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February 14, 2020 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. In an exchange with a fellow on Facebook, he wondered how God could be a loving Father when He abandoned His Son Jesus on the cross. How can I answer him? — R.Q., Massachusetts.
A. Your questioner is referring to Jesus’ words from the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46). But Jesus was not being abandoned by His Father. Christ knew exactly what He was doing, namely, carrying out the Father’s will by offering His life for us. He knew His sacrifice would not be in vain, but He wanted to experience the deepest depths of desolation and mental agony, as if He had been completely forsaken, so that He could encompass all the loneliness and abandonment of those who have rejected God and could show us the price He was willing to pay for our sins.
Jesus was not giving in to despair. He was reciting the second verse of Psalm 22, which begins with cries of anguish and abandonment, but moves on to words of praise and thanksgiving to the God who “has not spurned or disdained/ the misery of this poor wretch,/ Did not turn away from me,/ but heard me when I cried out” (22:25). The Psalm concludes with words of triumph:
“All the ends of the earth/ will worship and turn to the LORD;/ All the families of nations/ will bow low before you./ For kingship belongs to the LORD,/ the ruler over the nations./ All who sleep in the earth/ will bow low before God;/ All who have gone down into the dust/ will kneel in homage./ And I will live for the LORD;/ my descendants will serve you./ The generations to come will be told of the/ LORD,/ that they may proclaim to a people yet/ unborn/ the deliverance you have brought” (22:28-32).

Q. In a column last summer, Dexter Duggan quoted Suzanne Hammons, director of communications for the Diocese of Gallup, N.M., as saying that the ad orientem posture of the priest at Mass, in which the priest and the people both face the Lord and not each other, “is still the default” after Vatican II. Explaining the policy instituted by Gallup Bishop James Wall, Hammons said that some people “mistakenly thought this was our attempt to return to pre-Vatican II rubrics, without understanding that even Vatican II documents themselves assume the priest says the Mass ad orientem.” If this is so, how did the current repositioning of the priest come about? — B.W., via e-mail.
A. There were a lot of things that became part of the Mass promulgated by Pope St. Paul VI in 1970 that were never mentioned in the documents of Vatican II, particularly in the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium). For example, Vatican II never called for removal of Communion rails or statues in the sanctuary. Nor did the council eliminate the use of Latin in the liturgy. It said that while vernacular languages could be introduced into the Mass, “the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites” (n. 36).
However, the implementation of the revised Mass was hijacked by teams of liturgists, who imposed their preferences on the Mass and badly distorted what Vatican II intended. Pope Paul VI had expressed the hope in 1969 that the liturgical reform would put “an end to uncertainty, arguments, and misguided experiments,” but his hopes were quickly dashed.
The liturgical termites operated with impunity throughout the 1970s, prompting Pope St. John Paul II to ask the bishops of the world for forgiveness for the failure to rein in these runaway liturgists.
In his 1980 letter to the bishops (Dominicae Cenae), John Paul apologized “in my own name and in the name of all of you, venerable and dear brothers in the episcopate, for everything which, for whatever reason, through whatever human weakness, impatience, or negligence, and also through at times partial, one-sided, and erroneous application of the directives of the Second Vatican Council, may have caused scandal and disturbance concerning the interpretation of the doctrine and the veneration due to this great sacrament [the Holy Eucharist]” (n. 12).
Later that same year, the Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship, in the document Inaestimabile Donum, listed many of the liturgical abuses and said that “we are face to face with a real falsification of the liturgy.” The foreword to this document went into detail:
“. . . The confusion of roles, especially regarding the priestly ministry and the role of the laity (indiscriminate shared recitation of the Eucharistic Prayer, homilies given by lay people, lay people distributing Communion while the priests refrain from doing so); an increasing loss of the sense of the sacred (abandonment of liturgical vestments, the Eucharist celebrated outside church without real need, lack of reverence and respect for the Blessed Sacrament, etc.); misunderstanding of the ecclesial character of the liturgy (the use of private texts, the proliferation of unapproved Eucharistic Prayers, the manipulation of the liturgical texts for social and political ends).”
It took a while for some of these abuses to be corrected, and not all of them have been totally eliminated today, but two documents in the waning years of John Paul’s pontificate (the revised General Instruction of the Roman Missal in 2002 and the document Redemptionis Sacramentum in 2004) made clear how the liturgy was to be celebrated and what abuses were to be proscribed. The reign of Pope Benedict XVI (2005-2013) saw more emphasis on returning to what one of his books called “the spirit of the liturgy,” and he of course cleared the way for the celebration of the Church’s ancient Latin Mass.
It was these developments that led Bishop Wall to introduce the ad orientem Mass in his diocese in the summer of 2019. Referring at that time to a recent letter from Pope Emeritus Benedict on various topics, including the Eucharist, Bishop Wall wrote that the Holy Father “acknowledged, and rightfully so, that we have become too lax in our approach to the Eucharist. There were a number of reasons for this, even extreme cases when Holy Communion has been distributed to non-Catholics at weddings and other large events for the sake of ‘inclusion.’ We know, however, that such ‘inclusivity’ is actually quite dangerous, for it can put someone’s soul at risk in the name of not hurting feelings. We would do well to remember, then, that the Eucharist is not simply a nice ‘sign’ or ‘symbol’ of communion with God, but rather truly is communion with God. . . . Pope Benedict’s letter thus provides an opportunity for us to reflect on how better to respect the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist.”

