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Father Kevin Bates

"Why was it permissible and sanctioned by God for Abraham
to sleep with Hagar when he was already married to Sarah?"
-  William


In Genesis 16, the circumstances surrounding the birth of Ishmael is described.  If the absolute
standard for marriage today is between one man and one woman, why was it permissible and
sanctioned by God for Abraham to sleep with Hagar?  - William


Good question William: 

I think we can presume that the story was more concerned with the creation and building up of
the new nation of Israel rather than personal morality. It is problematic to presume that the moral
mores of our own time were the same some four thousand years ago among a primitive tribe of
migratory nomads who were just beginning to discover a faith in the one true God and whose
understanding of God’s purposes was very much a work in progress.

What is remarkable is that God chose such a people to begin to reveal his saving purposes to
humankind. We can look at our Church today in the mirror and think much the  same thing and
refresh our belief that God will never abandon us no matter what our brokenness or incom-
pleteness.  Every blessing to you.  
Father Kevin


Father Kevin Bates

My wife was previously married, but her husband was unfaithful.
 She had been baptized in the Catholic Church in El Salvador.  Does
thisaffect our ability to follow through with becoming Catholic?"
 - Fernando


Father Kevin:

I am married, and have been married for 14 years. This is my first marriage.   My wife was
previously married, but due to her husband being unfaithful. she became divorced.   When we
first met, I was not baptized to any faith, and my wife had been baptized to the Catholic Church
in El Salvador.   However, she never practiced her faith and has not completed any of her
sacraments.  I grew up Pentecostal, and was baptized under a nondenominational church. We
attend church regularly now.  We attend Calvary Chapel in the city of Downey.   We do our
best to read our Bibles, pray, pray together, and lead good Christian lives.  However, I have
been perplexed lately. I have felt a certain sense to become Catholic.  I do have some questions
about this though.  Seeing that my wife was previously married, does this affect our ability to
follow through with becoming Catholic?   What would need to be done in order for us to proceed? 
Or, would this impede us from becoming Catholic, as my wife was previously married.  She was
not married through the church.  I hope to hear what exactly can be done with regards to this
matter.  I thank you in advance for your assistance.  God bless. 


Dear Fernando,

Thank you for your question and God bless you too. As far as the Catholic Church’s present
practice goes, the Church would presume that your wife’s first marriage was not valid, since
she married outside the Catholic Church without anypermission. It’s normally a simple enough
procedure to establish this and then declare that your wife is free to marry you.  It would then
be another simple procedure to have your present marriage regularised with the Church. A
good pastoral priest should be able to assist you with all of the above.

This would clear the way for you to be received into the Catholic Church. If you were in our
parish here, you would be welcome to begin that journey towards reception into the Church
while you proceed with the other processes regarding your wife’s situation. My guess is you
are a long way from Sydney which is where our parish is!  I suggest then that you listen out
for a parish community in your area where this would be possible.

If you wish to be in touch with me further to this, I am happy for you to obtain my contact
details from Kathy Bernard at CatholicView.  Every good wish and blessing to you both.
 Father Kevin


Father Kevin Bates

"After 28 years of marriage, I committed adultery and left my family. 
I never understood the pain of sin until after this. 
Are my son
and ex-wife biblically and spiritually correct to not
associate with me?"-   William


Father Kevin:

I am a 53 year old cradle Catholic who after 28 years of marriage committed adultery and
left my family.  I never understood the pain of sin until after this.  Sin is truly separation from
God.  I was a daily communicant and fell far.  Three out of four of my children will not speak
to me although they loved and adored me before.  My ex-wife and 14 year old son have re-
peatedly said that they forgive me but will not associate with me because they believe they
"do not have to associate with bad people."   Jesus hung with sinners but Paul (Cor 5:9)
instructs to not associate with sexually immoral people.  I am so sorry for what I have done
on so many levels and have returned to mass and communion.  I long for my son and believe
it would harm him if he could not give and receive love from his father.   Are my son and ex-
wife biblically and spiritually correct to not associate with me?   Does the commandment
"honor thy mother and father " apply?  Thank you for your attention to this. - William  

Dear William,

Thank you for your question and I sense the pain you are in regarding your son especially.
As you say, Jesus hung out with sinners and was accused of eating with them, forgiving
them when no one else would do so, and loving them into life. It’s really only once we have
gotten in touch with our sinful self that we get a real appreciation of what God’s mercy is all
about, and then we understand how important it is for us to offer others that same gift.

