Catholic Issues

“February 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) (News also released by Catholic News Agency) – Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, has released a Manifesto which reads like a correction of many of the doctrinal errors Pope Francis has taught during his tenure as Pope….

…Pope Francis removed Cardinal Müller from his post as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith in 2017 after he had served in that capacity since he was appointed by Pope Benedict in 2012.

In the manifesto, Cardinal Müller does not mention the Pope but says that he was asked to make a public testimony of the truth “in the face of growing confusion about the doctrine of the Faith.”

PopeUAE4The manifesto was released in the wake of Pope Francis’ highly controversial joint document with an Islamic leader which says that “the pluralism and the diversity of religions” are “willed by God in His wisdom” – a statement many believe contravenes the Catholic Faith….

[STEVE’S COMMENT]: Two things everyone should do (in my humble opinion). 1. Read carefully the Cardinal’s manifesto to clearly understand Catholic truth and to be encouraged there are still Cardinals who know the truth.  2. Sign this petition in support of Cardinal Müller.

This Manifesto goes to the very heart of the ambiguity and confusion caused by Pope Francis and his circle of advisers in the Vatican. Below is the rest of the LifeSite news article with links to the Manifesto and the Petition of support for the Cardinal. Here are a few of the pertinent points of the Manifesto, but read it yourself — which only takes ten minutes.

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Lifesite News continues, “Providing clarity on the Church’s view of Islam, Cardinal Müller rejects the Muslim view that sees Christ as a prophet, rather than the Messiah. “We are to resist the relapse into ancient heresies with clear resolve, which saw in Jesus Christ only a good person, brother and friend, prophet and moralist,” the Manifesto says.

The Manifesto also addresses several other points which can be seen as corrections of Pope Francis including the impermissibility of Holy Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics as well as that for Protestants; the eternity of hell; the ban on female priests; and priestly celibacy.

The Manifesto says “divorced and civilly remarried persons, whose sacramental marriage exists before God, as well as those Christians who are not in full communion with the Catholic Faith and the Church” are “not disposed to receive the Holy Eucharist fruitfully (CCC 1457), because it does not bring them to salvation.”

CardinalMueller_810_500_75_s_c1The Manifesto adds, “Therefore, the Holy Scripture admonishes with regard to the reception of the Holy Communion: ‘Whoever eats unworthily of the bread and drinks from the Lord’s cup makes himself guilty of profaning the body and of the blood of the Lord’ (1 Cor 11:27).”

In his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia Pope Francis wrote “no one can be condemned forever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel” and in interviews he went so far as to suggest that those who want no part of God are annihilated rather than in hell.

Quoting the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Cardinal Müller attests, “He who dies in mortal sin without repentance will be forever separated from God (CCC 1033).” The Manifesto says, “The eternity of the punishment of hell is a terrible reality, which – according to the testimony of Holy Scripture – attracts all who ‘die in the state of mortal sin’ (CCC 1035).”

“To keep silent about these and the other truths of the Faith and to teach people accordingly is the greatest deception against which the Catechism vigorously warns,” says the Cardinal. “It represents the last trial of the Church and leads man to a religious delusion, ‘the price of their apostasy’ (CCC 675); it is the fraud of Antichrist.”

The Pope’s recent opening to a non-celibate priesthood and winking at female ordination also seems to be covered, as the Manifesto says, “priests voluntarily opt for celibacy as ‘a sign of new life’ (CCC 1579).” The Church, says Cardinal Müller, is “bound by the choice made by the Lord Himself. That is why it is not possible to ordain women (CCC 1577).”  The Cardinal adds: “To imply that this impossibility is somehow a form of discrimination against women shows only the lack of understanding for this sacrament, which is not about earthly power but the representation of Christ, the Bridegroom of the Church.”

Furthermore, Cardinal Müller also restates the inseparable link between the Faith and the moral law which needs to be followed “to do good and reach this goal [of promised blessedness],” and he points to certain parts of the Church’s moral teaching “which are often ignored today.” Here, he references several parts of the Catechism’s moral teaching “which may not be relativized” without quoting them explicitly.

