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October 3, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

Editor’s Note: Fr. George Rutler, pastor of the Church of St. Michael in New York City, has offered a scathing criticism of the blasé attitude of many Americans to the “genocide of Christians” in the Middle East. Writing in his September 14 parish bulletin, Fr. Rutler said:
“We are now engaged in a war, whether or not some politicians hesitate to call it that, and it must have priority over all other interests. The war is being fought by enemies of God, deluded by the conceit that they are fighting for God. This is so hard for an indulged and selfish culture to accept, inasmuch as it means acknowledging that good and evil exist, though many would prefer to ignore the latter. Christians are being martyred in the Middle East, and public officials still find it hard to mention that those who are being crucified, beheaded, and driven from their homes are suffering because they are Christians.
“The auxiliary bishop of Baghdad, Shlemon Warduni, said on Vatican radio: ‘We have to ask the world: Why are you silent? Why do you not speak out? Do human rights exist or not? And if they exist, where are they? There are many, many cases that should arouse the conscience of the whole world: Where is Europe? Where is America?’ The genocide of Christians, who have been in Iraq since shortly after the Resurrection, does not seem to have priority in the attention of many in our country.
“As this suffering continues, many in the United States are willing to tolerate heresy and moral decadence in a vain attempt to ‘get along’ with others. While Christians must ‘love the sinner and hate the sin,’ there are an increasing number of people who are intimidated into enabling the sinner to advertise his sin. In 1992, Cardinal O’Connor said that compromising Catholic truth for the sake of political correctness ‘was not worth one comma in the Apostles’ Creed.’
“The holy martyrs in the Middle East honor the Church and atone for our degeneracy. Their bishops are willing to struggle and die with them. They must be amazed that bishops and people in other places have their priorities so wrong.”

Q. The Gospels say that Jesus multiplied loaves and fishes twice, but I have heard that it was only one miracle with two different versions of it. What do you think? — T.K., California.
A. We don’t think that Jesus was limited to performing a miracle only once, but in fact that His cures and exorcisms and raisings from the dead occurred many times. The same is true of the multiplication of loaves and fishes, which is mentioned twice in Matthew and Mark and once in Luke and John. Following the second such miracle in Mark, the feeding of the four thousand, Jesus confirmed that there were two distinct miracles when He said to the apostles:
“ ‘Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear? And do you not remember, when I broke the five loaves for five thousand, how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up? They answered him, ‘Twelve.’ ‘When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up?’ They answered [him], ‘Seven.’ He said to them, ‘Do you still not understand?’ ” (Mark 8:18-21).
The twelve baskets symbolize the twelve tribes of Israel, while the seven baskets symbolize the seven pagan nations that were driven out of Canaan to make room for the Israelites to settle in the Promised Land. The point Jesus was trying to get across to the apostles was that Jews and non-Jews (Gentiles) will one day share the same living bread that is Jesus.

Q. At a Mass of Anointing in my parish, the priests anointed people who were obviously in need of the sacrament, but I saw them anoint others who had brought the sick to church and who did not appear to be sick themselves. What are the conditions for receiving this sacrament? — T.L.H., Massachusetts.
A. The Anointing of the Sick, said Vatican II’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (n. 73), is not just for those in immediate danger of death, but for any one of the faithful who “begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age.” Those to be anointed, said Hominum Dolores, the 1972 instruction on the sacrament by the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, include persons facing surgery necessitated by a dangerous illness, elderly people who are weak but not dangerously ill, and sick children who are mature enough to be comforted by the sacrament. A sick person may be anointed more than once if he recovers and then becomes ill again, or if the danger becomes greater in the course of the illness.
Because of reported abuses of the sacrament at large gatherings of the faithful, the U.S. bishops approved in 1982 a document entitled Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum.
Paragraph 108 of that document contained a cautionary note, saying that the diocesan bishop or his delegate “should ensure that all disciplinary norms concerning anointing are observed, as well as the norms for pastoral preparation and liturgical celebration. In particular, the practice of indiscriminately anointing numbers of people on these occasions simply because they are ill or have reached an advanced age is to be avoided. Only those whose health is seriously impaired by sickness or old age are proper subjects for the sacrament.”
So all those present at the Mass you attended should not have been given the sacrament.

Q. Two questions, please: 1) A very devout Catholic recently told me that Fr. John Corapi has been reconciled with the Church and reinstated to perform his priestly duties. Is this true? 2) What is your opinion about donations to Doctors Without Borders? They sound sincere, but my concern is about abortions and contraceptives. — R.B., Michigan.
A. 1) Charges of sexual impropriety and drug abuse were brought against Fr. John Corapi in 2011. He was ordered by his superiors in the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT) to remain silent while the charges were being investigated, but instead he announced that he was leaving the priesthood. He promised to speak out via his website, and did for a while. But his presence on that site disappeared in 2012, and we don’t know any more about him. There have been reports that he is living on a ranch in Montana, but we don’t know if that is true or not. If anyone has any new information about him, please let us know.
2) Doctors Without Borders (also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres) was founded by two French doctors in 1971 (they later left to found a similar organization, Doctors of the World) to provide medical and humanitarian assistance to victims of armed conflict and natural disasters, “irrespective of race, religion, creed, or political convictions.” They received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999 for their work to help people in distress in such places as Biafra, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Rwanda.
DWB, with offices now in 28 countries that employ more than 30,000 people, estimates that they have treated over a hundred million patients.
The American Life League does not consider the organization to be worthy of support from pro-lifers. Among other things, says ALL, Doctors Without Borders has “an explicit policy of providing abortions in cases where its doctors feel that’s appropriate.” DWB admits to providing “emergency medical aid” that includes “abortion, contraception, sex education in HIV/AIDS prevention programs, as well as prophylactic treatments for victims of sexual violence. Our teams often see women and girls who need medical attention due to injuries suffered during unsafe illegal abortions in places where the practice is illegal or taboo.”
The organization says that “unwanted pregnancies, another potential result of rape, can be dangerous in areas where women have no access to safe abortion and may expose herself to the risks of an unsafe procedure. Pregnancy can be prevented if the victim comes in within 120 hours of the attacks by administering the morning-after pill.” That pill causes an early abortion if the woman is pregnant.
For more on DWB’s involvement in what it calls “family planning” or “reproductive health care,” see the website www.all.org/charities?page=2#doctors_without_borders.

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