There’s no way you are a “bad person.” You wouldn’t be asking these questions if you were!
God simply cannot help himself and loves us unconditionally.  This includes his readiness to
forgive us again and again and no sin is beyond the reach of that Mercy.

Someone might do well to point out to your family Jesus’ challenging instruction that we not
judge each other. Whenever I judge you or stick a label on you, I limit my ability to learn
who you really are.  Labelling someone as a “bad person” seems to be a case in point.

Your ex-wife and son say that they have forgiven you but will not associate with you.  Per-
haps they still feel the hurt and sense of betrayal that was caused by your infidelity.  This
is very understandable. Maybe they need more time before they are ready to spend time
with you.  It’s also possible that the hurt they suffered was so deep that this may not be
possible and you may have to learn to live with this.

You may need some prayerful patience  while they may also be in need of some soften
ing of their hearts so that the forgiveness they say they are offering you may become
more like the mercy the father shows his son in Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son.

I pray for your peace in all this, William.  -  Father Kevin



"I keep feeling that I am going to die if my family and I go
to visit a Church 4 hours away."  Alexander



Is feeling that you are going to die for no specific reason ( a car accident) a sign for
my death or in Christianity there is no such a thing as signs.  I promised my family to
go on a trip tomorrow but I keep on feeling that I'm going to die if I go (we are going
to visit a church that is 4 hours far from home).  Thank you and God bless you! 
-  Alexandra


Have you prayed about this happening?  That you may die?  I must ask you to pray
privately, asking our God, your heavenly Father, to send His angels of mercy to keep
you moving forward in their care as you make your way to God's Church, however far.

As to the four hours you must drive to get to that particular Church, know that the Lord
is pleased but, He does not want you to worry about an accident.  If you are truly afraid,
just go to a nearby Church, if possible.  Remember, God can read your heart and know
you will find Him within any Church.  Go now, in peace.  God be with you always.
- CatholicView Staff



"My husband and I are 37 and have two beautiful children. 
My husband wants no more children and wants to get
vasectomy.  Please help!"  - Caroline


My husband and I are 37 and have two beautiful children. He converted to Catholicism
from Episcopalian so we could have a full Mass at our wedding. We make our faith a
priority in our lives and in teaching our children but there's one disagreement. He wants
NO more children and therefore wants to get a vasectomy, but I don't think this is okay
according to the Church. I don't use birth control and we've been able to avoiding future
pregnancies by monitoring my cycle. It's worked for over 8 years (kids are 9 & 8.) We
slipped up once (I wasn't watching the calendar carefully), and now I'm late. We still don't
know yet, but the stress is too much for him! Is it ever okay to do this?  We really can
hardly afford the family we have! (Note: If I am pregnant, we will certainly love and raise
this child!).  I hate to see him like this, with his heart history the stress is awful, but God's
way comes first!  Help?  Peace & Love.  -  Caroline



As Catholics, we are not all called to have as many children as we are physically capable of
bearing.  If we determine, with our spouse, through prayer and spiritual direction that we have
a serious reason to avoid having children for a period of time, then we are certainly permitted
to use NFP.  However, many Catholic couples may come to the conclusion that for the majority
of their childbearing years, they do not have serious reasons to avoid having children. For
those of us who fall into this category, we should REJOICE that God is calling us to bring many
little souls into this world for his glory! Often, those of us who are in this position are nervous
and unsure – can we truly handle the demands of a large family? How will many children impact
us financially?  And far too frequently, what will others think of us? We struggle with human res-
pect, which is “the putting of the opinion of others instead of the place in our conscience.”

God has given us the amazing privilege to participate with Him in the creation of new life.  Women
were chosen to bring this new life into the world. God knows what He’s doing.  No child will be
created without His plan for us.  Your husband must know that this child, if you are pregnant with
your precious baby, is not unwanted or unplanned by God.  Do not "destroy" what the Lord has
given to you.  If you find yourself pregnant, you must not destroy that baby's life. 

