VOL. 5, NO. 3
May/June 2002

Dear Readers:

This issue of The Defender contains a beautiful story of an African slave who was canonized a Saint by Pope John Paul II. Her story should influence us to stop and think deeply about the inestimable value of our Catholic Faith, which we so often just 'take for granted'.

We have also included Catechism on the Priesthood, written by St. John Vianney, the Cure of Ars. It is appropriately presented to you at this time of scandal when so many people are in a 'feeding frenzy' agitated by the news media concerning the actions of about one-half of one percent of our priests. It is interesting to note that no mention is made in the media about Sudan, Africa, where so many thousands of Christians are being martyred because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Sudan is where St. Bakhita, mentioned above, was first enslaved by Arabic slave traders.

The "Beautiful Hands of a Priest" is a lovely poem, whose author is unknown to us. We should all thank God for the beautiful hands of a priest, which do so much for us during the course of our lives.

Jim Fritz has supplied us with his review of the book: GOODBYE! GOOD MEN, written by Michael S. Rose. Jim’s analysis compares the review in Our Sunday Visitor denouncing the book, with a review praising the book, by one of the truly great theologians in the U.S., Father Benedict Groeschell, author of From Scandal to Hope.

In the fourth part of Apologetics, I have addressed what I consider the principal cause of the so-called scandal in our Church; disobedience. We would not find ourselves embroiled in this problem, if all clerics and laity would simply obediently accept without question the articles of faith of the Catholic Church! Popes Leo XIII and St. Pius X prophetically warned us of the dangers of 'watering down' our religious faith in order to more closely adhere to the current ‘spirit of the times’. The Holy Spirit guides the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, and to deny its teaching is to deny the Holy Spirit. As we read in the gospel of Matthew, this is an extremely serious sin.

John Burke has supplied us with some very interesting information about a so-called Catholic Group known as Catholics for Free Choice. This is an organization advocating the right of a woman to abort her baby. The sources for their funding are listed. None of them have the good of the Church at heart, and many of their public releases are aimed at minority groups within our Church.

In an editorial, John Burke discusses the choices we make during our lifetimes, many of which are in direct opposition to the choices God would prefer us to make.

A letter to the editor requests assistance in securing tutors to teach High School courses in mathematics, science, foreign language and Catholic apologetics for their home schooling group. Perhaps one or more of our readers will be able to assist her. The group is centered in Derwood, Maryland.

Please stand firm in your Faith, don't let the Media cause you to cower, or to dilute the beliefs and the truths of Catholicism.

Fred Paschall

CC Most Reverend Bishop Bernard W. Schmitt
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