ASK A PRIEST
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
FATHER WILLIAM G. MENZEL
FATHER KEVIN BATES, SM
FATHER AMARO SAUMELL
FATHER WILLIAM G. MENZEL
wants to marry a Muslim woman.
What should I tell him?" - Fran
My Catholic son works in a middle east country and is dating a
Muslim woman. They are coming to the U.S. to visit this summer. He
said they each intend to keep their religions if they marry. A few
years ago, he had Matthew 5: 1 to 12 tattooed on his arm because he
will always be Christian. They don't know what they would do about
their children's faith if they marry. I am beside myself. What
should I tell him? I want my grandchildren to be Catholic. - Fran
Thank you for writing and for sharing your heartfelt concern.
Concerns similar to yours are common among many Catholic parents.
As difficult as this may be for you, I have to say it. Your son is
an adult, and he has a right to make his own decisions. If he asks
you for advice, give it gladly and lovingly. If he does not ask or
does not follow the advice you give, he is still your son.
It is good that you want your grandchildren to be Catholic. Pray
that it may be so! However, remember that your grandchildren will be
somebody else's children, and raising them will be their
responsibility, not yours. If your son wishes to have a Catholic
marriage, he will need to consult his pastor, who can help him with
planning an interfaith marriage. If he is serious about his faith,
he probably already knows this.
would say that your most important roles in the unfolding of this
story are to pray and to love. If you play these roles well, then
you can be a helpful adviser when asked. You can be a welcoming and
interested future mother-in-law and grandmother. You can be a
reassuring presence to your son, who may have his own anxieties
about this marriage. You can be a powerful witness to true Christian
charity. You can help your son to remain faithful to his Christian
faith even as grows to love a woman from another God-centered
Catholic-Muslim marriages are not common, but they are not unheard
of, either. Perhaps you could judiciously ask around to see if there
are other Christian parents who have welcomed a Muslim into their
family circle through marriage.
They may have some
valuable insights. - May God bless you, Fran - Father Bill
"Is it a
sin to shop on Sunday? Did I
commit as mortal sin?" - Annette
On a Sunday, my mother bought me a microwave without my knowledge. I
don't have a car and limited income. I accepted it and handed her
$30. It bothers me. I didn't want to reject her effort and kindness.
Is it a sin to shop on Sunday? Did I commit mortal sin? - Annette
First of all, I'm so happy that you did not reject your mother's
effort and kindness! Jesus showed us centuries ago that a loving act
always trumps Sabbath laws, so I'm glad you followed his example.
revolve around the First Precept of the Church, so let me present
some background by quoting from the Catechism of the Catholic
2041: The precepts of the Church are set
in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical
life. The obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by
the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the
very necessary minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in
the growth in love of God and neighbor:
2042: The first precept ("You shall attend
Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and rest from servile
labor") requires the faithful to sanctify the day commemorating the
Resurrection of the Lord as well as the principal liturgical feasts
honoring the mysteries of the Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the
saints; in the first place, by participating in the Eucharistic
celebration, in which the Christian community is gathered, and by
resting from those works and activities which could impede such a
sanctification of these days.
there is some “churchy” language here, but essentially the Church is
saying that her rules are intended to help us to be holy, and that
the very first rule helps us to be holy by recognizing that God's
work, celebrated on Sundays and other special days, is holy work,
which makes those days holy too. We are to honor that by
participating in the Eucharist and by abstaining from activities
that would detract from the special nature of these days.
Notice that there is nothing here that mentions mortal sin. You did
not commit a moral sin. Neither did your mother.
The intent of
these Precepts of the Church is not to bind us under the pain of
mortal sin, but rather to direct our hearts on the way to holiness.
What your mother did for you tells me that her heart is definitely
on the way to holiness.
That said, I think it is very unfortunate that in many parts of the
Christian world Sunday has become just another shopping day. To lure
us out some merchants have their best sales on Sundays. I think that
it is up to us to do what we can to maintain the aura of Sunday as
the Lord's Day. For myself, I make a pointed effort to avoid any
shopping on a Sunday that I can reasonably do on another day. For
me, that's almost all shopping, except for eating out and buying gas
for my car.
