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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!

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5,028 Responses

  1. Good Morning Padre,

    My wife and I have been married for 18 years. We have 6 children. I work at a very physical job, often for over 12 hour shifts, and I drive 3 hours round trip every weekday.

    My wife and I have not had sex in over 5 years. Our marriage is in a shambles. We go to Mass every Sunday with the whole family, but VERY rarely receive Holy Eucharist, because we are not in a state of Grace. I have mentioned Penance of course for ourselves, but also for our children. They need to see US going regularly. And we NEED Holy Eucharist.
    Now, I am not trying to place blame squarely on my wife. She homeschools the children and works a part time job. She is busy. And, I truly am not perfect. Not even close. I am struggling with chastity and concupicince (sp?) But I AM trying to raise my children in the Faith. If I do not insist on making time for prayer as a family, it just will not happen.
    I have never cheated on her. I do not drink regularly, nor do much of anything other than going to work and coming home to the family.
    I gave her an ultimatum that she MUST have something to do with her children’s formation in the Faith. I put my foot down and said that she would help to prepare our children this past week and that we would be taking them to Confession today. She completely forgot. I need advice, Padre. And my family needs prayers.

    FATHER JOE: You cannot force her go but you can take the kids to confession and all of you can receive absolution. Having said this, it would also be appropriate for the two of you to seek counsel with the priest, but if she will not do the one then it is unlikely she will do the other. In any case, the two of you need to talk to each other. The marital act is a duty and it is sinful for either spouse to wrongly deprive the other of what is his or her due.

  2. Question. Why did God create horrible diseases like cancer, lou gherigs disease, etc?

    FATHER JOE: Suffering, sickness and death come into the world because of sin. We brought this upon ourselves in the fall. Jesus comes to bring hope.

  3. Hi

    I work at a museum and they need people to work on Sunday. I go to Mass on Saturday, and I said I’m available on Sunday because I struggled to find a job and I didn’t want to upset my boss, since this is my first job. I’m starting to find this job rather exhausting though. Do I have an obligation to switch my days now because I’m fatigued on Sunday instead of resting?

    FATHER JOE: Given that you go to Mass, I can appreciate that you do what you can to keep a job and thus a roof over your head and food on the table. God understands.

  4. I love the Rosary, but I hate rushing through it. On average it takes me 30 minutes to pray all 5 decades, and by the time I’m on decade #4 I find that I’m not paying much attention any more. Is it OK to pray one decade of the rosary per day and really meditate on it’s meant and application in my life?

    FATHER JOE: However you offer the rosary, prayer has value.

  5. Hello Father! I have a question and was wondering if you can respond to me via email. Thank you!

    FATHER JOE: I do not know your email. One of mine is frjoe2000@yahoo.com.

  6. As a cradle catholic of 52 years and not practicing I made a shambles of my life from destroying my two boys lives destroying my marriage lied cheated gossiped slandered stole. I now am deep in depression. My marriage totally failed when my husband left me for my best friend and is now in a serious relationship. My 21 year old barely says hello and it us my fault. I have been so depressed the last few days and non stop crying. I had the best of parents. Help me please to understand why did I do so wrong and I am paying for it now. I feel so alone

    FATHER JOE: I cannot read your heart. Only you can know why you did what you did. However, while we cannot change the past we can work on our present. Seek to be a better person today. Ask and receive God’s mercy for past wrongs. You may not be able to repair all human relationships but you can open yourself to God’s healing and friendship. Peace!

  7. Dear father,

    I have a very short question:

    Does suicide mean you go to hell?

    FATHER JOE: The matter is mortal as we are commanded not to kill. As to whether a person who does so is damned, much else has to be considered. Was the person in his or her right mind? A person must know it is wrong and be free in committing the evil act. Thus, some may be lost and others may be in purgatory. Only God knows.

  8. Hi Father, I was gifted a set of healing crystal bracelets that came with a set of instructions on how to harness their powers. I don’t believe in the crystals and would never try to use them, but the bracelets are pretty and I’m wondering if it’s okay to wear them. I tried them on and am now feeling really guilty…help!

    FATHER JOE: As jewelry YES, as religious talisman NO.

  9. My husband suffered a seizure. He was a relatively young man. Within 6 weeks after the seizure, he was dead from a massive brain tumor-a shock to everyone. My husband and I were very close and I feel like I’ve lost a part of my body. My questions are these. Where is he? Is it possible that he is still aware of me? Why do the dead not communicate with the living? Will I ever see him again? Thank you.

    FATHER JOE: I cannot speak to the state of his soul and his current disposition. Efforts at two-way communication with the dead is forbidden and dangerous. If you should both find your way to heaven then yes you will see each other again. However, more importantly you will see God and give him eternal praise.

