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ASK A PRIEST
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

FEBRUARY/MARCH - 2017

FATHER KEVIN BATES, SM
FATHER LAZARUS CHAWDI
PRIEST STAFF
CATHOLICVIEW STAFF


PRIEST STAFF


I am sadden to see parishioners choosing to leave the
Catholic Church.  What is the best timing to seek
out these "lost sheep?".  - Chris

Father Carlos:

Iím searching for advice in what to say to friends, family and neighbors who were raised Catholic and then choose to leave the
faith.   As a strong practicing Catholic, it makes me so sad to see so many leaving.   What can or should one say?   It baffles
me how one can be Catholic, understand the beauty of our Blessed Sacraments and receive the Eucharist as a full member of
the faith then turn away.  Lately, I have seen people that I have never thought would stray go to nondenominational, you rah
rah type churches.   Some say they feel they are getting a stronger connection with God with a different church service, some
say itís easier to be in a large crowd (be more anonymous),  some say itís freer to go when you want easier to avoid obligatory
guilt our faith holds.  Iím needing specific things to say to draw them back...and wondering the best timing to seek out these
ďlost sheep.Ē  Thank you. - Chris

____________________________________________________________

Chris:

I too am saddened when I see some people that I know and that I have ministered to over the years leave the Catholic Church
and begin to attend another Christian denomination.  I feel your frustration since the Catholic Church is an apostolic Church,
founded by Jesus Christ on the foundation of the apostles.  The Roman Catholic Church is the Church of Peter the Apostle,
founded on the rock of his faith.  The keys of the kingdom of heaven are in the hands of the pope, the Bishop of Rome, by
biblical right (see Matthew 16:18) since the Bishop of Rome is the actual and historical successor of Saint Peter.  At the same
time, I am reminded of the gospel verse spoken by Jesus Himself when asked by his disciples about those who use His Name
without being part of the band of followers that were around Jesus.  In the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 9, Verse 38 through 41, it
is written: 
John said to [Jesus], "Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in Your Name, and we tried to prevent
him because he does not follow us."  Jesus replied, "Do not prevent him.  There is no one who performs a mighty deed
in My Name who can at the same time speak ill of Me.   For whoever is not against us is for us."
    This gospel verse is an
important one for your question.  When people leave the Catholic Church, they leave as part of their own spiritual growth and path
in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.  The Catholic Church's mission is to keep the truth safe and to keep the gospel of Christ
alive in a dark world. 

When others do the same but are not part of the Catholic Church, the saving mission of Christ is also being accomplished.  You
and I have to trust in God alone, and trust that the Spirit of God will continue to guide those who leave the Church for other
spiritual paths to Christ.  These people are searching for Christ, searching for His saving love, searching for truth, searching for
an emotional, spiritual, holistic experience of Jesus.  Let's pray for them, not condemn them in any way, or try to bang them over
the head with the truths of our Catholic faith.  When they begin to understand the depth of Jesus' love and mercy for them, then
they will open their eyes and see the role of the Catholic Church in the salvation of humankind through the one sacrifice of Christ
on the cross as presented to us everyday in the Mass around the world.  And when they begin searching the Catholic Church for
those truths in the future, you will be there ready to guide them home.  It is important for you to remain open to all people seeking
the truth in Jesus Christ.  Once you begin to be judgmental and condemning in your commentary, you turn them away from the
Catholic Church.  So, what can you say to those who leave the Church?  The best answer may be just a loving response by saying,
"Isn't Jesus merciful, loving, and just?"  Rejoice with them in their searching for the deep truth of the gospel of Christ embedded in
the foundation of the Catholic Church.  And then you can share your own experience of the truth in the Catholic Church.  Not in a
way that demands that they "convert
" to the Church, but in a way of sharing how Jesus is alive in your own life and faith and how
the Catholic Church helps you encounter Jesus in the sacraments. - 
Father Carlos Morales





"My parents work hard with nothing to show for it
and my
sister won't work.  I carry the burden of caring
for them.  Should I bear this?"  -  Gary

Father Morales: 

"Honor your father and your mother."  At what point does one sever relations with father and mother (and in this case sister, as
well)?  To anticipate your answer, I suppose if they were all murderers you would tell me to visit them, even in prison.  And I
would.
Perhaps I have answered my own question.  My upset is that they have worked hard all their lives and have nothing to show for
it.  They are terrible money managers and self managers.  My sister won't work and parties all the time.  I will bear the burden of
taking care of them...I will work hard all my life and at the end have nothing to show for it. - Gary

