• Our Blogger

    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.

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Garage Sale Lady on Ask a Priest
    Barbara King on Traditionis Custodes – T…
    jamerican31 on Ask a Priest
    paulbrann on Traditionis Custodes – T…
    paulbrann on A Tremor for Many, an Earthqua…

Ask a Priest

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!





4,633 Responses

  1. Fr. Joe
    About 25+ years ago I stood in proxy for a Godparent at baptism. However, that man was not at the time, nor is now, a Confirmed Catholic. Was that Baptism valid? And if not would that make the subsequent Sacraments invalid? And if so, would he need to receive the sacraments through RCIA now?

    Thank you.

    FATHER JOE: The sacrament is valid.

  2. Hello Father – I was raised in the Roman Catholic Faith, my partner was raised in the Church of England. We are discussing our options for Marriage, and I was hoping for your guidance.

    I would prefer to give an undertaking (to be prepared to avoid the dangers of abandoning the faith and to do all I can within the unity of the (marriage) partnership to have all the children of the marriage baptised and brought up in the Roman Catholic Church). I do not wish my partner to convert to Catholicism.

    What law / rules / steps must we be aware of going through this process? Does a Catholic Priest need to make a request for dispensation on my (our) behalf? What does the marriage ceremony look like to be respectful of both faith traditions?

    Any clarity would be greatly appreciated. And I thank you for your time.


    Any decision about conversion would rest with your partner, not you. We cannot force people to join the Catholic faith. Your friend is an Anglican and thus is a baptized Christian. That will make any marriage between you a sacrament. The two of you should see a priest to give proper notice, fill out a few forms, request the proper dispensation and take formation or pre-Cana preparation. The marriage rite must follow the revised Catholic ritual but it is very similar to the Anglican use. Since you cannot share Holy Communion, it would likely consist of the Liturgy of the Word followed by the Marriage Rite. The Marriage Rite has various parts but foremost are the vows, reception of the vows, blessing and exchange of the rings and bidding prayers. Sometimes there is the lighting of a nuptial candle (not in our ritual) and/or a presentation of a flower and a prayer of the couple at the altar of the Blessed Virgin. There is some variation about this and your priest could help you. Blessings upon you both!

  3. I just wanted to know if I can break my 12 year fast from pork as I made a promise not to eat pork?

    FATHER JOE: To whom did you make the promise? The issue may be that we should not make frivolous or silly promises.

  4. Revelation 22:18-19.
    I’ve read 2 explanations so far.
    1. The author is simply trying to protect his work by adding a solemn abjuration
    2. The passage describes blasphemy – “Adding to or taking away from God’s inspired word is equivalent to saying his word is in error”.

    Which interpretation is the correct one?


    John 22:18-19: “I warn everyone who hears the prophetic words in this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words in this prophetic book, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city described in this book.”

    First, while these words apply to the Book of Revelation, a number of Church authorities (often Protestant) would argue that they apply to the entire Bible. They make this argument against Sacred Tradition and the use of a catechism. Catholicism would link these verses with our understanding that inspired public revelation ends with John, the last apostle. Second, both assertions you make are in play given that the revelation given to John comes from almighty God. There were a number of similar apocalyptic works floating around at the time and the author wants to insure that there will be no confusion. This both protects his work and acknowledges its inspired nature. While authorities can search out the oldest texts and make translations; no one should presume to change or edit Scripture for the dictates of fad or changing sensibilities or because of the intrusion of private revelation. Trying to tell God his business is by definition BLASPHEMY.

  5. I have seen many psyc and psychologist..so would lessen my sins or not be accountable for these sins..i do have severe OCD AND SCRUOULOSITY. ANXIETY
    AND COMPULSIONS ARE SO GREAT i did ha e a FransiscN moral theologian. I should not be contacting you but i do have same sex attratction
    My SD is also a psychologist.

    FATHER JOE: Mental illness can mitigate sin. But we should all try to be good and holy.

  6. Hello!
    I my husband and I had full intention on going to mass on January first. We got ourselves and kids ready but when we got to our church we discovered that the mass time had changed and we had missed it. I then received holy Eucharist the following Sunday. Did I commit mortal sins?

    FATHER JOE: Most places right now have lifted the obligation because of the pandemic. So there is no sin.

  7. I gave up pork about 12 years ago
    Now I’m thinking of bringing it back into my diet
    Just wondering since I gave it up as a personal promise to the lord if I can start eating it again?

    FATHER JOE: It is between you and the Lord. I urge against frivolous promises.

  8. My husband and I would like to offer ashes on Ash Wednesday at our business. It is in a poor underserved area. I find many people feel unworthy/unwelcome at church, plus there are Covid concerns.
    As lifelong Episcopalians we know the blessing by heart.
    I understand it is not a high holiday and lay people can administer ashes.
    Is our plan okay?

