Friday 24th January 2020

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Catholic Replies

April 5, 2019 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Editor’s Note: Writing in his parish bulletin (Church of St. Michael in New York City) on the feast of St. Patrick, Fr. George Rutler discussed the distressing situation in Ireland. He said that “the majority of Irish people failed to heed the warnings of St. John Paul II when he became the first pontiff to set foot on the soil of Eire in 1979. He preached to 1.25 million faithful at a Mass in Phoenix Park, Dublin. Last year, Pope Francis offered Holy Mass in the same place, and fewer than 130,000 showed up. Four months later, the Druids returned and defiantly danced in the streets when abortion was legalized. The Taoiseach (Prime Minister) was elected while publicly living in perverse contempt of the sacrament of Holy Matrimony.”
Fr. Rutler said that “the chief seminary of Maynooth has the lowest numbers of students since its foundation in 1795. Its rector of fifteen years abandoned the Faith and now conducts an esoteric cult in Arizona. An Irish commentator and playwright recently called Ireland ‘the most anti-Catholic country on planet earth.’ This would seem to be hyperbolic given persecution in Muslim lands, China, and North Korea, but it bespeaks the adolescent rebellion of a population moved by an anger unlike the cool detachment of calculating governments. This is a warning to Catholics in the United States because such is what happens when religion is only a political and ethnic sentiment.”

Q. When I meditate on the mysteries of the rosary, I go to the Gospels for more information. But I come up empty when the mystery is the Assumption of the Blessed Mother into Heaven. Can you answer the following questions about that mystery? — T.G., via e-mail.
A. You are correct that the Fourth Glorious Mystery is not in the Gospels. However, it is a revealed truth stemming from what we know of the sinless Virgin’s life. When the Angel Gabriel addressed Mary as “full of grace,” he was affirming that she was free from all taint of sin, including original sin, for how could she be “full of grace,” that is, full of God’s divine life, if she were guilty of sin? This privilege we call her Immaculate Conception, and it is closely bound to her Assumption.
According to the first book of the Bible, the consequences of original sin include death and corruption of the body in the grave (cf. Gen. 3:19). But if Mary did not have original sin, then her body would not be subject to decay after death. The Church has never officially pronounced whether the Blessed Mother died, but the virtually unanimous consensus of the Church’s great saints and theologians is that she did die, but was immediately taken up into Heaven, body and soul.
There is also a negative proof for her Assumption in that neither her tomb nor her remains were ever found. It was commonplace in the early Church to venerate the bones and the resting places of the saints, but there is no record of such veneration of the Virgin Mary. This is because there were no bodily remains to venerate, and the faithful knew that from the earliest days of the Church.
As for your questions: Where was Mary living when she went to sleep, and where was St. John, whom Jesus had asked to take His Mother into his home? Tradition has it that Mary lived for a while with John in Ephesus. How long did Mary live after the death and Resurrection of Jesus? The Blessed Mother would have been close to 50 years old when Jesus ascended into Heaven, but we don’t know how much longer she lived. How long did John live after the death of Jesus, and where did he live? Tradition has it that John lived almost to the end of the first century, which would have put him in his nineties. He lived for a time in Ephesus and also in exile on the island of Patmos, where he received the visions that became the Book of Revelation.
When did St. Joseph die, and how old was he? Since Joseph is not mentioned in the Gospels after the finding of Jesus in the Temple when He was 12, Joseph must have died somewhere between that time and when the Lord began His public ministry about the age of 30. According to Jewish custom, Joseph would have been in his mid-twenties when he married Mary, so he would have been a relatively young man when he died — more than, say, 37 (25 plus 12), but less than 55 (25 plus 30). How old was Jesus when He performed His first miracle at the wedding in Cana? Around 30.

