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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Ask a Priest

Feel free to submit a new question or concern in the comment box below.  Various topics and questions are archived here for easy retrieval.  Please be courteous.  Comments are moderated so please be patient in waiting for them to appear and for any responses.  God bless you!

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NEW MESSAGES/HOMILIES   CHRISTIAN REFLECTIONS   DEFENDING THE FAITH

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS   MARY OUR MOTHER

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4,761 Responses

  1. Dear Father Joe,

    In 1978, the Pope approved an ecclesial review and approval for revelations, which includes private revelations. The Trent Council also approved a process to private revelations in the 1500s.

    Pope Benedict said
    “A private revelation can introduce new emphases, give rise to new forms of piety, or deepen older ones,” Pope Benedict continued. “It can have a certain prophetic character and can be a valuable aid for better understanding and living the Gospel at a certain time; consequently it should not be treated lightly. It is a help which is proffered, but its use is not obligatory.”

    https://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19780225_norme-apparizioni_en.html

    Private revelations are not meant to remain private to a lay Catholic, especially if there is viable and physical proof. They are suppose to go through RCC approved process. GOD meant the revelation for education and behavioural purposes.

    The problem is local archdioceses are not structured or trained to handle this, because the official process is not part of day to day work clergy do. There is no one trained in my local archdiocese to properly handle a revelation.

    I am not sure who to talk to who will take a serious look at evidence, and know how to proceed. Even the Spiritual chancellery doesn’t have expertise.

    At the eod, a revelation that is communication from GOD, needs a serious look, than be dismissed.

    Any guidance you can share on this topic will be super appreciated.

    Best Regards,
    Gerry

    FATHER JOE: In practice if a seer or person receiving personal locutions is a layperson then it is best to contact a priest sympathetic and willing to bring the matter to a chancery. Many priests are savvy enough to discern between what is real or false. Once the bishop is contacted he will appoint someone to look into the matter further. The process is expedited if religious or clergy are claiming private revelations. It has been my experience that the majority of claims are fraudulent. A major Telltale sign is a message(s) that promotes calumny or attacks the shepherds of the church. Another giveaway is the promotion of obvious heresies. If something would harm the Church or demean infallible teachings then it is not from the Lord. Further, many of the pretenders rebel against lawful authority, promote new age or occult superstition and even take money for dubious spiritual favors.

  2. Hi saw an angel in my dreams last night he was wearing black armor with golden wings endowed with multiple kinds of different color flowers and a belt of flowers and a sword made of gold gems and different color flowers n golden pinkish halo and moca color skin with long dark hair and was very tall but said something in another language that I don’t know and pointed to me then to a golden crest of what looked like a woman holding a child in her arms do you know what that means please and thank you for your time God bless you

    FATHER JOE: No idea. Does it have to mean something?

  3. I have a birthmark that is of an upside-down explanation point on my left upper arm that’s brown what does this mean please n God bless you


    FATHER JOE:
    It means you have a mole. Check a doctor.

  4. Father, I have a question to which I haven’t had any response from other priests. I’m a non-religious Jewish man and I’m engaged to a beautiful Christian woman. We both believe in God. We have a 26 year age gap between us; but our love is not based on age or color of skin or religion. We base it on our hearts and minds.

    I plan on marrying this woman. Her name is Mercedes. My name is Cliff. We plan on marrying in Orlando, Florida. She’s picking the date.

    Question: How can I be a “reborn” Christian if possible? Will there be any problems in a church setting for us to be married?

