MARCH 2013



"My son wants to marry a Muslim woman.
 What should I tell him?" - Fran


Father Bill:

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


Dear 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.

I 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 religion.

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


Father Bill:

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


Dear 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.

Your questions revolve around the First Precept of the Church, so let me present some background by quoting from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

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.

Admittedly, 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

Father Bill:

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


Dear 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.

While each 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 disability.

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


"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, deposed and exiled Benedict X as the anti-pope.

So, 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?  - CatholicView Priest Staff

"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


Dear 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 church.

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 church.

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:  - May the Lord bless you. -  CatholicView Priest Staff

"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


Dear Steuart:

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 absolution. 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 keep him.

(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 beautiful city.

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 me.(...)

Now I will give the Blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will. (Blessing)

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
do not 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.  - CatholicView Priest Staff


I was baptized Catholic but not confirmed.  I married
four times.  How can I become Catholic? - Joe

CatholicView Staff:

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

Dear 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. 

However, you 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

CatholicView Staff:

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.

Sometimes our 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.

Make an 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


CatholicView Staff:

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."

Louis B. Smedes (Oxford University in England and the University of Basel in Switzerland) wrote  "Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me. ... and only then do we forgive 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

CatholicView Staff:

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



The 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."

The 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 Staff

"I came in late for mass but watched it on EWTN.  Does
this fulfil my obligation?" - Abbie


CatholicView Staff:

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.   Because 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.

Here is some additional information:

Father 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.

Mass begins 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.

Although I 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 Mass.

Arriving on 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.

Thus people 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).

Likewise for many elderly people, even getting to the church is an odyssey, and one must not burden their consciences by counting the minutes.

If people 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 reconciliation."

Depending 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 - Catholic Onli

Hope this 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

CatholicView Staff:

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?  - David



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.

Please tell him to read what the bible says in  2 Peter 2:21 "For 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 Hebrews 10:26-29 "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 adversaries.

Tell your 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

CatholicView Staff:

I have several non Catholic friends...they asked me why the Holy Father wears red shoes...I said I would find out.. thanks Clay


Dear Clay:

The following comes from  "The 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 Imperial yellow.

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

CatholicView Staff:

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


Dear 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: . 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

CatholicView Staff:

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 glass.



Unfortunately, You would not be able to visit or be in contact with people in heaven.  There is no meeting place. 

the parable of Lazarus and Dives Luke 16:14-31.  Dives asks 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. - CatholicView Staff

"Can a Catholic man marry a Protestant and
divorced woman?" - Stefan


CatholicView Staff:

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 that marriage.

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

CatholicView Staff:

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



CatholicView 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:

"The use 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."

 To live 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. - CatholicView Staff

"I have never quite believed in God and Jesus. 
How can I have faith?" - Jude

CatholicView Staff:

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. 

Make an 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


CatholicView Staff:

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 has 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 you, Father



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 marriage.  

Although you 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


CatholicView Staff:

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 feel uncomfortable 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

CatholicView Staff:

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 the Church. 

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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