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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!





4,973 Responses

  1. https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-bishops-set-collision-course-200150285.html

    What do you think of this?

    FATHER JOE: Doubt it will happen.

  2. Hi Father,

    I am a cradle catholic who has returned back to the church for the past year. Yesterday I went to reconciliation and one of the sins I confessed (among others) was lust. The priest asked me for more details this sin. As a woman, providing these details to a man made me extremely uncomfortable: to the extent that I actually did not answer truthfully. I am truly sorry and do not plan to sin again. Does this mean I didn’t get absolved for this sin? This is weighing heavily on me and keeping me up at night. Is it common for women to be asked for details of the sin of lust? I’m not suggesting that there was any direct impropriety on behalf of my priest but It feels inappropriate.

    Thank you

    FATHER JOE: I suspect you answered sufficiently. Having said this, the counsel given by a priest requires that he understands what is going on. Lust is generic and can mean many things… the mental reduction of persons as commodities, acting out in terms of pornography or self abuse, a failure to love a spouse as one should, etc. Beyond gender questions, the admission of sins in general can be difficult. The value is in absolution.

  3. I just found your reply to me from March 22 .Thankyou for replying but I don’t understand the reply .i am not a fundementalist and try to be a practising Catholic .I just want to know the Catholic Churches view of the mark of the beast ,how to avoid it and can it be forgiven ? Thank you

    FATHER JOE: The mark of the beast (666) is in reference to Caesar Nero and to the coin of the realm with his likeness imposed upon it. I would not get caught up in Hebrew numerology. Scripture asserts that the mark was forcibly imposed, not voluntarily received. We can connect this to what our Lord said when he told listeners to give to God what belongs to God and to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. This is an important point in a world where political and partisan alliance often trump the Lord and the guidance of the Church. To whom do you belong?

  4. Hi father. When i got confirmed I went under the name uriel (the archangel) im a catholic btw. Is that even allowed? He isn’t a Saint apparently, but now I’m confused on what to do if it isn’t allowed. Could I change the name? Am I considered confirmed validly?

    FATHER JOE: He is mentioned in rabbinic literature and in both the Anglican and Russian Orthodox churches. While Catholicism expunged the names of lesser angels from its official lists, what is done is done. I take it that you were confirmed in the Catholic Church. Confirmation in any of the Protestant churches would have to be repeated for validity.

  5. Hello,

    Just curious – Why would you add salt to Holy Water?

    FATHER JOE: The business about luck is superstition. Holy water is not for drinking, but for making the sign of the cross and blessings. Bacteria can also grow in still water, making people sick. Many of us as priests also add salt to Holy Water.

    FATHER JOE: Salt is a natural way of trying to sterilize or keep water clean. Ritually speaking, salt is an ancient symbol used in exorcistic prayer. I almost always use holy water with salt in the blessing of homes and without fail in deliverance ministry. The prayers for the blessing of salt are in the Roman Missal (as optional).

  6. In praying the Our Father and Hail Mary, which is correct, the old form (using thou, thee, thy) or the new form (you, your)

    FATHER JOE: Both are correct.

  7. I recently got a tattoo that a I found out afterwards Is demonic (it’s a Phoenix). What should I do?

    FATHER JOE: Despite its mythical origin, the phoenix was appropriated as a symbol of the resurrection by the first century Christians.

  8. Hello Father,
    I recently purchased a new modern translation of the Canterbury Tales – Hackett Publishing. It’s a nice copy, well bound and looks clean. The publishing house has published many other works as well in categories such as philosophy (some Aristotle), history, religious (some Aquinas), etc…, but what I found troubling was that they had a couple of books on abortion in their philosophy section. The descriptions of those books seem somewhat vague. They appear to be about the historical cases as well as arguments various people have, however the description doesn’t say that it’s pro-life or present a description that would lead one to believe it is. I can only assume that it’s not given the vagueness. With that said, should I return the book in case this publishing house is for supporting mortal sin, or should I leave it be, not assume, enjoy the book and not read into it or look into it any further? Thank you Father.

    FATHER JOE: It is a reputable academic publishing house. It cannot be held to the standards of a Catholic publisher.

