Saturday 4th July 2015

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Catholic Replies

December 28, 2013 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. What do I look for in a Bible for a Catholic boy who will be making his Confirmation in the spring? What Catholic Bible should I purchase? — E.C., via e-mail.
A. We would recommend The Catholic Teen Bible, which is published by the St. Jerome Press. It retails for $9.95 and is available from www.saintjeromepress.com or by calling 800-845-2648. In addition to the Bible content, the book also features short articles about many teachings of the Catholic faith. We would also recommend the Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church, popularly known as Youcat, which features an easy question-and-answer format. It retails for $19.95 and is available from www.ignatius.com or by calling 800-651-1531. If you have a local Catholic bookstore, visit there first.

Q. I have read your book about Jesus (“Who Do You Say That I Am?”) and wondered what you think about Bill O’Reilly’s book Killing Jesus: A History. — T.L.H., Massachusetts.
A. Actually, we thought it was quite good as a historical account of the life and death of Jesus, and we have decided to offer a lengthy review of the book in case some of our readers might consider giving copies to people who ordinarily would not read a religious book, but might read one on the best-seller lists that is not overtly religious. Killing Jesus really does make a strong case for what we believe about the God-man.
Although both O’Reilly and his co-author, Martin Dugard, are Catholics, they made it clear that their intention was not to write a religious book, but rather “an accurate account of not only how Jesus died, but also the way he lived and how his message has affected the world.” They summarized His impact on the world on page one:
“To say that Jesus of Nazareth was the most influential man who ever lived is almost trite. Nearly two thousand years after he was brutally executed by Roman soldiers, more than 2.2 billion human beings attempt to follow his teachings and believe he is God. That includes 77 percent of the U.S. population, according to a Gallup Poll. The teachings of Jesus have shaped the entire world and continue to do so.”
Relying on the four Gospels (about which they say “there is growing acceptance of their overall historicity and authenticity”), as well as books on Roman history, the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus, and visits to the places where Jesus lived and taught, the authors were mostly successful in accurately presenting the life of Christ. They also provided the context for His life by giving a brief history of some Roman emperors, including the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. and the reign of Caesar Augustus, who ordered the census that caused Jesus to be born in Bethlehem instead of Nazareth. The text was enhanced by the inclusion of many maps and illustrations.
Of interest, too, were the biographical sketches of key figures at the time of Jesus, including Herod the Great, his son Herod Antipas, the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate, and Caiaphas and Annas, the two high priests who instigated and directed the plot to kill Christ. Even those who know how the story ends will be able to feel the tension building as the plot unfolds and the authors say, “Jesus of Nazareth has six days to live.”
O’Reilly and Dugard tried to stay away from a religious life of Christ by the way they phrased things, but at the same time they offered evidence that Jesus was more than just a man. For example, in discussing the 12-year-old Jesus’ exchange with the rabbis in the Temple, the authors wrote, “Meanwhile, the Son of God, as Jesus will refer to himself for the first time this very day, listens with rapt fascination as a group of Jewish scholars shares insights about their common faith.”
Later, as Jesus was preparing to enter Jerusalem on a donkey on what we now call Palm Sunday, O’Reilly and Dugard said that “Jesus has led a life that is a continual fulfillment of Jewish prophecy,” and they proceeded to list a dozen prophecies from the Old Testament that were fulfilled only by Jesus. They also gave some credence to Jesus’ miracles by saying that “stories of Jesus turning water into wine and making the lame walk and the blind see have so electrified the region that it is now commonplace for almost anyone with an ailment to seek him out.”
They came close to endorsing miracles directly by writing, “Witnesses say he is performing miracles once again. In one startling account out of the town of Bethany, a man named Lazarus came back from the dead. And Lazarus was not recently deceased. He was four days dead and already laid in the tomb when Jesus is said to have healed him before a great crowd. Lazarus’s body already reeked of decomposition when Jesus ordered that the stone covering the tomb entrance be rolled away. This was not just an act of healing but a display of powers far beyond those of a normal human being.”
That last sentence could have been written by Archbishop Fulton Sheen in his book-length Life of Christ.
