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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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3,002 Responses

  1. Hello! Have you heard of the game, Just Dance? It is a video game that kids play where they follow along with outlines of dancers on the screen. At the summer camp at which I work, kids play it and sometimes the moves can be immodest (along with the outfits). Am I committing a sin by letting them play this? I was told by someone I talked to about this— that maybe I should talk to the guy in charge of these video games— but I never did because I was too scared.

    It is not really my decision if they play this game, since I just supervise them in the video game room. A camp director, whom I barely know, is in charge of the video game room. I am not working there currently since I am back at school.

    Was it wrong that I did not say anything to him? Given my opinion, should I have suggested that he switch off the video games? I am fearful that I am living in a state of mortal sin. I have not received Communion in a while.

    FATHER JOE: It is my understanding that contemporary dance moves from the music videos and concerts are mimicked by dancers that appear as animated silhouettes. I would agree that there are probably questionable dances and music. You were involved with supervision but you neither supplied the video nor the equipment. I would suggest that others bore the heavier moral culpability. I do not think you committed mortal sin by your fearfulness. You would have been within your rights to share with the supervisor concern about the material. However, this may not have changed anything. Keep saying your prayers, go to church and receive the sacrament.

  2. Hi,
    Is it obligatory to do penance on Fridays outside of Lent? I know you no longer have to abstain from meat, but must you do another penance, or is it optional?

    FATHER JOE: It depends upon where you live. If you do not abstain from meat on Fridays then you are suppose to find another form of penance or mortification. If you live in the UK, it is my understanding that the bishops have reimposed the old discipline of abstinence as obligatory.

  3. Hi Father,

    I am a nurse and I recently had a patient ask me for a chaplain and I was busy trying to take care of him and a few days later he passed away. I don’t think he ever saw a chaplain before his death. I feel terrible and I have some questions.

    1. Are his sins now my sins since I didn’t get him a chaplain

    2. He said he was going to “haunt us” when he died. I think he is…. me specifically. Is this possible?

    3. Do you recommend I go to confession?

    Sincerely,
    Lauren

    FATHER JOE: If not spiritually, it sounds as if you are already psychologically haunted by him and guilt. Confession might help matters but his sins were his own. Peace.

  4. Can a Roman Catholic who committed suicide be buried in a Catholic cemetery?

    FATHER JOE: Today it may be possible. There are even prayers that address it. There were reservations in the past.

  5. Hi Father,

    I struggle to discern mortal from venial lies. I lied to my mum about being somewhere I wasn’t because I know I would not have been allowed to see a friend, despite being 21. Also, does this entail duty of reparation by telling her the truth even if it’ll make her angry?

    FATHER JOE: Reparation is invoked when you do another some harm. I do not see that here. While avoiding deception, at 21 you have every right to your personal privacy. It would be a sin for parents to keep adult offspring in bondage to them.

  6. Dear Fr Joe,
    I have a problem controlling my thoughts. I think very negatively about people i know and strangers too. Am very nasty and hateful in my thoughts. It happens like automatically. I think I developed this many years ago to cope with low self-esteem while growing up.
    I want to stop this and be genuinely loving and think wholesome positive thoughts about others.
    I would much appreciate your suggestions.
    Thanks father for your blog ministry.
    God bless you.

    FATHER JOE: Pray for everyone about whom you think.

  7. Hi,
    Is online shopping on Sunday a sin? What about doing homework? Thanks.

    FATHER JOE: We should try to do as much of our work before Sunday. While not necessarily a sin, as many must work to keep their employment, the real question is whether time is made for God, for family and for proper rest.

  8. I forgot to make the Sign of the Cross during my absolution in Confession today, and I also forgot to say the Act of Contrition before my confession. Before Confession, I didn’t go through all the Ten Commandments during my examination of conscience but I already knew which certain sins I needed to confess since they may have been serious. Was the confession valid?

    FATHER JOE: The order is not as important as you might think. Were you contrite or sorry? Did the priest extend absolution? If so, then yes, it was valid.

  9. To begin, I just want to mention that I tend to be scrupulous, that might bring some clarity to what I ask. I am currently a junior in high school and I’m taking Spanish 3 because we are required to take a foreign language credit for 2 years if we want to be honor students. I’m afraid however that I am cheating by taking this course because I am already a native speaker. There are other foreign languages offered at our school but now that the school year has begun I don’t know if I will be able to change my schedule. We have until this Thursday. The rational side of me says there is no sin in taking the Spanish class because I’m truly taking it to improve my writing and reading in Spanish but my mind won’t let me be at ease about this issue. I just really need some clarity. Would taking this class and then later AP Spanish my senior year be a mortal sin (because I fear it might be like I’m cheating bc I already know the language)? Thank you for taking the time to read this.

    FATHER JOE: You have a head start in being bilingual. The class will improve your language skills, particularly in writing. It is okay. You could stretch yourself more with a third language, but I do not see a sin in what you are doing.