However, if a
situation arises when I have to go against my preferred observance
of the Lord's Day, I do so with some regret, but with a clear
conscience. Sometimes exceptions are necessary, but treating them as
exceptions actually enhances the value of the principle that made an
exception necessary. God bless you, Annette, and your mother
too. - Father Bill
"Could I get
married in my Catholic Church
without a marriage license?" - Yessica
Could I get married in my Catholic Church without a marriage
license? My fiancé and I understand that it would not be legally
binding but is our dream to get married before God and the Sacrament
of Marriage. I'm a disabled person. if my status changes I will
not be able to get coverage on my health.. Please Help! - Yessica
Let me begin
with a straightforward answer to your question followed by an
explanation and some thoughts for your consideration.
The straightforward answer is … No, you would not be able to get
married in a Catholic parish without having a marriage license valid
in your state. I don't know if this is true in every country, but it
is definitely true here in the United States.
Marriage is one
example of Church and State working closely together, since each has
a vested interest in marriage: the Church from the
sacramental-spiritual perspective and the State from the standpoint
of civil laws, record-keeping and contractual obligations.
state codifies this relationship in its own statutes, it boils down
to the State designating the Church as an approved agent for
witnessing marriages. Therefore, the Church must obey the law. In
most states penalties would be incurred by a representative of the
Church who violated the relevant statutes by witnessing a marriage
for which a civil license had not been obtained. The Church's Canon
Law also has provisions that apply to these matters, so it is not
just a matter of civil law.
I think it's
great that you and your fiancé truly wish to have a Catholic wedding
and a holy marriage. It is indeed unfortunate that you feel the need
to choose between marriage and the health care you need for your
I am assuming
that you have researched your state's provisions for health care,
but in view of your wish to marry I'm hoping that you are taking a
second and third look at the options that may be available to you
including, incidentally, how the Affordable Health Care Act
(commonly known as Obamacare) might eventually affect your
situation. Some expert consultation with an attorney or accountant
knowledgeable in these matters may be valuable.
Since this is a really important crossroad in your life and that of
your fiancé, be sure that both of you are praying daily for God's
guidance and help. - Father Bill
CATHOLICVIEW PRIEST STAFF
"Why are there no books written on the past Pope Benedict X
who was said to be the anti-pope?" - John
Why are there no books written on a past pope named Pope Benedict X?
He was said to be an antipope, yet there is very little information
on him, which I find very strange. - John
This particular anti-pope (a person who says he's pope but is not
the legally recognized bishop of Rome), Benedict X, was elected, or
should I say, forcibly placed to the See of Rome on April 4, 1058,
but the election was not universally accepted by the Church. His
family was a politically strong and powerful presence in Central
Italy and they arranged his fraudulent election to the papacy.
A decade earlier, his older brother who was also pope, Benedict IX,
was deposed in 1048 (he was remembered notoriously for many things,
including his flaunting of sexual morals and even accused of
murdering his enemies). In 1050, Pope Stephen IX was elected as
Benedict IX's successor. This was one of those crazy times in the
Church's history where the election of the pope was a mess and gave
rise to many doubts about the election process.
This weakness in the election system was exploited by the rulers of
the different city states of Italy and the Holy Roman Empire
(Germany) who wanted to control the papacy and the Papal States (now
Central Italy). Before the conclave process as we know it today, the
election of the bishop of Rome and universal pastor of the Church
was accomplished through the votes of the clergy of the Archdiocese
of Rome (called cardinal-electors) and certain lay people that had
political and financial power. The election of Benedict X was
literally bought and arranged by his family after Pope Stephen IX
died in office (on March 29, 1058). But life was not so simple then
in regards to papal elections. Politics and undue influence on the
church of Rome came from all corners of the European continent.
Since Benedict X was "elected" by his family members, the election
was considered void. A group of Cardinal-electors came together in
Siena and voted for Pope Nicolas II (Archbishop of Florence, Gerhard
of Burgundy). Pope Nicholas II was installed as bishop of Rome
despite the fact that Benedict X had claimed the seat of Saint Peter
in Rome for himself. With the help of many dukes and influential
families opposed to Benedict X and his politically connected family,
Nicolas II came to Rome,
and exiled Benedict X as the anti-pope.
in the Church's list of the successors of Saint Peter as bishop of
Rome, Nicolas II is the official successor of Pope Stephen IX, not
Benedict X. There is much information about Anti-pope Benedict X all
over the Internet and in many books of European history in the
library. There are few books as such on the life of Benedict X
because he was not a true pope.
