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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

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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!





4,503 Responses

  1. Hi,

    Today at Mass I started having doubts about the Catholic faith being real. I talked myself out of the doubt as I was on line for Communion (I realized my thoughts didn’t make sense), and they were gone. But then when I actually was in front of the priest receiving Communion, they came back. As I said amen I remember thinking “I don’t really mean that” and then I put my hands out and received. It was such a weird, tense moment. I felt like I was freely doing it (while knowing it was a serious sin to receive without believing). But at the same time, I don’t think I was actually free because the thoughts seemed to come on so suddenly and I panicked. The panic prevented me from being able to think clearly to get rid of the doubt. I don’t feel I was actually free to suddenly tell the priest, “stop, don’t give it to me, I don’t believe it.” There was too much pressure for me not to receive (since I already walked up to the priest). And also, I think a part of me acknowledged the doubt as just “feelings” and pushed it aside, because I knew I actually did believe in Jesus deep down in my heart (so that’s why I continued to receive despite the doubtful thoughts). But during the whole incident I was just filled with so much panic, and it felt like I mortally sinned by freely receiving without faith, even though in my daily life I absolutely do have faith. So, I’m so scared right now. Did I commit a mortal sin by receiving while doubting Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist? It really felt like I was consenting to mortal sin at the moment I recieved, but it’s just so hard to tell what really was happening in my mind since all I could focus on at the time was the anxiety about mortally sinning while having doubt.


    The issue of scrupulosity is what emerges from the rambling comment— just look at it! My goodness, it drains the soul just to read it.

    . . . I started having doubts
    . . . I talked myself out of the doubt
    . . . I realized my thoughts didn’t make sense
    . . . They were gone . . . they came back
    . . . I said amen . . . “I don’t really mean that”
    . . . I felt like I was freely doing it
    . . . While knowing it was a serious sin to receive without believing
    . . . At the same time, I don’t think I was actually free
    . . . I panicked
    . . . Panic prevented me from being able . . . to get rid of the doubt
    . . . I don’t feel I was actually free
    . . . “Stop, don’t give it to me, I don’t believe it”
    . . . Too much pressure for me not to receive
    . . . I think a part of me acknowledged the doubt as just “feelings”
    . . . I knew I actually did believe in Jesus deep down in my heart
    . . . I continued to receive despite the doubtful thoughts
    . . . I was just filled with so much panic
    . . . It felt like I mortally sinned by freely receiving without faith
    . . . Even though in my daily life I absolutely do have faith
    . . . I’m so scared right now
    . . . Did I commit a mortal sin by receiving while doubting
    . . . Felt like I was consenting to mortal sin at the moment I received
    . . . So hard to tell what really was happening in my mind
    . . . All I could focus on at the time was the anxiety
    . . . Mortally sinning while having doubt

    Sorry, but I think you are too ill to commit sin in this regard. There is nothing I can do for you online. You need to seek professional counseling. I will keep you in prayer.

  2. Father, for a long time I stopped doing certain healthy things that are not a sin. But I’m afraid I promised that I wouldn’t do these things. Honestly, I don’t remember promising anything. But I have doubts if I promised. Is this just another conscientious scruple?

    FATHER JOE: It sure sounds to me as a problem with scrupulosity.

  3. xHi there Father,

    This is a rather complex question but one I need an answer to because I really don’t want to be doing any wrong. I have a half-sister who was with this man, not married (now broken up) and they had a child— my half niece. The man had three children of his own with another woman before this. I just met my sister and everyone else but I’m having feelings for this man’s son, who as it turns out, is my half-niece’s half-brother— but of no relation to me.

    Now this man also has grandkids from that son for whom I have feelings and another one of his sons. And I have children of my own.

    So I guess what my question is this: is it alright to date his son? We are no relation, but I feel it might be wrong. So I don’t want to go ahead if it is wrong. I’ve been searching for an answer to this for a while with no real luck. Thank you so much in advance.


    There is no direct relationship and no connection by blood. Unless I am missing something it should be okay.

    However, was the son previously married? Were you? If so are the spouses both deceased? A divorce would still be problematical as the Church requires annulments. Dating between divorced persons can still constitute adultery.

