Saturday 20th April 2024

Recent Articles:

Tucho Fernandez Strikes Again

April 13, 2024 Frontpage Comments Off on Tucho Fernandez Strikes Again


“Every human person possesses an infinite dignity, inalienably grounded in his or her very being, which prevails in and beyond every circumstance, state, or situation the person may ever encounter” — Declaration of Human Dignity, Vatican Dicastery For the Doctrine of the Faith, April 8, 2024.

“By sin, man loses a twofold dignity, one in respect of God, the other in respect of the Church. In respect of God, he again loses a twofold dignity. one is his principal dignity, whereby he was counted among the children of God, and this he recovers by Penance, which is signified (Luke 15) in the prodigal son, for when he repented, his father commanded that the first garment should be restored to him, together with a ring and shoes. The other is his secondary dignity, viz. innocence, of which, as we read in the same chapter, the elder son boasted saying (Luke 15:29): “Behold, for so many years do I serve thee, and I have never transgressed thy commandments”: and this dignity the penitent cannot recover” (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica II, Q.89, A3).

In his introduction to Fiducia Supplicans, the document released last December by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, Tucho Cardinal Fernandez wrote that, “Since ‘the Roman Curia is primarily an instrument at the service of the Successor of Peter,’ our work must foster, along with an understanding of the Church’s perennial doctrine, the reception of the Holy Father’s teaching.”

Phil Lawler reports that last Monday, in his presentation of the new Declaration of Human Dignity, “Fernández read from the Code of Canon Law (n. 751), noting that the faithful are obliged to give ‘religious submission of the intellect and the will’ to statements of the Magisterium.”

Tucho is intent on proclaiming that every word that comes from his Dicastery is magisterial.

So, while the Declaration pretends to develop the “ontological” character of “dignity,” its core mission is to suspend Aristotle’s Law of Non-Contradiction. Only God’s dignity is infinite, but actually, so is ours — Everyman’s dignity is infinite.

Admittedly the logic is a bit sketchy, and the phrasing a bit awkward, but the message comes through nonetheless: We must give “religious submission of the intellect and will” to magisterial “truths” that clearly contradict one another.

Tucho’s statement last Monday sheds more light on an issue that arose some six years ago, when Pope Francis addressed “dignity” in a different context. “The death penalty is “inadmissible, because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person,” he wrote in 2018.

To be sure, Francis was contradicting two millennia of the Church’s Magisterial teaching, but he didn’t seem to mind. And the Dicastery’s statement last Monday can now be used as proof that “infinite dignity” can now trump that teaching.

And given Tucho’s invocation of Canon Law on Monday, the condemnation of the death penalty is now on the same magisterial level as the Incarnation.

The Truth’s Long, Hard Slog

For the past century and more, the Magisterium has had a tough ride. When we look at Rerum Novarum (Leo XIII, 1891), and its introduction of “Social Justice” (undefined) into the “magisterial” realm, that vague assertion, plus the equally vague and new meaning of “magisterial,” had a powerful impact on what became the Church’s “Social Teaching.”

“In 1931,” writes Thomas Patrick Burke, “Pope Pius XI used the term ‘social justice’ in his encyclical Quadragesimo Anno, giving it official recognition throughout the Roman Catholic Church. ‘The right ordering of economic life cannot be left to a free competition of forces. For from this source, as from a poisoned spring, have originated and spread all the errors of individualist economic teaching’.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt didn’t lose any time in wrapping himself in the authority of the Catholic Church. In 1936, he quoted this encyclical in a speech before a large crowd in Detroit. “It is a declaration from one of the greatest forces of conservatism in the world, the Catholic Church,” he said, and it is “just as radical as I am…one of the greatest documents of modern times.”

He quoted from the Encyclical at length:

“It is patent in our days that not alone is wealth accumulated, but immense power and despotic economic domination are concentrated in the hands of a few, and that those few are frequently not the owners but only the trustees and directors of invested funds which they administer at their good pleasure….

“This accumulation of power, the characteristic note of the modern economic order, is a natural result of limitless free competition, which permits the survival of those only who are the strongest, which often means those who fight most relentlessly, who pay least heed to the dictates of conscience.

“This concentration of power has led to a threefold struggle for domination: First, there is the struggle for dictatorship in the economic sphere itself; then the fierce battle to acquire control of the Government, so that its resources and authority may be abused in the economic struggle, and, finally, the clash between the Governments themselves.”

Counseled and cheered by Msgr. John A. Ryan, author of the 1919 pastoral letter of the National Catholic Welfare Conference and its chief spokesman in the 1930s, Roosevelt and the American Democrat left have invoked “social justice” to mean whatever they want it to mean.

That vague (and often vapid) use of “Social Justice” — and its claim of Magisterial authority for whatever political opinion it is used to defend or assert — has caused untold confusion and real damage ever since. Popes since 1849 have condemned socialism on grounds of fundamental principle — but since Rerum Novarum, the “Catholic” Left has opposed that absolute and objective denunciation by countering it with “Social Justice.”

Filling The Vacuum Left By Ignoring Humanae Vitae

Today, that approach has rendered the truths of Magisterium optional: Hundreds of prominent theologians repudiated Humanae Vitae within weeks of its promulgation in 1968, and two generations of priests and bishops have ignored it ever since.

Meanwhile, the political opinions of the Left are now “magisterial” — from “Liberation Theology” to the thousands upon thousands of “pastorals,” “letters to Congress,” and other episcopal missives masquerading as the teaching of “The Church.”

Many Catholics welcomed the Dicastery’s document last Monday because it reaffirmed the evils of “gender ideology.”

Instead of the document’s endless word salad, why not make it brief and clear? Humanae Vitae is the Magisterial statement articulating all of the principles that render gender ideology a false gospel. Why not just state the obvious?

But that would not serve their purpose. With this new document, they can point to our “support” of the statement’s confirming the evils of gender ideology (as far as it goes) to justify their elevation of every other false assertion they’ve made over the years to the same “magisterial” level.

And we should not forget that in the time of Leo XIII, “Christian Socialism” was a new thing that captivated Catholic intellectuals both cleric and lay.

95 percent of the world’s population was living in abject poverty in that era. Today, that figure is no more than 10 percent, and most of those still suffering are living under socialism.

Pope Leo XIII would be astounded at the abundance that the free market has allowed the world to achieve since the nineteenth century. Today’s “Social Justice Warriors” know it. But they have to keep beating the same tiresome tune because they have nothing else to fill in the vast abyss they have created by turning their back on the Church’s moral teaching in Humanae Vitae, Casti Connubii, and two thousand years of the Church’s teaching on sex, marriage, and children.

It’s that teaching that is truly magisterial.

The Glory Of The Resurrection

March 30, 2024 Frontpage Comments Off on The Glory Of The Resurrection


The natural lifespan of Christ’s existence on Earth extends from the Nativity to His death on the Cross. His birth was foretold by the prophets and was expected. The Magi followed a star, confident that they would find the newborn King. Their expectation was fully realized. Birth is

well known and easy for anyone to grasp. But the Resurrection, which followed Christ’s death, is something else. There is a finality about death. For Christ to rise from the grave is neither something that could be expected nor is it something that is well known.

In the dawn of Easter Sunday morning, several women approached the tomb where the Body of Christ had been laid. They brought spices with them with the intent of anointing the dead body. The thought of a Resurrection was furthest from their minds. As Bishop Fulton J. Sheen has commented in his Life of Christ, “The only thought the women had was to anoint the body of the dead Christ — an act that was born of despairing and as yet unbelieving love.”

Their love, however, was rewarded and their faith restored. When they reached the tomb, they found that the huge stone that was placed against it had been removed. They did not find the Body of their Master, as the Magi found the newborn babe, but encountered an angel whose countenance was “as lightning and his raiment as snow.” The angel said to the women, “No need to be dismayed; you have come to look for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified; He has risen again; He is not here” (Mark 12:6-8).

Easter, then, transcends Christmas because it transcends human comprehension. And yet, as St. Paul has remarked, “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified

about God that He raised Christ from the dead” (1 Cor. 15). Good Friday without Easter Sunday would have been the premature death of Christianity. Ironically, if there had been no Easter, Christmas would never have been celebrated.

