Sunday 1st August 2021

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From Delaware Church To Arizona Audit . . . Powerful Pols Try To See How Much More They Can Get Away With

August 1, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on From Delaware Church To Arizona Audit . . . Powerful Pols Try To See How Much More They Can Get Away With

By DEXTER DUGGAN

Joe Biden’s defiant reception of the Eucharist shortly after a new bishop, William E. Koenig, was installed to head the Diocese of Wilmington showed that the homegrown Delaware politician intended to continue sacrilege with his unrepented massive mortal sins including promoting permissive abortion and sexual disorientation around the world.
The Eucharist was handed to sunglasses-wearing Biden on July 24 by none other than the new pastor of Delaware’s St. Joseph on the Brandywine Church, Msgr. John P. Hopkins, according to a photo and story posted by LifeSiteNews.com on July 26.
The story said pro-lifers outside the church requested both the pastor and Biden not to engage in this sacrilege.
At least, the confused or disoriented statements that elderly Biden often utters in secular settings offer the tentative hope for his soul that he’s so baffled about basic facts and often has such trouble expressing his thoughts that he may not comprehend what he’s doing at church. Heaven forbid that such a man is commander-in-chief of the United States.
Meanwhile, in a very different news development on the other side of the nation, the audit of 2020 election results in Maricopa County, Ariz., saw the State Senate’s liaison to the process, Ken Bennett — who had become a very public face making comments to reporters — say he was resigning from that position, but changed his mind after speaking with Senate President Karen Fann.
Bennett said he decided to resign after he was refused entry on July 23 to the audit site. While he emphasized his need to be there when he gave interviews on Phoenix-based KFYI radio (550 AM), it turned out Bennett was excluded after he acted without authorization to provide some information prematurely from the audit to outsiders.
It was a surprising development from an experienced conservative GOP politician who previously had served as Arizona Senate president then Arizona secretary of state. Bennett said he thought the audit’s final report could be “thousands of pages.”
The audit continued despite extreme pressure from both Arizona and national cozy political establishments that feared an accurate count would reveal their favored politician, Biden, actually lost the Grand Canyon State to Republican President Donald Trump last November.
As for Biden, The Wanderer asked Delaware Right to Life President Moira Sheridan if she thought he was taunting the Wilmington Diocese’s Bishop Koenig by receiving the Eucharist. Sheridan replied on July 27:
“I don’t believe Biden is taunting the new bishop at all. I believe we’re observing the easy arrogance of a man who knowingly flouts Church teaching because he gets away with it. Priests and bishops in the Diocese of Wilmington fear a man’s feelings and influence more than they fear the fate of his eternal soul. They forsake their duties to admonish the sinner in all charity and confront his evildoing in a public way.
“Canon 915 makes this clear and, in allowing this sacrilege, they cause great scandal,” Sheridan said. “Msgr. Hopkins and Bishop Koenig have the authority entrusted in them to deny him Holy Communion because of his support of abortion and a host of other immorality, yet they prefer to placate the world.”
Sheridan cited a statement by martyred St. Thomas More in the 1960s play and movie A Man for All Seasons: “When statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties, they lead their country by a short route to chaos.”
“Chaos is clearly upon us,” Sheridan said.
Thomas More, an actual devout Catholic, had been a leading political figure as the chancellor of England but was beheaded for refusing to recognize King Henry VIII as supreme head of the Church in England, and refusing to recognize Henry’s divorce from his first wife.
Because Biden wears his aviator sunglasses at inappropriate times, as he did when receiving the Eucharist indoors on July 24, The Wanderer also asked Sheridan if she had any idea why he does this. “No clue about the sunglasses,” she replied.
A Wilmington man who declined to be named saw the photo of Biden’s sacrilege and told The Wanderer that he thought “Joe Biden was a very religious man. I’m just not sure which religion. He’d make a great Episcopalian.”
This Wilmington resident called The Wanderer’s attention to an opinion column defending the Catholic Church’s historic position against sacrilegious reception that was displayed prominently on the July 21 editorial page of the liberal News Journal, Delaware’s largest paper. It was headlined, “Catholic bishops are right about Biden and Communion.”
The column was from a young contributor of the USA Today editorial board, Theresa Olohan. It was displayed two columns wide on a three-column format for the broadsheet News Journal page and extended from below the editorial cartoon at the top of the page to the staff-names box on the bottom of the page.
Olohan wrote, in part: “According to Church teachings, those who do not receive Communion in a state of grace commit a mortal sin, which is eternally damning if not confessed in the Sacrament of Penance before death. Given this context, priests are doing Catholics like Biden a favor when they refuse to give them Communion, because they are ensuring these individuals do not commit the additional grave sin of sacrilege.”
She wrote that brave Catholics of the past “recognized the selflessness and suffering required of all Catholics who strive for perfection in Christ. Even if they failed due to human weakness, the power of the sacraments would heal their sin and set them back on track.
“More important, they knew enough to see above the caprices of their generations, and that worshipping a golden calf may please the multitudes for days, but God’s justice is eternal,” Olohan wrote. “They knew not to mold the faith to the unstable times. Why don’t we?”
Biden continues to make bewildering gaffe after gaffe that would be considered serious enough to have dominant media howling for his removal from office as an unstable chief executive if they viewed him as a political opponent rather than their liberal ally.
Shortly after claiming that he entered the U.S. Senate merely 35 years ago instead of the actual 48, Biden told a late-July Pennsylvania gathering that he used to drive a big 18-wheeler truck, despite no such evidence. Frequently losing his train of thought and injecting gibberish, like talking of the man in the moon and space aliens, might be considered frightening.
The Washington Examiner recalled on July 28 that mangling the truth dishonestly, not merely foolishly, isn’t new to Biden: “Biden has faced criticism for embellishing biographical details for years, including misstatements about his academic credentials that helped bring about the end to his 1988 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.”
Pundit Bill O’Reilly, noting U.S. Catholic bishops having voted to draft a document to debate about Eucharistic coherence, said during his morning radio update for July 28 that he doesn’t think the U.S. Church will deny pro-abortion politicians the Eucharist. To do so, O’Reilly averred, would look too political.
If so, how much more massive immorality must Dem politicians be allowed to get away with before the Church finally has the courage to say they’re straight on the road to Hell if they don’t reform? Being dropped into Hell with a mouthful of Hosts isn’t very eucharistically coherent.
An opinion column posted July 28 at the New York Post on the disappearance of real Catholic Democrats said: “Now the only Democrats who identify as Catholic are people like Pelosi and Biden. They may still rattle their rosary beads. But as the Democratic Party has become more upscale economically and more liberal socially, they have forfeited the concern for the weak and workers that once made Catholic Democrats so distinct.”

Continued Resistance

Meanwhile, in Arizona, Republican Senate officials made news by issuing new subpoenas because of the continued resistance by the Republican-majority Maricopa County supervisors to the election audit. However, Ken Bennett’s new on-again off-again decisions about whether to continue as the liaison added a layer of obscurity.
The audit still was trying to obtain routers from the 2020 election to help verify the vote’s integrity, routers which the supervisors refuse to provide, as well as other material including the envelopes from mail-in ballots. A separate subpoena went to Dominion Voting Systems, whose voting machines were used in 2020.
The supervisors reportedly went into closed session on July 28 to decide how to reply to their new subpoena. KFYI Radio talk host James T. Harris wondered aloud why the supervisors have to meet this way rather than simply comply with the legal demand.
In a comment to The Wanderer, conservative Republican political consultant Constantin Querard pointed to Bennett having a positive image that’s useful for the audit’s credibility.
“Regardless of what the findings are, having them presented in an audit report that is credible is critical,” Querard said. “Right now, Bennett is considered the most credible person involved with the audit, given his background, so everyone seems to want to keep him involved, but he is clearly going to insist on certain standards being met in order to remain involved.”
On July 27 the Yellow Sheet Report, an extensive daily tip sheet for Arizona officials, politicians, and lobbyists, cited Bennett telling the Arizona Republic newspaper he had passed along some information to outsiders.
The tip sheet reported that the Senate president, Fann, “said Bennett has been excluded from the physical count going on now because, as Bennett told the Republic, he shared some box counts of how many ballots were in each box and the information was eventually leaked to the press.
“‘It is irresponsible to disclose partial information to the media since they are not “confirmed” facts until the audit is final,’ Fann said. ‘This only leads to confusion and misinformation with the public. For that reason, it is imperative anyone working with the audit is required to adhere to the rules of not disclosing unconfirmed information’,” the Yellow Sheet Report said.
The Arizona Republic posted on July 28 that Bennett said “he and Fann worked out an agreement in which he would stay on as liaison. Under that agreement, he would be allowed back in the building and get information from the contractors the Senate has put in charge of the audit, Bennett said. He declined to share more about the agreement for now.”
Harris, the KFYI talk host, favors the audit. Citing the county supervisors’ continued resistance to it, Harris told his listeners on July 28 that “we’re living in a state where the rule of law is eroded. We’re living in a nation where the rule of law is eroded.”