Maybe you can write such a book and enlighten readers about the
times of 1058 and the crazy time there were two popes each claiming
the chair of Saint Peter. Here is a link that will start you on your
way of writing such a book:
CatholicView Priest Staff
"I need to
choose a Confirmation Saint. Can I use
the name Holy Innocents? - Maureen
CatholicView Priest Staff:
I need to choose a Confirmation saint, and I was doing
research on different saints. I came across the Holy Innocents.
Websites say that they are saints, have a patronage, feast day, etc.
I would love to take them as my confirmation saint, but can I do
that? Or am I not allowed to because it is a group? - Maureen
Choosing a confirmation name is a special and
wonderful process that will be part of you making an adult
commitment to Christ and the mission of the Church which is to bring
all to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
In regards to a confirmation name, I chose Pedro
(the Spanish version of Peter) since I see Saint Peter as someone
who didn't have strength of faith not to deny Christ three times
before Jesus' death and resurrection. Yet, he still loved Jesus
despite his own weakness, and Jesus made him the rock on which the
Church was built despite himself.
Choosing the Holy Innocents as your particular
confirmation name brings to mind that you will probably see your
life mission as protecting those who have no one to protect them and
love them as they are, even bringing to mind the Church's pro-life
stance in the face of abortion.
Maybe you can chose the name, Innocencia, as your
confirmation name invoking the Holy Innocents as your patron saints
and as your example of faith. There is no rule concerning using a
group of saints as your confirmation name. But a confirmation name
implies a one word name. You could chose HOLY INNOCENTS, but may I
humbly suggest Innocencia?
"Why was there such
great care to ensure the Holy Cardinals
did not cast fraudulent votes for the new Pope?" - Pat
CatholicView Priest Staff:
The Sacred College of Cardinals is a group of the most devout men
worldwide. Why, then, was such great care taken to ensure these holy
men did not cast fraudulent votes for our new pope. I know they can
be trusted, why weren't they? - Pat
Thank you for your question. You are too kind to think of
the Cardinals as a group of the "most devoted" men to Jesus our Lord
and His Church. But the history of the Church is filled with the
good and miraculous, and the bad, sinful and ugly.
The 2,000 year history of the Roman Catholic Church is
really the story of humankind, and its struggle to know God and
follow His Will. In the beginning of the church, the clergy of Rome,
deacons, priests and auxiliary bishops elected their bishop of Rome
and successor of Saint Peter.
Later, those same clergy
were subject to the pressures of their day and the machinations of
local politics that marred elections for the bishop of Rome. So, the
conclave system was devised to ensure fair elections without the
outside political influence that marred past elections. Certain
members of the clergy of Rome were appointed to be electors, upright
men who were able to withstand the outside political pressure to
vote for certain candidates. These electors were called Cardinals.
Later, by decrees of popes, cardinals from outside of Rome were
appointed as consulters to the pope and to represent the universal
Yet, even these cardinals
became tainted by outside influences and by monarchs and powerful
Italian families who wanted their particular candidate as pope.
Soon, it became obvious that the conclave had to be completely cut
off from the world to truly vote for the candidate put forth by the
Holy Spirit. Centuries had passed and more rules were put into the
election process to make sure that the Spirit of God was in charge
and not any political entity wanting to meddle in the affairs of the
Today, it's hard to imagine
that the cardinal-electors could be "bought and paid for" by rulers
and powerful families. But the intricate secrecy and the way the
votes are done are based on past experiences of outside meddling.
The election of the pope is a wonderfully exciting and dramatic way
to elect the bishop of Rome, successor of Saint Peter, the universal
pastor of the church, and the head of state of Vatican City State.
But it is rooted in past experiences to ensure that the election
process is truly a work of God and not solely the work of human
beings and their petty games.
Yes, today's cardinals are
not like their predecessors during the middle ages and other
difficult times in history who had to work around almost impossible
political pressures. But the effects remain and the election process
in conclave is secure.
In that way, the present
day election of the pope is truly a work of God. My prayers are for
Pope Francis and I pray that since he was chosen by God to lead the
universal church, that the Spirit of God will guide him and that
Francis will be open to the Spirit's leading.
There is a link if you want
to know a more secular reasoning behind the conclave and its
history. It is a good article about how the conclave election system
came into being from a secular political view:
the Lord bless you. -
"During Pope Francis' blessing, didn't he give a
general absolution of sin?" - Steuart
CatholicView Priest Staff:
My wife and I were watching the selection of Pope Francis live on
television. During his blessing, he said, "I absolve you of your
sins in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit." Was this
general absolution for all watching taking the place of individual
confession? - Steuwart
I watched the
live presentation of the new pope to the city of Rome and the world.