Q. We agree that all humans are flawed because of original sin, and we have the Sacrament of Baptism to clear that away. But aren’t all humans bound to commit mortal sin in the course of their lifetime? For example, using the Lord’s name in vain. Jesus told Peter and the apostles that whatever they bound on Earth is bound in Heaven, and whatever they loosed on Earth is loosed in Heaven. God makes His great mercy available to us, but if I do not go see a priest in Confession, don’t my sins remain in me and could damn me to Hell? How does a Protestant, who does not believe in confessing his sins to a priest, get around this? — D.M.D., via e-mail.
A. Yes, we are all flawed because of original sin. Even though Baptism takes away that sin, we still suffer from the effects of original sin. Those effects include a darkened mind, so that we don’t always recognize evil, and a weakened will, so that we don’t always have the fortitude to resist temptation. Remember St. Paul saying that he found it easy to do the wrong thing and hard to do the right thing (cf. Romans 7:15). We can all relate to that.
Are all humans likely to commit mortal sin during their lifetime? We would say no if you are talking about engaging in grave matter with full knowledge and deliberate consent. While some of the saints were reformed sinners (e.g., St. Augustine), many were people of such heroic holiness that it is highly unlikely that they ever succumbed to mortal sin. St. Teresa of Calcutta was once asked what was wrong with the world. She replied, “I’m what’s wrong with the world.” What do you mean?, asked the startled questioner. “I am a sinner,” she said. Yes, even Mother Teresa was a sinner, like the rest of us, but can you imagine her committing a mortal sin?
Using the Lord’s name in vain could be a mortal sin if one with full knowledge deliberately decides to break the Second Commandment, but how many people who misuse the Lord’s name are even conscious that they are doing something wrong? We’re not excusing them for their careless use of the name of God and Jesus, and we have on many occasions called attention to this irresponsible behavior, but it is more likely a venial sin in many cases.
If you are conscious of committing a mortal sin, and you deliberately avoid Confession and die with that sin unforgiven, then by your own choice you are indeed damned. However, it is possible to beg God’s forgiveness at the last moment, like the Good Thief on the cross, and escape Hell.
There is a true story about a woman whose brother committed suicide by jumping off a bridge. She went to St. John Vianney and asked him if her brother was in Hell. No, said the Curé of Ars, he’s in Purgatory. How is that possible?, the woman asked. The saint responded that between the time the man jumped, and the time he hit the water, he begged for, and was granted, God’s forgiveness.
Protestants can get to Heaven by being truly sorry for their sins, even if they don’t avail themselves of the Sacrament of Penance.

Q. In recent years, supposed experts have speculated that when Jesus was crucified, the nails were placed through His wrists rather than through His hands because they claim that nails through the hands could not possibly support the body of a crucified man. The Romans may have been brutal and cruel, but they were not stupid. They would have realized that nails through the hands could not support the weight of the body and would have taken appropriate measures to prevent His hands from tearing through the nails. To support this conclusion, I quote from the writings of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich and Venerable Mary of Agreda. You may recall that Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ was based almost entirely on the mystic visions of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich. I would appreciate your thoughts on this. — H.D.G., Wisconsin.
A. We are familiar with the visions of Blessed Anne and Venerable Mary, but find the conclusion of Dr. Pierre Barbet (cf. his book A Doctor at Calvary), that the nails went through the wrists of Christ, more plausible. Barbet and those who agree with him have based their conclusions on a careful study of the Shroud of Turin, which seems very likely to have been the burial shroud of Jesus. The image on the cloth of a crucified man, and the pattern of the bloodstains, particularly those around the wrist, confirms the thesis of Barbet. He discovered through experimentation on corpses that a nail placed in the spot where the palm met the wrist would take a nail and would support the body of a man.
His most startling finding was that when a nail pierced this spot, it partly severed the median nerve, causing unbelievable pain but also causing the thumb to jerk inward against the palm. This corresponded exactly to the bloodstain on the Shroud of Turin. Not only did the bloody wound appear on the back of the wrist in the pictures of the crucified Man on the Shroud, but the image of the hands, with the palms downward, showed no sign of thumbs.
Finally, while Pierre Barbet was the pioneer in this research, his conclusions have been affirmed by many others. They include Ian Wilson, author of The Turin Shroud and The Blood and the Shroud; Gilbert R. Lavoie, author of Unlocking the Secrets of the Shroud; C. Bernard Ruffin, author of The Shroud of Turin; and John Walsh, author of The Shroud.

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

22,000 people showed up in Virginia to protest an infringement on their Constitutional rights

No buildings vandalized

No journalists attacked

No cops were harassed

Some in the media call these patriots domestic terrorists

Yet they refuse to say the same about ANTIFA


His Eminence, @cardinalrlburke will be marching for life with the @GuadalupeShrine group in #WashingtonDC this week, giving public witness to the inviolable right to life! #MarchForLife #CatholicTwitter 👶🏼👶🏻👶🏽👶🏾👶🏿🤰🏻🤰🏼🤰🏽🤰🏾🤰🏿

Load More...

