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Here are a few examples of questions:

Can we Know that God exists?
Did Jesus found the Catholic Church and what about the other Churches?
Who is the Pope and what is his role?
Do Catholics Worship Mary or other saints?
How does someone make it to Heaven?
Can non-Christians be saved?
Why does the Church disapprove of Contraception?
What is Natural Family Planning?
What about the Inquisition?
Why are there no women priests?
Why does Catholic morality seem so harsh?

Do Catholics worship saints?

Do Catholics worship saints?

 NO.

 Adoration is the worship and homage that is due to God alone. The Saints are human like you and I.  They are not divine. Adoration of the saints has never been nor will ever be part of Catholic teaching or prayer. We venerate the saints. 

Veneration is the honor due to the excellence or achievement of a created person. 

The Olympics give us an example of veneration.  An Olympic gold medal for excellence in athletics is a form of veneration.  Honor given for the achievement of an athlete takes nothing away from the glory of God. We pay many honors to Olympic Champions; like putting their picture on a box of Wheaties and giving them many apparel endorsements. We are not scandalized by this because no one thinks we worship them as a god. We venerate the Saints in heaven because of the excellence they attained in living a life in imitation of Christ.  The Saints are like God's champion athletes.  It is pleasing to God and gives Him glory when we honor those who excelled in love for Him.

 It is necessary to remember that the love and honor a person gives to God's Saints does not end with the Saints themselves but rather it reaches ultimately to God through the Saints. In honoring a beautiful work of art we are truly honoring the artist. It is only by God's grace that the Saints reached the heights of holiness. In a very real sense they are His works of art. Therefore, nothing is taken away from the glory and honor of God through veneration of the Saints, in fact we truly honor God when we venerate those who excelled in love for Him.

 Courtesy of: http://www.schooloffaith.com

 

Additional article:

Do Catholics Worship Saints? Why do we pray to the saints? Carl Olson  10/4/2012

 A few years ago I gave a Theology on Tap talk about the Communion of Saints. Afterward, an evangelical Protestant attending the talk asked, “But isn’t that just another form of necromancy?” 

“No,” I replied, “because necromancy is an attempt to manipulate the spirit world in order to find out about the future.” Praying to a saint, I explained, isn’t a manipulation of the dead, nor is it aimed at foretelling the future, but rather it is about having a real relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ who are now in the presence of God. 

“Then why even bother to pray to saints?” he asked. “Why not just pray to God directly?” “If I were to ask you to pray for me,” I said, “would you do it?” “Yes, I would,” he admitted. As a former evangelical myself, I know how committed many Protestants are to praying for one another. After all, the apostle James exhorted his readers to “pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful” (Jas 5:16). 

That brief exchange pointed to some of the key, underlying issues when discussing the Catholic approach to saints with Protestants — usually, evangelicals or fundamentalists who dismiss the Communion of Saints. These issues are summarized well by Father Josef Neuner, S.J., and Father Heinrich Roos, S.J., in their book “The Teaching of the Catholic Church” (Alba House, 1967). It is a “historical fact,” they wrote, “that the loss of sense of ecclesiality, the dissolution as it were of the Communion of Saints, and the preaching of a purely interior religion have always led to a protest against the Church’s veneration of the saints.” 

In other words, those who hold an anemic understanding of the nature of the Church will end up misunderstanding the devotion and veneration shown to the saints by Catholics and Eastern Orthodox (as well as some Anglicans and other Protestants). The Church, rightly understood, is a Communion of Saints — not just here on earth, but also in heaven and purgatory. The Church is not only earthly, but also divine, just as Jesus is fully human and fully God. And while those who make up the Body of Christ, the Church, are individuals, they are also members (see 1 Cor 12:27), having a relationship with the Head of the Church, and also with one another. The saints are, wrote Father Hans Urs von Balthasar, like “open treasure-houses accessible to all, like flowing fountains at which everyone can drink. Nothing in the Communion of Saints is private, although everything is personal.” 

Put another way, the saints in heaven are just as real and immediate to us as those sitting beside us at Mass. In fact, they are even closer, as they are able to relate to us perfectly, being holy and complete, freed from sin and the distractions of this world. They are alive — truly alive, filled with divine life and enjoying perfect union with God. They are, in the words of the Letter to the Hebrews, “a cloud of witnesses” (12:1) surrounding us, helping us and encouraging us. 

Many Protestants reject outward (and even inward) expressions of devotion to saints because they fear it smacks of idolatry. But the Church has always been very mindful of this concern. For example, the Second Council of Nicaea, in 787, carefully distinguished between “respectful veneration” shown to saints and “true adoration” which, “according to our faith, is due to God alone.” It also noted that veneration shown to an image (or statue) is veneration given to “the person represented by it.” The author of Hebrews wrote of running the race — that is, living the Christian life — by looking to “Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith” (12:2). Likewise, the Second Vatican Council noted that by “celebrating the passage of these saints from earth to heaven the Church proclaims the paschal mystery” and “proposes them to the faithful as examples drawing all to the Father through Christ” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, No. 104). United in Christ, we are siblings by grace, the life of God (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 1997-98). Yes, worship is due to God alone. But admiring, respecting and loving those who are true disciples of Christ is not worship. Rather, it is befitting among brothers and sisters, which we are in Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, according to the will of the Father. TCA 

Carl E. Olson is the editor of Ignatius Insight (www.ignatiusinsight.com). He and his family live in Eugene, Ore. 

