Sunday 5th July 2015

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Catholic Replies

December 7, 2013 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Editor’s Note: A friend asked us for some thoughts on the campaign to remove Christ from Christmas by doing such things as changing the local school calendar to read “Winter Recess” instead of “Christmas Recess.” Perhaps the following comments might be helpful to those of our readers who are faced with a similar situation.
It is hard to believe that a country founded on Christian principles, that refers to God five times in the Declaration of Independence, would in recent years have succumbed to a campaign by a few individuals to remove the Founder of Christianity from the public square. It is hard to believe that fellow Americans would object to celebrating the birth of Christ on public property, or that three members of a school committee would revise the school calendar so that the “Christmas Recess” would become the “Winter Recess.”
Do children really get time off from school because of Old Man Winter? Or is their break a recognition of the birth of a rather famous Child 2,000 years ago? That Child’s birth has had a profound impact on the world, so much so that every time the anti-Christmas folks write a check, the date on the check is based on the birth of Jesus, not the birth of Old Man Winter. Our calendar recognizes many historical figures, but none of the stature of Christ. No other historical figure has his birthday celebrated throughout the world.
When you try to defend the traditional meaning of Christmas, you are accused of being divisive, but aren’t there many fundamental issues today about which people are divided? Aren’t we supposed to air our views about issues in public in an effort to persuade others to support our position? Isn’t that what a free exchange of ideas is all about? If it’s okay for the anti-Christmas folks to try to remove mention of Christ from the public square, why isn’t it okay for those who believe in Christmas to have their say?
But if you insist on calling the December vacation a “Christmas Recess,” you will be told that this is unfair to the tiny minority of people who don’t like to hear Christmas mentioned. But what about the vast majority of people who want Christmas celebrated? Don’t their views count? And why should the view of a tiny minority of Americans prevail over the vast majority? Is the word “Christmas” so offensive to their ears that they can’t stand to hear it mentioned? Or are they bothered because the first part of the word is “Christ”?
Our country has always respected and protected the views of the minority, but not at the expense of the majority. It’s not as if those who believe in Christmas are trying to force those who don’t believe into going to church on December 25, or buying gifts, or setting up a manger scene in their homes. We are simply saying, “If you don’t like Christmas, fine. Don’t acknowledge it or celebrate it. But leave those of us who love Christmas alone. Let us pay public honor to the Child for whom Christmas is named. Perhaps He who is also known as the ‘Prince of Peace’ will bring peace to our communities and neighborhoods and schools.”
Is it coincidental that since prayer and Bible reading were removed from public schools (at the behest of one atheist!) we have seen our schools transformed into war zones? Where students are not allowed to pray or hear about the moral values on which this country was built, but are subjected to the promotion of behavior that all civilized societies have condemned? Where children cannot take an aspirin without a note from parents, but they can be handed condoms or shipped off to an abortion facility without either the permission or even the knowledge of their parents?
The three people on the school committee who have imposed their anti-Christmas views on the whole town are no doubt sincere, but they are sincerely wrong. Contact these members…and tell them you want the time off around December 25 called the “Christmas Recess,” as it had been for generations. Jesus is the reason for the season, and to toss Him aside is not only wrong as public policy; it is also foolhardy for Christians to do so. They risk the judgment of the One who said, “Whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father” (Matt. 10:33).