    FATHER JOE: Too little is explained for a decisive response. The terminology of being a reborn Christian is more Protestant evangelical than Catholic. However, we do speak of a believer in faith and baptism as being reborn in Christ (into the likeness of our Lord). However, this demands that you actually believe in Jesus Christ as Messiah and savior and want to join the church he instituted. I could not speak to whatever requirements other churches have for marriages with non-Christians. If Mercedes should be Catholic, you would both have to be free to get married (meaning no living spouses from previous unions). A Jewish person would not have to convert to be married in the Catholic Church but the Catholic would have to promise to keep living her faith in the Church and (and if applicable) to raise any children in the faith. A marriage with a non-baptized person is regarded as a natural bond. A marriage to a baptized person is regarded as a sacramental bond. Couples who want to get married in the Catholic Church must first fill out documents for our records and give as much as six months to preparation. You should also be aware that the Jewish religion generally forbids marriage to Christians. However, there are a few rabbis who will work with priests so that marriages might be recognized in both religions. Such usually takes place on neutral ground, neither a church or a synagogue. Peace!

  5. Hello and to whom it may concern * I have a question not a comment. I have ask 2 of the biggest TV Show Pastors this and never received a reply… If Adam and Eve were the 1st then how does one explain the Caveman? I am a Christian btw. Thanks

    FATHER JOE: Is it not possible that a number of the first humans lived in caves?

  6. Hello my wife and I were married in 2020 and have a strong faith in God and in the Catholic Church. We always try to live by the commandments and the teachings of the church. I recently came across something I did not know about sexual acts in married couples. It was talking about unnatural sexual acts. My wife and I are in our 50s and our children are grown. I have always used oral , or manual stimulation for my wife right after intercourse because she cannot. Reach climax during natural sex acts. I discussed this with my wife and has troubled us and has caused a great deal of distress . We want to follow the church, but also don’t want anything to put a strain on our marriage. Please help Thank you

    FATHER JOE: The old Catholic moral manuals speak of various forms of touch that both make possible the marital act or complete the act. The entire encounter must be seen as a whole, not disjointed elements. Men and women are not robots. God understands.

  7. I work with people all over the world (they are not in the same company). I frequently get emails where they lie, deliberately misunderstand to try to get out of fines, etc. Sometimes its just ridiculous. I frequently insult them in my head or verbally to myself. It relieves stress and they will never know so it doesn’t hurt them. My emails are polite and fact based. Is this a sin? And if so is it mortal sin as Im potentially bearing false to their intelligence or character?

    FATHER JOE: Not acting upon such thoughts, they are likely venial. However, we must be careful to forgive and to love others, even those who make fools of themselves and engage in absurdities.

  8. I thought you might find this interesting:

    Priest’s Title Prompts a Formality Question
    Dear Abby by by Abigail Van Buren

    DEAR ABBY
    |
    APRIL 25TH, 2022
    |

    DEAR ABBY: I was wondering, even though we call our priests “Father,” can I also call him “Dad”? Why or why not? — PONDERING IN THE WEST

    DEAR PONDERING: I posed your question to Father Guy Gurath, a longtime friend in the Milwaukee archdiocese. He chuckled and told me this is a standing joke among Catholics, who have been known to refer to the rectory as the “Home for Unwed Fathers.” (!) He went on to say the formal answer to your question is no. Calling a priest “Dad” is likely to offend some people. He suggests the correct terms “Father,” “Reverend” or “Pastor” be used. Thank you, Father Guy.

  9. Hello Father, I made an appointment to see my priest to talk about some things weighing on me. I suffer from OCD and am quite scrupulous. One thing I talked to him about would have been a mortal sin, and he talked to me about it. After we talked, l asked to go to confession, and received absolution. After I said my penance and left, I questioned if I had mentioned, during my Confession, the mortal sin, I had talked to him about earlier. I felt guilty and sorry about it. Would receiving Absolution, removed that sin as well? I don’t want to keep worrying about it.

    FATHER JOE: The absolution is good.

  10. Hi Fr. Joe,
    Recently I was reading about Saint Catherine of Siena. It said that her head was in one Basilica and her body in another. I remember when Saint John Vianney’s heart was traveling around our diocese and people we getting pictures with it. Then I’ve heard that some of the Saints have had fingers removed so that fragments of bone can be make into relics.

