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Questions and Answers on the U.S. Bishops’ Vote to Draft a Document on the Meaning of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church

To read "Questions and Answers on the U.S. Bishops’ Vote to Draft a Document on the Meaning of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church", please click here.

Does the Bishop buy your clerical shirts?


Why do we need to be confirmed if we are already baptized? What do we receive in confirmation?

Confirmation is a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit. As Pentecost was for the Apostles, Confirmation is for us. When we are confirmed, we receive the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead.

What is the punishment for reading the quran in christianity?

There is no punishment for reading the quran. We are called to seek the truth wherever it may be found and we believe there to be some truth in the quran.

Thank you for asking that question! I appreciate the opportunity to answer it!

What is lukewarmness and is it a mortal sin?

The following definition is given in the New Catholic Encyclopedia, “Lukewarmness or tepidity, in spiritual theology, signifies the state of soul to which the warmth and fervor of charity is wanting, but has not yet completely deteriorated into the coldness of indifference and hatred.” In this understanding, lukewarmness would not be a mortal sin as such, but can eventually (and quickly) lead to mortal sin.

The lukewarm soul tends to neglect the duties of its state in life. To always strive for the bare minimum fulfillment of temporal and spiritual commitments is to be lukewarm. In the book of Revelation Our Lord says to the Laodicean church, “I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth”( 3:15-16). Here Christ reminds us that if we are not going forward in the spiritual life, we are going backwards.

The Diary of Saint Faustina has this to say about the lukewarm:

“There are souls who thwart My efforts (1682). Souls without love or devotion, souls full of egoism and selfishness, proud and arrogant souls full of deceit and hypocrisy, lukewarm souls who have just enough warmth to keep themselves alive: My Heart cannot bear this. All the graces I pour out upon them flow off them as off the face of a rock. I cannot stand them because they are neither good nor bad (1702)...My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: "Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will." For them, the last hope of salvation is to flee to My mercy.”

If I don’t feel bad for a sin, felt very justified doing it and confessed, is the confession legitimate?

Quick Answer: It would have been best to let the priest hearing your confession know that you did not feel subjectively guilty for the sin and that you felt it may have been justified. Most priests are happy to address such concerns so as to help you make the best confession possible.

Longer Answer:

A distinction exists between objective and subjective guilt. That is,something can be always and forever immoral objectively, but the person committing this immoral act may have no subjective feeling of guilt after completing the act. The lack of subjective guilt feelings may stem from a habit of sinning in this particular way, so that the sensitivity to sin flowing over into one’s emotional life (feelings) is lessened or even completely removed. Receiving the Blessed Sacrament in a state of grievous sin can blunt one’s sensitivity to sin. Additionally, it seems that a culture that forcefully promotes sin and which frequently uses erroneous philosophical principles (often unspoken assumptions) that allow for such approval can dull the subjective knowledge of the natural law in us to a certain degree.

It is possible for one to be mistaken about the moral law or church law and its application to a given situation, even to the extent of believing something is a sin when it is not. For instance, sometimes revealing a truth about someone that harms his reputation is necessary, but the person revealing could believe it to be gossip or detraction, even though it is not.

The lack of knowledge (ignorance)and the circumstances (lack of freedom) can reduce one’s subjective responsibility for an act that is immoral, even to a great degree. If this is so in your case, the sin may have been venial and not strictly required sacramental confession.

At least the fear of hell (imperfect contrition or attrition) and a sincere desire to, with God's help, not sin in that way in the future are required for the confession of mortal sins to be valid (effect the forgiveness of sins). Guilt feelings are not required for confession to “work”.

It would be good to study what the Church’s Magisterium has said about the particular act about which you are concerned. Praying and asking for the light of understanding can assist in re- aligning one’s passions with objective reality.

I simply have a question about love and boasting. I know that 1 Corinthians 13 love is not boastful. Would you consider it boastful if I told someone that I loved them, despite our views and opinions not being similar? (For example, when it comes to abortion). If I were to misunderstand love, would it be sinful?

No. Telling someone you love them even if your views are not similar is not boastful. Our love for people goes beyond agreement on issues and opinions.

Can someone commit an act of apostasy if he switches to another religion for few seconds and then goes back to Jesus instantly afterwards. Am I excommunicated?

The answer is NO. That is not an act of apostasy. It sounds like you are going through a questioning and struggle with faith. That is normal. One of the greatest prayers we can say is, "Lord, I do believe. Help my unbelief."

I am looking to join the Catholic Church. I was baptized via the trinitarian formula, in a Non-Denomonational Protastant Church. I have read through the Catechism and believe all of it’s doctrine. I have also went to Confession to be in the grace of God. What is next on my journey?

What is next on your journey? Contact a parish where you are from and speak with the priest or the Director of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) program. They will lead you on your next step towards coming into full communion with the Catholic Church.

Should you need any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Peace in Christ,
Fr. Daniel F. Firmin

Am I still considered a Catholic if I cant go to church?

The answer is YES! You are still considered a Catholic if you cannot go to church. It would be good to speak with your pastor about that so that someone can bring communion to you.

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