Q1: My fiancé and I wish to be married in a chapel [instead of the parish church]. This chapel… has been the most pivotal part of our faith life and relationship with one another.
However, we were informed that we would need permission from the Archdiocese to be married in a private Catholic Chapel, which they did not grant us. We honestly didn’t even foresee this issue coming about…. Our main frustration comes from the fact that this law is interpreted differently depending on the bishop and diocese.
How common is it for bishops to grant exceptions to the rule in a scenario like this? Do you know which diocese are more likely to do so? Or is there any way to get a different diocese or bishop to overrule? Is there any way to look up records regarding the exceptions they made in the past during other bishops’ terms? Do we have any case here regarding the fact that canon law is interpreted differently from bishop to bishop? —Sara Continue reading
Q: I am Catholic and my fiancée is unbaptized. I want to have the wedding ceremony in the Catholic Church, but [there are problems]… I know that as a Catholic I should not marry in a ceremony in my fiancée’s religion.
I came across this statement from my parish, about a Catholic marrying a non-Catholic: “The Church recognizes these marriages provided the ceremonies take place in a Catholic church, or in the place of worship of the party who is not Catholic, and provided a Catholic priest or deacon is present as the Church’s witness.” If my priest attends our wedding in a non-Catholic ceremony, does it mean it will be valid in the Catholic Church? –Henry Continue reading
Q: There was a funeral at our parish recently for someone who had committed suicide. My mother was surprised, and told me that suicides didn’t used to get Catholic funerals, because killing oneself is a mortal sin. I assume the law has been changed… but suicide is still considered a mortal sin, right? I don’t want to seem heartless about this, but could you please explain the rationale behind permitting a suicide to have a Catholic funeral? –Amy Continue reading
(On Easter Sunday, Pope Francis will give the traditional Urbi et Orbi blessing in St. Peter’s Square, and under the proper conditions Catholics can gain a plenary indulgence. So it seems appropriate to repost the Church’s rules on indulgences at this time. A blessed Easter to all readers!)
Q: While watching live the election of the new Pope, the commentator mentioned that those receiving the Urbi et Orbi blessing could receive a plenary indulgence. My daughter was watching internet “live-streaming,” and my wife and I were watching on TV. My daughter asked me if we qualified. I did some research, and those who received the blessing in person or through the radio did qualify. I hypothesized that so did we, thanks to technical progress beyond radio. Was I right? –Bill Continue reading
Q: During this Jubilee Year, “Missionaries of Mercy” have been sent around the world with special powers to lift excommunications. The Vatican Archbishop who made this announcement mentioned the excommunicable crime of physical violence against the Pope, and said that this includes speech which criticizes him. This was a great shock to me… can we Catholics really be excommunicated if we say something negative about the Pope? What happens when a fellow bishop or a personal friend speaks to Pope Francis, and finds fault with something he said or did, is he penalized for daring to object? Criticism can often be a healthy thing. To me it sounds like a police state… –Matteo Continue reading