Nancy Pelosi’s Potemkin Village

July 31, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on Nancy Pelosi’s Potemkin Village

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

During the eighteenth century, so the story goes, Grigory Potyomkin, a Russian nobleman, was courting Catherine the Great. When he invited the Tsarina to visit the Crimea, he wanted to impress her. However, in those days the Crimea just wasn’t very impressive.
So Potyomkin created a Crimea of his own. Along the route taken by Catherine’s entourage, beautiful villages dotted the landscape in the distance. Brilliantly outfitted soldiers rode by while fireworks blazed.
It was all fake news. The “villages” were paintings erected on faraway wooden platforms. Behind them were hovels and misery.
All in all, Grigory’s big show was a massive con. And thus arose the legend of the “Potemkin Village.”
As one definition puts it, “any deceptive or false construct, conjured often by cruel regimes, to deceive both those within the land and those peering in from outside.”
The image of the cardboard village comes to mind as a major network leads the evening news with, “Thanks to the Delta Variant, Pandemic-Related Anxiety Is Back.”
Get the message? “Be afraid. Be very afraid.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been pushing her fear campaign ever since she declared a year ago that the Covid strain from Wuhan was really the “Trump Virus.” In January, she built her stockade around the Capitol, although the nation’s capital was virtually empty.
From her mask mandates and her mandatory vaccination campaign to her current rerun of “The Secrets of January 6th” routine, Pelosi has fed the media with plenty of material designed to stir fear and to distract our attention from the very real disasters she has been pushing through the House of Representatives.
And there are plenty of them.
Long ago, Pelosi’s family in Baltimore introduced her to the discipline of their Mafia pals. She has used that experience to keep her House Democrat caucus in line to pass radical legislation that’s designed to make her party’s dominant power permanent.
H.R. 1, the “For the People” Act, makes the Democrats the only “people” that count, and puts them in charge of every election at every level nationwide. H.R. 5, the “Equality Act,” shoves gender ideology down the throat of every family, neighborhood, school, and enterprise in America. Threats of mandatory masks, vaccinations, and purges of “white supremacy” abound.
Behind it all, Pelosi is masterminding nothing less than a brutal gang-rape of everything that is good about America.

Will Nancy Let
This Crisis Go To Waste?

Democrats are pushing the “crisis” narrative these days, and that invites a trip down Memory Lane.
Remember Watergate?
We bear in mind that as Speaker, Pelosi is second, after Kamala Harris, in the line of presidential succession. We wonder, what would happen if Joe and “Dr. Jill” went back to Delaware early, resigning like Richard Nixon did in August 1974?
What would happen if Kamala Harris suffered the unhappy fate of Vice-President Spiro Agnew?
Would Nancy Pelosi shrink from the challenge?
We recall that, when the Left went after President Nixon fifty years ago, they had to get rid of Agnew first. Since Agnew came from the same corrupt Baltimore that brought us Nancy Pelosi, the necessary dirt wasn’t hard to find.
After Agnew resigned in October 1973, House Speaker Carl Albert (D., Okla.) was next in the line of presidential succession for two months, until Gerald Ford became vice-president in December.
“I pray for Richard Nixon every day,” Albert told a reporter at the time. Clearly he wasn’t interested in being president.
Is Nancy Pelosi, that “faithful Catholic,” praying for Joe and Kamala every day?
Well, in the meantime, Pelosi is relying on Biden and Harris to play their part in painting the flimsy façade of normalcy. The Washington Post gushes over Joe’s insatiable appetite for ice cream and Harris’ celebrated passion for knitting.
But they never leave fear very far behind. The virtues of masks, vaccinations, and the endless wars against racism and global warming are now the credo of the power cult. It’s all fear, all the time.

Pulling Back The Curtain

Pelosi’s part in the soap opera is designed to distract us from a real disaster: trillion-dollar spending bills, ballooning inflation, unprecedented savagery to the unborn, a million new illegal aliens secretly transported to unwilling communities throughout the country, a historic surge in crime, and a collapse of the United States in the face of the Communist Chinese lust for hegemony.
So the fear must be stoked. But Pelosi is also aware that, as Republican Senate Majority Leader Howard used to say: “That door swings both ways.”
The Speaker has done everything she can to keep her version of “January 6” alive, but reality seems increasingly to be getting in the way.
Her current effort, the “truth commission,” stumbled when two Republican members threatened to focus on some “forbidden questions.” When Pelosi simply kicked them off the commission, the rest of the Republicans withdrew to form their own investigative committee.
While Pelosi’s move guarantees a 100 percent anti-Trump bias among the group that remains (every member of the commission has voted to impeach Trump in the past), those forbidden questions are now going to take center stage on the other side of the aisle.
Republicans don’t deny the collapse of security on January 6, and they praise the actions of the police who tried to defend the Capitol.
But they also want to know whether it’s Pelosi herself who bears the responsibility for that chaotic collapse of Capitol security.
On January 7, the House and Senate Sergeants-at-Arms and the Capitol Police Chief all resigned. Two weeks later, the new Chief admitted to Congress that the Department had “failed adequately to act on intelligence” received days before the incursion.
Those are fighting words, of course, because Pelosi was firmly in charge.
She won’t allow her commission to discuss the question, but the Republicans are sure to. And that prospect poses a serious threat.
Consider: Washington’s Pelosi-friendly media realize they can no longer bury the story. For the past week they’ve run countless stories seeking to place the blame for that fiasco on someone else — anybody else. And that means they’re desperate.
But wait, there’s more. Another Pelosi problem has emerged regarding the death of Ashli Babbitt, an unarmed 110-pound demonstrator who was the only person killed at the Capitol that day.
The Democrats had formally kept secret the shooter’s name, but everyone knows it. He is a member of Pelosi’s personal security team, and a careless one at that. He had earlier left his loaded Glock pistol in a public men’s room in the Capitol; why was he never disciplined for that gross negligence?
We don’t know. Some critics allege that his absolution was due to his minority status, but others shrug and say, “Look, Pelosi runs the show. Period.”
For how long? Only time will tell.

Let’s Get Serious

One wonders, given their continued manipulation of the record, just how serious are the Democrats on the issue of terrorism?
We recall that on March 1, 1954, four armed Puerto Rican nationalists entered the House gallery in the Capitol and shot five Members of Congress. The four were convicted and sent to federal prison. They served their time until Democrat Jimmy Carter granted them clemency in 1979.
On November 7, 1983, Susan Rosenberg planted a bomb outside the GOP Senate cloakroom. She was convicted and sent to federal prison. Democrat Bill Clinton pardoned her in January 2001, and she now raises money for Black Lives Matter.
Are these people serious? Are Democrats really interested in justice at all?
In the last six months, the Biden Administration has fomented the decline of the FBI and the Department of Justice, as they borrow from the methods of Stasi, the Cheka, and the Brownshirts of the last century. Their zealous pursuit of Trump supporters bears an unfortunate resemblance to the “courts” that Stalin put together to punish his closest allies in the 1930s.
Many of us remember how the Soviets convicted Cardinal Mindszenty in his show trial 72 years ago. Is that what America’s Left has in mind for us?

The Two Miracles Of The Mass

July 30, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on The Two Miracles Of The Mass