If you are not pregnant, please speak to your priest about NFP (Natural Family Planning).  National
Family Planning is a scientific method for determining human fertility through the observation of a
woman's biological cycles.  It is a natural alternative to artificial birth control.  We hope this helps
both you and your husband.  - 
CatholicView Staff



"I want to leave this world and go "Home".  I cannot
take the pain anymore."  -  Janet


I want to leave this world.  I want to go home.  I don't want to walk on this earth any more.  I want
to go home.   May I please?   I can't take the pain anymore? - Janet


I am so sorry to hear that you are suffering.  Sadly, I do not know if you are in extreme physical
pain or sorrow.  Is it your health?  Have you prayed to our Heavenly Father for His help?  You do
not say what is causing you to suffer this way.  

Have you tried to talk this out with your priest or minister for help to see beyond the sadness you
are facing? Please read this short prayer:  

"Lord, sometimes I become fearful of the pitfalls and roadblocks I face in my life.  But I know
with each burden it makes me stronger, though many times I feel uncertain of the future. 
Help me to remember that Your Son, Jesus Christ, promised never to leave me to face
obstacles and miseries alone.  I know He is with me, speaking to me through the Holy Spirit. 
Someday, when this journey is over, I will rejoice in victory one day in Your glorious heaven. 
Then I will faithfully wait for you to take me home.

Please read Hebrews Chapter 13 Verse 6:  So we say with confidence, The Lord is my helper;
I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?

CatholicView will pray for you.  Please know that whatever is upsetting you, believe that our God
will always be with you.  With much love to you.  - 
CatholicView Staff



"I had nocturnal emission in my sleep. 
Is this a sin?"  - Thomas


Recently I had nocturnal emission in my sleep.  I had confessed and received Holy Eucharist the
day before.  My question is whether nocturnal emission is sin and whether I have to confess be-
fore receiving the Holy Eucharist next time.  Thanks in advance, Thomas



You ask if you had nocturnal emission in your sleep, would that be a sin?  Generally, nocturnal
emissions are most common during teenage and early adult years.  Sometimes this happens
during sleep without a desire for this to happen.

If you went to sleep desiring this emission, ask God for forgiveness.   Please talk to your parish
Priest and discuss this happening with him.  I hope this helps.  - 
CatholicView Staff


"I am a Hindu but I believe in Jesus Christ and my girl friend
is a Christian.  Would it be a sin to have a date before marriage?
 -  Arjun


My name is Arjun and I'm a Hindu but I believe in Jesus Christ.  My girl friend is a Christian girl
and Catholic. My question is, Is it fair to have date before marriage?   Is that a sin? - Arjun


You asked if having a date is sinful.  It depends on what you do during a date.  If you remain
without sinful behavior, (not indulging in sex without marriage) then you are not committing a sin. 
If you are in love with your girl friend, then you must seek marriage.  I hope this helps. 
CatholicView Staff


"I am a devout Catholic, diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder
and schizoaffective. Sometimes I feel anxious, scared, and many
times have powerful intrusive thoughts of masturbation, etc.  Are
thoughts sinful?" - Sloskie

CatholicView Staff:

I’m 62, live in almost complete solitude and I’m very devout Catholic. I’ve been diagnosed with a
severe anxiety disorder and schizoaffective.

When I wake up in the morning I feel very spiritual, calm and peaceful, especial while in prayer,
but after several hours I begin to feel anxious, scared, insecure, and sometimes feel like I’m going
to go insane. The only thought of comfort is wanting to die and go to Heaven, which causes me to
be in good spirits!   Living in this world filled with so much evil scares me.  However, I sometime
have powerful intrusive thoughts of masturbation that change my entire state of mind and seems to
eliminate my free will. I consider these thoughts to be evil and it’s difficult to get back to my right-
eous frame of mind.  Are these thoughts sinful given my circumstances?  How about if I act them
out, which I have started to on several occasions? I have only masturbated about 6 times in the
past 10 years. -


I am so sorry to hear that you have  been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and schiz-
The physical symptoms of anxiety during a panic attack can be severe and include a
thumping heart (palpitations), trembling, feeling short of breath, chest pains, feeling faint, numb-
ness, or pins and needles, etc. 

