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Questions and Answers Concerning: Martyrdom, Marriage, Unity, Baptism,Stations of the Cross, Discernment, General Absolution
Martyrdom is not only imminent it is a reality in our day. The twentieth century is the Age of Martyrs. There have been more men, women and children who have shed their blood for Christ in the twentieth century than in all the centuries from Calvary to the year 1900. Moreover, there is what the Church calls "white martyrdom". This means living a life of witness to the Catholic faith under constant duress and psychological pressure from a world that rejects Christ's followers even as it rejected the Incarnate Son of God when He came into the world in first century Palestine.
Ask Father Hardon - Catholic Faith - Vol. 1 - #2, Nov / Dec 1995
What is the Church’s teaching on capital punishment? Is it permissible for priests to decide that kneeling during Holy Mass is now optional for the congregation? What is wrong with using ‘inclusive language’ in the translations of Scripture, the liturgy, and papal documents?
Ask Father Hardon - Catholic Faith - Vol. 2 - #1, Jan / Feb 1996
Our Lord said that unless we eat His flesh and drink His blood we will not have eternal life. Is it possible to become holy without receiving the Holy Eucharist? What is the Church’s position regarding the role of mothers in staying home to take care of their children?
Ask Father Hardon - Catholic Faith - Vol. 2 - #2, Mar / Apr 1996
Mary's Perpetual Virginity - Did Our Lady vow perpetual virginity before she was espoused to St. Joseph? Does justification come from faith alone? What do works have to do with justification? When and how should the laity speak up when it comes to the liturgical, doctrinal, and catechetical abuses of priests? May we write our bishops? Our parish priest said God is not a male and we should be able to pray "Our Mother who art in heaven." How far can we go with seeing God as our mother?
Ask Father Hardon - Catholic Faith - Vol. 2 - #3, May / Jun 1996
At what point in Jesus' life did he know that he was the Son of God? I was told at a confirmation retreat that Jesus was just like us and had to discover who He was. I understand that a Roman Catholic sister who teaches seminarians has said, "To say that Scripture is the word of God is nothing more than a metaphor." Is this not an insult to the Holy Spirit? Does the resurrected, glorified body have any substance? How is this possible since our bodies decompose after we die? A local priest publicly denies that transubstantiation takes place. Is it not true in this case that he excludes from his intention the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ and therefore his Masses are invalid?
Ask Father Hardon - Catholic Faith - Vol. 2 - #4, Jul / Aug 1996
My question is whether sufficient grace for salvation is given to everyone? Why are Catholics sometimes permitted to receive Holy Communion under both species and sometimes only permitted to receive the consecrated Host? Is it morally licit to invest in the stock market? Short term or long term?
Ask Father Hardon - Catholic Faith - Vol. 2 - #5, Sep / Oct 1996
The English translation of the Nicene Creed used at Holy Mass states: “We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Only Son of God eternally begotten of the Father … begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father.” Please explain the terms “eternally begotten” and “begotten, not made.” During the Eucharistic prayer, after the Consecration we proclaim the Mystery of Faith, which may be one of four possible phrases. Is it ever permitted for the priest to substitute another phrase or refrain from a hymn? Can the phrase in Eucharistic Prayer IV “… a man like us in all things but sin…” be rendered correctly as “… a person like us…”? Is it morally permissible to give birth control pills to mentally retarded women who could be induced or forced into sex?
Ask Father Hardon - Catholic Faith - Vol. 2 - #6, Nov / Dec 1996
How are we to understand St. Paul's teaching that wives are to be submissive to their husbands? What are the rights and responsibilities of a godparent? What is the difference between the old Vulgate of St. Jerome and the new Vulgate?
Ask Father Hardon - Catholic Faith - Vol. 3 - #1, Jan / Feb 1997
If the Messiah has come and fully paid for the sin of Adam, why is it that the “lamb does not lie down with the lion,” and that wars, hatred, and hunger continue? Should not have paradise been restored? Would you comment on how “affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety, or other psychological or social factors that lessen or even extenuate moral culpability” (CCC #2352) relates to the gravity of the sin of masturbation? May the Rosary be prayed by priest and people before the Blessed Sacrament exposed in a monstrance upon the altar as has been done traditionally for years? Some liturgists claim that by praying the Rosary thus, the people are not focusing their prayer directly upon Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Is the charismatic practice known as “baptism in the Holy Spirit” 1) an integral part of either the sacrament of Baptism or Confirmation, 2) a new sacrament, 3) a part of the liturgy, or 4) an authentic Catholic practice?">
Ask Father Hardon - Catholic Faith - Vol. 3 - #2, Mar / Apr 1997
To restore chastity in the modern world is it not necessary that first there be a return to modesty, especially among women? One of the many theological novelties is “process theology.” Proponents argue that God is in process, that God changes, as evidenced by the Incarnation. What exactly is process theology? What is the best explanation of Joseph's decision to put Mary away quietly after she was with child? The most comforting reason that I have heard is that St. Joseph realized that something miraculous had occurred and therefore out of humility he decided he was unworthy to be associated with Mary. I have been taught that in Holy Communion we receive the Risen Body of Christ. But the Catechism of the Catholic Church states (no.1365) “In the Eucharist, Christ gives us on the cross, the very blood which he poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
Ask Father Hardon - Catholic Faith - Vol. 3 - #3, May / Jun 1997
When we are judged by Our Lord after our death, must we account for every thought, word, or action of our lives? Is it right to say that, “Belief in a caring God is more important than the church we belong to or squabbles about doctrine?” Though the Church no longer requires women to wear a head covering in church, would it not be a commendable act for women to do so as St. Paul advises?
