Q: In the past year or so there have been quite a few revelations about Catholic bishops living in lavish homes as if they were royalty…. What does canon law have to say about this? –Robin
A: Robin is right about the revelations. German readers in particular are undoubtedly aware of the removal of the Bishop of Limburg—now known worldwide as the “Bishop of Bling”—from his diocese back in 2013, primarily because of the scandal caused by his extravagant expenditures on the episcopal residence there. In the U.S. just a few months later, the Bishop of Atlanta publicly apologized to his diocese for spending over $2 million on a new bishop’s residence. What’s going on here? Continue reading
Q: Our pastor seems to go on vacation constantly. This year, he already spent one week at a retreat house, left on numerous short trips to see his relatives, and now he’s going away for two weeks to Florida—and it’s only July! Doesn’t a pastor of a parish have the obligation to spend his time working at the parish rather than constantly taking these trips? –Lucas Continue reading
Q: I would like to know if my children and I (Roman Catholics) meet our Sunday obligation at an Orthodox Divine Liturgy? Canon law seems to reference meeting the obligation “anywhere a Catholic rite is offered.” Therefore, strictly speaking, I would imagine the answer is yes.
I need to know what my obligations are as I consider what Orthodoxy has to offer. I feel led to Orthodoxy and this is a recurring experience. I have attended Byzantine Catholic liturgy and if they were less than two hours away I’d just go there regularly. –Natalie Continue reading
Q: A friend of mine told me that his pastor routinely admits Episcopalians to Holy Communion. He explained that the local Episcopal church closes for several months, since it’s located in a resort town. The Catholic pastor has an “arrangement” with the Episcopal minister that the local Episcopalians come to the Catholic parish for Sunday Mass and receive Holy Communion during those months. They would otherwise have to drive about ten miles to another Episcopal parish. They go back to their own church when it reopens.
To my simple mind, this situation doesn’t meet the criteria for reception of Holy Communion by non-Catholic Christians. Driving ten miles in these parts is nothing, we all drive farther than that to the mall, etc., so it isn’t an arduous situation.
Certainly it is wonderful that the nice Episcopalians want to come to Mass, but they should not be admitted to Holy Communion, I don’t think. Am I thinking straight? –David Continue reading
Q: I was explaining the basic notions about marriage to a group of teens and they created a hypothetical scenario: A couple is on a trip in their boat. One morning the wife awakes and notices that her husband is gone. After an intense search, the Coast Guard concludes that he fell off the boat and died, although the body was not recovered.
Two years later, the lady marries again in Church, because her husband was declared dead. But later the first husband reappears and says he was kidnapped by pirates and just got liberated. Which of the two men is the legitimate husband? Which marriage gets the declaration of nullity? Teens have a very creative imagination and I am not qualified to provide a decent answer to that scenario. –Javier Continue reading