By JOE SIXPACK

In the eighth century, a Basilian monk was in the town of Anxanum in Italy, now called Lanciano. He was having doubts about the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist and had begged God for the light of faith to resolve his doubts. When celebrating Mass, at the words of consecration — this is my Body, this is my Blood — the monk was amazed to see the Host turn into real flesh and the wine in the chalice turn into real blood. Needless to say, the monk’s faith in the Real Presence was restored.
This is the first and greatest of Eucharistic miracles in the history of the Church, and it’s known commonly as the Miracle of Lanciano. There are several interesting facts about this miracle you may want to know.
The first thing to note is, after 1,200 years, the Flesh and Blood are still intact. Over the centuries the Flesh has turned a reddish brown and the Blood has coagulated into five globules of different sizes and shapes. It should have long ago deteriorated into dust, but It remains visible to this day.
In 1970, Dr. Odoardo Linoli, an eminent professor of pathological histology and anatomy, was given permission to test and study the relics. His findings, released in 1971, were amazing. He’d discovered that the both the Flesh and the Blood are of human origin. The Flesh is human heart muscle, and both the Flesh and the Blood are of the same type — AB (identical, incidentally, to the blood found on the Shroud of Turin). Although the Flesh and Blood were kept in an ivory vessel from the eighth century until transferred to a crystal reliquary and monstrance in 1713, and was exposed to the environmental elements, both Flesh and Blood maintain the qualities of living human flesh and blood.
The preservation of the Flesh and of the Blood, which were left in their natural state for twelve centuries and exposed to the actions of atmospheric and biological agents, remains an extraordinary phenomenon. Dr. Linoli was permitted to conduct additional testing and studies in 1981, which not only confirmed his original findings but uncovered additional information that reinforced the authenticity of this extraordinary miracle.
It was also discovered that the globules of Blood, when rehydrated, became as fresh as if It had just been drawn from a vein. All five globules, despite being of different sizes and shapes, all weigh exactly the same, and when weighed together they weigh the same as any one globule.
Although we don’t see this taking place — that our senses continue to see ordinary bread and ordinary wine — we all get to witness this miracle of the bread and wine becoming the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ at every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. But this isn’t the only miracle taking place during Mass.
There is yet another miracle taking place at every Mass celebrated in every Catholic parish church every day of the year. It is the sort of miracle you never hear about, never read about, and it’s only ever covered in theology and philosophy classes in the best seminaries. If it has a name, I don’t know what it is, but I can at least try to explain it for you.
We are limited in our human experience by the restrictions of time, space, and dimension. Time for man is linear, which means we can’t alter time; we just experience it from one instant to the next. The same is true of space. The restrictions of space force us to be in only one place at one time. Regarding dimension, we know there is our world, but there is also Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory, yet we can’t cause ourselves to go to any of those other dimensions of our own power — we’re stuck right here in our dimension of earthly existence.
God, on the other hand, who created time, space and dimension, isn’t at all limited by those factors. He sees all of time simultaneously — from the beginning of time to the end of time, and all events in between. Because He is omnipresent, God is present in every space He created, and He keeps those spaces in existence by an act of His holy will. The same is true of dimension. God keeps our earthly dimension, Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory in existence by His holy will.
When we are present at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is a re-presentation of the sacrifice He made to God on our behalf on the cross, we are in the physical presence of Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, both on the altar and in the tabernacle. Because we are with Him, in a mystical way we are also present with Him through the entire redemption of mankind. This means we are simultaneously present in the upper room when He instituted the Eucharist, in the Garden of Gethsemane during His agony, with Him during His scourging and crowning with thorns, standing with Him as He is condemned to death . . . for us . . . walking along side of Him while He carries His cross to Golgotha, and standing at the foot of the cross while He dies for our sins — all while standing, sitting and kneeling as the priest celebrates the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. This is a monumental miracle!
We Catholics are taught we are to have the same dispositions at Mass we would have had if we had been standing at the foot of the cross with the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. John. Now you know why we’re supposed to have those same dispositions, if I have done well in explaining this miracle of the Mass. This is why it is so important — not just important, but demanded by God the Father! — that we show the proper signs of respect during the Mass. This is why we kneel and genuflect at the appropriate times and in the proper manner. This is why we are to be silent at any time we are in the church where the tabernacle rests and the Mass is celebrated, even if the Mass isn’t being celebrated. This is why we don’t wave and hug and kiss during the sign of peace. This is why we dress modestly for Mass, not exposing thighs, cleavage, and bare shoulders.
This is why we are supposed to wear our “Sunday best” in the presence of the King. This is why we are to make certain we are in a state of grace, free of serious sin, before we go to Communion, availing ourselves of Confession if we are not in a state of grace.
Of all the religions in the world, ours is the only one where God actually comes to be with His people. God became man. The God-Man preached to us how He wants us to live, then left His holy Church to be our guide in His physical absence. He sacrificed every drop of His blood to redeem us from sin…then did the most remarkable thing of all by allowing us to share in His divine nature through reception of the Holy Eucharist, when the God-Man physically enters into and abides with man.
The two miracles of the Mass are the Holy Eucharist and His allowing us to be with Him at Its institution and throughout His Passion. These are the most amazing, remarkable miracles in the history of mankind.
If you have a question or comment you can reach out to me through the “Ask Joe” page of JoeSixpackAnswers.com, or you can email me at Joe@CantankerousCatholic.com.
Hey, how would you like to see things like this article every week in your parish bulletin as an insert? You or your pastor can learn more about how to do that by emailing me at Joe@CantankerousCatholic.com.

Will New Bishop, Biden Get Message?. . . Delaware Pro-Lifers Find It Easier To Place Theme In Secular Paper

July 29, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on Will New Bishop, Biden Get Message?. . . Delaware Pro-Lifers Find It Easier To Place Theme In Secular Paper

By DEXTER DUGGAN

Will failed attempts to place two pro-life advertisements recently in the Wilmington, Del., Catholic diocesan newspaper prompt the diocese’s new bishop to reflect on how the radically pro-abortion Joe Biden has been allowed to retain his claim to be a practicing Catholic in his East Coast home state?
Both ads, one by some pro-life parishioners at the church frequented there by Biden, St. Joseph on the Brandywine, and the other by Delaware Right to Life, subsequently ran at Delaware’s largest newspaper, The News Journal, without any problem.
On July 19 The Wanderer asked Joseph Owens, editor and general manager of The Dialog diocesan newspaper, about the pro-life ads not running. Owens promptly replied in brief comments.
“The Dialog typically does not discuss interaction with customers or potential customers with anyone but the customer, but I can say you have some inaccurate information,” Owens said. “In the first case, no advertisement was ever submitted for consideration to The Dialog from the parishioner group you mention at St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine.
“In the case of Delaware Right to Life, The Dialog offered to work on messaging with members of the group. They declined,” he said. “You should note that the special section did include other messages of support on behalf of pro-life.”
David O’Flynn, a member of St. Joseph on the Brandywine Parishioners for Life, spoke with Owens about placing an ad in The Dialog.
O’Flynn told The Wanderer on July 19 that he decided not to run an ad there after a phone conversation with Owens, but instead turned to the daily secular News Journal, which was easy to work with.
“The demeanor he exuded on the phone, the tone of the conversation, and his curt responses gave me the clear indication he had zero interest and would be very difficult and time-consuming to deal with,” O’Flynn said. “I got the clear impression I was bothering him.
“I was astonished that I’d even need to convince the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington and their publication to run a pro-life advertisement. So my decision was to not patronize The Dialog with my business and my money,” O’Flynn said.
He said The News Journal was “wonderful to deal with, very accommodating, and provided three days of run time for the same money,” $2,700.
The Wanderer provided editor Owens with O’Flynn’s entire comment concerning him. Owens replied on July 20, “Regarding my conversation with the parishioner, I’ll say only that my recollection is different than his.”
The half-page broadsheet ad ran as an open letter in The News Journal on May 14-16 and is reproduced at the pro-lifers’ web page,. It was headlined, “Pray for the President to Advocate for Life,” and included a prayer at the upper right that began, “Gracious and loving God, we come to you in humble prayer. Bless our President.”
A portion of the text said, “We write this letter with the utmost concern for the direction this president is leading our country in regard to the unborn. The president’s policies on abortion wholly contradict the Catholic Church’s core belief and scientific consensus that life begins at conception. . . .
“The prevalence of abortion is a fatal symptom of a larger moral malaise and lack of respect for life,” the parishioners wrote. “As someone who publicly professes his Catholic faith, Mr. Biden should surely confront this malady.”
The Wanderer did earlier articles about this challenge to Biden in its hardcopy editions of June 17 (p. 1A) and July 1 (p. 3A).
Moira Sheridan, the president of Delaware Right to Life, told The Wanderer on July 20 that Owens wanted an “optimistic” ad to go in a supplement welcoming new Bishop William Koenig to the Wilmington Diocese in July after Bishop W. Francis Malooly passed retirement age.
Sheridan recalled that the state pro-life group had run an ad in the supplement that welcomed Malooly upon his arrival as bishop, and The Dialog solicited the group’s ad this time around for successor Koenig.
“When Joe Owens called me about the ad, I knew what it was about: the ‘messaging’,” she told The Wanderer. “He questioned why we didn’t run a similar, optimistic message like last time and hoped we would change it to be more like the others. I told him the board spent a long time coming up with that message, with lots of back-and-forth, and that we were unwilling to compromise because it’s a message that needs to be heard.
“When asked why we didn’t want to run such a conciliatory message, I asked him, where has it gotten us? Where has it gotten the babies? He countered with something about it ‘closing the door’ on dialogue with the bishop, and I said that that particular message is something a LOT of people want to hear and you are effectively closing the door on that message and canceling our voice in the process,” Sheridan said.
“He asserted they wouldn’t print the ad as written and I said, so be it,” Sheridan said. “The board voted to run the ad in the local paper instead.”
Owens only commented to The Wanderer, “As for the special section, the messaging was in line with the title — ‘Welcome Our Shepherd’.”
Sheridan told The Wanderer that for this Dialog advertising supplement, “we discussed as a board the prospect of a more focused message, one that would address the obvious flouting of Catholic teaching by local Catholic politicians who present themselves publicly for the Eucharist at Mass while advocating strenuously for abortion on demand.
“Biden is obviously chief among these, but they include a number of high-ranking politicians, including the governor, mayor of Wilmington, state representatives and senators, and other key government positions,” she said.
“In short, we are awash with such ‘devout Catholics’ and thought it time to jettison the lukewarm message for one that fit our mission to ‘Defend innocent life from conception to natural death.’
“Millions of babies have died on these prelates’ and politicians’ watch and nothing changes,” Sheridan said.
As to the results of deciding to run the ad in The News Journal, she said, “Interestingly, we had a lot of support from pro-lifers who a few years ago would never have condoned such an ad. Many are fed up with the politicians and clergy who seem to work hand in hand to protect abortion.
“Delaware just passed two bills that further protect the abortion industry: one removes any punishment for doctors who kill women in the course of an abortion (HB 31) . . . and another allows abortifacient contraceptives to be given out without a prescription over the counter, including injecting said contraceptives (SB 105). . . . They await the Catholic governor’s signature,” Sheridan said.
“A bill to require women be given the option of looking at their ultrasound never made it out of committee despite almost 2,000 emails sent to legislators by constituents in favor of it,” she said.
“The time for lukewarm responses is over,” Sheridan said. “If Catholics don’t defend the Eucharist from heretical clergy and hypocritical politicians, they should expect such ads to be run. The war on babies and the vulnerable is a real war and we need to treat it as such.”
The Delaware Right to Life ad ran on one-quarter of a page in the broadsheet News Journal on Sunday, July 11, and began in bold type: “Delaware Right to Life welcomes Bishop William Koenig to the Diocese of Wilmington with an important message.”
The rest of the wording was in lighter type. It said: “We look forward to you providing the bold leadership your flock so desperately needs. Protect the sanctity of and increase respect for the Holy Eucharist by clarifying Church doctrine regarding the worthy reception of Our Lord.
“Refuse Holy Communion to Catholic politicians within your diocese who publicly oppose Church teaching on abortion, contraception, and end-of-life issues,” the ad continued. “In teaching ‘the fullness and the beauty of the Catholic faith,’ may the Holy Spirit give you the wisdom and fortitude to act courageously. The fate of many souls depends on your action.”

