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JUNE/July 2017



"I am a devout Catholic.  I struggle with same sex attraction.
In what ways can a man struggling with SSA serve in the Church?"



I am a devout Catholic who received my sacraments this past Easter.  I struggle with same set attraction.  In what ways
can a man struggling with SSA serve in the Church? - Timothy


Hi Timothy:

Blessings to you.  Thank you for your question.  There are so many ways in which people with asame sex attraction can
serve the Church and her mission, including being ordained as priests.  I don't know where you heard that this was not
possible, but it sounds a bit like one of our friend Donald's alternative facts!!  Of course for a gay person entering the
priesthood, the temptations could be more challenging than they are for a heterosexual person, but in the end they would
be very similar.  Some dioceses and communities may resist a person with same-sex attraction, but there is nothing in the
Church's teachings why that would be so.  Of course there are ministries such as music, teaching, health care, welfare-
the sky and one's imagination and talents are really the only limits!  I hope and pray that you find the direction and manner
of monostry that is true for your own heart.

I will keep you in my prayers, Timothy.  -  Father Kevin Bates


"I have been dating my boyfriend for about 3 years now 
He is Italian, a Roman Catholic.  I am Sikh.  A  bishop/priest said he can
give us the permission needed to marry in the Church. but my boyfriend
says it does not work that way
for Roman Catholics.  Is this true?



I have a question regarding Roman Catholic marriages. I tried finding the answer online but I did not find anything.  I have
been dating my boyfriend for about 3 years now and we've recently started talking about marriage.  He is Italian, a Roman
Catholic.  Whereas I am not Catholic, I am Sikh.(Punjabi).  He is telling me that in order for us to get married, I would need
to convert, otherwise the Church will not allow it. I was researching online and I found that we can talk to the bishop/priest
about a mixed marriage, and he can give us the permission needed to marry in the church.  But my boyfriend said it doesn't
work like that for Roman Catholics. The only way we can get married is if I covert. I just wanted to get more clarity regard-
ing this subject. Is that true, the only way we can marry is if I convert?  Can we not have a wedding without me converting?  
Thank you.  -  Sangha


Dear Sangha,

Greetings to you and thank you for your question. Be assured there is nothing in teaching of the Catholic Church which
should prevent you, a Sikh, from marrying your Catholic boyfriend in the Catholic Church. I hope you can find a priest
who can help you with this in due course, and a suggestion might be that you have a Catholic ceremony and a Sikh
ceremony as well to honourboth your families and traditions.  Every blessing to you both. - Father Kevin


I give about a $100/month to my local Family of Faith Campaigns part of a
pledge I made to give $3,000 over 5 years. I also give about $10 weekly at Mass

I just don't want to give that $10 anymore for a variety of reasons. 
Am I committing a sin?  - Thanks.  -  Mark 



At moment, I give about a $100/month to my local Family of Faith Campaign, as part of a pledge I made to give $3,000
over 5 years. I also give about $10 weekly at Mass - $5 to the collection and $5 to the St. Vincent de Paul poor box. Lately,
though, I just don't want to give that $10 anymore for a variety of reasons that are too long to list here, but can probably be
chalked up to simple anger at God.  My question is the following:  Am I committing a sin by refusing to give that $10 that I've
been giving regularly?   Thanks.  -  Mark


Hi Mark:

The Bible and our Christian history are full of people who get angry at God for all sorts of reasons and for all different
lengths of time. Some of them are our greatest saints.  Iím sure they would all feel the same as you about putting less
on the plate or in the poor box when you and God are not in good shape with each other. Iíd relax if I were you and spend
a bit of time sorting you and God out.  The contributions can take care of themselves!  Every blessing, -  Father Kevin



We have a house in  Beatty Oregon, where one murder and two
suicides have happened and we plan to remove their
remains.  What is your opinion? - Ernie


We have a house in  Beatty Oregon, where one murder and two suicides have happened. This what we know anyhow.
There is a concrete cross buried in the front yard on one of the doors, about 400 pounds.  We plan on moving it,  I wanted
your opinion before doing so. Please advise. -  Ernie



You can do anything you want with your property, removing any objects, including removing religious symbols.  There is
nothing wrong with that. I know that the history of the property can be upsetting to contemplate.  But be at peace.  Bring
your faith in God and positive energy and all will be well.