Q. Our pastor will be leaving our parish after nearly 20 years of service in 2014. In the next few months, parishioners will convene with the Archdiocesan Placement Board, the Office for Human Resources, and a bishop to express our wishes/desires for what we hope for in a new pastor. I plan to attend and speak at this meeting and would like your comments on what the board, Human Resources, and bishop want to hear from parishioners that truly could impact their placement decision. Our church, like many other Catholic churches in the Chicago Archdiocese, is struggling financially, attendance is low, and many Catholics have left for other denominations. Your advice here would be greatly appreciated to revitalize our Church, beginning with new leadership. — D.P., Illinois.
A. While we don’t know the exact situation in your parish, the fact that your pastor has been there for nearly 20 years might explain why attendance is low (which affects the finances of the parish) and why many Catholics have left the parish. It is easy to get in a rut when one is in the same parish for two decades, when one gets in the habit of doing things “the way we have always done them,” and when one discourages new ideas and new volunteers. That’s why pastors should be moved, say, after two six-year terms.
Having said this, what you are looking for in a pastor is a holy and prayerful man whose primary role is the care of the souls entrusted to him because the parish exists, says Vatican II’s Decree on the Bishops’ Pastoral Office in the Church, “solely for the good of souls” (n. 31). Among other things, says the same document, pastors “should preach God’s word to all the Christian people,” bring the people “to a full knowledge of the mystery of salvation through a catechetical instruction which is adapted to each one’s age,” and arrange for “the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice to be the center and culmination of the whole life of the Christian community” so that “the faithful are nourished with spiritual food through the devout and frequent reception of the sacraments and through intelligent and active participation in the liturgy” (n. 30).
The document also says that pastors “should be mindful of how much the sacrament of Penance contributes to developing the Christian life and, therefore, should make themselves available to hear the confessions of the faithful,” that they should “take pains to know their own flock” by visiting “homes and schools to the extent that their pastoral work demands. They should pay special attention to adolescents and youth, devote themselves with a paternal love for the poor and the sick, and have a particular concern for workingmen. Finally, they should encourage the faithful to assist in the works of the apostolate” (ibid.).
These would be the points to make when you attend the meeting with archdiocesan officials. Then you and your fellow parishioners should pray fervently that they will send you a pastor who has all of these qualities and, once that pastor is in place, you should offer him your prayers and support so that he may be able to accomplish all these goals.

Q. It is reported that St. Jerome appeared after his death and said that out of 10,000 people who had died that day, he was the only one to get to Heaven. A recent Gospel quoted our Lord as saying that only a “few” get to Heaven on the narrow road, while the road to Hell is wide. What is the Church’s thinking on the proportion of people who will reach Heaven? — R.B.K., Virginia.
A. The quotation you are referring to comes from chapter 13 of Luke where Jesus, responding to the question, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?,” answered, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.” The Lord will say to those who stand outside knocking, “I do not know where you are from….Depart from me, all you evildoers!” (See also Matt. 7:13-14.)
The Church has never attempted to quantify how many of the “few” will get to Heaven, or how many of the “many” will wind up in Hell. We will have to wait until Judgment Day to find out, but in the meantime let’s make sure that we are among the “few.”
As for the statement attributed to St. Jerome, we don’t know whether it’s true or not. But if it is true, many of the 10,000 who died that day may have gone to Purgatory, which means they will eventually get to Heaven.

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Untitled 3

Pope FrancisAn Open Letter To His Holiness Pope Francis      Given the controversy and confusion surrounding the 2014 Synod on the Family, the staff of The Wanderer and its supporters thought it appropriate to address Pope Francis with an open letter . . .

Listen to the Pope, Iowa Catholic Leaders Tell GOP

Catholic leaders call on GOP hopefuls to heed pope’s teachings on climate, economics By THOMAS BEAUMONT and RACHEL ZOLL, Associated Press ANKENY, Iowa (AP) — Roman Catholic leaders in the early voting state of Iowa implored candidates for president Thursday…Continue Reading

Supreme Court upholds ObamaCare subsidies

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld ObamaCare subsidies nationwide, in the second major court victory for President Obama on his signature health care law. In a 6-3 decision, the court ruled that subsidies are valid even in states that did…Continue Reading

Synod on the Family’s working document sets the stage for spirited discussion

Vatican City, Jun 24, 2015 / 12:00 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- That the discussion at October’s Synod on the Family is going to be a lively one is indicated by the fact that the most controversial paragraphs of the final report…Continue Reading

Abortion Drone Will Fly Dangerous Abortion Pills to Poland to Violate Its Pro-Life Laws

drone

The pro-abortion organization that formerly ran the abortion boat that distributed the dangerous abortion pill in international waters outside pro-life nations that protect unborn children has come up with a new marketing scheme to push abortion in pro-life nations: drones.…Continue Reading

