Is it a Sacrilege to Hit a Priest?

Q: When I was a child, I learned that it would be a sacrilege to strike a Catholic priest.  He is a man of God and over the centuries the Church has considered him to be sacrosanct, or so we were told.

Is this true today?  I’m imagining in particular what might happen if a dad discovered that a priest had molested his child.  I know we aren’t supposed to take justice into our own hands, but personally I would be sympathetic if I heard that an enraged parent had attacked a molester-priest…  It sounds like a lopsided and unjust system, whereby a priest could commit a horrible crime and yet Catholics wouldn’t be allowed to touch him… –Bob Continue reading

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Is My Annulment Invalid?

Q: I was raised Episcopalian. My first husband was baptized Catholic, but he never practiced his faith.  Our marriage was civil.  We moved to Europe, and later divorced.  I remarried another lapsed Catholic, civilly, then decided I wanted to become a Catholic.

The parish priest determined that my first husband 1) had been baptized Catholic, and 2) had not married in a church.  Once this was established, he proceeded with my reception into the Church, with no mention of the need for annulment of my first marriage.

Subsequently, the priest procured for me and my second husband a Sanation of Marriage. We thought we were good to go.

But then I contacted a woman in the US who has worked with divorced Catholics for 20 years, because she had been recommended as someone who might be able to help with unresolved pain from my divorce.  On hearing my history, she said I would need to get my first marriage annulled, that the Church recognizes as valid even a marriage done in Las Vegas by an Elvis impersonator.  When I told her this had been approved by my priest in Europe, based on his investigations into the validity of our marriage, and that I had an official document from the Archbishop rendering my second marriage valid, she said there was LOTS of confusion among priests about this stuff, that he had either been uninformed or trying to do me a “favor.”

So, I agreed to refrain from relations with my current husband until the matter was resolved….   However, a visit to your website seemed to confirm what my parish priest had done.

Was my first marriage considered valid according to the Church?  From this article in your blog, it would seem not.

Yet my confusion remains….  This woman appears to be a legitimate expert, yet after my research, and discovering that I already have a Sanation of Marriage, I would like a second opinion before I put all this time and effort into what may already have been accomplished.  Was my parish priest just trying to paper things over and get me in the door, or did he make the right determination? –Charlotte Continue reading

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Getting Married on One’s Deathbed

Q:  Sometimes people get married in the hospital, because one of the spouses is dying and they want to be married before that person dies.  I’m assuming that in these unusual circumstances the Church’s strict canon laws can get relaxed.  Is that accurate?  I mean, they’re never going to actually live together like a married couple, so it strikes me that a lot of rules shouldn’t even apply….

Is it fair to say when one spouse is dying, a couple can sometimes marry in a Catholic ceremony even though they wouldn’t be permitted to marry if both were healthy?

I believe you have mentioned in other contexts that there were exceptions to canon law in danger of death…. –Sophie Continue reading

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Can We Receive Holy Communion Twice on Christmas Day? (Repost)

Dear Readers, the era of rampant virus-hysteria and wholesale violation of the rights of the faithful to Mass and the sacraments has not ended!  This year, Catholics in some parts of the world (see this article about Berlin, Germany, for example) will be unable to attend Mass and receive the Eucharist on Christmas Day or any other day, because they refuse to be vaccinated.  If you’re able to attend Mass freely for Christmas this year, perhaps you could consider attending a second Mass and receiving Our Lord again–for the intention of one of those Catholics elsewhere in the world who tragically are unable to get to church at all?

Q: When we were kids, we were told that on Christmas Day, we were allowed to receive Holy Communion twice, if we attended two Masses.  The same was true for Easter.  Is this still allowed?  –Margie Continue reading

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Should We Baptize Aborted Babies, If Possible?

Q: Should hospital staff be baptizing aborted fetuses, if they have the chance?

I realize that Catholic doctors and nurses can’t participate in performing abortions, but sometimes they work in hospitals where abortions are performed by others.  If they have access to the body of an aborted baby, should they quietly baptize him/her? –Christine Continue reading

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