The Catholic Church celebrates the Nativity as a Joyful Mystery, but identifies Easter as one that is Glorious. Christmas invites us to be born again. Easter tells us that even if we should die, we shall live again: “I am the Resurrection and the Life, He who believes in Me even if he should die, shall live” (John 11:25-26). Being born again is but a prelude to life after death. It opens the door to eternal life. Life on Earth is but an apprenticeship to an afterlife that has no end. But it is an apprenticeship that exacts a quantum of suffering. As Bishop Sheen has stated, “Unless there is a Good Friday, there can be no Easter Sunday.”

The reality of the Resurrection was difficult for the Apostles to accept. Christ had said to them, “O foolish ones and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things before entering into His glory?” (John 24:25-26). Doubting

Thomas exemplified this slowness to believe until he placed his finger into the wound in Christ’s side before he could believe? (John 20:25).​

Easter tests the fullness of our faith. For many, Christ is merely an exceptionally good human being who said many wise things. The nonbeliever can accept this. But the true Christian must accept more. Easter teaches us that Christ rose from the dead and lives forever at the right hand of the Father and will come again in Glory. It also teaches us that in being united with Christ, we, too, shall live forever.

Unlike the Nativity (or even His Crucifixion and death), the Resurrection is an utterly new kind of event. At the same time, it is an event that is continually renewed in people of faith.

Pope Benedict XVI, in his book, Jesus of Nazareth, remarks that Christ “continues to knock gently at the doors of our hearts and slowly opens our eyes if we open our doors to Him.” The Resurrection attests to the fact that Christ is continually available to us. “Do not abandon

yourselves to despair,” St. John Paul II has advised: “We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” We might also say that Easter transforms the inevitability of death into the invincibility of life.

An insightful humorist once quipped that Easter is the only time that you can put all your eggs into one basket. His remark is well taken. In this instance, the basket symbolizes hope as a unifying principle, and the eggs as containing our better selves who will emerge when the shells

are cracked open.

Easter does not require a diversified portfolio. It is all about hope.

Easter is the most important feast day on the religious calendar because it represents a culmination. Yet, though it is the culmination of the life of Christ, it is also a beginning for all His followers. According to St. Paul, “death is swallowed up in victory” for those who trust in

Christ’s death and Resurrection. And, the First Epistle of St. Peter declares that God has given believers “a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

Finally, in the words of Pope Benedict XVI,            “The darkness of the previous days is driven away the moment Jesus rises from the grave and Himself becomes God’s pure light.”

(Dr. Donald DeMarco is the author of 42 books and a former corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy of Life. He and his wife, Mary, have 5 children and 13 grandchildren.)

A Leaven In The World … To Live, Die Daily

March 24, 2024 Frontpage Comments Off on A Leaven In The World … To Live, Die Daily


We are in the midst of Passiontide as I write. The Church continues her focus on her Lord and Divine Master while the world spins. The Cross remains ever our constant beacon and source of hope. Lent reaches its spiritual zenith with Holy Week and the Passion, death, and Resurrection of the Lord. This is the holiest moment in the entire liturgical year because it leads to the greatest victory.

For the living death is always present. We bury parents and siblings. For priests funerals are a constant of parish ministry. Some people find death unpleasant because they are young and think it takes away from the carefree nature that they think life should have if it is to be joyful. Some flee from death through the madness and self-destructive nature of mid-life crisis. Some do not care that they are going to die because they don’t believe. This last is the most dangerous.

It is not the deadening of the senses and the conscience through sin that is mankind’s greatest threat. Those who believe tragically sometimes fall and can, through the mercy of Christ, get back up again. The believer is ever called to repent.  It is, rather those who with Satan reject Him, brandishing the rebellious cry of Non serviam, who are truly in danger of eternal damnation.

An immature inability to face the certainty of one’s own death can be outgrown. The damaged marriages, families, and lives resulting from adultery and divorce can result in conversion with enough prayer, grace, and cooperation. The quieting of the intellect and conscience through drug, sex, and alcohol abuse can be overcome with much humility and help. But the steadfast refusal to put faith and trust in God as Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier is that thing on Earth most like the “mountain” about which the Lord preached, and which requires a superhuman miracle to be moved into the sea.

The world seems more like it is dying than alive. Wars, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, sexual abuse, and transgender mutilation; so many crimes and sins cry out to Heaven for vengeance. So many human hearts call out ceaselessly to God for relief with need for justice, mercy, and love. How to understand all this? How to coexist with it or to find sense in the midst of senselessness and seeming chaos is a dilemma that so many with a conscience face daily.

For those of us who through a life of Catholic Faith have learned to love the Church, we suffer when we see her so sullied and attacked by prelates who are corrupt and corrupting others. We see hypocritical power mongers who say whatever they need to achieve whatever agenda makes them feel more powerful, while violating their own stated ethical and moral stands. The ends justify the means for these scandalous frauds. Some are falling into cynicism as a result of the constant exposure to criminality in the highest offices of the Church.

The need for serenity, despite the madness we encounter in the world, and the perennial ability to do what we call “processing,” amid the events and crises over which we have little or no control is what all of us are seeking.

Those who share our Faith know that it is not a simplistic and unthinking response to aver that the Lord is the answer. And, if the Lord is to be the perennial answer to our problems, questions, and needs, then never is He more so than in the hour of His greatest sacrifice, in which His Lordship was fulfilled as He died on the cross so that, in the flesh He shares with us He could rise from the dead.

All of this means that, for each of us, meditating on the eventuality of our own death is perhaps the most powerful help to living already the joy of the risen glory we can have only in Him. If it is only by dying that we can rise to eternal life, then dying like Christ, in His grace by means of which only can we be holy, is our goal.

How do we daily practice the art of dying to self so that the secret joy of already living the grace of the risen One can be our greatest treasure and firm foundation of hope? One way we describe it is mortification. By this we don’t mean embarrassment, the injuring of pride, so that someone recounting such says, “I was mortified.” No, true mortification, in its original root from the Latin, mortality, means death. It is the opposite of that pride which is at the root of the embarrassed reaction to the simple revelation of human weakness and fallibility true of every human person.

The idea or habit of mortification is rooted in the fact that we all will die. And by accounting for it and contemplating it through the means afforded by faith, we can arrive at the necessary honesty consonant with loving ourselves. It turns out, then, that “mortification” is the voluntary and virtuous habit of humbling ourselves with the knowledge that we share in the final earthly end of all flesh. And that we must live out in our words, actions, and choices the truth that greeted us with the imposition of ashes once again on Ash Wednesday: Memento homo, quia pulvis es. We originated in dust and will one day return to that source of humus, the earth, from which we came.

The concept of the mortification of the flesh is rooted in Scripture. Romans 8:13 reads, “For if you live according to the flesh you shall die; but if by the Spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live.”

The One who called us forth from that dust of earth is the One who desires to call us also forth from the tomb where mortal flesh is enclosed. The grave is not an end but a sign of hope for those who believe. We walk through the via Dolorosa, accompanying our Lord now, with the sure and certain hope that, as we are faithful in loving and clinging to Him unto the end, He will accompany and bring us to life eternal in Him.

The practice of mortification is not undertaken for its own sake. We do not contemplate our own death and burial in order to enter into a saddened or despondent state. We do so rather to arrive at a truly humble attitude of mind and heart, ready to more eagerly obey Him whom we love and serve now so as to be united with Him forever.

How do we die to ourselves? There are as many ways as there are people. All of us are called to growth as individual as our weaknesses. Overcoming bad habits that mitigate against growth in virtue. Learning to be silent and listen when that is best for us. Putting first faithfulness to the duties of our state in life before socializing, killing time by surfing social networks, and other forms of entertainment. Exercising appropriate control over our curiosity. Praying first and daily, and before making decisions. Minding our own business. Not using the fodder of other people’s family lives as a distraction from the proper concern for our own. Changing our concept of the priest, not as one whom we seek out to give us an excuse for doing less for Christ but, rather, one to whom we should look for suggestions as to what more we can do more to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Readily witnessing for the Lord in all circumstances as a light, rather than hiding our faith under a bushel basket out of fear of human respect.

To more fully draw on the serenity and security of life forever with Him one day, we must more readily die to ourselves daily.

Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.