You say "Are these thoughts sinful given your circumstances?  How about if I act them out?" 
Yet you speak of "
wanting to die and go to Heaven. 

Here is what I want you to do:  You indicate that you are a devout Catholic so live this way, show-
ing your love to Almighty God.  Start praying, and asking the Lord to give you peace during this
earthly time. Stop doing the things you mentioned,.. intrusive thoughts of masturbation and want-
ing to act out sinful thoughts.  Because you claim to be a devout Christian, act like on, and do not
hang on to sinful things.  Let your God see a real you!  

It is time to make a change in your life.  It is time to live within your Christian duties.  It is time to
stop the pity and focus on your health issues.  But most of all, hang on to your faith in Jesus Christ,
our redeemer, and our Heavenly Father.   Let go of the evil thoughts.  Now is the time to start pray-
ing hard, asking God to strengthen you during your present life; asking Him to keep you strong in
that loving way He gives to all true Christians.  Stay away from sinful thoughts, move forward in the
love you have for Almighty God, and His precious son, who both love you.  Jesus, as you already
know, gave His life, for you and I.  Without them, we are nothing.

One day, if you turn away from sinful thoughts, God has planned a forever life for you,  where you
will live one day.  None of us knows when, but that day will come, so if you continue to live in true
faith, you will live in peace and joy because He will take you to His eternal home where you will live
in joy, peace, and happiness FOREVER.   Keep praying! 

Turn away from Satan who is trying to win your soul and one day sent you to eternal hell forever.  
May God be with you during this time. - 
CatholicView Staff


"What does SEE mean when proceeding a bible
verse?  Thank you".  Rich


What does “SEE” mean when proceeding a bible verse?  Such as i.e. "2 Timothy 1:10".  Thank
you.  Rich



It simply means "Read" (or See) the  verses within the Bible for clarity of a particular verse.  It is
also a referral to a topic within the bible.  Hope this helps.  - 
CatholicView Staff


"I had lustful thoughts about a woman and feel great
shame and guilt and cannot go to confession until next
week.  If I should die before Confession, will i have

consequences in Purgatory?  -  Bryan


I am not able to go to confession until next week.  I had lustful thoughts about a woman and feel
great shame and guilt.  If I die before I get to confession am I going to have consequences in purg-
atory.  I have been and will continue to pray hours and hours a day because of my remorse. 
- Sincerely, Bryan


I am sorry to hear that you are unable to get to confession.  I would suggest that you pray to
Almighty God, asking His Help and forgiveness for your sins during this time of aloneness.  Pray
and tell the Lord of your great shame and the guilt of your behavior .  Ask the Lord to strengthen
you, asking Him to help you move forward in His mighty love and caring for you.  Seek His
wisdom to help you move away from sin,
and give thanks that He is so infinitely patient with us all.

Read Psalm 51: 1-6  for God's Cleansing and Pardon:

"Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your steadfast love.  And according to your
abundant mercy, blot out my transgressions.  Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.  For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before
me.  Against You, You alone, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, So that
You are justified in Your sentence and blameless when You pass judgment."

Bryan, keep praying to the Lord in the meantime.    May God be with you always.
- CatholicView Staff


"My girlfriend of three months has decided to move in with
her ex-boyfriend.  He has promised he will  commit to
marriage in 2 years.  How can I make her see he is
using her?"  - Ken


I dated a lady for 3 months.  She decided to go back to her ex boyfriend who doesn't want to
commit to her, but wanted her to move in with him.  I'm lost.  He now says in 2 years he will
commit to her in marriage. I don't want to lose her. What can I do to try to make her see that
he is using her.   You know, why buy the cow when you can get all the milk for free? - Ken



I am assuming that you are Catholic.   And I am so sorry to hear that the lady you dated for
these 3 months may be now living in sin with her ex boyfriend.   From what you state, she is
apparently living and indulging in sexual activity with her ex-boyfriend.  