  10. I am dealing with mixture of feelings I don’t know what to do with. I have been separated from my husband since the middle of July of this past year. He has filed for a Divorce. We got married on November 7, 2014. It’s my 2nd marriage, a 3rd marriage for him. We were in a long term relationship since 2007. I have been handicapped with 2 severe Osteoarthritis in both knees for a few years, which had made me pretty dependent on him, and I guess he couldn’t take it anymore. I have loved him all these years and was very hurt by him not wanting to be with me anymore. I had vowed if I would ever be married again , I would try to make my marriage better. To make things worse, there is a single neighbor lady who seems to think of him as her “sugar daddy”, and I feel she turned him more against me. I feel just contempt and resentful feelings towards her, it has been such a nightmare, I want her to go away! My husband has been helping me whenever I might need him, with no malice or hatred towards me, I appreciate all his help! What can I do to help me with all these terrible feelings I have towards this neighbor woman?

    FATHER JOE: While none of us should hate, it is understandable that you would resent another woman who has placed herself between you and your estranged husband. You have been abandoned and you are afraid. The situation is difficult. Try to protect yourself as much as you can regarding finances. Say your prayers . . . ask for peace. I will pray for you, too.

  11. Dear Father Joe,
    A question about RCC doctrine. I found this in the encyclopedia britannica. Is this a correct statement by tradition?

    “Roman Catholicism does not accept the possibility of a new revelation; it believes that reason can never completely penetrate the “mystery” and that it must continue the exploration of the mystery that has already been revealed.”

    FATHER JOE: Public revelation ends with the death of the last apostle, John. This is the revelation that constitutes Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. It allows for a development of doctrine (just as a seed grows) but no further public revelation. We have been given what is necessary for salvation. The messages of seers and from apparitions constitutes “private” revelation and if approved Catholics can decide whether to accept it or not. But it cannot conflict with public revelation. Such revelation is formalized in the Bible and the universal Catechism. Now remember this revelation has to do with saving faith, not with matters like science.

  12. Good morning Father, My question regards my wife of 12 years. When we married, we shared the same religious and moral convictions. Now, some of her views have changed. Most significantly, she’s gone from totally pro-life to having many “exceptions.” I find this horrifying, disturbing, difficult to swallow. I know I can’t change my wife, that only God can do that, and we are getting marriage counseling. Still, I am struggling with my disgust. How does one stop feeling disgust and focus on loving one’s partner after such a change? Thank you for your time.

    FATHER JOE: There are many things that spouses need to “let go” so as to keep harmony in the home. Bring the matter to prayer. Also, it is crucial that the dialogue continues between you both. Given that her views have changed, ask what has brought this about? Can she defend her new positions? It may be a result of false compassion or even as something as simple as repugnance to certain politicians. What religious views have changed? How does she now feel about the Church? All this is important. But whatever disagreements, keep the love alive. God bless!

  13. Dear Fr Joe,

    Thanks so much for your reply.

    Why do you think, some Priests don’t want to get involved in supporting an ecclesial request to assess a private revelation, even if it is a valid one?

    Given the Cardinal (ecclesial authority) would be more receptive to assess the revelation, if a priest is supporting the request in communion.

    Thank You and Sincere Regards
    Gerry

    FATHER JOE: I am not sure what you mean. Priests should emphasize their ministries as conveyors of “public” revelation, not “private.” We preach on what is universally held and necessary for salvation. Private revelation is not promoted as absolutely true; rather, the Church merely judges whether there is anything in conflict with public revelation or Church doctrine. Indeed, because of negative Church assessments, many of us personally believe that Garabandal is false and Medjugorje is dubious.

  14. Is it against the Bible to say the n word

    FATHER JOE: Words that convey prejudice and hatred are sinful.

  15. How true do you think the promises listed after certain prayers are?

    FATHER JOE: The Church grants judgments on prayers but not so often on attached promises. That is what makes some of the imprimaturs misleading. I place the gravity on the prayers or meditations.

  16. Hello Fr. Joe,

    Two confessions ago I mentioned to my confessor that “I wouldn’t have been able to” do something, health related, without his help. I’m paraphrasing.

    The fact is is that I was already scheduled for an appointment with my Dr, but Fr’s comments in a previous confession helped bring some things to light and give me more to present during the appointment.

    I originally meant to say endearingly “I couldn’t have done it without you” not… “wouldn’t have done it without you” So… I misspoke, but not with malicious intent.

    Fast forward to my last confession. I mentioned to Fr. that in the previous confession, without going into detail, I hadn’t lied, I hadn’t lied, but misspoke and left it at that. However, I didn’t expound upon what I was referring to. After this I finished the confession, but felt odd and uneasy. I’m not sure if it’s scrupulosity or not, but I analyzed my wording and thought… well, I did lie, but it was unintentional because I misspoke. So when I said “I didn’t lie”, was I lying?