I also heard his greeting speech.
At no time did I hear the words of
Maybe it was a mistake of your particular television channel
translator, but I distinctly did hear Pope Francis do the formal
papal blessing (I bless you in the name of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy Spirit), but he did not give a general
absolution to the people there in the Square and to the world. Just
to make sure, I listened to the speech again and here is the
transcript. As you can see, there are no words of absolution
(general or otherwise) in his speech, which was in the Italian
language. Here is the exact translation of Pope Francis' first
speech as pope:
Brothers and sisters, good evening!
You know that it was the
duty of the Conclave to give Rome a Bishop. It seems that my brother
Cardinals have gone to the ends of the earth to get one... but here
we are... I thank you for your welcome. The diocesan community of
Rome now has its Bishop. Thank you! And first of all, I would like
to offer a prayer for our Bishop Emeritus, Benedict XVI. Let us pray
together for him, that the Lord may bless him and that Our Lady may
(Our Father... Hail
Mary... Glory Be... )
And now, we take up this
journey: Bishop and People. This journey of the Church of Rome which
presides in charity over all the Churches. A journey of fraternity,
of love, of trust among us. Let us always pray for one another. Let
us pray for the whole world, that there may be a great spirit of
fraternity. It is my hope for you that this journey of the Church,
which we start today, and in which my Cardinal Vicar, here present,
will assist me, will be fruitful for the evangelization of this most
And now I would like to
give the blessing, but first -- first I ask a favor of you: before
the Bishop blesses his people, I ask you to pray to the Lord that he
will bless me: the prayer of the people asking the blessing for
their Bishop. Let us make, in silence, this prayer: your prayer over
Now I will give the
Blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good
Brothers and sisters, I leave you now. Thank you for your welcome.
Pray for me and until we meet again. We will see each other soon.
Tomorrow I wish to go and pray to Our Lady, that she may watch over
all of Rome. Good night and sleep well!
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I hope this helps. God's many
blessings to you. - CatholicView Priest Staff
"Do you think the Church is in grave trouble?" - Uncle Billy
CatholicView Priest Staff:
Do you think the Church is in grave trouble? If you really
understand what is going on, and about to happen, would you please
explain? - Billy
The Church is never in trouble
because Jesus is with us until the end of time. In Matthew, Chapter
16, Verse 16, Jesus made a PROMISE that will not be broken because
it was made by God Himself. The verse is very important for us as
believers and members of the one, holy, catholic, apostolic Church:
"And I say to you, you are Peter and upon this rock I will build my
Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
I am not worried
about the Church. I have no anxiety about its existence. The Church
is over 2,000 years old,
started by Jesus and built on the rock of
Peter. The Church has survived all kinds of things that Satan has
thrown at the Church. And there will be more Satanic attacks in the
future. This is a battle between good and evil, between love and
hate. Good will always win, and love conquers all. And my faith in
Jesus Christ is my shield. The Church has a protective shield around
it; the shield of faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Of course, Jesus will prune His
Church by taking off the branches of the Church that
produce the fruits of salvation and love. The Church is a divine
institution and a human one. The divine aspect of the Church is
perfect. The human aspect of the Church is human and sinful.
Since the leadership of the Church is human and sinful, Jesus will
prune His Church and that is what He is doing now. I do not despair.
Jesus is risen from the dead, and
Jesus has made us all victorious in faith. The Church is healthy and
strong. The next pope, chosen by the Holy Spirit, will have the
power of God behind him despite his unworthiness and sinfulness.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved wretches like us!
I hope this brings some clarity to
you. God bless. -
I was baptized Catholic
but not confirmed. I married
four times. How can I become Catholic? - Joe
I was baptized in the Catholic Church and was not confirmed. I did
not practice Catholicism as an adult. Unfortunately I married 4
times and have not been to any church for over 8 years. What is
required to become Catholic? -Joe
May God bless
you in your decision to change your life. Keep in mind that Jesus
Christ died to give us all second chances and so we are happy to
accept all who want to become Catholic if they are sincere and will
live according to what God wants of us all.
must first make an appointment with your local Catholic Church to
discuss what is necessary to become part of our church family. You
will be asked to attend RCIA classes (The
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults)
to bring you up to date on Catholic
teaching. And you will be required to present valid papers on your
four marriages for possible annulment.
See your parish
priest. He will talk to you about how you can become a member.