Q. In his First Letter, St. John says that “if anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, he should pray to God and he will give him life. This is only for those whose sin is not deadly. There is such a thing as deadly sin, about which I do not say that you should pray. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly” (1 John 5:16-17). Can you explain what this means? — S.M., via e-mail.
A. While it is not completely clear what St. John meant by sin in the first instance, he was probably referring to mortal sin since he said that life would be given to the sinner who petitions God, primarily through the Sacrament of Penance. The “deadly” sin probably refers either to apostasy (the total rejection of the Catholic faith by one who was baptized in the faith) or to final impenitence (the stubborn rejection of God’s love and mercy at the moment of death).
John was not saying that we shouldn’t pray for those who are steeped in mortal sin because only God knows whether a person is finally impenitent or not. We know from Scripture that God wants all persons to be saved (cf. 1 Tim. 2:4) and that He takes “no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, but rather in the wicked man’s conversion, that he may live” (Ezek. 33:11). So by all means pray fervently for sinners, for as Our Lady of Fatima said, “Many souls go to Hell because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them.”
That’s why she taught the three children this prayer to be said after each decade of the rosary:
“O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fire of Hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy.”

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On this painful Palm Sunday I pray that we can all cling to the joy that the Lord Jesus is keeping His Promise, He is still with us. It is excruciating not to receive Him in Communion but He awaits us “in the room next to us” May Spiritual Communion place us in His Real Presence

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Covid-19: First Catholic bishop dies of coronavirus

Ethiopia’s Apostolic Vicar, Bishop Angelo Moreschi, has died. He is the first Catholic Bishop to succumb to the coronavirus pandemic. By Fr. Benedict Mayaki, SJ Italian missionary and Apostolic Vicar to Ethiopia’s Gambella Vicariate, Bishop Angelo Moreschi, SDB, died on…Continue Reading

Catholic church offers curbside confessions during coronavirus outbreak

STILLWATER, Minn. — Drive-thrus, curbside pick-up, contactless methods. We’re becoming best buds with terms like these as we try our best to stay home, and flatten the curve of the coronavirus outbreak. However, today, we’re not talking about food or…Continue Reading

All priests, half of seminarians at traditional Catholic order infected by coronavirus

OPFENBACH, Germany, March 20, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Almost all priests and roughly half of the seminarians currently at a German seminary of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), a traditionalist community of priests and seminarians, have been infected by…Continue Reading