_____________________________________________________________

Gary:

You have already answered your question by the actions you have already taken.  You already do what the Lord Jesus wants you
to do: " love your family despite their weaknesses and limitations."  It is important that you let go of one expectation:  that somehow,
you will change your parents' financial decisions and change their life view.  You CANNOT change anyone.  Do you hear me?  You
cannot change anyone.  You can only change yourself.  But you can change your response to your parents' life decisions.  Your
parents are bad with budgeting and money.  Your response is to work with what you have, not fight against that.  Accept that your
parents are the way they are.  You can suggest a course of action, but if they don't want to accept your advice, then accept that,
don't fight it.  As for your sister who seems totally irresponsible and immature, what can you do?  You can speak with her, but once
again, if she doesn't want to accept your advice, what can you do?  You have done your part. 

I am concerned with your negative attitude in your inability to change your family into the responsible and mature person that you
are.  You can only change yourself and grow with wisdom.  You cannot do that for anyone else outside of you.  But if they should
ask for advice, then give it freely without any expectation that they will accept it.  Now, to something that distresses me:  you say
that you "work hard all my life and at the end have nothing to show for it."   What is it that you want to show that you are responsible
and successful?  You have your life, you have your home, you have your wisdom, you have your health, and you have your family. 
You have a lot to show for all your hard work.  Maybe you want more money, more material things.  Those things are not important
in God's destiny for you. 

I am reminded of the gospel verse in Matthew, Chapter 6, Verse 24:  No one can serve two masters.  He will either hate one and
love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and mammon (money, riches
).  Who do you
serve?  Some idea of "what to show for all your hard work?"  You have so much and you fail to see it.  Your family is flawed as
most families are.  There are no such thing as a perfect family, no such thing as perfect parents, and certainly no such thing as
perfect siblings.  So, why expect your family to be the perfect image in your mind?  Why not just accept what you have and work
with what you have instead of fighting against what you have with no hope of changing your situation.  Let them be.  You must be
a disciple of Jesus, and you must be responsible for your own spiritual life.  In the same gospel of Matthew, Chapter 6, Verse 19,
Jesus says this: 
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and
steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroy, nor thieves break in and steal. 
For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.
"    Your treasures in heaven are the souls who you touch in this life,
those who will be forever grateful for your kindness to them.  When all is finished for you on earth, you will realize how much you
have done for others and rejoice forever in the goodness of God.
  If your relationship with your family pains you and frustrates you,
then you can distance yourself from them until such time that you are strong enough to be the presence of Jesus in their flawed life
without being negative.  I appreciate your frustration with your family.  But your negative response to them can be controlled and
changed.  That may be the spiritual challenge that the Spirit of God wants you to do...change your hurting heart. 
Father Carlos
Morales

 
"My husband and I are both divorced Catholics without
annulments and married in a civil ceremony 21 years ago.    
My question is: If my husband and I are leading celibate
lives, can we receive Holy Communion?" - Marilyn

 

Dear Father:

My Husband and I are both divorced Catholics.  We did not receive annulments.  We were married in a civil ceremony 21 years
ago.  At the time we were not celibate.  Many years ago, my husband became impotent. 
Five years ago, after much prayer,  I
accepted that we will never have an intimate relationship during our lives.  My question is: If my husband and I are leading celibate
lives, are we able to receive Holy Communion? At present when I attend Mass, I do not receive Holy Communion. I appreciate
your expertise in this matter.  I place my hope in our Heavenly Father and in our Lord Jesus Christ.  Sincerely, Marilyn

___________________________________________________________

Marilyn:

I am so sorry to hear of your husband's physical limitation in regards to physical intimacy.  But both of you have an intimacy that
is deeper, reaching into the depth of your being and soul.  Even though physical intimacy may be limited, your souls are united in a
deeper way.  You say that you "accept" that your husband cannot be physically intimate, but there are other ways of intimacy that
will help you both grow in a love that surpasses anything you have experienced before.  I am sure that you are in contact with your
husband's medical staff in regards to this medical situation.  In regards to your question about whether you can receive communion
in the Holy Eucharist, you are still in a civil marriage outside of the Church.  Until this is resolved, you cannot receive communion. 

