A reader asks about explaining mortal and venial sin to Evangelicals

He writes: I enjoyed reading your blog this morning and have a quick question regarding “sin is sin.”  Today I was shocked by what some of my conservative evangelical friends told me about what was said in church yesterday about the Supreme Court ruling on marriage.  They all expressed sadness, but a naïve lack of concern about [Read More…]

You meet such interesting people when you blog

A reader writes: Let me start off with the narcissism of small differences, where all truly Modern conversations begin: I like you already. I was a cradle Catholic–a lukewarm one, albeit with perfect-ish attendance. Plenty of seeds. Shallow roots. After that I went to college, where I dressed up as a drunken communist who was [Read More…]

A reader has a Protestant friend who is worried about Mary

She writes: My evangelical friend is struggling with Catholic devotion to Mary. In particular he has a problem with what St. Louis DeMontfort said when he said: Devotion to our Blessed Lady is necessary for salvation,and that (even in the opinion of Oecolampadius and some other heretics) it is an infallible mark of reprobation to [Read More…]

A reader ponders the morality of life in prison

She writes: I have been reading your thoughts on the Boston Marathon trial (this morning’s article most recently), and there’s a question I’ve been turning over and over in my head since I read this article from CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/13/us/dzhokhar-tsarnaev-supermax-prison/ . I wanted to present it to you and, if you are so inclined to respond, [Read More…]

A reader has a question about encyclicals

He writes: Thanks for your “Questions About Magisterial Failures” article; it was very thought-provoking. A commenter, Steve Lauhoff wrote in part, ” I have gotten into many, many discussions with Protestants and atheists who equate a papal encyclical with infallible teaching.“ An encyclical is *authoritative* teaching and may (though typically does not) contain an exercise [Read More…]

A Priest Friend Writes from Ireland about Stephen Colbert

Saw your article on Stephen Colbert. Sadly we don’t get him this side of the pond but by the powers of YouTube I’ve discovered he has thing for 70s Catholic Church pop & more importantly a big fan of Tolkien (& Star Wars) – so he can pass! It’s remarkable – to see someone who [Read More…]

Does God Kill Souls?

A reader writes: My question relates to Scripture where it says we r to not be afraid of the one who can only kill our bodies, but should fear the one who can kill our souls. First off, does this mean that fallen angels can possess or kill us pretty much at will? Secondly, does [Read More…]

Does God Really Love *You*?

A reader writes: I have a genuine theological question and I was hoping someone here could help me with this because I really don’t know the answer. The question is, why do people say “Christ died for me” or “Christ died for you?” How can any of us matter than much individually? I mean, hypothetically [Read More…]

The Sons of Thunder are on the Air!

They write: I hope this message finds you well.  My name is Dan Cornell and I live in the suburbs of Chicago.  My friend Kevin Kramer and I have started a Catholic podcast called “Sons of Thunder Podcast” which is now available on iTunes.  We both graduated from the University of Illinois and were heavily [Read More…]

Priests, Spiritual Fatherhood, and a Bible Only Protestant

A reader writes: Several months ago, you kindly helped me answer a question a Protestant co-worker asked me about the book of Baruch. This co-worker and I are still corresponding via email discussing the Catholic faith. He asks me questions, and I do my best to answer.  So far, with the help of Catholic Answers, [Read More…]