"Everyone who belongs to the Truth hears my voice…" (John 18:37)

Ask a Priest rss

“Ask a Priest” is Coming to a Close…

December 26, 2013

For the past year, we have taken your questions about faith and morals, the liturgy, Church practices, and the priesthood (and just about anything else!) and tried to explain in simple terms what the Church teaches and how we should strive to live out our Catholic faith. As we start a new year, a time… Read More ›

Should we tell someone who has offended us that they are forgiven?

Q. Is it necessary to tell or communicate in any form or way to the person who has offended you that he is forgiven? A. My seminary rector once asked me, “What are the 3 theological virtues?” I responded, “Faith, hope and charity.” He then asked me, “And which is the greatest?” I replied, “Charity?”… Read More ›

If there is a great chasm between Heaven and Hell, where do we get the idea of Purgatory?

Q. In regards to the parable the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31, if there is a great chasm set between heaven and hell, where do we get the tradition of purgatory? When did it start and what theology backs it? A. The chasm described in this parable was not trying to suggest that… Read More ›

Did Jesus’ divinity impact the way He experienced pain, hunger, heat or cold?

Q. Did Jesus’ divinity impact the way He experienced things in the physical world, such as pain, hunger, heat or cold? A. Whenever I hear a question like this, I automatically have a sense that the questioner is possibly supposing Jesus to have had “special privileges” about how He experienced regular human occurrences because of… Read More ›

Can God speak to us through our dreams?

Q. What are we to make of our dreams?  Can God speak to us through them?  Can Satan penetrate our minds through them? A. Without a doubt, God can speak to us through our dreams. This is revealed to us all throughout the Scriptures, beginning in the book of Genesis with Jacob’s dream of the… Read More ›

Under what circumstances is general absolution acceptable?

Q. Under what circumstances is general absolution acceptable? I’ve heard of this happening when the lines for confession were too long and Mass was about to begin. A. The Code of Canon Law (CIC 961) provides guidelines for when general absolution can be granted: 1) Danger of death is present and there is not enough… Read More ›

Can a non-Catholic go to Confession?

Q. Can a non-Catholic go to Confession? A. Usually the Sacrament of Reconciliation – what we commonly call Confession – is only available for baptized Catholics in good standing with the Church and not under any ecclesestical penalty. This is because Confession isn’t just about you and God; it is also about our relationship with… Read More ›

Do many Catholic churches feel less holy because we’ve moved the tabernacle away from the altar?

Q. When I was young and walked into a Catholic church, I immediately felt the holiness all around me. That seems gone now. More often than not, it is a meet and greet before Mass starts, and it’s hard to focus on prayers. Is it because the tabernacle is moved away from the altar? Why… Read More ›

Why do countries have different Holy Days of Obligation?

Q. Why do countries have different Holy Days of Obligation? A. Holy Days of Obligation are feast days in the Church’s calendar fixed by a certain date on which Holy Mother Church expects her children to attend the liturgical celebrations of that day. All Catholics are obligated, under pain of the normal conditions of mortal… Read More ›

Was the idea of having Mass on Sunday made up by Catholics?

Q. “I’m not sure how to structure this question, but a Seventh Day Adventist once told me that Mass was originally intended for Saturday, as per Jewish custom, and that Sunday Mass was made up by us Catholics. I really didn’t know what to say to that. What is the history of this? Thanks!” A. This is… Read More ›