A reader struggles with Purgatory and Mortal/Venial Sin Distinctions

He writes: I must admit that I’m struggling with reconciling some things I’m reading about sin and purgatory. I can see the need for a time between death and heaven in terms of finishing the work that Christ has begun before we are fit for heaven. I can embrace the idea of a place were [Read More...]

A reader asks about Eucharistic gluten and celiac sufferers

A reader writes: Could you address the recent increase in gluten free hosts for those who are “gluten sensitive” or have celiac. If we truly believe the host is transformed into the body of Christ how could we then believe that the gluten could ever harm us? The woman who touched the hem or tassel of Jesus’ [Read More...]

When I get letters like this…

…I am always reminded of this passage from the gospels: Then the Pharisees went and took counsel how to entangle him in his talk. And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodi-ans, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true, and teach the way of God truthfully, and care for no man; [Read More...]

A Reader Wonders about Some of the Marriagey passages in the NT

He writes: How does the Church interpret the following scriptural passages pertaining to men as head of their families? Do you know of a good book or article that explains what the Magisterium says about how to construe them? Eph 5.21-28 “21 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, be [Read More...]

A Protestant Reader Who Wants to be Catholic writes…

 I just wanted to thank you for your article about Marian devotion, which I found incredibly helpful and enlightening. http://catholiceducation.org/articles/apologetics/ap0173.html I came to faith in Christ in a Baptist church here in the UK, but then moved to a Church of Christ fellowship a few years later and eventually went to Bible college and was [Read More...]

A reader who knows about Life Insurancey stuff writes…

I read the “chance to do a work of mercy” from yesterday about the family that is now destitute due to the loss of a loved one and his income and I thought that I could probably help prevent that tragedy again. I think I’ve told you before that I am in the life insurance/financial [Read More...]

A question above my pay grade

A reader writes: I read the following passage in an article from 14 year ago. It was linked to in a recent article about the 2025 meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew. If, however, Rome were to downgrade that council—and the Council of Lyons, which in A.D. 1274 issued a similar decree including the [Read More...]

A Reader Mulls Over a Scenario

She writes: …in case you ever get bored with ticking bomb scenarios, Harry Potter, and women’s pants: the hostage scenario! So I’m watching TV. Bad guy is trying to get information from heroine. Bad guy will use this information to do Very Bad (but as yet unspecified) Things. Heroine so far has steadfastly resisted. But [Read More...]

A Question About the Election of the Apostle Mathias

A reader writes: In Acts 1, the selection of Mathias as the replacement Apostle is discussed. It talks about casting lots, and it falling on him. Do we know more about what that means and is there evidence of The Church using a similar process to make decisions through the centuries? This is, as far [Read More...]

A Reader Wonders if We are at the End of the Counter-Reformation

He writes: I have a thought I’d like to share with you. It seems to me that Pope Francis represents a break – a change – in the direction of the church. Not in doctrine or dogma (that’s guaranteed by the Holy Spirit), but rather in focus. Is it possible that in Francis we have [Read More...]

Why read Catholic and Enjoying it?

I’ll tell you why!  Check out this unsolicited testimonial: “OMGOSH I am laughing so hard!!!!!!! i have officially gone off anti-depressants since friending Mark Shea!!!! Mark Shea: Human Prozac, but much cheaper. [Read more...]

Interesting Question About the Sacrament of Marriage

A reader writes: I have enthusiastically read your blog for some time now. I greatly enjoy it. Anyway, I hope you can answer a question I’ve been struggling with. As I was pondering the sacrament of confirmation, and how the Eastern Church delivers it to infants, it led me to a particular point about sacraments. [Read More...]