What Happens When a Religious Who’s Vowed Poverty Becomes a Bishop?

Q:  As for religious order priests or bishops, who normally take the three traditional vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, how does ordination to the episcopate change the requirement that they observe their vows?  E.g., a Franciscan who is vowed to poverty suddenly becoming a bishop with the usual perquisites such as a salary, nicer living accommodations, driver, etc.?  Unlike a diocesan priest, this would seem to be a contradiction to the life of poverty/simplicity implicit in their initial profession. –Daniel Continue reading

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The Virus and the Bishops: Twisting a Vatican Document to Further an Agenda

Q:  The priests of our parish have been [illegally refusing us the sacraments], so we wrote respectfully to our Bishop.  We quoted some canons which you discussed in your articles.

The Bishop replied to our letter and defended the priests.  He quoted a new letter from Cardinal Sarah of the Vatican, saying that Catholics must obey everything the Bishops say and do.

We are astounded.  Did Cardinal Sarah say these things? … How is it possible that Bishops have the authority to violate canon law, and we are required to accept this?  Why do we have canon law then? –Carlos Continue reading

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Why Would a Catholic Cleric Desecrate an Altar?

Q: Probably you already know all about the priest in New Orleans who desecrated the altar of his parish together with a couple of prostitutes….  The bishop announced that he had the altar burned and would consecrate a new one.  My wife and I were surprised at how quickly this was done and we’re wondering if the bishop shouldn’t have spent more time investigating the facts first … why for example was this man even a priest?  We’re having a hard time imagining that he was a model Catholic all his life and then one morning he woke up and decided to do this! –Josh Continue reading

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Refusing First Holy Communion to Children Who Are Ill-Prepared

Q:  I am a volunteer in our parish’s catechism program, and I help run the First Holy Communion preparation…. As has unfortunately become very common, we get a LOT of uncatechized children and an ever-increasing number of uncatechized parents in our program.  We normally require the candidates and their families to regularly attend Holy Mass for obvious reasons, though attendance is very patchy in some cases.

If a child shows signs that he or she doesn’t believe what we are teaching, e.g. explicitly saying things in a very innocent way that clearly contradict what we are teaching, can the pastor still decide that the child is properly disposed?  Can he decide to delay the Sacrament to the next year?

Or to use stronger language: can you imagine a situation in which admitting a child to First Holy Communion would ever be a sacrilege? Is the child’s youth or family situation an excuse for all manner of unbelief?

I understand that fruitful reception of the Sacrament of the Eucharist is tied to being properly disposed.  At the same time, I understand that the “faithful” have a right to the Sacraments. But is there a definition of what constitutes a “faithful” person?  –Jenny Continue reading

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Ecclesia Supplet: Making Invalid Sacraments Valid

Q:  You mentioned in “Invalid Baptisms and Unaccountable Clergy” that when Father Hood [of the Archdiocese of Detroit, Michigan] discovered that his own baptism was invalid and he was not a priest, that meant all the weddings, confirmations, and anointing of the sick which he had celebrated were invalid too.

I’m wondering why Ecclesia supplet does not apply to these sacraments?  The Church supplies validity when there’s a doubt, and there certainly was a doubt here … [because] everyone assumed Father Hood was an ordained Catholic priest.  Not arguing with you, just trying to understand… –Maria Continue reading

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