If you wish, you can have your house blest by a priest or deacon of your local parish church.  God bless in remodeling the
property and house. -
Father Carlos Morales 


"What happens if a priest suspects that the person confessing
is not in touch with reality?" - Elizabeth 


Father Carlos:

I have a question about confession. What happens if a priest suspects that the person confessing is not in touch with
reality?   For example, if the person starts talking about being abducted by aliens, having a microchip implanted in his/her
brain, believing that something mundane (e.g. a stranger sneezing) was evidence of some vast conspiracy (e.g. that the
sneezer was making fun of him).  What would happen?  I understand it will vary from situation to situation, but what are
the guidelines for encountering this issue?  Thank you,  Elizabeth



People who display the symptoms of mental illness are treated with great respect in the sacrament of Penance (
confession). There are times when I am the confessor of someone trying to deal with mental and emotional illness.  
I listen and depending on the situation, and I try to bring a person to a moment where I can pray with and for that

Confession is NOT the time for dealing with the symptoms of mental or emotional illness and I would suggest that
the person who is dealing with these issues talk to me outside of confession.  I also know that the culpability of a
person with mental illness who commits sin depends on their ability to understand their own motivations.  Mentally
and emotionally ill people struggle with their own sense of being culpable of sin and when a person comes to me
in that state, I pray with them and suggest other options for seeking healing.  I hope that someone can find pro-
fessional medical help for your family member who is struggling with mental illness.  

Continue to pray for the healing and deliverance of your family member.  Trust in God in this matter and treat
everyone with respect.  As to the question of whether there are guidelines for a priest confessor to follow in
regards to a person with mental illness, there are some from the U.S.Catholic Bishops' Conference.  Here is an
article that describes the thought now on mental illness within the church's outreach ministry:
 .  - 
Father Carlos Morales

Why do I keep committing the same sin over and over again?
 - KN


Father Carlos:

Why do I keep committing the same sin over and over again?  I hate going to confession if I keep telling the same sin. - KN



In the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 26, Verse 41, Jesus warned his apostles in the Garden of Olives before his passion and
"Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test.  The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak."   There
are always temptations around us that want to rob us of our peace of mind and these temptations can work on our personal
weaknesses and kill the spirit of joy that is in all believers.  This constant struggle between sin and being obedient to God's
Will and Plan is part of our spiritual journey to heaven and salvation in Jesus Christ.  

In Matthew 16:24, Jesus said this:  "Whoever wishes to come after Me must deny himself, take up his cross, and
follow me."
  Each of us has a cross to carry that challenges us to be better and stronger so that we do not become
complacent and lazy.  That cross that we carry actively and with trust in God conforms us to Jesus Christ and makes us
more like him even though you may feel that you are failing.   Saint Paul, in his Second Letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 12,
Verses 7 through 9, knows what you are going through when he wrote this:  
"Therefore, that I might not become elated
(proud), a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan to beat me to keep me from being too elated
(proud).  Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it may leave me, but He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient
for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.' I will rather boast most gladly of my weakness in order that the
power of Christ may dwell with me."

Even though you feel that you are not making any spiritual progress in your battle with sin, know that you are taking two
steps forward and one step back in all that you do against the power of sin in your life.  That's spiritual progress!  To give
you perspective, you are a better person today than you were five years ago!  See, that's progress.  So, instead of getting
frustrated at your apparent weaknesses; weaknesses that we all have to battle, rejoice instead in the wonderful mercy of
God through Jesus Christ.  Instead of just focusing on your failures, focus on the forgiveness of God given so freely that it
is called "Amazing Grace"  And when you go to confession, know that the priest confessor understands what you are going
through because the priest-confessors know from our own battle with our own particular weakness.  