  4. xHello,

    My father recently passed unexpectedly. The days leading up to his death he kept seeing our dead relatives. Through research I find seeing passed relatives is common. I was curious if there is any explanation for this?


    Yes, this is something I have also encountered in my ministry. I am at odds to give an explanation. I have heard that there are neurological reasons that would bypass any paranormal definition. I shudder to imagine that nature should seek to bring calm to the dying by fooling them with false visions of the beloved dead. It may be that there is a parallel and connection that we cannot analyze between the physical brain and the mind that is a property of the human soul. Hallucinations or dreams or visions of the dead seem to bring calm to the dying. Evidently in certain near-death experiences, such brings down blood pressure and heart-rates so that the afflicted might even survive. As a believer, I must attest to our hope that the Lord and the saints who have gone before us will welcome us into the heavenly kingdom.

  5. hello father is it still a mortal sin to miss mass as of August 2, 2020? Just asking because of the coronavirus still being rampant thank you father

    FATHER JOE: Depending where you live the obligations for holy days and Sundays has been lifted during the pandemic.

  6. Hello,

    I am a new English teacher at a Catholic school. I want to be very careful about exposing students to inappropriate literature. I don’t want to give scandal in any way.

    My question is this: is it a sin for me to have them read books that may have inappropriate content like sexual innuendos or rape?

    My other question is this: the teacher before me assigned a book for summer reading called Native Son, which I am now reading.

    There are some inappropriate parts like the ones I mentioned above.

    I am worried that I am committing a sin by letting the students read this even though I didn’t pick it. Should I email the students (they are seniors in high school) and tell them they don’t have to read it?


    Is it a sin? Reading the book in question may not be sinful but this leaves open the issue as to whether it is age appropriate. The fact that it is approved and assigned has been taken out of your hands. I would suggest doing your best to help the young people deal with the themes— especially with superficial and flawed understanding of religious faith.

    I knew Native Son was being read in college but did not know it was on high school reading lists. There are a couple of versions available and I know that an earlier abridged version is still in print. The work deals with themes that are still quite contemporary regarding race and justice. While there is value in this, I would hope that teachers would use the work as a starting point for discussion and not as an apologetic that would frame (as the author would) a future world. The author has been accused of adopting a Marxian dialectic and while religion plays its part in the text, the assessment is negative. Indeed, Richard Wright arguably sees Christianity as part of the problem, offering a mythical “pie-in-the-sky” that avoids seeking social change in the here-and-now. The current Black Lives Matter organization much in the news right now espouses on its website such a position. The Klan’s notorious use of a flaming cross has turned off many people of faith. Of course, one of the greatest heroes of the struggle for racial justice is the Baptist minister, Martin Luther King. The black community is at odds with itself over the role of faith.

    As for elements of sexuality, it is a part of our humanity; although I must admit to being turned off by any writing that is flagrantly erotic. The issue or rape is a serious one. Be careful about this because boys can be immature and insensitive just as girls can sometimes display heightened sensitivity, fear and woundedness about the subject. While tame by comparison to this book, I recall as a high school boy being surprised and shocked by the clandestine “fog scene” in Tom Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles. The next time we meet her she is pregnant— what?

  7. xHello Father. I make websites for a living. A Hindu religious organization is asking me to make a website for them. Their facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/RamakrishnaVedantaSociety

    Are there any moral issues I should consider before considering this job? Am I committing a sin if I take this job?

    FATHER JOE: My brother bidded for the windows of a mosque. He was thrown out when they discovered he was a Catholic. Like any contractor, you are offering your technical services… not making a faith confession. You are simply assisting a religious organization to have a web presence. That should be okay. Matters would be different if the site promoted violence, discrimination, pornography or the murder of persons. Organizations that espouse dialogue and peaceful co-existence are members of the larger community that should be treated as good neighbors. Peace!

  8. xHi Father,

    Thank you for offering this platform for us to ask questions. I have a question about whether something would fall under the sin of rash judgement or would just be a temptation. I have anxiety; unfortunately, this leads to me having thoughts that other people might be judging me because of the things that I say or do. I am usually able to stop myself after those thoughts pop up; but I am wondering if just having those thoughts would constitute the scenario of a near occasion of sin that should be avoided? I think I have really bad scrupulosity. I tend to ask priests a lot of questions. I am worried that because of these thoughts, I should not be asking them any further questions. Thank you so much in advance!