Interview With John Yep… Five Thousand Catholics Rally To Pray The Rosary

March 15, 2024 Frontpage Comments Off on Interview With John Yep… Five Thousand Catholics Rally To Pray The Rosary


Next Tuesday, March 19, on the Feast of St. Joseph, Catholics for Catholics (CforC) will hold a “prayer rally” in Mar a Lago, Fla. Yes, that’s Donald Trump’s home, and those gathered will be praying for Donald Trump and for the country.

In the spirit of Fr. Patrick Peyton, CforC founder John Yep of Phoenix has led prayer rallies in various U.S. cities since he founded the organization less than two

years ago. The group really hit its stride when, after the blasphemous sodomites of the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” were honored (not a misprint) by the Los

Angeles Dodgers, he put together a coalition to demonstrate outside the stadium.

This event was a success in large part because many like-minded groups came together to pull it off. Virgin Most Powerful Radio, America Needs Fatima, and others rallied with us to get five thousand Catholics out in the streets to pray. That made it clear: The Rosary was our weapon. Like Mary, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit (she probably led the apostles bursting out of that Upper Room!), we would take her, rather follow her to the public square to bear witness.

John Yep graciously granted The Wanderer an interview.

The Wanderer: On the Feast of St. Joseph next week, Catholics for Catholics is holding a “National Catholic Prayer For Trump” at Florida’s Mar a Lago Resort. That sounds pretty unprecedented — what’s that all about?

CforC: “In truth, it is unprecedented. It is a grace from Heaven that allowed us the possibility to host a prayer gathering at the home of the former President. President Trump — a sinner like the rest of us — is undoubtedly the clear choice for Catholics who have a correctly formed conscience. And the reason is simple:

President Biden and the Democrat Party represent the philosophical system of Socialist Marxism. President Trump and the Republicans hold the Constitutional banner of a Republic, one nation under God, who is the ultimate authority.

Socialism is inherently evil. Its lies have been condemned by virtually every Pontiff for two centuries. Our Founders bestowed upon the new country a form of government that protects the family and nurtures freedom — provided that it is buttressed by the faith and morals of its citizenry. Our mission is to be that faithful support for President Trump and the people he will appoint in his administration.

And that caveat is key: If we simply endorsed the GOP nominee, we’d be selling ourselves short as a Catholic group. We wanted to surround Donald Trump in prayer and teach the Catholic faithful that he is the only option to vote for in this upcoming election. He’s our only option if we want to preserve and protect our religious rights.

The Wanderer: What’s the program that evening?

CforC: When it rains it pours. That’s been the response of people from all over.

Countless Catholic leaders have asked to be a part of it. Several of them will speak — they know how vital the role of our prayers will play in the preservation of our freedoms.​

It’s a unique program — our speakers will focus on the key issues that Catholics should be concerned about in this election year — from the weaponization of the DOJ against Catholics, to abortion being on the ballot in some 10 states, to the human rights scandal of the transgender movement, and finally to the destruction of so many kids through human trafficking — we’re going to remind people just how important elections are. Elections have consequences, and, as a praying people, we have to do our part to exercise our rights and to preserve them.

At the end of the night, we will stand together and pray the Holy Rosary there at Mar-a-Lago. The event will culminate with a Prayer of Consecration over the country and President Trump: We will be pleading for the special intercession of St. Joseph, the Patron of those fighting against world Communism.

The Wanderer: A lot of Wanderer readers living in Florida may not know about this. Can they attend? How do they sign up?

CforC: “While most of the seats have been reserved, your readers still have a chance to register at our website, Those who can’t attend will be able to see a video of the event that we’ll post on our website after the event.

The most important thing, however, is to join us in prayer that night. When we pray together like the first apostles gathered around Mary in the Upper Room, we will win.

The Wanderer: Thanks, Mr. Yep. Clearly it’s the laity that are going to save our country and our Church. May God bless you and your work!

Alabama’s Court Decision Sparks Debate Over Ethics of IVF

March 3, 2024 Frontpage Comments Off on Alabama’s Court Decision Sparks Debate Over Ethics of IVF

By Fr. Shenan J. Boquet

“In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

— George Orwell

A few days ago, the Alabama Supreme Court surprised the country by doing something that is all too rare in today’s culture, i.e. it spoke the truth.

In a blockbuster 8-1 decision, the Court ruled that human embryos preserved cryogenically in in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics are “extrauterine children,” and are therefore protected under the state’s “wrongful death” law.

The case that elicited this decision, with such sweeping implications for the rapidly growing IVF industry, was brought forward to the courts by three couples who had human embryos preserved in an Alabama IVF clinic.

embryologist at a liquid nitrogen bank containing sperm and egg samples

Embryologist at liquid nitrogen bank containing sperm and egg samples

In 2020, a client at the clinic entered the cryogenic storage center and removed some of the embryos. The client then accidentally dropped the embryos, with the result that the embryonic children died.

The couples who had preserved the embryos subsequently sued the IVF clinic for “wrongful death.” However, the clinic argued that Alabama’s “Wrongful Death of a Minor Act” does not apply to preserved embryos.

A circuit court judge initially agreed with the clinic, and ruled to throw out the case, arguing that frozen embryos are property, not persons. The couples then appealed, and the case ended up before the state’s Supreme Court. In a strong ruling, the Court resoundingly affirmed that the Wrongful Death of a Minor Act does indeed apply to embryos preserved in IVF clinics.

In the majority ruling, Alabama Supreme Court Justice Jay Mitchell ruled that the Wrongful Death of a Minor Act “applies to all unborn children, regardless of their location.” He added:

It applies to all children, born and unborn, without limitation. It is not the role of this Court to craft a new limitation based on our own view of what is or is not wise public policy. That is especially true where, as here, the People of this State have adopted a Constitutional amendment directly aimed at stopping courts from excluding ‘unborn life’ from legal protection.

Republicans and Democrats Denounce Ruling

Perhaps the most telling thing about the reaction to the Court’s decision, is how widespread the outrage is.

The fact is, we live in a world in which reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization have been almost completely normalized. So normalized are they, in fact, that few people even ponder whether there might be any ethical problems with such technologies.

While one would naturally expect pro-abortion activists and Democrats to denounce the rule, it is telling that among those strenuously distancing themselves from this ruling are many so-called “pro-life” Republicans.

Indeed, Republicans such as Donald Trump and Kari Lake are not only distancing themselves from the ruling, but they are also actively coming out in support of IVF, suggesting that they should be made more readily available.

Lake, for instance, promised that she would “advocate for increased access to fertility treatment for women struggling to get pregnant.” She added that “IVF is extremely important for helping countless families experience the joy of parenthood. I oppose restrictions.”

Using explicitly pro-life language, GOP Senate candidate Bernie Moreno stated that he supports IVF because his “goal is to promote a culture of life.” “We have a crisis in this country of people not having enough kids at replacement levels,” Moreno wrote on X. “I’m in favor of anything that promotes people having more babies & strong families.”

In a post reacting to the Court’s ruling, President Trump called for “an immediate solution.”

“We want to make it easier for mothers and fathers to have babies, not harder!” said the former president. “That includes supporting the availability of fertility treatments like IVF in every State in America.” Trump added he supports IVF, like “the VAST MAJORITY of Republicans, Conservatives, Christians, and Pro-Life Americans.”

IVF Is Not Pro-life

However, I can assure President Trump that he is wrong on one score: the large majority of pro-life leaders, i.e. those who are the most educated on the life issues, do not support IVF.

If you asked them, most would say that they oppose IVF for one simple reason: IVF is an intrinsic evil that transforms human procreation into a method of production, manufacturing our offspring — a process that dehumanizes and commodifies human life, leading to the creation and destruction of many human embryos, i.e. human persons in the earliest stages of their development.

As the Catechism of the Catholic Church notes:

A child is not something owed to one but is a gift. The ‘supreme gift of marriage’ is a human person. A child may not be considered a piece of property, an idea to which an alleged ‘right to a child’ would lead. In this area, only the child possesses genuine rights: the right ‘to be the fruit of a specific act of the conjugal love of parents,’ and ‘the right to be respected as a person from the moment of conception.’

