The questions below are drawn from my Friday "Reader Question" series. They are presented in reverse chronological order, so that the most recent is always at the top.
If you have a question that you would like featured in this series, send me an e-mail. Please put "QUESTION" in the subject line and note whether you'd like me to address it privately or on the Catholicism blog.
Are there any circumstances under which a Catholic can vote for a pro-abortion candidate?The Question Restated: When deciding whom to vote for, must Catholics consider each candidate's position on abortion above all else?
I grew up celebrating Halloween, and my kids love it, too. But our Catholic homeschooling group is discouraging members from celebrating it and having an All Saints' Day party instead (though they're holding it on Halloween!). Other Christian groups in the area are having Fall Festivals or Harvest Moon Festivals. Should we attend one of these instead, or can we still celebrate Halloween and be good Christians?The Question Restated: Is Halloween anti-Christian?
May I know why Catholics don’t drink the wine at the altar alongside the bread they take for Communion? The idea that there can be no Body without Blood is true, but before Christ gave them separately, He knew that there could be no Body without Blood.The Question Restated: Since Christ instituted Communion under both species, isn't the predominant practice in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church--reception of only one species--a violation of Christ's will?
Does it make sense to pray for those we think are in Hell--that they will suffer less, that God will have mercy on them? If a soul goes directly to Heaven, they do not really need our prayers, but those that go directly to Heaven have to be exceptionally rare--perhaps a Pope John Paul II or Mother Theresa? If they must suffer through Purgatory, they would benefit from our prayers. So when we pray for the souls of the dead, are we really praying only for those in Purgatory?The Question Restated: When we pray for the dead, are we praying only for those in Purgatory? And what should we do if we think that someone is not in Purgatory, but in Heaven or in Hell?
My son has never been baptized because his father is not Roman Catholic and did not wish it. This year, he would be due to make his Confirmation with his class, and I'm wondering whether he can be baptised now and confirmed early next year. He has not received the Sacraments of Penance or Holy Communion either. Does he have to receive these before his Confirmation?The Question Restated: When an older child or an adult is initiated into the Catholic Church, what is the proper order of the Sacraments of Initiation?
Before the Gospel reading at Mass, we make the Sign of the Cross on our forehead, our lips, and our chest. What is the meaning of this action?The Question Restated: Why do some Catholics make the Sign of the Cross on their foreheads, lips, and heart before listening to the Gospel, and what does this mean?
I read your blog posts on the definition of the Church. I also read George Weigel's "One Body, Imperfect Parts," where he seems to consider the "Church of Jesus Christ" as composed of every Christian body. . . .The Question Restated: What is the Church?
So, what is the Church? If the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church and if the Protestant ecclesial bodies only receive the grace that accrues to them from the Catholic Church by derivation, how are they "the Church"?
With all the news about stem-cell research, I have not seen any news about drugs or medical procedures developed from this method of research. If any drugs or medical procedures have come from stem-cell research, where would a Catholic look in order to avoid these?The Question Restated: How can we make certain that we aren't inadvertently benefiting from the destruction of embryos?
Why do Roman Catholics make the Sign of the Cross when they say, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit"?The Question Restated: Why do Catholics make the Sign of the Cross?
My husband and I like on Sundays just to ride around in our car and see different things. We like to stop at different stores just to wander around the stores. Maybe sometimes we would find something that we would buy. Why would this be a sin? Why is it not a sin to go to a restaurant to eat but not to go to a grocery store to buy some food? If everyone didn’t shop on Sundays, the people that have to work on Sundays would make no money, and we would be hurting them. This doesn’t make sense to me. I can understand not working on Sundays and devoting some time to helping people and reading the Bible.The Question Restated: What does it mean when the Church tells us to treat Sunday as a day of rest?