‘Bless me, Father’

Question: In confession recently the priest told me I should not say, “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned”; instead I should say, “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.” Is he right? — Name, location withheld Answer: The opening of confession

Modern prophets

Question: Some say the last prophet was St. John the Baptist. But how can this be? Are we without prophets today? — David O’Flaherty, Springfield, Massachusetts Answer: As always with questions like these, it is going to depend on whether the word

Does TV Mass ‘count’?

Question: I am 87 years old, live in a retirement community and can no longer drive. I attend the Mass that is offered here once a month and receive holy Communion when it is distributed each week by extraordinary ministers of the

Fasting in Advent?

Question: I have heard Advent used to be time of fast, much like Lent. Is this so, and what should we do? — Steven Acton, Washington, D.C. Answer: This is true. Advent was once treated more like Lent than it is today,

Sin of masturbation

Question: I was trying to instruct someone that masturbation is wrong. And when I went to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it did say masturbation is “intrinsically and gravely disordered.” But then it says this: “To form an equitable judgment about

Signs of possession

Question: I am an 86-year-old Catholic, and I am trying to remember the three signs of demonic possession that I was taught. I seem to recall that they are coldness, objects moving by themselves, and the third I can’t remember. Can you

Opening the Word: Jesus’ true identity

Even after 2,000 years, people continue to misunderstand or misrepresent Jesus. Examples are plentiful. From televangelists who churn out cheery books and breezy sermons that sidestep the realities of sin, the cross, and the Passion of Christ, to New Age mystics who

Sin of homosexuality

Question: I was surprised to hear on a radio show an advocate for the gay community say that the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is not about homosexuality, but that the sin for which God destroyed that city was greed and a