Latest Q and A post (closed – taking a break from Q and A for a while)

Answers to your theological questions.

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13 Responses to Latest Q and A post (closed – taking a break from Q and A for a while)

  1. Anonymous says:

    How important is it for Catholics to have masses and prayers said for oneself for reparation of sins? It seems to me that after you confess your sins and perform the penance that the priest assigns, you are done.

    • Ron Conte says:

      Temporal punishment due for sins is greater or less depending on the sins. Usually, the assigned penances are nowhere near enough to remit all the punishment due. This means that the penitent should do more penance, to remit that punishment. A faithful Catholic should be praying every day, practicing self-denial, and doing works of mercy frequently so that they not only remit all punishment due, but add merits to the Church’s treasury of merits to assist other souls.

  2. Mark P. says:

    The CDF recently released “Placuit Deo” addressing the modern versions of Pelagianism and Gnosticism. The letter was sent to the bishops. What then do they do with the letter? Are they supposed to discuss it with the priests in their dioceses, or hold some type of a conference to see how these heresies are being manifested amongst the faithful in the diocese? Or is the letter more for theologians to comment upon? Or both?

    • Ron Conte says:

      It doesn’t matter who the papal documents are addressed to. Very many are addressed to the bishops, but really the intended audience is all the faithful. It is to teach everyone, and since the bishops assist the Pope in teaching the faithful, papal documents are often formally addressed to them. But there is no specific action that they are supposed to take.

  3. Anonymous says:

    My husband got a vasectomy due to our concern of time and cost of raising special needs children, and this is after consulting a priest who agreed that we were fine and not sinning. Several years later, after studying my Catholic faith much more, I realize now that the vasectomy is immoral. I consulted another priest and he said that the first priest was wrong to having agreed to the vasectomy. I then confessed the sin but my husband refuses to and does not want reverse the vasectomy and practice natural family planning method. This has put a great strain on our marriage. He naturally wants to have marital relations but I’ve become withdrawn. I’ve even pleaded with my husband that we stop having martial relations and wait until I am in menopause in several years from now when it would be impossible to have children.

    Am I participating in an intrinsically evil act by having martial relations with my husband who still has the vasectomy?

    • Ron Conte says:

      All orthodox Catholic moral theologians agree, that in this type of situation, you may morally have natural marital relations with your spouse. The act itself of natural marital relations is moral. And the sinful act of the vasectomy is in the past. So you are not committing a sin by having marital relations in the present. You may have natural marital relations without worrying; it is not a sin.

      Even if your husband were repentant, it is not necessarily the case that a reversal operation would be morally required. It would depend on the risks of the operation, and how likely you would be to conceive after the reversal. Since you are only several years from menopause, I would think the operation is not morally required. Men are less likely to conceive the older they get, and less likely to conceive after a reversal (i think). Women are less likely to conceive as they age, prior to menopause. So the circumstances would weigh against the reversal, at least, against it being morally required.

  4. Emanuel Costa says:

    Hi Ron,
    I am sorry, I am late for that. If you don’t mind, I would like to ask some questions
    1) Can the church marry transgender people (assuming they are sincerely sorry about their surgeries)?
    2)will we do the same thing over and over (like singing to God) in Heaven?
    3)In the judgment day, will all personal sins be a public one?
    4) Are we resurrected with the same body shape (fat, skinny, ugly or handsome) and we will be aware of it?

    Thanks for everything

    • Ron Conte says:

      1. If a transgender person repented, and either never had surgery or had the surgery reversed, so as to be able to have children, then the Church could marry them. Ordinarily, the unrepentant transgender person cannot marry, as he or she does not intend to do what the Church does in the Sacrament. This intention is required for all Sacraments, per the Council of Trent.
      2. I do not think Heaven is boring or repetitious. But it is hard to say what it will be like.
      3. No, everyone will not know all our personal sins at the general judgment. What is known is who is among the resurrected just, and who is among the resurrected unjust (souls resurrected from Hell).
      4. The resurrected body is compliant to the soul, so the body has whatever shape and size each person wishes. But no one has any inordinate wishes.

  5. Matt Z. says:

    I went to go see a movie with my daughter, Marvel Infinity War. In the movie two times a girlfriend/boyfriend and a wife/husband are under pressure to kill their spouse which will save many people. In both instances the spouse goes ahead and attempts to kill the other spouse and in one instance, 2 thirds of the population will be saved. Are not both of these acts immoral? The person that does reviews on Catholic News Service Movie Reviews raves that the movie portrays great self sacrifice.

    • Ron Conte says:

      I have not seen the movie. The deliberate killing of an innocent, such as a spouse, in order to save countless lives, is nevertheless a gravely immoral intrinsically evil act. The end of saving the nation does not justify the commission of an inherently immoral act.

      CCC 1753 “A good intention (for example, that of helping one’s neighbor) does not make behavior that is intrinsically disordered, such as lying and calumny, good or just. The end does not justify the means. Thus the condemnation of an innocent person cannot be justified as a legitimate means of saving the nation.”

      Even if the killing of a single innocent will save the entire nation, it is not justified.

    • Francisco says:

      This reminds me of The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena where it is taught that not even to save the entire world from Hell it is licit to sin (or to commit an intrinsically evil act):

      “… for, if one single sin were committed to save the whole world from Hell, or to obtain one great virtue, the motive would not be a rightly ordered or discreet love, but rather indiscreet, for it is not lawful to perform even one act of great virtue and profit to others, by means of the guilt of sin.”

      Ron explains in further detail in his Trolley Problem post:

  6. Matt says:

    Message of Our Lady Queen of Peace, transmitted on 04/04/2018 – Pedro Regis – Google Translation

    Dear children, do not fold your arms. God is in a hurry. Tell everyone that this is the opportune time for your return to Him who is your Way, Truth and Life. I ask you to keep the flame of your faith burning. Whatever happens, stay with Jesus. An astonishing fact will happen in the Church of My Jesus: An order will be given and many will have faith shaken. Stay with Jesus. He is your Great Friend and very close to you. Do not retreat. Let the Words of My Jesus penetrate your hearts. Seek strength in the Eucharist, for only thus can you stand firm on the path of holiness. I am your Mother and I have come from Heaven to lead you to the truth. I fled from the easy seductions of the world and served the Lord faithfully. Forward without fear. This is the message that I am sending you today in the name of the Most Holy Trinity. Thank You for allowing Me to meet you here one more time. I bless you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen. Be at peace.

    What does this mean? “An astonishing fact will happen in the Church of My Jesus: An order will be given and many will have faith shaken.”

    • Ron Conte says:

      It could be the permission to ordain women deacons. It could be the unification of all Christians in one Catholic Church. It could be married priests. It says “order”, not teaching. It could pertain to how we are to act. We shall see. But we can always trust the Church not to lead us away from the path of salvation.

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