Please talk to your parish priest or deacon and resolve the civil marriage done outside of the Church.  It may be a simple canonical
procedure that will bring you into full communion with the Church.  Please talk to your parish priest or deacon.
  - Father Carlos
Morales


As Christians,
are we to embrace say Shari law or drug dealers
who illegally come across the border, fully well knowing these
individuals could be harmful to American citizens?"  
- Laura




Father
Morales:
   
My question is pertaining to the new refugee /illegal crisis/proper vetting process, as I'm coming from a family of border patrol/
military background and am also a catechist.
  The uprise w/what's going on in the US is unsettling. We as Christians, are we to
embrace say Shari law or drug dealers who illegally come across the border, fully well knowing these individuals could be harmful
to American citizens? Or can we love them, w/out allowing them into our homes, like the Good Samaritan, tending to them where
they are, providing them food, shelter, showing them The Word. Also, when I read and re-read the Letters to the Seven Churches,
that was graced to us by God, God Himself seemed to clearly specify what we, as Christians, are to embrace or allow in our
communities. Embracing anything that embraces darkness, without showing God's word, w/out teaching, could cause destruction
of our own people and societies. I ask this too as my own brother, a decorated officer, was killed in the line of duty by a drug-
infested, drug dealer who was let out of jail 6 times over,  although he continued the same dark path each and every time. If we,
fully well-know evil exists in people/societies who for example stand by Shari, and we don't stand against/stop those who
embrace false teachings are we in trouble?  If we don't teach God's Good Words and allow evil-doers, those who hope to change
us, to enter in, are we as communities allowing our own Christian nations/communities to thrive in God's good ways?  Or are we
destroying them allowing nations/communities to crumble. Again reflecting on (Letters to the Seven Churches). Thanks.  - Laura

_______________________________________________________________

Laura: 

I am sorry to hear of your brother's sacrifice in laying down his life for the protection of his community.  Law enforcement members
live for all of us, and they see so much that is evil.  And then, there are times when they are in danger of those who seek to harm
them and what they stand for.  I am reminded of the gospel verse in which Jesus says this about your brother's sacrifice (John 15:
12-13): 
"This is my commandment:  love one another as I love you.  No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for
one's friends."
   Your brother gave his all.  He has his place by the side of Jesus in heaven because his love was so great that day! 

Every nation has the right to protect its citizens and people from anything that can destroy its rule of law and peace.  Yet, I find that
in the USA of which I am a citizen, immigrants have been vilified to such a point that such hatred against immigrants take on a life
of its own that is destructive.  The Lord Jesus says quite clearly to love one another as He loves us.  And that means that we love
others to the same extreme that Jesus did and as your saintly brother did. 

In the Old Testament, the Book of Exodus, Chapter 22, Verse 20, the scripture states: 
You shall not molest or oppress an alien,
for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt
.   And the list of biblical commands to treat the alien (immigrant) is long
and admonishes us to love all strangers.  With that in mind, it is not our place to judge anyone for their faith, religion, or country of
origin.  But you must protect your family from anyone who wishes to destroy your family in any way.  Criminal and destructive
behavior has no place in the world.  It is evil and is from the evil one. 

Do not look at anyone with a prejudicial eye.  Instead, look at all with the eyes of God.  But when someone seeks to destroy, then
society must protect all of us from the destroyers.  Please, do not worry about Shari Law taking over the constitution of the United
States of America.  The constitution is the legal document that gives us the pattern for rule of law and peace in society.  There are
those who keep Shari Law within their homes as part of their Islamic faith.  But that's part of their version of Islam and they keep
such life restrictions within their homes without imposing it on others who do not share their religion.  But we Catholics also have
our canon (church) law that we do not impose on the USA but keep within our homes and parish churches.  Those of the Jewish
faith have their own biblical law that is part of the Mosaic Law.  The constitution of the USA ensures that everyone has the right to
freely worship and express their faith in the "public square" without fear but also ensures that no one religion and its "laws" take
over the rule of law.  The constitution also protects its citizens from religious laws from any community of faith being imposed on
others who do not live that particular faith.  As Christians, we are called and commanded to act in love to all.  In the Gospel of
Matthew, Chapter 25, Verses 31 through 46, Jesus gave us these words that you can read yourself.  The conclusion of this
wonderful gospel story is this: 
 "Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for the one of those least ones, you did not do for me."   

