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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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October 14th, 2009

While your self-sufficiency and resourcefulness are admirable, starting your own porn site is problematic, even with limits.  Before your body was yours, it was God’s creation.
Putting yourself out there in sexually suggestive ways compromises your inherent human dignity and dishonors the good intent behind sex.  Moreover, you pose a temptation…

October 12th, 2009

Question: How did the Rosary become associated with Mary?…

Since the early days of the Church, Christians have used knotted cords or prayer beads to help keep track of their prayers.  The rosary as we know it today evolved in the Middle Ages, when the “Hail Mary” prayer became widely known.  The term “rosary” comes from “rosarium,” or a bouquet

October 10th, 2009

I think I can explain what was happening here.
In Catholic belief and practice, baptism is a ‘once for all time’ sacrament. You only get it once and it is effective forever. No one can ever change that you are a Christian and a member of the Body of Christ once it is done. That’s why we don’t rebaptize people from other Christian denominations…

October 9th, 2009

Question:  Who is the disciple that Jesus loved?  A nun told me that it was John but then a scripture professor told me something else about it being all of us.

If I could provide the definitive answer about the identity of the “beloved disciple” and publish it in a book, I could probably retire tomorrow on the royalties. Unfortunately, we don’t really…

October 8th, 2009

This is weird but is Satanism or devil worship a religion?  Or is it just some kind of weird cult?…
“Satanism” is a term that refers to a number of related beliefs and social phenomena. Their commonality is that they all feature the veneration or admiration of  Satan or similar figures.
The notion of Satan arose in Jewish scripture. For example, in the Book

October 7th, 2009

Question: Can you tell me a bit about “Santa Ria”?  What are its origins and does it have anything to do with the Catholic church?

Santería, also known as Lukumi…, is an Afro-Caribbean syncretic religion, meaning that it combines multiple different forms of belief or practice. “Santería” itself means “way of the saints,” and it mingles

October 6th, 2009

What is the deal with the Vatican now saying that there is no Limbo? Isn’t this a change in doctrine?…
The issue is more about the relationship of baptism and salvation, than it is about limbo.  The teaching on limbo didn’t change so much as the teaching on salvation without baptism changed.  At Vatican II the church shifted gears and taught: “Those

October 5th, 2009

Over the last several years, many Catholics worldwide have signed petitions urging the Pope to make a dogmatic declaration that Mary is the “co-redemptrix.”
What exactly does this mean?  Supporters of the title say that “co-redemptrix” signifies the unique and irreplaceable role that Mary played in the salvation of the world: namely, she conceived,…

October 2nd, 2009

This is another of those examples that shows us that the evangelists – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – were not as concerned with reporting the details of an incident as they were with expressing the meaning of the experience. It’s similar to the question of “when did Jesus rise from the dead?” Was it “when the sun had risen” (Mark’s Gospel) or…

September 28th, 2009

As the joke goes: Very carefully.
According to the norms established in 1978 by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the local bishop must investigate the alleged apparition to determine that:

There is a great likelihood that something miraculous did occur (that the vision isn’t a trick or an effect of the weather, say).
The alleged visionary…

September 26th, 2009

The church doesn’t have any strong feelings on body piercing. The Catechism warns against mutilations (e.g. cutting one’s arm or leg off) but nothing else is found. A recent article in U.S. Catholic Magazine showed a picture of someone receiving communion on their tongue and it was pierced!
However, the church would expect you to be respectful…

September 25th, 2009

This is a little bit like asking, “Why are there different look-out points for the Grand Canyon?” The Grand Canyon is simply too large, complex, and majestic to be taken in from one and only one perspective. In the same way, the experience of Jesus is too grand to be limited to one perspective. For this reason, we are blessed to have four Gospels – 4 different…

September 24th, 2009

Question:  I went to a “high Anglican” service and was told that they believe the same thing about the Eucharist as we do.  Is it OK therefore for me to receive communion here as a Catholic and if not, why does the church say that I shouldn’t receive here?…

The Anglican and Catholic International Dialogue Commission, in a 1981 document entitled

September 22nd, 2009

Question:  I am a young man who recently came back to the Catholic church and I am happy to have found God back into my life.  The problem is that i am in a serious relationship for 7 years now, are we are getting married in 2010 and are having sex regularly.  Technically I’m in a state of mortal sin since I use condoms and I have sex before getting married. …

September 21st, 2009

From Scripture, we know that Mary was cared for by the apostle John after Christ’s death (John 19:26-27).  Mary was also present at Pentecost, when Jesus sent the Holy Spirit upon the Church (Acts 1-2).

In addition to Scripture, Catholics look to sacred Tradition, the faith handed down from the apostles and expressed in the lived worship of the Church.  …

September 19th, 2009

There are a few. BustedHalo.com is a sub-division of a larger ministry outreach called Paulist Young Adult Ministries, a national ministry for young adults. If you check out our Church Search and Events sections (under faith guides) you should find some good places to go.
Secondly, NCYAMA is the National Catholic Young Adult Ministry Association and we work…

September 18th, 2009

The story of Jonah is one of those Scripture passages that we as Catholics would say is a TRUE story, but not necessarily FACT. Catholics believe that everything… in the Bible is TRUE in a religious sense. However, when it comes to scientific and historical truth (facts), there are times that the Bible is not totally accurate.
Why? Simply because the Bible comes

September 17th, 2009

The Episcopal Church belongs to the Anglican Communion, a world-wide family of Churches. The Catholic Church and the Episcopal Church both follow the Bible and the traditional Christian creeds, celebrate the seven sacraments, and have bishops, priests, and deacons. In its Decree on Ecumenism, The Second Vatican Council (1962-5) said that “among…

September 16th, 2009

In the most idealistic sense, a reporter investigates and writes stories that are in the public interest.  But what is that interest, really?  Does it foster civic engagement and bolster the common good, or is it for idle entertainment?

Ethicists distinguish between goodness and rightness in making moral decisions, and the Church emphasizes the importance…

September 15th, 2009

Quetsion:  How can we be sure that heaven exists?  In the whole history of the world how come no one has ever crossed over or communicated from heaven? It seems that we were created from nothing, then it makes sense that we would go back to nothing. Thanks very much busted halo for answering.

How can we be sure anything… exists beyond our immediate, personal experience? 

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