Catholic parish will not host Episcopalian consecration

Richmond, Va., Jan 17, 2020 / 11:30 am (CNA).- The Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia will no longer hold a bishops’s consecration at a Catholic parish in Williamsburg, after an internet petition objecting to the event drew national attention. “It…Continue Reading

Cardinal Dolan conducting ‘Vos estis’ investigation into Brooklyn’s Bishop DiMarzio

New York City, N.Y., Jan 18, 2020 / 09:05 pm (CNA).- Cardinal Timothy Dolan is conducting an investigation into Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, following an allegation of sexual abuse. The investigation is being conducted under the provisions of Vos estis lux…Continue Reading

Theodore McCarrick has moved from Kansas friary

Denver, Colo., Jan 7, 2020 / 11:00 am (CNA).- The disgraced former cardinal Theodore McCarrick has moved from the Kansas friary where he had been living since 2018. A spokesman for the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Conrad told CNA…Continue Reading

Vatican Archbishop: those who say Judas is in hell are ‘heretics’ and priests may ‘accompany’ assisted suicides

ROME, December 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — In a statement difficult to reconcile with Scripture and Tradition, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, has claimed on behalf of the Catholic Church that anyone who says Judas Iscariot is in…Continue Reading

Buffalo’s Bishop Richard Malone resigns after year of scandal

Vatican City, Dec 4, 2019 / 04:01 am (CNA).- Pope Francis Wednesday accepted the resignation of Buffalo’s embattled Bishop Richard Malone. The Diocese of Buffalo will be administered by Albany’s Bishop Edward Scharfenberger until a permanent replacement for Malone is…Continue Reading

Chinese bishop says Catholics must put ‘love for homeland’ first

Beijing, China, Dec 3, 2019 / 04:30 pm (CNA).- A Chinese bishop has said that Catholics in the country must put their loyalty to the state before the faith. Bishop John Fang Xingyao made the statement during a Communist Party…Continue Reading

Canada’s largest newspaper: Catholic schools must back LGBT ‘rights’ or risk losing public funding

TORONTO, November 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Canada’s largest newspaper threatened Catholic schools in an editorial that unless they get in line with homosexuality and transgender “rights,” support will only grow for an end to their public funding. The Toronto Star’s…Continue Reading

Pope compares politicians who persecute gays, Jews to Hitler

Pope Francis denounced the persecution of gay people on Friday and compared public officials who stoke hatred and anti-gay sentiment to Hitler. Francis delivered his remarks at an international conference on criminal law at the Vatican City, Reuters reported. “It is…Continue Reading

7-year-old whose mom tried to ‘transition’ him chooses to attend school as a boy

DALLAS, Texas, November 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Seven-year-old James Younger, whose mother enrolled him in kindergarten as a “girl,” has finally been able to attend school as a boy for the first time. James’ parents’ fight over whether he should…Continue Reading

Cardinal Dolan on Biden communion denial: ‘I wouldn’t do it’

Washington D.C., Oct 31, 2019 / 04:58 pm (CNA).- Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York has responded to questions about the denial of Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden last Sunday. On an Oct. 31…Continue Reading

Judge blocks Alabama law banning abortions, pro-lifers plan to appeal to Supreme Court

October 29, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Alabama’s ban on virtually all abortions will not take effect on November 15 as planned, thanks to a preliminary injunction issued Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson. In May, Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed the Alabama…Continue Reading

Biden denied communion at South Carolina church over abortion stance, report says

Democratic front-runner Joe Biden was reportedly denied communion by a priest at a South Carolina Catholic church over the weekend. Biden, a lifelong Catholic, stopped by Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Florence on Sunday, but was denied Holy Communion by Father Robert E. Morey,…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


Today . . .

President Trump Will Attend March for Life in Person, First President Ever to Join Pro-Lifers


President Donald Trump will address the March for Life on Friday in live remarks to hundreds of thousands of pro-life people attending the event from across the country. He will be the first president ever to attend the March for Life in person, having addressed the March via video previously. March for Life officials told they were delighted President Trump is demonstrating his commitment to pro-life values by appearing in person –joining half a…Continue Reading

Bishop Strickland says he asked pope about McCarrick report

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Bishop Joseph E. Strickland of Tyler, Texas, said he asked Pope Francis about the Vatican investigation into Theodore E. McCarrick and the release of a promised report on how the former cardinal managed to rise through the church ranks. The bishop, who was making his “ad limina” visit to Rome, drew widespread attention in August 2018 for a public statement saying he found “credible” the allegations made by retired Archbis

Catholic League blasts bill on clergy abuse, accuses lawmaker of trying to ‘police the sacraments of the Catholic Church’

SALT LAKE CITY — A group dedicated to defending the Catholic Church and its traditions is blasting a lawmaker for a bill that essentially removes the clergy exemption for reporting disclosures of abuse. “You are treading on dangerous territory,” Bill Donahue, the group’s president, wrote in a letter obtained by FOX 13. “When the government seeks to police the sacraments of the Catholic Church — or encroach on the tenets of a


