Tuesday 16th September 2014

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Catholic Replies

August 22, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

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 question? — R.A.C., Massachusetts.
A. First of all, it was Pope Francis who said in Italy on June 21 that members of the Mafia, because they are involved in “adoration of evil and contempt for the common good,” are “not in communion with God. They are ‘excommunicated’.” He said that their evil “must be fought, must be expelled. It must be told no.”
Second, canon 1398 of the Code of Canon Law says that “a person who procures a completed abortion incurs an automatic . . . excommunication.” In his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II said that “the excommunication affects all those who commit this crime with knowledge of the penalty attached and thus includes those accomplices without whose help the crime would not have been committed” (n. 62). This means the woman, the doctor, and family members, friends, and counselors who advised the abortion, provided that each of these persons knew the Church’s penalty for this crime, but went ahead with it anyway.
According to canons 1323 and 1324, excommunication would not be automatically incurred if a person was truly ignorant of the penalty attached to procuring an abortion, was under the age of 16, thought that the law only applied to the person having the abortion and not to her accomplices, acted out of serious fear about parental or societal reaction to the pregnancy, or erroneously believed that the abortion was necessary to preserve the mother’s life.
As for Catholic politicians who lobby and vote for abortion, they are not subject to automatic excommunication, according to the late moral theologian Msgr. William B. Smith. He said in the August/September 2000 issue of Homiletic & Pastoral Review that it may well be that the number of abortions performed would not have occurred without the votes of Catholic legislators, “but since it ‘may be’ so and is not patently clear causal participation in an actual abortion, then it seems to me that this is outside the scope of canon 1329 §2 and does not engage the penalty of excommunication.”
This does not mean that pro-abortion lawmakers are off the hook, the monsignor said, adding that “we must never forget that abortion is the direct killing of a moral innocent (i.e., morally, it’s murder). By every moral standard, every direct and deliberate act of that kind (murder) is an objective offense against the natural law and divine positive law, from which no one on this planet is exempt. By definition, this is grave scandal and incompatible with being a practicing Catholic. Those who promote, sustain, and expand abortion cannot disentangle themselves completely from this grave sin and objective injustice.”
We hope that Pope Francis will soon proclaim excommunication against those pro-abortion Catholics who are just as surely involved in “adoration of evil and contempt for the common good” as any member of the Mafia.

Q. Granted that subjective dispositions could make a difference, objectively speaking, does a priest give as much honor and glory to God and accrue as much benefit for the good of the Church when he concelebrates Mass as when he celebrates Mass individually? When I was in the seminary, the tremendous value and benefit accruing to the Church from each Mass was stressed.
I have often wondered if at least a partial explanation for the Church’s present difficulties isn’t simply due to the fact that with the widespread practice of concelebration there are fewer Masses being offered. It is my understanding that when ten priests concelebrate a Mass, that means that day there are nine fewer Masses offered.
The present practice seems to go beyond what Sacrosanctum Concilium [Vatican II’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy] envisioned. Canon 803 in the 1917 Code of Canon Law forbade concelebration except in the Ordination rite of priests and the consecration of bishops.
I know that canon 902 in the 1983 Code still gives every priest the right to offer Mass every day individually, but often peer pressure or lack of faculties make it difficult. There is a further development, at least in my opinion, among so many priests not considering daily celebration of Mass very important. That is possibly a different issue. — Name and State Withheld.
A. Taking your last point first, priests were not mandated to celebrate Mass daily by the 1917 Code of Canon Law, nor are they mandated to do so by the 1983 Code. However, it is “strongly recommended” that they say Mass every day. Here is canon 904 of the 1983 Code:
“Remembering that the work of redemption is continually accomplished in the mystery of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, priests are to celebrate frequently; indeed, daily celebration is strongly recommended since, even if the faithful cannot be present, it is the act of Christ and the Church in which priests fulfill their principal function.”
This canon is taken almost word for word from n. 13 of Vatican II’s Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests (Presbyterorum Ordinis).
As for concelebrated Masses, the General Instruction of the Roman Missal says that they are a way “by which the unity of the Priesthood, of the Sacrifice, and also of the whole People of God is appropriately expressed” (n. 199). While once limited to priestly Ordinations and episcopal consecrations, the GIRM recommends that concelebration take place at the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday; at Masses during councils, synods, and gatherings of bishops; at Conventual Masses and the principal Mass in churches and oratories; and at Masses where priests, either secular or religious, are gathered.
The same paragraph says that “every Priest, however, is allowed to celebrate the Eucharist individually, though not at the same time as a concelebration is taking place in the same church or oratory. However, on Holy Thursday, and for the Mass of the Easter Vigil, it is not permitted to celebrate Mass individually.”
On the question of whether a priest gives as much honor and glory to God when he concelebrates Mass as when he celebrates Mass individually, we don’t know the answer. Perhaps one of our readers could offer some insight into this question.

