Renewing or Imperiling our Understanding of the Sacrament of Marriage?

In a recent essay, the canonist Fr. John Alesandro makes the bold claim that for hundreds of years “the Catholic church has simplistically “canonized” marriage, stripping down its sacred character as a covenant and likening it to a secular c … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

Question:  Since I was a child in school many years ago (I am now 67!), I have had a question I could not answer. Adam and Eve were created in the image of God, we learned as children. We also learned about prehistoric man. Were our first … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

Question: What is the origin of female altar servers? Answer: Female altar servers are a fact of life in the Church since 1992. The ability of girls to serve at Mass is established by papal authority, so one must accept their possibility … [Read more...]

Briefly Revisiting Pre-1983 Canonical Practice for a Better Response to Marriage Issues

The juridical significance of mental illness and psychic anomalies in marriage has shifted over centuries from a description of an illicit act to one of invalid consent. Early pronouncements on insane individuals who contracted marriage … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

Question: Please explain why “even attachment to venial sin” prevents one from obtaining a plenary indulgence. It seems no one can receive one as we all are attached to, and even commit, venial sins. Answer: The answers to this question a … [Read more...]

Law and Freedom—“Do I Have to Go to Church Today, Mom!?”

I don’t do apologetics. I can do apologetics, I have a background in theology, from seminary formation, as well as Catholic graduate education. I do catechesis, I teach and do theology, my understanding of the New Evangelization is what the … [Read more...]

Summer Reading for June 2016

David L. Schindler and Nicholas J. Healy Jr. Freedom, Truth, and Human Dignity: The Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on Religious Freedom. A New Translation, Redaction History, and Interpretation of Dignitatis Humanae. Grand Rapids, MI: … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

Question: I am very confused about the removal of temporal punishment due to sin in the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. Some say no, but the Pocket Catholic Catechism by John Hardon, S.J., 1989, states: “Also the guilt and temporal p … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

Question: I see and read all the “opinions” on whether the SSPX Mass and administering of the sacraments is legal and licit. Good people are at variance with each other on this issue. Please, could you straighten this out from your sta … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

Question: I would like to study the problem of universal ideas in Thomas Aquinas.  Can you give me some insight into understanding this problem, and some sources on how to research this problem in Catholic authors? Answer: Pope Benedict i … [Read more...]

Accusations against Priests

The Need for More Justice and Psychological Science

The evaluation process of accusations against priests in regard to determining their suitability for priestly ministry would benefit from greater justice and knowledge of psychological science. There are presently severe weaknesses in this … [Read more...]

The Holy Spirit and the Contemporary Reform of the Catholic Church

Status Quaestionis Ecclesia semper reformanda est (The Church is always to be reformed). This phrase originated in the Nadere Reformatiae of the Dutch Reform during the 1600s, and first appeared in the 1674 work, Beschouwinge van Zion … [Read more...]

Christ Is the Fulfillment of the Law

The Holy Law Is Not an End in Itself

The core teaching in Pope Francis’s homily on October 13th is summarized in the following conclusion: Do I believe in Jesus Christ, in Jesus, in what he did: He died, rose again, and the story ended there. Do I think that the journey c … [Read more...]

Streamlining Annulments

This headline greeted the announcement that Pope Francis was establishing a commission to make suggestions for altering the annulment process in the Catholic Church. The word “streamlining” is, perhaps, not the Vatican’s word, but it does ca … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

Can you explain what the general rights and duties are of the state in regard to the family? What does the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) mean by their term “Creative Fidelity”? Question: Can you explain what the gen … [Read more...]