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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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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.  God bless you!

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NEW MESSAGES/HOMILIES   CHRISTIAN REFLECTIONS   DEFENDING THE FAITH

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3,256 Responses

  1. Thank you Father, in advance for your time. Question: I had given my priests and Monsignor an Easter card with a gift card in it. I had just finished RCIA class and wanted to give a gift of appreciation. It basically was a thank you for all they do in their ministry. I am wondering if I did something wrong? I did not hear anything from them in return.example: thank you? Mind you, they all know me. I am now wondering if I did something wrong and that is why they have not acknowledged the card or money gift? Now, i am mindful that I did this from the heart and believe me, i was not looking for recognition in the gift. But still I am perplexed why I see them a few times a week and not even a thank you for kind words or gesture? Unless, is it a rule not to acknowledge gifts or give thanks to your priest? I am now embarrassed that i did something wrong. My sister said maybe it was not appropriate at Easter? But confused as we practice almsgiving? HELP. It was from the heart, in thanks for all the things they do for our parish. I had received a blessing (work bonus) and wanted to share with them also. What do you think? Please and thank you. Joie

    FATHER JOE: You did nothing wrong. Priests, and here I include myself, often become flustered by the hectic activity of Easter and fail to be as appreciative or as gracious as they should be. The failing is ours, not yours. Peace!

  2. Thank you, Judy!
    I appreciate that.
    God Bless you.
    Sarah

  3. Father,

    over 20 years ago, my husband got a vasectomy, with my consent. I realize now that was a grave sin. I never knew the gravity of the offense back then, though admittedly I should have. Even if I wasn’t taught properly, I should have found out for myself once I was of age. I accept this and truly feel awful about it. I have confessed and received absolution, but I still feel terrible about myself (partially because I never wanted a huge family, so I’m not particularly upset with the small number of kids I have, so I feel slightly hypocritical about the issue as well) My husband is not catholic and does not have a problem with birth control. How do I get by this?

    Also…I am reading conflicting things about what is moral in the marriage bed. We don’t watch porn or use devices. But there is oral sex as a precursor to normal relations. Some catholic websites say this is ok, others that it is evil. I don’t know which end is up. My husband enjoys this and if I decide to put a stop to it, he won’t like it or understand it. Additionally, enjoyment by both parties will be impaired. What is your take on this?

    One would think I would have had pricking of my conscience much earlier in my 26 year marriage, but no…

    FATHER JOE:

    What is done is done. Your part in the matter is resolved with confession. The tragedy of sterilization is that a door is deliberately closed that might have opened to a beautiful surprise or gift from God. I know a family that had a daughter late in life— years after the others were grown. She proved to be their special treasure, caring for them and remembering them when the others did not. God had saved the best for last.

    As a celibate priest I shy away from detailed discussions of the marriage bed. It may be enough to say that traditional moral teaching would permit certain elements of intimacy that lead to or facilitate the marital act. What would be immoral on its own is seen as an extension of a larger act, the renewal of the marital covenant through vaginal intercourse. There are also degrees of touching and relating to each other that are definitely sexual but unavoidable for a man and woman sharing the same bed. The Church would promote passion over lust. Every gesture or embrace should celebrate the dignity or worth of the spouse. You belong to each other. You are one flesh. Catholics are not puritans. Sexual intimacy between a man and woman is natural and in God is made holy.

  4. Father,

    I have two questions:

    1: is it a sin to patronize a company that you are aware donates to Planned Parenthood? Say I like a certain cosmetic brand because of its product, but they are on a list of PP donors. Am I morally obligated to boycott? The list of companies that donate to PP is quite large and avoiding them all is seemingly an impossible task at this point. Plus, we own property in Disney, a large donor (found out around 15 years after purchase. Husband is not willing to sell; he is not Catholic and does not think this is a problem, even though he is strongly pro-life. He believes this is America, and people can do what they like with their money and do not have to consult him, which I cannot say I disagree with).

    FATHER JOE: There are efforts today, as with the Knights of Columbus, to invest in corporations that reflect our values about human life, the dignity of persons, the furtherance of peace, good stewardship of the planet, etc. If I recall correctly the Knights divested themselves of Disney stock. We should be conscious about what companies do with the money we give to them. There may culpability on our part, as either part of the problem or as part of the solution. As you said it may be difficult or even impossible to avoid all such associations. It is then that individuals have to make practical choices for themselves. While direct cooperation is forbidden (i.e. performing, having or enabling an abortion); much of what you mention would probably fall into the category of remote cooperation. Your investment or cooperation is very small (as with buying a movie ticket) and while it may make possible their evil acts, it does not directly lead to the commission of the acts. If there is a proportionately good reason for the investment than you would not be held guilty. This requires a discussion between the two of you on a case-by-case basis. How much involvement can you comfortably live with in conscience.

    2: For some reason that I cannot understand, I remembered yesterday, just before mass, that I had skipped Palm Sunday mass once as a college student. This was over 25 yrs ago. I do not recall specifically having confessed it, but do remember that it was my habit to ask for forgiveness in confession for any sins I may have forgotten to mention (I have a habit of getting flustered in the confessional and forgetting some of why I was there). I went ahead and received communion this weekend. Did I commit a sacrilege? I feel this is crackers…who just sits and remembers 25 year old sins out of the blue? At the time I did it, I knew I was wrong, but not that it was a grave offense.

    FATHER JOE: Sins that we forgot to confess were also forgiven by the priest’s absolution. You were right to take Holy Communion.

  5. Hello Fr. Joe,

    Thank you for all you do for the Catholic faith! I read something recently that ,if the source can be confirmed, would seem to be a tremendous boost to prove that from the earliest times, prayer for the dead was an apostolic tradition. Have you ever heard of the reference below and if so, do you know it’s source???

    St Clement (the pontiff from (88-97 AD) stated that St Peter liked to offer prayers for the relief of those who had passed away

    With kind regards,

    Anthony M. Davi
    a_davi@msn.com

    FATHER JOE: I have read St. Clement’s epistle to the Corinthians and other works traditionally attributed to him. I am unfamiliar of the purported passage about Peter praying for the dead. Like you I have noted the claim from others, but lamented that it is always without citation. The stronger argument might be St. Paul and Scripture where he prays for the dead Onesiphorus. Peace!

  6. Hello Father!
    Is it a sin, venial or mortal, to think a general thought of “I want to have sex one day?” obviously within marriage. because i was thinking about my Vocation and then i thought that thought and I don’t know if it’s sinful to have that desire. Also I am confused about lust and attraction. Is it considered lust to look at men’s faces and think they are cute/handsome and enjoy that? (not thinking about sexual things, just their good looks) Thanks for your help.

    FATHER JOE: This is a question that frequently arises from young people who are trying to be good Catholics. Straight to the point, it is not a sin to ponder hopefully upon the future joy of being a spouse and parent, even if pleasure should also be elicited. It is a proper reflection upon vocation and the human condition. Similarly, it is not wrong to be moved with awe and/or happiness in looking into the face or at the form of a person of the opposite sex. Indeed, how one feels is an expression of our identity and the goodness of God’s creation. Girls take delight in handsome boys and boys feel like men in the presence of pretty girls. We are not angels or robots. All this is a part of what it means to be human. Those who would condemn such things are in fact cursing God’s creation. That would be a sin.

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