Roughly 10 days before Christmas 2018, Bishop Robert Barron, the well-known founder of “Word on Fire Catholic Ministries” and an auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Los Angeles (appointed by Pope Francis in 2015), gave an interview to Ben Shapiro, editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire and an Orthodox Jew. Shapiro summarized the themes of their discussion on Twitter as follows:
“@BishopBarron joins me to discuss the best response to sex scandals in the Catholic Church, his possible concerns with the rise of Protestantism, and we seek to answer the age-old question: Who gets to go to heaven?”
The interview clip embedded in the Twitter post begins with Shapiro asking, “What’s the Catholic view on who gets into heaven and who doesn’t?” followed by an apparent list of reasons why he, an observant Jew and all-around decent guy, should be admitted… Click here to continue reading online
On November 3, 2018, President Trump nominated Mr. Brian C. Buescher, an Omaha-based lawyer who previously ran unsuccessfully for Attorney General of Nebraska, to sit on the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska. The members of the Senate Judiciary Committee sent written questions totaling 44 pages to the nominee and received written replies as part of a hearing to consider the nomination (full Q&A text available online).
I do not know Mr. Buescher, nor do I have an informed opinion on whether or not he would make a good federal district court judge. His nomination should be of interest to us all, however, due to the substance of many of the questions which committee members, especially Senators Hirono and Harris, asked of the nominee. The senators make clear in their questioning that they believe a lawyer such as Buescher should be disqualified from serving as a federal judge for two reasons: (1) the positions he took as a candidate for Nebraska Attorney General and (2) his membership in the Knights of Columbus. To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition
Editor’s Note: In preparation for our 2019 CFN Conference in May, “Fifty Years of Problems with the New Mass,” we continue our series of papal documents concerning the Holy Mass. This month, our topic turns to sacred music, which Pope St. Pius X addressed quite thoroughly towards the beginning of his Pontificate. The saintly Pontiff observed that “there is a general tendency to deviate from the right rule” with regard to music and its liturgical use. Thus, he took the initiative to clearly define the right rule “in order that no one for the future may be able to plead in excuse that he did not clearly understand his duty and that all vagueness may be eliminated from the interpretation of matters which have already been commanded”. A return to liturgical sanity throughout the universal Church will necessarily include a return to the sound principles and directives given by Pope St. Pius X. Click here to read Tra Le Sollecitudini
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the October 2014 edition of CFN, the fifth installment in a series entitled “Continuity or Rupture? Examining Vatican II in Light of Tradition”. We reprint it here in preparation for our upcoming conference on “Fifty Years of Problems with the New Mass”.
Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi
Even from apostolic times, liturgical stability has played a vital role in maintaining unity and integrity of faith for the universal Church. The reason for this is summed up by the ancient axiom lex orandi, lex credendi – “the law of prayer is the law of belief.” In other words, the Church’s Liturgy (public worship and prayer) shows forth and gives expression to the Deposit of Faith. In fact, the “received and approved rites of the Catholic Church,” Western and Eastern, are themselves a constituent part of Sacred Tradition… To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition
The Corruption of Language
One of the many casualties of our modern era is the corruption of language. Occasionally, the warping of words will become so blatant as to merit a sarcastic phrase. For example, during the Iran hostage crisis, now some 40 years ago, wags proclaimed that a “moderate” Iranian was a mullah who had run out of ammunition. During the 2016 election, a conservative wit observed that a “racist” was a Republican who was ahead in the polls. As my own contribution, the “new evangelization” is the Church’s program to recruit one new member for every ten lost since Vatican II. To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition
Editor’s Note: CFN is pleased to introduce Ryan Grant, a professional Latinist and founder of Mediatrix Press, as a new contributor. In this his inaugural article, Mr. Grant employs his Latin expertise to examine the claim that Pope Francis’ “revision” of doctrine on capital punishment really isn’t a big deal because the “official Latin text” doesn’t convey what the supposedly faulty translations do, namely, that the death penalty is always and everywhere wrong. As Mr. Grant demonstrates, however, the Vatican’s official English version is an accurate translation, meaning that the Latin does indeed say that capital punishment “is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person” – a clear contradiction of the Church’s constant teaching on the subject. To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition
This article first appeared at OnePeterFive. Reprinted with permission. Click here to read online
Editor’s Note: This month, we learn how Archbishop Lefebvre combined his learning and deep knowledge of doctrine as a seminary professor with a very pastoral approach. In his dealings with the newly converted (and yet-to-be converted) people of Africa, we can see that the Archbishop was pastoral long before the term came into vogue in the 1960s. His transition from seminary professor to missionary on the ground, caring for his flock in the African bush, was quite smooth. His experience shepherding newly converted Catholics who had to navigate a world still influenced by paganism and confronted by Protestant “missionaries” would prepare him to establish outpost missions for Tradition throughout the entire world after the Second Vatican Council plunged the Church into a period of confusion. Countries that had been Catholic for centuries quickly became missionary lands once again as confusion and priestly defections spread. Decades before the conciliar chaos began, however, Divine Providence was preparing the Archbishop through his life as a missionary. – Brian M. McCall, Editor-in-Chief To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition
“Blessed is the man who hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the chair of pestilence. But his will is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he shall meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree which is planted near the running waters, which shall bring forth its fruit in due season. And his leaf shall not fall off: and all whatsoever he shall do shall prosper. Not so the wicked, not so: but like the dust, which the wind driveth from the face of the earth. Therefore, the wicked shall not rise again in judgment: nor sinners in the council of the just. For the Lord knoweth the way of the just: and the way of the wicked shall perish” (Ps. 1:1-6).