Congratulations on making the decision to "come home". May the
Lord strengthen and bless you as you make your way back to Him.
- CatholicView Staff
"I dreamed I
befriended Satan. What is the
meaning of this?" - Clifton
I had a dream, a vivid dream. I befriended Satan in the dream. I
was scared at first and then I eased into the situation and was no
longer afraid. I'm very scared right now and I want to know the
meaning of this. I do not worship Satan. Please help. - Clifton
A dream is not
a sin. If you sincerely believe in the Lord and are following the
path He has set for you, there is nothing for you to worry about.
behavior or our actions are less than Jesus wants from us. And
because of this, we sometimes feel guilty and go to bed regretting
that behavior. This could lead into dreams when you fall asleep.
But God can read your heart. He sees all things. Please pray to
our Heavenly Father and free yourself of this burden. Ask Him to
forgive you if there is anything that may be causing these dreams to
take place. You may feel bad about this dream of befriending Satan
but know that a dream is not a reality. Your soul belongs to Jesus
Christ unless you have turned away from your faith and belief.
appointment to see your parish priest to talk about this. Go to the
Sacrament of Confession. May the Lord bless you for wanting to
move forward in His care. - CatholicView Staff
My employee lied and
stole from me. How can
I handle this as a Christian?" - Beverly
I have an employee who has lied to me and stolen inventory from my
place of business. This is fact and not my supposition. I am
struggling with trying to forgive, yet feeling wronged. How should I
handle this as a Catholic Christian? - Beverly
I am saddened
to hear that your employee has stolen inventory from you. Were you
able to report the theft? It is a criminal act and it is not a sin
to seek justice if the theft warrants it.
But, as a
Catholic Christian, you must forgive your employee. Do not hold on
to the idea of yourself as a “victim”. Instead tell yourself, "I
will forgive you because it releases me. I do it for my
peace and most of all because scripture tells me in Matthew 18:22 "Then
Peter came up to him and said, 'Lord, how often shall my brother sin
against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?' Jesus said
to him, 'I do not say to you seven times but seventy times seven."
University in England and the University of Basel in Switzerland)
right to hurt you for hurting
... and only then
it. To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the
prisoner was you."
As the Lord
Who sees all yet forgives us for our own mis-doings and
transgressions, He tells us to forgive others as He did. He will
make all things right in His own way someday. Please visit
CatholicView article on forgiveness at this link:
SEVENTY TIMES SEVEN
May the Lord
give you peace.
- CatholicView Staff
"Is it wrong to kneel for Holy Communion?" - Bob
I humbly and gently asked my Bishop if I could kneel for Holy
Communion and the response was: Please don't kneel, just stand like
everyone else. So am I to be obedient to a liberal bishop and not
kneel for my God my King. How could he say that? - Bob
Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
has this to say about kneeling for communion: "It is perhaps useful
to respond to your inquiry by repeating the content of a letter that
the Congregation recently addressed to a Bishop in the United States
of America from whose Diocese a number of pertinent letters had been
received. The letter states: "...while this Congregation gave the
recognition to the norm desired by the Bishops' Conference of
your country that people stand for Holy Communion, this was done on
the condition that communicants who choose to kneel are not to be
denied Holy Communion on these grounds. Indeed, the faithful should
not be imposed upon nor accused of disobedience and of acting
illicitly when they kneel to receive Holy Communion."
Church urges the faithful to adopt whichever permissible form of
reverence is observed in the local parish to avoid occasions where
one person kneels, another objects, and the observing congregants
are either confused about the proper form of reverence or made
susceptible to scandal. The focus during Communion should be on the
Lord who is present in the Eucharist, and not on who among the
congregants is making the most beautiful signs of reverence."
Here is the link to the
Catholic Answers Video with Senior Catholic Apologist Jimmy Akin
explaining what the Catholic Church's position is on "Kneeling While
Receiving Holy Communion": Can
You Kneel for Communion? | Catholic Answers . Also see
Kneeling To Receive Holy Communion .
I sincerely hope this helps to
explain the Church's position on this matter. - CatholicView
"I came in late for
mass but watched it on EWTN. Does
this fulfil my obligation?" - Abbie
I was late for Sunday Mass because of the time change, but I was
there for the Consecration and reception of Eucharist. Later at
home I "watched/attended" Sunday Mass on EWTN TV. Does this
fulfilll my Sunday obligation? - Abbie
There is no official teaching of the Church concerning a time when
we have not fulfilled our Sunday obligation. Some think the major
cut-off point for late arrival is before the readings and most
assuredly before the gospel is read. At any rate, it seems to be a
matter of conscience as a Catholic believer and our desire to give
to the Lord this full hour of our time each week.
