Theological Q and A

I’m resuming the question and answer posts. Ask a question on almost any topic in theology. Please keep questions brief, and don’t expect a very long response.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.

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34 Responses to Theological Q and A

  1. Francisco says:

    Lets say a person does a good Confession and is forgiven by God. However, he sincerely forgot to mention a grave (mortal) sin that he had in his past many years ago (a mortal sin that he recently recalled). Would it be advisable but not strictly necessary for that person to confess that sin next time?

    • Ron Conte says:

      It is not necessary to mention the sin; it is forgiven. If it is a sin from the distant past, I think it is best not to mention it, but to forget the sin, as it was forgiven by the good Confession.

  2. Evan Brown says:

    Could Mary Queen of Scots be considered a martyr?

    • Ron Conte says:

      She was put to death for plotting to kill Queen Elizabeth I of England. So, she’s not a martyr. The true martyrs of the Church must be holy, and must have died for the Faith.

  3. Grandly Inquisitive says:

    I understand that Natural Family Planning is not wrong, and that there is a world of difference between it and contraception. So it seems to me that NFP could only be done wrongly if the circumstances or intention is wrong; the object (i.e. matter) is no more wrong than to have or not to have sexual intercourse. But of course, as a means of avoiding pregnancies, in the context of marriage it seems that there have to be good reasons to use NFP. Legitimate considerations, for example, might obtain for the intentional spacing of one’s children apart from each other, with prudent care for one’s own (especially a mother’s) physical and psychological ability to take care of multiple children. But what about beginning a marriage? Some Catholic couples, eager to be married, but not feeling ready to support children for whatever prudential – and likely even legitimate – reasons, plan their marriage so as to start it from the very beginning by abstaining from intercourse during fertile periods, thus avoiding a pregnancy until the time should come when they felt ready to support children. Is this a legitimate reasons to practice NFP? Or is this a purely prudential question?

    • Ron Conte says:

      It is a matter of judging the moral weight of good and bad consequences. The reasons for delaying the conception and raising of children must be proportionate to the length of the delay. A lesser reason is needed for a short delay, and a greater reason for a longer delay.

  4. Sunimal Fernando says:

    “Dear children, you are heading for a future of great division in the House of God.
    Many fervent in faith will retreat out of fear and will be contaminated by the mire of false ideologies that will enter the Church through false shepherds.

    • Sunimal Fernando says:

      Message from Pedro Regis -

  5. Guest says:

    The couples whom you once mentioned as not having had sex in years (by mutual consent)… let’s say they either simply want no more children, or else they would be terribly burdened by more children… they may abstain indefinitely, regardless of whether or not they are fertile?

    • Ron Conte says:

      The length of time they may abstain can be indefinite, if they have a proportionate reason. Maybe they have several children and the wife is not many years from menopause. Maybe there is an increased risk to her health with more children. For this type of decision, when it is not intrinsically evil (abstaining), the good and bad consequences must be weighed, and the intention must be good.

  6. Tom Mazanec says:

    Will Priests and Religious be Judged more strictly than Laypeople, as Alphonsus Ligouri wrote?

    • Ron Conte says:

      I think so. The more benefits we have, the more that is expected of us. The better we understand the faith, the better we are expected to act. Those who have a higher calling are expected to produce more fruits.

  7. Tom Mazanec says:

    What are your explanations of this article supporting criticism of Pope Francis (this may require an article):

    • Ron Conte says:

      Any Pope can be criticized, to a limited extent. Errors of papal critics today: they assume they are right and the Pope is wrong; they are not willing to be taught or corrected by the Pope; if his views differ from theirs, they are not open to change; they do not realize that Pope’s cannot teach heresy or commit apostasy, heresy, or schism; they do not realize that even non-infallible teachings have a degree of protection from the Holy Spirit (protected from serious error, but not all error); they attribute sinister motives to the Pope.

      Pope’s can be criticized. The faithful can disagree with a Pope to some extent. But the current tendency among papal critics is well outside the bounds of faithful charitable criticism. Labeling a criticism as “filial” while accusing the Pope of propagating heresy, and saying with what “degree of awareness” they do not “venture to judge” (meaning maybe the Pope is deliberately spreading error) is a grave offense against charity and against the requirement of submission to the authority of the Pope over doctrine and discipline.

  8. King Robert the Bruce says:

    concerning mary queen of scots she did consider herself a catholic martyr so did many others at her execution she wore the colour purple representing her martyrdom. as she said at her execution in my end is my beginning but I take your point ron she was involved in some unsavoury business with her husband lord Darnley and her lover lord bothwell but she was the true queen never the less

  9. Anonymous says:

    I work for a local city government. The city council will fly for the first time the LGBT flag in city hall courtyard for the so called June pride month. I am quite offended by this action. If I was single I would take the entire month off. Heck maybe even quit th job. However I have a family to support. It is has become so difficult for practicing Catholics to live and work in environments that condone what I consider to be gravely immoral.

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