St. Louis’ Catholic Archbishop Carlson discusses same-sex marriage, clergy sex abuse, racism, more

At their annual spring meeting held in St. Louis last week, U.S Catholic bishops discussed several issues currently facing the Catholic Church, including: the clergy sex abuse scandal, what the Church sees as challenges to marriage, and the pope’s upcoming…Continue Reading

Nienstedt resigns; New Jersey bishop named interim head of Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Archbishop John Nienstedt has resigned in the wake of criminal charges against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for its “role in failing to protect children and contribution to the unspeakable harm” experienced by victims in priest sex-abuse cases. Nienstedt says…Continue Reading

Priests needed: As Church growth explodes worldwide, parishes can’t keep up

Washington D.C., Jun 12, 2015 / 05:11 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The global Catholic population is growing – so quickly, in fact, that priest and parish numbers cannot keep up, says a new study on trends in the worldwide Church. And…Continue Reading

Cardinal Kasper hints at new ‘Vatican II’ strategy to gain approval of Communion proposal

June 11, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – In the face of increasing opposition to his plan to approve giving Holy Communion to people who are in adulterous remarriages, Cardinal Walter Kasper is hinting at a new “Vatican II” strategy for accomplishing his…Continue Reading

No Law Can Be Based on Injustice

In 2010, the United States Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was designed by President Obama and Congressional leaders to expand access to affordable and comprehensive health insurance coverage in the United States. After the law…Continue Reading

Cardinal: Divorced and remarried Catholics need support for conversion, not changes on communion

Catholics who have divorced and remarried need help for the “difficult climb” of conversion and spiritual growth, not a change in Church practice on the reception of Holy Communion, a prominent cardinal said. Cardinal Ennio Antonelli summarized the advice of…Continue Reading

Obama: Without Catholic Nun We Would Not Have Gotten Obamacare Done

(CNSNews.com) – While addressing the Catholic Health Association Conference in Washington, D.C., yesterday, President Barack Obama said that the Affordable Care Act—AKA Obamacare—would not have been enacted had it not been for Sister Carol Keehan, the president of the Catholic…Continue Reading

Cardinal Kasper Backpedals on Papal Endorsement of Controversial Proposal

Almost single-handedly one cleric has turned the Church’s teaching on Communion, marriage and divorce into an international debate. For decades, German Cardinal Walter Kasper has promoted a proposal to allow divorced-and-civilly-remarried Catholics to receive holy Communion after a period of…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 su
bscribe 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

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

Today . . .

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI receives honorary doctorates

(Vatican Radio) Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI received Doctorates honoris causa on Saturday from the Pontifical John Paul II University of Krakow and the Krakow Academy of Music. The motivation for the honors issued by the University’s Academic Senate specifies five contributions Pope Benedict has made to knowledge and culture: his great respect for the musical tradition of the Church and remarkable sensitivity to the music of faith; the life-long and constant demonstration of a special concern for…Continue Reading

Univ. of San Francisco Celebrates SCOTUS Marriage Ruling, Despite Catholic Mission

usan

July 2, 2015, at 11:22 AM  |  By Justin Petrisek  | While the U.S. bishops responded to last week’s marriage ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court by upholding the teachings of the Catholic Church, one Jesuit university chose to publicly celebrate the decision in direct conflict with its Catholic identity and mission. Over the weekend, the University of San Francisco (USF), a Jesuit Catholic university, used its Twitter and Facebook accounts to celebrate the San Francisco…Continue Reading

‘No Global’ author at Vatican event on climate and poverty reduction

(Vatican Radio) A Catholic climate scientist and a secular Jewish feminist formed an “unlikely alliance” in the Vatican press office on Wednesday to present a two day conference entitled ‘People and Planet First: the Imperative to Change Course’. The conference, which will take place at the Pontifical Augustinianum University in Rome, includes some 200 political, religious and civil society leaders from all continents who’ll be discussing Pope Francis’ new encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ in light of…Continue Reading