    This is a very odd practice to me. Why is it in our Catholic tradition do we dismember our Saints in this way? Don’t we believe that the whole body must remain together in burial or cremation for the time when we rise in our glorified body? The body left behind is void of the soul at this point. Do we believe that these body parts of holy? How did this tradition start. Is it not the least bit strange? How would I explain this to a non-Catholic friend? Thank you!

    FATHER JOE: Over time societies go through cultural shifts. What seems weird today was once thought quite reasonable. Relics were placed in altars soon after the Church was legalized in the Roman empire. Relics are important as tangible elements connecting us to saints and their witness. They are powerful reminders that these men and women were real and that we (like them) can also obtain heaven.

  11. Hi, Father Joe

    I am a college student and we are assigned to ask people with different vocations and one of them is a priest. I found your site and if it’s alright with you, it would be a big help if I could ask you a few questions about your chosen vocation.

    1. What made you decide to be a priest? I read that you attended multiple seminaries. Has it always been your plan since you were a child to pursue this path?

    2. What commitments must one be ready for in pursuing a religious vocation? Are there any challenges that you experience as a priest? If so, what are they?

    3. Do you have any piece of wisdom you can give that you only got when you became a priest?

    Thank you so much for your time, Father Joe.

    FATHER JOE:

    RESPONSE 1

    The priest who baptized me placed me on the altar and prayed that I might be a priest.  My father deeply hoped I would be a priest and I can remember playing a priest as a child. The family was deeply devoted to the Catholic faith and we participated in the Mass every Sunday.  When I got older I was heavily attracted to girls and thought how nice it would be to have a spouse and a family of my own.  My high school year book has the word “physician” under my face and name. I was scheduled to study biology and pre-med at university. However, I had also applied to the seminary.  It was to my surprise that I was accepted into the program for priestly formation and so I returned my scholarships and grants.  Why did I apply? The process would take eight or more years, plenty of time for discernment. Many were sent home but by God’s providence I remained and flourished.  The sacrifices were very real to me, especially obedience (not just celibacy).  I did not fell worthy but what could be a greater calling than making possible the forgiveness of sins and making present the saving activity of Calvary and the real presence of Jesus Christ as our food for the journey?
     
    RESPONSE 2

    The priesthood demands a radical discipleship to love the Lord and to allow that love to spill over and to be expressed in caring for others. The life requires a commitment to daily prayer and service. Throughout one must be honest about motivation and practice. The academic life is also crucial and many men wash out because of intellectual demands. One must also be comfortable with “aloneness,” as priests are men set aside and frequently living by themselves. The promises or vows require genuine sacrifices. Celibacy is largely misunderstood as a negation of sexuality. Instead, the priest should be a manly man who embraces celibacy as a special and generous way of loving and relating to others. He belongs wholly to the Lord and the Church. He also pledges obedience, meaning he trusts the Lord and the teaching church more than his own pet ideas. He also goes where he is sent, accepting the divine will that is fostered by his superiors (bishops) and by the nature of his ministry. He treasures the faith and persons more than things.

    All callings have challenges but prayer or a living relationship with Jesus makes possible his fidelity. Many priests continue to do their work even though the world suspects them because of the crimes of a few. They take up their crosses and follow Jesus, knowing that theirs is a discipleship rooted in sacrifice and love. The best of priests struggle with broken hearts. Having faced the demons that secretly plague people’s lives, Good priests are wounded healers.

    RESPONSE 3

    Ours is not a Pollyanna faith. Life is hard. Not all stories in this world end happy ever after. The biggest awakening I discovered in my priesthood is how terribly sin places souls in spiritual bondage. There are far more “people of the lie” than I had imagined as a youth. There is a demonic oppression that inflicts many while avoiding the secular radar. It is the source for the devaluing of persons and for dismissing the sanctity of life. A priest is a source for mercy but he is also a sentinel for Christ to a world that will target him just as it did Jesus for speaking the truth and seeking to bring freedom from the devil’s bondage.

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