  9. I have a dilemma regarding the COVID vaccine. I would like to get vaccinated. For personal reasons, I am not comfortable with the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. This is because of the vaccine technology used (m-RNA) and due to a combination of personal convictions and health concerns, but also a matter of conscience in a moral sense regarding the m-RNA technology itself.
    I am comfortable receiving a traditional vaccine using “tried and true” technology, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. It is my understanding that the Moderna and Pfizer are permissible from a moral standpoint, even though they involve remote cooperation with evil (the use of aborted fetal stem cells). It is also my understanding that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should be avoided unless there is no other option, due to its use of aborted fetal stem cells in the actual production of the vaccine (and all stages of production) vs just the testing stage.
    Would my personal convictions qualify as “no other option”? In other words, would this be a case where it would be permissible for me to receive that specific (Johnson and Johnson) vaccine? The alternative is to refrain from being vaccinated at all, which I understand is also morally tricky as I have a duty to contribute to the common good and caring for myself as well as those around me.
    As of yet, I have refrained from being vaccinated and will need to continue to do so until another vaccine becomes available that I would be more comfortable putting in my body.

    Please help. I really need some guidance.

    FATHER JOE: The new technology is a major breakthrough that will also likely be used to deal with the common cold as well as the flu. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine was viewed by some church authorities as the more problematical given pro-life concerns; unfortunately, all the current efforts are somewhat compromised. Given the remote agency, the Holy See has given the green light to the use of any of these three vaccines. I received the Pfizer. Everything poses a risk, but I would urge you to stop procrastinating and take the vaccine . . . for your sake and as a charity for others who are at risk.

  10. How can I survive carrying the burdens of other men if they are seen as my own?

    FATHER JOE: Not sure what you are saying.

  11. Father, if someone is open and honest to their fiancé about a porn/masturbation addiction, and is trying to recover from it, can they enter into marriage validly? Is it an impediment fidelity wise? Or should they be clean for a certain amount of time before the marriage?

    FATHER JOE: Such a sinful habit is not an impediment (as such). However, it does involve the question of sexuality and how it is played out with your betrothed. Is the attraction one of genuine love and a desire to share a life filled with holy passion or is the beloved objectified as a selfish target for lust and manipulation?

  12. Hello Fr
    I need your help to determine if I sinned. My father is narcissistic and troubles my mum a great deal, constantly hurting her intentionally. I do confront him and always face his wrath.
    Today he accused my mum of cheating with a family friend. This is the upteenth time he is making this accusation and when he does this, my mum gets very upset. So I said to his hearing that he is too old for this behavior, and that he is being petty and childish. He charged at me as if to physically hurt me and told me that he will kill me. Am I in the wrong? Do I need to confess my responsibility for what happened? I said what I said because I was tired of my dad constantly hurting my mum verbally and emotionally. I wanted him to get a taste of his own medicine.

    FATHER JOE: It seems to me that you have every right to defend your mother.

  13. Is there such a thing as two spirited person as our indigenous traditional spirituality teaches?

    FATHER JOE: The soul is singular. It is composed of the intellect and will. We may wrestle with concupiscence in regard to the flesh and sin, but this division does not mean there is a competing soul or spirit. The Church would reject the pantheism and duality present in various non-Christian religions. Not entirely sure what you mean by “two-spirited.”

  14. A person close to me has asked that my family pray for them and something they have coming up in their life. I don’t feel it’s right for me to say the prayer as my heart isn’t in it and I’m not concerned at all with what they have coming up. Would he be right for me to not do it since my heart isn’t in it and I’m struggling with morality of it or should I just do it since they’ve ask?

    FATHER JOE: You can still pray that God will lead the person to holiness and happiness. If you cannot do that then the problem is your heart.

  15. For the past two years I have felt a strong calling to the priesthood. I attend daily mass and pray the Rosary daily about a vocation. I am listening and praying and the call just seems to be stronger. Before I contact my the vocation director for my diocese I have a major concern.

    I am in general good health, but I have a really bad knee. I tore it up playing basketball and have had several surgeries on it. I can walk around on it just fine, but I can’t bend it all the way so I can’t easily kneel. It really bothers me that I can’t kneel during mass. I can manage to genuflect when I enter a pew, but only if I really lean on the pew for support.

