What did Jesus know?

Question: I recently read the portion of the Gospel about what will happen at the end of time. It stated, “But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mk

Role of lay ministers

Question: Do you think that since the Second Vatican Council there has developed confusion between the roles of laity and clergy in the Church? Some commentators seem to think so. Now we have lay ministers of all sorts. What do you make

The Anglican view of purgatory

Question: I am married to a nonpracticing Episcopalian and while we agree on most matters of faith, we disagree over purgatory. Your columns have been helpful to him. Can you clarify where Episcopalians stand on purgatory? — Name withheld, Baltimore, Md. Answer:

Confessing venial sins

The Church strongly urges that Catholics have recourse to confession for all sins — mortal or not Question: I know that the Church urges frequent confession. But what if one has no mortal sins to confess? I am reluctant to go to

Anointing or last rites?

Question: I am confused about the difference between the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick and “last rites.” When I was growing up, they were the same. My husband has terminal cancer. When he comes toward the end, what rites should

Sacraments’ origins

Question: Recently I attended a catechetical conference in our diocese and the speaker would not answer “yes” when I asked him if Christ instituted all the sacraments. He skirted the matter and would only give a vague answer. He also would not

Can I walk to Emmaus?

Question: I work with some people who are not Catholic, who are trying to get me to go to a “Walk to Emmaus.” It appears like a pep rally for Christ. What is this program and where did it come from? Do

God in a feminine form

uestion: What is your opinion on using feminine pronouns for God? I have found these pronouns used even by relatively conservative Catholic authors. However, I find them distracting and detracting. — Name withheld, Milwaukee, Wis. Answer: At the outset, it needs to