In IVF, eggs harvested from a woman are combined with sperm harvested from a man, to create human embryos, i.e. genetically unique, living human beings. These are then implanted in the mother’s womb. However, because the embryos often fail to implant successfully in the mother’s womb, it is common practice to create more embryos than will be used. The “leftovers” are then frozen indefinitely in a cryogenic chamber or destroyed.

IVF is NOT Pro-Life! Let’s Take a Look

Frozen Embryos are Children Too

While the Alabama Court’s decision has horrified even many on the political right, who are clearly afraid that opposing IVF is a political loser, in reality the Court was simply acknowledging basic biological facts and applying consistent logic to the state’s pro-life laws. If the state recognizes the rights of preborn children, then it must recognize the rights of embryos frozen in the state’s IVF clinics.

As the court noted, the Alabama State Constitution is very clear that “it is the public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life,” as well as to “ensure the protection of the rights of the unborn child in all manners and measures lawful and appropriate.”

In light of this, “The central question,” wrote the Court’s chief justice, “…is whether the act contains an unwritten exception to that rule for extrauterine children – that is, unborn children who are located outside of a biological uterus at the time they are killed. Under existing black-letter law, the answer to that question is no: the Wrongful Death of a Minor Act applies to all unborn children, regardless of their location.”

Rather than running frightened from this decision, so-called “pro-life” American politicians should be asking themselves how it is they missed something so glaringly obvious, i.e. that IVF involves the industrialized commodification and destruction of human life in a way that clearly violates fundamental pro-life principles.

Related: Ethical Issues of IVF and Alternative Infertility Treatment Options

A Good End Doesn’t Justify Evil Means

It may come as a surprise to some people (though it certainly shouldn’t), but the Catholic Church has consistently maintained and taught that IVF is a grave evil, precisely because it distorts human procreation by assaulting the ends of marriage (Humanae vitae, no. 12) and ignores the right of the child to be begotten through a mother and father’s act of love (i.e., marital act), failing to see the child as equal in dignity to his or her parents.

The Church is despised by so many people not because it is imposing a religious view on the science, but rather because it is the only institution that acknowledges the science, and then consistently applies fundamental ethical principles to the science. “We all say we agree that all human beings have human rights,” states the Church. “But we alone have the courage of conviction to be consistent and to apply this in all cases.”

In the Declaration on Procured Abortion, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) states that, “from the time that the ovum is fertilized, a life is begun which is neither that of the father nor the mother; it is rather the life of a new human being with his own growth. It would never be made human if it were not human already. This has always been clear, and … modern genetic science offers clear confirmation…”

In Donum vitae, the CDF draws out the sweeping ethical implications of this scientific fact:

Thus, the fruit of human generation, from the first moment of its existence, that is to say, from the moment the zygote has formed, demands the unconditional respect that is morally due to the human being in his bodily and spiritual totality. The human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception; and therefore, from the same moment his rights as a person must be recognized, among which in the first place is the inviolable right of every innocent human being to life.

Children Born Through IVF Still Have Dignity

Unfortunately, the public debate on IVF is often extraordinarily shallow and uninformed. As we saw above, many people, including self-proclaimed “pro-life” politicians, view the Church’s position as self-contradictory. “You say you’re pro-life,” such people will say, “and yet you are opposed to infertile couples being given the gift of having children through this marvelous technology.”

Even more dishonestly, some people will suggest that by opposing IVF, the Catholic Church is somehow rejecting the children who are born through IVF.

Why IVF and Contraception are Sins: Catholic Morals

It can be infuriating dealing with such grotesque misrepresentations of the Church’s position. In many cases, these misrepresentations seem to be motivated by nothing other than a perverse desire to confuse and mislead. However, in other cases it stems simply from ignorance, and our own failure to teach clearly.

In responding to the kind of misrepresentations we saw above it is important that, in the first place, we emphasize that children who are born through artificial reproductive technologies are, in every single respect, as worthy as any other human being. After all, the children conceived through IVF had no part whatsoever in the choice of the mode of their conception. They bear no guilt, and the mode of conception clearly has no bearing whatsoever on their dignity and worth.

The Vatican clearly affirmed this principle in Donum vitae, writing, “Although the manner in which human conception is achieved with IVF … cannot be approved, every child which comes into the world must in any case be accepted as a living gift of the divine Goodness and must be brought up with love.”

Secondly, it is important that we emphasize the ethical principle that a good aim or intention does not make an evil act good. Yes, many couples who resort to IVF desperately desire children — a desire that is, in and of itself, a good thing. The children that come about through IVF are also good. However, the means that the parents have chosen to pursue the good aim of having children is evil, regardless of their intentions. As such, it must be opposed.

We Must Pray for the Protection of All Human Life

The Vatican’s teaching in documents like Donum vitae and Dignitas personae guide us concerning reverence for the dignity of the human person from the moment of conception and respect for the marital act in its unitive and procreative dimensions. They explain the various reasons why IVF is not acceptable, i.e. it destroys the unitive dimension of a couple’s love by conceiving their child in a lab through the actions of a third party, commodifies human life by turning it into a product to be bought, and results in the destruction of untold embryonic humans.

Right now, it is estimated that over one million embryonic human beings are in cryogenic suspended animation in U.S. IVF clinics. Many millions more are preserved in clinics elsewhere on the globe or are being created and experimented upon (and destroyed) in many universities. Tragically, our consciences have been dulled to this industrialized destruction of human life.

Let us pray that the Alabama Court’s decision will provide an occasion for some serious soul-searching about our society’s premature and unjustified acceptance of IVF. And in the meantime, let us educate ourselves on these complex issues by reading the Church’s rich teaching documents, so that we are better equipped to respond to the many distortions on this topic in the media and popular culture.

Related: Trusting God through Infertility


As president of Human Life International, Fr. Boquet is a leading expert on the international pro-life and family movement, having journeyed to nearly 90 countries on pro-life missions over the last decade. Father Boquet works with pro-life and family leaders in 116 counties that partner with HLI to proclaim and advance the Gospel of Life.

Shocking Sacrilege At St. Patrick’s

February 23, 2024 Frontpage Comments Off on Shocking Sacrilege At St. Patrick’s


By now most of our readers have felt the shock waves emanating from New York after news broke of the transgender desecration on February 15 of St. Patrick’s Cathedral at a funeral for a man who believed he was a woman, changed his name to Cecilia Gentili, and spent a good part of his life as a prostitute before dying as an atheist. Coordinators of the liturgy have admitted to deceiving the staff of the Cathedral.

One of the most alarming aspects of the sacrilegious abuse of St. Patrick’s is the extreme neglect it has uncovered. It’s called “Google”: “Know who’s using your church building” and “Know who’s using your church” is the basic duty of every good pastor: It takes minutes to Google and discover that the deceased for whom a funeral is requested is, first of all, an atheist. And transgender. AND an activist for evil.

Then you just say “no.”

I offered a wedding Mass at St. Pat’s as a newly ordained in the 90s. I was watched every minute by a young priest, likely a parochial vicar on the cathedral staff at the time, who was present in the upper church for the entire wedding Mass to ensure nothing untoward was done. People were free to visit the church during the wedding and the effort to prevent potential sacrilege is necessary for such a highly visible public space that represents the Catholic faith for so many people.

He was also there to make sure we “moved along” and did not overrun the time allotted for the Mass.

But it need be said that preventing sacrilege in every one of our churches is just Catholic.

Is it so hard? I didn’t resent the oversight and felt it was entirely appropriate for one of the most iconic and most highly visited churches, not just in NYC, but the world. The woman who deceived the staff of St. Pat’s in requesting the use of the church understands the church is iconic and chose it for that reason — in order to stage the outrageous and blasphemous transgender show that resulted. Does the staff of St. Pat’s understand that?

And let’s not be naive. Was this possibly an “inside job,” as they say? Heads should roll after this. Will the priest, who while seated in the sanctuary in view of the entire assembly, viewing closely the entire ugly and evil spectacle and doing absolutely nothing to stop it, be invited back?

The priest authoring the blog “Southern Orders” watched enough of the St. Patrick’s sacrilege funeral video to determine that Fr. Dougherty, the Maryknoll priest who “presided” over the event, is responsible for allowing the evil desecration to continue, whether or not he had any role beforehand.