    The questions are arguably a symptom of scrupulosity, not any kind of near occasion for sin. There is nothing wrong with asking questions. Indeed, it is probably even neutral matter to ask ridiculous questions. Scrupulosity often leads to inquiries that have little or no moral weight in reality. Indeed, I find that this mental tendency is toward the fanciful or unreal. Some imagine themselves much worse than they actually are. The sin is rooted in a denial of the goodness of creation, an errant self-deprecation and a repudiation of God’s power to save and to forgive. I cannot say whether people are constantly judging you but I can tell you that all of us will stand before the divine tribunal. If we walk with the Lord then we need fear neither men nor the judgment of God.

  9. Hello Father Joe,
    Just checking to see if “ask a priest” is still active. Hope all is well.

    FATHER JOE: Just terribly busy. I lost my kid brother to cancer. The parish has suffered shut downs and even now numbers are limited under sanctions for the coronavirus pandemic. It has been a living hell. But still doing God’s work.

  10. xHello Father, I have a question.

    I am a teenager that’s questioning my gender. Is being transgender a sin? I was never really brought to church as a child and even when I was, they never brought this topic up. Sorry if this is a dumb question!


    It is not a dumb question and I can well imagine that it never came up in religious formation. While we discussed the issue of homosexual sin in seminary, I cannot recall a single instance of where we discussed gender dysphoria. As for where the Church stands, I suspect that moralists would teach that you are locked into your birth-gender (meaning DNA) no matter how one might feel himself or herself to be. I suppose that transgender issues would fit into the argumentation about disorientation. The sense that you are a transgendered person is not a sin. No one has the right to belittle you or to mock you. Despite efforts by those who would socially engineer acceptance about the accompanying lifestyles and sexual expression, the Church would look at the disconnect between one’s physical integrity and personality as an instance of our brokenness or woundedness as human beings afflicted by original sin. There is much that we might attempt to normalize and yet we must admit that life is often unfair and that we face many challenges to finding acceptance and happiness. I cannot imagine what it feels like to be you. It may be we try too much to define others and would best leave judgment to almighty God? I believe that sexual congress belongs exclusively to men and women in marriage. All the rest of us, single of whatever orientation and those who have vowed celibacy should live our states of life with modesty and chastity. I would recommend that unmarried couples who seek a special bond with others do so in the context of sisterly and brotherly love. We can expand the definition of family without a rupture of traditional moral law. However you know yourself to be— know also that God loves you and thus his Church must also reach out to you with both truth and compassion. The imitation of Christ would have us protect the sanctity of life and raise up the dignity and rights of persons.

  11. xA woman wants to date me. She divorced her husband years ago when he had an extramarital affair but then remarried him last year to get his pension when he dies. His pension is apparently substantial. He lives in NH and she lives in NJ. I feel like it would be a mortal sin to date her, your thoughts please.


    The Church does not recognize divorce and so unless there are other impediments she is a married woman. The fact that she civilly remarried him just to get his pension is dishonest and an act that impugns the dignity of marriage. It would certainly be a matter of mortal sin to date her. Keep your distance. Pray for the poor man who is her estranged husband.

  12. xHi Father

    I had a question regarding female co-workers. I have a friend that will be unfortunately soon going through a divorce. She is a nice woman and attractive. We tend to talk a few times per week and the content is usually about work, her kids, etc. She does share some of the frustrations with her spouse who is an alcoholic and abusive. I try to be supportive but I try not to offer any more advice or complements. I am afraid she may be a little attached as she initiates the conversation.

    Another friend at work recently confided to me that she was unhappy in her marriage. I will usually exchange pleasantries for a few minutes with her but not real lengthy conversations. Since I like to stay in shape, on the spur of the moment, I tried to get her attention later felt badly about it. My confessor made a comment that adultery is not just sexual contact but he did not elaborate. I confess I find both women attractive but would never do anything to enter into a relationship with them as they are not free to marry. Would this be in the area of adultery since an attachment that might develop with one of the women? I have struggled off and on with scruples over the years. Thank you.


