Monday 20th March 2023

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Catholic Replies

January 27, 2023 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Q. When Joseph and Mary came to the inn in Bethlehem, the innkeeper said that there was no room and told them to “go on.” That night an angel of the Lord came to Joseph in his dream and said, “It is you who shall go on and on.” Is this true? — J.B., Pennsylvania.
A. Not according to the Gospel accounts of the birth of our Lord. In St. Luke’s account of the Nativity, he makes no mention of the innkeeper, but says only that Mary wrapped Jesus “in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (2:7). There are no recorded words of the innkeeper.
The next time an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream was some weeks after the birth of Jesus. “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you,” the angel said. “Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him” (Matt. 2:13). The Holy Family remained in Egypt until the death of Herod and then returned to Israel and settled in Nazareth.

Q. I have an issue regarding two key events surrounding Matthew and Luke’s treatment of the infancy narrative in the New Testament, namely the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt and the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. In no way can I see that both events could have taken place. One would have to choose between one or the other. And here is why. In the case of Matthew, rather than returning to Judea out of fear of Herod’s son Archelaus, the family departs for Nazareth in Judea [Galilee]. No mention of the Presentation. In Luke’s case, the same thing happens following the Presentation. The family, once again, departs for Nazareth in Judea [Galilee]. No mention of the flight to Egypt. So which of the two events is one to opt for? — T.A.K., via e-mail.
A. There is no reason not to accept both events once you understand the chronology. Matthew and Luke were writing from different perspectives — Matthew was more concerned with Joseph and Luke with Mary — and they recorded different events. Consider the following possible chronology:
Day One: Jesus is born in Bethlehem
Day Eight: Jesus is circumcised in Bethlehem
Day Forty: Jesus is presented in the Temple in Jerusalem
Day Unknown: The Magi meet King Herod in Jerusalem; he has ascertained that the “newborn King of the Jews” is to be born in Bethlehem, and he asks the Magi, once they have found the Child, to report His whereabouts to him so Herod can purportedly go to worship the Child.
Day Unknown: The Magi arrive in Bethlehem and present their gifts to the Child. They are warned in a dream not to report back to Herod, so they return home by another route.
Day Unknown: Herod realizes that the Magi are not coming back, so he orders his soldiers to kill every boy in the Bethlehem region two years of age and under.
Day Unknown: An angel warns Joseph of Herod’s plot and tells him to take the Holy Family to Egypt until Herod has died.
Day Unknown: An angel tells Joseph that Herod has died, and it is safe to return to Israel.
Day Unknown: Joseph changes his plan to return to Bethlehem in Judea when he learns that Herod’s son Archelaus is ruling there. He travels instead to Nazareth in Galilee, where Herod’s son Antipas is ruling. Jesus and Antipas will meet again in Jerusalem some thirty years later.