As I suspected, the Cathedral indeed assigned a staff member, perhaps clergy, to be present who was coaching Dougherty as the event unfolded but who was also rebuffed by Dougherty when he tried to intervene to prevent further sacrilege as the out of control event unfolded. The primary intervention appears to be that, as the blogger writes, what perhaps started out as a Mass was changed midstream into a liturgy “outside of Mass,” that is, with Scripture, prayers, and remarks but without celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

This priest is the enemy inside the gates. If he is allowed to return, then not only does he have a problem, St. Patrick’s does as well. This may be a suspending offense, but I’m not an expert in canon law. Seems to me some disciplining of the priest would be in order, though. Dangerous precedent if he is not.

Remember that this follows another event in nearby Brooklyn where a half-dressed woman brought a crew inside a Catholic church and recorded a music video as a stunt to promote what clearly involves no talent on her part.

This issue is not going away. First it was publicized that the staff of the Cathedral offered a private Mass of reparation after the funeral service, which should have been public in order to make true reparation for a public act of desecration. And with the cardinal now calling Fr. Dougherty a “hero” when he largely enabled the evil event others are getting involved to correct the misrepresentation of the shocking and completely avoidable scandal, including Taylor Marshall and Maike Hickson, who reported at LifeSiteNews that the Cardinal appears to have a misunderstanding of the nature of the events.

From Southern Orders blog:


“I watched the beginning of the Funeral Liturgy Scandal again. The priest, who Cardinal Dolan should hold responsible for the sacrilege and blasphemy in his cathedral, is dressed in a Chasuble which is used solely for a Mass, not a Liturgy outside of Mass. Outside of Mass a cope may be used, or cassock, surplice, and stole or alb and stole.

“After blessing the body of the deceased at the entrance of the Cathedral, the procession arrives at the altar. A priest wearing a cassock but with his surplice off and over his arm, speaks to the priest whose microphone is on. This priest, who may be the rector, I am not sure, says to him that this is not going to be a Mass but rather the Liturgy outside of Mass.

“Thus, the decision to change it from a Mass to a Liturgy outside of Mass was done after the Liturgy began, not before.

“I can’t watch the full liturgy as it turns my stomach, but when it is time for the eulogies to take place, the same priest, perhaps the rector, is miffed about the eulogies and tries to intervene, but the celebrant priest, who should be disciplined by the Cardinal, waves him off and more sacrilege/desecration takes place in the sanctuary publicly videoed for all to see and hear.

“God help us.

“The Church is a hospital, but the mentally and physically ill should not run the institution, they should be treated, restrained if necessary, and given bitter medicine which will help them in the long run. They should receive treatment, to include discipline and sedation if needed. They should not run the Church, I mean the hospital, or overrun it!

“The Church, which is a ‘hospital’ for the mortally sinful and spiritually dying, cannot be run by those whose sinfulness is highly contagious and corrupts the healthy if they aren’t quarantined. They can’t take over a sterile environment meant to cure their contagious and thus compromise the treatment the Church offers, which is God’s grace that convicts us of our diseased sinfulness and enables us to repent and believe God, not our own sick truth.

“God help us!”

In this age of rampant sacrilege and blasphemy we can all offer or have offered more holy Masses and more frequent prayers and acts of self-denial, particularly this Lent, to join our own efforts at reparation with those of other Catholics of goodwill everywhere.

Thank you for reading and praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.

We’re All Africans Now

February 17, 2024 Frontpage Comments Off on We’re All Africans Now


The fallout from Fiducia Supplicans, the Declaration of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith made public on December 18, has entered a new phase. As an increasing number of bishops’ conferences, individual prelates, and now the unified bishops of Africa have gone on the record against its implementation, the controversy has gone beyond the realm of theology to the world of culture.

On December 20, two days after the document appeared, Fridolin Cardinal Ambongo Besungu, archbishop of Kinshasa and president of SECAM (Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar), requested that member conferences of SECAM offer their opinions of the document. On January 11, having received their responses, he stated the views of the bishops of Africa in a public statement.

“The ambiguity of this declaration, which lends itself to many interpretations and manipulations, raises a lot of perplexity among the faithful, and I believe that as pastors of the Church in Africa, we must speak clearly on this issue to provide clear guidance to our Christians,” he wrote.

Clearly the same could be said regarding countless other Vatican statements and actions made since 2013, but this time around, the bishops of the fastest-growing Church in the world go on the record with a historic and unanimous affirmation of the truths of the Faith.

“The Episcopal Conferences across Africa, which have strongly reaffirmed their communion with Pope Francis, believe that the extra-liturgical blessings proposed in the Declaration Fiducia supplicans cannot be carried out in Africa without exposing themselves to scandals.”

Suddenly the law of cause-and-effect emerges like rain on a parched desert, bringing relief not only to Africa but the world.

The Vatican document has caused a “shockwave” of “misconceptions and unrest in the minds of many lay faithful, consecrated persons, and even pastors, and has aroused strong reactions,” Cardinal Ambongo writes. “For this reason, we, the African Bishops, do not consider it appropriate for Africa to bless homosexual unions or same-sex couples because, in our context, this would cause confusion and would be in direct contradiction to the cultural ethos of African communities,” he writes. “The language of Fiducia supplicans remains too subtle for simple people to understand. Furthermore, it remains very difficult to be convincing that people of the same sex who live in a stable union do not claim the legitimacy of their own status.”

And why? Because “the constant teaching of the Church describes homosexual acts as ‘intrinsically disordered’,” he writes, with reference to Persona Humana, the Vatican’s 1975 Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics.

Catholic Culture Confronts Vatican Ideology

On January 13, AciAfrica news reported the views of Pope Francis shared at a gathering of Catholic priests from the Diocese of Rome in the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran in Rome. Fiducia Supplicans will not be implemented in Africa, he said, “because the culture does not accept it.”

So, it is the culture, and not the truths of the Faith, that causes the Church in Africa to reject Fides Supplicans.

Or perhaps because the culture of the African Church is a Catholic culture?

Consider the Pope’s statement in light of his comments just three days after the publication of Fides Supplicans, describing the duties of Holy See hierarchy during his annual Christmas greeting in St. John Lateran:

“It is important to keep advancing and growing in their understanding of the truth. Fearfully sticking to rules may give the appearance of avoiding problems but only ends up hurting the service that the Vatican Curia is called to give the Church,” he said.

“Let us remain vigilant against rigid ideological positions that often, under the guise of good intentions, separate us from reality and prevent us from moving forward,” he continued. “We are called instead to set out and journey, like the Magi, following the light that always desires to lead us on, at times along unexplored paths and new roads.”

That palaver bears the turpid touch of Tucho — no doubt about it.

Africa is a “special case” to our Peronist Pope. Its promise to be the world’s most thriving Church of the future clearly collides with the Pope’s gnostic vision. Once more, the Pontiff pretends to refine even the most blatant of callous contradictions with an unctuous invocation of thinly veiled epithets plainly designed to demean and ridicule the faithful who are loyal to the tradition of the Church.

Repeatedly he indulges in casual but cancerous ambiguities: “all are welcome,” “irregular,” “judgmental,” “fearful” — the list is endless, and it is tiresome.

And there is precedent. Before there was “synodality,” there were “regular” synods, and in 2015 we already saw seeds of the planned chaos that now engulfs a large swath of the Church’s discussion of morality.

The 2015 Ordinary Synod of Bishops was held to address the challenges to the family in the modern world. However, according to Matthew McCusker of Voice of the Family, many attendees spent little time and effort to protect and preserve the family, while they did everything they could to destroy it.

Issues like “abortion, IVF, embryo experimentation, euthanasia, assisted suicide, anti-life, anti-family sex education, attacks on parental rights and the increasing threat to the civil freedom of citizens of many Western nations who wish to live lives faithful to the Catholic faith and the natural law” — all of them front and center in the Culture of Death’s attack on the family — were ignored.

Instead, the attendees wanted to undermine marriage (Holy Communion for the “divorced and civilly remarried”), undermine Humanae Vitae, urge open minds on contraception, reduce the indissolubility of marriage to the level of an “ideal,” suggest that cohabitation has “positive aspects,” adopt secular notions of “gender equality” and acquiescing in the need for “a rethinking of the duties of the spouses, and, finally, to deny the full rights of parents as the primary educators of their children.”