    You cannot entirely help how you might feel for others. The chemistry of friendships is a mystery over which we do not have total control. The workplace can be particularly problematical because we do not have jurisdiction over such associations and the time spent together. Workplace adultery is a real and pressing problem in American society and should not be taken lightly. Part of the problem is that contemporary adults have separated sexual intimacy from marriage prior to contractual and/or sacramental unions. Fornication often leads to adultery. Men and women, particularly if they are attracted to each other, struggle with how to relate to one another as friends and co-workers. An eroticized society is not a healthy environment for men and women who want to pursue chase and platonic friendships. Mature men and women know this and they must be careful of how they act and the signs they give. Further, those in bad marriages might seek intimacy and compassion outside their unions. A good friend might want to be there so as to help but should not get in the way or inhibit the healing of a couple’s relationship. This means knowing when to back away, when to remain silent and when not to take sides. Beyond an act of infidelity, one can commit adultery in thought and desire. You cannot totally master your heart, but true love acknowledges that a beloved belongs to another. You do not want to become part of the problem. Avoid flirtation and wrongful fantasies. Treat all persons with respect and preserve propriety.

  13. xHi I’m not a Christian but I have interest in the vice Vainglory. I would like to know if Vainglory is something seen as bad and what type of persona would be defined as Vainglory. What would it take to be seen as someone who represents Vainglory. In other words, I’d like to know the persona of someone with strong vainglory, what type of persona are they, are they bad and what is vainglory. I’ve researched it a lot and all the explanations are quite complex and I can only understand them to a small extent.


    The term “vainglory” is just an old term for excessive vanity. It is an obsessive concern about how others perceive you. It signifies a person who prizes himself too much and others too little. Pride can be good and bad. One should have a pride that represents the truth about oneself and achievements. Vainglory would signify a swelling of pride that damages the truth where one overestimates one’s worth. The result is usually a snobbish attitude toward others. Just as vainglory compels one to exaggerate personal value and achievements; it also forces one to belittle the meaning and contribution of others. The smaller they become, the bigger we can imagine ourselves. The focus is very narcissistic. The world revolves around you. Instead of giving praise to others or even glory to God, such a person imagines that he is the source of all the benefits he enjoys. Such boasting always leads to contention and opposition to others. Such a person wants things done his way and is dismissive of the contributions and even the support of others. As with so many vices, it readily leads to disobedience.

  14. Should a Catholic refuse to remove clothing at doctors office if this could later cause unwanted impure thoughts or even wet dreams.

    FATHER JOE: Given that there is no professional impropriety, you should follow the directives of your physician so as to insure your health. Doctors care for the body and thus you need to let them do their job. As for dreams, you cannot control them and there is no sin.

  15. xHi Father, is it a sin to not obey your confessor when he tells you to do something? For example, my priest told me not to write down my sins because I am scrupulous. Is it a mortal sin if I disobey this?


    I would not question such a directive from a confessor. Indeed, asking if not complying is a mortal sin is likely a symptom of scrupulosity. Writing sins can be perilous, not only because we can quickly compound unworthiness and sin but because there is a danger of exposure to others. You should listen to your confessor. Refusal to do so may be a sign that you really do not want to be forgiven. Do you distrust the power of absolution given the priest? Do you believe that you are unforgivable? Trust the grace and power of God.

  16. xIs it wrong for Catholics to watch shows such as Ghost Adventures and A Haunting? They have episodes of recorded demonic events and I wonder if it’s wrong for me to be viewing? Seeing it makes me realize just how important my faith is and that there truly is evil prowling the world.


    As with everything, we should be mindful that what we watch does not damage our faith and values. As a lover of science fiction and fairytales, and as a believer, I sometimes suspend belief for entertainment. We do this regularly with children’s fantasies like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. However, we should be mindful that not everything in these ghost hunting programs would fit into our belief system. Indeed the occult, which can lead to demonic possession, is seriously dangerous. We should not seek communications from the dead. Many of the television programs make exaggerations about light and shadow, as well as interpreting creaking old houses and noisy furnaces as instances of the paranormal. Note that the Syfy Network that ran the Ghost Hunters program also showed professional wrestling. Both were likely more fiction than truth. But people found them fun to watch all the same.