    FATHER JOE: My problem is that a sacramental is not a talisman. Would those receiving ashes know the meaning? You would want it to be more than a matter of show. You will have to talk with your own pastor about the directives of your church. Given the pandemic, the Holy Father has told Catholic priests that this year we will only offer the formula saying once and then sprinkle ashes on heads without touching anyone.

  9. Can scented candles be blessed and used privately.

    FATHER JOE: All sorts of candles can be blessed, as long as there is no occult or voodoo connection.

  10. Here in Southern California (January 4) the pandemic is raging and there is a stay-at-home order in place for the State. Our parish has instituted a communion service each Sunday for those who watch Sunday mass on TV and then attend a brief, outdoor communion service. I have been using this option.

    Now that the Covid conditions are at a critical level, I am very concerned about attending the communion service (I am 74). As a senior citizen categorized as “most at risk” I am at a loss in how I should proceed. While I trust that God would not permit a person to be infected while attending a communion service, I struggle with a go/no-go decision to put myself at risk.

    Is my trust in God’s intervention to protect me against Covid enough to give me confidence to attend a communion service?

    Would I be better served by simply saying the prayer shown on the mass telecast to ask for God’s grace in Communion?

    FATHER JOE: It is okay to stay home and pray for a spiritual communion. But do not forget to support your parish.

  11. Hello there! I am a Catholic can I still watch Danny Duncan?

    FATHER JOE: I have no idea who he is.

  12. Hi Father,
    If I forget to confess sins of my past(not intentionally) are they automatically forgiven and do I have to confess them when I remember them in the future.

    FATHER JOE: Sins legitimately forgotten are absolved in confession.

  13. What is your take on the Covid-19 vaccines using aborted fetal tissue and the Vatican saying it is okay?

    01-12-21 FATHER JOE:

    The USCCB has stated: “Neither the Pfizer nor the Moderna vaccine involved the use of cell lines that originated in fetal tissue taken from the body of an aborted baby at any level of design, development, or production.”

    Pope Francis has stated, “I believe that ethically everyone must take the vaccine, it is an ethical option; otherwise, you risk your health, your life, but also the lives of others.”

    They have been judged as ethically permissible because there is a remote (not direct or immediate) connection to abortion.


  14. In the Catechism it says that the second precept of the Church is, “you shall confess your sins at least once a year.” Does this apply if you only have venial sins? Because I’ve read elsewhere in the Catechism that the confession of venial sins is not strictly necessary. Also, I’ve read both in the Catechism and canon law that you must confess grave sins once a year. If the second precept of the Church applies if you have only venial sins, why do canon law and the Catechism mention just grave sins, and not all sins, in the lines about confession once a year? Thanks.

    FATHER JOE: The obligation is strictly binding if you have committed mortal sin. However, even the confession of venial sins merits grace and helps us in the spiritual life.

  15. Hello Father,

    I hope you don’t think question is trivial but I’ve no idea where else I might find the answer.

    I know that catholics are encouraged to obtain from eating meat on Fridays. But this year, Christmas day was on a Friday. Does that mean they should have refrained from eating meat even though it was Christmas?

    Many thanks and God bless,


    FATHER JOE: The UK has restored the obligatory Friday abstinence. The USA has not. However, Christmas is a FEAST and that supersedes the penitential obligation on a Friday.

  16. Hello I’m wanting to know can the devil or his Demons hear silent prayers coming a demon possed person?

    FATHER JOE: The devil might deduce thoughts but cannot ordinarily read minds. However, this would change if one were to direct his mind and will to a demon. Then it could hear you


  17. Hello, I want to know is it bad to date or marry ur gob siblings. That are not blood related?

    FATHER JOE: People should not marry siblings. I have no idea what a “gob” sibling might be.

  18. Merry Christmas Father Joe and hopefully a very good new year ahead.

    Thank you for your posts and responses.

  19. Sorry to ask this of you, I have not heard back from the local parishes to which I’ve reached out. I am 51 but knew as a teenager I belonged in the Catholic Church. Because of family influence and other challenges, I started RCIA several times but never finished. I am now divorced and remarried and feel a distinct call from God to join the Catholic Church and fulfill God’s call I ignored so many years ago. I understand my situation can be problematic (my wife is not a Catholic) but I hope to find a way “Home.”

    FATHER JOE: What is the question? Talk to your local priest, try to resolve the marriage issue and enter RCIA faith formation. Peace!

  20. Hello Father, I understand that the Catholic Church would view marriage as a sin without the annulment of a previous Catholic marriage. And, I think this is because a Catholic is still considered married to the previous spouse in the eyes of the Church. But, I’m very confused and cannot find any written Catholic teachings or references about the following: Can a divorced Catholic man, after being denied an annulment of his marriage, just live as roommates with a person of the opposite sex with no intention of marriage?