    A priest has to genuflect before the altar, and at ordination must kneel before the Bishop and lie prostrate on the ground. I don’t if I could do that and get back up. Is there a work around for this? Or is this an impediment?

    I truly feel I have a calling, but would God call a man who can’t kneel?

    As I mentioned, my health is generally good and I walk around, up and down stairs just fine. It is all about the kneeling.

    Thank you very much for considering my question.

    FATHER JOE: Talk to the vocation director. Let him and the diocese make decisions about such things. Anything else might simply be the fear holding you back.

  16. Hi Fr. Joe,
    There are several readings in the Bible that reflect how difficult it is to make it to Heaven. (narrow is the gate, easier to get a camel through the eye of a needle, narrow is the path, etc) But, how difficult is it to make it Purgatory? Can people who are not Baptized make it Purgatory?

    FATHER JOE: There may be souls in purgatory who turned in faith to Jesus and who even studied to enter the Church who died prior to baptism. We leave such matters to God. As a rule, purgatory is not limbo. Many of the saints of God pass through purgation on their way to heaven. Having said this, I must caution that hell is a genuine reality. Lacking genuine faith and sanctifying grace opens us to the tragedy of hell. A faith in Christ realized through fidelity to the commandments and the life of charity is the road to heaven. Those who do not love or who embrace a substitute or counterfeit love, will find themselves facing the fire of judgment. I believe the contention that “everyone goes to heaven” is a lie.

  17. Hi Father,
    I hope you are well. I have been praying for an answer to this but so far don’t know the answer.

    I’m not vaccinated. It has nothing to do with being afraid of it, but it’s connection to abortion. I got the hepatitis A vaccine knowing it’s abortion connection and feel awful about it, seeing as how I didn’t HAVE to get it. I did it because there was a lot of it going around my hospital at the time and I got a little paranoid. I’m a pharmacist with limited direct patient contact. I don’t want to be guilty of that sin again.

    My father is very high risk (cancer, heart disease, diabetes and age) but is fully vaccinated. My husband is fully vaccinated.

    I’m struggling with whether it is an act of charity to get the vaccine for my dad and others’ sake vs an act of cowardice to give in when I could just continue to wear the mask (which I hate with a purple passion). I’m also concerned that sooner or later it will become mandatory either at work (I don’t HAVE to work) or on the airlines (we are flying across country in February). Mainly I could use someone who doesn’t have a dog in my particular fight to point out things I may have overlooked that could affect the decision. I confessed the Hep A shot and have written letters to the drug company about their use of fetal parts. I have not written the Covid vaccine folks yet.

    Also, JPII institute is working on a morally produced vaccine, and I understand it is about two years from human trials, and thus likely longer to market.

    Any insight you can provide would be appreciated.

    FATHER JOE: The trouble is you cannot wait years for another vaccine that may never materialize. Trust the Church. The Vatican has declared that it is “morally acceptable” for Roman Catholics to receive COVID-19 vaccines based on research that used cells derived from aborted fetuses, given the immediate urgency and the extreme remote agency. If less problematical vaccines come available in the future (as much as five years away) we will likely need them as boosters against variants or other diseases in the COVID family. Pope Francis gave official approval to the declaration from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Indeed, the Holy Father has apparently been vaccinated so that he might travel and continue his ministry.

  18. > Catherine marie Pansey I found this web site which was very useful to me. It may help you too . Peace RC https://scrupulousanonymous.org > >

  19. A few days ago i drank holly water and my kids did too ppl are telling me im calling bad luck to me and my kids is this true

    FATHER JOE: The business about luck is superstition. Holy water is not for drinking, but for making the sign of the cross and blessings. Bacteria can also grow in still water, making people sick. Many of us as priests also add salt to Holy Water.