  10. I flirted with a girl on social media saying she was super attractive and I thought she was dating someone before I talked to her. My priest told me I should probably stay away from situations of girls with boyfriends. But Is it a sin if Im exploring the possibilities with this girl? Am I provoking her in a wrong way and/or hurting my neighbor (the boyfriend)? Also they aren’t one just bc they are in a relationship? I mean if I have feelings for a girl and communicate with her I shouldnt be doubting the intentions. Honestly I can see it going either way with faith, I dont want to sin but think its alright or have lack of faith and think it isnt alright when it is. She isn’t married. These are my questions and concerns. Thank you

    FATHER JOE: I do not address such questions about dating. You have to figure it out. Your priest friend probably fears that you will get hurt. Just be honest and respectful of others in all that you do.

  11. Father, I think you misread my question on Medicis: Master of Florence. It wasn’t about the show itself, it more pertained to some of these Netflix Series that have free will with their production. Take for example The Borgias, it told a good story, yet was strong in sexual nature. try to live a strong christian life, I go to church every weekend, and I go to confession monthly. My question is whether watching a show that has sex scenes, albeit rated R is considered a grave sin. Venial sin? My thoughts are that your followup question will be my thoughts during the scenes. I’ll say that it doesn’t impact me one way or the other, and there is no fantasizing or the woman on the screen. Thanks in advance for your time.

    FATHER JOE: Again, I know nothing about them. If they are pornographic then you should not watch them.

  12. What happens if don’t love Jesus

    FATHER JOE: What happens if you fail to love God and your neighbor? You know as well as I do.

  13. Hello I was wondering if a Scapular is only legitimate if its wool or if I could wear a metal Scapular I have wool sensitivity.

    FATHER JOE: Some are coated in plastic. There are different types. But it is not a magic talisman. It signifies faith.

  14. Is it possible to commit a mortal sin just by thinking that an action is mortally sinful? I am speaking about scrupulous people who think a lot of things are mortal sins, even though they are really venial or not sinful at all. If they do these things with no intention to sin gravely and do not want to seriously offend God, are they sinning mortally? Let’s say they don’t KNOW that the Church says it’s mortal, but their brain tells them it’s mortal.

    FATHER JOE: The conditions must be met: (1) the matter must be grievously wrong; (2) you must know it is wrong: and (3) you must freely consent to the evil.

  15. Dear Father Joe

    In Luke 24:13-33 THE ROAD TO EMMAUS – one of the two disciples was Cleopas, who is the other one?

    Thank you, Father

    FATHER JOE: I do not believe the name is given.

  16. If you deliberately leave out a venial sin, or a doubtful mortal sin in Confession, because you are embarrassed to say it, does that make your confession bad? I read that you don’t have to confess sins that aren’t certainly mortal, but what if you leave something out that you are not bound to confess? Is that a sin/sacrilege, because you are not confessing it due to embarrassment?

    FATHER JOE: The teaching is what it is… you are not obliged to confess every venial sin but you are encouraged to confess those venial sins that may grow into mortal sins. If you are embarrassed by the sin then the severity may be more serious than you think. Just do not overwhelm the confessor or try to hide mortal sin under a haystack of venial ones. Tell him what needs to be told, receive the proper counsel and penance, and then take advantage of the graces that come with absolution.

  17. Father, If I start masturbating and then stop since I do not want to offend God. Is that still a sin? I am so confused? Thanks

    FATHER JOE: Yes, it is still a sin.

  18. Hello Father:
    We were married in a Protestant church, she was Catholic, me Protestant. Later I converted and we repeated vows before a Catholic priest, but she said that she had “mental reservations” both times.

    The original marriage was civilly annulled. Do I need to get an annulment from the Church or not, as the original marriage contract was annulled?
    Thanks,
    Pete

    FATHER JOE: If you repeated the vows later before a priest… you may indeed be married. Speak to the priest.

  19. Hello Father, I have an odd question. Back in the early 70’s when we went to church there was a gadget that my dad would slide a communion wafer over for each member of our family that would be taking communion. I believe the wafer would fall down a tube to a bowl which would be taken to the altar later. No one has any idea what I’m talking about and I am hoping you will know what I’m talking about and what the item is called.

    FATHER JOE: There is no such mechanism. It would be sacrilege. I suspect you are confusing hosts with coins and devices used to separate and count money.

  20. Does God have a plan for our lives?

    FATHER JOE: Yes.

  21. I was visited by an angel who told me I am Mary the mother of Jesus. Could this be true?

    FATHER JOE: No, you are delusional.

  22. Hello, Father Joe, my name is Jeremy Kok. I am a Catholic from Malaysia and for many years I was brought up as a practising Catholic by my mother. Father, I would like to ask is it alright to pray for the deceased soul of the late French Queen, Marie Antoinette and her family because recently I was reading a book titled ‘Tea at Trianon’ written by a Catholic author named Elena Maria Vidal who debunked the myths concerning the monarch.

    FATHER JOE: You can pray for anyone.

  23. You’re allowed to work for legitimate social services on Sunday. Does the career of a counselor count as an important social service?

    FATHER JOE: It could.

  24. Will I go to hell if I don’t love my neighbor

    FATHER JOE: It is possible.

  25. If you receive the Eucharist when you’re not sure that you fasted for a complete hour, (but you’re not trying to defy God), is it a mortal sin/sacrilege? I went to Confession but it didn’t occur to me to confess this. So, if it was considered sacrilege, was I forgiven and can I receive Communion now? Thanks so much.

    FATHER JOE: Certainty is required in the commission of sins. But you should be careful to observe liturgical laws.

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