Do not concern yourself about repeating the same sin in confession.  Repeat as often as you need to.  But remember, re-
joice in the love and mercy that God has for you forever!
 - Father Carlos Morales


"I am a Catholic and have been struggling with living in a world that
is becoming increasingly evil. 
 How am I supposed to live in joy?" - Avana


Dear Father: 

I am a Catholic and have been struggling with living in a world that is becoming increasingly evil. I am speaking on a
macro level where the world seems to be headed in the end times and I do not know how to live my life or raise my
young adult children with hope for a good future.   I fear for the end times and the hell on earth which we are going
to experience (as per the book of revelations) . This time feels very close . Why does it feel that the devil is stronger
than God in these days? How am I supposed to live in joy?   Thank you so much for answering my question . There is
no one else I can ask as it is too serious an issue. God bless you .  -   Avana


The devil is never stronger than God Who is All in All.   Evil never wins the battle.   I do know that human weakness
and sin is quite powerful because the devil doesn't make any of us do anything against our will.  We have free will
and because we have free will, we chose whether to sin or not, whether to do evil or good.  

The problems of the world, the evil you see, the powerlessness you feel comes from the sinful hearts of humankind.  
Jesus said this in the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 7, Verses 18 through 23:  
Jesus said to them, "Are even you
likewise without understanding?  Do you realize that everything that goes into a person from the outside
cannot defile; since it enters not the heart but the stomach....But what comes out of a person, that is what
defiles.  From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed,
malice, deceit, licentiousness, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.  All these come from within and they defile."

Notice that Jesus did not blame the devil for the evil things in the world.  He blames the human heart that is capable
of doing such evil things. When people chose to do evil it is because they have no faith, no love of God in their hearts,
and they need to repent and turn to their Creator.  And when people turn their hearts to God, repent, and turn to their
Creator, it is then that the human heart changes and peace can be restored.  There can be no peace on earth without
faith in God.  

You mention that you are concerned about your young adult children and how they will fare in this world.  The world is
not evil.  But there are your children in faith. They will cause others through their walk in faith to change the hearts of
others who do not believe and when they do, they will be building a better world.  That's why I know your children will
be just fine:  they believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and have the love of God in their hearts.  They already
have the armor of God to protect them
(see Ephesians 6:10-18). -
 Father Carlos Morales


"We were married in the Church, but she says that she didnít really
take the vows because she had mental reservations."   - Peter


Hello Father:  

We were married in the Church, but now she says that she didnít really take the vows because she had mental reserva-
tions. If we continue to live together is it a sin since the marriage was not confected? Thanks.  - Peter



I am not sure that I understand your question.  You are not living in sin if you are married and living together no matter
the personal situation you find yourselves in. But I don't understand what you mean that your marriage was "not confected."  
If you mean that you have not ratified your marital bond because you have not consummated your marriage, you are still
not living in sin.  I am going to have to refer you to your parish priest in regards to whether your marriage is valid or not.

Your wife has made a serious accusation against herself by saying that she had and continues to have "mental reser-
vations" at the time of your marriage in the Church.  If that is so, your parish priest needs to help you understand your
marital situation.
Father Carlos Morales


"I had a civil marriage to a Catholic man.   Because I was sick
 and he was unfaithful we got divorced.  Again I got baptized in a
 Catholic Church.  Can I marry again?"  -Sabrina



I had a civil marriage years ago to a Catholic man, I was not baptized at the time. We got divorced because I got sick
and he was unfaithful. When we separated and I had 2 boyfriends and did not know much about adultery. We divorced
later.  I then got baptized as a Catholic in the Church. I have a boyfriend now, we are not having sexual relations but we
both live in a guest house and  we would like to get married. I sent in my documents to the Catholic marriage tribunal in
my country and they prepared a document for me allowing me to get married again in the church. I am a bit worried
though because the bible says if a man marries again its adultery.  I would like to know if the church is right and that I
can marry again?   Thanks.  -  Sabrina


Yes, you can have your marriage in the Church.  The gospels does say that if a man (or woman, for that matter) divorces
and marries another, they commit adultery (Matthew 19:9).  But also the bible says this concerning your particular situ-
ation in I Corinthians 7:12-16, Saint Paul writes that
"if the unbeliever separates, however, let him separate. The
brother or sister is not bound in such cases; God has called you to peace."
  In your situation, you were the "un-
believer", meaning that you were not baptized.  Since you became a believer in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior through
your baptism, your past marriages were dissolved so that you could marry a believer in the Church by the words of Saint
Paul in I Corinthians 7:12-16.  This is called the Pauline Privilege (and its canon law "cousin" called the Petrine Privilege
which was probably used in your situation) in Church canon law regarding marriage.  Once you marry in the Church, your
marriage cannot be dissolved again.  You are married until death.  

