Monday, October 24, 2016

Catholic Q&A: Part 40

This post continues my series of short answers to common (and not so common) questions about Catholicism. For the previous parts in the series, see the "Catholic Q-A Series" blog label.

Why are Catholics more interested in the saints?

I'm not sure who you are comparing Catholics to, but I can say that Catholics are more interested in the saints than Protestants are because the Catholic Church has maintained continuity of faith with the early Church -- who prayed to and venerated the saints -- whereas the Protestant denominations today find their roots in the "Reformation" of the 16th century, when many Christians broke away from the Catholic Church, throwing the saints out with the rest of the bath water.

Can you please explain how Christmas came to be and the controversy surround it?

Well, the commonly held belief was that Christmas was instituted by the Church in order to counteract or to "baptize" the pagan holidays being celebrated around the same time, either Saturnalia or the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (Birth of the Unconquered Sun). But, modern scholarship has proven this to be mere legend. What most scholars believe now is that the Christian holiday actually pre-dates the pagan varieties, which were established to reinvigorate the paganism of the Roman Empire and which were swiftly being replaced by Christianity. For more on this, see "Christmas Was Never a Pagan Holiday" and "Why December 25?".

I am a 48 year old woman who has been divorced for 15 years. I recently met a wonderful man, we have been dating for about a year. We have also had sex on a handful of occasions. He feels incredible remorse. It's not like I stopped him. Is this a venial sin or mortal sin?

It would definitely be a very serious sin, and if you did it with full knowledge that it was wrong and you freely consented to do it, then it would be a mortal sin. It is a very serious sin because, until you receive an annulment, your marriage with your former spouse is presumed to be a valid one. This means that you are not free to have sexual intercourse with someone else. Your boyfriend may have had the sin of fornication in mind, but it is actually adultery that has taken place here.

Can one be saved who dies in mortal sin?

No, he cannot. Someone in the state of mortal sin has placed himself in unrighteous standing before the Lord. Someone in such a state must repent of the mortal sin that has flung him into this state before he dies. After death, there is no more time to repent of mortal sin. That person can only go to Hell because Heaven is only a place for those who have maintained a righteous standing with the Lord.

If you were trying to prove that Jesus was who He said he was what topics would you focus on?

I would focus on what Jesus said about Himself, but also what the apostles and the authors of the New Testament books said about Him. For more on this, see my blog post, "Jesus Is God".

Pax Christi,

1 comment:

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