Why would you want to be with such a sinful person?  Move forward instead, and pray for her,
and ask the Lord to send you someone who will share the Lord with you.  May God bless you. 
CatholicView Staff



"I am twice divorced and living with a woman and
have not been to mass in years.  According to
the Church, divorce and adultery is sinful. 
Is communion forbidden?" - Luke


I am twice divorced and now living with a woman.  Because of this I have not gone to mass in a
few years. I understand that according to the Church that divorce and adultery are a sin. To be
honest I will not stop living with this person.  Is communion forbidden?  I have not taken it because
I do not want to dishonor anyone by receiving unworthily.  I will not enter God's house and disres-
pect His rules while there.  My understanding that even with confession, I would have to remedy
the situation.   I am in before receiving the host. Is that correct?  -   Luke 



Because you are living in sin, yes, communion is forbidden.  It is true that you are violating what
God, your Heavenly Father, wants for you. You are dishonoring God.  The fact that you already
know the consequences of what you are doing is sinful and wrong.  This is something you must
think very hard about.

Most importantly, you must realize that should you die in this state, you will not be welcomed in
Heaven.  Which is most important, living in sin or following in the footsteps of Jesus Who gave
His life for you and I?   Please think and pray about this.  If possible, talk to your priest about this
- CatholicView Staff



"Does the statement of Matt 5: 11-12 just refer to
ersecution or just good things that one
does in life toward other people or even my wife
and getting nothing in return? - Jim


Matt 5:ll-12  “Blessed are they that are prosecuted for righteous sake for they will inherit the king-
dom of God”  In your opinion, does this statement just refer to religious prosecution or could it be
also the good things that you do in life towards other people or even towards my wife and then get
nothing in return, not that I am expecting it.  It just seems that I just get the cold shoulder or ridicu-
led by my wife because I am trying to do nice things to show my love towards her.  Thanks. - Jim 

Hello Jim:

You ask CatholicView the following:  "In your opinion, does this statement just refer to religious
persecution or could it be also the good things that you do in life towards other people or even to-
wards my wife and then get nothing in return?”
 Notice that Jesus is telling us that although we try
demonstrate to others the righteousness that God wants us to share with all people, many do not
want to follow God's teachings.  It is not a teaching to receive earthly things, Jesus wants us to bring
the message of eternal life to all who will listen.   

As Christian believers, we want to share the teachings of Almighty God to others, but the sinfulness
of others may not want to listen or accept God's offer.  They do not want to hear about the blessing
of being persecuted for doing the righteous things in this earthly world.  They turn away and many
persecute Christian believers.

The reality in today's world is that IF we demonstrate genuine righteousness, some will reject us,
and accept the sins of this earthly world; thus losing the Kingdom of God.  When we speak of the
righteous things, Jesus tells us, even though the sinful will persecute us, we must continue to spread
the good news of righteousness and eternal hope.  And if we stand strong and follow His teachings,
one day when the Lord comes, He will take us home to inherit the Kingdom of God.

Jesus speaks about the blessing of being persecuted for doing what God as us to do.  The reality
in our fallen world is that if we demonstrate genuine righteousness, there will those who will continue
to live in sin. Jesus elaborates by pointing out that the prophets, who, like Him, announced God’s
kingdom and were persecuted.  He tells us: “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute
you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  Rejoice and be glad, for your re-
ward will be great in heaven; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before
Those who would live righteously for God have always been persecuted by people who do
not believe, but Jesus also tells us:  "Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute
you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake." 
Keep in mind that we are
members of God's loving mercy, and one day we will be taken up to live eternally. 

The reality in today's world is that IF we demonstrate genuine righteousness, some will reject us,
accepting the sins of this earthly world; thus losing the Kingdom of God.  When we speak of the
righteous things, Jesus tells us even though the sinful will persecute us, we must continue to spread
the good news of righteousness and eternal hope.  And if we stand strong and follow His teachings,
one day when the Lord comes, He will take us home to inherit the Kingdom of God.
   Hope this
helps you, Jim. 
-   CatholicView Staff



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