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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.  Comments are moderated so please be patient in waiting for them to appear and for any responses.  God bless you!





5,114 Responses

  1. Good morning, Father. I teach in a Catholic school. We have students from many backgrounds, including both Roman Catholic and various Orthodox churches. I hold that students who are not Roman Catholic, even though they are Orthodox, can not act as altar servers at our weekly masses. I stated that they are not in communion with the Roman Catholic Church and that they are not properly trained in our Mass traditions. Another teacher said, “They are more Catholic than we are.” I find that erroneous and offensive but I thought I’d check. All my research has only addressed receiving Holy Communion. Will you please clarify? Thank you.


    This is a tricky question as the minimum requirement for altar servers is that they be baptized and be able to lawfully take Holy Communion. Obviously, this is problematical for Protestants because our altar is closed to them. However, Orthodox believers are not strictly prohibited from taking the sacrament in our churches. My problem with having Orthodox children serve at Catholic Masses would be in regard to their desire, the consent of parents and (most importantly) the stance of their own pastors. Orthodox bishops would generally prefer that their believers not take Holy Communion in Roman Catholic churches. Given this stance, having them serve might place them in conflict with the teachings and laws of their own church. Indeed, they might interpret this as an effort to proselytize their flock. Thus, I agree with your negative stance. Your critics mean well but such inclusion is pretentious against other faith communities and violates true ecumenism.

    Many in the Orthodox churches prefer Catholic parochial schools over public schools because we share much in regard to faith and values— but not everything. Their churches are not in juridical union with ours and they do not acknowledge the full authority of the Holy See. We must respect that.

  2. The Catholic Church goes to great lengths to encourage the faithful to forgive themselves and others. Why won’t the Catholic Church reconcile with the Masonic Lodge? Isn’t it hypocrisy to hold a grudge? Isn’t pride a capital sin?

    FATHER JOE: There is no grudge from the Catholic Church. The problem is that the Free Masons as a secret society have throughout history plotted against the Church. Further, Catholics are generally forbidden to join any so-called secret society. As for modern day Masonry, there remain issues with the prayers and rituals employed. It functions more as a non-Christian religion than simply a club. These prayers and the rituals associated with them constitutes false religion. Such is prohibited by the Decalogue. One cannot belong to the Roman Catholic religion and to Masonry. Those who try are not in good standing with the Church.

  3. Fr, i am aware of breeching copyright laws in my work life .I would like to make restitution but don’t know how much I owe as many years have passed in some cases

    FATHER JOE: Sounds like you may have a greater need of a lawyer than a priest over this.

  4. I have a question about God that I’ve been pondering. If the scientific theory that infinite realities exist beyond the space time continuum is correct. Does that mean there are infinite gods one for each reality or does that mean there is only one God above all infinite realities?


    First, the notion of infinite realities is conjecture and the mathematics of the various string theories posit eleven dimensions at last reckoning. The truth be told, there is no certainty about such matters and the universe we know may be all there is.

    Second, regardless of the makeup of reality, it is all created by one omnipotent God who sustains the entire created order, both the material (seen) and the spiritual (unseen). God is self-existing and the source of order and life. Created things are dependent upon him and participate or have a small share in his perfections. As the divine author, God is outside of space and time.

  5. Hello Father, I have a question as to what constitutes the sin of masturbation?

    FATHER JOE: It is the act or practice of the self-stimulation of one’s sexual organs. However this is done, if it is disassociated from the marital act then it is sinful. As a self-indulgent act, it fails to realize an intimate and mutual self-offering to a beloved. The person treats his or her body as a plaything. Often through the imagination there is the devaluation of others. Because we are our bodies, such sins constitute the matter of mortal sin.

  6. Please Father what do I do in this situation?

    I converted to the Catholic Church as a result of our marriage. I fell in love with the faith and made sure all five of my children were baptized. Now I find out that my husband is an occultist and an adulterer with another family overseas. He introduced pornography into our marriage and he became a porn and alcohol addict. After about a month into our wedding, my husband stopped going to Mass on Sundays; but I would go every single Sunday with my children. We had three children before actually getting married in the Church. I forgot to mention that he is also trying to initiate my only son (eighteen years of age) into the occult. Fortunately my second daughter has already consecrated him to St. Joseph. I think my husband might be possessed. There is also the issue of medical bills. I have been diagnosed with an ailment that resulted from the contraceptive pills I have been taking. My husband introduced me them. He was a lapsed Catholic and I did not know it was wrong. I did not have much knowledge of the Catholic faith and relied mostly on what he told me. Now I am experiencing physical and emotional abuse. I do not know if I am being punished for my sins. I think he wants to kill me and take away the children. I do not know if I would survive due to the fact that my so-called husband wants me dead. I believe he can change, even if he has another wife— he is also my husband.