Among them are such statements as “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception” (no. 2270) and the explicit rejection of the following  grave sins: abortion (no. 2271), contraception (no. 2370), euthanasia (no. 2277), suicide (no. 2280), cohabitation outside of marriage (no. 2350), masturbation (no. 2352),  fornication (no. 2353), pornography (no. 2354), and adultery (no. 2380-2381). Cardinal Müller also explicitly references those parts of the Catechism (no. 2357-2359) which describe “homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity” and “intrinsically disordered” and which call upon homosexual persons to live in “chastity.”

While he never mentions Pope Francis by name, the Manifesto’s criticisms are so pointed they leave little doubt about the identity of at least one of the intended members of the hierarchy Cardinal Müller hopes to correct. “The admonition of the Apostle is still valid today, that cursed is anyone who proclaims another gospel, ‘even if we ourselves were to give it or an angel from heaven’ (Gal 1:8),” the Manifesto reads. “The mediation of faith is inextricably bound up with the human credibility of its messengers, who in some cases have abandoned the people entrusted to them, unsettling them and severely damaging their faith.”

Read Cardinal Müller’s entire Manifesto in English. Download a PDF of the seven language versions here: EnglishItalianSpanishPortugueseFrenchGermanPolish.

Sign the petition to support Cardinal Müller here. 

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Trump’s Brilliant Speech

by Steve Ray on February 7, 2019

E0C5F142-A478-4026-85BD-FED2CB969079I’ll just say it… [by Brian Birch]

That was a helluva speech.

President Trump delivered one of the best speeches of his presidency last night, weaving together aspirational rhetoric with raw, emotional personal stories, as well as a focus on key issues of deep concern to Catholics.

And Americans agreed…

A snap CNN poll showed that 76% of viewers approved of what President Trump said. And according to CBS, 72% agreed with what he said on immigration — his signature issue.

Here are Five Reasons why President Trump’s speech might be the most “Catholic” State of the Union we’ve ever heard.

1. Life

President Trump delivered some of the strongest pro-life words ever uttered in a State of the Union speech. The president called on Congress to pass legislation outlawing late-term abortion for children who can feel pain, saying: “All children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.”

2C913F10-8F30-4C49-9285-7FC2EACD4432He also pushed back at politicians in recent weeks who enthusiastically supported late-term abortion and, in some cases, infanticide. “Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth. These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world.”

The roar of applause from the House chamber still gives me chills.

2. Pro-Family Policies

The bean counters at the Wall Street Journal probably didn’t like it, but President Trump called for nationwide paid family leave “so that every new parent has the chance to bond with their newborn child.” He’s right to do so. The birth rate in the United States just hit a historical low.

But President Trump didn’t stop there. He also made a plug for school choice to help working parents. And then noted that his recent tax reform bill doubled the child tax credit.

B5E093E4-8D0E-4314-82A9-D1944E272C7DMost importantly, he touted the historic economic success now underway in America, including record-low unemployment among African Americans and Hispanic Americans — and rising wages.

If the best poverty program is a job, then President Trump has every right to brag.

3. Winning Message on Immigration

Catholics are often conflicted on the President and immigration. But data suggests they’re more troubled by his rhetoric than his policies. Last night, the President did far more to advance immigration reform than months of frustrated tweets and a government shutdown have accomplished.

He rightly emphasized yet again how our insecure border hurts the working poor with lower wages and strains on social safety programs. He also pointed out that the chaos on the border is dangerous for illegal migrants as well — including terrible incidences of sexual assault, human trafficking, murder, and the flow of lethal drugs into our cities. “This is a moral issue,” the President said. And “[t]olerance for illegal immigration is not compassionate — it is cruel.”

Perhaps of greatest significance was a line not contained in the official text of the speech, but which he added on his own: “Legal immigrants enrich our nation and strengthen our society in countless ways… I want people to come into our country in the largest numbers ever, but they have to come in legally.”

No wonder Americans liked it so much.