    A Catholic man, with a denied annulment, asked me to live with him as just a roommate. This is because of his loneliness. When he daily comes home every day it is to a very quiet and empty house. There is no one around to talk to, do projects together, cook together and clean the house together. He also wants a roommate of the opposite sex because he says that they can keep a “neater” household than a male roommate. He also wants to make money off of the rent that he would charge me to live with him. He said the rent money would be an investment just for him. Thank you for your time in responding to me, and God bless you!

    01-14-21 FATHER JOE:

    Cohabitation with a person of the opposite sex is highly frowned upon by the Church, as it is often euphemistic for so-called trial marriages or sexual relationships outside of the sacrament or a contractual civil union. Marriage is more than sharing the marital act. It includes romantic affection, exclusive devotion and living a common life. He would be giving to you what the Church teaches that he owes another woman. You would likely be playing with adultery. Sorry.

  21. Hello Father,

    I’m a born into a Catholic family and lived as a Catholic for 63 years. Over the past month or so I have stopped attending Mass because of the Pope and the direction he is leading our faith. I cringe every time his name is mentioned in the Eucharistic Prayer during the Liturgy. In addition to this, it has been disappointing to hear that some Catholic bishops and priests are saying it is okay for President-elect Biden to receive Communion, even though he is pro-abortion. By participating in all of this, I feel like I’m in a herd of swine destined for a cliff. I feel sick about not attending Mass, but I don’t know what else to do. I’ve been researching the Orthodox Church which celebrates the Eucharist, but denies the supremacy or infallibility of a pope. Any guidance from you would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you, Don

    01-14-21 FATHER JOE:

    Pope Benedict XVI was very clear that while the Eastern churches are truly “church” it is the Roman Catholic Church under the Pope that is the true Church instituted directly by Jesus Christ. This is no minor matter. I would suggest you concentrate on the reaffirmations of our faith given by the Holy Father and less upon the sensationalism linked to pastoral accommodations or language. Other than making a more sweeping appreciation of the sanctity of life in the catechism, nothing else has really changed. We can affirm chaste love but not sexual sin. We can reaffirm God’s love to those in irregular unions and the welcoming of the Church, but always insist upon repentance of sin and the fidelity in marriage until death. We can be good stewards of God’s creation but remind everyone that the greatest threat to the world is not just global warming but the hardness of hearts that would dismiss the dignity and rights of the child in the womb. Do not be carried away by headlines, scandals and cowards. Live out your faith courageously and without compromise. You can be a powerful witness (with others) to the priests, bishops and even to Pope Francis. Peace!

  22. If you don’t have any mortal sins to confess is it a mortal sin not to go to confession once a year?

    FATHER JOE: It is good to keep the habit of confession but technically you are only obliged if you have committed what would be regarded as a grievous sin (a matter of mortal sin).

  23. Hello Fr.

    Hope all’s well on your side. Our little island nation is going through a cyclone right now. Please keep us in your prayers.

    My question: has there ever been a moment in the history of the Church, where the devotion to Mother Mary has ever surpassed the devotion to Our Lord?

    Reason for question: I always wonder why other Christian denominations condemn us for honouring Mother Mary. From my personal experience, the more I say the Rosary, the closer I feel to Christ. Whenever I am in doubt or in a situation that questions my Faith in God, in prayer I hear Mother Mary saying “Listen to My Son”… And whenever I look at the crucifix, I can almost hear a voice saying “Trust Me”. It’s like, the more I depend on Mother Mary, the closer I feel to Christ.

    FATHER JOE: Mary always brings us to Jesus. Our devotion will always be primarily to Christ. The Mass is the re-presentation of his sacrifice on Calvary. It is in Holy Communion that we receive the risen Christ, whole and complete.

  24. If heaven is paradise what happens if your loved one is goes to hell and your going to heaven? Wwould there be a clone of them in heaven or would they just not be there? If so can heaven be a paradise without your loved one? This scenario has been on my mind for a while… be safe.

    FATHER JOE: No, there will be no copies of the damned in heaven. You will remember and love them but your joy at being in the presence of God will make impossible any sense of loss over their absence. Otherwise, heaven would be a hostage of hell. The saints cannot be kept in bondage to either the devil or to the damned.

  25. Hello Father, hope all is well. I seen that you was a huge Joe E. Brown fan. Im trying to help a friend to find a movie for her father n law. He was over seas during the end of War War II. They were watching a movie, and they stopped it to announce that the war had ended. He never got to see how the movie ended and would like to. All he remembers is that Joe was on a rail cart, and there was a large train coming behind him. Had to be a movie from before 1945. Thanks for any help that you can give. Bill

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s