Christian love and action does not have "religious tests" in regards to how I treat someone who is not like me.  Jesus wants us to
love without limitations.  Part of the call of love, though, is the protection of those around me from evil forces that want to dominate
and destroy.  Protect your family as your brother protected us.  And love those who are in need, no matter who they are.  As in the
New Testament Letter to the Hebrews says (Hebrews 13:1-2): 
"Let mutual love continue.  Do not neglect hospitality, for through
it some have unknowingly entertained angels."
   -Father Carlos Morales


 


"I received a waking vision, the presence accompanied by it. 
What is your opinion?" - Keith

Father Carlos:

Nearly two weeks ago, I believe I received a waking vision, the presence accompanied by it, something I can only hesitantly
describe as some sort of overwhelming love that left me in tears and gasping for breath, leads me to presume I'm either going
mad or had a personal Communion with God.  The entire ordeal happened swiftly but felt as though it had taken much longer when
I recall it now.  I walked through a field with many trees and came to a threshold and knelt there, drawing a small sword, simple
and with no adornment, and offering it out by putting the tip of the blade to my heart and begged to serve the master of that place. 
Two men walked out to me, one dressed for war and crossed by a red sash, an older man, following him was a luminous person
unidentifiable for the radiance, wearing a robe of stars.  The vision ends there and rather lost, I prayed for clarity until the
experience was replaced by words several days later, the experience just as shocking and sudden and in recall as though it
occurred in an unhurried manner; I heard this in my heart: "put your sword to the cross" and had the image of the same blade
resting upon a crucifix, tip to the floor.  I have several ideas as to how it all can be interpreted, if it should be at all interpreted,
and I was curious what a more educated person's opinion might be. - Keith

__________________________________________________________ 

Keith:

Sometimes a dream is a dream and nothing more.  These dream symbols mean something to you from your subconscious. 
Your subconscious is trying to tell you something very specific to your life situation.  The most obvious is the overwhelming sense
of God's presence and love.  God is always with you and always surround you with His love and with His protection.  It is obvious
that maybe you had doubts about God's love in your life, doubts and insecurities about God's presence in your life.  Your dream is
clear:  do not doubt any longer.  You are extremely loved.  You are in God's Hands.  Always.  So, stop your questioning about
God's presence in your life even though you may have had challenges that is the cause of your anxiety.  The sword brings to mind
the New Testament bible verse from Hebrews, Chapter 4, Verse 12, in which the bible states: 
Indeed, the Word of God is living
and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern
reflections and thoughts of the heart.  No creature is concealed from Him, but everything is naked and exposed to the Eyes of Him
to Whom we must render an account
.   Your subconscious is telling you not only to trust in God's love for you, but to get back to
reading the bible, the Word of God, and bring your life and your actions into agreement with the Word of God.  Jesus is described
in Revelations, Chapter 19, Verse 15, in this way:  "
Out of His mouth came a sharp sword to strike the nations."    What is this
sword that will strike the nations?  The sword is the Word of God as described as the bible.  But Jesus is called the Word of God
Himself in the Gospel of John, Chapter 1. 

So, your dream is a call for you to get back to bible study and get back to reading the bible, trusting totally in Jesus, so that you
may know the mind of God and know the will of God in your life.
 -  Father Carlos Morales
 


"Does sex equal marriage in God's eyes?" -  Joe

Hello Father: 

I have a question.  Does sex equal marriage in God's eyes?  Do two people if they aren't married become one flesh if they just
have
sex?  Do people become one flesh during sex or at marriage? I thought that two people become one flesh when they are
married
and when they have a much more deeper relationship than just sex. I know Paul says if you sleep with a prostitute you
become
one flesh with her but it also in Genesis it said how a man must leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife and
then this
becomes one flesh.  Also in John 4 when Jesus talked to the Samaritan woman and He said that she is not married
(does
include one flesh?) to the man she was sleeping with.   Also my girlfriend is not a virgin so if sex equals one flesh and/or
marriage is she still one flesh and/or married to her ex?  Please help - Joe

_____________________________________________________________

Joe:

You are thinking too much about this whole issue of sexual intimacy.  Sex does not equal marriage, nor does it equal marriage
as described as man and woman in one flesh.  The commandments tell us to not commit adultery.  If sex and being one flesh
are the same, the commandments would say something about it, but it does not.  Jesus says that if a man should have lustful
thoughts about another that he has committed sin in his heart.  But Jesus did not say that a person is one flesh with anyone in
sin.  Being one flesh is a term saved only for the Sacrament of Marriage.  Sex outside of marriage is sin and considered forni-
cation or adultery.  Your girlfriend/fiance was not married to her ex-boyfriend.  Therefore, she never was one flesh with anyone
even though she may have had sexual relations with someone.  And when Jesus was talking to the Samaritan woman, He was
just making note that she is living in sin yet she was enjoying the mercy and love of God no matter what if only she opened her
heart to God and to Him as Lord and Savior.  At no time did Jesus acknowledge that she was one flesh with anyone other than
the person she married.  The term, one flesh, is saved only for marriage, not for illicit sexual relations.