Ask Father Hardon - Catholic Faith - Vol. 3 - #4, Jul / Aug 1997
What are the limitations on St. Paul's admonition that wives obey their husbands? What are we to believe about the eternal destiny of the souls of aborted babies? Is it morally permissible to clone animals?
Ask Father Hardon - Catholic Faith - Vol. 3 - #5, Sep / Oct 1997
Recently, I asked God to spare the life of a seriously ill family member. She died. Since we must accept God’s will—when is it proper to petition God? Why are some petitions efficacious, but not others? Your answer will help me during this difficult time. Should priests bestow the Apostolic Blessing when they administer the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick? What does the Church teach regarding evolution?
Ask Father Hardon - Catholic Faith - Vol. 3 - #6, Nov / Dec 1997
Does Satan have power to put thoughts in our minds? How can we discern the influence of the evil one in our lives? What is meant by the Real Presence? What is meant by transubstantiation?
Ask Father Hardon - Catholic Faith - Vol. 4 - #1, Jan / Feb 1998
How can evil exist if God did not create it? Could you provide me a list of good Catholic books to read? Please explain how and when pride is sinful?
Ask Father Hardon - Catholic Faith - Vol. 4 - #2, Mar / Apr 1998
Could you inform us why Yoga is incompatible with Catholicism? It is still common at “children's Masses” for the priest to invite the children present to come up to stand around “the table.” Is this permissible?
Ask Father Hardon - Catholic Faith - Vol. 4 - #3, May / Jun 1998
Are the angels part of the Mystical Body of Christ? Vatican I said that God “can be known with certainty by the natural light of human reason from the things that He created.” Did the fathers of Vatican I recommend any particular path of reason for doing that? Is this teaching Catholic dogma? Does having Mass said for someone make the Mass any more efficacious for the intended person than my personal attendance and prayerful offering of the Mass and Holy Communion on his behalf?
Ask Father Hardon - Catholic Faith - Vol. 4 - #4, Jul / Aug 1998
What makes a Mass invalid or illicit? Please explain the difference between an invalid and an illicit Mass. A priest has told me that the Church no longer believes in limbo. I believe the Catechism of the Catholic Church states that we can only trust in the mercy of God when an infant dies without Baptism. What is the position of the Church regarding infants who die without Baptism? Do you have any suggestions for a person who wants to learn Latin?
Ask Father Hardon - Catholic Faith - Vol. 4 - #6, Nov / Dec 1998
Is it true that unless all the steps of the ritual for the Sacrament of Penance instituted in 1976 are followed, including the reading of Scripture by either the priest or the penitent, the Sacrament is illicit (though valid)? A priest has said that the Vatican decreed that no hymns only Gregorian chant may be sung at Mass. Is this right? Does the Church require that there be at least one sponsor (godparent) for baptism?
Ask Father Hardon - Catholic Faith - Vol. 5 - #1, Jan / Feb 1999
How does someone who is mute or deaf go to Confession? What are the ways in which venial sin can be forgiven? What are the missions of the Second and Third Person of the Blessed Trinity?
Ask Father Hardon - Catholic Faith - Vol. 5 - #3, May / Jun 1999
Is it correct to say that pets do not go to Heaven after death because animals do not have immortal souls? Are religious medals for pets wrong? Do they lead to misunderstanding about animals, souls, and Heaven? What is the difference between the human soul and spirit? Is it good to place the tabernacle in a room adjoining the main church instead of in a central place of honor in the sanctuary? A priest told us that "it is an ancient tradition for the tabernacle to be located in a chapel separate from the main body of the church; St. Peter’s in Rome does not have a tabernacle in the center of the church."
Ask Father Hardon - Catholic Faith - Vol. 5 - #4, Jul / Aug 1999
How were Enoch and Elijah's being taken directly into Heaven different from Our Lady’s Assumption into Heaven? Was the Blessed Virgin Mary impeccable? Was Mary married to Joseph according to the Jewish Law before the Annunciation?
Ask Father Hardon - Catholic Faith - Vol. 5 - #6, Nov / Dec 1999
Can a penitent release his confessor from the seal of confession regarding his own confession? Must a concelebrating priest consume both Eucharistic species for his Mass to be valid? Are there any other sins besides stealing when the penitent must make restitution in order to receive a valid absolution?
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