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August 29, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

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 recorded in the Gospels. Catholic belief in Mary’s Assumption, body and soul, into Heaven at the end of her life can be traced back at least to the sixth century, although it was not formally proclaimed by the Church until 1950.
This dogma is related to the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which says that Mary was free from original sin from the moment of her conception in the womb of her mother, St. Anne. Since the corruption of the body in the grave is a consequence of original sin, and the Blessed Virgin did not have original sin, she did not suffer the decay of the grave. It is not unreasonable to think that Jesus would want His Mother to share in His bodily glorification since it was her body that sheltered Him for nine months.
In the sixth century, St. Gregory of Tours wrote that the Lord Jesus came to earth at the end of His Mother’s life and commanded that her body “be taken in a cloud into Paradise, where now, rejoined to the soul, it rejoices with the Lord’s chosen ones, and is in the enjoyment of the good of an eternity that will never end.” In the 16th century, St. Robert Bellarmine explained the rationale for the Assumption in these words:
“And who, I ask, could believe that the ark of holiness, the dwelling place of the Word of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit, could be reduced to ruin? My soul is filled with horror at the thought that the virginal flesh which had begotten God, had brought Him into the world, had nourished and carried Him, could have been turned into ashes or given over to be food for worms.”

Q. Believe it or not, my wife and I had friends over yesterday who told us that Halal food — so common now in America — in fact is prayed over and “sacrificed to Allah,” and therefore must not be consumed by Christians. They tell us that they have had to return a certain cheese to the grocery store, telling the store manager that they discovered a tiny “Halal” label when they got home, and that they are Christians and cannot eat this cheese. The manager refunded their money. They also say that they generally will eat only pork when at a restaurant because so many restaurants have “meat sacrificed to idols” — see 1 Cor. 10:28 and Acts 15:29. At home, they have been consuming mostly meat from cows raised by friends. Can you comment on this? — J.G.B., Alabama.
A. All we know is that “Halal” is an Arabic word that refers to food that is permissible to eat under Islamic law. For meat to be certified “halal,” it cannot be a forbidden cut, such as meat from hindquarters, or meat such as pork. The slaughter of a halal animal, says the website www.thekitchn.com, must follow certain guidelines:
Allah’s name must be pronounced during slaughter.
The instrument must be very sharp to ensure humane slaughter. The animal must be slit at the throat.
The animal must not be unconscious.
The animal must be hung upside down and allowed to bleed dry. Eating blood is not halal.
These steps must be accomplished by a Muslim or the People of the Book (Christian or Jew). Many observant Muslims find kosher meat acceptable.
The animal must have been fed a natural diet that did not contain animal byproducts.

Q. My daughter is in the process of getting a divorce. Their grounds, if they needed any, are incompatibility. They have tried counseling, without success. Before my conversion, we were members of the Episcopal Church and my daughter was baptized and married in that church. Her soon-to-be ex-husband is Presbyterian.
My daughter has been friends with a young woman and her brother for some years. Lately, the relationship with the brother has developed into a romantic attraction (not an adulterous affair, however). I feel that there is a strong possibility that they may marry when my daughter is free to do so. This young man is devout Orthodox and has spoken to his priest regarding his feelings toward my daughter.
My daughter feels confident that her divorce would be acceptable to the Orthodox Church and that she may remarry in that church. My question is, if this divorce and remarriage is acceptable in our sister church, but perhaps not in the Catholic Church, should I attend the wedding? — Name and State Withheld.
A. The question you need to ask is whether divorce is acceptable to Jesus, and the answer of course is no. Speaking to a crowd one day, Jesus told them: “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and the one who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery” (Luke 16:18). On another occasion, when Jesus was asked if it were “lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatsoever,” He replied:
“Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate” (Matt. 19:4-6).
Twenty centuries later, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, following the command of Jesus, says that “divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery” (n. 2384).
The Catechism goes on to say that “divorce is immoral also because it introduces disorder into the family and into society. This disorder brings grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents and often torn between them, and because of its contagious effect which makes it truly a plague on society” (n. 2385).
So if you were to attend your divorced daughter’s attempted remarriage, you would be turning your back on Jesus and the Church He established to guide us in our moral decisions. You would also be approving the entry of your daughter into a permanent state of adultery, a grave sin that will separate her from God. If you decline to attend, on the other hand, you will no doubt hurt your daughter’s feelings, but what is more important — her feelings or the truth handed down to us by the Son of God? This is a very difficult situation for you, and we will pray that you have the courage to make the right decision.