Benedict XVI .: I am not co-author of Sarah’s book

Vatican City, January 14, 2020 (CAP) Benedict XVI has distanced itself from the authorship of the book on priesthood and celibacy, which Cardinal Robert Sarah published. Archbishop Georg Gänswein, private secretary of Benedict XVI, told the Catholic news agency Kathpress in Rome on Tuesday that, at the request of the pope emeritus, Sarah called early Tuesday morning to ask the publisher to remove Benedict XVI’s name and picture. prompt from the book cover. The signature…Continue Reading


The Facts… About The Controversial New Book By Both Cardinal Sarah And Benedict XVI

  By FR. JOHN T. ZUHLSDORF (Editor’s Note: Fr. John T. Zuhlsdorf posted the following on his January 15 blog at It is reprinted here with permission. Please visit his blog for the links he mentions in his text.) + + + Edward Pentin has posted at the National Catholic Register [blog dated January…Continue Reading

An NFL Owner’s Final Victory

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of Creators Syndicate,, distributes his column.) + + + Fr. Bill McGuire was sitting in the upper level of the press box at Kezar Stadium watching his hometown team play the Chicago Bears. Things were not going well. The 49ers fumbled…Continue Reading

Seth Meyers Likes Neo-Nazi Tactics

By BILL DONOHUE (Editor’s Note: Catholic League President Bill Donohue commented on remarks made January 13 by Seth Meyers on his NBC show.) + + + Brooklyn has been hit with a wave of anti-Semitic attacks, and no one uses this as a pretext to make light of them. A Catholic church in Brooklyn was…Continue Reading

Bishop Sheen Comes To My Home Town

By DONALD DeMARCO The 1960s counterculture movement did much to undo many traditional social values, especially those regarding personal relationships and human community. It served as a kind of stage rehearsal for the 1970s, which Tom Wolfe aptly dubbed “The Me Decade.” Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, launched the decade which gave…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Learning The Little-Known Life Story Of Bishop Schneider

By JAMES BARESEL Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age by Bishop Athanasius Schneider and Diane Montagna, Angelico Press, 2019. Available at It would be all too easy for a reviewer of Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s Christus Vincit: Christ’s Triumph Over the Darkness of the Age to limit himself to predictable reflections…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Focus On The Light

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Third Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 8:23-9:3 1 Cor. 1:10-13, 17 Matt. 4:12-23 In the first reading today, Isaiah tells us that “God first degraded the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,” but then tells us everything is turned around for the people in these lands and that “the people who…Continue Reading

Cardinal Pell Transferred To New Maximum-Security Prison

MELBOURNE, Australia (CNA) — George Cardinal Pell has reportedly been transferred out of the Melbourne prison in which he has been incarcerated for more than a year after a drone illegally flew over the prison grounds. According to the Herald Sun newspaper, Pell was moved out of Melbourne Assessment Prison after a drone flew over the prison garden in an…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: In an effort to promote eucharistic adoration, we published the following article in our parish bulletin. Feel free to use it in your own parish. Come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. These familiar words from a Christmas carol remind us of our obligation to offer adoration to the Lord. To be sure, we are also to…Continue Reading

God Wants Us To Be Great Saints

BY FR. ROBERT ALTIER Second Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 49:5-6 1 Cor. 1:1-3 John 1:29-34 In the Gospel reading today we have two statements by St. John the Baptist regarding the identity of Jesus. First, he states that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Second, he testifies that…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Parents Are The First And Best Teachers

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The option to home-school is the overwhelming trend among our traditional Catholic families. Why? They want to have larger families if able, usually more than the social minimum of two or three, out of a deep adherence to the faith and its integral practice. Tuition at Catholic schools is increasingly prohibitive under the budgetary strain…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Maria Cristina Of The Immaculate Conception

By CAROLE BRESLIN As Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “God does not require that we be successful, only that we be faithful.” This could certainly describe the setbacks of so many saints before they finally achieved their heart’s desire. St. Maria Cristina certainly had her share of disappointments and setbacks, but she always began again. Nunc coepi. On May 1,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Henry De Osso

By CAROLE BRESLIN Over the centuries, Spain has yielded many saints for the Roman Catholic Church. At the beginning of the fourth century, St. Maginus was martyred. In the twelfth century, there was St. Raymond of Penafort. In addition, the great sixteenth-century Carmelites, St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila, made matchless contributions to spirituality. In the…Continue Reading