Bishop Wants To Talk To Biden

Owens did a long Q-and-A with Koenig that was posted at The Dialog’s website on July 18 but was conducted “several weeks” earlier. About halfway through, the editor questioned him about the diocesan pro-life office, then about Biden. Here are those exchanges.
“Q. The office of pro-life activities in the diocese has not had a director since the death of Fr. Leonard Klein in late 2019. What would you say to the pro-life advocates who believe the Church needs to be among the leaders in the fight against abortion?”
“(A.) I would certainly agree. We need to protect life and the sacredness of life from the moment of conception to natural death. And that there are different ways that we do that. Certainly, there’s prayer. Just this morning, one of the prayers in the universal prayer was the protection of all life.
“There’s developing programs that will help protect life and help people to have children. Provide for the needs of young parents or to-be parents. There’s the need to continue to make — who we are and what our faith tells us — make it known, in the public square also.”
“Q. We now have our second Catholic president of the United States in the nearly 250 years of our nation. President Biden is from Delaware and a regular churchgoer his entire life. There is a great divide in our diocese, as there also seems to be among leaders of our Church.
“Some of our local Catholics are proud to say our president is a Catholic. Others are quite the opposite — they believe he should be denied the Eucharist and some even say he should be excommunicated. What do you say to people who would like to engage in that conversation? People identify Joe Biden as being Catholic, but do the public policy positions of the president send a mixed message?”
“(A.) To me, this is something that has to be taken up with an individual. That’s the role of a pastor. And, so, I would welcome the opportunity. I’ve never spoken to President Biden. I would welcome the opportunity to have a conversation with him. As a Catholic bishop, I am called to teach the fullness and the beauty of the Catholic faith.”

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… Needed Now: An Organized Effort And Plan To Defeat The Left

July 28, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… Needed Now: An Organized Effort And Plan To Defeat The Left

By STEPHEN M. KRASON

The assault by the left on American and Western traditions, the institution of the family and the sound sexual morality needed to sustain it, the principles of natural law generally, and on religious belief and in many ways religious freedom has reached a point of being unparalleled in our nation’s history.
The historic tendency of the left has been to flee reality — to fantasize — as in thinking that economies can sustain themselves when the profit motive is suppressed and people somehow become free when government manages every aspect of their lives. The left’s fantasies have now become more extreme than ever, believing in such things as people being able to change their sex.
While the current cultural mania exploded onto the American scene in a big way in the 1960s, that tumultuous decade seems almost tame compared to what we are seeing now. The left’s attempt to steamroll its sweeping and destructive agenda and suppress opposition also is unprecedented in American history, as is the uncanny way the elected officials from the political party it has captured — the Democratic — just fall in line with hardly any questioning of the views of those within its ranks leading this leftist juggernaut.
In light of this overwhelming, dangerous assault by the left, it is now necessary to develop and implement a plan for a well thought-out, organized, and concerted way to not just respond but also make a sustained counterattack against it. To be sure, we should always attempt to engage those on the left who are willing to listen, to show them the problems and dangerous implications of their thinking. After all, the Christian must always seek to evangelize.
It is not likely that many on the left will want to listen, however. Most have increasingly become blind ideologues, and their ideology is almost a religion for them. The left simply has to be defeated.
The war against the left needs to be carried out at all levels: national, state, local, and in private entities. At the local level, we can take inspiration from what parents in Loudoun County, Va., have been doing to oppose the leftist school board’s attempt to put sexually explicit books into the schools and teach critical race theory. People need to regularly come to school board, city council, county government, and other public meetings and be prepared to speak. They should have rallies at county courthouses and city government headquarters. There should be letter-writing campaigns to local newspapers.
If the papers routinely won’t publish anti-leftist letters, people should flood their telephone lines with objections and even be prepared to picket them. Opponents of the left should connect up with sympathetic advocacy groups to initiate lawsuits when needed to oppose overreach by leftist local officials. They should closely monitor the actions of their state governments and organize frequent letter-writing, emailing, and phone-calling campaigns directed to state governors and legislators to stop outrageous leftist-oriented executive, bureaucratic, and legislative initiatives.
They should be sure to show up at local events where state officials are appearing and make it a point to express their views to them. Frequent rallies at state capitals should also be held. Intensive efforts should be made to recruit the best candidates possible to contest local, county, and state elections. People of solid character should be sought who it is certain will uphold American constitutional principles and sound moral positions and who have the capability and willingness to run aggressively against the left.
A concerted effort should be made to educate these candidates on the ins and outs of the issues so they will be ready to face off against their leftist opponents and rebut their distortions and deceptions. For congressional offices, adequately experienced individuals with these qualities, who have shone in lesser elective office, should be sought out. There should be regular rallies opposing dangerous leftist-inspired legislation in Washington and at federal buildings around the country and the same kind of citizen efforts to communicate with officials as at the state level should be organized and carried out in a continuous and concerted way.
Also, it almost goes without saying that anti-leftist legal advocacy groups should be ultra-aggressive in challenging dangerous federal legislation and, perhaps even more so — since it has become the predominant part of federal law — bureaucratic regulations.
An organized, concerted effort against the left’s influence is needed not just in the political realm, but in higher education and the corporate world. Since colleges and universities are where the bad ideas germinate, pressure should be put on them to straighten themselves out.
Citizen groups should organize opposition to increasing the budgets of state higher education institutions that fail to protect conservative students, refuse to hire non-leftist faculty, and suppress authentic academic freedom and true diversity (i.e., diversity of thought and ideas). They should routinely publicize and hammer away at the outrages of the left at both public and private campuses. They should expose the typical weak-kneed responses of administrators. They should routinely reach out to alumni of institutions and potential benefactors to urge them not to contribute to them unless these things change.

Support MyPillow

Widespread boycotts should be organized against corporations that embrace “wokism” and strong support should be given to the few, such as Mike Lindell’s MyPillow company, which have resisted the left and faced its fury. They should arrange boycotts of those companies and retail outfits that won’t carry the products of companies like Lindell’s because of his resistance to the left.
At the highest level of American politics, we need to bring forth solid presidential candidates who fully understand the stakes involved, will take unremitting and courageous stands against the left, and will not succumb to the temptation of “politics as usual” of refusing to take the heat and shy away from controversy.
Quite the opposite, a president is needed who will lead the charge and understand, as must be the case with all resistance to the left, that one must always be on the offensive. While prudence is always important, these are not times for a defensive posture (which is something the Republican Party keeps failing to realize). What should be aimed for, at this point, is a president of extraordinary courage and assertiveness. A central part of what he will need to do is to stand up to the Supreme Court and not tolerate its unconstitutional decisions.
To be sure, prudence (again) must rule. He cannot resist or refuse to enforce every problematical decision—otherwise the rightful authority of the Court would be undercut. Examples of what he should do along these lines is to order the federal bureaucracy not to accept the Court’s outrageous interpretation of sex discrimination in the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include homosexuality and transgenderism, tell the states that they can ban same-sex “marriage,” and order the U.S. Marshal Service — which is an executive agency — not to enforce any federal court orders against state and local officials who subsequently refuse to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples. It’s also time for a presidential stand against the Court on abortion if it does not step back from Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton.
The left’s power should not be overestimated. Even where it is deeply engrained and seems to have its cadres and ideological soulmates all over, those who embrace thinking that is grossly untrue and, in fact, that slips ever further into irrationality — like, again, believing that sex is fluid and changeable — fundamentally weaken themselves. It is said that “the fish rots from the head,” and so the whole structure — that is, the predominance of the left — then becomes vulnerable.
Careful planning, organization, coordination, knowledge of the enemy and how to confront his flawed thinking is essential to defeating him, however. What does that mean in practical terms?
Conservative and religious organizations must partner in an ongoing way with existing and newly formed citizen groups — with a genuine spirit of cooperation and putting aside any tendency toward one-upmanship — to work out this battle plan in the different arenas mentioned, move forward with it, and engage in ongoing consultation and joint effort involving and supporting each other in their particular role in this crucial cause — indeed the stakes are nothing less than upholding true freedom, morality, and the highest principles of Western Civilization.
What this war demands is intelligent, well-planned, concerted action. We have been talking mostly about activism, but education is also critical. The left’s opponents must constantly explain to the American public the left’s errors and the dangerous implications of its thinking and initiatives and what the elements of a sound public philosophy and policies consist of. While they must always be civil and charitable, they must also be relentless.