The Meaning Of Words

“The first priority of reconstructing a society in ruins is to restore the proper meaning of words” — Confucius

But most interesting was McCusker’s description of the synod’s efforts to change language itself, the better to conform to the realities of, yes, the culture — the secular culture.
On the opening day of the synod, Fr. Thomas Rosica, spokesman for the Holy See, stated the goals of the radicals: “There must be an end to exclusionary language,” he said. “The Jubilee of Mercy also requires a new form of language, both public and private. [It] requires a language of mercy….The language of inclusion must be our language, always considering pastoral and canonical possibilities and solutions.”

Rosica’s prime targets were “intrinsically disordered,” most specifically with reference to homosexuality, and “indissolubility.”

These were terms deemed unsuitable for our current age and in need of being replaced by “pastoral” and “merciful” language without changing her underlying teachings, Rosica said.

Many bishops in attendance, especially those from Eastern Europe and Africa, opposed these efforts, of course, and the result was predictable: ambiguity, designed to shock, dismay, and discourage defenders of the Faith while emboldening its destroyers.

So now we have Tucho’s scarcely disguised outrage of Fiducia Supplicans repudiated by the most thriving Church in the world.

If it’s the culture, count me in.

We’re all Africans now.

Ashes And Fasting, It’s Here Again

February 10, 2024 Frontpage Comments Off on Ashes And Fasting, It’s Here Again


This week we begin our annual journey to Easter via Ash Wednesday. But there is an interesting story around how our practice of Lent has evolved.

                In the early Church the celebration of the Resurrection was not celebrated as an annual event, thus the Sunday liturgy was a weekly reminder of the Resurrection and the preceding Friday was the commemoration of the Crucifixion.

                The practice of fasting before the celebration of the Resurrection can be traced back almost to apostolic times. We know from a letter from Irenaeus, a disciple of John the Apostle, to Pope Victor I (189-199) that Irenaeus tells Victor about his church’s Easter celebration and the fast preceding it:

                “Some think that they ought to fast for one day, some for two, others for still more; some make their ‘day’ last 40 hours on end,” he wrote. The 40 hours referenced was in response to the early Christian belief that Christ spent 40 hours in the grave before His Resurrection.

                Many of the earliest Lenten fasts were associated with the preparation of catechumens for their Easter Baptism. While the fasts were very strict, some allowing only one meal per day, the length and severity of them varied greatly from region to region. Gradually Fridays were set aside for the abstinence from meat. After Christianity was legalized by Constantine (313), the Council of Nicaea (325) took up the issue of a 40-day Lenten season of fasting, but it is not clear whether the intent was that it was to be applied to all or just those preparing for Baptism.

                A 40-day period was ultimately chosen not only to represent Jesus’ 40 days of fasting before his public ministry, but, also the 40 days Moses stayed on Mount Sinai (Deuteronomy) and Elijah’s 40-day fast on His way to Mount Horeb (1 Kings).  But how those days were chosen was still open to dispute.

                The East only fasted on weekdays, making Lent last for eight weeks; but in the West, Lent was six weeks because it included Saturdays. Both observed a strict fast: only one meal per day in the evening, no meat, fish, or animal products. Pope Gregory the Great (590-604) wrote to St. Augustine of Canterbury, stating: “We abstain from flesh, meat, and from all things that come from flesh, as milk, cheese and eggs.”

                It was Gregory who moved the start of Lent from Sunday to Wednesday — including Saturdays — to produce an exact 40-day period. Sundays were always excluded from fasting since it is considered a festive day celebrating Christ’s victory over sin and death.

                By the ninth century, Lenten fasting practices were becoming more relaxed. Eating was allowed after 3 p.m. and by the fifteenth century that became noon. Finally, some foods previously forbidden, such as fish, were allowed. Currently, fasting is required only on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, with the Fridays during Lent days of abstinence — no meat.

                Ashes for Ash Wednesday are a sign of public repentance and they were mentioned in connection with Easter preparation as early as the third century by Tertullian. In the Old Testament, the custom of receiving ashes on the head was a reminder of humility and mortality and a sign of sorrow and repentance for sins. Use of the ashes was mandated throughout the Western Church by the Synod of Benevento (1091).

                The use of ashes as a symbol of repentance and humility can be traced back over 3,000 years and can be found in many cultures. Homer, in his epic The Iliad, wrote about it in 800 BC and other evidence demonstrates that it was also used by the Greeks and other cultures along the Mediterranean.

                In the Old Testament ashes were not only a sign of repentance, but a sign of mortality and sorrow and are referred to in many passages including those found in Job (4:6), Daniel (9:3), Esther (4:1), and Jonah (3:5-6). So, it was only natural that the early Church encouraged the use of ashes. Tertullian (d. 220) wrote that the penitent must live “in the squalor of ashes.”

                Later the practice of sprinkling was replaced by making a Sign of the Cross with the ashes on the foreheads of the faithful. The practice of “marking” or “sealing” the individual was also a symbolic reference to the Book of Revelation and passages from Ezekiel which spoke of sealing God’s servants for their protection. “Go through the city (Jerusalem) and mark (with an X) the foreheads of those who moan and groan over the abominations that are practiced within it” (Ezekiel 9:4).

                Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and continues until the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday.  That day begins the Easter Triduum, which ends with the evening prayer of Easter day.  However, fasting continues through Holy Week, which is included in the traditional 40-day Lenten fast, even though Lent liturgically ends on Holy Thursday. 

                The word “Lent” itself was not used in the Latin speaking world. The word Lent comes from the German or Teutonic “Lenz” which means “long” and was originally meant to identify the season of spring.

                And so, we begin another Lent, a season dedicated to prayer, fasting and works of charity.  And as we do, we might remember the words of Pope Benedick XIV who in 1741, a year after assuming the papacy, wrote: 

                “The observance of Lent is the very badge of the Christian warfare.  By it we prove ourselves not to be enemies of the Cross of Christ.  By it we gain strength against a prince of darkness, for it shields us with heavenly help.  Should mankind grow remiss in their observance of Lent, it would be a detriment to God’s glory, a disgrace to the Catholic religion, and a danger to the Christian souls. Neither can it be doubted that such negligence would become the source of misery to the world, or public calamity and of private woe.”

                May you find peace and comfort in this healing season.

(You can reach Mike at: and listen to him every weekend on Faith On Trial or podcast at https://iowacatholicradio  com/faith-on-trial).

John Paul II Academy: Tucho Must Go… And Take His Blasphemy With Him

February 4, 2024 Frontpage Comments Off on John Paul II Academy: Tucho Must Go… And Take His Blasphemy With Him


On January 17th, leaders of the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family formally requested that Pope Francis dismiss Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernandez from his post as Prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith.

“The sensual-mystical literature for which the cardinal has a particular propensity is one of the worst evils of our time,” wrote Dr. Thomas Ward, Academy president and founder of England’s National Association of Catholic Families. It “does nothing but justify the worst excesses of the sexual revolution that is deeply corrupting our society and leading our youth to the abyss.”

That statement speaks with authority, because the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and the Family has a distinguished history. In fact, the work of its members represents the original intentions of Pope St. John Paul II when he founded the Pontifical Academy for Life in 1992. Its purpose was simple and clear: To pursue the interdisciplinary study and defense of human life in all its stages.

The Academy’s work continued smoothly, defending life and the family for 24 years. Then, on December 31, 2016, Pope Francis suddenly saw fit to dissolve the Academy’s membership and change its guiding statutes.

And that change wasn’t long in coming. Within a year, Maurizio Chiodi, professor of moral theology at the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy and a newly appointed member of the Academy for Life, led the way.

On December 14, 2017, at a conference sponsored by the Pontifical Gregorian University, Chiodi declared that “an artificial method for the regulation of births could be recognized as an act of responsibility that is carried out, not in order to radically reject the gift of a child, but because in those situations responsibility calls the couple and the family to other forms of welcome and hospitality.”

Note the definitions: “artificial” — doesn’t that mean “unnatural”? And “regulation”: doesn’t he really mean “prevention”? And the same goes for “responsibility”: he says it twice, in case you might have seen it as a fabrication the first time; and it’s all proven beyond a doubt by a passive conditional phrase that, on inspection, admits that such a “recognition” would take a lot of arm-and-mind-twisting to embrace, because it claims to create a truth ex nihilo.