Q. Enclosed is some information on the “Prayer Wrap” in my parish, where the priest blesses a shawl that is then put over the shoulders of the person in need of physical or emotional healing. Are these shawls sacramentals once they have been blessed? — J.B.N., Texas.
A. According to the information sent to us, “the Prayer Wrap is a symbol of a faith-sharing community wrapping the individual who receives it in prayer, and they are sewn with love and given to those in need of comfort. The very threads become interwoven with pleas for healing on behalf of the recipient. The sewing volunteers will commit their time and talent as they fulfill their part in the construction of these fleece shoulder wraps.
“After the wraps are completed, they are blessed by a priest or a deacon. These beautiful acts truly transform the fabric into a ‘Prayer Wrap,’ which brings comfort to the suffering and peace to the fearful. When a recipient sees and touches these wraps, they know they are not alone, that they are lifted in healing prayer and there are those who do care about them.”
Sacramentals are certain rites or objects, such as blessings, exorcisms, scapulars, medals, or holy water, which are used to win God’s help by reason of our own devotion plus the prayers of the Church on our behalf. Unlike the sacraments, which confer grace directly, sacramentals give grace by virtue of the devotion of the person using them, and also by virtue of the official prayers and intercession of the Church. They have the power to obtain pardon for venial sins, to obtain health of body and mind and material blessings, and to give special protection against the Devil.
Since priests and deacons have the authority to bless objects, we would say that once these Prayer Wraps are blessed, they would qualify as sacramentals.

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Hermeneutic of Continuity: Pope Benedict XVI’s 10 Step Guide to Vatican II

pope200

In 2005 His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI gave a Christmas address to the Roman Curia that sparked a “Holy Revolution.” The good pontiff’s comments were received as “epoch-making” by many of those faithful to Sacred Tradition.1 At the heart of…Continue Reading

Satanists Sell Out Controversial Oklahoma ‘Black Mass’ Event, Will Stage Exorcism Despite Christian Protests

The Satanist group that will stage a controversial “black mass” at an Oklahoma City civic center has said that all 88 tickets for its Sept. 21 event are sold out. The co-founder of the group revealed that the ritual will…Continue Reading

Catholic League Bowing Out Of New York’s St. Patrick’s Parade

NEW YORK –  The Catholic League says it will sit out next year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York because parade organizers aren’t letting an anti-abortion Catholic group march. Catholic League head Bill Donohue said Thursday that his organization…Continue Reading

Catholic Cardinal McCarrick Embraces Islam

Catholic Cardinal Theodore McCarrick offered Islamic religious phrases and insisted that Islam shares foundational rules with Christianity, during a Sept. 10 press conference in D.C. “In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate,” McCarrick said as he introduced himself…Continue Reading

MURDER OF CATHOLIC NUNS SHOCKS WORLD

The triple murder of three elderly Italian religious sisters in Burundi has their religious family and the local community reeling. The Italian Foreign Ministry has confirmed Monday’s death of a third missionary, Sister Bernadette Boggian, who wasdecapitated, according to a…Continue Reading

Cardinal Dolan and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

by Hon. Bob Marshall Sept. 8, 2014 New York’s Cardinal Dolan, appointed as Grand Marshal of the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade, praised the decision to allow an openly gay group to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. “I have…Continue Reading

Founder: Catholic Studies programs help colleges fulfill call to faithfulness

St. Paul, Minn., Sep 8, 2014 / 06:03 pm (CNA).- University-level Catholic Studies programs are an essential response to the increasingly fragmented college experience, said the man who founded the first such program 20 years ago. “At the heart of…Continue Reading

A ‘dereliction of duty’? Catholics react to Cardinal Dolan’s role in St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s decision to act as grand marshal of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade despite its decision to allow an openly homosexual organization to participate has drawn strong criticism from Catholic writers and outrage from many…Continue Reading

Notre Dame Caves

notredame

The following comes from an Aug. 30 email from the Sycamore Trust, “alumni protecting Notre Dame’s Catholic identity.” Notre Dame is complying with the abortifacient/contraceptive mandate in renewing its student health insurance program for 2014-15. Aetna, the insurer, will now provide students with…Continue Reading

Vatican’s Cardinal Burke dismantles ‘Who am I to judge?’

burk

Cardinal Raymond Burke, head of the Vatican’s highest court – the Apostolic Signatura – has given a lengthy televised interview in which he decisively rectifies the false notions about Pope Francis’ “Who am I to judge” quote that has been…Continue Reading

You’ve Been Dolanized!

