17 results
March 9, 2013
Seven Sacraments

A textbook used for confirmation preparation in a parish in California teaches students that the sacrament of confirmation “only came into existence in the third century” and that “there was no sacrament of penance in the early church”. I suppose such sacramental ignorance is not surprising given that a deacon who instructs catechists in the same diocese teaches that at one time there were only two sacraments and, at another time, twenty two.

The Church teaches very clearly that the...

March 2, 2013

I recently received a jury summons in the mail. As a citizen of the United States, serving on a jury is a civic duty. U.S. Code Title 28, Part V, Chapter 121 § 1861 states that all citizens have “an obligation to serve as jurors when summoned for that purpose”.

Commonly, the role of a juror is to decide whether or not a defendant’s conduct has been acceptable under the law. In other words, a juror must judge a defendant’s behavior. Every citizen has the obligation to do this. While...

February 23, 2013

If you are not prepared for this Sunday’s first reading (Gen 15:5-12, 17-18), you will probably have a difficult time making sense of it. Your homilist might not discuss it, so I hope this brief explanation will be helpful. It is not a lengthy reading, so we will go all the way through it, splitting it into two parts but hopefully not slaughtering it.

The reading begins straightforward enough:

The Lord God took Abram outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count...

February 15, 2013

Pope Benedict’s renouncement of the papal office has spurred a rash of questions about the purported prophecies of St. Malachy. “Will Benedict’s successor be the last pope?” “Are we headed into a period of great tribulation?” “Will the world end soon?”

The last time we fielded so many such questions at Catholic Answers was about eight years ago, shortly after the death of Blessed John Paul II. This makes sense, because the prophecies in question concern the identities of popes from...

February 6, 2013

Lent is just around the corner. In fact, Ash Wednesday is one week from today. Lent is chosen by many parishes as the ideal time to offer retreats, parish missions, and workshops. If you are planning such an event, I have a suggestion: Invite a Catholic Answers speaker to give talks on Vatican II and the Catechism. Doing so could have the added bonus of a plenary indulgence for attendees.

The Apostolic Penitentiary, which issues indulgences...