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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 21st, 2015

Question: My dorm does not allow candles but I like to pray with a candle in front of my statue of Mary. Should I claim religious exemption?
Candles have a time-honored place as a symbol of prayer, especially in the Catholic tradition. In fact, at least two candles must be placed on the altar for the celebration of the Mass (General Instruction of the Roman Missal,

August 7th, 2015

What is a sign (from God)? What “signs” might appear to us today, and how is God still speaking?…
There are many events, supernatural or otherwise, that happen in the Bible, which can loosely be termed “signs from God.” Some appear in dreams, like the image of Jacob’s ladder (Genesis 28:11-22). Others happen during waking hours,

July 31st, 2015

Imagine a timeline stretching back millions of years. Scientists believe that dinosaurs became extinct about 66 million years ago, tens of millions of years before humans evolved from our primate predecessors. Fast forward to the centuries when the books in the Bible were written, a mere two to three thousand years ago. At that time, dinosaurs had been extinct…

July 17th, 2015

I commit the same sins over and over, and I feel bad going to confession when it is most likely I will commit the same sin. How do I say I will not sin again when I feel inside I will sin again? Am I using confession as a excuse to sin knowing I can confess and be forgiven?…
All of us have weaknesses and our sins are consequences of that. No one is perfect, and usually many of

July 10th, 2015

While the Church doesn’t have an official teaching on this topic, it is the policy of Catholic Charities to place adoptive children with single adults. Criteria taken into account include a person’s physical and mental health, ability to provide a stable and loving home environment, personal references, and extensive background checks. Although a…

June 19th, 2015

Question: As an animal lover and someone who has a deep connection to my pets, I’d like to know more about what the Bible says happens to our pets and other animals when they pass away. Does God have a place for them in heaven? Will we see them again?
As a dog lover myself, who is obsessed with my best friend, Haze the Dog, I always picture Haze bounding toward me…

June 5th, 2015

Check out the answer to the question in this handy at-a-glance resource. Download it and take it to Mass with you!

Click image to open or download the PDF.…

June 3rd, 2015

The biblical writers themselves never uses the word “homosexuality,” but the few Biblical passages referring to homosexual acts (less than 10 passages in the entire Bible) refer to sexual acts between people of the same gender. The most prominent verses are in Leviticus 20:13 and Romans 1:26-27. Interestingly, there is not a single mention of homosexuality…

May 29th, 2015

Jesus’ own words “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” might lead us to think this is so, but the truth expressed here is to suggest that Jesus is both human and divine. The human part of Jesus’ experiences is what many of us feel in times of desolation: abandonment by God. But the Church teaches that even in the most desperate situations…

May 28th, 2015

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

May 27th, 2015

No. The Bible is better described as a set of books within a book, and as such, it’s not just a book of history.
Certainly it sketches some of the history of our Jewish ancestors, the life of Jesus, and brief glimpses of the early Christian churches, but most of the Bible was not written to be a detailed historical document. It’s aim, rather than telling…

May 22nd, 2015

Q: Soldiers in war are technically killing other sons and daughters of God in an effort to protect our country. Will this affect their fate on Judgment Day? Is it wrong to thank them upon their return home even though they’ve sinned?…
Never hesitate to thank a returning soldier for his or her service to our country. (Thank you, veterans!) Military service cannot

May 14th, 2015

The Ascension refers to the day celebrated 40 days after Easter when Catholics celebrate the fact that Jesus returns to God after being with his disciples after the resurrection. It is a central element of our tradition and is included in the creed recited at mass each Sunday. It is also a Holy Day of Obligation and Catholics are required to go to mass on that day.…

May 8th, 2015

Jesus told his disciples to go out and spread the word of God. We are all disciples of God, and as such, we should be spreading the word of God as well. How would you suggest a normal, everyday person go about sharing our faith with others?
Pope Paul VI and the United States Catholic Bishops addressed this very question in some of their writings. They suggest a three-fold…

April 29th, 2015

The first and most important thing you can do in this vein is to buy a children’s Bible and read it with them. The Bible is confusing enough for adults to understand, so why would we assume children can make sense of it if we only read them one with adult language?
There are some great children’s Bibles available, and they are geared to children of different…

April 24th, 2015

Q: Most Bible scholars agree that Paul’s letters are the oldest portion of the New Testament, i.e., these were written before the Gospels. Why then, does Paul not mention the virgin birth, not mention any miracles, not mention the empty tomb? Why does Paul cite a spiritual resurrection but not speak of a physical resurrection? If Judas committed suicide,…

April 21st, 2015

In the Second Chapter of John’s Gospel we read about the Wedding Feast at Cana. Mary approaches Jesus and asks him to do something about the fact that they have run out of wine. Jesus responds: “Woman, how does this concern me?”
Women in Jewish culture at the time were viewed as property and as unreliable witnesses. Men addressing women as “woman”…

April 16th, 2015

Jesus did not ask Peter this question 3 times because he was hard of hearing or slow to comprehend Peter’s answers! The fact that Jesus asks Peter this question – “do you love me?” – three times is very significant.

April 13th, 2015

Question: Did Pope Francis really say that those who do not believe in God can be saved, and that Atheists can also be saved?
Yes. Pope Francis said that not long ago:
“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood…

April 9th, 2015

In first century Palestine where Jesus was living, tax collectors were individuals who worked for Roman administrators. They were responsible for collecting taxes to support the Roman Empire, which governed Jesus’ homeland. (Think of the IRS in our day.) Some of the taxes levied on the Jewish people might have been oppressive in themselves, but sometimes…

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