Wednesday 21st February 2024

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Catholic Replies

September 22, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. At Our Lady’s July 1917 appearance at Fatima, she stated that a war greater than World War I would break out during the pontificate of Pope Pius XI. Ambrogio Ratti chose the name Pius XI when he became Pope in 1922. No doubt Our Lady knew he would be known as Pius XI, but why didn’t she say “the next Pope” instead of, it would seem, picking a name for him? Was Ratti free to choose his own papal name or was he somehow bound to be known as Pius XI? — J.F.H., Illinois.
A. We would think that Cardinal Ratti was certainly free to choose the name Pius XI, and Our Lady of Fatima knew what name he would choose. Her foreknowledge did not take away his freedom. Furthermore, it is doubtful that he knew of the July 1917 vision since Lucia did not make the Blessed Virgin’s statement about a future Pope publicly known until she wrote her third account of the Fatima apparitions in 1941, two years after the death of Pius XI.

Q. An 84-year-old married man feels that watching Internet pornography is not a sin as long as he only watches it. Please comment. — Name and State Withheld.
A. Watching pornography is sinful for a variety of reasons. Start with Jesus’ admonition that “everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt. 5:28). The Lord went on to say that “if your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna” (Matt. 5:29). If the Lord were here today, He might say, “If your remote control causes you to sin, throw it away.”
Anyone who thinks he can watch pornography and not be affected by it is kidding himself. Pornography burns images into the brain that cannot be easily erased. It creates false images of women and sex, saying that what God intended to be beautiful and private and exclusively for married couples who are open to life can be ugly, public, and open to the most perverted and cruel sexual acts. Women are abused and degraded and treated not as persons made in the image and likeness of God, but as the objects of bizarre and even inhuman actions.
Pornography is “a civil rights issue for women … because it turns women into subhuman creatures,” Andrea Dworkin told the U.S. Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography, which held hearings in six American cities some years ago and heard testimony from 1,000 persons. She said that pornography is wrong because “it is a systematic exploitation of a group of people because of a condition of birth. Pornography creates bigotry, hostility, and aggression toward all women, without exception.”
Pornography is toxic waste that can be addictive and can lead those caught up in it to become increasingly desensitized to acts and scenes that might once have revolted them. Furthermore, the pornography industry is controlled by organized crime, and it brings into their coffers billions of dollars a year. So when you visit the ubiquitous porn sites on the Internet, you not only jeopardize your spiritual life, but you also contribute to organized crime.
We have been taught since childhood to resist impure thoughts firmly and vigorously, to think about something else, and to do something different to clear our minds. We have been taught to pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the model of purity, to help us get rid of these thoughts. We have been taught to take advantage of the sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist to make us strong enough to say no to temptations against purity and chastity.
It’s bad enough for people much younger than the man in question to become addicted to pornography, but to go down this dangerous and sinful path at the age of 84 is very troubling. This man is not going to live much longer and should be preparing to meet Jesus on Judgment Day. His last thoughts should be of sorrow for his sins and the joy of everlasting bliss in Heaven, and not of revolting sex acts. We will ask our readers to pray for this man and others who find themselves enmeshed in the degrading and disturbing porn culture.