 

 

Why do we allow talking at the beginning of mass?

Coming to Mass is gathering in Jesus' name in community. For those who come early to mass it is a wonderful time to greet and share with others; it is how we grow as a community, as a family!  Just as dinnertime is a wonderful sharing time for your family; mass can also be a wonderful sharing time as we prepare to gather together at our Lord's table.

About Catholic Cemeteries

I have a question... I was born and raised Catholic. My husband was born and raised Protestant. We both kept our original religions. When we die, we would like to be buried next to each other. Do Catholic cemeteries not allow people to be buried with their spouses if they are of another religion? If not, why... if we, as Catholics are taught to be loving and accepting of other people's differences?


The short answer to your question:  Since you are Catholic, your spouse of any other religion, may be buried in a plot near you, but, you will need to contact the cemetery you are interested in.  Each cemetery has different rules based on parish association, diocese, and even based on the amount of available space. Some cemeteries may only allow parishioners of the associated parish, or even only families that already have plots, etc.

Why Can't Catholics get married outside?

Q. Why can't Catholics get married outside, like at a beach? If the couple marries each other, why does it have to happen in a church? (Anonymous)

A.

Canon Law. 1115   Marriages are to be celebrated in a parish where either of the contracting parties has a domicile, quasidomicile, or month long residence or, if it concerns transients, in the parish where they actually reside. With the permission of the proper ordinary** or proper pastor, marriages can be celebrated elsewhere.

However, fewer and fewer dispensations to marry outside a Catholic Church are being granted.  (One such example of a dispensation that might be granted would be if the bride were the daughter of a Protestant minister and wished to get married in her father's church, with a priest officiating.  On a beach, however, it is doubtful.)

Here's why Catholics must get married in a Catholic church, unless given a dispensation.

Firstly, while God is indeed present everywhere--on the beach, in the mountains, in a garden--certain places are CONSECRATED to Him.  God is physically present in the sacred space of the Tabernacle.  Just like God was present in the Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament--(a place so holy and sacred that only the High Priest could be in its presence, once a year, after a period of ritual fasting and cleansing.)

So, reminiscent of the discussion of why Catholics need to go to Mass rather than be with God via a contemplative walk in a beautiful forest--it's because God is truly, physically, substantially present in the Blessed Sacrament in the Tabernacle on the altar of all Catholic Churches.  And a sacramental event ought to rightfully take place in a space consecrated to God.

~Excerpts from Canon Law; and Three minute apologetics, Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P

Did Jesus found the Catholic Church and what about the other churches?

To answer this question, it is assumed that the question is referring to Christian churches:

The below article is published on EWTN and it covers the topic quite well (https://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/churb4.htm)

How Old Is Your Church?

If you are a Lutheran, your religion was founded by Martin Luther, an ex- monk of the Catholic Church, in the year 1517.

If you belong to the Church of England, your religion was founded by King Henry VIII in the year 1534 because the Pope would not grant him a divorce with the right to remarry.

If you are a Presbyterian, your religion was founded by John Knox in Scotland in the year 1560.

If you are a Protestant Episcopalian, your religion was an offshoot of the Church of England founded by Samuel Seabury in the American colonies in the 17th century.

If you are a Congregationalist, your religion was originated by Robert Brown in Holland in 1582.

If you are a Methodist, your religion was launched by John and Charles Wesley in England in 1744.

If you are a Unitarian, Theophilus Lindley founded your church in London in 1774.

If you are a Mormon (Latter Day Saints), Joseph Smith started your religion in Palmyra, N.Y., in 1829.

If you are a Baptist, you owe the tenets of your religion to John Smyth, who launched it in Amsterdam in 1605.

If you are of the Dutch Reformed church, you recognize Michaelis Jones as founder, because he originated your religion in New York in 1628.

If you worship with the Salvation Army, your sect began with William Booth in London in 1865.

If you are a Christian Scientist, you look to 1879 as the year in which your religion was born and to Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy as its founder.

If you belong to one of the religious organizations known as 'Church of the Nazarene," "Pentecostal Gospel." "Holiness Church," "Pilgrim Holiness Church," "Jehovah's Witnesses," your religion is one of the hundreds of new sects founded by men within the past century.

If you are Catholic, you know that your religion was founded in the year 33 by Jesus Christ the Son of God, and it is still the same Church.

what is the catholic teaching on cremation?

In light of our awaited resurrection, what is the Catholic teaching on cremation? Many scriptures on "the temple of the body" seems countenance to the practice of cremation.

If our Christ in Jesus Himself went into the tomb, should we all not follow Him?

Changing Catholic Attitudes about Cremation

Catholic World Report  November 2012

Cremation of human remains was prohibited by Catholic authorities for much of the history of the Church. Today, it is not only allowed, but growing in popularity among the faithful. “It takes time for family traditions to change,” Williams said. “More people are choosing cremation as an alternative.”

While full-body burial remains the Church’s preferred choice, there are practical reasons for cremation. Cost is one; cremation can shave thousands off the $6,000-8,000 cost of burial. Another is that families can inter cremated remains in family plots, which have limited space. Some argue it is a more ecologically-friendly choice, Williams said, as less open space and materials are required for cremation.

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