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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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Our readers asked:

Will the church ever add any new sacraments?

Neela Kale Answers:

It seems unlikely that the Church will add any new sacraments. Seven is a highly symbolic number now buoyed by centuries of tradition. And any new ritual would have to be of a truly universal character, in response to an emergent need of the global Church, not merely of a particular group or region. But this does not mean that the Church does not continue to respond to the changing circumstances of each time and place. Under current liturgical practice, bishops’ conferences may approve blessings or other rituals in response to emerging pastoral needs. These rituals are referred to as sacramentals, sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments and prepare us to receive the grace of the sacraments (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1667-1673).

One example in wide use in the United States, for example, is the Order of Blessing on the Fifteenth Birthday, which is used to celebrate the Hispanic popular custom known as the quinceañera. The tradition of our faith is ever ancient and ever new, and in both time-honored and innovative ways the Church will always help us to experience and celebrate God’s grace in our lives.

 
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The Author : Neela Kale
Neela Kale is a writer and catechetical minister based in the Archdiocese of Portland. She served with the Incarnate Word Missionaries in Mexico and earned a Master of Divinity at the Jesuit School of Theology. Some of her best theological reflection happens on two wheels as she rides her bike around the hills of western Oregon.
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