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A Question of Faith

Q: In the case of a federal judicial appointee, adherence to Catholic dogma was criticized during the confirmation proceedings. What exactly is a dogma? Do other religions have them? A: A dogma is a belief handed down as true by an authority. We frequently think of dogmas in matters of

Q: If priesthood was historically limited to men, what was the reason? Does this reason still prevent women from becoming priests? A: The reservation of the ordained priesthood to men has been the constant practice of the Catholic Church (and the Eastern Orthodox) but many, especially in the last 50

In the Gospels, the term “Son of Man” is used numerous times. What does “Son of Man” mean? When Jesus spoke of himself and His mission, He often referred to himself as “Son of Man.” In the Gospels, He uses the term more than 80 times, especially as recorded in

Q: Does a prenuptial agreement invalidate a sacramental marriage in the Catholic Church? I have heard that it is only a legal arrangement, but others say it renders the marriage null because the spouses are not giving all of themselves. Please explain. A: The existence of a prenuptial agreement is

Q: Was Christ born on Dec. 25 in the year A.D. 1? A: We cannot be sure of the day and month, nor the year, of Jesus’ birth. Many scholars date the Nativity to several years before the traditional first year of the Lord (Anno Domini or A.D. 1) This

Q: Is the foundational concept of respect for life, especially concern for the unborn, something that is in the Bible or is it rooted more in church traditions? A: The Catholic Church is noted for its respect for life: from the moment of conception to natural death. Like all church

Q: Where did the rosary come from? A: The practice of praying the rosary is ancient. The rosary is often linked to St. Dominic de Guzman, the founder of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans). According to tradition, the Blessed Mother appeared to St. Dominic in southern France in the early

  Q: A friend of mine refers to the Holy Spirit as “she.” I have heard the theory that the Holy Spirit is a feminine manifestation of the divine. Is this consistent with Catholic teaching? A: God transcends gender, which is to say that the divine is neither male nor

Q: I have read the Bible and can find nothing on purgatory. It seems to me that if we believe that Jesus is our savior and died for our sins, we have eternal life the minute we die. Can you explain the origin of the church’s belief in purgatory?  A:

Q: I have heard that Mass can be offered outside, but in inquiring about having a wedding Mass outside, I was told that Masses could only occur in churches. Can you please explain the church’s position on outside wedding Masses? A: Catholics place a high value on the eucharistic liturgy.