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The Busted Halo Question Box
Ask our spiritual experts virtually anything!
This is the place where you can ask all of those burning questions that you wouldn't dare ask in person. We will post questions here (using your byline only with permission); we guarantee an answer to everyone.

Have your own question? Then pitch it to us!

Caitlin Kennell Kim
Mary
Fr. Rick Malloy, SJ
General Questions
Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP
Ecumenical, Interfaith
Neela Kale
Culture, Moral Theology
Ann Naffziger, M.A., M.Div.
Bible
Mike Hayes
Swingman/Editor
 
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August 12th, 2014

Question: I know its a touchy subject but I was always taught that people who committed suicide would go to hell. I read a article that said the churches got together and literally started saying this to keep people from killing themselves because their lives were poor, ect and thought they could just kill themselves and go to heaven to be in a better place. Does …

August 8th, 2014

This question was submitted to Busted Halo’s Summer School Contest.
Q: My question is about the Sacrament of Reconciliation. As a convert, I have always wondered about the sins I committed before I became Catholic. Because I was Protestant, I did not go to confession, but instead asked for forgiveness directly from God, without a priest in prayer. Are…

July 31st, 2014

Purgatory is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible, and in fact the word did not come into common parlance until the twelfth century. However, the concept of a process whereby souls are purified before they enter heaven was evident in very early Christianity. Going back even further, there is a Jewish tradition that praying for the dead furthers the purification…

July 30th, 2014

The Pope just said what the Gospels have been saying since Matthew 25 was written and what Catholic Social Teaching has been saying for centuries. I strongly urge everyone to read the Pope’s exhortation The Joy of the Gospel. Here are some excerpts from the section entitled “The economy and the distribution of income.”
“The need to resolve the structural…

July 25th, 2014

This question was submitted to Busted Halo’s Summer School contest.
How do I invite coworkers to think about fair trade, recycling and other everyday social justice issues?

There are a bunch of possibilities here. The first is to take advantage of times when these issues naturally come up. So, you might organize a special event for Earth Day or bake and

July 24th, 2014

The Bible, like any written document, betrays the cultural context of the authors. In the case of the Bible, we are dealing with not one book, but with many books and thus many authors, all of whom wrote about 1,900 to 3,000 years ago. These authors were members of patriarchal cultures that had different views about gender roles, rights, and responsibilities…

July 23rd, 2014

Q: The Movie Son of God has details that do not appear in the Gospels, e.g. Peter returning from the empty tomb and immediately celebrating the Eucharist. Is this allowed?
Sure. St. Ignatius in his Spiritual Exercises suggests the person making the retreat imagine Jesus appearing to his mother Mary. The Gospels don’t tell of this, but our imaginations can…

July 17th, 2014

Q: I would like to know where and what type of Bible that is written in Layman’s terms that I can fully understand and remember. I have to reread my bible and still cannot understand some of the scriptures.
Perhaps the best way to go about finding a Bible with a translation that you like and feel comfortable with is to go to a bookstore and peruse their shelf of…

July 16th, 2014

It seems to me that God is much more concerned with what happens in our board rooms than in our bedrooms. Billions on this planet live in poverty. Most Americans have no awareness of how money is really distributed in our country.
Our faith clearly states concern for the poor and economic justice is central to our faith.
Here are three quotes from the Catechism:…

July 15th, 2014

Q: I am so glad the “nuns on the bus” are going through the country. Why can’t the majority of people see what awful things the Republicans are doing to the poor, women, and wage earners?
The “Nuns on the Bus” are a project of NETWORK, which describes itself as a “National Catholic Social Justice Lobby” and was founded by Roman Catholic religious…

July 11th, 2014

This question was submitted to Busted Halo’s Summer School Contest.
Q: In some denominations, the primary function of missionaries is to attempt conversion of the unchurched or non-practicing members of another religion to Christianity. Is this type of direct evangelization a common practice in Catholicism? Parishes are often asked to support …

July 10th, 2014

How does the person doing the reading know to say ‘letter from Paul’ when in the prayer book it just says Corinthians etc.? I’d like to do the readings but I don’t know these details.
Lectors who are doing the readings from the Bible at mass read them from a book called the lectionary. The lectionary is formatted to show the lectors which Bible passages…

July 9th, 2014

God is love and all we believe and do must be congruent with that primordial and primary truth. So preaching “hate” is always contradictory and unacceptable. What the Church teaches and preaches is chastity…, i.e., “the successful integration of sexuality within the person.” (Catechism #2237). We should know homosexuality is not a sin. There are

July 8th, 2014

Situation: My friend had a severe allergic reaction at a party. His wife was embarrassed by it and suggested we all keep eating and drinking. A nurse tended to his needs but he wouldn’t go to the ER or even urgent care. I was surprised at how his wife was more concerned about the party and the guests than her husband’s health. Do I address this with him?

This sounds…

July 3rd, 2014

Q: Can you help me understand why in Mathew 6:5-15 it states do not pray in repetitions as the heathens do? But yet it appears that the rosary is said in repetitions? And each week seems to be repetitive prayers in the Catholic church (such as the Lord’s prayer)?
I’m unsure which biblical translation you are reading from that refers to praying in repetitions.…

July 2nd, 2014

Watch this video and take a virtual tour to and through some other famous Catholic sites around the world.

July 2nd, 2014

As often as necessary. We need to form our habits for our habits form us. To repent often and whole heartedly turns us into people who are habitually open to the transformative grace of God’s mercy. Scott Hahn has a good book on confession. In there he says confession is like medicine. You keep going to the Doctor and getting the pill you need for your blood pressure,…

July 1st, 2014

First of all, my heart goes out to you. Discovering your husband’s infidelity must be a heartbreaking blow. It is important for you to seek safety and support to face the difficult decisions ahead.
In Catholic teaching, the bond of marriage is indissoluble. A truly valid sacramental marriage ends only in death. But couples sometimes discern that they can…

May 27th, 2014

Consider that according to the Code of Canon Law, in the marriage covenant “a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life … which is ordered by its nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring” (canon 1055).
Marriage is a partnership in everything – the marvelous and the mundane, the…

May 26th, 2014

Q: How do we remain optimistic and keep the faith when we are in the valley, during our lowest of the low? When we feel like Job — everything goes wrong, everything bad happens, and we are ready to throw in the towel, when it becomes a pity party and we don’t WANT to hear advice from others…
“Life is Difficult” were the first words of Scott Peck’s…

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