  • + + (Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears frequently in The Wanderer. He is professor of Political Science and Legal Studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists and a lawyer. Among his books are: Abortion: Politics, Morality, and the Constitution; The Public Order and the Sacred Order; The Transformation of the American Democratic Republic; and Catholicism and American Political Ideologies. The views expressed here are his own.)

A Beacon Of Light… The Prayer For Our Retreat

July 27, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on A Beacon Of Light… The Prayer For Our Retreat

By FR. RICHARD D. BRETON JR.

(Editor’s Note: Fr. Richard D. Breton Jr. is a priest of the Diocese of Norwich, Conn. He received his BA in religious studies and his MA in dogmatic theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Conn.)

  • + + Let’s begin by praying our retreat prayer:
    “Jesus, you invited the apostles to come away with you to a deserted place and rest awhile. Like your apostles, enable me to experience you on retreat — your suffering love and tender compassion. May I come to better know myself, to draw closer to you, and to thus be of better service to my brothers and sisters in the Church! Help me to listen attentively, to ponder prayerfully, to respond generously, and to benefit from the solitude and peace. Through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Sorrows, may I and my fellow retreatants leave our retreat as deeply committed Christians, better able to follow your footsteps in all the opportunities and challenges of life. Amen.”
    In last week’s article, we began our mini-retreat by making a distinction between journeys of life and faith. Each of these journeys leads us to a particular destination. Whenever we begin a journey, there needs to be preparation. This preparation enables us to get the things ready we will need along the way. Achieving the goal of reaching the destination cannot be done without the assistance of certain gear, assisting us along the way.
    Every waking day is part of this journey. And each day we make decisions on how to tackle our day. This requires us to have a plan on how we will proceed.
    One of the most important pieces of gear we need in accomplishing this is the map. The map guides us to where we are going. Let’s imagine we are driving across the country. Before leaving we would need to chart the route we would take to get to our final destination. Not doing so would lead us to wind up in some treacherous and even difficult places.
    When I was young, my siblings and I took many trips with my parents to Florida. These usually involved going by car because the cost of airfare was prohibitive for a family of 10. I remember my parents would argue about which direction to go. My dad would just drive and not worry, while my mother, on the other hand, wanted to follow a detailed map. Needless to say, thank God someone had invented headphones by then! This would happen for hours and finally we would reach the destination.
    Today journeys have become more high tech as we rely on Global Positioning System, or GPS, to help us reach our destination. Maps and GPS may lead us to our final earthly destination, but reaching our heavenly homeland requires something stronger.
    C.S. Lewis once wrote: “One road leads home and a thousand roads lead into the wilderness.” How true this is! For the journey of faith, our road map is Sacred Scripture, or God’s Holy Word. This is clarified for us in the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, or the famous Vatican II document known as: Dei Verbum. Article II paragraph 2 of this document reminds us that: “Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture, firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures.” Since God’s holy word is given for us, “for the sake of our salvation,” then it is clear our roadmap to the heavenly Kingdom must be Sacred Scripture.
    The word of God has a foundational place in every part of our faith journey. It began in the moments when the word of God was spoken, and everything was created. God’s word was spoken to Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Israel, and the Prophets of old, thus leading them to where the Lord called. God’s word was further made manifest, in the beauty of the Incarnation, when “The Word Became Flesh.” Thus Jesus, the Christ, became the visible roadmap. The one who commissioned and led the Apostles and disciples on the road that ultimately leads to salvation.
    The question for us to ask ourselves in this reflection is: Do we allow the Word of God to be our roadmap in life today? Often times, the “real roadmap” is covered up by an imitation roadmap that leads to personal gratification and to detours that complicate our lives. Today’s society uses mass media to confuse and derail us on the path that leads to happiness, peace, and joy. How do we follow the right path along the journey? Simply by allowing the graces we received in Confirmation to be the gear that guides us.
    The Sacrament of Confirmation perfects within us the graces of Baptism, thus completing the reception of sanctifying grace. Confirmation instills within us the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. These gifts are linked to the certain virtues necessary in helping us along the path leading to the heavenly Kingdom. Our journey of faith demands the use of three virtues in getting to our eternal destination.
    The first virtue that assists us is fortitude, or courage. With the gift of fortitude, or courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risks as a follower of Jesus Christ. Sometimes the journey of faith involves detours along the way. These detours have the potential to help us, but can also hurt us. Fortitude enables us to take the risk and journey into the unknown where the detour may lead. By strengthening the virtue of fortitude, we can discern if a detour is helpful or not.
    The second virtue needed is wisdom. With the gift of wisdom, we see God at work in our lives and in the world. For the wise person, the wonders of nature, historical events, and the ups and downs of our lives take on deeper meaning. We are able to see God in everyone and everything everywhere. The famous poem, Footprints in the Sand, is a beautiful example of the proof that the Lord is walking beside us on our journey of faith. Remember how the man was walking alone struggling with life and how in those moments there was one set of footprints. So in our journey of faith, Jesus is just an arm’s length away.
    The third virtue we need on the journey is knowledge. With the gift of knowledge, we understand the meaning of God’s Revelation, especially as expressed in the life and words of Jesus Christ. A person with knowledge is always learning more about the Scriptures and Tradition. They are learning more about their faith. The virtue of knowledge allows us to be open to moments of conversion in our lives. Throughout life, and any kind of journey, there are always moments to learn new things. In fact, the entire journey of life and faith is one big educational experience. We learn more about ourselves, and we learn more about our relationship with the Lord.
    Sometimes we begin a journey not knowing what will happen along the way. This was the case with the two disciples who were on the road to Emmaus. Do you remember the story? It was after Jesus’ crucifixion and the two disciples were feeling the pressure of the tragic events that had transpired. Along the way Jesus appeared in their midst, but their eyes were hidden from seeing Him. It wasn’t until later as they began to eat the supper that they recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread. Earlier their hearts were burning within them as they heard Jesus speak, but their eyes were closed. Similarly, sometimes we fail to recognize Jesus on our journey. We need to remember: To see the Lord, is to hear His word. Sacred Scripture, the word of the Lord, is the roadmap on our journey of faith.
    Let us close with a frequently, yet forgotten, psalm: “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
    Next week we will continue our retreat by discussing the second gear needed on our journey of faith. Come back, and continue to walk the way of the Lord!

Disrespect Of American Indian Culture

July 26, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on Disrespect Of American Indian Culture