On page 259, O’Reilly and Dugard reported on Mary Magdalene’s arrival at the tomb on Easter morning only to find the tomb empty. “To this day,” they wrote, “the body of Jesus of Nazareth has never been found.” We turned the page expecting that the book had ended. But instead, we found the authors noting that “Scripture puts forth that Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. After his body was found missing, the Gospels state that Jesus appeared twelve times on earth over a forty-day period. These apparitions range from a single individual to groups of more than five hundred on a mountain in Galilee. Some in that large crowd would speak vividly of the event for years to come. A quarter-century later, the disciple Paul included the mountain appearance in a letter to the Corinthians.”
O’Reilly and Dugard said that Jesus “would go down in history not just as Jesus or Jesus of Nazareth, but as Jesus the Christ, the Messiah.” They went on to describe His influential role in history down to the present time, noting that this role had been cited approvingly by George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, and Ronald Reagan.
The authors finished the book by summarizing the fate of the apostles, as well as that of Pilate, Caiaphas, and Herod Antipas, and they chronicled the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in AD 70, just as Jesus had predicted forty years earlier. “It is interesting to note,” they said, “that in many parables, Jesus of Nazareth predicted harsh things for the city of Jerusalem. There is no question those things came true.”
About the only thing in the book that we would take issue with was the statement that the Virgin Mary “was pregnant out of wedlock.” This of course is not true, as we have mentioned many times in the past, but it is the conventional wisdom. Perhaps in future editions of the book, which has sold well over a million copies in a short time, O’Reilly and Dugard will take note of the fact that “betrothal” in the Jewish tradition meant that a couple was married. They might also pay closer attention to Matt. 1:19, where it says that Joseph, on learning that Mary was with child, “decided to divorce her quietly,” something he could hardly do unless they were married.
The authors also gave the correct interpretation of the Gospel references to the “brothers and sisters” of Jesus by saying that “the Catholic Church believes that Mary remained a virgin throughout her entire life” and that “the Church considers the siblings mentioned in the Gospels to be Jesus’ cousins,” although the authors added that other “Christian sects” disagree with this interpretation. They further noted that Pope Pius XII in 1950 issued an infallible pronouncement that the final moments of the Virgin Mary’s life “were not marred by the grave,” which is another way of saying that she was taken up to Heaven body and soul, a dogma that Catholics refer to as her Assumption.
We would also suggest that the authors quote more of Jesus’ sayings on the cross. They only quoted our Lord twice (“I thirst” and “It is finished”). We would have thought that they might have at least mentioned His astonishing statement about His brutal tormenters: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” Or His fascinating colloquy with the Good Thief, who asked to be remembered “when you come into your kingdom” and heard the consoling words, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
This dramatic scene of repentance and forgiveness ought to have been included.
(Editor’s Note: James Likoudis is also reviewing this book for The Wanderer.)

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 . . .

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

U.S. decision to legalize same-sex “marriages” godless, sinful – Russian Church

Moscow, June 29, Interfax – The Russian Orthodox Church has appealed to all Russian advocates of the American model of governance, asking them to think twice about the consequences of the United States’ decision to legalize same-sex “marriages”. “The people who are into ‘democracy the American way’ and trying to reconcile it with traditional values need to think hard after this decision,” the head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations Archpriest Vsevolod…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

The Myth Of Autonomy

By DONALD DeMARCO I Never Sang for My Father, a 1970 film based on Robert Anderson’s play by the same name, features a father who identifies himself as a “self-made man” who struggled hard for everything he achieved. Toward the end of the play, the father, now elderly and incapacitated, offers a desperate declaration of…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

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

The Four Marks Of The Church — Holiness

By DON FIER For the past two weeks, we have been unpacking the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) on the first of her four marks, that she is one. Our Lord left no room for uncertainty when He said, “There shall be one flock, one shepherd” (John 10:16), nor did St. Paul when he proclaimed that…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