Cardinal Turkson on Laudato si’ and children

pope798

(Vatican Radio) Cardinal Peter Turkson, the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, on Tuesday addressed UNICEF House at the United Nations in New York. He spoke about the new Encyclical of Pope Francis, Laudato si’, and how it relates to children.   The full text of Cardinal Turkson’s remarks are blow   Remarks on Laudato si’ to Child-Focused Agencies UNICEF House, 30 June 2015 Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson, President, Pontifical Council for…Continue Reading

The Popes, Marian Devotion, And The New Evangelization

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Part 3 This is the third article in a series which looks at Marian devotion, and the New Evangelization, in the light of the teaching of recent Popes. It is noteworthy, that even before St. John Paul II became Pope in 1978, he had adopted the Latin phrase “Totus Tuus” as…Continue Reading

Although Their Adversaries Seem Strong . . . Law-School Interns Are Reminded That Even Old USSR Collapsed

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — Almost ready to start applying their new knowledge to battle moral challenges around the globe, law-school students at a dinner here were reminded that the Soviet Union once was regarded as an invincible adversary, but it finally collapsed in relatively short order. The Christian law students from 11 countries, interns…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “The ‘Gay’ Case Against Abortion”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For electronic copies of previous articles on homosexual “marriage,” the special rights agenda, and the role of homosexuality in the Church crisis, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + “Feminists and political liberals have argued…Continue Reading

Protecting Hatred Preserves Freedom

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO The tragedy of a mass murder in Charleston, S.C., obviously motivated by racial hatred, has raised anew the issue of the lawfulness of the state expressing an opinion by flying a Confederate flag at the statehouse, and the constitutionality of the use of the First Amendment to protect hate speech and…Continue Reading

NATO-Russia Collision Ahead?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN “U.S. Poised to Put Heavy Weaponry in East Europe: A Message to Russia,” ran the headline in The New York Times. “In a significant move to deter possible Russian aggression in Europe, the Pentagon is poised to store battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, and other heavy weapons for as many as…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Four Marks Of The Church — Holiness

By DON FIER Part 2 The second of four distinguishing marks or properties of the one true Church, as we saw last week, is that she is “unfailingly holy” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 823). Despite being composed of sinners, “the Church is holy because she was founded by Jesus Christ, who is all-holy, and because she teaches, according…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

  Editor’s Note: D.M. has e-mailed to us the following thoughtful comments: “In a recent reply regarding the bishops and our borders, you noted that our immigration system is ‘badly broken.’ To me that was a bit like hearing the proverbial fingernails on a blackboard. It seems to me that those who seek to dominate all of us use the refrain,…Continue Reading

Chosen By God

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fifteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Amos 7:12-15 Eph. 1:3-14 Mark 6:7-13 In the first reading, Amaziah, the priest of Bethel (the place of the original Temple of the Lord), chastises the Prophet Amos for preaching against the goings on in the House of God. The priest tells the prophet to go and make…Continue Reading

National Mass Recalls Anniversary of St. Columbanus… “Why Are You So Frightened, You Men Of Little Faith?”

ARMAGH, Northern Ireland (ZENIT) — A national Mass of Thanksgiving to mark the 14th centenary of St. Columbanus was held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh on Sunday, June 21. Opening remarks were given by Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, and the homily was given by Fr. Neil Collins. Following are the texts of both, provided by ZENIT News Agency.…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course… Refuting Objections To The Spiritual Soul’s Existence

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 8 The reader will have noticed the progression of thinking in this new series of articles in The Wanderer: Instead of dealing with various topics rather randomly, the section consists of a series of articles in the format of lessons within a course. So, the first topic was the most basic one, that is,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Josemaria Escriva

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 2 With the outbreak of civil war in Spain and the attack on the Catholic Church, many priests and religious were martyred. The existing government changed the constitution to legalize persecution of the Church by closing Catholic schools, ceasing reparation payments, and suppressing religious discussion. Among other things, this helped lead to the secularization of society…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Josemaria Escriva

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 1 God, in His loving Providence and perfect timing, gives the Church holy men and women to guide the Mystical Body of Christ. During the chaos of the Protestant revolt, he provided St. Ignatius and St. Teresa of Avila. At the beginning of the 20th century, as the lay faithful were being called to participate in…Continue Reading