"Can you get married in the eyes of God in the Catholic
Church and not involve the state?" - Calli

Father Carlos:

Can you get married in the eyes of God in the Catholic Church and not involve the state? - Calli

______________________________________________________

Calli:

This depends on the laws governing marriage in your country.  In the United States of America where I am, the Church says
that we must follow the laws concerning civil marriage.  So, for those in the USA, the civil and religious marriage ceremony 
are the same.  The Church MUST have the civil license for a marriage to happen in the Church.  In Mexico, the laws are
different.  The state demands that all who are married must register their marriage civilly first before a church marriage can
be contracted.  But the Church can preside at a religious ceremony without a marriage license there due to historical con-
siderations specific to Mexico.  So, unless otherwise stated, the Church would demand a civil license to marry before any
marriage is done in the Church
Father Carlos Morales
 



I converted to Catholicism twenty years ago but I do not
have a complete understanding of theology or Catholic
Doctrine.  How do I forgive those who hurt others, 
especially children in sin vulnerable situations?
- Laura

 

Father Carlos:

Bless you for giving of your time and talent.  I converted  to Catholicism twenty years  ago, and I still don't
have a complete understanding  of either theology or Catholic doctrine .   It seems to me a relatively easy thing to  forgive
those who hurt or demean me, but nearly impossible to forgive those who hurt, oppress, and demean others .   This seems
to be a completely separate issue .  How do I forgive those who injure others , especially children and other sin vulnerable
situations ? Thanks.  - Laura

______________________________________________________________

Laura:

The corner stone of our faith is the one act of complete submission to God by Jesus on the cross on Good Friday on Calvary. 
The act of that one sacrifice is eternal, and all who accept this sacrifice in their lives through our faith in Jesus as Lord and
Savior are saved and have their place in heaven.  This one sacrifice of Jesus is so extreme that it shows us what to do in our lives. 

Forgiveness, the ability to live in the present and not in the past, is such an extreme gift from Jesus.  We are all sinners.  We all fail
before the extreme love of God who created us and wants us to share in His Divine life and love.  Once we begin not to forgive, we
say that we are perfect and do not need the forgiveness of God.  The inability to forgive is the ultimate sin of pride and hypocrisy. 
I expect God to forgive me when I sin and make a mess of my life and the life of others, but when I withhold forgiveness of others
because of their actions against me or others (of which you ask about), then I am saying that I am perfect.  Beware.  Jesus warns
us about this inability to forgive in all circumstances.  Jesus words in the Gospel of
Matthew, Chapter 6, Verse 14, strikes me to
the core:
 
If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.
  Inability to forgive is hypocrisy.  The ability to forgive is the key to a happy
and secure life now, and the source of eternal joy after death.  Forgiving others is my recognition of my unworthiness of the merciful
love of God.   I forgive because I am a sinner.  The inability to forgive is pride, thinking of myself as better than others.  Remember,
we are all sinners and broken before the Lord.  It is through my own faith in Jesus and my willingness to forgive that saves me now
and forever.
  -   Father Carlos Morales




"I am Catholic.  I met my first husband and married according
to his religion.  We divorced and I met someone
I wanted to
marry.  He is becoming Catholic.
 Can we have
    a Sacramental wedding? - Shanie
 
 

Dear Father:  

I'm a baptized Roman Catholic but 19 years back I lost faith and wasn't practicing during this time.   I met someone and we
married according to his religion.  7 years back I reverted back to Roman Catholicism.  We divorced for this because we were
of
2 faiths and many other reasons.  Now I have met someone and we want to get married.  He is in the process of converting to
Catholicism.   Can we have a Sacrament Wedding or even a blessing in Church? - Shanie

____________________________________________________________ 


Shanie:

Yes, you can have your future marriage solemnized in the Church.  Please talk to your parish priest or deacon.  
As a Catholic,
your first marriage happened outside the Church, even though you were not a practicing Catholic.  You will need a LACK OF
FORM dispensation so that you can marry in the Church, a simple form.  You will need your baptismal certificate, your first
communion and confirmation certificate, the copy of your marriage license from your first marriage, and two people as witnesses
that can say you were never married in the Church.  Once the LACK OF FORM dissolution of your first marriage is done (usually
in a month's time), you will be free to marry in the Church.


