Week-end Q and A

Ask me questions about my theology writings, or general questions on any topic in theology. Post you question in the comments section. Be brief.

This is not an opportunity for debate. If you think you already know the answer, then don’t ask me just to start an argument. Ask questions to find the answers.

Ron Conte

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12 Responses to Week-end Q and A

  1. jbbt9 says:

    Ron, when i receive Communion under both species have I received twice or once at that mass. I know Jesus is fully present in each species.

    • Ron Conte says:

      It counts as one reception, even though He is fully present under both species.

      The Sacrament of holy Orders can only be received once, yet it can be received in three degrees: deacon, priest, bishop. It still only counts as one reception of the Sacrament.

  2. Dora says:

    A Catholic Answers speaker you have called to task is scheduled to speak to our parish, but on a different topic. Before the talk, would you call it calumny to bring his poor theology to the attention of others? Due to a lack of trust, perhaps it is better to avoid attending the talk altogether. A random person challenging him – even privately – would not be productive. To approach the pastor gives one the appearance of being self serving.

    • Ron Conte says:

      You should pray and then do what you think is God’s will. For myself, I would probably not say anything. I don’t see what good would come of it.

  3. emlcosta says:

    Hello Ron,
    Is it ok if I receive communion more than once during a day? Suppose that I attend two Masses at that day.
    Is there a time during Mass to pray for those who ask me for prayer?
    May I have a strong friendship with those who are not catholic? Suppose that they are good (virtuous) people.
    I have good friends who are FSSPX faithful (Society of Saint Pious X), and sometimes I go to spend a few of days with them. When I am there, I go to Mass with them. I wonder if I am sinning by cooperation.

    Thank you so much in advance.

    P.S.: I am so grateful for finding your blog. I have learned so many things from your books and posts (The Catechism of Catholic Ethics is my favorite one). You have no idea how much good your teaching is doing in my life.
    I am sorry for any grammar mistake. I am international student, and English still being a huge issue for me

    • Ron Conte says:

      Communion, under ordinary circumstances, can be received up to twice in the same day, at Mass. So you can attend two Masses, if you wish. If a person had already received twice, and then they were near death, they could receive a third time as part of Last Rites.

      Any time during Mass is good for praying for others.

      Yes, you can have a strong friendship with a non-Catholic. Perhaps the friendship will eventually lead them to become Catholic, or at least help them in their path to Heaven.

      You should not be attending an SSPX Mass, since the group is in a state of schism and heresy. Sorry, but you cannot treat them as if they were not sinning by choosing a schismatic group over the Church. You can be friends with them, but all friendships have limits. You have to be able to say No to your friends.

  4. Shane Hogan says:

    Can you distinguished between the Spirit and the Soul in Catholic theology. Ref The Magnificat : ” My soul glorifies The Lord, My spirit rejoices in God my Saviour”. I have always been unclear about this, perhaps because of some protestant teachings I have heard over the years and their different terminology. Thank you.

    • Ron Conte says:

      The human person is body and soul. The concept of spirit results from the close cooperation of body and soul in life. So spirit is not a third thing, but a result of the close union and cooperation of body and soul.

  5. Rafael Medina says:

    Can Jesus ordain new bishops?

    If God appears to a person can forgive his sins directly witout the intercession of a priest?

    Why the holy innocent are saints if they were not baptized? Did Jesus baptize them in Heaven?

    Is Jesus tied to his sacraments?

    Can Jesus use the sacraments? As I said: baptize, confess and ordain new bishops.

    Thank you very much!

    • Ron Conte says:

      Can Jesus ordain new bishops? No, he cannot. For God is infinite perfection and therefore cannot change his mind. God has decided to ordain only through Apostolic succession, where each generation of Bishops ordains the next generation of bishops.

      If God appears to a person can forgive his sins directly without the intercession of a priest? Venial sins are forgiven by any good act done in cooperation with grace, such as prayer, self-denial, or works of mercy. Mortal sin are forgiven immediately upon an act of perfect contrition, though subsequent Confession is required (for Catholics, if available). So God does forgive sins directly, but not by appearing in a vision or the like.

      Why the holy innocent are saints if they were not baptized? Did Jesus baptize them in Heaven? The holy innocents are not canonized saints. They went to Heaven because they died in a state of grace, having received a baptism of blood. No one is baptized after death.

      Is Jesus tied to his sacraments? Again, God cannot change his mind. He has decided to offer salvation to all human persons (though not all accept the offer). He has decided that, in addition to formal Baptism with water, a person can be saved by a baptism of desire (even implicitly), or a baptism of blood. So there are extra-sacramental means of salvation. However, the two types of Baptism that are not formal Sacraments have their effectiveness by their close relation to the Sacrament of Baptism.

      Can Jesus use the sacraments? As I said: baptize, confess and ordain new bishops. No, as I already answered above.

    • Jeff says:

      So if a person is facing imminent death (firing squad of ISIS, or trapped in a car after a car accident, for example) and is in a state of mortal sin, one can pray as a final contrite penance and be forgive without seeing a priest?

    • Ron Conte says:

      The person must be sorry for their sins out of love for God, which sorrow is called perfect contrition. Then they are immediately forgiven, even if they cannot get to Confession.

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