Be at peace.  No one in this situation is committing adultery.  Here is a link for your to read about the canon law concern-
ing marriage, especially in regards to the Pauline and Petrine Privilege (officially called IN FAVOR OF THE FAITH):
Father Carlos Morales


 "If someone dies in grace and is admitted to Heaven, is that their
final destination?" - PW 




I am confused between the return of Jesus to judge the quick and the dead on earth, and the final resting place in Heaven
for those who die in a state of grace previous to his return.  If someone dies in grace and is admitted to Heaven, is that their
final destination?  Or when Jesus returns to Earth do those souls also return to earth to earth to be judged again? - PW



When you die and are given the free gift of salvation on heaven because of your faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior,
you will be in heaven forever even after the final judgment when you will be reunited with your glorified body!  

The difference between dying now and going to heaven and being at the Final Judgment is the glorified body.  When Jesus
comes at the end of time and judges the living and the dead, God will raise our mortal bodies from the dead and we will be
reunited with our new glorified bodies where there will be no more tears, sadness, or pain.  So if a deceased person is now
in heaven, that's their place forever.  And after the Final Judgment, you will be in heaven with your glorified body!!!!  

Here are some biblical references in regards to the Final Judgment that is coming for all:  Matthew 25:31-46 / Philippians
/ Revelation 20:12-15 / John 6:50-71
, a great explanation that all who eat Jesus' body and blood in Holy Communion
will be raised up on the last day!
 - Father Carlos Morales


My husband was living a double life.  One with me and one for his
girlfriend.  When I found out, he chose to be with his girlfriend.
What are the Church's standings for me?"  Jen


Father Carlos: 

I am having some difficulties forgiving my ex-husband.  We were married 30 years and were practicing Catholics. He was
living a double life-- one with me and our daughters, and one with his girlfriend. When I found out, he choose to be with the
girlfriend.  I wanted to reconcile.  We now have been divorced for 2 years and he is still with the girlfriend and living
together.  What are the church standings for me? And what are they for him? Has God forgiven me? Has He forgiven him? 
Is divorce a sin?  Thank you.  - Jen



I am sorry to hear that your ex-husband was such a unfaithful person that he destroyed the peace and joy of all those
around him, especially in you and your children.  The Lord will always stand by you and your children.  He knows the
depth of your pain that cannot be described in human vocabulary.  I cannot speak for God in regards to forgiveness of
sin because it all depends on the actual repentance of the person.  Therefore, I cannot see into the hearts of people like
God can see, whose Spirit can pierce all secrets of the human soul.  When you have asked God to forgive you, and you
ask with all your heart, then you are forgiven.  Your husband's action betray an unrepentant heart and he will be held
accountable by God for his actions.  As for you, your faith in God and your dependence on His grace is your guarantee
of God's forgiveness.  Your participation in the Sacrament of Penance (confession) is your guarantee of God's forgive-
ness.  Be at peace.  As to your question if divorce is sinful, divorce in itself is NOT sinful.  Divorce and REMARRIAGE is
sinful.  Your husband has done this (he is living in sin with the girlfriend) and is living in adultery.  You have not remarried
so you are in full communion with the Church and I hope you are receiving communion and taking part in the sacramental
life of the Church.  

The gospels say this about the issue of divorce, and look carefully at the wording:  in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 19,
Verses 8 through 10 - Jesus said,
"I say to you, whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery."  
Your husband is in a state of adultery because he has married or is living with his girlfriend after his divorce.  He has a lot
to answer for.  As for you, you remain unmarried and therefore are in full communion with the Church.  You are fine.