By DEACON MIKE MANNO

One thing I remember from my childhood, among all the old black and white westerns that I watched on TV, was an interest in Cowboys and Indians. Of course, at the time most Indians were portrayed as the antagonists, except for Tonto and a few that were intended for comic relief.
That never seemed right to me, but what was a kid to do? So like all the other kids I just sat back and watched the boob-tube. But the portrayal of the Indians never seemed balanced, especially when in history class the nuns taught us how real the prejudice against them was, and how they were relegated to reservations and stripped of most of their natural rights as the white man moved westward.
Then one day I remember seeing a solicitation for a Catholic Indian mission in one of the Dakotas. The solicitation listed the prices of things they needed to acquire to make sure the mission was financially stable. Of course I wasn’t a rich kid and lived with my parents in modest style. But I was intrigued with the cost of one of the mission’s necessities.
Bricks for building classrooms were fifty-cents apiece. I remember talking to my dad about it, he gave me an envelope and stamp and I put a dollar bill in it with a note that I would like to buy two bricks for the Indian kids. I don’t remember if I ever sent them any more money, but I was hoping my dollar might contribute to a better life on the reservation for kids like me.
Now before you get the idea that I’m some sort of civil rights activist for Native Americans, I’m not. I know history has not been kind to them, I know they were here first, but I also know that there were many other injustices committed during the long history of white men in America. There, of course, is nothing that we can do about the past except trying to understand it, and to grapple with the legacy we have inherited, both the good and the bad.
One of the ways we deal with this history is to recognize the cultural beliefs that are represented by the indigenous peoples that inhabited our land before we did. That may sound pious, although I do not mean it in that way. What I mean is this: Just as we take umbrage when we see mobs of demonstrators tearing down symbols of our white, Euro-centric culture, we should be reticent to disrespect theirs.
A case on point is now before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in which the Klickitat and Cascade Tribes of the Yakama Nation have watched as the government has not only disrespected a small religious site that has been the center of rituals and burial ceremonies since long before we arrived, but it deliberately destroyed it.
And it was all done to widen a highway in Oregon, without notice to the tribe and in violation of an agreement between the tribal leaders and the government agencies involved.
The dispute goes back to 2006 when the Federal Highway Administration sought to expand U.S. Highway 26 which linked Portland to Mount Hood, an ancient and sacred site for the native Indians. Along the highway was a small sacred cite called Ana Kwna Nchi nchi Patat, the “Place of Big Big Trees.” It was not quite a full acre and consisted of “a dense stand of old growth trees encircling a historic campground, burial ground, and centuries-old stone altar. The site has been used by indigenous peoples since time immemorial, and by Plaintiffs personally since the 1940s for core religious ceremonies that cannot take place anywhere else,” according to the tribe’s petition to the appellate court.
While initially the government tried to work with the tribes, those negotiations failed as the government went ahead with its widening plans and in 2008 the tribal hereditary chiefs, Wilbur Slockish and Johnny Jackson, along with a tribal elder, Carol Logan, and two other entities, responded by bringing suit against the Federal Highway Commission to prevent the further destruction of their religious site.
To add the turning lane, and to protect nearby wetlands, the government “completely destroyed the sacred site — cutting down the old-growth trees, bulldozing the burial ground and stone altar, and covering the area under a massive earthen berm. It did this even though there were several feasible ways to add the turn lane without harming the sacred site,” the tribes argued in their brief.
The tribes alleged that this is a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), claiming the governmental action posed a “substantial burden” on the tribe’s religious liberties. “Here, the sacred site’s destruction obviously imposed a ‘substantial burden’ on Plaintiffs’ religious practices because it makes those practices impossible,” the tribes wrote.
Additionally the tribes contend the government violated the Free Exercise Clause by carving out secular — but not religious — exemptions from the negative consequences of its actions. Specifically, while the government altered the project to accommodate nearby wetlands, it refused to make the same accommodations for plaintiffs’ sacred site.
In addition, the suit alleged that the government violated the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act.
The lower court, however, was not kind to the tribes. It dismissed the suit saying that since the religious site had been destroyed and it was no longer accessible to the tribes, the destruction of the site did not impose a substantial burden on their religious exercise under RFRA. The case bounced around in the district court for a while until the court entered a final decree from which the tribes took this appeal to the circuit court.
In its brief, the tribes appealed to the court of appeals:
“Some cases present an irreconcilable conflict between the protection of a sacred site and the accomplishment of the Government’s goals. Not this one. Plaintiffs sought to protect a tiny, 0.74-acre site where they worshiped for a half-century, and where their ancestors worshiped for centuries before them.
“The Government knew about the site, sending an archaeologist to examine it. The Government protected the site, changing prior projects to preserve it. But then the Government knowingly destroyed it, rendering Plaintiffs’ religious practices impossible. That the Government deemed the site insignificant, or wanted to finish its project more quickly, does not justify its actions. It only shows why we have laws like these in the first place — so our nation’s tragic history of destroying sacred sites does not senselessly repeat itself.”
“For centuries Native Americans have endured the destruction of sacred places by the federal government, and it’s heartbreaking that the court would say this completely preventable destruction was okay,” said tribal elder Carol Logan, and one of the plaintiffs in this case. “All we want is the return of our sacred artifacts, the rededication of the area for our ancestors, and the promise that we can continue to worship as our tribes have done for centuries.”
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and two local firms are representing the tribes.
This case has had a long and complicated history. This appeal was only filed May 3, 2021 so there might be a while longer before the tribes get justice. But this is one of those cases that will get little note by the press or legal commentators. For most, unless you live in the area, you will never have heard of this dispute. But it is real, it affects real people who want to protect their religious heritage and practice.
We would want the same thing.
(You can reach Mike at: DeaconMike@q.com and listen to him every Thursday at 10 a.m. Central on Faith On Trial at IowaCatholicRadio.com.)

Challenges From Biden, Pope . . . Get A Close Examination By Bishops Who Come Off The Bench

July 25, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on Challenges From Biden, Pope . . . Get A Close Examination By Bishops Who Come Off The Bench

By DEXTER DUGGAN

History often moves step by step, not by a big jump on one day — allowing, of course, for exceptions like assassinations and atomic bombs.
But as press time approached for this hardcopy issue of The Wanderer on July 22, there seemed to be favorable signs for conservatism and traditionalism, not so much for left-wing sleight-of-hand that had been getting away with shell games.
For years U.S. Catholic bishops’ bureaucrats got used to deferring to liberal Democratic Party bigfeet who thereby felt free to keep pushing further left, even when this meant trashing conventional morality, as increasingly was the case.
Thus, Catholics around the world beheld the scandal of the radically pro-abortion but barely coherent bad Catholic Joe Biden mumbling his way through public appearances while opening wide the money spigots and muscling up political pressure points to aid abortionists both within and beyond U.S. borders.
And, of course, there was more. On June 25 his home state’s largest news platform, Delaware Online, reported that “State Sen. Sarah McBride will travel to the White House . . . as President Joe Biden signs a series of laws and executive orders in honor of Pride Month.”
McBride, the news platform said, “who is the first openly transgender state senator in the country, is the highest-ranking transgender elected official in United States history. She also has a close relationship with the Bidens. She worked for the late Beau Biden, and Joe Biden wrote the forward [sic] for McBride’s memoir.”
However, the time arrives for a recoil from Biden’s scrunched-eyes vision.
In June a large majority of members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted to draft a document for debate on Eucharistic coherence. They really couldn’t wait longer when Biden sowed massive confusion by publicly pretending to be a practicing Catholic while acting as if he’s honorary president of Planned Parenthood Global.
Having exhibited courage, prelates began to show more of it.
On July 20 the archbishop of Cincinnati, Dennis Schnurr, announced that he had not been asked for his approval, nor would he have given it, for Biden to appear at a CNN town hall conducted on the grounds of Mount St. Joseph University in the archdiocese.
It seemed obvious the White House welcomed playing a tattered Catholic card by getting Biden onto this property, even though there were plenty of other venues available.
“Archbishop Schnurr has therefore not been asked for, nor would he have granted, his approval for any such event to occur on Catholic premises,” an official statement said, adding that the university isn’t under the direct oversight of the archdiocese.
The more often the better that Biden is seen accurately as a renegade and scoundrel having to sneak around rather than being honored falsely as a practicing Catholic.
The town hall venue, with invitation-only admission to serve up softball questions, was carefully plotted to try to conceal Biden’s liabilities. Only rows close to the stage had audience, while the rest of the hall was vacant.
Still, the cognitively impaired Biden fell into his characteristic mumbling and digressions, losing his train of thought and scrunching up his eyes. Even though Biden was led through the evening by his worshipful CNN defender Don Lemon, he had moments that must have left the White House wondering if it wasn’t better to keep him behind the curtains at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
On the issue of trust, Biden talked himself into this mess, according to CNN’s own transcript: “Think of the people, if your kid wanted to find out whether or not there were — there’s a man on the moon or whatever, you know, something, or, you know, whether those aliens are here or not, you know, who are the people they talk to beyond the kids who love talking about it?”
Yes, if Biden’s Marxist pals have stirred up distrust, the explanation is space aliens and the man on the moon. Or something.
What fun times the enemies of the United States must anticipate if they can get bleary Biden into a room to negotiate with them, without his minders along.
Nor was Biden alone in coming under closer attention by Catholic officials. For instance, a July 19 report by Catholic News Agency said New Mexico Democrat state Sen. Joe Cervantes complained that he was denied the Eucharist for political reasons.
However, CNA said, a spokesman for the Diocese of Las Cruces said that both Cervantes’ pastor and Bishop Peter Baldacchino privately told the senator not to present himself for Communion due to his support for strongly pro-abortion legislation. Denial of the Eucharist “did not happen on the spur of the moment,” the spokesman said, according to CNA.
Meanwhile, some U.S. prelates also defended their flocks against confusion as they examined Pope Francis’ harsh, perplexing attack on admirers of the Traditional Latin Mass, whose celebration had been graciously extended by his immediate Predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. Many of these Mass-goers are young people.
It was hard to see how they allegedly longed to return to a pre-Vatican II age in the 1950s when they weren’t even born until the 1980s or 1990s. Often the biggest followers of the TLM are fruitful young families whose entire lives have been spent in postconciliar times, but they’re still inspired by that Mass’ beauty and reverence often lacking in today’s radicalized world.
Is it awful to enjoy the beginning of Mass more by saying “I will go unto the altar of God” than maybe “Hi, there”?
These families are the kind to supply the future of the Church, not Biden-style dissenters who relish limitless abortion and enforced sexual disorientation. Are healthy young families unwelcome in the eyes of those who’d prefer to see the Church staggering along, weak and susceptible to whatever Marxist or climatological hubris might get imposed on it?
A yearning to return to the past may be more likely for elderly, maybe 84-year-old progressives who’d prefer to live in the early 1960s’ hopes for Vatican II instead of unfortunate results — a Church often vitiated and mangled by liberal media and political/religious lefties of that time. By the mid-1970s, was the Church obviously healthier or sicker?
People in the 1950s may have taken the beauties of that Mass for granted, but, as Joni Mitchell, among others, sang, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.
Amid changes pushed down onto pew sitters, Vatican II had not ordered the abolition of the TLM, but it became so lost among new forms that Pope John Paul II later had to order an inquiry to see if it had been forbidden. It had not.
On July 21 blogger Fr. John T. Zuhlsdorf called attention to Msgr. Charles Pope’s reaction to Pope Francis’ motu proprio of July 16, the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Traditionis custodes.
Zuhlsdorf quoted the monsignor: “Dear bishops, as a pastor of souls, I ask you for a gentle and kind interpretation of it. Traditional Catholics are among the sheep of your flock, and they need a shepherd’s care. Even if the document suggests that they be shuffled off to the margins, I beg you not to do it.
“This is a vibrant and growing section of the flock,” he continued. “Many young families and young adults, as well as young priests and older folks, are depending on you to do what is truly pastoral….
“Dear Holy Father, I beg you to reconsider what you have written and to hear the unnecessary pain you have caused,” the monsignor said. “You rightly desire unity in the Church, but I fear that, by this action, you may end up causing far more serious division.”
Catholic News Agency reported on July 16, “It seems that Traditional Latin Masses in dioceses throughout the United States are largely set to continue as scheduled, while bishops prepare responses to Traditionis custodes. The motu proprio states that it is each bishop’s ‘exclusive competence’ to authorize the use of the 1962 Roman Missal in his diocese.”
Among a number of bishops affirming that the TLM could continue were Michael Barber, SJ, of Oakland, Thomas Paprocki, of Springfield, Ill., and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, of San Francisco.
In a statement, Barber said that while he studies the motu proprio, “The Holy Father’s constant concern throughout his papacy has been the care of souls and preserving the unity of the Church. These are my goals as well. I want to assure those faithful in the Diocese of Oakland who find sustenance and the consolation of Jesus Christ in the ancient form of worship that your spiritual needs will continue to be met.”
Cordileone said that “the Traditional Latin Mass will continue to be available here in the Archdiocese of San Francisco and provided in response to the legitimate needs and desires of the faithful.”
Among various decisions, CNA reported, “The archdioceses of Baltimore, Boston, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and St. Paul-Minneapolis, as well as the dioceses of Charlotte, Lake Charles, Madison, and Pittsburgh are also allowing priests already celebrating Mass according to the 1962 Missal to continue doing so.”