As Sandro Magister reported, the conference had been organized by the university’s faculty of moral theology, directed by none other than the Argentine Jesuit Humberto Miguel Yanez, a protege of then-Archbishop Bergoglio. And note the irony (one dare not call it perfidy): The conference was billed as a celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of Humanae Vitae (promulgated by Pope St. Paul VI on July 25, 1968).

Unfortunately, Chiodi took this historic opportunity to mock the truths defended in that prophetic document.

By what authority? Chiodi cited Amoris Laetitia (“On Love In The Family”), the 2016 encyclical of Pope Francis.

And that document, Vatican sources say, was ghostwritten — by none other than Tucho Fernandez.

And Tucho now serves as prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith — the position held by Georg Cardinal Ratzinger from 1981until he was elected to the papacy in April 2005.

The revolt against the timeless teaching of the Church has now come full circle.

A Note On History

When Pope Francis cleansed the membership roster of St. John Paul’s original Academy, seven years ago, a number of those who were “members ad vitam” (“members for life”) were nonetheless not reappointed. They refused to allow that slight to deter them. They had made a lifelong commitment to promote the goals of the Academy and of St. John Paul.

These scholars were compelled in conscience to fulfill that obligation, and they steadfastly decided to continue their life’s work. So, in 2017, they founded the new lay Academy, dedicating it to revealing the splendor of truth about life and family as taught by Pope St. John Paul and every Supreme Pontiff before him.

They continue their work today, fully faithful to the authentic Magisterium and perennial doctrine of the Catholic Church.

Meanwhile, however, while Pope Francis’ wrecking crew proceeded recklessly to turn truth on its head, we note that he kept the Academy’s original name.

Does his decision reflect his respect for the continuity of Church teaching, however sharply that teaching collides with the sinful way of the world?

Our Peronist Pope is not a man of continuity. In fact, since his final profession as a Jesuit in 1973 he had lived in the noxious fumes of the Liberation Theology that has ravaged the Latin American Church and nearly asphyxiated it in the past half-century.

Pope Francis clearly understands ideology — both its dangers and its attractions.

In fact, he often invokes the term — usually referring to those Catholics loyal to his predecessors.

But students of leftist movements like Marxism and its Liberation Theology offshoot recognize another feature in his choice to keep the Academy’s original name: ideologues — that is, by definition, those advocating any gnostic revolt against reality — often hijack the beloved symbols of their enemies, empty them of their original content, and refill them with their noxious teaching: poisonous indeed, but often only slowly recognized, disguised as it is by the familiar and beloved label and language of old.

The most flagrant of such hijackings is Liberation Theology’s perversion of the Person of Christ that depicts Him as a political revolutionary.

Anatoly Vasilyevich Lunacharsky, Vladimir Lenin’s first Minister of Education, put it succinctly: “Christ was the first Communist!”

There you go. And that statement is no merely wistful fantasy; it represents a profound and powerful call for revolutionary action.

Introducing The New Paradigm

In 2017, Pope Francis named Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia as the Academy’s new Director. The scandals that followed — both in the Academy and beyond — have sadly not come as a surprise. and Tucho Fernández simply personifies them all.

Last August, in an interview with Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, Dr. Ward quoted Archbishop Paglia’s own description of the new path he has charted for the Academy:

“In his words,” said Dr. Thomas, “the role of the Academy is ‘to accept the invitation contained in paragraph 3 of the Pope’s Apostolic Constitution Veritatis Gaudium,’ where he calls for ‘a broad and generous effort at a radical paradigm shift, or rather — dare I say — at a bold cultural revolution’.”

Wait a minute. Isn’t that somewhat extreme?

Not to worry. The Holy Father is quoting here an authoritative encyclical.

“All of this shows the urgent need for us to move forward in a bold cultural revolution” (Laudato Si’, n. 114). Promulgated in 2015.

Yes, Pope Francis is quoting himself.

Archbishop Paglia, Ward continues, believes that Veritatis Gaudium calls for “a radical paradigm shift in theological reflection…to render a service to the Magisterium by opening up a space for dialogue that makes research possible and encourages it. This is how we see the role of the Academy, which Pope Francis himself also wanted on the front line on delicate issues to be addressed through a transdisciplinary approach.”

On hearing this, Mosher, a historian whose copious works recount the horrors of Chairman Mao’s cultural revolution, asks, “who are some of the others collaborating with Francis on the ‘radical paradigm shift’ we have been talking about?”

Dr. Ward recounts how Cardinal McCarrick was so impressed in 2013 when “one influential Italian told him that Cardinal Bergoglio ‘could reform the Church.  If we gave him five years, he could put us back on target…[he] could make the Church over again.”

There you go. “On target.” The revolution marches on, to the cheers of none other than “Uncle Ted” McCarrick.

The most accurate Italian translation of the “new paradigm” is “Senza Uscita.”

Dead End.

Tucho has to go.

Pagans Worship Sex

January 28, 2024 Frontpage Comments Off on Pagans Worship Sex


Pagans worship sex and the body. Christians worship God. Alone. The pornographic cult, which has seized power in Rome, and which centers around the sexual act and the body as it relates to coition, is forbidden as sinful for Christians.

Are the agents of disorder and subversion in the Vatican attempting to substitute the idolatry of a sex cult for the true faith? Worship of the body and the sexual function apart from marriage and procreation is pagan. Pagans are closed in on nature apart from Revelation. Pagan cults are deprived of the supernatural, imprisoned within the “eternal return” of the seasons, of birth and death. Christians, on the other hand, always preserve a reverent and chaste attitude and comportment surrounding the sacred marital bond. All is subject to the holiness of life without which one cannot enter the Kingdom of God.

“Tucho,” the man Francis has placed in charge of doctrine at Rome, appears now to be the author of multiple texts about sexual function and the cult of the body. First, the book on kissing. Denials and then admissions. Next orgasms. This time, admission and a statement that “Francis knew.” Now, more. Additional writings have now surfaced that go a long way toward establishing a career-long obsession with sex. By a celibate man. Let that sink in. These inverted musings upon the sexual function are isolated from, and contrary to, their ordering by the Creator toward life and procreation, toward the infusing of an immortal soul into another “imago Dei.”

Are the homosexualist men with whom Francis has surrounded himself in Rome charged with seeding the Church with an alien sex cult? The pile of evidence is mounting to an undeniable degree that these agents of evil, led by “Tucho,” may not even be Christian at all.

Bishops, priests, and faithful around the globe have rejected Tucho’s foray into blessing a gay sex cult within the Church through Fiducia Supplicans, a document dead on arrival. All the wishing and Vatican produced-documents in the world will never make mutual masturbation, which is what happens when two men or two women simulate sex, the equal of, or a substitute for the complementary and fruitful union willed by God in creation, of one man only for one woman.

Christians do not delectate upon nor discuss sex as entertainment. Christians do not use pornographic videos or pictures. Christians do not permit even discussion about these things. Chastity is constitutive of Christian faith and morals. Chastity avoids casual treatment of those matters of sexuality proper to marriage. To keep it short: what happens in the bedroom should stay in the bedroom. The intimacy proper to the exclusive relationship shared only by husband and wife, and all that is related to it, should be kept as a private matter between the spouses. The only exception to this would be discussions with a doctor for health or fertility reasons or, as necessary, within the seal of the confessional.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church treats the matter of chastity under the Sixth Commandment, “You shall not commit adultery.”

“Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man’s belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman.

“The virtue of chastity therefore involves the integrity of the person and the integrality of the gift” (CCC, n. 2337).

In other words, chastity in marriage is part of the relationship of husband and wife which is “exclusive.” The privacy they maintain about the particulars of their relationship upholds its sanctity and bears witness to their mutual love. Matters relating to the physical union of man and wife in sexuality do not belong to relationships outside of the bond of marriage or to relationships between persons who are not married. The physical aspects of personhood, among all persons in relation, include many different aspects of corporeality but always exclude those directly related to the unity and fertility of married couples.

St. Paul treats of the Christian understanding of the meaning and telos of the body in 1 Cor. chapter 7, verses 1-7.

