why they accept or reject church teachings. To this end, they have conducted…Continue Reading

Vatican cardinal: Catholic charity ‘is not only giving food … but giving God’

The Vatican cardinal who oversees the Church’s charitable initiatives has emphasized again that Catholic charities cannot be satisfied with meeting the material needs of those they serve. “Charity is very linked with the proclamation of the Gospel, and doing charity…Continue Reading

Prof at Catholic university tries to justify same-sex ‘marriage’ acceptance from Scripture

Professor Gerald Schlabach of the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota recently published a piece for The Christian Century utilizing the writing of St. Paul to create an argument legitimizing acceptance of same-sex marriage. In light of Schlabach’s article, The Cardinal Newman Society…Continue Reading

Pro-Life Group: “We Will Not Obey the Obamacare HHS Mandate, Not Today, Not Ever”

The pro-life group Priests for Life was one of the earliest organizations to file a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its HHS mandate. The mandate compels religious groups to pay for birth control drugs and drugs like ella that…Continue Reading

Court Says Obama Admin Can Force Pro-Life Group to Obey Pro-Abortion HHS Mandate

The pro-life group Priests for Life was one of the earliest organizations to file a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its HHS mandate. The mandate compels religious groups to pay for birth control drugs and drugs like ella that…Continue Reading

Where Are Our Young People Going?

During the 10:30 Mass in my parish a couple of Sundays ago 32 boys and girls stood in front of the altar, faced the congregation, and formally affirmed their desire to be confirmed. It was part of the preparation for…Continue Reading

US Bishops Elect New Secretary, Discuss Health Care Ethics Guide

Baltimore, Md., Nov 11, 2014 / 08:22 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted Tuesday on several committee leadership positions, also considering several liturgical proposals and moving forward with a New York canonization cause. At their fall…Continue Reading

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Pope Makes First Stop at Mausoleum of Atatürk in Turkey

Ankara, November 28, 2014 (Zenit.org) Junno Arocho Esteves In his first stop on his Apostolic Visit to Turkey, Pope Francis visited the famed Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Upon his arrival, the Pope was welcomed by government and military authorities, as well as Archbishop Antonio Lucibello, Apostolic Nuncio. Shortly after landing, the Holy Father was whisked away to…Continue Reading

Pope At Santa Marta: Depression And Hope

2014-11-27 Vatican Radio   (Vatican Radio) Reality can be ugly, but despite the suffering, corruption and indifference in today’s world as Christians we must hold our heads high in hope said Pope Francis at Mass Thursday morning in Casa Santa Marta. Basing his reflections on the Readings of the Day, Pope Francis spoke of the fate of the two cities…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Europe is like a poplar tree that needs nourishment

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Tuesday told European leaders that the development of today’s societies and their peaceful coexistence require constant reflection on the tenets that form the basis of Europe: human rights, democracy and the rule of law.  Like a tree, Europe also needs care and nourishment for healthy growth.  In a wide-ranging speech to the Council of Europe…Continue Reading

Pope Urges A “lonely” “Self-absorbed” Europe To Recover Its Soul

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(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis called on a “haggard” and “lonely” Europe to recover its role as a world protagonist, its identity as a defender of the transcendent dignity of man, the poor, the migrant, the persecuted, the old and the young, to recover its soul: Christianity. Emer McCarthy reports: In a lengthy address– the first of two on his one…Continue Reading

EWTN Brings Soldiers Of Christ To The Screen

By REY FLORES When I was given the opportunity to review this terrific new program produced by the StoryTel Foundation for EWTN, I knew right away that I would be writing a favorable piece because of my personal experiences with this wonderful order of holy priests. According to some of the promotional materials on the…Continue Reading

Laws Of Association And Their Contravention

By JUDE P. DOUGHERTY Contra Thomas Hobbes and his fictional state of nature, it is the family that is nature’s first form of association, for only within the family can human life survive. It is within the context of the family that the infant is nourished and for years provided with his basic needs, food,…Continue Reading

Are City Folks Less Christian?

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK Are the people who live in America’s cities less Christ-like than those who live in small towns and rural areas? Michael Rossmann, a Jesuit scholastic (a member of the order, not yet ordained a priest), does not say that, not in so many words. But he comes close. Rossmann is now…Continue Reading

Giving Thanks

By DONALD DeMARCO The word “thanks” is etymologically rooted in the word “thought.” With this in mind, G.K. Chesterton could say: “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” Chesterton had a genius for expressing expansive ideas in a concise way. Many of his…Continue Reading

Changing Their Tune

By PHILLIP DEAN (Editor’s Note: Music has always been especially important to Phillip Dean. Gifted as a singer and musician, the high school sophomore leads a Wednesday night youth band at his Rock Hill, S.C., church. And, though he completes his academic coursework online from home, he played for the last four years in the…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. Does the Catholic Church teach that no one knows who is in Hell? Well, it seems that goes against the Bible when Jesus says about Judas, “Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. Better for him if he had never been born” (Matt. 26:24). I cannot go against Jesus’ words in the Bible. Am…Continue Reading

Preparing A Way

By FR ROBERT ALTIER Second Sunday Of Advent (YR B) Readings: Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11 2 Peter 3:8-14 Mark 1:1-8 In the first reading today God speaks to Isaiah telling him to give comfort to His people. This message comes at the end of a long period of suffering for the people of Israel during which their sins were expiated. Now…Continue Reading

Pope Francis’ Address At Colloquium . . . Complementary Is At The Root Of Marriage And Family

VATICAN CITY (ZENIT) — Here is the translation of Pope Francis’ address in the Vatican at the opening of the “Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman,” November 17-19. In his talk, the Holy Father stated: “Children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Some Bishops Are Beginning To Find Their Voice

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK In recent weeks the Pope hosted the “Humanum” conference in Rome. In his remarks of welcome he clearly reiterated his commitment to the right of children to have both a mother and a father while stating that marriages and families cannot be redefined by or subject to manipulation by ideologies. (See p. 4B of this…Continue Reading

Is The Rosary A Prayer Of “Vain Repetitions”?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 3 The visit I received from two Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs, for short) gave me the opportunity to demonstrate that repetitive prayer — especially the rosary — is entirely in line with Sacred Scripture. When they walked into my living room and did not miss the sight of my rosary on the mantelpiece, I knew…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Catherine Labouré

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Catholic Heroes… St. Cecilia

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Catholic Church has thousands of saints. For the last two millennia, people of great holiness, exemplifying heroic virtue, have been honored as saints, members of the Church Triumphant in Heaven giving honor and glory to God. Some have been formally declared saints by the Church, while others have been so honored from the beginnings of the…Continue Reading

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