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City has finally thrown in the towel and agreed to let gay Irish groups march. The announcement was made yesterday. In response, Monsignor Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington posted on…Continue Reading

Gays to march in NYC Parade, with Cardinal Dolan as 2015 Grand Marshal

dolan

A gay group of employees from NBC will march in next year’s New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade behind their own banner, a source with knowledge of the ongoing parade controversy has told the Irish Voice. On Wednesday, September 3, at…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

'From our friends at The Foundry'


Today . . .

Pope At Santa Marta: Learning From Our Lady Of Sorrows

pope524

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis marked the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows during Monday morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, with a reflection on how Mary learned, obeyed and suffered at the foot of the Cross. The Holy Father said that in the liturgy of the day first we are shown the glorious Cross, then the meek ​​and humble Mother.…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Homily for Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

pope523

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis marked the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross Sunday with Mass celebrated in St. Peter’s basilica during which he presided over the Sacrament of Marriage of twenty couples. Below please find the official text of the Holy Father’s homily: Today’s first reading speaks to us of the people’s journey through the desert. We can…Continue Reading

Birth Statistics Show Collapse Of The Family

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 you count a generation as spanning 20 years, then approximately 36 percent of the American generation born from 1993 through 2012 — which has begun turning 21…Continue Reading

Deacon Describes Last Hours… Convicted Killer In Prolonged Execution Was Baptized

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — Although most news attention focused on the nearly two hours it took for a convicted Arizona double murderer to die during the execution by lethal injection in July, he had been baptized a Catholic not long before, according to a deacon who helped Joseph Wood prepare for death. Ed Sheffer,…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… A “Better Life Index” That Ignores What Makes For A Better Life

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s “Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic” column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly] in Crisis. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of…Continue Reading

Reconnecting With Mary… The Weeping Madonna Of Syracuse

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY This little-known event involves a small plaster figure of our Lady showing her Immaculate Heart, which wept tears on numerous occasions in the city of Syracuse (Siracusa), Italy, for four days from August 29 to September 1, 1953, attracting thousands of pilgrims. Although not an apparition as such, this seems to…Continue Reading

One Size Doesn’t Fit All… Common Core Opponent Wins Surprise Statewide Victory

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — Last winter a woman with a low public profile was turning up at local conservative meetings around here, hoping to stir some interest in her identity and her candidacy. Was the task hopeless, like trying to sell snow shovels in Phoenix? Her message? I’m Diane Douglas, I’m against Common Core,…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World . . . “And Who Is My Neighbor?” The Embryo And The ALS patient

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The prophet Jeremiah in chapter 20 bewails his isolation as a result of the scorn of nonbelievers: “The word of the Lord has brought me derision and reproach all the day.” He describes his temptation to throw in the towel as a prophet tasked by God with a message for mankind: “I say to myself,…Continue Reading

Priestly Celibacy: Unnatural? Or . . . Supernatural? Celibacy In The Teachings Of St. Paul

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 4 St. Paul was not one of the twelve, but he is known as “the Apostle,” certainly because of the richness of his apostolic zeal in teaching, possibly more than all the other apostles put together. He was educated in the faith by Jesus Himself, and after that intense training, he became as zealous…Continue Reading

The Implications Of Faith In One God

By DON FIER Over the past three weeks, we have reflected on but an infinitesimal fraction of all that the faithful affirm when they reverently and genuinely say the first four [or five] words contained in the Creeds of the Church: “I believe in [one] God.” In saying these words with heartfelt sincerity, one is acknowledging his belief in who…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I have recently read a book entitled Constantine’s Sword by James Carroll. I was taken aback by its premise and wonder about its veracity. Do you have an opinion on the book? — E.J.S., New Jersey. A. You have good reason to wonder about the veracity of Constantine’s Sword (and the movie based on the book) since its author,…Continue Reading

Magnify The Lord

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 55:6-9 Phil. 1:20c-24, 27a Matt. 20:1-16a In the first reading today, Isaiah cries out to all the people that they are to seek the Lord while He may be found. This becomes extremely important to us because Scripture speaks of the possibility of the Lord coming to…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes… Mother Teresa Of Calcutta

By CAROLE BRESLIN After returning from a visit to Mother Teresa of Calcutta and giving a retreat to her Missionaries of Charity there, Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, told a class of lay faithful, “Americans are living in a dream world.” He spoke of the thousands of people dying on the streets of Calcutta where Mother had begun her work…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Mary, The Mother Of God

By CAROLE BRESLIN I have a confession to make. It was not until I was nearly 40 years old that I learned about the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. While I understood the seasons of Advent, Lent, and Easter, I never paid much attention to the feasts and the time of the year they were celebrated. For example,…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