Your ex-husband, on the other hand, is under the judgment of God.  Remember, divorce is NOT a sin by itself.  Divorce
and re-marriage is the problem.  Forgiving your ex-husband's betrayal is going to be a difficult journey, but forgiveness on
your part means your ability to move forward and leaving the past behind.  Use the Sacrament of Penance to help you
move forward.  

As a side comment, if you do wish to remarry in the Church, the process of ecclesiastical annulment must be completed
before you can remarry again. The annulment process answers the question posed by the gospels in Matthew 19:9
("unless the marriage is unlawful") and Mark 10:9 ("what God has joined, no one must separate").  Is the sacramental
marriage lawful (there is a large explanation in church law to describe a lawful marriage) and did God actually join this
sacramental marriage (not all marriages are joined by God.  Some marriages were joined simply by persons without
God's involvement, such as forced marriages, and marriages done by fraud, etc....).  May I suggest, if you wish to re-
marry in the future to ask your parish priest or deacon for more information about the annulment process.  You are in
my prayers for healing this day.  -
Father Carlos Morales


"I was told by one of the Sisters that I am not allowed to receive the Eucharist
until my husband gets his first Marriage annulled.  Can I  receive the
Eucharist?" - Suzanne

Hello Father: 
My name is Suzanne. I am divorced and my first marriage was annulled.  Also my first husband is deceased.  I have re-
married to a divorced man who is Catholic but not married in the Catholic Church.  I was told by one of the Sisters that I am
not allowed to receive the Eucharist until my husband gets his first Marriage annulled. This completely devastated me and I
have been without this sacrament for over a year. One other thing I can mention is there has not been any marital relations
in 4 yrs just not because of lack of love but medical issues. Am I allowed to receive the Eucharist?  Please let me know.
Thank you.  -  Suzanne



Your parish religious (sister) is correct in stating that you are not in full communion with the Church.  You married outside
the Church.  Why didn't you marry in the Church when you got married?  The way you describe your marriage to your
present husband, your husband who is Catholic and divorced was not married in the Church previously.  This is a relatively
simple process called the LACK OF FORM declaration for your husband. 

Your husband can easily get this form by asking your parish priest or deacon.  You have to prove that your husband is
Catholic (baptismal certificate and other sacraments he may have received such as First Communion and Confirmation)
and two witnesses that can say that he was never married in the Church.  Then the diocesan marriage tribunal examines
the documents and declares your husband's first marriage invalid.  Then you will be able to be married in the Church. 
Your annulment is fine. 

You are ready to be married in the Church.  Your present husband needs a LACK OF FORM declaration.  It is simple. 
Don't let something so simple keep you away from full communion with the Church.  Until this situation is remedied, you
and your husband cannot receive communion until you are both married in the Church.  This situation can be remedied
one month in some dioceses!  Don't wait anymore!  -  Father Carlos Morales


I have been mentoring a Catholic girl of 19 in Theology of the Body. Her
father wanted me to help her.  Would it be ok for her to share her sins with me?
-   Amy


Dear Father: 

Thank you for taking the time to prayerfully answer my question.  I have been mentoring a girl of 19 in Theology of the
Body, and she comes from a very devout Catholic Family. (Mother passed away 2 years ago)   As I mentor her, it was
directed by her father that I help her do a good examination of conscience.  This I feel comfortable with. But in order to
do this, it has been directed that she confess her sins to me as she would a priest, and permit me to dig deeper to see if
there is a way I could help her.  I know that the sacrament of confession is only meant to be between God, the priest and
confessor. I certainly do not want to in anyway violate that sacrament.  But I need more "back up" for the father's sake to
support my feeling of not crossing that line.   Can you please help me?  Am I right in my concern? Or would it be ok for
her to share her sins with me?   Please help.  Blessing and Peace. 
 Many Thanks.   -  Amy



I thank God that you have taken the role of a spiritual director/mentor in the life of this young woman.  But I must stop
you in regards to your desire to lead this young woman in the examination of conscience.  You are not to talk about
her sins unless she freely wants to.  You are not to "dig deeper" into anything that may be personal.  You must respect
the boundaries of any person that you meet.  You are not a priest confessor so you are not permitted to make your
spiritual protege tell you anything that she wishes to keep in confidence.  To do so would be considered spiritual abuse.