    I am afraid of getting an annulment because of my children. I do not want them to be without a father because of how the society looks down on such people. Most will actually put the blame on me as a woman, even though I am the victim. I do not know how I will live with gossip from neighbors, family members, friends and parishioners. Like I said, I am scared of an annulment. I do not even know how much that would cost.

    For 19 years of marriage I have been handling more than 70% of the family expenses. I’m only a school teacher but I’m from a wealthy background. Since I was diagnosed with my condition, he has not contributed a dime for the medical treatment. I do not know how I will be able to cope with 100% of the expenses. With the way things are I do not really get much help from family members since two of my children are out of college and free of debts. But they do not understand that my salary and my first daughter’s salary will not be enough to satisfy the costs with the education of the other three children. They are not as good academically.

    I am concerned about my children’s future. Two of my children (daughters) just graduated from the University. I never allowed them to be involved in any side hustle or part-time jobs because I wanted a white collar job for both of them. My first daughter is not so good academically and she is not as likely to land a good paying job. My second daughter who graduated with a first is not interested in working. She wants to discern religious life. I have tried to explain to her the situation in the family but she is deaf to my pleadings. I do not want my daughter to enter religious life. I just cannot see myself accepting it. I actually threatened her that I would leave the Church and kill myself if she leaves for the convent. My son is not serious with his studies. He wants to play football but I do not want that. I want him to become an engineer. Very sorry if it seems I am too pushy. But I want to see all my children become successful. I have worked really hard to raise them. They have to repay my efforts. They are the only reason I have endured this marriage up to this day. But now my life is in danger.

    I am too ashamed to be without a husband. I have never liked being humiliated. That is why even when my husband wanted to take my children to a public school (because he did not want to provide), I disagreed and decided to take on the responsibility of their education in a private school. I find it hard to discuss my life’s situation with my parish priest. It is very shameful. Please help me Father. My life is in a mess, what do I do?


    What part of this is good? If you are suffering physical and emotional abuse then you need to get out of this relationship or at least get him out of your house. You should contact social services and seek counseling. If your husband has physically abused you then it should be reported to the police. Those with abusive personalities often do not restrict themselves to a spouse. Are you certain the children have not been abused by him? The fact that he is trying to introduce your son to pornography means that he is immediately at risk, even though at 18 years of age he is legally an adult.

    The Occult

    What kind of occultist is your husband? This is unclear. Such can include everything between New Age religion and outright satanic witchcraft or sorcery. The sin of superstition and false worship introduces the demonic into the home.


    What do you mean him being an adulterer with a second spouse and family overseas? Did you know about it before your relationship and union? Was it civilly contracted or in the Church? Would it constitute legal bigamy? Does it affect the standing of your marital bond, either before the law or the Church? I take it that your marriage was witnessed by a priest or deacon in the Catholic Church.

    I cannot say whether he can change in his ways. But if you think he wants to kill you then your choice is clear. The good of marriage is not being served here and you are likely in danger. You need to take actions to protect yourself and the family. Your husband sounds like a dangerous predator.


    If you really feel there is no true marriage then I would urge you to speak to a priest about the situation. The Church will not rule on an annulment until after there is a civil divorce. Annulments require grounds that go back to when you entered into your marriage. If a marriage is not witnessed by the clergy of the Church then it can be declared null due to a lack of canonical form. If it is canonically recognized then possible grounds would include deception, addiction, inability to fulfill the obligations of marriage, gross immaturity, serious mental illness, coercion, etc. Under Pope Francis, annulment cases worldwide go before Tribunals for free. Do not worry about what people will say. Along with your children, you want to stay safe.


    Most families with children in private schools and colleges are not debt free. It is great that you have been able to provide so much for your children and still pay your bills. But times change and you are not obligated to bankroll the entire education of your children. Siblings might want to help each other to advance forward but they are also not morally required to pay the debts of their brothers and sisters. Given that your husband is bringing nothing to the table, you are redirecting your upset from him to your children. Helping them is fine but they should also have the maturity to help themselves and make their own decisions.


    It is wonderful that you are concerned for your children and their futures. However, you are seriously in the wrong to control their lives now that they are adults. Your daughters would likely have benefited from side-jobs and taking upon themselves some of the financial weight of their education. As for the daughter who has discerned a call to the religious life, she must answer a call from God despite any roadblocks placed before her. You speak of your husband as possessed; but any who would prevent a young person from answering a divine call to the consecrated life is essentially doing the devil’s work. You should rejoice that you have a daughter who is discerning a vocation as a religious spouse to Christ. Trying to manipulate her with guilt and threats of suicide is wrong and a terrible sin on your part. Tell her that you love and support her. Indeed, you have done your part. As your children grow up, you must be willing to let them go. No matter whether they have a degree and work in an office or have a certificate and work with their hands— it is their choice. They must live their own lives.

