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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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November 23rd, 2010

The answer is “No.” And many people wonder why. I have met many men who would gladly serve as deacons, but they cannot promise to remain unmarried if their wife should die. Most cogently say, “How could I deny my children a women who would love them as their mother did if she died? They would need a new Mom.”
It is little known, but a married deacon whose…

November 22nd, 2010

Quick answer: no.
Backstory:… in 1988, a young woman at St. Maria Goretti Parish in Scottsdale, Arizona, reported having received prophetic visions of and messages from the Virgin Mary. She also told her parish priest that she had had a vision of nine other young-adult parishioners who would become a circle of visionaries and locutionists (locution is when

November 18th, 2010

St. Teresa of Ávila, who lived from 1515-1582, was a Spanish theologian, writer, and mystic. She entered the Carmelite order as a teenager and, as she deepened her vocation and commitment through a dedicated practice of contemplative prayer, was dismayed by the laxity and worldliness that surrounded her even in religious life. In response she shepherded…

November 17th, 2010

On the night before he died, as he instituted the Eucharist, Jesus prayed for the unity of his disciples when he said,
“I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.”
- Jn 17:22-21.
Jesus…

November 16th, 2010

Question: I have had to be away from my wife of ten years and our children for several weeks as I am taking a Christian course but my sexual urge is driving me “crazy” now. It’s almost all I think about and I am not happy about that.  I need to focus on other things but sex is almost all i think about! Would it be a sin against God if my wife and I were …

November 15th, 2010

Reported Marian apparitions do sometimes make the news, but I don’t know of any actual apparitions caught on camera. There are no “recorded” images of Mary captured on live TV or film.
That said, there are several videos showing the visionaries of Medjugorje allegedly experiencing apparitions of the Virgin Mary. You don’t see Mary herself in them,…

November 12th, 2010

Stigmata, from the Greek word for “marks” or “signs,” refers to the physical manifestations of the wounds of Jesus on the hands, feet, side, and brow, accompanied by intense suffering. These are called visible stigmata. When someone experiences the sufferings without any outward marks, these phenomena are called invisible stigmata.…

November 11th, 2010

St. Jean de Brébeuf, SJ, who lived from 1593-1649, arrived in what was then part of New France, in the region of modern-day Ontario and upstate New York, in 1625.
For many years he lived and worked among the Huron people. In spite of his great strides in learning the Huron language and culture, he and the other European Christian missionaries in the region encountered…

November 10th, 2010

Yes, indeed, the two most notable in the United States are Islam and Judaism. In Islam the daily prayers and recitation of the Qur’an is most properly done in Arabic. This is because Muslims believe that the Qur’an was revealed to the prophet Mohammed in that language. However, sermons and instructions are almost always given in the local language.…

November 5th, 2010

An apocalypse is a revelation or prophecy about the ultimate divine purpose. As such, the word apocalypse is associated with the end of the world, when God’s ultimate purpose will be revealed. Contrary to popular opinion, the Bible does not contain a list of 7 signs of the apocalypse per se. However, the Book of Revelation, beginning with Rev 5:1, describes…

November 4th, 2010

Mike Hayes, one of the editors at Bustedhalo® opined in response to this question, “I think kissing WITHOUT passion might be a sin.”
Mortal sin is “deadly sin,” sin that separates us from the community and God on a deep and real level. To persist in mortal sin, knowingly and will full intention of the will, cuts us off from the life of grace, the power of…

November 3rd, 2010

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopalian Church is the Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, previously Bishop of Nevada. Dr. Jefferts Schori was elected at the 75th General Convention on June 18, 2006 and invested at Washington National Cathedral on November 4, 2006, as the twenty-sixth Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church. As Presiding Bishop,…

November 2nd, 2010

Just as we have All Saints Day (Nov 1) in the Catholic Church where we celebrate those who have gone before us who we consider saints, we take an additional day (Nov. 2) to pray for all of those who have gone before us who may not yet be saints in heaven with God.
While All Souls Day is not a Holy Day of Obligation, it is an opportunity that many take to pray for the souls of…

November 1st, 2010

It depends on whether you are talking about the linguistics of the title or the theology of the title. “Theotokos,” an early Greek name for Mary, is often translated to “Mother of God.” According to scholars, a more accurate translation would be “the one who gave birth to the one who is God.” So in that sense, “birthgiver” is probably a more linguistically…

October 29th, 2010

The 7 Deadly or Capital Sins are not found in a list, per se, in the Bible, but rather are part of Church Tradition, dating back to the early Church and especially St. John Cassian and St. Gregory the Great. These sins are considered deadly or capital (from the Latin word for head; caput). In the Bible, there are examples of lists of sins, such as Proverbs 6:16-19 and…

October 28th, 2010

The Philippine islands were colonized by the Spanish, who began to build settlements there in the late 16th century. The Spanish practice of colonization was to impose not only political rule but also religious hegemony; the cross and the sword went hand in hand during the Spanish imperial period throughout the world. Thus Christian missionaries suppressed…

October 27th, 2010

Walk away–just as you would do if there were a company selling credit cards or any other group on campus that you’re not interested in.
Being aggressively approached by a religious group is a serious problem on many of the Campuses in the United States. Some groups have invited people into their churches and then berated their religion. Others are…

October 26th, 2010

The Church is very clear. Full, complete, genital sexual activity is reserved for those in the sacramental covenant of marriage.
Let me gently challenge the “where should the line be drawn” type questions. Love is not a reality that is measured and molded by rigid rules. The reality of love, God’s very self, is the transformation of human persons into…

October 25th, 2010

On a rainy August evening in 1879, in the town of Knock in County Mayo, Ireland, several witnesses saw three figures standing outside the parish church. They described the three figures as Mary, standing in the center; St. Joseph, on her right; and St. John the Evangelist, standing on Mary’s left. Behind the three was an altar upon which rested a lamb. The scene…

October 21st, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI is from the German state of Bavaria, a region which is predominately Catholic and sometimes described as the “most religious state in Germany.” It is home to the village of Oberammergau, whose famous passion play, produced only every 10 years, draws hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world. Bavaria is also known for its…

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