Sunday 21st April 2019

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Catholic Replies

November 30, 2018 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. In view of the recent sexual scandals in the Church, the Diocese of Sacramento has hired the consulting firm of Kathleen McChesney to examine all records of sexual abuse within the diocese and publish a list of the clergy credibly accused of abusing children and young people. Does that consulting firm have credibility, and is this the proper approach in dealing with the situation? — J.D.H., California.
A. Kathleen McChesney is a former FBI agent and executive who served as director of the USCCB’s Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection following the U.S. bishops’ adoption in 2002 of their Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. She developed a national protocol to ensure that all Catholic dioceses complied with civil laws relative to the prevention, reporting, and response to allegations of sexual abuse of minors.
After three years in that position, McChesney became vice president of global security for the Walt Disney Company. She left Disney in 2007, has co-edited a collection of essays entitled Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church, and now runs Kinsale Management Consulting, providing services for businesses and nonprofit organizations.
In a letter to the faithful of Sacramento, Bishop Jaime Soto expressed shame over “the sickening, repulsive actions revealed in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report and the actions of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick.” He said that he has hired the McChesney firm to provide “a public, transparent accounting” of the situation in Sacramento, and that he will publish by next March a list of all the priests “who have been credibly accused of abusing children and young people” in his diocese over the past 50 years.
Is this the proper approach in dealing with clergy sex abuse? It’s certainly better than having a politically motivated grand jury conduct the investigation.

Q. One priest in our parish invites non-Catholics and small children who have not made their First Communion to come to the altar at Communion time to receive a blessing. They cross their hands over their chest as a sign they are not going to receive Communion, and the priest raises the Host and makes the Sign of the Cross in the air in front of them as a blessing. Is this allowed, and why would a non-Catholic who doesn’t believe that Jesus is present in the Eucharist want such a blessing? — M.T., via e-mail.
A. There is nothing in the rules for the distribution of Holy Communion that mentions such a practice, so it has been introduced at the whim of a priest. This is contrary to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, which says that “the Priest will remember that he is the servant of the Sacred Liturgy and that he himself is not permitted, on his own initiative, to add, to remove, or to change anything in the celebration of Mass” (n. 24).
We understand the thinking behind this practice, namely, not to let anyone feel excluded because they cannot receive Communion. But is feeling excluded in this situation necessarily a bad thing? Wouldn’t it be better to encourage non-Catholic adults to learn more about the Eucharist and to take the necessary steps to become Catholics so that they can receive Jesus? Or to instill in small children a fervent desire to receive Jesus when they are old enough?
Or in the case of Catholic adults, who come forward for a blessing because they are not in the state of grace, to urge them to straighten out an irregular marriage, for example, or to repent of their sins by going to Confession and becoming worthy to participate in this wonderful sacrament?
And what about the confusion caused by seeing someone whose sinful state is well known going up to the altar and apparently receiving Communion since those sitting some distance away in church cannot see that the person is only getting a blessing, especially if the Host is held up in front of him or her? And aren’t there other blessings given during the course of the Mass that could benefit these persons?
Finally, what’s more important — making these persons feel included, or emphasizing that the Holy Eucharist is of such awesome majesty that those seeking blessings should do all they can to partake worthily in it?

Q. Does anyone in the leadership of the Church care about that which is subject to the most abuses — the Holy Eucharist? — A.M.T., Illinois.
A. Of course, there are priests and bishops who are very conscientious about treating the Eucharist with holiness and reverence. The growing movement to increase Eucharistic adoration is one evidence of that. But on the other hand, there is the disturbing trend to make the Eucharist available to those in a state of objective sin, such as the divorced and remarried. All of us who revere the Real Presence of our Lord need to step up our prayers and hours of adoration to eliminate all abuses of this Most Holy Sacrament.