    Is misspeaking the same as lying? Or is lying based on intent? Are my confessions still valid? Should I forget it, or should I bring this up at my next Confession or privately to the priest? I feel like I’m being scrupulous, and not leaving it in God’s mercy.

    Thank you Fr. Joe. I know you’re very busy.

    sincerely,
    es

    FATHER JOE: Un, huh? Sorry I lost you. You went to confession. You were sincere. Then you were absolved. Let it go.

  17. Father, I have a question. Forgive me for asking in this manner but I suffer from a degree of anxiety and this is easier. If I was married only civilly (before returning to the Catholic faith, what I believe to be an invalid marriage as it turns out I was being used for a green card) and am in the process of divorce, when that divorce concludes would the Church still consider me to be married? Or was I never married at all?
    Thank you and God bless,
    Alex

    FATHER JOE: If you (as a baptized Catholic) were married civilly then that marriage would not be recognized by the Church. After the divorce see your priest and apply for a declaration of nullity because of a lack of canonical form. That has to be submitted with your marriage license, divorce decree and baptismal certificate. Once acknowledged that would free you to date and possibly marry again. As long as you remain single, with or without it, you should go to confession and return to participating at Sunday Mass.

  18. Dear Father, I hope you can help. I was born and raised Catholic but I fell away from my faith after college for several years. During that time, I was terribly sinful and I have countless regrets about my choices, my intimate relationships and my actions. I willfully committed many unspeakably terrible sins. I was intentionally scandalous, promiscuous, frequently drunk, and worse. And I undoubtedly caused many others to sin, even having involvement with a married person while I was single.
    I had a “reversion” to the faith that was gradual. When I returned to confession for the first time, I was in a very different place emotionally, spiritually and maturity-wise than I am now. My conscience was definitely not as well formed as it is today. I can’t imagine that I gave as thorough of a confession as I could have. I probably never even considered the magnitude of some of my sins and their ripple effect. Today I am haunted by a lot of these memories and they will often drift into my mind and I worry that I either didn’t confess something or that there was no way that I accurately confessed the amount of times I committed any given mortal sin during those years, let alone explained sufficiently to the priest the gravity of the sins.
    I am so sorry for my past. But I don’t know if my returning confession was valid way back then and I am constantly worried that my subsequent confessions are invalid. I will think of a random sin, that I don’t remember confessing way back then and then I worry about whether I should confess it now. It seems that my past could haunt me for the rest of my life in this way. I don’t remember what I confessed already, and I never know if I should mention it/reconfess it, etc. and if I don’t mention it now, I worry that I am withholding a mortal sin.
    I did ask my priest about this and he said that it would’ve been a valid confession unless I lied or intentionally withheld something. Well that got me even more worried. It was so long ago, that I don’t really know and I was still so immature when I returned to my faith that I could totally see my “former self” at that time withholding a sin or downplaying very serious things, even lying in confession. I wouldn’t put it past me, back then. But again, my conscience is in a very different place now. I just don’t know what to do when this happens and it’s shameful and embarrassing even to mention these sins today in confession saying “I think I may have remembered a sin from many years ago that I forgot to confess” and then drop a bomb on my poor sweet parish priest who knows me for who I am now. Sometimes I worry that these sins themselves scandalize the priest hearing my confession.
    I just don’t know what to do.
    Can you please offer some help and guidance?

    FATHER JOE: Unless the priest is very young and recently ordained, I doubt he will be scandalized by anything he hears in confession. Having said this, it is important to know that sins forgotten in the past are forgiven by the sacrament. I can appreciate the struggle in conscience, especially given that the person you once were seems like a stranger today. This is especially the case with faithful husbands and demure wives who once were party to the most outrageous sexual sins. But the Lord would not have you torture yourself. You can make mention of the past in a general confession to a priest but I doubt the confessor, himself, would want you to go through the arduous task of guessing how many times you did this or that a lifetime ago. Allow your grieved conscience to be healed along with the absolution of your sins. Then let it all go and count yourself fortunate to know God’s grace and mercy. God does not want to torment you with the person you once were; rather, the Lord wants you to focus on the present and your relationship with him as one of his children. The prodigal comes home and he is loved. Our mission is to share this love with others right now, not to dwell on our failures in the past. God bless!

  19. Dear Fr ,can Catholics believe in ghosts?

    FATHER JOE: Ghosts are likely the poor souls in purgatory needing our prayers.

  20. Dear Father, I have asked some questions re the Mark of the Beast with no definite answer.However Archbishop Vigano says the covid vaccine is the Mark and part of a satanic plot to take over the world .Is this just his opinion ?