Q. Pope Francis was recently quoted as saying that people have a “moral responsibility” to do what they can to halt “climate change.” He said that “if someone is a bit doubtful … ask the scientists. They are very clear. They are not opinions on the fly. They are very clear. Then decide and history will judge the decision.” But aren’t there scientists who question the scare propaganda about climate change? — C.K., North Carolina.
A. Yes, there are, but you wouldn’t know it from the mainstream media, or from some of the Pope’s advisers. According to the September 4th issue of The New American, for example, atmospheric scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen, professor emeritus at MIT, sent a letter on climate change to President Trump on February 23 of this year. The letter was accompanied by a petition signed by “more than 300 eminent scientists and other qualified individuals from around the world . . . urging you to withdraw from the ill-advised United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).” The petition said that “carbon dioxide, the target of the UNFCCC, is not a pollutant but a major benefit to agriculture and other life on earth.”
The signers of the petition included Dr. Wei-Hock (Willie) Soon, an astrophysicist associated with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, MA; J. Scott Armstrong, author, forecaster, and marketing expert at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania; William Briggs, data philosopher, epistemologist, and bioethicist; Hermann Hardee, professor emeritus of physics and material science at Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg, Germany; David R. Legates, professor of climatology at the University of Delaware; Istvan Marko, professor of organic chemistry at Catholic University in Louvain, Belgium; and Christopher Monckton, former special adviser to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
On June 2 of this year, Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Dr. Rafael Reif sent a letter to the MIT community disagreeing with President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. He said that “the scientific consensus is overwhelming: as human activity emits more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the global surface temperature will continue to rise, driving rising sea levels and extreme weather.” Not so, said Dr. Willie Soon, who noted that “doubt is the essence of science. Consensus is a political notion.” He quoted the late author Michael Crichton as saying that “in science consensus is irrelevant. . . . There is no such thing as consensus science. It’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”
Soon also said that the alleged consensus “is nothing more than an agreement that temperatures have generally increased since the end of the Little Ice Age [circa 1650 to 1850]. That agreement among most scientists glosses over the fact that the amount of any warming is a matter of heated debate among climatologists. Moreover, measuring global temperature is a statistical exercise that is subject to errors, biases, missing data, judgmental adjustments, and so on.” He said that the alarming projections coming from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which are widely quoted by the mainstream media, are not supported by the facts. He explained that the IPCC’s climate models project temperature increases that are more than two times the actual data measured, and the truth is that “the global average surface temperature has remained essentially constant” over the past 20 years.
As for the threat of rising sea levels, Dr. Soon said that “the average sea-level rise since 1870 has been in the range of 1.3 to 1.5 mm (0.05 to 0.06 of an inch) per year. Professor Nils-Axel Morner, a renowned sea-level researcher who has published over 500 peer-reviewed articles on this topic, has been unable to find observational evidence that supports the projection of dramatically accelerating sea-level rise from the climate models relied upon by the IPCC.”
As for carbon dioxide being a problem, Soon said that it is not a pollutant, but is rather “a colorless, odorless gas that is not toxic to humans and other animals even at concentrations much higher than we are currently experiencing.” He said that “rather than a problem, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the prime nutrient for plants” and that its current concentration “is low compared to the levels that have been experienced for much of the history of our planet.” The human contribution to atmospheric carbon dioxide, Soon added, “is indistinguishable from natural fluctuations, and the available data provide no basis for determining whether or not it has any marginal influence on climate. The professor’s [Dr. Reif] assertion that global temperatures can be controlled by an international agreement on human-originated carbon dioxide emissions is, therefore, at odds with scientific knowledge on cause and effect.”

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

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 . . .

Irreverent funeral service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for trans activist sparks outcry

A raucous funeral liturgy for a high-profile trans activist and sex-worker advocate was held Thursday in New York City’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, sparking an outcry on social media that the iconic church was misused to advance an ideological agenda at odds with Catholic teaching. The Manhattan cathedral hosted the Feb. 15 funeral service for Cecilia Gentili, an activist who helped to decriminalize sex work in New York, lobbied for “gender identity” to be added as…Continue Reading

Ted Cruz demands DC preserve bodies of five late-term aborted babies for investigation

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is demanding that the remains of five late-term aborted babies in Washington, D.C., not be discarded before an autopsy is done to determine whether federal law was violated by the abortionist responsible for their deaths. “To be clear, the remains of these five children are critical evidence in the congressional oversight that the Subcommittee on the Constitution will conduct in the imminent future,” Cruz said in his Feb. 8 letter,…Continue Reading

Vatican doctrine office releases note on discerning the validity of the sacraments

The Vatican Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) released a note on Saturday on discerning the validity of the sacraments. The new document signed by Pope Francis and DDF Prefect Cardinal Victor Fernández is titled “Gestis Verbisque,” or “Deeds and Words.”  Fernández wrote in his introduction to the text that the note on the sacraments was written “to help bishops in their task as promoters and custodians of the liturgical life of the particular Churches…Continue Reading

Bishop Strickland Tapped as CPAC Keynote Speaker

Bishop Joseph Strickland, the former Roman Catholic bishop in Texas who was removed by Pope Francis for his traditional teachings, will be a keynote speaker at the annual CPAC gala dinner next month in Washington, D.C. Strickland, who has risen to national prominence in the wake of his firing by the pope, is set to speak at CPAC’s annual Ronald Reagan Dinner on Feb. 23. CPAC host Matt Schlapp told Newsmax that the bishop has…Continue Reading

Bishop Strickland champions ‘sanctity of life’ at 2024 March for Life

(LifeSiteNews) –– LifeSiteNews caught up with the beloved former bishop of Tyler, Texas, Joseph Strickland, at the 2024 March for Life in Washington, D.C. this Friday. In an impromptu video recorded by LifeSite’s Louis Knuffke, Strickland praised the large turnout at this year’s march despite the cold and snowy weather, remarking that “the sanctity of life is in all weather and at all times.”

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