Q. What do you think of the “Patriotic Rosary”? I attended one tonight and was very uncomfortable as the books used were put out by “A Friend of Medjugorje.” Then patriotic songs were sung between the decades. When we say the “Rosary for Life,” we sing the Ave Maria between the decades. I felt it should not be called a rosary since it was interrupted by readings from George Washington, John Adams, James Iredell, Jedediah Morse, and Robert E. Lee. Am I being too critical of the “Patriotic Rosary”? — E.C., via e-mail.
A. Having taken part in this particular recitation of the rosary for many years, we would say, yes, you are being too critical. Setting aside the fact that the booklet is produced by Caritas of Birmingham, a promoter of the alleged apparitions in Medjugorje, there are some wonderful songs and meditations interspersed between the decades of the rosary.
What is this Patriotic Rosary? First of all, all the prayers in general are for the conversion of our country and specifically, at the beginning of each decade, the Presidency, the Supreme Court, the Congress, the state Governors, and all country and municipal offices. Second, each Hail Mary begins with the prayer, “We plead the Blood of Jesus over [name of one of the 50 states] and every soul in that state.” Third, the songs are both patriotic and religious.
For example, the fourth stanza of America the Beautiful addresses “our Fathers’ God, to thee, Author of liberty, to thee we pray. Long may our land be bright, with freedom’s holy light. Protect us by thy might, great God our King.”
Or the fourth stanza of The Battle Hymn of the Republic, which says, “In the beauty of the lilies, Christ was born across the sea; with a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me. As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free. His truth is marching on.”
Or the second stanza of America the Beautiful, which says, “America, America, God mend thine ev’ry flaw. Confirm thy soul with self-control, thy liberty in law.”
Or the fourth stanza of The Star Spangled Banner, which says, “Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, and this be our motto, ‘In God is our trust’.” Or all the words of God Bless America.
We have had the joy of singing these songs and praying this rosary each year on July 3 on the Town Common in our community. No one has objected to this practice yet. The idea of praising God and country in a public setting, of saying prayers to Mary and asking for God’s blessings on this land, sends a chill up our spine each year.
As for the meditations on statements by figures from our history, they are also both patriotic and religious and remind us of our Christian heritage. George Washington said that “the great Governor of the Universe has led us too long and too far on the road to happiness and glory to forsake us in the midst of it.”
John Adams said, “I must submit all my hopes and fears to an overruling Providence, in which, unfashionable as the faith may be, I firmly believe.”
James Iredell extolled “the glorious effects of patriotism and virtue” and prayed “to God that the fair character I have described may be that of America in the latest ages.”
Jedediah Morse warned that “whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them.”
And Robert E. Lee told his soldiers to “pray for our nation. Let us pray for those who have never known Jesus Christ and His redeeming love, for moral forces everywhere, for our national leaders. Let prayer be our passion. Let prayer be our practice.” Wise words and words worth remembering while praying a patriotic rosary.

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Fr. James Schall passed away today. A Jesuit priest & Georgetown professor, he served as mentor & model to a numberless many (including me). With penetrating insight & wit, he pointed us to Christ & those great Catholic minds we mustn't forget.

Fr. Schall, requiescat in pace.

Please pray for Raymond DeSousa today, who is a weekly Wanderer columnist who is undergoing serious surgery today.

Load More...

Fr. James V. Schall, S.J., has died at the age of 91

Fr. James V. Schall, the prolific and much-beloved Jesuit, professor and author, died earlier today. His family states that “he was comfortable and at peace” at the time of his death. He was born in Pocahontas, Iowa, January 20, 1928.…Continue Reading

North Carolina Gov. vetoes bill requiring care for babies born alive after failed abortion

RALEIGH, April 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – North Carolina Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed legislation Thursday morning that would require abortionists to provide basic medical care to newborns who survive failed abortions, just days after the measure cleared the state legislature.…Continue Reading

How Cardinal Wuerl Misled the Papal Foundation

In 2017, Cardinal Donald Wuerl provided false and misleading information to the board of the Papal Foundation to secure a $25 million grant for the Istituto Dermopatico dell’Immacolata (IDI), a scandal-plagued hospital in Rome. Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro…Continue Reading

Since “Unplanned” Movie Released, 94 Abortion Clinic Workers Have Said They May Quit Their Jobs

Abby Johnson’s powerful conversion story is moving hearts inside the abortion industry. Chuck Konzelman, who is a co-writer/co-director of “Unplanned,” the new film detailing Johnson’s life, said nearly 100 abortion workers have reached out to them in the past few…Continue Reading

Franciscan University president resigns

Steubenville, Ohio, Apr 8, 2019 / 07:50 am (CNA).- Fr. Sean Sheridan, TOR, has resigned as president of Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. Fr. Sheridan informed the university’s trustees of his decision during a regular meeting of the board on…Continue Reading