Q. I have a beef to discuss if you will permit. Regarding the siege and slaughter of Jericho, your editorial contention (it comes up in other contexts also) is that the slaughter of every human in the city was not instructed by God, but somehow the boys got carried away, and God PERMITTED it. This is not supported by the text. God’s instructions to Joshua were very detailed and exact; it is not plausible to believe that the Israelites could have violated His instructions in such a big way and God did not give a consequence. Violations of His instructions were punished. For pocketing a few items, they lost the next battle. Another family who violated the rules was stoned to death. God did not want intermingling with the peoples of pagan nations, and the only way He could give the Israelites a real chance at following His Commandments was to give them a fresh start with “clean territory.” Comments? — P.L., via e-mail.
A. The question is about our statement in a recent column, that after the walls of Jericho fell, “the Israelite army entered Jericho and killed all its inhabitants, except Rahab and her family. This slaughter was morally wrong, but God tolerated it to give His people the land promised them to protect Israel from the idolatry and immorality of the Canaanites.”
The Book of Joshua says only that the Lord told Joshua, “I have delivered Jericho and its king into your power” (Joshua 6:2). There are no instructions from God to slay all the inhabitants of the city, although that is what was done. However, God had given such instructions elsewhere in the Bible. For example, in chapter seven of Deuteronomy, God told Moses that when He delivered a country into their hands, “you shall doom them. Make no covenant with them and show them no mercy” (7:2).
Why would a God of mercy and love call for such harsh treatment of Israel’s enemies? Because He is also a God of justice and wrath against those who, like the Canaanites, practiced idolatry, sorcery, and child sacrifice. God says that “anyone who does such things is an abomination to the Lord, and because of such abominations the Lord, your God, is driving these nations out of your way” (Deut. 18:12). However, the same God also urges the Israelites to seek “terms of peace” before attacking a city, and only to “lay siege to it” if it refuses to make peace (Deut. 20:10-11).
The difficulty posed by these passages comes about when we attempt to apply modern-day standards of justice and morality to ancient peoples and nations. We forget, says Robert J. Hutchinson in his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Bible, that “the people in Old Testament times were not exactly like members of a contemporary women’s book club. They lived in an era of bandits and caravans, ruthless empires and slavery, child sacrifice and gang rape — when might made right and whoever could slaughter the most people became king. It was a cruel time, and the God of the Bible issued harsh edicts to cruel people” (pp. 63-64).
Hutchinson says that “modern critics who assert that the Bible justifies war and genocide are looking at isolated passages taken out of their historical and textual context….It was only because of their long and bloody history that the Jewish people came to understand just how much the Creator of the universe hates war and killing….But after the long, bloody march of history, the Bible says, mankind will finally turn its back on killing. There will come a messianic age when God’s anointed shall destroy war once and for all” (pp. 64-65).
He writes that “a time will come, Isaiah agreed, when nations ‘shall beat their swords into plowshares; and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore’ (2:4). This is hardly a God who loves war, much less genocide” (p. 65).

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Biden administration pats itself on the back for shooting down China balloon - meanwhile southern border is wide open to the Chinese.

House Republicans approved 2 #ProLife measures.

The first measure would ban #Abortion on babies born alive and require the babies be given medical care and treatment. The other measure condemned a spurt of growing attacks against crisis pregnancy centers.

House Republicans Pass Pro-Life Bills

House Republicans on Jan. 11 approved two pro-life measures. The first measure passed by the House would ban abortion ...

Load More...

Vatican and USCCB leave transgender policy texts unpublished

While U.S. bishops have made headlines for releasing policies addressing gender identity and pastoral ministry, guidelines on the subject have been drafted but not published by both the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s doctrinal office, leaving diocesan bishops to…Continue Reading

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…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


Today . . .

">Cardinals Burke . . . SAME-SEX UNION BLESSINGS?

Longtime teacher fired after discussing God in classroom, challenging ‘evil’ LGBT school policy

(LifeSiteNews) — A longtime public school teacher in Idaho was let go earlier this month for being unafraid to mention God in the classroom and voicing his objections to a pro-LGBT policy designed to promote “transgender” ideologies among young people.  Ian O’Connell, a Catholic teacher who served as a substitute in the public institutions of Caldwell School District for over 20 years, spoke on February 13 about a proposed “gender identity and sexual orientation” policy that…Continue Reading

Murder investigation underway in shooting death of LA Auxiliary Bishop O’Connell

The shooting death of Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop David G. O’Connell Saturday is being investigated as a homicide, authorities have confirmed. “This incident is being handled as a murder investigation,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) said in a statement Sunday. No additional details were released. “We learned early this morning from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office that they have determined that the d

FBI whistleblower releases docs showing agency is surveilling ‘Radical’ Latin Mass Catholics

RICHMOND, Virginia (LifeSiteNews) — A document released by an FBI whistleblower indicates the agency plans to intensify its “assessment” and “mitigation” of “Radical Traditionalist Catholics” over the next 12 to 24 months due to alleged concerns that “white nationalists” are increasingly making common cause online with attendees of the Latin Mass.

