Can I Get an Annulment Without My Spouse Knowing About It?

Q:  I am divorced.  The marriage had some serious issues…we spent more time living separately than living together.  It has been suggested that I just fill out the traditional annulment application and follow through on that.  After discussing this with a Catholic clinical psychologist, it may not be the best thing for me unless a request to have my petition sealed so that my ex-husband could not have access to it was granted.  I’ve come a long way in the healing process and getting away from him and need to keep it that way.  I just don’t know at this point, what I am supposed to do… –Susan Continue reading

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What is the “Old Catholic Church”?

Q1: Could you tell me more about other Catholic ecclesial communities that are not Roman Catholic, such as the American National Catholic Church, and how they fit into the big picture of Catholicism? –John

Q2:  What is the “Old Catholic Church”?  Can we go to Mass there? –Barbara Continue reading

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Can the Pastor Buy and Sell Parish Property Without Our Consent?

Q:  At Sunday Mass, Father announced that the church pipe organ was going to be replaced by a digital organ, because the pipe organ was in very bad shape.  He said that he was given an anonymous gift of $100,000  to do this, and the contract has already been signed.  This was the first I had heard of this.  I attend the parish council and parish finance committee meetings and this was never discussed.  The people of the parish have already donated $22,000 to fix the pipe organ.

I did learn that the Bishop must approve purchases over $10K, and he must also approve any change to the interior of a parish church, such as changing out the organ.  The pastor later told me that the Bishop gave him permission to remove the existing organ and to purchase a digital organ.

Does the pipe organ constitute church property which the pastor has only limited control over, specifically, can I insist that the old pipe organ parts be stored rather than thrown out or, what I’m afraid of, sold for big bucks?  And can I insist just as a regular parishioner, to know what happens to the old pipe organ parts, and whether it is sold?  It certainly has a “value” and I am just afraid that it’s being sold out from under us and that Father has unwisely settled for a fake sound-maker. –Dave Continue reading

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What Happens if Catholic Parents Have Their Child Baptized in a Non-Catholic Church?

Q:  My sister-in-law recently baptized her youngest daughter in a Presbyterian church.  She is Catholic, her husband is non-denominational, and he is uneasy with the Catholic Church although they were married in a Catholic ceremony.

My father-in-law insists “a baptism is a baptism is a baptism.”  I tried to tell him that first it has to be valid (Trinitarian formula and “living water,” right?), and that if my sister-in-law wanted her daughter to become Catholic eventually, she’d have to do RCIA.  He didn’t seem to agree with that.  If my sister-in-law wanted her daughter to be “raised Catholic,” I say these two things would have to happen.  Is this correct?  –Aurora Continue reading

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Can a Lapsed Catholic Have a Catholic Funeral?

Q: My girlfriend’s grandfather stopped going to church after Vatican II, because he didn’t like all the changes in the Mass.  Now he’s getting old and the family is thinking about the possibility of an upcoming funeral, since he hasn’t made any burial plans for himself whatsoever.

They asked the pastor of their own parish what they could do.  He insists they can have a Catholic funeral for him if they want, no problem.  He said this, even though as pastor he has never even met the man.  Is this accurate, or is he just trying to be nice to the family?  I always assumed you had to be an active member of a parish if you expected to have a funeral Mass. –Conor Continue reading

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