4. Smart Foreign Policy

One thing that has united both Democrats and Republicans in the Beltway has been support for continued military action in Afghanistan and the Middle East. It’s been the story of U.S. foreign policy in the 21st century — despite clear warnings from St. Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.

Trump has surprised many observers by avoiding new military engagements. He has resisted an extended intervention in Syria. In fact, he’s trying to get our troops out of that country. And he’s pushing for a peace process that could finally bring many of our troops home from Afghanistan — a war we’ve fought for almost 18 years.

Trump noted to bipartisan applause: “Great nations do not fight endless wars.”

And on trade, the President deserves credit for leading a new push to rebalance our trade deficits with countries like China. The data is growing. Americans have traded away quality jobs and a robust manufacturing base in exchange for cheap products, a working class mired in drugs, social disruption, and massive income inequality.

No quick tariffs or modified trade agreements will fix these problems overnight. But it’s high time our leaders address the causes and have the guts to begin fixing them.

5. No to Socialism, Yes to Solidarity

Eliciting what might have been his biggest applause of the night, President Trump was unambiguous: “Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”

“America was founded on liberty and independence — not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free.”

In rejecting socialism, President Trump didn’t embrace a ruthless hyper-capitalist view focused exclusively on efficiency and GDP. Trump’s goals are clear: he wants to rebuild the middle class by investing in infrastructure, securing our border, incentivizing manufacturing, and putting the American family first, including the unborn.

He urged us to “rekindle the bonds of love and loyalty and memory…”

He urged unity, cooperation, compromise and…the common good.

Choose greatness, he said.

A Catholic State of the Union speech?

I’d say so.

Brian

P.S. “5 Reasons” is always a fun compilation. However, I can’t help but mention a sixth reason for Catholics to applaud the President last night– one that even President Trump didn’t mention. Sitting in the chamber last night were Justice Neil Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Two constitutionalist judges who will serve for decades.

I guess that’s reasons six… and seven!

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Mass with 2 Protestants and 1 Crucifix

by Steve Ray on January 5, 2019

CrucifixionChurch.jpgA while ago we went to Mass with two Protestants.  As we walked in the door — there it was, as big as life — a CRUCIFIX with the Body of Our Lord hanging over the altar.

I knew what the Protestants were thinking — I used to think the same — “CATHOLICS ARE WRONG, JESUS IS NO LONGER ON THE CROSS, HE HAS RISEN FROM THE DEAD AND IS IN HEAVEN.”  Of course they think Catholics are wrong to keep Jesus on the cross as though he had not risen and ascended into heaven.

Are they right?  Well, YES and NO.  Jesus DID rise and ascend into heaven and He IS glorified at the right hand of the Father and we are mystically seated there with him (1 Pet 3:22, Eph 2:6).  BUT the Catholic Church is ALSO correct to show Jesus on the Cross — not only to remind us of His suffering and death and to show what happens during the Mass — but because in a mystical way He IS STILL on the Cross.

God the Father sits on His throne in heaven.  And what does God see from his throne every time he “opens his eyes”?  He sees Jesus on the Cross!  Really?  Yeah, really!

PassoverLambBlood.jpgJesus is our Passover Lamb (1 Cor 5:7).  In the Old Testament the lambs were slain on Passover to save the Israelites from death.  The lamb was held over the altar, his neck was slashed with a knife and the blood was drained onto the altar.

This is why we have an altar in the Catholic Church! The altar represents the Cross (among other things). An Altar is where a Sacrifice takes place!  Jesus was slain as our Passover Lamb to save us from eternal death and to appease the wrath of God.  That sacrifice is re-presented at the Mass (see my talk Defending the Eucharist!).

Take a look at Revelation 5:5 and ask yourself — what John is telling us?  It reads,

Between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders, I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain . . .

LambInHeaven2.jpgWho IS the slain Lamb that is still standing?  Jesus is the Lamb!  Standing on a altar before the throne of God the Father is a Lamb still bearing the wounds of slaugher.  Jesus is that Lamb and he still bears the wounds of His sacrifice. That is what God sees when He “opens his eyes” — Jesus the sacrifice — Jesus on the altar — Jesus on the Cross.

