Tuesday 13th April 2021

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April 2, 2021 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Editor’s Note: J.S. e-mailed to say that she disagrees with our recommendation of Food for the Poor as a worthy charity. “My husband used to donate to Food for the Poor because it advertised in The Wanderer until we checked them out on Charity Navigator and were totally floored at the salary of the CEO and the amount of money donated that was not used for the poor,” she wrote. “You might want to rethink that considering this information.”
The information shows that Food for the Poor President Robin Mahfood received $456,222 in compensation in 2019. J.S. suggested that a better choice would be Fr. Robert Altier’s Help the Helpless or Cross Catholic Outreach.
Charity Navigator was founded in 2001 and has a team of professionals that analyzes tens of thousands of nonprofit financial documents in order to “develop an unbiased, objective, numbers-based rating system to assess over 160,000 of America’s best-known and some lesser-known, but worthy, charities.” While at first glance, the salary paid to Robin Mahfood seems high, Charity Navigator noted that Mahfood’s salary is just 0.5 percent of the charity’s annual revenue of $914.5 million.
By comparison, Catholic Relief Services, with total revenue of $1.01 billion, pays its CEO $445,684 per year, which amounts to .04 percent of the total amount of money taken in per year. Cross Catholic Outreach, with annual revenue of $328.1 million, paid out $3.4 million in salaries to nine officers of the charity, including $212,082 to its president.
A few years ago, Charity Navigator offered this comment on the compensation practices at thousands of U.S.-based charities:
“We know that many donors continue to be concerned by what they believe to be excessive charity CEO pay. Many donors assume that charity leaders work for free or minimal pay and are shocked to see that they earn six-figure salaries. But well-meaning donors sometimes fail to consider that these CEOs are typically running multimillion-dollar operations that endeavor to help change the world. Leading one of these charities requires an individual that possesses an understanding of the issues that are unique to the charity’s mission, as well as a high level of fundraising and management expertise. Attracting and retaining that type of talent requires a competitive level of compensation as dictated by the marketplace.”

Q. When joining in public recitation of the rosary, I noticed that some people do not say “Amen” at the end of the Our Father. Do you know why? — L.C., via e-mail.
A. Probably because they have gotten used to not saying “Amen” at the end of the Lord’s Prayer at Mass. As you know, instead of saying “Amen” following “deliver us from evil” at Mass, the priest says, “Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant us peace in our days….” The people then respond, “For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and for ever.” Omitting the “Amen” at Mass has caused Catholics to omit it when they recite the Our Father outside of Mass.
However, you should remind people of this omission by saying “Amen” yourself during the rosary. In the words of the Catechism (n. 2856): “Then, after the prayer is over you say ‘Amen,’ which means ‘So be it,’ thus ratifying with our ‘Amen’ what is contained in the prayer that God has taught us [St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catech.myst. 5, 18: PG 33, 1124; cf. Luke 1:38].”

Q. In your recent column about the morality of taking one of the COVID-19 vaccines, you quoted the U.S. Bishops’ Committees on Doctrine and Pro-Life Activities as saying that one could take the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines because their connection with morally compromised cell lines was remote from the evil of abortion. The same was not true with the Astra-Zeneca vaccine because it used the cells of an aborted child “in the design, development, and production stages of that vaccine.” However, some well-respected moralists said that we should not try to heal an illness by using any cells from a person killed by abortion. Do you have any additional thoughts on this question? — R.C., Massachusetts.
A. On March 11, seven Catholic moralists in the United States, including Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, issued a “Statement of Conscience,” saying that “the use of such vaccines must never be advanced as mandatory, or as a universal duty, because some of us in conscience believe that we are called to refuse to take them.” The signers questioned the argument of using vaccines whose connection with abortion is “remote” when the cells of the child aborted decades ago are still being “manipulated deliberately” for the “depraved intention” of creating cell lines.
They conceded the possibility that it is “not always morally illicit to use such abortion-tainted vaccines temporarily, in extreme necessity, and even then under strenuous protest,” but insisted on their “freedom of conscience in this matter, to witness to life as we judge we are being called to do.”
Joining Bishop Strickland in signing the statement were Catherine Pakaluk, Michael Pakaluk, and Jay W. Richards of the Catholic University of America, Stacy Ann Trasancos of the St. Philip Institute of Catechesis and Evangelization, José Luis Trasancos of the Children of God, and Eric Sammons of Crisis magazine.
Regarding the question of whether one can be required to take one of the vaccines, members of the Health Care Civil Rights Task Force issued a statement, saying that the vaccines are “experimental medical products that have only been authorized for emergency use,” and that federal law gives individuals the right to refuse administration of the product. The statement says that “it is important to note that no vaccine has received FDA approval for COVID-19, but to date three vaccines have received FDA authorization for emergency use. Being approved under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) means the products are investigational and experimental only, their investigative studies have not been completed, and the vaccine would not otherwise has been approved at their stage of testing.”
The Task Force also pointed out that according to 42 U.S. Code §300aa-22, “No vaccine manufacturer shall be liable in a civil action for damages arising from a vaccine-related injury or death associated with the administration of a vaccine after October 1, 1988, if the injury or death resulted from side effects that were unavoidable even though the vaccine was properly prepared and was accompanied by proper directions and warnings.” Anyone being pressured or mandated to be vaccinated can contact the Task Force at healthcarecivilrights@gmail.com.

Q. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 2357) has condemned homosexual acts as “acts of grave depravity” that “are contrary to the natural law. . . . Under no circumstances can they be approved.” Yet we seldom hear priests or bishops say anything negative about homosexual behavior. Why is that? — Name Withheld, via e-mail.
A. Probably because they know the vicious and vituperative campaign of hate that will be directed against them. It’s okay to speak out on climate change or immigration, but don’t dare question whether the celebration of sodomy is good for our culture. The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has just decreed that Church ministers cannot bless same-sex unions because God “does not and cannot bless sin.” Let’s see how many priests and bishops follow the Vatican’s decree, which was approved by Pope Francis. Let’s hope that they imitate the courage of St. Peter Damian (1001-1072), who wrote this about sodomy in his Book of Gomorrah:
“In fact, this vice is absolutely not comparable to any others because its enormity supersedes them all. Indeed, this vice produces the death of bodies and the destruction of souls. It pollutes the flesh, extinguishes the light of reason, expels the Holy Ghost from His temple in man’s heart, and introduces into it the Devil, who is the instigator of lust. It leads into error, totally expels truth from the deceived soul, sets up traps for those who fall into it, then caps the well to prevent those who fall into it from getting out, opens the gates of Hell and closes the door of Heaven to them, turns a former citizen of the heavenly Jerusalem into an heir of the infernal Babylon, transforming him from a heavenly star into a straw for the eternal fire, wrenches a member away from the Church, and plunges him into the voracious fire of the ardent Gehenna.”

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Today . . .

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">Conversations with Cardinal Burke March 2021

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

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Catholic Replies

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