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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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December 24th, 2009

Catholics differ from some Christian Churches which accept the Scripture as the only source of God’s revelation. Catholics have a strong belief in the truth of Scripture, but we also believe in tradition as a way in which God continues to reveal truth to us. Tradition can include beliefs, customs, prayers, and worship, the teaching of popes, bishops, theologians and Church councils. It’s our process of continually reflecting on the way in which the Word of God encounters our own experience as a community of faith.
Catholic understanding is that tradition includes the Scripture, and began before the gospels and letters were written. We do believe that Scripture is a unique revelation from God and…

October 16th, 2008

What the texts of the Bible reveal is a gradual evolution toward an appreciation of the value of marriage as an equal and lifelong partnership between a man and a woman. Our understanding of marriage has evolved even within our own lifetime and over centuries it has evolved considerably.
The Old Testament indicates that the polygamy was practiced by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as it has been by many nomadic peoples, particularly in ancient times. In these patriarchal societies the husband was chief of the family tribe and wives were purchased from another patriarch. While the stories of Abraham and Sarah and Jacob and Rachel indicate that love might be a part of such relationships, women were also treated as possessions,…

May 18th, 2008

Catholic teaching holds that abortion is always immoral. This is a strongly held position and dates back to the earliest days of the Church. For example, the Didache, the earliest known book of basic instructions for Christians, contains a prohibition against abortion. One of the distinctive features of the earliest Christian community was its strong stance against abortion and infanticide as practiced within the Roman empire.
The Catholic position on abortion is based on the following principles:
1. The life of an embryo is consistent with the life of a fetus which is consistent with the life of a newborn baby. No change in being ever takes place. Life is therefore “human” from the moment of conception…

May 18th, 2008
I have learned that all catholics must believe as an article of faith that all human beings have descended from two real human beings, Adam and Eve, who had no antecedents. Science has traced human lineage back several million years. We have, in our DNA, strong evidence of our development over very long time spans. My question is, if science proves beyond a doubt, by DNA or other evidence, that we have no linkage to those two distince parents Adam and Eve, how might the church respond to this, since it is in obvious contradiction to church teaching?

Contemporary Catholic biblical scholars tell us that the stories found in the book of Genesis are not meant to be a source of historical or scientific fact as we understand those terms today. Rather, they are meant to convey religious truth. In the words of one Catholic spiritual leader, “the purpose of the Bible is not to tell us how the heavens go, but how to go to heaven.”
Pope John Paul II,in his message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (October 22, 1996), observed that “we will all be able to profit from the fruitfulness of a trustful dialogue between the Church and
science.” John Paul took as his starting point the principle voiced by his predecessor, Pope Leo XIII, that “truth…

February 28th, 2004
Knowing the Entire Me

As my husband Scott and I packed up our apartment to move, I came across a box of my old diaries. I could barely lift it. It held twenty-seven volumes, my life from the sixth grade to adulthood.
Flipping through the diaries, I was pulled pleasantly back into my past. But along with this nostalgia came a needling feeling of loneliness. And I started to wonder something: how much does Scott really know me?
I looked at the box of diaries. How much of all this can anyone know?
Insider knowledge One of the most amazing things about marriage is the insider knowledge that you acquire about your spouse. After being married to Scott for a year and a half, I can describe the minute variations in his breathing as he falls asleep. I can…

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