Charles Wesley, the great Methodist minister and hymn writer agrees. In his hymn “Arise, My Soul, Arise” in which he says the very same thing in very poetic terms.

“Arise, my soul, arise; shake off thy guilty fears; The bleeding sacrifice in my behalf appears, Before the throne my surety stands, My name is written on His hands. He ever lives above, for me to intercede; His all redeeming love, His precious blood, to plead: His blood atoned for all our race, And sprinkles now the throne of grace.”

But wasn’t Jesus crucified once and for all, never to sacrificed for sins again?  Yes, of course!  In   space and time  Jesus was crucified once and for all in AD 30.

In God’s eyes — in eternity which is not limited by space and time — Jesus was crucified before the foundations of the world (see endnote 1) and in “eternity future” He is still seen by the Father as a slain lamb on the alter in heaven, as the crucified Lord on the Cross. All salvation past, present and future is based on this one historical event.

In the Mass, Jesus is NOT re-crucified, but we partake in a mystical way in the re-presentation of the ONE ETERNAL SACRIFICE which is ever before the eyes of the Father (see Endnote 3).

I used to say “Jesus WAS our sacrifice. He cannot be crucified again on Catholic altars, so Catholics are wrong!”  But the Bible says, Yes, he WAS our sacrifice, but he also IS our Sacrifice. Look at what John says in his first epistle:

“[Jesus] is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (RSV-Catholic Edition).
The Protestant NIV renders this “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

ThomasWounds.jpgThe Greek word for IS (eimi) is in the present tense. Today, right now He IS our propitiation, our sacrifice. After His resurrection with His new spiritual body Jesus still has the wounds of his crucifixion (Jn 20:27). He has a body in heaven and still bears the wounds of the Sacrifice. He is presented before God as slain sacrifice — yet now alive.

So, what does God see when He “opens his eyes”?  He sees Jesus on the Cross!  If this is what God sees in heaven, then it is certainly proper for us to show Jesus on a Cross to remind us what he did for us — and to see what God sees every day and has from eternity.  So Catholic are right after all. Suprise!  Surprise!

Creche.jpgBy the way, once a Baptist said to me, “You are wrong, Jesus is no longer on the cross, He is in heaven.”  It happend to be Christmas and I noticed they had a Manger Scene (creche) on their table.  I said, “Why do you have Jesus in the manger?  He is no longer in the manger — he is in heaven.

“And oh,” I said, “isn’t that a cute statue of Mary!  I thought you Protestants considered statues to be idols?  Why do you have a statue of Mary in your house?”

****************************

Endnote 1: There are two ways to translate this verse, but either way it comes out making the point. The best Protestant translations of Revelation 13:8 read: “All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world” (NIV – New International Version).
“All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (NKJV – New King James Version).

Endnote 2: Pictures: 1) Crucifix; 2) Passover Lamb slain by the modern day Samaritans; 3) Image of Jesus the Passover Lamb sacrificed on an altar before the Throne of God (could not make out the name of the author) 4) Caravaggio’s famous painting “Incredulity of St. Thomas.”; 5) Creche scene.

Endnote 3: Catechism paragraph 1367:  “The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: ‘The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different.’ ‘And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and offered in an unbloody manner. . . this sacrifice is truly propitiatory’.”

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Why Many Consider Cardinal Pell’s Conviction a Sham

December 15, 2018

After guilty verdict, questions raised about Pell trial By Ed Condon Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, outside Rome’s Hotel Quirinale, March 3, 2016. Credit: Alexey Gotovskiy/CNA. Washington D.C., Dec 14, 2018 / 04:00 pm (CNA).- After reports of a guilty verdict emerged in the trial of Australian Cardinal George Pell, […]

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Catholic Church: “Don’t Read the Bible!”

