Tag Archives: Issues

Can a priest offer Mass “privately”?

No Mass is truly private, in at least two senses: The Mass belongs to the Church and is celebrated only with her authorization; The angels and saints are present at every Mass, as well as whatever other faithful may be … Continue reading

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The Seal of Confession

Non ut homo, sed ut Deus — Not as a man, but as God The Apostolic Penitentiary – the office of the Holy See that handles matters relating to the internal forum – recently issued a “note” on the Seal … Continue reading

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How to Fulfill the Sunday Obligation

I believe I have spoken to this question before in some prior post here on the blog, but I don’t remember which. In light of recent questions I’ve received, it seems worthwhile to post about it again and perhaps with … Continue reading

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Confession during Mass?

May confessions be heard during Mass? There is still rather a lot of confusion about this question — both among priests and laity. It is not unusual to hear of a priest who, with a great sense of certitude, declares … Continue reading

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The Biretta

One of the delights in reading old books that comment on the liturgy, is that they often provide profound explanations of the meaning of the various things we say and do during the sacred liturgy. One example of this is in … Continue reading

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Come, Holy Spirit — What does this mean?

At this time of the year, as we prepare for the Feast of Pentecost, it is not uncommon to see many people invoking a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit and praying that He will come into their lives. There … Continue reading

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How Does One Make Holy Water?

Is it enough for a priest to make the sign of the cross over plain water, to make it “holy water”? Holy water is one of the Church’s sacramentals. “Sacramentals” are sacred signs instituted by the Church that “signify effects, … Continue reading

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Who may use the Exorcism of Pope Leo XIII?

I remember once, many years ago, when I was more involved in pro-life activities, I was in a certain place praying outside an abortion clinic and the other good lay people who were praying there (I was a layman also … Continue reading

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A (Simplistic?) Thought on Medjugorje

It was recently reported that Pope Francis had authorized pilgrimages to Medjugorje (they had formerly been forbidden — and that directive was widely and flagrantly disobeyed). There is a proviso (which will likely be ignored by many), that these approved … Continue reading

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The Marital Debt

One very traditional (and important) Church teaching that has all but disappeared from Catholic consciousness in recent decades is that of “the marital debt”, also known as “the conjugal debt”. This teaching has to do with the obligation that spouses … Continue reading

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Confession behind the Screen

The recent legal moves against the seal of confession in California — see Bishop Barron’s commentary here — are a good argument for only having anonymous (behind the screen) confessions. So a brother priest tweeted — and I heartily agree. No priest is … Continue reading

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The Holy Spirit, Bringer of Order

Here follow some thoughts on the work of the Holy Spirit, prompted by my reflection on today’s gospel about the peace of Christ (John 14:27-31). It’s not uncommon to encounter the idea in the Church today that the Holy Spirit … Continue reading

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