Why is it a sin for a Catholic who is divorced but then remarries without an annulment from the Catholic Church? What should that person do if they find themselves in that situation now?
What is for sure is that people throughout history have wanted to believe they exist. Why? Perhaps because the existence of ghosts would seem to affirm our belief in the immortality of the soul.
While neither the Code of Canon Law nor any ecumenical council has made any official statement about ghosts — which is simply a German word for spirit — the modern Catholic Dictionary tells us a ghost is a disembodied spirit, and that God may and sometimes does permit a departed soul to appear in some form to people on earth. Their purpose among us may be to assure us of their safety or most importantly, to ask for our prayers.
In the Apostles’ Creed, I pray that I believe that Jesus “descended into hell.” What is that supposed to mean?
— G.W. in Jacksonville
Hey, Father! Why do priests wear black?
As with most things, the clerical garb of priests (sometimes just called “clerics”) has its own history, often complex and only sometimes interesting. Already by the sixth century, though, priests in France were being distinguished by their use of the black “cassock,” or full-length tunic — a trend which eventually spread through Europe and become the normative dress for the Roman Church.
Hey, Father! When we say at Mass: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed” — what exactly does that mean?
Hey, Father! Can God change his mind, especially when we pray?
I’m trying to avoid speaking poorly about others and it’s something that I get easily caught up in. How can I avoid gossiping about others?
— Margaret in Springfield
This is an often difficult and confusing moral question. The church teaches that the sexual act is expressed in accord with the intention of our Creator when it is open to the transmission of life between a man and woman united in marriage. Therefore, using chemical or physical “barriers” to interrupt one of the intended purposes of human sexuality, that of the transmission of human life (the other being the expression of love through physical unity between spouses), we change the meaning of the act of sexual intercourse, whether we know it or not.
Must we stay for the final blessing at Sunday Mass to fulfill our Sunday obligation?
— Maria in Jacksonville
What does the church teach/believe regarding the souls of those who passed away before Jesus’ time on earth, death, and resurrection?
— Scott in Springfield
Why does the Catholic Bible have more books than the Protestant Bible?
— Bill in Quincy
Throughout the Lenten Season, we are continually reminded of the Lenten regulations. However, it has been a long time since I've seen any mention made of the "Easter Duty." Has this been changed?
Hey, Father! Why do Catholics have the crucified Christ in their homes and churches and even sometimes wear it around their necks?
I am confused about holy days of obligation. What or who decided that if the holy day falls on Saturday or Monday, we are not required to go to Mass unless for certain feast days? From childhood, it did not matter what day the holy day fell on, it was still a holy day of obligation. In addition, how come some dioceses and the requirements to attend Mass on these days sometimes differ?I am confused about holy days of obligation. What or who decided that if the holy day falls on Saturday or Monday, we are not required to go to Mass unless for certain feast days? From childhood, it did not matter what day the holy day fell on, it was still a holy day of obligation. In addition, how come some dioceses and the requirements to attend Mass on these days sometimes differ?— Dorothy in Springfield
Hey, Father! Why do I have to confess my sins to a priest? Why can’t I just go directly to God?
— Maddison in Springfield
Hey, Father! Why can we not eat meat on Friday during Lent? Where in the Bible does it say that? Also, isn’t fish meat? That seems to contradict meatless Fridays.
Hey, Father! Why does the church teach purgatory exists? Where is purgatory in the Bible? I thought Jesus’ sacrifice of himself was enough?
— Dale in Mattoon