Faith Facts: Answers to Catholic Questions

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What should I say to them about it?

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Answer: God is the giver of all gifts. The sacraments are chief among those gifts. Gifts are gifts because they are not given out of justice. Rather, they are given by the giver freely, out of love and must be received in love. As such, it might be helpful to explain reception of holy Communion as a gift and not a right. The Church teaches that we must receive holy Communion only if we are in the state of grace. Because in order to receive that gift in love, we want to make sure we are as pure as possible so that we can receive that gift lovingly and worthily.

We are not left to our own devices, though, to bring about the state of grace within our souls.

Faith Facts: Answers to Catholic Questions Vol. II

And thankfully so! Christ enables the Church, through the Sacrament of Penance, to forgive the sins of those of us who confess them freely, with true sorrow and contrition and resolution to sin no more. The reality is that missing Mass is a sin that destroys our relationship with God. There is not enough space here to answer the reasons why that is the case, but we want to gently encourage our loved ones first and foremost to make weekly Mass attendance a priority in their lives.

There is no need to be antagonistic. Broach the subject lovingly, perhaps in a way that springs forth from your own joy that comes from attending liturgy and receiving the Eucharist. Let them know what a difference frequent reception of the sacraments has made in your life.

Personal witness and personal joy are attractive. Question: I know the Church teaches that in vitro fertilization is wrong, but my friends are so desperate for a child. What does it really matter? Answer: In the Catholic view, God designed the world with order and purpose. Theologically speaking, the Church always will choose first to support what is found in nature.


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Secondarily, the Church will support scientific advancements so long as they support what is already found in nature. According to it, then, children only come about in one way — not grown on trees or in gardens, but through sexual procreation of a male and a female.

Male and female are designed to come together — as biology and anatomy attest — in the sexual act. Furthermore, the unity that the sexual act expresses is indicative of the unity of the male and female brought about in their marriage. The Church understands that children are meant to be raised in a family — with a mother and a father. We find that in nature, and we learn more about that in divine revelation.

In fact, children are a product of marriage, and there is no other reason they should come about. Of course children do naturally come about in other situations, however, and many of these are far from ideal. They could include a man and a woman afraid to commit to each other in marriage, or it could be through the worst situations possible, such as rape or incest. This does not diminish the dignity of the person who was brought into existence under such situations.

The trump card in these unfortunate scenarios is, of course, that all human life is sacred and has infinite value because it is crafted after the image and likeness of God.

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Because children are designed by God to be the fruit of a one-flesh union of male and female, the Church opposes any other form of procreation. This would include means not yet attainable, such as human cloning, or means in popular use today, such as in vitro fertilization. In vitro disrupts the order that God intended for his creation.

Faith Facts: Answers to Catholic Questions Vol. II ()

In vitro also uses science to bring about new life outside of the womb when it joins egg and sperm in a petri dish to create embyos. Often, some of these embryos then are implanted within the womb while others are discarded. Because the Church believes life begins at conception, when embryoes are discarded, so is human life, which obviously is immoral.

Absolutely not. The Church recognizes that there are infertile couples who desire to live their vocation as family with children in their home. At the same time, the Church recognizes that there are many children in the world who are unwanted and not afforded those rights due them. Adoption is the recommended path in situations like this. And adoption is a very biblical concept, rich in meaning and no less rich in love.

There is also spiritual parenthood, which is no less important and real. It is important to note that the Church is not opposed to innovative methods to promote fertility — such as NaPro Technology — so long as conception occurs naturally.

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The bottom line is that, similar to the sacraments, children are a gift, not a right. The product of a one-flesh union of a male and female, children are not commodities. The years following the Second Vatican Council and the sexual revolution in the mid- to lateth century presented a period of confusion regarding what seemed to be an open question of exploring the possibility of ordaining women to the priesthood. This practice was found acceptable by some Christian communities — for example, the Anglican Communion — but unacceptable by other churches — for example, the Orthodox.

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It is noteworthy that much of what the Catholic Church teaches on the reservation of priesthood to men alone also is embraced by the Orthodox churches. Lives of the Saints. Gregory the Great feast day Sept. Feast day of Padre Pio, 'a man of prayer and suffering,' celebrated Sept. Cosmas and Damian Feast day: Sept. Jerome celebrated Sept. Faith Facts. Learn more about the sacrament of baptism Answers to common questions about baptism Q: How should a Catholic reply to the question, "Have you been saved?

The Doctors of the Church Doctors of the Church are great saints known for their defense and explanation of the truths of the Catholic faith. More Faith Facts. Natural Family Planning Question and Answers Men and women considering marriage yearn for certain things.

Patron saints of families There's a saint for everyone, and families are no different. Priests' vesting prayers for Mass.

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Faith Facts: Answers to Catholic Questions Vol. II

What are the traditional Latin Mass vestments? Prayer 1 — "Cum lavat manus". Each chapter also supplies questions for small group discussions. Customer Reviews There are no reviews yet. Donate Now. Sign Up to receive Dr. Scott Hahn Weekly St. Paul Center Newsletter Monthly St. Sign Up. About Contact For Leaders.