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December 2, 2022 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. I am attending an RCIA class to see about becoming a Catholic. One question that has come up is why Protestant Bibles have only 66 books, while Catholic Bibles have 73. Can you explain this? — T.A., Massachusetts.
A. The discrepancy is in the Old Testament, where Protestant Bibles are missing the seven books of Judith, Tobit, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus (Sirach), Baruch, and 1 and 2 Maccabees, along with parts of Esther and Daniel. Here is the background:
When the Old Testament was translated into Greek about two centuries before Christ by seventy-two Hebrew scholars (hence the name of this translation as the “Septuagint,” a word meaning “seventy”), it contained all the books Catholics recognize today. But around the end of the first century A.D. a group of rabbis in Palestine compiled an Old Testament canon that excluded the seven books mentioned above.
Jews and Protestants today use this Palestinian canon for their Old Testament, although some Protestant Bibles contain the seven books under the heading of “Apocrypha,” which to them means not inspired by God. There is no truth to the allegation that the Catholic Church “added” these books to the Old Testament section of the Bible. They were there at the time of Jesus, who frequently quoted from the Septuagint version. In fact, of the 350 quotations from the Old Testament that appear in the New Testament, 300 are from the Septuagint.
Late in the fourth century, the Councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397) officially set the canon of the Bible at 73 books. When the Protestant reformers, such as Martin Luther, removed the seven books from the Bible in the sixteenth century, partly because they taught the doctrine of prayers for the dead, the Council of Trent (1545-1563) reaffirmed the canon of 73 books.

Q. The Sunday collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development has been taken up again this year in parishes throughout the country. Has there been any effort on the part of the bishops to make sure that recipients of Catholic dollars are faithful to Catholic teachings? — W.R., via e-mail.
A. No, the money of generous but unsuspecting Catholics is going once again to organizations and coalitions that promote abortion, contraception, the LGBTQ agenda, Marxism, and the occult. This disturbing situation has been documented in great detail by Michael Hichborn of the Lepanto Institute. According to its report issued on November 11, 2022, “of the $11,249,000 distributed by the CCHD in FY 2020-2021, $3,430,000 went to organizations acting against Holy Mother Church, which is 30.4 percent of the grant total. Since 2004, the organizations identified in this report have collectively received $16,633,000 in grants from the CCHD.”
Some of the most offensive coalitions working against Catholic teachings are Faith in Action, the Hispanic Federation, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the National Day Laborers Organizing Network, Jobs With Justice, and the Heal Food Alliance. You can access all the details on the various organizations and coalitions by visiting lepantoin.org or by visiting lifesitenews.com, which published their report.
“The Catholic Campaign for Human Development was created for the sole purpose of financing the Marxist Saul Alinsky’s community organizing groups,” said Hichborn. “This effort has led to fifty years of Catholic funding for organizations that work directly against the Church’s moral and social teachings.” He said that the CCHD in 2010 conducted a “review and renewal” of its vetting process, “even adopting a rule that forbids grantees from being members of organizations that act against Church teaching. But instead of denying funds to such organizations, the CCHD has chosen instead to defend the coalition networks.”
Hichborn has said for years that “either the Catholic Campaign for Human Development is absolutely incompetent and therefore incapable of properly policing the organizations to which it is providing funding, or it is completely corrupt and therefore complicit in the gravely immoral activities we’ve discovered. As we examine the case now, in light of the last ten years after the ‘review and renewal’ process, we are finding it harder to believe that this is a matter of mere incompetence.”
He said that “whatever the case may be, the fact of the matter is that the CCHD is providing Catholic funds to the enemies of the Church. No bishop, no priest, no layman can morally or licitly give any funding to the CCHD after reading these reports without endangering their own souls. We encourage all laymen to show this report to their pastors, and we exhort all priests to show this report to their bishops. We call upon all bishops to formally withdraw completely from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and work toward its total shut-down on the national level.”

Q. There are now 3,041 fewer parishes in the U.S. than we had in 1990. Church membership is declining, many are leaving the Church upon reaching adulthood. Even Catholics who publicly promote abortion are considered Catholics in “good standing” by much of our Church leadership. In my mind, at the center of this phenomenon in our Church is a declining belief in and respect for the “Real Presence” of Jesus in the Eucharist. I of course understand that the changes have been well-intended to promote reception of the Eucharist. But I believe we now know that the results have been catastrophic. Your thoughts please? — D.M., Virginia.
A. We wonder how well-intended some of these changes really were. Recall that Communion in the hand began as an illicit action that was contrary to Church law. It was only after years of Eucharistic abuses that Pope St. Paul VI, who wanted the traditional practice of receiving Communion on the tongue continued, said that Communion in the hand could be permitted in countries where two-thirds of the bishops petitioned Rome for permission. Authorization for Communion in the hand in the United States was given in 1977.
But this is only one reason for the decline of Church membership over the past fifty years. Another reason is atrociously bad catechesis of young people, who have not been told of the vital importance of Church attendance and reception of the Holy Eucharist. A friend of ours who took on a Confirmation class recently was appalled at how ignorant her teenaged students were of basic Catholic teachings, not to mention their total unfamiliarity with basic Catholic prayers. But how surprising is that when you consider that their parents were not properly catechized either?
We remember being at religious education workshops in the Eighties and hearing the so-called experts tell us that there was no reason for students to learn the Our Father (the most perfect prayer) or to learn the Ten Commandments because they were “Old Testament morality,” and were never referred to by Jesus. Anyone with some knowledge of the Gospels (cf. Matthew 19, Mark 10, and Luke 18) knows the falsity of that statement.
So, if a person never heard much about the Church’s basic beliefs, and thinks that everyone is going to Heaven no matter how they live, why bother going to Church? God will not be mocked; there will be eternal consequences for this unbelief. Let us pray and work for the evangelization and salvation of our family members and friends.

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