  7. Father Joe, my friend recently went through a major operation ( stomach removal) . I sent him this : Be assured that christ’s peace resides in you as you embrace the weight and the enormity of the day. Looking forward to your recovery and return to normal .
    Please pray as you do, thanks

  8. Hi

    My name is Mike but I’m changing that soon. I went to one of your buildings here in south Bend Indiana because I was under spiritual attack but I was turned away but I was able to deliver a message.

    I need to have a miracle of healing confirmed. The proof is medical records from birth, polygraph, and the Holy Spirit will be working through this LOWLY VESSEL for the Returning King the Lord Jesus Christ and LOVE for God’s Glory


    1st Corinthians 12

    I have many listed and unlisted and it appears that I am one of the two mentioned in Revelation 11

    God is UNFAILING








    Free will
    Accept or Deny

    FATHER JOE: You sound confused and in desperate need of prayer.

  9. It is said that there is no sadness in heaven. However, if a mother goes to heaven and her child does not, wouldn’t that absence make a mother sad?

    FATHER JOE: No, there can be no sadness in heaven. Sadness requires an empty space in the human heart. However, God fills every corner of paradise. There is no room for sadness. If it were any different then heaven would not be heaven. Sadness over the damned would constitute manipulation. The damned would never want heaven because they want no part of the divine presence. If they could, they would draw the saints into hell.

  10. Be assured that christ’s peace resides in you as you embrace the weight and the enormity of the day. Looking forward to your
    Recovery and return to normal
    Activities. From john

  11. Hi Father,

    I have a question about business ethics. I came up with a title for a creative project that after doing a search no one else appeared to be using. The domain name was available and I purchased it and moved forward with the project.

    However I recently discovered that at least one other person is using a similar version of the title as their username on social media.

    Lets say, for example, I thought I had come up with Supermouse and they are using SuperMouse as their username.

    But they don’t seem to be using it in a professional/creative capacity, and the name is not trademarked.

    Legally, I can register the trademark (and would most likely do so with the definite article, as in, “The Supermouse”) but in terms of business ethics, I’m not sure what to do because the title isn’t as generic as “Supermouse.”


    FATHER JOE: Really not sure what to tell you. I grew up with the cartoon Mighty Mouse!

  12. Father,
    I have spent many a dreadful year in loathing and disstain for myself on multiple levels both physically, and mentallh. It is because of this that I have come to the realization that I myself have strayed from gods light and thusly that my soul has been tainted. I am like so many young men my age…lost. Since then, it sometimes seems as though I have lost a piece of myself that I am worried that I may never re-attain. I do not believe myself to be beyond salvation, however, I sometimes look around me at people my age and see nothing but sin and the blatant bastardization of gods creation. I believe that there are angels amongst us which is why I pose to you the question; “How do I find my way to god’s righteous love once more, and resist the vast societal pressure to become something that I am not?”.

    FATHER JOE: If you are a Catholic then you go to confession and attend Sunday Mass each week. Daily say your prayers, obey the commandments and remember the less fortunate in charity. Instead of trying to find yourself, let God find you.

  13. Dear Father,
    I’am a catholic who was born and still live in Aruba a small island. Now here in Aruba most priest come from abroad, so most of them don’t speak the native language (Papiamento) fluently.

    The priest from my parish is from the Philippines and although he has an accent he speaks papiamento rather fluently. He was my confessor at my last confession.

    My last was my first confession in about 7 years and frankly I forgot how to confess. During my confession everything was going well untill my mind went blank and I forgot a sin that I wanted to confess. When that happend I said to my confessor that I am trying to remember, and he must have misheard what I said (remember my confessor is from the Philippines), because he started giving me advice on how to deal with sin and before I knew it he started the prayer of absolution. Now at about halfway through the prayer of absolution I rememberthe sin that I wanted to confess, but because I didn’t know if I schould stop the prayer or not I simply didn’t do anything.

    My question is Father. Was my confession still valid or did I commit sacrilege?

    Looking forward to your reply,

    Thank you Father,

    FATHER JOE: It sounds to me that you made a good confession.

  14. Good evening,
    I have returned to the church after many decades away.
    I spoke to a Priest and explained my situation. He told me if I was repentant my sins are forgiven. I confessed my sins to God in personal prayer. I would like to go to confession in church but I’ve recently had surgery on my throat and must refrain from speaking for quite a long period of time. My question is can I give the Priest a written list of my transgressions?
    Thankyou for your understanding in this matter.

    FATHER JOE: See your local priest and communicate with him any way you can. If this is impossible then (internally) make a good confession and when possible go to confession.

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