Q. There is a parish in Texas where the priest’s dogs accompany him to the altar and stay throughout the Mass. This just seems like a great distraction away from the whole focus of the Mass, which is Our Eucharistic Lord. It would seem that people’s attention would be drawn to what the dogs are doing. Though the dogs may be gentle and endearing, there is a time and place for them and not at Mass because of the distraction they would naturally cause.
Does this seem like an egregious situation and a lack of respect toward the Holy Eucharist? — J.H., Arizona.
A. Unless the priest has seeing or hearing problems and needs the dogs to help him (shouldn’t one dog be enough if this is the case?), we can think of no good reason for having the animals in the sanctuary during Mass. We don’t remember reading about the presence of any dogs at the Last Supper.

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COMPLETE 3 PART Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Insights On The State Of The Church In The Aftermath Of The Ordinary Synod On The Family

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By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, recently traveled from Rome to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., a magnificent place of worship which he founded and dedicated. (His Eminence graciously granted an extensive interview to The Wanderer during which he…Continue Reading

Marco Rubio, David Daleiden; Chi-Town priest ‘outs’ himself

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Catholic Italy mobilises as conservatives mount last stand against same-sex unions

It has been 2,000 years since Romans gathered at the Circus Maximus to watch chariots roar around the racetrack, but a new battle was brought to the ancient site on Saturday . Clutching banners reading “We defend our children” and…Continue Reading

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TRUMP’S SPOKESWOMAN MUST APOLOGIZE

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NFL star who refused to meet Obama over abortion gives powerful talk at March for Life

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2016 March for Life heats up blizzard-stricken Washington (PHOTOS)

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SPECIAL REPORT: Planned Parenthood Offices Located Near Half of Catholic Colleges, Alarming Pro-Life Leaders

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81 percent of Americans support dramatically stronger pro-life reforms: Poll

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New initiative aims to make Catholic men ‘watchmen’

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Vatican Parishes Are Now Welcoming Refugees

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Planned Parenthood sues group that exposed its trafficking of babies’ body parts

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  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.

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A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

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Today . . .

INTERVIEW: Padre Pio In Rome: Saints as Living Icons of Divine Mercy

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The Pope: consecrated life must be close to the people

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Vatican City, 2 February 2016 (VIS) – The following are extensive extracts of the Holy Father’s extemporaneous address to the participants in the Jubilee of Consecrated Life, which took place yesterday in the Paul VI Hall. This afternoon in St. Peter’s Basilica he will celebrate the Mass to conclude the Year of Consecrated Life. “I have prepared a text for this occasion regarding the themes of consecrated life and three of its most important pillars:…Continue Reading

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Pope’s Address to Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith

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ZENIT ‘This attention to the works of mercy is important: they are not a devotion. It is the concreteness of how Christians must carry forward the spirit of mercy.’ Dear Brothers and Sisters, I meet with you at the end of the works of your plenary session. I greet you cordially and I thank the Cardinal Prefect for his courteous words. We are in the Holy Year of Mercy. I hope that in this Jubilee…Continue Reading

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Fire From Ice

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The Jurisprudence Of Benedict XVI Vs. That Of August Comte

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Federal Report: 40 Percent Qualify For Need-Tested Benefits

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. I know that in this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we are supposed to practice more fervently the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. Most of these are fairly easy to understand, but I wonder about the one that says we are to “admonish the sinner.” How can one do that without judging another person, which we’re not supposed to…Continue Reading

One Truth, One Lord, One God

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER First Sunday Of Lent (YR C) Readings: Deut. 26:4-10 Romans 10:8-13 Luke 4:1-13 In the Gospel reading today we hear about Satan tempting our Lord. In the third temptation the Devil offers all of the kingdoms of the Earth to Jesus if He would just bow down and worship the tempter. In response, our Lord quotes…Continue Reading

Pope’s Address To Roman Rota… Proclaim The Truth Of God’s Plan For Marriage

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A Leaven In The World… Rest In Peace, Fr. Mark Wayne Ervin

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An Apologetics Course . . . Summing Up And Answering Objections

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Catholic Heroes… Blessed Boleslava Maria Lament

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Catholic Heroes… St. Vincent Pallotti

By CAROLE BRESLIN Throughout the history of the Church, beginning with Christ Himself, disenfranchised youth have found a friend in the followers of the Lord. St. John Bosco and St. Philip Neri come to mind. There is another saint who also helped both young men and young women, St. Vincent Pallotti, a man born and raised in Rome during the…Continue Reading