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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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July 27th, 2013

Question: I understand and agree with the Church’s stance on same-sex marriage. However, is it wrong to congratulate people or attend the wedding of a same-sex couple? Wouldn’t it be similar to going to a wedding of a different religion?
While the Catholic Church teaches that marriage is reserved to one man and one woman, this doesn’t preclude Catholics…

July 22nd, 2013

Question: Redemptive suffering: I accept my sufferings and offer them up for specific intentions. I get very lost and confused when I think about free will and suffering. We have a wonderful God that allows us free will. Free will — I can choose what would be God’s will or against — that being sin. I’m hoping I have a correct understanding thus…

July 19th, 2013

Question: Now that the pope has announced indulgences for World Youth Day, I’m having a hard time finding an easy-to-understand explanation for my youth group. Could you help?
Sure. Let’s take a more common example to explain a larger theological point. Let’s say your daughter took your car without permission. You would be angry as a parent,…

July 18th, 2013

Question: My husband and I have had an ongoing discussion. Occasionally we have friends who stay one or two nights with us. Our more ‘devout’ Catholic friends who are dating but not married have always stayed in separate rooms. But recently we had two lapsed Catholics stay with us and they shared one room (and one bed).
Our debate is, first, are we…

July 17th, 2013

Question: Is an arranged marriage still considered by the church a REAL marriage? My husband and I married as strangers (afraid if we didn’t comply we would be “damned”) in a mass wedding done in the Unification church (Rev. Moon). We were never “in love” but kept our marriage vows, and after leaving that group, still stayed married (for the sake…

July 16th, 2013

When we look at the genealogy of Jesus provided in the Gospel of Matthew, we find that it traces the lineage of Jesus from Abraham to Joseph…not Mary. Nowhere in the Gospels are we given an explicit account of Mary’s family tree. This being said, there are several issues to be taken into consideration. First, it was the usual custom that marriages take place…

July 15th, 2013

Question: Ignatian spirituality, Benedictine, Carmelite, Franciscan — I love them all. Love the thoughts, prayers; but how do I know which “way” fits me best? It feels peculiar to follow one “way” because then I feel as if I am veering from Jesus and “picking” St. Benedict’s way or St. Ignatius’ way, etc.

It sounds like you’re already…

July 12th, 2013

Question: Many scholars believe that the Jews were never slaves in Egypt. Is there reason to believe that there was some sort of Exodus and would a lack of Exodus be problematic for our faith?
Attempts to corroborate the historicity of the Exodus as told in the Bible have always been fraught with challenges. No other extra-biblical sources record this event,…

July 11th, 2013

Question: If priests stand “in persona Christi” does this mean that nuns stand “in persona Maria”? Or in English…do Nuns represent Mary as Priests represent Christ?

Not necessarily. Many women religious consider the imitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary an integral part of their spiritualty… but the same could be said…

July 10th, 2013

Question: I’ve heard it said fairly often that if someone joins the Freemasons, they can be excommunicated from the Church. Is that true? Why is Freemasonry such a bad thing in the Church’s eyes? I am a Catholic, and I love the Church, but I’ve also thought about joining the Freemasons, until I heard this.
Freemasonry is a fraternal organization…

July 9th, 2013

Question: I’ve read/learned about consecrating oneself to Jesus through Mary and have held off on doing this until I learn more and pray more about it. I just finished a novena to St. Maximillian Kobe and learned there is the Militia Immaculata which has a consecration. I knew about the consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the St. Louis de Monfort…

July 8th, 2013

Have you ever seen the movie Cast Away? When Tom Hanks’ character finally escapes the deserted island and is on a plane travelling home, he discovers that his friends and family — sure after so many years that he must have died at sea — have held his funeral and buried an empty casket to say goodbye to him. It’s kind of the same with the Tomb of the Blessed…

July 5th, 2013

There is a new non-invasive procedure (a blood test or urine sample from parents) that allows pregnant parents to reveal the child’s DNA map before birth. This could discover illnesses in the child and prepare new mothers for the challenges ahead. Is this procedure okay?

In the abstract there is nothing wrong with this procedure, and it could be a beneficial…

July 3rd, 2013

Question: Why does the Catholic Bible include the Maccabees and the Book of Wisdom? And do any other denominations acknowledge the extra books? Why at some point were they considered part of the Bible then a man-made council decided they didn’t belong?

Catholic Bibles contain 46 books in the Old Testament, including seven (Tobit, Judith, 1 & 2 Maccabees,…

July 2nd, 2013

Question: I see that there is a medical expert onboard, and I would like to inquire whether or not the pill can abort fetuses, yes or no? Is this a valid concern, recognized by all medical professionals, meaning understood to be a possibility by medical experts who do not practice Catholic faith?

If by “the pill” you mean the contraceptive pill, the…

July 1st, 2013

Question: I know you can adore the Blessed Sacrament in front of the tabernacle without exposition, so what exactly is the difference? What does it mean that exposition makes the Eucharist vulnerable to vandalism?
Also, how many adorers should be present for exposition of the Eucharist? It seems to me that exposition is meant for more than 1 person.

While Jesus…

May 24th, 2013

According to a survey by Forbes.com, an estimated 20 million pilgrims visit the shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City every year. And though this is the most popular site, it certainly isn’t the only one. Watch this video and take a virtual tour to and through some other famous Catholic sites around the world.

Make a list of unique Catholic sites to visit this summer. Start with your own neighborhood. Is there a parish or shrine nearby for you to explore? Add ideas from our video. Does your local museum have a gallery that features religious art? You might also find some interesting ideas at RoadsideAmerica.com. Use the comments section below to tell us what’s going on your sightseeing to-do list!

May 23rd, 2013

This is a part of the fraction rite called the commingling. The priest quietly says the words “May this mingling of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ bring eternal life to us who receive it.” It comes from an ancient sign of unity with the Pope. Many, many years ago the pope would share small piece of the body of Christ with other Catholic churches…

May 22nd, 2013

The assumption that everything in the Bible has been “rewritten” by modern men is incorrect. The Bible has been translated innumerable times since the last book of it was penned 1,900 years ago, but it has not been “rewritten.” The common English translations we use now – for example, the New American Bible – have been translated directly…

May 17th, 2013

Question: How can anyone really take the bible seriously? It was written soooooo long ago and has gone through one translation after another. If someone sat down today and pounded out a bunch of stories because “God spoke to them” and said we should obey everything within them, would we believe it?  
The Bible was written long ago, between two

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