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The Gospel for the last Sunday after Pentecost, which is taken from the twenty-fourth chapter of St. Matthew, is difficult to understand. Our Lord seerna to e.ay that the end of the world will come with the destruction of Jerusalem, and that both will come in the lifetime of the people Ile is speaking to. (J. W. L. Pendiebury).
Our Lord is probably using a form of speech which we can compenetration, and of which we have a number of examples in the Old Testament prophecies. To understand what this coinpenetration is we must understand something about the real nature of prophecy. Prophecy Is not history written before the event. The particle " pro " has not primarily a temporal sense; it rather means "forth." So, both in the Hebrew and the Greek, prophecy means the pouring forth of a Divine message. It is certainly true that the whole future re clear in God's mind, but it does not follow that He puts that complete clarity into the message of His prophet. To some extent the prophet can see future events, but it is not necessary that he should see them with perfect clarity. Thus, in his writings and speeches, he may pass without warning from one future event to another. The Jews quite realiaed this, and so St. Peter, in his sermon on the first Whit-Sunday, shows that David, in the 15th Psalm, passed imperceptibly from talking about himself to talking about the Messiah (Acts II. 25-31). Again, Our Lord Himself says that the prophecy of Malachy about the coming of Elias had been partly fulfilled in John the Baptist, but that nevertheless Elias would yet come (Matt. xvii. 10-13). In the prophecy there had been compenetration of the two future events.
This explains the difficulties in the twenty-fourth chapter of St. Matthew. Our Lord speaks of the destruction of Jerusalem and of the end of the world, but does not clearly distinguish between them. It suited His purpose to give His disciples this much insight into the future. It did not suit Hie purpose to tell them any more.
S.M. (Hfds.).—According to recent legislation, the only way in which the Indulgences on a Rosary can be lost Is by their being sold or substantially damaged. Indulgences are attached to the beads, not to their owner, and so your late wife's Rosary may be used by you without your losing any of the Indulgences attached to them at Lourdes.
The Indulgences which attach to a Rosary blessed by a Pope would be as follows: a—For every Rosary (5 decades), 5 years and 5 quarantines.
ii.—If said with others, 10 years and 10 quarantines once a day.
iii.—On the last Sunday of each month, if at least on three days every week they have done same, as well as Confession, Communion and visit to a church. a Plenary Indulgence.
iv.. For saying the Rosary In October. In public or private, 7 years and quarantines each day.
v.—For saying the Rosary on the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary, and during octave, and Confession, Communion and visit (within octave), a Plenary Indulgence.
vi,--After this octave, for saying the Rosary on at least 10 days during October, and adding same conditions, a Plenary Indulgence.
vii.—Foi saying the Rosary in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. (exposed or reserved), and adding the Usual conditions, a Plenary Indulgence each time. (Note: Decades may be separated, but all on same day.)
viii. — On account of the Crozier Blessing, for every Pater or Ave, 500 days,
Adam and Eve were the first man and woman and they had two sons, as stated in the Bible. One killed the other, so how can we be descendants of our first parents? (Curious, Leeds).
Adam and Eve certainly had more than two children. Gen. iv, 25, relates the birth of a third son, Seth. Gen. iv, 17, says that Cain was married, presumably to his sister, which implies that Adam had at least one daughter. Seth also was married, which seems to show that Adam had another daughter. Marriage between brother and sister was allowed by God at the beginning of human history. as it was essential to the spread of the human race.
O.E. (S.W.1.).—A new Pope is elected by the free, secret vote of the Cardinals. A dying Pope cannot nominate his successor, or in any way attempt to limit the freedom of choice of the Cardinals who will meet to elect his successor. A dying—or aged—Pope might think it well to express a recommendae Bon, as rumour has it that Pius XI did in the case of Cardinal Pacelli, but such a recommendation can in no way hind the consciences of the Cardinale. Perhaps you would find it interesting to read the C.T.S. pamphlet, 11.270. The Election of a Pope (2d.).
G.A.W.— About "Pope Joan," the "Proteste,at Alliance" tract which you send us says that " she reigned two years five months and four days." Now Leo IV died on July 17, 855. And there exists a coin which bears the name of the Emperor Lothair together with that of Benedict III (Leo IV's successor). Llathair, however, died 73 days after Leo IV, ‘,0 it must be concluded that Benedict III had by then already been Pope long enough to enable the coin to. be struck. What, then. about Joan's over two years? It may be added that the first mention of this fable is only to he found in documents dated four centuries later! You should read the late Fr. Thurston's C.T.S. pamphlet (H.112) on Popa Joan " (2d.). As to the rest of the tract, it might be said that most of the authors it quotes are not now accepted as trustworthy by any scholars. due to the fact. that Leo XIII's opening of the Vatican Archives to historical students rendered them all out of date The real authority to-day Is Baron von Pastor's History of the Popes (London : Regan, Paul). In any case, if what the tract says were true, what has this to do with infallibility? If the very devils witness to God's glory (Matt. viii. 2a-34; Mark I. 5-20; Luke viii. 26-39), why should not men also, even if bad, do so? The writers of the tract do not understand the thing they are attacking. Cf. C.T.S. pamphlets Do.180, C.63 (2d, each and Bellermine Society leaflets, 28, 31.
If baptism makes men members of the Church, are not non-Catholics members If they have been validly baptised?
The Church teaches that by valid baptism a man becomes one of its members.
The Church's canon law says that it is by baptism that a man is made a member of ,the Church of Christ, with
all the rights and duties of a Christian
Yet it is clear that a baptised nonCatholic, even if he is in good faith, is not a member of the Church in as real a Renee as a Catholic. The solution of the difficulty may be seen in the canon quoted above. After saying that baptism makes men members of the Church, it adds, "unless there is an obstacle hindering the hand of union with the Church." In the ease of non-Catholics there is the obstacle of heresy. Their position may best be explained by saying that they arm subject of the Church, but not members. As such they are bound by the law of the Church, unless a dispensation is given. They have also certain rights, but they are very small indeed compared to those possessed by the full members of the Church.
What is the position of a Catholic and an unbaptised non-Catholic who wish to be married in the Catholic Church? Dot* the Catholic receive the Sacrament? (P. S. J.).
The answer to this difficult question has not yet been finally settled, but all Divines are agreed that the unbaptised party does not receive the Sacrament. There is, however, an opinion held by a number of authorities that. the Catholic party, in making the contract, does receive the Sacrament.