Sunday Mass is important, one should strive to be present for all of
it. In fact, if a person can arrive a few minutes before mass, this
is even better because we would have the time to compose our minds
through silent prayer.
is some additional information:
Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum
Pontifical Athenaeum states: “Like most priests, I am loath to give
a straight answer to this question because, in a way, it is a
catch-22 question for which there is no right answer.
It is true
that before the Second Vatican Council some moral theology manuals
placed arrival before the offertory as the dividing line in deciding
whether one fulfilled the Sunday obligation of assistance at Mass.
But after the liturgical reform, with its emphasis on the overall
unity of the Mass, modern theologians shy away from such exactitude.
with the entrance procession and ends after the final dismissal and
we should be there from beginning to end. Each part of the Mass
relates and complements the others in a single act of worship even
though some parts, such as the consecration, are essential while
others are merely important.
To say that
there is a particular moment before or after which we are either
"out" or "safe," so to speak, is to give the wrong message and hint
that, in the long run, some parts of the Mass are really not all
that important. It may also give some less fervent souls a yardstick
for arriving in a tardy manner.
prefer not to hazard giving a precise cutoff moment, certainly
someone who arrives after the consecration has not attended Mass,
should not receive Communion, and if it is a Sunday, go to another
time is not just a question of obligation but of love and respect
for Our Lord who has gathered us together to share his gifts, and
who has some grace to communicate to us in each part of the Mass.
It is also
a sign of respect for the community with whom we worship and who
deserves our presence and the contribution of our prayers in each
moment. The liturgy is essentially the worship of Christ's body,
the Church. Each assembly is called upon to represent and manifest
the whole body but this can hardly happen if it forms itself in
drips and drabs after the celebration has begun.
who arrive late to Mass have to honestly ask themselves, Why? If
they arrive late because of some justified reason or unforeseen
event, such as blocked traffic due to an accident, they have acted
in good conscience and are not strictly obliged to assist at a later
Mass (although theywould do well to do so if they arrive very late
and it is possible for them).
for many elderly people, even getting to the church is an odyssey,
and one must not burden their consciences by counting the minutes.
arrive late due to culpable negligence, and especially if they do so
habitually, then they need to seriously reflect on their attitudes,
amend their ways, and if necessary seek the sacrament of
on how late they arrive they should prefer to honor the Lord's day
by attending some other Mass, or, if this is not possible, at least
remain in the Church after Mass is over and dedicate some time to
prayer and reflection on the readings of the day.
Liturgy: Communion for Late Arrivals at Mass? - Featured Today -
helps, Ann. God bless you. – CatholicView Staff
"My friend committed
adultery but admits no guilt, and
thinks his salvation is intact. Isn't this dangerous?" - David
A friend of mine recently committed adultery, yet admits no guilt
for the act. If one believes that their eternal soul has already
been saved, regardless of whether they sin or not, what reason do
they have to live a good life? Isn't this a dangerous belief? -
You are correct
in saying that your friend is going on the supposition that
salvation, once received, can never be rescinded. There are some
people who erroneously believe that when they accept Jesus Christ
through faith they are saved forever, no matter what their actions
into sin are. Sadly, this is not true.
When a person
commits a sin without forgiveness, that person loses his salvation
because he has turned his face away from God. But if your friend
asks for forgiveness, repenting of the sin and promising to avoid
future transgressions, that sin will be wiped clean.
him to read what the bible says in 2 Peter 2:21:
it would have been better for them never to have known the way of
righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy
commandment delivered to them." And again in
"For if we go on
sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth,
there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful
expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the
friend also to read his bible as there are many, many chapters on
the subject of sinning and the loss of eternal life. His sins will
not go unnoticed by an Almighty God Who sees all. Thank
you for your important question. - CatholicView Staff
"Why does the Pope wear red shoes?" - Clay
I have several non Catholic friends...they asked me why the Holy
Father wears red shoes...I said I would find out.. thanks Clay
tradition of the popes wearing red shoes were carried over from the
customs of ancient Rome itself. In fact, by the time of the
Byzantine Empire only three people are allowed to officially wear
red shoes in the empire: the Emperor, the Empress, and the Pope.