    FATHER JOE: Did he really say that? I hope not . . . it is utter nonsense!

  21. Hello I wanted to know if plan B is a sin because I couldn’t find a clear answer online?

    FATHER JOE: Artificial contraception of any sort is judged sinful by the Church.

  22. Dear Fr. Joe,
    Thank you for your guidance. I would like to share some more background, how my case has not followed the procedure signed off by the Pope and I am not sure how to resolve.

    A young priest stationed at the same Parish as the Cardinal, saw the digital evidence and decided to help me. He sent the evidence to Vicar for the Spiritual Chancery, who works for the Cardinal. The Vicar said to keep the images private and he didn’t have expertise to assess the discernment method by which I receive the revelations.

    I showed my local Bishop (who takes residence at my home parish) the video evidence of the supernatural phenomena I experience after prayer. He asked me what does GOD want you to do? I cannot say exactly in this public forum, but it amounts to the behaviour of certain mortals. GOD doesn’t feel loved by them and he is prompting for improvement in behaviour. I want Ecclesial approval of the revelation, in order to communicate the revelation with support of the RCC.

    My local Bishop told me to speak to the Cardinal (Bishop with Authority on this sort of matter). At best I will get 15 min with the Cardinal, he said, because he is very busy. He said the Vicar of Spirtual Chancery doesn’t have any say in this, after I told him Trent Council decided it was the responsibility of the local Bishop to deal with revelations. The Pope’s 1978 decree states must be handled by eccelesial authority in the following order:

    1) Ordinary of place
    2) Regional of National Conference of Bishops
    3) Apostolic See if asked by Ordinary or qualified group of the faithful

    Fr. Joe is “Ordinary” the Disocean Bishop, or the Cardinal?

    Would the approach be, that my Parish Priest (who believes me) write a letter to the Office of the Diocean Bishop or Cardinal? I can provide the proof, but the problem is getting on the Cardinal’s calendar “in person”.

    Sincere Regards
    Gerry

    FATHER JOE: Sorry, I am not sure what you are writing about. If there is a supernatural issue it should go through your parish priest and then, if necessary, to the chancery.

  23. Dear Father Joe,

    In 1978, the Pope approved an ecclesial review and approval for revelations, which includes private revelations. The Trent Council also approved a process to private revelations in the 1500s.

    Pope Benedict said
    “A private revelation can introduce new emphases, give rise to new forms of piety, or deepen older ones,” Pope Benedict continued. “It can have a certain prophetic character and can be a valuable aid for better understanding and living the Gospel at a certain time; consequently it should not be treated lightly. It is a help which is proffered, but its use is not obligatory.”

    https://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19780225_norme-apparizioni_en.html

    Private revelations are not meant to remain private to a lay Catholic, especially if there is viable and physical proof. They are suppose to go through RCC approved process. GOD meant the revelation for education and behavioural purposes.

    The problem is local archdioceses are not structured or trained to handle this, because the official process is not part of day to day work clergy do. There is no one trained in my local archdiocese to properly handle a revelation.

    I am not sure who to talk to who will take a serious look at evidence, and know how to proceed. Even the Spiritual chancellery doesn’t have expertise.

    At the eod, a revelation that is communication from GOD, needs a serious look, than be dismissed.

    Any guidance you can share on this topic will be super appreciated.

    Best Regards,
    Gerry

    FATHER JOE: In practice if a seer or person receiving personal locutions is a layperson then it is best to contact a priest sympathetic and willing to bring the matter to a chancery. Many priests are savvy enough to discern between what is real or false. Once the bishop is contacted he will appoint someone to look into the matter further. The process is expedited if religious or clergy are claiming private revelations. It has been my experience that the majority of claims are fraudulent. A major Telltale sign is a message(s) that promotes calumny or attacks the shepherds of the church. Another giveaway is the promotion of obvious heresies. If something would harm the Church or demean infallible teachings then it is not from the Lord. Further, many of the pretenders rebel against lawful authority, promote new age or occult superstition and even take money for dubious spiritual favors.

  24. Hi saw an angel in my dreams last night he was wearing black armor with golden wings endowed with multiple kinds of different color flowers and a belt of flowers and a sword made of gold gems and different color flowers n golden pinkish halo and moca color skin with long dark hair and was very tall but said something in another language that I don’t know and pointed to me then to a golden crest of what looked like a woman holding a child in her arms do you know what that means please and thank you for your time God bless you

    FATHER JOE: No idea. Does it have to mean something?

  25. I have a birthmark that is of an upside-down explanation point on my left upper arm that’s brown what does this mean please n God bless you


    FATHER JOE:
    It means you have a mole. Check a doctor.

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