The questions below are drawn from my Friday "Reader Question" series in 2009. 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.
We have three related questions this week.Reader One's Question:
Please clarify if a couple who are not married in a Catholic church can receive Holy Communion. How can they remedy the situation if the other party is separated from his previous wife?Reader Two's Question:
If a person is living an adulterous lifestyle and attends Mass, can he receive Communion?Reader Three's Question:
I am a Catholic widow. I have been living with a divorced Catholic gentleman for 16 years. We have not married as I would lose benefits from my first husband (pension, health insurance). My boyfriend's wife left him. Can I still receive Communion?
I was married in the Church in 1984. My husband became an alcoholic and became violent. I divorced him after he held a loaded gun to my head. I cannot locate him to get an annulment. I have been receiving Communion after Confession and I want to know if I am OK doing this. I have been divorced for over 20 years, and I love the Lord and now live alone since my only son is 29 and living in Dallas. Am I sinning because I do receive Communion and my marriage has not been annulled?
My husband was married before, but not in the Church. I had never been married, but the Church would not marry us. Why?
I understand that the intent of Sunday Mass is to worship in a community. When one cannot attend Sunday Mass due to work, transportation, illness, etc., does going to Mass and actively participating via the TV or radio count? The theory being something is better than nothing . . . If not, then why have them?
At what stage in the Mass when you come in can you not take Holy Communion?
Would I be able to have my two children baptized, as I am not married? I am a Catholic, and my son attends a Catholic school, and I would like them both to be brought up in the Catholic faith.
Did late-term abortionist George Tiller deserve to die?
If the Catholic Church really believes what She teaches—that human life begins at conception—then abortion is murder. Why, then, would it not be morally justified to kill someone in order to prevent murder?
Did Vatican II really mandate the use of the title "Holy Spirit," and is it therefore wrong ever to use the older title "Holy Ghost"?
In "When Is Ascension 2009?" you write that "Ascension Thursday falls on May 21, 2009, and it will be celebrated on that day in the ecclesiastical provinces of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, and the state of Nebraska."
But what is an ecclesiastical province? Is it the same as a diocese? I'm in a diocese that isn't listed (the diocese of Pittsburgh), yet we've been told that Ascension will be celebrated on Thursday rather than on the following Sunday, like it is in many other places in the United States.