Even in art, depictions of people wearing red shoes are severely
restricted to the above-mentioned or the angels."
During ancient times, the manner and style of dress signified and
symbolized rank, heritage, group or cultural affiliations, status,
also of privilege. This was more true then than it is now. The
manner and style of a person identifies him. For example, during the
Yuan dynasty, only the Khan can wear green under pain of death. And
during the Ching/Manchu dynasty only the Emperor can wear the
The toga, for example, was exclusively worn only by Roman citizens.
The toga praetexta, furthermore, can only be worn by magistrates as
this was a symbol of his office and rank. The republican senators
wore red shoes, as did the Roman patricians. This custom was carried
over from even before the Roman Empire, and before the Roman
Republic tracing it back to the Kingdom of Rome. Thus this manner
and custom of privilege of footwear is very ancient. Hope this
helps. - CatholicView Staff
"Is it wrong to sign a
"Do Not Resuscitate" order? - Jon
If I am in reasonable health (not infirm, or in imminent danger of
death by natural causes) and I sign a Do Not Resuscitate order for
my living will, am I in contravention of church teaching? - Jon
Thank you for
your question. There are two trains of thought concerning
resuscitation: Ordinary care and extra -ordinary care. If
a patient has a chance of recovering and treatment options are
available, then resuscitation is an option considered "ordinary
care" and this would be mandatory. But if the patient has no
reasonable chance of benefits at recovering and the means to try to
restore life would take a heavy toll and would not be practical to
do, then resuscitation would come under the heading of Extra
Ordinary Care and this would not be required.
Here is a link
which may be helpful to you: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/catholics-and-do-not-resuscitate-orders
. It reads in part: "The
Church does not explicitly address the morality of a
"do-not-resuscitate order," but it still uses the distinction
between "ordinary" or "proportionate" (=morally obligatory) and
"extraordinary" or "disproportionate" (=morally not obligatory)
treatments. Moreover the Church clearly teaches that it is morally
wrong to impose on anyone the obligation to accept treatments that
impose undue burdens on him, his family, and the wider community or
to accept treatments that do not offer reasonable benefits or are
useless or futile. This is the teaching found both in the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's May, 1980 Vatican
Declaration on Euthanasia ("Iura et Bona"), Part IV on "Due
Proportion in the Use of Remedies," and in the United States
Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ethical and Religious Directives for
Catholic Health Care Facilities." - CatholicView Staff
"If I am in Hell, can I stay in contact with people
in heaven?" - David
If I were sent to hell would it be possible to visit or be in
contact with people in heaven. Is there a meeting place in the
middle where like in prison, are the phone booths and talking across
You would not be able to visit or be in contact with people in
heaven. There is no meeting place.
parable of Lazarus and Dives
Abraham even for a drop of water to relieve his sufferings in Hell,
but the time for mercy had passed. He had many opportunities during
his life to give mercy to Lazarus and so gain mercy from God, but he
did not. Let us take heed:
"There was a
rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted
sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named
Laz'arus, full of sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from
the rich man's table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom.
The rich man also died and was buried; and in Hades (Hell), being in
torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Laz'arus
by his side. And he called out, `Father Abraham, have mercy upon
me, and send Laz'arus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool
my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.' But Abraham said,
`Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things,
and Laz'arus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted
here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and
you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass
from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to
us.' And he said, `Then I beg you, father, to send him to my
father's house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them,
lest they also come into this place of torment.' But Abraham said,
`They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.'
“‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone
from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
“He said to him, ‘If they do not
listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if
someone rises from the dead.’” I hope this helps you. -
"Can a Catholic man
marry a Protestant and
divorced woman?" - Stefan
Can a Catholic
man (never married, no impediments) marry a protestant woman if said
woman is divorced and was married to a protestant in a protestant
church service - or does the prohibition to marry a divorced woman
(Matthew 5:32) also apply if the marriage in question was not in the
Catholic church? Thanks for your time and help. - Stefan
Thank you for
your question. Sadly no, you cannot marry unless the Protestant
party goes through the annulment process. Right now, your fiancé is
still married in the eyes of the Church as the Church does recognize
Please make an
appointment with your parish priest to talk about the annulment
process. Your fiancé must be present to give details.
God bless you.