There are only two paths that a soul can choose in this life: one which leads to sanctity and glory, the other to wickedness and ruin. There is no middle ground. In the words of Sister Lucia of Fatima, “Either we are for God or we are for the devil. There is no other possibility.” To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition
When St. John Bosco was nine years old, he had the first of the many prophetic dreams which would mark his life. Upon waking, he said he recalled being in a field amidst a host of children who were yelling, shouting, cursing and making mischief. Firstly, he tried to quieten them with persuasion, and then with blows. But a mysterious woman came up to him and said: “No. Don't use violence. Be gentle. Be gentle, if you want to win their friendship.” Then the rascals, who had turned for a moment into all sorts of wild beasts, changed into submissive lambs. The woman's kindly voice said to him: “Take your crook and lead them out to pasture. Later on, you will understand the meaning of this vision.” To continue reading, subscribe to the Catholic Family News E-Edition
“O my God, I firmly believe that You are one God in three divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. I believe that Your divine Son became man and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because in revealing them You can neither deceive nor be deceived.”
This short but powerful Act of Faith is a prayer that all young Catholics learn. But how often do we reflect on it in our daily life? Do we make this Act of Faith along with an Act of Hope and Act of Charity each morning with our morning prayers? Or has it fallen by the wayside amidst the busyness of life?Do we even know what “faith” means? To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News E-Edition
Author's Note: There are numerous architectural marvels of Catholic Europe, but one stands alone, especially during high tide. It is, of course, the unofficial eighth wonder of the world: France's Mont St. Michel. Here is a brief, edifying history of this masterpiece.
Norman buildings reflect their surroundings. Upper Normandy has more trees, therefore more wooden dwellings. Lower Normandy is rockier, so monuments are made of granite, often with “a virtual absence of sculptural ornamentation. The aspect is severe…”
The most massive of many massive mounds of granite in Lower Normandy rises 250 feet off the ground. The sun-worshiping Gauls called it Mount Belenus. The Romans called it Mons Jovis. The huge stone was chosen by St. Michael the Archangel himself as the foundation for what is now called “the eighth wonder of the world.” To continue reading, subscribe to Catholic Family News E-Edition
Assessing Francis’ “Paradigm Shift”
Among the more interesting books published in 2018 is the work of Chilean scholar José Antonio Ureta entitled, Pope Francis’s “Paradigm Shift”: Continuity or Rupture in the Mission of the Church? It is distinguished by the unique characteristic of not only offering an accurate assessment of the first five years of the reign of Pope Francis but also suggesting useful lines of action for opposing the self-destruction of the Church which this pontificate has accelerated.
According to Ureta, the quinquennium of the pontificate of Jorge Mario Bergoglio was characterized by a “paradigm shift” in the Church. The term “paradigm shift” was used by Pope Francis himself in the Apostolic Constitution Veritatis Gaudium (Dec. 27, 2017) as a synonym for his “cultural revolution” (VG, n. 3). One of the cardinals closest to the Pope, Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago, presented a conference on Feb. 9, 2018 expressly titled “Pope Francis’ Revolution of Mercy: Amoris Laetitia as a New Paradigm of Catholicity”, which was dedicated to explaining the new cultural revolution “in the relationship between moral doctrine and pastoral praxis.” Click here to continue reading online