You are not to share anything that this young woman says to you in regards to her spiritual journey, especially to her
father.  I am concerned that her father asking you to help her in an examination of conscience is his way to control her
and know her spiritual secrets.

You can lead her to make an examination of conscience by giving her a series of questions on paper and asking her to
answer these questions to herself privately so that she may make a good confession.  You are NEVER authorized as a
spiritual mentor or spiritual director to have her answer these examination of conscience questions to you verbally.  I want
to be as clear as I can:  Respect Boundaries.

You are not a confessor.  You are not to make anyone tell you their sins unless they freely want to within the context of
spiritual direction.  You are not to talk to anyone else about what you hear within the context of spiritual mentoring.   Here
is the official USA Bishops' Conference examination of conscience document:

Here is another more simple form from EWTN:  You can print
these out and give them to her to answer on her own without your prompting.  Then she can go to confession with these
questions to her priest-confessor.

I must tell you in the strongest terms possible: you are not to hear her confession and you are not to dig deeper in regards
to an examination of conscience which is considered privileged and sacred, so much so that only a priest confessor is
allowed to hear the answers to the questions of an examination of conscience.  

I do want to commend you on guiding your spiritual protege by using Pope John Paul II's teaching on the Theology of the
Body.  I am impressed that you and your protege want to examine the teachings of the Church on the destiny of human-
kind and the sacredness of the human body.  We are all temples of the Holy Spirit.  The sacredness of the sacrament of
marriage between one man and one woman is also part of this teaching as well as personal chastity. 

I am so happy to know that you are doing this within the context of the theology of the body.  I hope that you are leading
others as well.  I do hope you are leading a study group on this subject of the Theology of the Body.  Don't keep this just
for yourself and one other person.  You are called to share these teachings with as many people as you can!  For our
readers, here are the documents of Saint John Paul II in regards to the Theology of the Body:

If you read all the documents on the meaning of human life as taught by Saint John Paul the Great, you will never look at
life in the same way again. -
Father Carlos Morales


"I had sold my soul to the devil and gave up using drugs.  I am
 asking God for forgiveness.  Can you help me?" - Andrew



I was using drugs, heavily methamphetamine to be specific, I had sold my soul to the devil, had my private area out in
front of the Virgin Mary. Since I have cleaned up my life, stopped the drugs, I asked God for forgiveness but the demon
still bombards me before all this.  My wife had passed away, I had lost custody of my children, and I was in a deep de-
pression.   Help!  -  Andrew


I am so sorry to hear of your painful struggles to break free from drug addiction and to get control over the continuing
temptations of the compulsive drive for drugs that continues to haunt you.  But you have completed the first step in
gaining control and find healing for your broken spirit.  God forgives so that you can move forward.  God forgives to so
you can rebuild your life and to do great and good things.  

Sadly, you can never go back to the life you had before drug addiction.  But that doesn't mean there is no hope.  On the
contrary, hope abounds because you have self-knowledge that you didn't have before.  You know yourself better, and
you know what can make you dive back into the cesspool of addiction.  You are aware of what your addiction has done
to you and those around you.  Now, take that self-knowledge and move forward.

You have lost the past, but you have not lost the present time and the hope of a better future.  Soon, you will be able to
repair your relationships with your children and you will be able to bring healing to those who were hurt by your actions.  
But you need to do this step by step and not all at once.  I hope that you are involved in a support group that helps those in
the grip of addiction.  This will help greatly in getting control over the obsession for drugs that will always exist within you.  

God has not turned His back on you.  And I don't know how you sold your soul to the devil, but understand, your soul can
never belong to the devil since it was made in the image and likeness of God.  Such a bargain with the devil is negated by
you accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and making a good confession to the Lord and in the sacrament of
Penance.  I have every hope for you!  You are on your way to victory!  The Lord is with you!  The devil has no hold over
you since you are covered in the blood of Christ by your confession of faith in Jesus.  Don't give up on yourself because
God never gives up on you!
Father Carlos Morales



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