Unjustly Persecuted

The text of a July 18 homily by the pastor of St. Anne’s Church in the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert expressed pain and suffering at the motu proprio.
Fr. Sergio Fita told the congregation, “Like Jesus, you are being unjustly persecuted and slandered, and once again you are wounded by one who should be confirming you in your faith….
“I know how much you have suffered these two days because I am suffering with you,” Fita said. “Yesterday, during the celebration of Holy Mass, I could not hold back my tears. It is difficult to understand that it is ‘our sweet Jesus on earth,’ as St. Catherine of Siena called the Pope, who has dealt us the most painful blow.”
Calling for prayers for Pope Francis, “whom we love in the Lord,” Fita said it “is categorically false and unfair. It is also defamatory and cruel” for the Pope to suggest that a community like St. Anne’s rejects the Magisterium of Vatican II and the missal promulgated by St. Paul VI.
The priest said that if he could speak with the Pope, he would ask, “Holy Father, why are you so hard on some and so soft on others? So vocal with some and so silent with others? So courageous with some and so timid with others? Shouldn’t a father love and treat all his children with the same justice and mercy?”
Fita went on to say, “I address the Holy Father conscious of the dignity and responsibility that he holds as successor of the Apostle Peter, but also with the boldness and frankness with which St. Paul had to admonish Simon when he was wrong.”
It’s not only that Francis contradicts Pope Benedict and St. Pius V, Fita said; “it is that the document itself contradicts itself internally.”
Meanwhile, the serious damage that Biden continues to do to his soul remains an issue as millions of illegal immigrants, many ill with COVID, are expected to surge across the vanishing southern border then quietly be transported for free throughout the U.S. due to Biden’s mortally sinful orders calculated to strengthen the Democratic Party.
Arizona Republican Cong. Debbie Lesko told a Phoenix radio interviewer on July 21 that she recently was at the border and saw “a total invasion, a total crisis,” even while wall-building materials lay on the ground after Biden forbade their use in construction once he took power.
Biden’s recent order not to detain pregnant women will make “birth tourism” of the past pale in comparison. Or maybe after they cross the line with his encouragement, they can hurry over to an abortion clinic for a tax-paid termination, also with his encouragement. And maybe they’ll return for another one.
The California Political Review posted on July 12: “Biden and the Democrats want to normalize the use of abortion to prevent/end pregnancies as much as the Pill and the IUD. This study is clear — if you get a taxpayer abortion, 60 percent will get a second one. Women receiving taxpayer-funded abortions often get multiple abortions within three years, according to Medicaid records.”

Texas Federal Judge Makes The Case For The Rule Of Law

July 24, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on Texas Federal Judge Makes The Case For The Rule Of Law

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

Last Friday, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of the Southern District of Texas delivered a stinging blow to Obama’s executive amnesty diktat known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.
The program was born when Congress refused to pass immigration reform legislation for years. In 2012, Obama simply declared DACA to be law by fiat, legalizing over a million illegal alien minors.
Two years later, Obama threatened to expand DACA with DAPA (“P” for “Parents”), legalizing four million more illegals.
At that point twenty-six state attorneys general secured a nationwide preliminary injunction barring implementation of both measures.
That alliance was led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a pro-life conservative who has fiercely defended the people of Texas against a broad swath of constitutional infringements by the federal government. In Judge Hanen’s decision, the efforts of Paxton and his allies were ratified: Dismissing the procedural caveats, he declared that DACA was simply illegal on its merits.
Paxton has strongly defended Texans from immigration scofflaws. Since January, he has sued the Biden Administration at least five times for its unconstitutional immigration policies, and for good reason. Illegal aliens cost Texan taxpayers $850 million a year, Paxton argues. They raise the state’s crime rate and threaten the well-being of Texans in other ways (Biden officials do nothing to stop illegals from bringing COVID into Texas).
However, while Paxton has defended the rights of Texans, the Catholic bishops of Texas have championed the illegal aliens instead. And at times their efforts have profoundly failed the faithful.

Paxton Gets The Pastoral Touch

In 2017, Paxton and nine other state attorneys general, joined by Gov. Butch Otter of Idaho, wrote Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowing to challenge DACA once more in court if the Trump Administration didn’t move to phase out the program.
That’s when Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso launched a bitter attack on Paxton and his pro-life colleagues. His column appeared in USA Today and was carried in Gannett newspapers throughout the country.
“When I hear [the state officials’] legalistic insistence upon every letter of our broken immigration law being carried out to this cruel degree,” Seitz wrote, “I can hear Jesus’ indignant response: ‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites’.”
As we reported at the time, Seitz often advocates breaking laws he doesn’t agree with.
To find out more, we talked to Beto O’Rourke (D., Texas), Seitz’s Catholic U.S. representative. O’Rourke told us that Seitz had never publicly criticized him for his 100 percent pro-abortion voting record, even though they often appeared together at rallies advocating illegal immigration.
And of course the bishop doesn’t follow the “legalistic insistence upon every letter” of Canon 915, either. He has never publicly criticized, much less forbidden, the scandalous reception of Communion by Mr. O’Rourke, or by his Catholic state senator, José Rodriguez, or by his Catholic state representative, César Blanco, although both have 100 percent pro-abortion voting records.
Mr. Paxton’s office later told us that Bishop Seitz has never apologized for his intemperate attack. Moreover, even though Paxton is not Catholic, he is one of the nation’s strongest pro-life state attorneys general. Yet Bishop Seitz, who insists he is pro-life, has never commended Paxton, in public or in private, for his valiant defense of the unborn.
In fact, Bishop Seitz is outraged at the number of pro-lifers who support the Church’s teaching on abortion and consider that issue to be more important than the Left’s social justice agenda.
In an anti-Trump screed in America Magazine a month before last year’s election, Bishop Seitz wrote that putting life first “has corrupted Christian political witness.” This was four months after a picture of Seitz kneeling reverently in prayer before a Black Lives Matter (BLM) placard went viral, eliciting a congratulatory telephone call from Pope Francis. [The Wanderer has asked the bishop’s office to let us know if he has ever condemned the Marxist organization’s pro-abortion, anti-family manifestos, or its financial scandals that followed they group’s riots and mayhem of last summer. At press time, we have received no response.]

Some Laws Are More Equal Than Others

Seitz’s political prime mandates are illegal aliens and racism. In that, his worldview represents in miniature that of the entire U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Conference. Laws they don’t like are “legalistic,” and can be disobeyed at will, so long as one invokes Jesus in breaking them.
Take the Church’s own canon law: Hundreds of bishops refuse to obey its straightforward rules regarding pro-abortion Catholic politicians like Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden.
But the defiance goes for U.S. law as well. Yes, our bishops support sanctuary cities, but their tolerance of illegality goes much farther: Seldom do we hear our shepherds admonishing illegals not to steal (Social Security Numbers), or to lie (on applications for welfare benefits). And of course, they are all strong supporters of DACA.
Yes, they venerate Black Lives Matter, but “most” whites are racists, even if we don’t know it. They pity powerfully the illegals who arrive destitute and abused at the border, but they never criticize the Coyote sex-and-drug traffickers who abused and impoverished them, charging them $5,000 and up apiece.
That’s because the Coyotes are in business to bring illegals to the border, where the bishops are in business to welcome their clients and “care for them” — at U.S. taxpayer expense.