  17. Hi sorry to bother you. I have an etiquette question regarding hanging religious paintings. Is it wrong to hang religious paintings above a fireplace mantle? I have a beautiful painting of The Holy Trinity that I want to hang above my fireplace mantle but I’m not sure if it is appropriate. Thank you!

    FATHER JOE: There is no issue.

  18. xDear Fr. Joe, does the official Catholic doctrine on abortion explicitly state or imply that the killing of a child inside the womb is the same as killing a child outside the womb? (My personal belief is that it is the same as I can see no other logical conclusion). I posed this question to the USCCB but they have not answered. In two letters to the Pope I stated that allowing Catholic politicians impunity when they promote abortion is being complicit. Well, he did not send a reply to that one.


    I suspect that neither the USCCB nor the Holy Father regularly respond to inquiries from individuals. Given Saint Pope John Paul II’s words on the Gospel of Life and that of the universal catechism, it is safe to say that there is equivalence between the destruction of a child inside or outside the womb. The catechism states: [2270] “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.”

  19. xHello Father, my husband is a Eucharistic Minister and last Sunday he brought me home a consecrated host. I did not receive it immediately because I did not want to do so before “attending” an online Mass. Days have passed and now it has been 6 days with the host in pix on our home altar. What should I do at this point? Is it okay to receive? I feel terrible. Thank you.


    Your husband meant well but if I were his priest I would remove him from service as an Extraordinary Minister until such time that he was properly instructed about his service. The host must be received by the communicant immediately. It cannot be reserved in a private home. He should have known this and he is morally culpable. I cannot say what his pastor will say but it is a serious matter and should probably be brought up. Tell your husband to give you the sacrament using the proper ritual. If you will not take the host then it should be returned immediately to the pastor and your church. Only priests and deacons are technically ministers of the “Eucharist.” An Extraordinary Minister functions as an extension of the hands of his pastor. We always tell Extraordinary Ministers that there can be no side trips or general conversations until their charge is dispensed. They are to keep the sacrament with them until Holy Communion is given. It cannot be left in the car or in someone’s home. It must be consumed or returned to the parish. It is a serious matter and pastors are ultimately accountable. Any misconduct with the sacrament is regarded as an ecclesial crime. There is no way to make light of this.

  20. Hello Father, I want to ask some questions . . . .

    1. How faithful is God?
    2. Can God be compromised or manipulated by any human being?
    3. Will God keep to his promises?
    4. Can God be made to change his mind when he has finally made a decision?


    1. How faithful is God?

    Abraham’s covenant with God hinges upon human obedience. If he and his tribe honor and obey him then they will be his people and he will be their God. The history of salvation demonstrates that God again and again goes beyond these terms and is faithful even when his people desert him. It is then that God calls them back to fidelity. Christ is faithful to his father unto the Cross. Such is the measure in love for the fidelity of the Lord. His faithfulness is everlasting.

    2. Can God be compromised or manipulated by any human being?

    No, God is above human manipulation. God knows what we want and need before we even ask him. However, such is the will of God and our disposition as creatures that God would have us call upon him. Divine providence is a mystery that makes a straight path from our crooked lines. Sin brings suffering and death into our world. God is good and in Christ we find redemption.

    3. Will God keep to his promises?

    Yes, indeed, the primary promise has already been kept. A messiah has come to bring healing and forgiveness to a broken world. Jesus Christ is the divine promise fulfilled.

    4. Can God be made to change his mind when he has finally made a decision?

    We may speak of God relenting upon punishment but this is how we experience such as creatures locked in time. God stands outside time in eternity or in an eternal now. The will of God is incontrovertible. Philosophers speak of the creator-God as the Unmoved Mover. God knows all things, seeing and sustaining all creation in time and into eternity.