Catholic Herald US to shut down offices

The Catholic Herald’s U.S. edition is shutting down its offices in Washington, D.C., after less than two years of publication, people familiar with the matter told the Washington Examiner. The magazine, which claims to be “America’s only national Catholic weekly…Continue Reading

Middle school hangs LGBT flag in cafeteria, bans flag of traditional family

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, March 6, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A small town Minnesota school has become a center of controversy because of a LGBT pride flag hanging in its cafeteria. Following several weeks of parental and community concern, packed school board meetings, and…Continue Reading

Pope cancels visit with Rome priests for ‘slight’ illness

ROME – Pope Francis is sick and skipped a planned Mass with Rome clergy across town on Thursday, officials said. The Vatican said the 83-year-old pontiff had a “slight indisposition” and would proceed with the rest of his planned work…Continue Reading

Rush has lung cancer. Catholics owe him BIG TIME. Wherein Fr. Z rants. ACTION ITEM!

Rush Limbaugh has advanced lung cancer.  He made the sad announcement yesterday. ACTION ITEM: Please pray for a complete, swift, durative miraculous cure for him, perhaps through the intercession of Ven. Augustus Tolton. Every reader here, every committed conservative, faithful…Continue Reading

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

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

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  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

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Today . . .

See What the End Shall Be – A Homily for Palm Sunday

The Passion, which we read in the liturgy for Palm Sunday, is too long to comment on in detail, so we will only examine a portion of it here. It may be of some value to examine the problems associated with the more moderate range of personalities involved. The usual villains (the Temple leaders, Judas, and the recruited crowd shouting, “Crucify him!”) are unambiguously wicked and display their sinfulness openly. But there are others involved…Continue Reading

Vatican theologian: Pandemic is God’s chastisement for ‘infidelity’ of top Catholic shepherds

April 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Italian priest and theologian Nicola Bux has identified both the sins within the Church as well as the sins of the world as the root of the current pandemic and its effects on the daily life of Catholics. Like Archbishop Viganò and Bishop Schneider, the former consulter of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith characterized COVID-19 as a chastisement from God. In a lengthy statement published as a video on YouTube March 24,…Continue Reading

John Paul II embraced his suffering with love: Cardinal reflects 15 years after saint’s death

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Vatican City, Apr 2, 2020 / 11:00 am (CNA).- Pope St. John Paul II embraced suffering with love, even during his illness, a cardinal and the archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica said on the 15th anniversary of the saint’s death. The spread of the coronavirus pandemic, and the growing number of infected and dying people “has fallen on an unprepared society, highlighting the spiritual emptiness of many people,” Cardinal Angelo Comastri told Vatican News April…Continue Reading

A votive Mass “in time of pandemic” and a new prayer for Good Friday

The Congregation for Divine Worship adds an intention to the Solemn Intercessions during the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion and proposes a votive Mass taking into consideration the crisis in which the world is living By Vatican News The Congregation for Divine Worship has issued a votive Mass for this time of pandemic, and a new intention for the Solemn Intercessions during the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday. The new liturgical texts…Continue Reading

IN THIS TIME OF CRISIS . . . A STATEMENT FROM BISHOP JOSEPH STRICKLAND OF THE DIOCESE OF TYLER, TEXAS

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On Sunday, March 29, 2020, the Fifth Sunday of Lent, I offer this statement concerning the “Statement on Scarce Healthcare Resources” issued by the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops” on March 27, 2020.  I offer it out of prayer and with a sincere heart. I appreciate the effort of my brother Bishops in Texas to apply sound bioethical principles, as well as their concern that health care professionals are not held to an impossible standard…Continue Reading

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But What Is The Real Answer? Trump Warns Of Drugs, Depression, Suicides

By BILL DONOHUE (Editor’s Note: Catholic League President Bill Donohue commented March 30 on remarks made by President Trump on the social effects of coronavirus.) + + + In his March 29 briefing on coronavirus, President Donald Trump alluded to the social consequences of not taking seriously the threat it poses. He mentioned the “massive”…Continue Reading