- CatholicView Staff
"My son is living with
his girlfriend and I told
her to use birth control. Is this a sin?" - Cicelia
My son and girlfriend are living together. I told her she should be
taking birth control. Is this a sin? If so what kind, mortal or
venial? - Cicelia
can appreciate the fact that you are concerned about your son living
with his girlfriend. However, rather than focusing on the
girlfriend using birth control to avoid pregnancy, you, as a parent
must first focus on the fact that your son is living in grave sin,
committing fornication, and possibly compounding that sin by using
birth control as recommended by you.
This is what
the church teaches:
of artificial birth control/contraception for the purpose of
preventing pregnancy, whether within or outside marriage, is always
wrong. This is because the unitive and procreative aspects of the
marital act cannot be separated, as the marital act is
simultaneously an expression of both essential goods of marriage,
the unity and holiness of the spouses, and the procreation and
education of children."
together without benefit of marriage is a mortal sin. Having a
mortal sin on one's soul and conscience means that as Christian
Catholics they must either marry or give up their relationship and
seek forgiveness, for it is a barrier to authentic communion with
Christ. Your son cannot receive the Eucharist in this state. -
"I have never quite
believed in God and Jesus.
How can I have faith?" - Jude
I was raised Catholic, but ever since I can remember, I have never
really believed in God, Jesus, the Church, etc... A few years ago, I
had an experience that made me believe that perhaps there is some
higher power out there that cares for me. I feel drawn to the
Church, have been to Mass many times since, and yet I still feel
like there is something missing. Even though I try to have faith and
believe, I can never quite get there and always feel like I am
faking it. What can I do? How can I have faith in God and Jesus when
I just can't make myself believe fully? - Jude
I believe what
you are feeling is God calling you. He cares for you and although
your faith has faltered for many reasons, you feel that special
"pull". Read your bible and concentrate on asking the Lord through
prayer to guide you. Pray earnestly and often and watch yourself
grow in the faith.
appointment at your Church to see a priest. Talk to him about all
your concerns. Lay out all the things that are bothering you and he
will give you answers. Don't give up! I will keep you in prayer.
- CatholicView Staff
My wife lied about her
number of previous
marriages. What shall I do?" - John
My wife of 11 years has filed for a divorce, I wondered why. Since
she filed, I found out, she had lied about her previous life. She
always told me, she married young, her husband died, she never
remarried and was a widow. I am husband #7, I am having a tough
time, dealing with this, I have not gotten mad. I have been told by
my attorney to seek counseling, that I should be. looking back as she
alienated me from my family and faith. I still can't seem to get
totally mad at her, a part of me loves her till death due us part. She has absolutely hurt my family. I am 56, second marriage, 1st
marriage received an annulment from our church. What to do? Thank
I am so sorry
that your wife did not disclose her former life before you married her.
This is a painful situation. However, I believe God wants you to
move forward with your life. You must see your parish priest and
arrange for an annulment, for this marriage is not a sacramental
are hurt, I believe that God has a plan for you. Stay close to Him
through prayer. Know that He sees all your hurts. Pray and ask Him
to strengthen you. Jesus has promised that He will never leave you
but will be there through these bad times.
Know that you
are in our prayers. Keep the faith and feel the peace that our God
will bestow on you. - CatholicView Staff
"I threw out a religious statue. Is this a sin?" - Paul
A few weeks ago
I threw out a religious statue of the holy family without thinking.
I can't help but feel like I made a mistake by doing it and feel a
bit guilty about it. Is there anything I can do to make that feeling
go away, and is what I did a sin?
It is not a sin
to throw away blessed items, but out of proper respect, one should
dispose of them by burning or burying them. The proper disposal
of votive candles and other devotionals, if they have been blessed,
is to dispose of these items this way. If such things are ordinary
and unblessed they can be thrown away. And should you
about throwing them away, burn or bury them as well. Hope this
helps. - CatholicView Staff
"Before he died, I
divorced my husband because of
his mental state. Is there a possibility of remarriage
in the Church?" - Christina
I was married in the Catholic church. After 13 years due to my
husband's mental state and the personal safety of myself and my
children, we were divorced. He has since passed away. Is there any
way possibility of getting married again in the Catholic Church? (I
did not pursue an annulment then out of respect for my ex and my
kids). I still attend Mass, but am not sure where I stand in the
church's eyes. Thank you. - Christina
As you explain
it, yes, you can marry again in the church.
Since your ex-husband has died this
ends the union of husband and wife in the eyes of the Church, and so
no annulment is needed. You are presently free to marry again in
You will need to make an
appointment with your parish priest to discuss this situation in
full. I hope this helps. - CatholicView Staff
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