  21. Sorry Father Joe this does not really answer the situatuion on what the Pope is quoted as as saying. The catechism has been changed before and can be again what assurance now a days is there that our Catholic Faith is secure like it once was ! Thank you for your answer Marcel


    The universal catechism came out under Pope John Paul II. The only changes or tweaks have been in regard to capital punishment. There are a number of factors at work. First, notice that this is not a creedal matter but one of social teaching. Certain social teachings are fluid because the Church must respond to changing societal and cultural traditions. For instance, kings and queens have largely disappeared. We have seen the emergence of democracies, communist dictatorships and Islamic theocracies. At least in the more developed world, it is argued that correctional procedures no longer require the death sentence. The American bishops also worry that justice may not be fairly administered, given that money and ethnicity have an undue influence. I suspect the late Pope John Paul frowned on the death penalty because it fostered a culture of death where the innocent and the unborn were also more likely to suffer. He also endured the persecution of Communism in Poland where even the political dissenter’s life was endangered by authorities. The movement we have seen is this: that the state has the right to take human life in certain circumstances to the less nuanced view of Pope Francis that capital punishment is universally wrong. Second, I would prefer words like “evolution” or “maturation” or “development” over change. This movement is not capricious. As with the question of slavery, tolerated in biblical times and in much of Church history, the popes came to discern that modern slavery reflected deep-seated prejudices where human life and dignity were maligned. The seed for this evolution was in the New Testament appreciation that in Christ there is neither free nor slave, male nor female, Jew nor Gentile— we are created with unalienable natural rights and our humanity is raised even higher by grace. No man or woman can be reduced to property just as no unborn child should be reduced to a disposable commodity. Pope Francis is highlighting the perpetual truth that all life belongs to God. A people that allow the murder of their innocent children have no moral ground to take the lives of those deemed guilty of crimes. While the latter is currently the cause of much discussion; the abolition of slavery finds no debate and is widely acknowledged as a case where we perceive the organic development of dogma. Revelation is a done deal. The faith grows with reflection upon the sources of revelation— our understanding intensifies. We may also apply old and trusted principles to new questions, like the morality of having or using nuclear weapons or cloning or IVF or whatever.

    The focus of your previous question was quite narrow and targeted the last things. You wrote: “Sorry Fr. Joe, I sent you unfinished comment on His Holiness Pope Francis. I have Parkinsons and it makes it difficult to type. I am concerned with recent reports that the Pope stated that there is no heaven, hell, or purgatory. Even Limbo after 800 years does not exist! Is there any truth to these reports or are they misquotes and misunderstandings. As a devout Catholic I am deeply concerned that the gates of hell may prevail against Holy Mother Church. Our Lady of Fatima is proof that there is a heaven and a hell and this been an approved apparition for over 100 years. Thank you!”

    My response remains the same: “There has been no change to the catechism so there must be a misunderstanding.” As it turns out, such was the case. Indeed, the Pope speaks a great deal about the devil and hell. As for limbo, it is only omitted from the universal catechism because it was taught as a credible theological opinion from the scholastic period. We are hopeful about the little children but I cannot say for sure whether there is a limbo of the innocents or not. Pope Francis has been quite stern to priests who would deny the baptism of babies, even when the parents have been unfaithful and are unmarried. This seems reflective of the older tradition that we should not delay baptism so as to insure the place of our children in the kingdom.

  22. Hi father, i forgot to give some bonus to one of my subordinates in 2009. In 2015 while she no longer worked for me i sent her the money. My question do we i have to pay her exact amount + inflation rate or just the exact amount?
    Thank you

    FATHER JOE: I would not know.

  23. Sorry Fr. Joe ,I sent you unfinished comment on His Holiness Pope Francis , I have Parkinson and it makes it difficult to type but I cannot write at all. I am concerned with recent reports that the Pope stated there is no heaven,hell, or purgatory even Limbo after 800 years does not exsist! Is there any truth to these reports or are they misquotes and miss understandings. As a devout Catholic I am deeply concerned that the gates of hell may prevail against Holy Mother Church. Our Lady of
    Fatima is proof that there is a heaven and a hell and this been approved
    apparition for over 100 years. Thank you!

    FATHER JOE: There has been no change to the catechism so there must be a misunderstanding.

  24. So they say suicide is a sin and u go straight to hell but is refusing cancer treatment to live longer the same thing as suicide

    FATHER JOE: Suicide is wrong but who says that one would necessarily go “straight to hell”? People may have good reasons for refusing certain cancer treatments.

  25. Hi Father,
    Due to the coronavirus in my country,we are only allowed to receive communion by hand.
    I’m wondering if I should lick my hand after receiving communion even if there doesn’t appear to be any particles…just in case.

    FATHER JOE: Do not lick your hand. The parvity of matter would generally make it inconsequential, especially if you cannot see or feel it.

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