  20. Father, I have been struggling with making a decision. I found a beautiful prayer in that regard, and offered it as a Novena. I also have asked friends what to do. They have responded “It is up to you”. I need to have an answer to my tormenting question by 11 am tomorrow. Here is the question in part and not in detail. I recently went to Confession and mentioned that I did not want to get the vaccine, because of deep personal and spiritual reasons, concerning especially, my past grievous sins many years ago and forgiven . This was mentioned along with other sins. The priest sensed by my voice, I was scrupulous, although he did not say that word, I did not mention that either, so as to not influence him in any way. But I was glad he understood me. Then I DID get the first vaccine and was tortured with regret and went to Confession to the same priest telling him after I had told him in an earlier Confession that I didn’t want it, and he saying that was ok, then I went on and DID it. Feeling deeply regretful and then I said, I don’t think I will get the second dose. Or SOMETHING like that. Now that second dose is due tomorrow. And I think I DO want it for many reasons. Would it be a sin to get it after I told the priest in Confession that I didn’t think I would get it.? The priest had made no comment about that comment. I am SICK to death and despite the Novena and prayers and Daily Mass. I feel I have not got an answer. I tried to make an appointment with the priest, but he said that day, he had appointments. AND I feel I am being most annoying and should try to make up my own mind. My biggest worry is that by making that comment in Confession, I am now doomed to never getting the vaccine, when Now I would like it. Thank you

    FATHER JOE: Get the vaccine. It is an act of charity for others, even if you struggle to love yourself. Your scrupulosity is so severe that I fear no argument would suffice. I would recommend speaking to a counselor. You are in my prayers.

  21. Can you get married in the catholic church after you have been married in a civil ceremony. We are waiting on an annulment but it has not happened yet

    FATHER JOE: If one or both of the parties in the civil ceremony is Catholic, then a simple declaration of nullity will be required prior to a church wedding. If neither of the parties in the civil ceremony is Catholic, then no marriage in the church is possible unless there is a formal annulment case.

  22. Is it normal to feel like your life is falling apart or overwhelming the closer you get to the Church/God and the closer you are to the sacraments (mass and confession)?

    FATHER JOE: There is some divergence in what people experience in the spiritual life. Many feel the strands of their lives connected and the frays healed as they grow closer to the Lord. Of course, Jesus is the Light of the World and such light dispels the darkness and shows us the truth— about ourselves and about the state of the world. It also ignites a yearning for the kingdom of Christ. It may be that you are feeling the cutting edge of what is called the two-edged sword of truth. We are harshly reminded that we are not in control. We are wounded by sin. We are broken instruments. Nevertheless, God loves us all the same and his grace brings repentance and healing. Faith should always be accompanied by courage so that we will risk and trust surrendering ourselves into God’s hands. This is how the great and the small open themselves to divine mercy. We are all dependent upon the Lord.

  23. Hi father! I’d like to know if I should mention with whom I committed a certain sin. Ex.: I gossiped with my mother × I gossiped. I’m wondering bc I think this could be revealing other person’s sin. On the other hand, I’m not sure if this would be an aggravating circumstance. What should I do?

    FATHER JOE: Confession is NOT another opportunity for gossiping. Just stick to your personal sins and leave to others their own.

  24. Good afternoon Father,
    I was raised a Catholic and married a catholic woman who over the years has become involved in a Latin American Christian church called Church of God Ministry of Jesus Christ International. They are a Pentecostal denomination but she is really involved in this cult like church and my wife now won’t even go inside a Catholic Church. My son is 1 and my strict catholic family want him baptised. I want him baptised and my wife has given her consent for it but has and will refuse to go to the ceremony inside the Catholic Church. I’m trying to avoid family conflict with my side of the family so I have never really divulged her beliefs to them. Can a child be Baptised in the Catholic Church if one parent is absent but consents?

    FATHER JOE: As long as she consents, the one parent can bring the child for baptism in the Church. But the priest will likely need a letter from her or hear such agreement from her lips. Baptism is not magic. The entire obligation to raise the child in the faith will rest with you. Your wife would have to agree and promise to put nothing in the way of formation and the reception of the other sacraments. I suspect as she hears more and more about how she will be cut out of the religious upbringing of the child, you may yet find opposition.

  25. Father, I’ve struggled with pornography for years, but have mostly managed to overcome it. There are times when I fall and will look at images or videos briefly. I don’t do “anything more” than just look, but I still feel like this is mortal sin. I don’t know if I’m being scrupulous and I still do confess merely looking, but is merely looking briefly, several times, but then resisting to physically act on it still something I should go to confession for?

    FATHER JOE: In this day and age, quick challenges to the custody of the eyes are usually venial sins. However, do not fool yourself about the danger and how the will can be weakened leading to mortal sin.

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