Since your fiance is studying to be Catholic, the leaders of the Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) will make sure that
everything is ready for him to be Catholic and for you and him to be married in the Church.  Congratulations to you and your fiance.

  -
Father Carlos Morales

  


"Can a Priest deny giving Holy Communion to children
     whose parents have different religions? - Ann
   

Father Carlos: 

Can a priest deny giving first Holy Communion to children whose parents have different religion and one of them disagree on
the Sacrament?  -  Ann

_____________________________________________________________ 

Ann: 

I am confused about something.  Is the child in question baptized?  Are the parents married in the Church and are the parents
practicing and faith-filled Catholics?  Since you asked a question on whether a child can be held back from receiving First
Communion because of the actions, life, and belief system of the parents, the answer is yes.  Why?  Because the child will
follow the parents in their belief system, and if that belief system is not Catholic, then there is no sign that the child will be
brought up Catholic to appreciate the sacraments that they will receive.  This is a challenge to the parents of the child:  if they
cannot live the Catholic faith, then there is no guarantee that the child will be a Catholic.  If they want their children to participate
in the sacramental life of the Church and know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior through that sacramental life of the Church, then
the parents need to live up to their commitment to the Catholic faith.
  

I am reminded of the gospel verse in Matthew, Chapter 6, Verse 1, when Jesus stated this: 
"Take care not to perform
righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father."
 
If the child cannot appreciate the sacrament, and the parents cannot affirm that faith that Jesus is physically present on Holy
Communion, then there is reason to hold back the child from receiving their first communion.
  - Father Carlos Morales

 


"My friend's grandchild was 20 months old and was murdered.
They have the man who did it.   If he asks to be forgiven for his
crime does he get to go to the same heaven as the baby he
murdered?" - 
Jahree

Father Carlos:

My husband is Catholic I am not, I say I am an atheist; he says I am agnostic.  We have been married 20 years so who's to say
who is right. My best friend's grandchild was 20 months old and was murdered. They have the man who did it.   If he asks to be
forgiven for his crime does he get to go to the same heaven as the baby he murdered?  - Jahree

_________________________________________________________

Jahree:

As a Christian, I believe and accept as truth the mystery of forgiveness.  Forgiveness is the keystone of our faith in God and in
each other.  Without forgiveness, my life would be filled with anger, hatred, and negative energy that would destroy me in time. 
I am not God.  I am not the judge of another's actions.  I am not the one making the life and death decisions, and I am not the
one that decides who goes to heaven or to hell.  But I know that God, the Creator and the Life Energy of the Universe, gives His
love and forgiveness freely to anyone who asks and truly repents from their offense to God and nature that we call sin.  The key
 to forgiveness from God is repentance.  No repentance, no forgiving healing takes place.  So in answer to your query, will the
murderer who TRULY repents and accepts God's forgiveness share heaven with his/her victim?  The answer is yes.
  
Father Carlos Morales





As an infant I was baptized in the Presbyterian Church.
I converted to Islam at 21 years old.  If I wish to join the
Catholic Church and I attended RCIA class,  Is my baptism
still valid?" - Anne

Father Morales:

My question is: I was baptized as an infant in the Presbyterian Church. I converted to Islam at 21. Now I am revisiting my beliefs.
If I wished to join the Catholic Church via RCIA class, is my baptism valid considering that I converted away from the faith, or is
it valid regardless?   Thanks!  Anne

_________________________________________________________

Anne:

Your baptism in the Presbyterian church is valid and the Church would normally accept your profession of faith and administer
the Sacrament of Confirmation when you complete the RCIA (Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults) process.  But as you said,
you once professed Islam and rejected Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  Even though the profession of faith would reunite
you to the Church (and all Christians), the Church would probably redo your baptism because of your rejection of Christ when
you accepted Islam.  Your baptism would be done as a conditional baptism.  It means that we do the baptism again...just in
case.  So, enjoy your "second" baptism and rejoice in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior in the Catholic Church.
      
- Father Morales

 

 

 

 

 

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