The Power Of For

By DONALD DeMARCO One of the most agreeable phrases in the English language is, “This is for you.” A certain brewery has capitalized on the expression with the words, “This Bud’s for you.” A most welcomed phrase for me is “There is mail for you.” It brings to mind that the entire postal system is…Continue Reading

Is The Pandemic Killing Biden’s Bid?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN “This is the question that is going to dominate the election: How did you perform in the great crisis?” So says GOP Cong. Tom Cole of Oklahoma in the March 31 New York Times. GOP National Committeeman Henry Barbour of Mississippi calls the crisis “a defining moment. . . . The…Continue Reading

Prayer In Times Of Collective Crisis

By LAWRENCE P. GRAYSON Pope Francis said in his weekly angelus message on Sunday, March 22, that he would deliver a special “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) blessing that Friday evening, March 27 as a response to the coronavirus. Normally given only at Christmas and Easter, his decision to give this…Continue Reading

Bishop Strickland . . . The Return Of Proportionalism Threatens The Church

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By MOST REV. JOSEPH STRICKLAND I have been discussing Catholic Moral Teaching in the last two columns. The authentic Magisterium of the Catholic Church affirms that there are intrinsically evil acts which can never, ever, ever be chosen. A clear summary of this teaching is found in paragraph 80 of the encyclical letter of Pope…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Dutch Cardinal . . . Only Orthodox Teaching And Worthy Liturgy Will Attract Catholics

By JEANNE SMITS (LifeSiteNews) — The French-based association for the promotion of the Traditional liturgy of the Latin Church, Paix Liturgique (“Liturgical Peace”), recently published an interview in French with Willem Jacobus Cardinal Eijk, archbishop of Utrecht in the Netherlands regarding the future prospects of the Church in that deeply secularized country. Cardinal Eijk spoke frankly about the decline of…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: We are in the process of reducing our supply of books and are offering them to interested readers at a substantial discount. The books available, all in mint condition, are Catholic Replies, Catholic Replies 2, All Generations Will Call Me Blessed, Who Do You Say That I Am, Catholicism & Reason (Apologetics), Catholicism & Scripture (Salvation History), and…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… A Chance To Strengthen Catholic Identity

By Fr. KEVIN M. CUSICK Never let a crisis go to waste. This is true for cynical politicians and unscrupulous business types. Should it be true for the Church as well? I think so. Weeks ago, dioceses nearly worldwide, in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, have ordered public Masses canceled. Bishops have stipulated that these not be replaced by…Continue Reading

The Meekness And Humility Of The Lord

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Palm Sunday (YR A) Readings: Matt. 21:1-11 Isaiah 50:4-7 Phil. 2:6-11 Matt. 26:14-27:66 Today we remember the remarkable change of perspective that took place among the people between the time Jesus came into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and the attitude of the people only five days later as they called for our Lord’s crucifixion. However, in…Continue Reading

The Stations Of The Cross… Follow The Final Earthly Journey Of Christ

By FR. EDWARD McNAMARA (Editor’s Note: Following is a question on whether or not stations of the cross are liturgical or not, answered by Legionary of Christ Fr. Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy and dean of theology at the Regina Apostolorum university. (Fr. McNamara writes the “Liturgy Q-and-A” column for ZENIT News Agency, which provided this text in 2016. All…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Magdalena Of Canossa

By CAROLE BRESLIN There is a palace overlooking the Adige River that twists through Verona, Italy — about 75 miles east of Venice. In 1527 the Marquises of Canossa commissioned Michele Sanmicheli to build it, and it still stands today, having had such prominent guests as Alexander I of Russia, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Francis I of Austria. Although you cannot…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Anselm

By CAROLE BRESLIN St. Anselm was born in France near the Swiss Alps around 1033. At the age of 15, he wished to enter religious life by joining a monastery. Sadly, his influential father was so against it that the monastery refused to accept him. This so discouraged the youth that he drowned his sorrows in worldly pursuits. He deeply…Continue Reading

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