Posts Tagged

A Question of Faith

QUESTION OF FAITH Literal or Symbolic? How do we know which parts of the Bible are to be taken literally and which symbolically? A difficult aspect of interpreting the Bible is whether certain verses should be taken literally or figuratively. For instance, the first two chapters of Genesis each contain …

We believe that Mary was assumed into heaven body and soul, but was that before or after her death? The belief in the Assumption of Mary is not based on eyewitness accounts, nor is it recorded directly in Scripture. This means that the exact details are unknown, which leaves several …

Are godparents necessary for baptism? If so, what are the requirements for godparents, and what does the Church expect of them? During the COVID-19 pandemic, when person-to-person interactions were limited, many infant baptisms were held in private—some with only the parents, the child and the minister. Though preferred, baptismal sponsors …

Do bishops choose their successors? What is the process for selecting bishops? The choosing of bishops entails a discernment of potential candidates’ human and spiritual qualities. It begins at the local level with consultation among priests and the faithful, then continues in Rome, where the pope and his delegates approve …

What does it mean when a priest says a Mass is being offered for a person? As part of the prayers of the Mass, the priest may offer a Mass for a particular intention, which is often for the repose of a deceased person’s soul, though Masses can be offered …

God’s existence can be known using our minds. It is accessible to reason and therefore not necessary to believe in the Bible or the revelation of Jesus to acknowledge God’s existence. As the Catechism states, “By natural reason man can know God with certainty, on the basis of his works” …

How does the Church decide whether someone is a saint? Sometimes it is said that the Catholic Church “makes” someone a saint, but whether a person is a saint or not is decided by God, not the Church. At the same time, there is a lengthy Church process for declaring …

Dear Father: I have a question regarding godparents. It seems mandatory that a godparent be a Catholic. I could have a Catholic be a godparent and move three years after the baptism to another state. The child would only rarely see them, possibly only on holidays. I could ask a non-catholic …

As part of marriage preparation, the priest informed us only a marriage between two baptized persons is a sacrament. Since my fiancé is not baptized, how will the Church view our marriage? Catholics exult marriage, believing God is its author. Marriage is meant to be a covenant between two baptized …

Question of Faith: Why does the Church honor saints’ relics? What is their history and purpose? Reverencing saints’ bodies has a long tradition in the Church, from both regard for the human body and belief that the sacred can be mediated through the material. Scriptures share examples of Jesus’ power …