Alumni of Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland and the Cardinal Newman Society are voicing their outrage at the school’s selection of Mark Shriver to deliver the 2019 commencement address while also receiving an honorary doctorate of humane letters. Shriver is president of the Save the…Continue Reading

Emails show Planned Parenthood behind California rule to make churches pay for abortions

Sacramento, Calif., Apr 5, 2019 / 03:01 pm (CNA).- A 2014 California rule forcing religious groups, including churches, to cover elective abortions for employees was the result of direct pressure from Planned Parenthood, internal emails have shown. On April 4,…Continue Reading

Notre Dame’s Catholic duty

On Wednesday, the LGBT Law Forum at the law school hosted an event featuring Jim Obergefell, Greg Bourke and Michael DeLeon, plaintiffs in the Supreme Court caseObergefell v. Hodges, which mandated that every state recognize same-sex marriage. The talk was co-sponsored…Continue Reading

Catholic priests in Poland burn alleged sacrilegious books including ‘Harry Potter,’ condemn magic

Polish Catholic priests condemning magic burned dozens of books they considered to be sacrilegious, including works from the “Harry Potter” series. The SMS from Heaven Foundation – an evangelical group – posted photos of the burning at Gdansk’s Mother of…Continue Reading

Vatican Life Academy: Parents must vaccinate, even if vaccines come from aborted babies

VATICAN CITY, March 26, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — In a stunning declaration, the Pontifical Academy for Life — now populated entirely with Pope Francis appointments — has urged parents to vaccinate their children, even if the vaccines are derived from aborted…Continue Reading

Cardinal DiNardo discharged from hospital, expected to make full recovery

Houston, Texas, Mar 21, 2019 / 08:59 am (CNA).- Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston has been released from the hospital, following a mild stroke last week, his archdiocese announced March 20. The cardinal, who serves as president of the U.S.…Continue Reading

Montreal priest stabbed at Mass ‘eager’ to return

Montreal, Canada, Mar 23, 2019 / 03:19 pm (CNA).- Father Claude Grou is out of the hospital and grateful for the groundswell of support he received after he was stabbed by an assailant while celebrating a televised Mass at St.…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

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love


  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading


Tickets For Life

Today . . .

Cardinal Tobin: Catechism language ‘very unfortunate’ on homosexuality

Newark, N.J., Apr 18, 2019 / 10:54 am (CNA).- The Archbishop of Newark said Wednesday that the language used by the Catechism of the Catholic Church to describe homosexual acts is “very unfortunate,” adding that he hopes the Catechism will use different language in its discussion of homosexuality. “The Church, I think, is having its own conversation about what our faith has us do and say with people in relationships that are same-sex. What should…Continue Reading

Paris’ Notre Dame cathedral goes up in flames

PARIS, April 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Paris authorities are battling a fire in the city’s Notre Dame cathedral that broke out Monday, producing massive plumes of smoke billowing from the historic Catholic site. Authorities have cleared the area surrounding the cathedral as they battle flames “leap[ing] out besides its two bell towers,” NBC News reports. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has requested that passersby steer clear of the vicinity until further

Medical students in Africa outraged over U.S. based org enticing them to become abortionists

UGANDA, April 12, 2019, LifeSiteNews – A U.S. based pro-abortion group that misleadingly calls itself “Catholics for Choice” is enticing unsuspecting medical students in Africa’s most vibrant Catholic countries to become not only abortion promoters but even abortionists, according to medical students who attended a workshop hosted by the organization. Ugandan medical students recently became troubled when they realized too late that a seminar about “reproductive he

Full text of Benedict XVI essay: ‘The Church and the scandal of sexual abuse’


Vatican City, Apr 10, 2019 / 04:23 pm (CNA).- The following is a previously unpublished essay from Pope emeritus Benedict XVI: On February 21 to 24, at the invitation of Pope Francis, the presidents of the world’s bishops’ conferences gathered at the Vatican to discuss the current crisis of the faith and of the Church; a crisis experienced throughout the world after shocking revelations of clerical abuse perpetrated against minors. The extent and gravity of…Continue Reading

“Unplanned” Movie Stays in Top 10 With Surprisingly Strong 2nd Week at Box Office

The pro-life movie “Unplanned” finished in the Top 10 after a surprisingly strong 8th place finish at the box office this weekend. The film, which opened in theaters nationwide last week, follows the true story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director who became pro-life after watching a baby be aborted on an ultrasound screen. Despite a media blackout, a ‘R’ rating designed to discourage viewers and little coverage outside conservative media circles, “Unplanned” opened in 4th…Continue Reading


