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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!





3,461 Responses

  1. Hello! My cousin is getting married soon and she is not Catholic or religious. Her fiance is not religious either. They are getting married not in a church. I know this is all fine and valid. However, I am not sure if her fiance was ever baptized in the Catholic Church and fell away from it, which would make the wedding invalid. My cousin said once that her fiance’s parents were Catholic, but they weren’t practicing or anything, but she didn’t say that her actual fiance was Catholic, so I don’t really know.
    I am not even going to the wedding because I am under 21 and wasn’t invited, but the rest of my family is. I don’t feel that I should tell them not to go because they already RSVPed that they were going, and also I don’t want to speak falsely or badly about my cousin’s fiance. Anyway, my mom just bought the card that she’s going to give to the couple and she asked me if I liked it and showed it to me and I kind of just said “uh-huh” or something like that. Do you think I committed a mortal sin by like approving that when the wedding could be invalid? Also, is it okay that I am not telling my family not to go to the wedding? Thanks for your help!

    FATHER JOE: I do not mean to be rude or hurtful but you are being rather silly. You do not even know if any Catholic parties are involved. Why would it be your place to dictate to your family as to what to do anyway? You are not the head of the family and not their priest. Peace.

  2. Do you think allowing priests to marry or having women priests would alleviate the sexual abuse problem in the church?

    FATHER JOE: Women priests is an impossibility. Married priests would probably make matters worse.

  3. Hi Fr. Joe,
    I just wanted to say that I’m glad that you’re feeling better! And, I’m glad that you were just busy. Sorry to hear that you weren’t away on vacation though. Praying for you and for all the good/kind priests (of which there are many) during this time where there is shame and catastrophe. Praying, praying, praying. God Bless. And, I hope you get a vacation.

  4. Would someone go to hell if they willingly didn’t pay restitution for a small amount? I once read that not paying restitution is a mortal sin on an examination of conscience. I am staying at a beach house for a few days and I made a little mark on the wall from the door opening and hitting the wall. It’s honestly barely noticeable and I asked my brother if he thinks we should report it but he said it was normal wear and tear. I am very scrupulous so am worried that I am committing a mortal sin.

    FATHER JOE: He is right, you do sound scrupulous. You might mention it but it is doubtful that any restitution is required. A failure to make restitution may either be venial or mortal sin depending upon the overall gravity of the loss. However, there are some sins for which no restitution can suffice.

  5. Father, why have you been ignoring my questions? What good is it to have a blog if you do not answer everyone’s questions. I have many questions about the faith and how the church views it. I don’t know much about the faith yet because I recently became catholic but I really wish I had someone who could just answer all the questions I have. I am eager to learn.

    FATHER JOE: I am not ignoring your questions, but I am the pastor of a parish and the chaplain for the MD State Knights of Columbus. All last week I was at the Supreme Convention in Baltimore. I am only one person. The blogging is a sideline for when I have time. Peace.

  6. Hi Father,

    I have been dating a guy who’s parents are Catholic but he is not a practicing Catholic and was baptized in a Protestant Church as an adult. Before we entered into a relationship, he told me that he had not been baptized in the Catholic Church but now he is saying that he’s unsure about that because he was a baby. He isn’t interested in learning whether or not he was baptized Catholic but I told him it’s something I need to know. If he finds out that he is Catholic, would I be able to/would it be wise to marry him if he is still unwilling to practice the faith? He has already said that our future children could be raised Catholic and we agreed that we will not use contraception. If I were to marry him would I be obligated to try to get him back into the faith? Also, what about the issue of the fruitful reception of the sacrament? Are lapsed Catholics able to marry licitly?

    FATHER JOE: Given Catholic parents, it is likely he was baptized as a child. This would invalidate the Protestant baptism as the sacrament can only be received once. Can a practicing Catholic marry a lapsed or non-practicing one? Yes, but keep in mind that all the weight of the religious formation of children would then fall upon you. His poor witness would also have an effect on their faith development. Indeed, would you not want a husband who would pray with you and go to Mass with you?

  7. Is it ok to attend home of my Aunt who lives with her same sex partner? Would this be viewed as approval? She is having a party. I think I was told in the past that it would be ok by a priest. I do not want to cut my Aunt out of my life. Furthermore, I want to support my family who have experienced the loss of a loved one.

    FATHER JOE: You could visit. Even when we disagree, we need to be kind and charitable.

  8. Are there ghosts/devil’s ?
    Do they really exist ?
    I’m really very curious to know this subject deeply.

    FATHER JOE: The Church would generally understand ghosts as the holy souls of purgatory on their way to heaven. Devils or demons are fallen angels. When a person dies his soul or ghost leaves the body. As for angels, good and demonic, they are pure spirits without bodies.

  9. Good day , Father Joe. Thank you for this blog. I have a straight forward question.
    God’s mother Mary is to the ark of covenant
    As Jesus is to what? After study I think the answer is the content . The word, the bread of life , and the high priest.

    FATHER JOE: Jesus is the embodiment of the New Covenant. Mary carried Jesus in her womb. Thus, she is given the title, Ark of the Covenant. In the Old Testament the tablets of the law from Moses were carried in a gold-covered wooden chest, also called the Ark of the Covenant.

  10. Father Joe I recently came into full communion with the church after having been raised and baptized methhodist. I was married for one year and divorced 32 years ago. I’m remarried to a catholic women( we were married by a Protestant minister) 27 years ago. My first wife was previously divorced and had a privious tubal ligation and didn’t want children. Is my new marriage recognized by the church if not what can I do? God bless and thank you


    This matter should have been resolved before your full-reception into the Catholic faith. Here is the situation:

    1. Given that your first marriage was with a divorced woman it is likely that you could get a declaration of nullity. However, you have to apply for this with your local priest and/or diocesan tribunal. Given that neither of you were Catholic, an essay might be required in addition to the deposition. You would need a copy of your baptismal record, a copy of the marriage license and a copy of the divorce decree. You might also have to find records to prove that she had a previous bond. The sterilization effort on her part would also be grounds as it is an impediment. Prior bonds are presumed valid until proven otherwise.

    2. Your current marriage was to a Catholic but before a Protestant minister. Your wife as a Catholic was obliged to follow canonical form: marriage before a priest and two witnesses. The current bond would be regarded as both illicit and invalid in the Catholic Church. Once your previous marriage is declared null then you could have the current bond convalidated by a Catholic priest. You should go see your parish priest and work on all this. God bless!

  11. Hi Fr Joe,
    I was just checking up on you.
    You haven’t answers a question in a while, so I was a little concerned. I hope that everything is ok and that you’re on vacation!
    I’m praying for you.
    God Bless,

    FATHER JOE: I was sick and then I got busy. I am the state chaplain for the Maryland Knights of Columbus and had to attend the Supreme Convention in Baltimore last week. Thanks for the concern and prayers!

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