America First? Or Illegals?

Does Bishop Seitz really prefer illegals to Americans?
Consider: Last month Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared an emergency at the Mexican border. Among other damage, Biden’s nonexistent immigration policy was flooding the Lone Star State’s foster care agencies with illegal minors.
In effect, Biden’s criminal negligence was fomenting a federal takeover of Texas’ childcare agencies.
To protect Texas children in need of such care, Abbott issued an Executive Order requiring that those facilities stop accepting illegals or lose their state license to operate.
And there was a lot of money at stake. According to the New York Post, “52 state-licensed residential operations and child placement agencies in Texas…have contracts with the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement and care for the [illegal] children.”
The result? Those agencies get federal money to house illegals, but not Texans.
And Catholic Charities is one of the primary agencies receiving those federal funds.
No illegals, no federal funds.
So last Sunday, Bishop Seitz took to the pages of the Dallas Morning News to oppose the governor’s policy — on the grounds of “religious liberty”!
Of course, the Executive Order had nothing to do with religion, but far be it from Bishop Seitz to base his Gospel-laced plea on his fear that secular Catholic NGOs in Texas could lose millions of taxpayer dollars
Weren’t we just talking about money-changers in the temple?
Well, for Bishop Seitz, it’s the bottom line: We get money for illegals but not for Texans.
So for Bishop Seitz, it’s “Illegals First!”

Who’s The Real Illegal? Those Catholic Spaniards!

Seitz’s animus against Americans goes a lot further than Texas. In a recent pastoral letter, he perceives the work of Catholic missionaries since the Spanish first arrived in the sixteenth century as partners in a “deployment of white supremacy and cultural oppression.”
He mentions Our Lady of Guadalupe, but presents her as a defender of the indigenous tribes against the Spanish colonists. He even laments the “sinful notions of civilized versus uncivilized and the invention of the savage” that followed Hernan Cortés’ victory over the Emperor Cuauhtémoc and the Aztec gods Quetzalcoatl and Huitzilopochtli.
Well, it’s fair to ask His Excellency: Wasn’t the cannibalism, torture, mass human sacrifice, and infanticide demanded by those gods pretty “savage”? Those indigenous innocents were butchering ten thousand captives a day on major pagan feasts, cutting out their beating hearts and drinking their blood in front of delirious, cheering crowds.
Isn’t that pretty “oppressive”?
Shame on those intolerant Spaniards, bringing Christ to destroy such a marvel of civilization at its peak.
Hypocrites! Pharisees!

The Sole Rule Of Faith?

July 23, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on The Sole Rule Of Faith?

BY JOE SIXPACK

One day when she was scarcely five years old, St. Jane de Chantal (1572-1641) was playing in her father’s study while a discussion was going on between her father (Royalist President Fremyot) and a Protestant nobleman who had come to visit him. The Protestant remarked that what pleased him most in the reformed religion was the denial of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Hearing him say this, the child couldn’t restrain herself. She went to the nobleman and looking at him indignantly said, “My lord, you must believe that Jesus Christ is in the Blessed Sacrament, because He said it. If you don’t believe, you make Him a liar.”
Astonished by the child’s tone, the nobleman began to dispute the question with her. Her answers were both surprising and uncomfortable, so he offered her some candy to end the discussion. Jane took the candy in her apron without touching it, ran to the fireplace and threw it into the fire. Then she turned to the nobleman and said, “See, my lord, how heretics will burn in the fire of hell, because they do not believe what Jesus Christ has said.”
On another day the same nobleman was again discussing the reformed religion in the President’s parlor when the child approached him and said, “My lord, if you had blamed the king for telling a lie, my father would have you hanged.” Then pointing to statues of Saints Peter and Paul, she continued, “But since you have blamed our Savior of telling a lie, these presidents will have you hanged.”
When Protestantism first began in 1517, we did indeed refer to them as heretics, because they most certainly were — that was the evil of the Protestant Revolt. They knew they were denying the truths of the Holy Catholic Church, as passed down to us by Jesus Christ and the apostles. Today, however, we don’t consider them heretics, because the vast majority of them not only don’t know the truths handed down by Christ, but they don’t even know the origins of their individual denominations. In order to be a heretic, one must know that one is denying the truths established and proclaimed by Jesus Christ and the apostles He taught and charged with teaching them to the world.
There are over 42,000 individual Christian religions today, just in the United States. No two agree on everything. If they did, there would be no reason for their existence. But there is one thing they all agree on universally, and that is that the Bible is the sole rule of faith. This is yet another heresy brought about by Martin Luther called sola Scriptura, and it was condemned officially by the Council of Trent and reaffirmed by the Councils of Vatican I and Vatican II. Sola Scriptura is the claim that all truth is found in Sacred Scripture and nowhere else — that everything one needs to have the fullness of truth and find the road to Heaven is in the Bible.
The Bible itself denies it is the sole source of divine Revelation. John tells us that everything Jesus taught was not committed to writing (John 21:25). The Apostle Paul tells Bishop Timothy that what he has heard from Paul is to be passed on to others who are in turn to teach it faithfully (2 Tim. 2:2). St. Paul also tells the Thessalonians to hold what they have been taught “by word of mouth or by letter” (2 Thess. 2:15).
St. Luke tells us the first Christians “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching” that they heard through preaching (Acts 2:42). And why was the truth transmitted by the apostles orally? Because Jesus commanded them to preach the Gospel (Mark 16:15), not commit it all to writing. St. Paul clearly understood that he and the other apostles were to teach Jesus’ divine Revelation in this way, and that Christians were to accept it (Romans 10:17).
We might ask, if the Bible is the sole rule of faith, what did the Christians do in the early centuries? Not a word of the New Testament was even written until at least twenty years after Jesus returned to the Father, and the New Testament only came into existence by decree of the Council of Carthage in AD 397. In essence, then, all of Christ’s teachings were handed down by word of mouth until 397.
Handing down the sacred truths by word of mouth is called sacred Tradition. Tradition, in this sense, has nothing to do with customs, such as how we address the bishop or priestly attire, but rather the transmission of our beliefs that are not committed to the writings found in the Bible. Tradition was nothing new to the Jews, who made up the totality of the Church’s earliest body of believers. St. Matthew, who was a Jew before he answered Christ’s call, demonstrates to us his own acceptance of Tradition.
In telling us about Jesus’ infancy, Matthew writes: “And he went and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled. ‘He shall be called a Nazarene’” (Matt. 2:23). There are two interesting points to be made from this passage, one building on the next.
The first point is that an exhaustive search of the Old Testament won’t yield a single prophet who tells that the Messiah would be called a Nazarene. It’s simply not there.
The second point is a key word in Matthew’s phrase concerning the prophet. He said it was spoken by the prophet, not written. Every time the Gospels speak of prophecies regarding Christ, the writers tell us it is written by a prophet. This lone passage in Matthew is the only exception. So there are only two possibilities that exist here. The one possibility is that Matthew lied about the prophecy. If he lied, then all of the New Testament is called into question as a lie, and we find ourselves guilty of worshipping a dead Jewish carpenter.
The other possibility is that the Jews also had many of the truths of their religion passed down by word of mouth, not committed to the writings of the Old Testament. It’s obvious that Matthew, as well as the Jews as a whole, believed in what we today call sacred Tradition.
This sacred Tradition (also called Apostolic Tradition) is the Word of God entrusted by Christ and the Holy Spirit to the apostles. The apostles, in turn, handed those sacred truths down to their successors (the Pope and the bishops) in the fullness of purity (cf. John 21:25; 2 Tim. 1:13-14; 2:2; 2 Thess. 2:15). The Fathers of Vatican II explained it more clearly when they wrote:
“Hence there exist a close connection and communication between sacred Tradition and sacred Scripture. For both of them, flowing from the same divine wellspring, in a certain way merge into a unity and tend toward the same end. For sacred Scripture is the word of God inasmuch as it is consigned to writing under the inspiration of the divine Spirit. To the successors of the apostles, sacred Tradition hands on in its full purity God’s word, which was entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. Thus, by the light of the Spirit of truth, these successors can in their preaching preserve this word of God faithfully, explain it, and make it more widely known. Consequently it is not from sacred Scripture alone that the Church draws her certainty about everything which has been revealed. Therefore both sacred Scripture and sacred Tradition are to be accepted and venerated with the same devotion and reverence” (Dei Verbum, n. 9).
If you have a question or comment you can reach out to me through the “Ask Joe” page of JoeSixpackAnswers.com, or you can email me at Joe@CantankerousCatholic.com.
Hey, how would you like to see things like this article every week in your parish bulletin as an insert? You or your pastor can learn more about how to do that by emailing me at Joe@CantankerousCatholic.com.

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