A young reader writes about her confusion over Pope Francis

She writes: I’m a teenaged Catholic who tries to follow your blog and very much respects your insight into topics.  Lately I’ve been having a hard time understanding all the news on amoris laetitia, Pope Francis, and the Dubia: What should a Catholic think and say when people ask? I can only speak for myself [Read More…]

A reader struggles with fear of hell

He writes: Confession or Holy Communion for a couple of years because I am worried about making a sacrilege. People tell me, “Don’t worry, you have scruples/neo-Jansenism/OCD” but yet there are a number of Catholic saints and even Doctors of the Church who thought that almost everyone will be damned. There are hundreds of quotes [Read More…]

A reader writes to admonish me

Sez he: I’ve been reading your blog and other work for at least 15 years. Thank you! Like you, I live in a non-swing state, and so voted third-party in 2008, ‘12 and ’16. Even so, this year was different. I definitely thought Trump was such a radically poor choice that I would have owed [Read More…]

A question about Sacred Tradition

A reader writes: Sorry to disturb. I teach an RCIA class and a question came up for a further explanation of what Sacred Tradition is. Saying “as Catholics we believe that the source of our belief is both sacred scripture and sacred tradition.” wasn’t enough. Someone wanted an example of sacred tradition. Scripture is easy [Read More…]

Life’s Little Ironies

A reader writes: Ironic, innit, that the party obsessed with preserving the inviolate integrity of American elections against voter fraud by non-citizens trying to vote in our elections should be so indifferent to Russian interference in our presidential election. The main difference being that the former is an urban myth propagated by a delusional conspiracy [Read More…]

A reader wrote me on November 14

But because I am a lazy slob, I am only now getting around to replying, to my shame. She sez: You have been writing quite a bit about people who are “anti-abortion but not pro-life”. You wrote I think very clearly and movingly about the fact that raising one specific virtue above all the others [Read More…]

A reader has a Question about Hell

She writes: My brother is still struggling with belief in God, and one thing he said to me that I had trouble answering was “God creates us without our consent, and then we have to follow all his rules or else go to Hell. How is that fair? I didn’t ask to be created.” Do [Read More…]

An Unusual Letter

A reader writes: Subject: Your book titled, “by what authority” I had seen this book available for purchase in my local parish but was unable to buy it for the first week. My anxiety increased daily as I knew that the books were cycled regularly due to frequent purchasing of others within the parish. As [Read More…]

A reader writes from (appropriately enough) Scotland to say…

so Im on a molinism site that discusses different understandings of gods sovereignty, foreknowledge, predestination vs freedom, etc…and are now critiquing the Calvinists who are saying God pre-ordained Trumps win…all sorts of banter going on…the best line I saw? ….”and the open theists are saying “Wow – not even God saw THIS one coming!” (That [Read More…]

A reader asks about artificially feeding dying people

She writes: Hi, Mark–I didn’t know who to ask about this, but I think you will either have a good answer or will be able to direct me to someone who will have a good answer.  It is this:   When one creates one’s Will, he is asked if, at the extremities of life, that [Read More…]