“Now concerning the matters about which you wrote. It is well for a man not to touch a woman. But because of the temptation to immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not rule over her own body, but the husband does; likewise, the husband does not rule over his own body, but the wife does. Do not refuse one another except perhaps by agreement for a season, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, lest Satan tempt you through lack of self-control. I say this by way of concession, not of command. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.”

St. Paul makes clear that a man does not “touch” a woman with whom he is not married. Chastity also recognizes that any conversation, written communication or other action “touching” upon matters related to sexuality is also to be avoided as incompatible with the holiness proper to every vocation.

In Ephesians 5, verses 1-6, he enlarges on the matter of chaste behavior as encompassing thought, word, and deed, all flowing from the imitation of Christ, and expressing love.

“Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But fornication and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is fitting among saints. Let there be no filthiness, nor silly talk, nor levity, which are not fitting; but instead let there be thanksgiving. Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure man, or one who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for it is because of these things that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.”

Not merely shunning fornication but also, too, any matters that fall within the near occasion of the sin of fornication or adultery, preserves the holiness proper to worship of God and living as imitators of Him.

The pagan porntificate in Rome also alarms those familiar with the contours of sexual abusers and the grooming behavior that warns of potential abuse. Rejection of chastity also enables pedophilia. Survivors of clerical sexual abuse expressed alarm at Fernández’s The Mystical Passion: Spirituality and Sensuality. They are quoted in a recent Our Sunday Visitor article.

“It was absolutely nauseating,” one female survivor said of the recently rediscovered 1998 book. “It brought a lot back from my own abuse, because some of the things I read were similar to what my rapist would say — sort of combining abuse with things of a spiritual nature.”

“Teresa Pitt Green of Spirit Fire, a Christian restorative justice network, was particularly troubled by Fernández’s account of a conversation with a 16-year-old girl.

“‘The boundary violations are staggering,’ said Pitt Green: ‘psychologically, potentially physically, certainly from an intellectual point of view, normalizing certain things for people that probably don’t even know it’.”

The OSV article recalls that in his book The Art of Kissing, which he described as a catechetical text for adolescents, the DDF Cardinal Fernandez “published four of his own erotic poems.”

The behavior of an exemplary moral Catholic leader and prelate, or more like an evil sex-obsessed fiend who wouldn’t even qualify for a pagan fertility cult in ancient Rome? I’ll let you decide.

Vatican and USCCB leave transgender policy texts unpublished

While U.S. bishops have made headlines for releasing policies addressing gender identity and pastoral ministry, guidelines on the subject have been drafted but not published by both the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s doctrinal office, leaving diocesan bishops to…Continue Reading

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.

  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 150 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


Today . . .

Kamala Harris Heads to Arizona to Promote Abortions Up to Birth

Kamala Harris is visiting Arizona today to showcase the Biden-Harris Administration’s radical support of unlimited abortion. “Kamala Harris has become the abortion czar of the Biden Administration,” said Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee. “Instead of joining with the pro-life movement to build programs and safety nets to help promote real solutions for women and their preborn children, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have engaged in fearmongering and propaganda,” Tobias continue

May Everyone Have a Blessed and Joyful Easter

Is Easter being replaced with the ‘Transgender Day of Visibility’?

Two observances — Easter and the recently contrived “International Transgender Day of Visibility” — fall on Sunday, March 31 this year, causing some to wonder “Is Easter being replaced with the ‘Transgender Day of Visibility?’” It’s a valid question. For more than a few, it certainly will. Others might dismiss this as nothing more than a coincidence. That would be a mistake. On the last day of this month, we will witness a clash of religions as…Continue Reading

Abortion Advocates No Longer Consider It “A Necessary Evil,” They Celebrate Killing Babies

Last week, Kamala Harris became the first vice president in U.S. history to make a public visit to an abortion clinic. Though the Democratic party’s support for abortion is nothing new, Harris’ Planned Parenthood appearance does illustrate how that support has become a flagrant celebration of abortion as a public and personal good, essential to both “freedom” and to “healthcare.” At the appearance, Harris proclaimed,  It is only right and fair that people have access…Continue Reading

Wisconsin Supreme Court says Catholic charity group cannot claim religious tax exemption

The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that a major Catholic charity group’s activities were not “primarily” religious under state law, stripping the group of a key tax break and ordering it to pay into the state unemployment system. Catholic Charities Bureau (CCB) last year argued that the state had improperly removed its designation as a religious organization.  The charity filed a lawsuit after the state said it did not qualify to be considered as an organization…Continue Reading

The King of Kings

Cindy Paslawski We are at the end of the Church year. We began with Advent a year ago, commemorating the time awaiting the coming of the Christ and we are ending these weeks later with a vision of the future, a vision of Christ the King of the Universe on His throne before us all.…Continue Reading

7,000 Pro-Lifers March In London

By STEVEN ERTELT LONDON (LifeNews) — Over the weekend, some seven thousand pro-life people in the UK participated in the March for Life in London to protest abortion.They marched to Parliament Square on Saturday, September 2 under the banner of “Freedom to Live” and had to deal with a handful of radical abortion activists.During the…Continue Reading

An Appeal For Prayer For The Armenian People

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke on August 29, 2023, issued this prayer for the Armenian people, noting their unceasing love for Christ, even in the face of persecution.) + + On the Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, having a few days ago celebrated the…Continue Reading

Robert Hickson, Founding Member Of Christendom College, Dies At 80

By MAIKE HICKSON FRONT ROYAL, Va. (LifeSiteNews) — Robert David Hickson, Jr., of Front Royal, Va., died at his home on September 2, 2023, at 21:29 p.m. after several months of suffering and after having received the Last Rites of the Catholic Church. He was surrounded by friends and family.Robert is survived by me —…Continue Reading

The Real Hero Of “Sound of Freedom”… Says The Film Has Strengthened The Fight Against Child Trafficking

By ANA PAULA MORALES (CNA) —Tim Ballard, a former U.S. Homeland Security agent who risked his life to fight child trafficking, discussed the impact of the movie Sound of Freedom, which is based on his work, in an August 29 interview with ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. “I’ve spent more than 20 years helping…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: This lesson on medical-moral issues is taken from the book Catholicism & Ethics. Please feel free to use the series for high schoolers or adults. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column as well. The email and postal addresses are given at the end of this column. Special Course On Catholicism And Ethics (Pages 53-59)…Continue Reading

Color Politics An Impediment To Faith

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The USCCB is rightly concerned about racism, as they should be about any sin. In the 2018 statement Open Wide Our Hearts, they affirm the dignity of every human person: “But racism still profoundly affects our culture, and it has no place in the Christian heart. This evil causes great harm to its victims, and…Continue Reading

Trademarks Of The True Messiah

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this essay on September 2, and it is reprinted here with permission.) + + In Sunday’s Gospel the Lord firmly sets before us the need for the cross, not as an end in itself, but as the way to glory. Let’s consider the Gospel in three stages.First: The Pattern That…Continue Reading

A Beacon Of Light… The Holy Cross And Jesus’ Unconditional Love

By FR. RICHARD D. BRETON Each year on September 14 the Church celebrates the Feast Day of the Exultation of the Holy Cross. The Feast Day of the Triumph of the Holy Cross commemorates the day St. Helen found the True Cross. It is fitting then, that today we should focus on the final moments of Jesus’ life on the…Continue Reading

Our Ways Must Become More Like God’s Ways

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 55:6-9Phil. 1:20c-24, 27aMatt. 20:1-16a In the first reading today, God tells us through the Prophet Isaiah that His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. This should not come as a surprise to anyone, especially when we look at what the Lord…Continue Reading

The Devil And The Democrats

By FR. DENIS WILDE, OSA States such as Minnesota, California, Maryland, and others, in all cases with Democrat-controlled legislatures, are on a fast track to not only allow unborn babies to be murdered on demand as a woman’s “constitutional right” but also to allow infanticide.Our nation has gotten so used to the moral evil of killing in the womb that…Continue Reading

Crushed But Unbroken . . . The Martyrdom Of St. Margaret Clitherow

By RAY CAVANAUGH The late-1500s were a tough time for Catholics in England, where the Reformation was in full gear. A 1581 law prohibited Catholic religious ceremonies. And a 1584 Act of Parliament mandated that all Catholic priests leave the country or else face execution. Some chose to remain, however, so they could continue serving the faithful.Also taking huge risks…Continue Reading