Thursday 18th September 2014

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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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Breaking . . . Cardinal Burke – Fr Z

Now that the cat is out of the bag, I’ll post this. I do not like the fact that Sandro Magister posted in this way, however.  I’ve been biting the inside of my mouth for a while now.  The optimist…Continue Reading

Catholic Education Honor Roll Announced

Today, The Cardinal Newman Society released the list of schools recognized by the Catholic Education Honor Roll as 2014 Schools of Excellence. Since 2004 the Honor Roll has celebrated quality Catholic education throughout the United States. Honor Roll schools receiving…Continue Reading

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

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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

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Catholic Cardinal McCarrick Embraces Islam

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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

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Notre Dame Caves

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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?’

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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

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Today . . .

Pope Tells Catholics To Go Forth With The Gospel Message

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Pope And Santa Marta: Closeness And Compassion

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(Vatican Radio) Beautiful homilies are useless if you are not close to the people, if you do not suffer with the people and do not give hope, they are vanity: This was Pope Francis’ reflection Tuesday morning during Mass in Santa Marta, the day on which the Church remembers the Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, bishop martyrs. The Gospel of…Continue Reading

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Violence Begets Violence

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Birth Statistics Show Collapse Of The Family

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

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

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

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

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The Implications Of Faith In One God

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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… St. Joseph Of Cupertino

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Catholic Heroes… Mother Teresa Of Calcutta

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What to Do If Your Boyfriend Wants You to Get an Abortion?

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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

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Fathers . . . The Essential Role of the Father

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How Much is One Billion Dollars?

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Planned Parenthood

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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