MN Catholics Pass Radical Abortion Bill

SAINT PAUL, Minn. ( – Catholic legislators have been instrumental in the nation’s most radical abortion bill becoming state law.  The so-called Protect Reproductive Options Act, or PRO Act, allows for the killing of unborn babies up until birth — by any method, with no maternal age restrictions and for any reason. Minnesota’s Senate passed the lethal legislation on Saturday, following 15 hours of debate. As promised, Gov. Tim Walz, a two-term Democrat, signed the bill into law on Tuesday afternoon.  “We are enacting the most extreme bill…Continue Reading

300th Catholic Church Attacked Since 2020

(Wanderer Editor’s Note: This March 13 article is reprinted from with their permission. All rights reserved.) + + (CV News Feed) — An act of vandalism against a Catholic church in Connecticut over the weekend marked a grim milestone: The 300th known attack on a Catholic church in America since the spring of 2020.Police…Continue Reading

St. Veronica And Face-Face Human Relationships

By DONALD DeMARCO The sixth of the 14 Stations of the Cross tells us that “Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.” According to tradition, Christ left an imprint of His face on the veil (or cloth) that she used. Veronica looked upon Christ’s bloodstained face with sympathy, Christ responded with an expression of His loving…Continue Reading

Destroy The Mexican Drug Cartels

By JOSH HAMMER The tragic killing of two U.S. citizens this past week in the border town of Matamoros, Mexico, should, in a just world, refocus American attention on the glaring problem of transnational drug cartels’ de facto control of large swaths of our perilously porous southern border.That the two Americans killed may have been…Continue Reading

“God Really Intervened”. . . How A Priest Escaped From His Kidnappers In Haiti

By DIEGO LOPEZ MARINA SANTO DOMINGO (CNA) — Fr. Antoine Macaire Christian Noah, a Claretian priest from Cameroon, escaped unharmed from a crime gang that had kidnapped him in Haiti last month and has been taken to another country for his safety.On March 2, Fr. Fausto Cruz Rosa, major superior of the Antilles Delegation of…Continue Reading

Utah Legislature Passes Bill Banning All Abortion Clinics

By MICAIAH BILGER SALT LAKE CITY (LifeNews) — A bill to ban abortion facilities in Utah passed the state legislature Thursday, March 3 by an overwhelming majority.After the Utah Senate voted 22-6, the bill now heads to Gov. Spencer Cox, a pro-life Republican, who said he supports the bill, the Associated Press reports.Sponsored by State…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Glory Of The Son Of God

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fifth Sunday Of Lent (YR A) Readings: Ezek. 37:12-14Romans 8:8-11John 11:1-45 In the first reading today, God promises us through the Prophet Ezekiel that He will open the graves of His people and have them rise from their graves. This is the promise of the Resurrection. This needs to be made clear because in the Gospel…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: This series on the Bible is from the book Catholicism & Scripture. Please feel free to use the series for high schoolers or adults. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column as well. Please see the contact information at the end of the column. Special Course On Catholicism And Scripture (Chapter 15) After some fifty…Continue Reading

The Rampage Of The Lawless

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK One supposes that the truth becomes “safe” for liars once they control the levers of power and thus can take credit for finally disseminating it, or allowing it be to spread. The power of elected office or bureaucratic privilege is instrumentalized for its own perpetuation at whim through a manipulation of the facts. We are…Continue Reading

The Conditions For Mortal Sin Are Not That Hard To Meet

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this commentary on March 5 and it is reprinted here with permission. Msgr. Pope is the pastor of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian in Washington, D.C.) + + Recent and public conversations about the nature of mortal sin, the reception of Holy Communion and worthiness to receive the Eucharist have shown how…Continue Reading

Reject Evil And Live For The Son Of God

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fourth Sunday Of Lent (YR A) Readings: 1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13Eph. 5:8-14John 9:1-41 In the first reading today, we see one of the most typical of human actions: judging by appearances. God sends Samuel to anoint the king He has chosen. Samuel does not know who the man is, but he does know that he…Continue Reading

Crushed But Unbroken . . . The Martyrdom Of St. Margaret Clitherow

By RAY CAVANAUGH The late-1500s were a tough time for Catholics in England, where the Reformation was in full gear. A 1581 law prohibited Catholic religious ceremonies. And a 1584 Act of Parliament mandated that all Catholic priests leave the country or else face execution. Some chose to remain, however, so they could continue serving the faithful.Also taking huge risks…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Bernardine Of Siena (1380-1444)

By DEB PIROCH The year Siena lost its famed St. Catherine, it gained a new future saint; St. Bernardine Albizeschi, later St. Bernardine of Siena, OFM, known as the “Apostle of Italy.” He was a great friar preacher who would win souls for God.Being born in 1380 of a noble family did not protect him from heartache, but the prayers…Continue Reading