December 1, 2018

We often hear that the Catholic Church has forbidden the reading of the Bible! Have you heard this? Yeah, me too! But, this is another one of those big myths which has worked its way into the popular dialog but one that has not been proved from Church teaching and documents. There are two good […]

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Holding Hands at Mass

November 28, 2018

My wife Janet and I always cringe at a new parish when it comes time for the Our Father. We quickly bow our heads and close our eyes; I clutch my hands close to my chest (and she does the same) and we start to pray — hoping some aggressive hand-holder doesn’t reach over and insist […]

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INTERVIEW: Cardinal Müller on Homosexuality Practiced and Covered Up within the Clergy and Hierarchy

November 24, 2018

Pope Francis recently fired him from his position as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (and maybe now we know why!) Here is part of the interview: “In this discussion about the abuse crisis, Müller does not shy away from pointing out that the Church needs to address the problem […]

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BREAKING: Abp. Viganò urges U.S. bishops to confront sex abuse as ‘courageous shepherds’

November 13, 2018

ROME, November 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò today issued a brief message to the U.S. Bishops, urging them to confront sex abuse as “courageous shepherds” rather than “frightened sheep.” The U.S. Bishops are currently in Baltimore at their much-anticipated fall annual meeting at which they were expected to vote on concrete proposals […]

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She Wrote that She is Worried about the Church…

November 10, 2018

In response to a concerned convert to the Catholic Faith.  What to think about all the scandals and the confusion and the divisions in the Church under the current Vatican? Here is my short response… ********************* You’re not the only one distressed by what’s going on in the Church today all the way up to […]

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Are You a Schismatic if you Disagree with the Pope (e.g., Cardinal Burke)?

November 7, 2018

A note on the other kind of schism Canon Lawyer Ed Peters. November 7, 2018 Most Catholics correctly, but incompletely, understand schism as “the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff” (1983 CIC 751). Overlooked here—perhaps because it is much rarer than is typical ‘anti-papal schism’ and is harder to spot when it does occur—is […]

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Is ‘Dogma’ an Oppressive Catholic Word? – Steve Ray

November 2, 2018

Is ‘Dogma’ an Oppressive Catholic Word? – Steve Ray “When I was an Evangelical Protestant, I thought dogma was a dirty word. It had bad connotations. It represented unbiblical teaching forced down people’s throats by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. They invented new doctrines not found in the Bible and then called them dogmas […]

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If you decide to follow the unfortunate Youth Synod… (NEW: Ouellette and Vigano)

October 3, 2018

UPDATE: The Catholic Thing has posted an update, especially of interest is the last half of the report regarding Vigano and Oullette HERE. If you intend to follow the ill-advised Youth Synod in Rome, I suggest you check in periodically with “The Catholic Thing” which has Robert Royal there for the duration. The conflicts between […]

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Archbishop Viganó’s New Earth-Shattering Letter. God Bless Him!

September 27, 2018

A month ago Archbishop Viganó exposed the secrets of the homosexual network in the Vatican and the Catholic Church. He called on Pope Francis to resign and all the bishops and Cardinals in the network to resign with him. Since Pope Francis has been silent (and unhappily Pope Emeritus Benedict too) Archbishop Viganó has released […]

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Steve Ray interviewed “Why These Catholic Converts Remain”

September 14, 2018

Leaving the Church in ‘protest’ against perceived problems isn’t a Catholic option, former Protestants explain. Interview with Judy Roberts CULTURE OF LIFE |  JAN. 7, 2018 “For Lannette Turicchi, changing churches because of a scandal or the way the pastor interpreted the Bible was part of being a Protestant. But now that she has professed faith in […]

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Bishop Barron: Why Remain Catholic? Why Not Cut and Run?

September 5, 2018
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An Impassioned Appeal to the Pope & Explanation Why Our Patience has RUN OUT!

September 4, 2018

A friend and well-known commentator everyone knows, Al Kresta,  President of Ave Maria Radio, sent me this today. I said it captured a lot of Catholic’s sentiment and asked if I could share it. He said YES!  I think his comments reflect the heart of all of us good Catholics in America struggling to understand […]

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