Saturday, September 03, 2011

Catholic Q&A: Part 14

This post continues my series of short answers to common questions about Catholicism. For the previous parts in the series, see the "Catholic Q-A Series" blog label.

How do we know that Mary’s parents were Anne and Joachim if they aren’t mentioned in the Bible?

We know their names because they are mentioned in other early Christian works from the 1st and 2nd century AD., such as The Gospel of the Nativity of Mary and The Protoevangelium of James.

What is “viaticum”?

The word viaticum is Latin for “provisions for a journey.” Thus, it is a fitting name for the final reception of the Eucharist by someone who is near death. With the Eucharist, he is now ready to make the journey from this life to the next.

People often think of viaticum as a part of the rite for the Anointing of the Sick, since the celebration of viaticum often immediately follows it. But, the celebration of viaticum is actually a separate rite, and is only celebrated following the Anointing of the Sick if death is imminent.

What are the “sacraments of healing”?

The sacraments of healing are Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick. Reconciliation heals the soul by cleansing it of sin. Anointing of the Sick heals the soul by cleansing it of sin (if the sick person was not able to obtain it through the sacrament of Reconciliation) and by strengthening it against temptation and despair. It can heal the body too, if that be the will of the Lord.

How does the Catholic Church view war?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church has this to say:
2307 The fifth commandment forbids the intentional destruction of human life. Because of the evils and injustices that accompany all war, the Church insistently urges everyone to prayer and to action so that the divine Goodness may free us from the ancient bondage of war.

2308 All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for the avoidance of war. However, "as long as the danger of war persists and there is no international authority with the necessary competence and power, governments cannot be denied the right of lawful self-defense, once all peace efforts have failed."
The Catechism goes on to outline the conditions for a just war, and to describe the responsibilities of public authorities and those who are sworn to serve their country in the armed forces. It is a very interesting and informative read.

Pax Christi,

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