A Book Review… A Renaissance Man Looks At Human Worth

By JUDE DOUGHERTY Manetti, Giannozzo. On Human Worth and Excellence. Edited and translated by Brian P. Copenhaver; Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press, I Tatti Renaissance Library, pp LI + 362. One does not have to be a Renaissance historian or know much medieval philosophy or theology to appreciate this delightful book. On Human Worth and…Continue Reading

Dispute Over Papal Foundation’s $25 Million Grant Approval Continues

By KEVIN JONES VATICAN CITY (CNA) — Scrutiny continues for the U.S.-based Papal Foundation, amid questions of whether some of its grant activity was motivated by a desire to secure leniency for disgraced former cardinal Theodore McCarrick. The ongoing controversy surrounds the foundation’s decision to make an unprecedented grant to a leading Italian hospital whose…Continue Reading

First Time In 300 Years… Rome’s Holy Stairs Are Uncovered

By HANNAH BROCKHAUS ROME (CNA) — The bare, white marble of Rome’s “Scala Sancta,” which are believed to be the stairs trod by Christ on the day of His trial and death, are now exposed and visible to pilgrims for the first time in almost 300 years. The stairs, encased in wood since the 1700s,…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . St. Peter Of Alcantara Tells Us How To Pray And Meditate

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Treatise on Prayer and Meditation, by St. Peter of Alcantara (212 pages, TAN Books & Publishers Inc., paperback and Kindle). Visit, or call 1-800-437-5876. St. Peter of Alcantara (1499-1562) was born in Spain, and became a Franciscan friar in a strict observance friary. He was ordained in 1524, and went…Continue Reading

Liberty Counsel Says Counseling Ban Violates Free Speech

ATLANTA — Liberty Counsel filed a brief April 11 in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, in an appeal challenging the constitutionality of ordinances enacted by the City of Boca Raton and Palm Beach County, which prohibit minors from receiving voluntary counseling from licensed professionals to reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex attractions or behaviors, or…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: It is easy to get discouraged at the state of the Church these days, particularly at the decline in the number of Religious sisters from 181,000 in 1965 to about 47,000 today, which Fr. George Rutler blames partly on those orders which “accepted bad advice from misguided and misguiding theologians and leaders. Bishops often have been at fault,…Continue Reading

Holy Father . . . Approves Decrees Regarding Eight Candidates For Sainthood

By DEBORAH CASTELLANO LUBOV ROME (ZENIT) — Pope Francis on April 6 received in audience Angelo Cardinal Becciu, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During the audience, the Supreme Pontiff authorized the same congregation to promulgate the decrees regarding: — The miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Donizetti Tavares de Lima, diocesan…Continue Reading

Faith In The Person Of Jesus

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Easter Sunday (YR C) Readings: Acts 10:34a, 37-43 Col. 3:1-4 John 20:1-9 Today we celebrate the most important day in the Church’s year. We know our Lord told His disciples that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and so enter into His glory. St. Peter speaks of this in the first reading and also…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Benedict XVI: “God Is Absent”

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Benedict XVI released a statement in German last week on the abuse crisis (see text elsewhere in this issue). It shows the extent of the crisis that, although he seeks to live in prayer and contemplation, he has chosen to speak out on this topic with the okay from Pope Francis. People are craving clear…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: For those parents and grandparents looking for good advice on how to educate children and young people about the tough moral issues of the day, may we recommend the book Made This Way by Leila Miller and Trent Horn. The chapter headings deal with Sex Outside of Marriage, Same-Sex Marriage, Divorce, Contraception, Abortion, Reproductive Technologies, Modesty, Pornography, Transgender…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Peter Of St. Joseph De Betancur

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Catholic Church is the largest provider of health care in the world. As of 2013, more than 40,000 hospitals, clinics, and homes for the elderly were run by the Catholic Church throughout the world. The pioneering work of many devout saints for centuries provided care for the sick and the homeless. To care for the sick…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Hugh The Great

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the 11th century, over 150 years before St. Francis of Assisi received the order from our Lord to “repair my house, which as you see is falling into ruin,” the secular rulers sought to control the appointment of bishops, abbots, and even the Pope. During this period of simony and conflict, St. Hugh the Great entered…Continue Reading