Dear Father

DEAR FATHER | A simplex priest is restricted in certain areas of ministry

A simplex priest is ordained as a priest, but in exercising his priesthood, he's restricted in two areas. First, simplex priests can't preach at Mass. Second, simplex priests can't hear confessions.

The reasoning behind these restrictions lay in the 1917 Code of Canon Law. According to this code and understanding of the law, clerics had to be granted faculties to preach by their bishop. Further, bishops could give the faculty to hear confessions fully, limit a priest to a certain territory, or withhold them all together if priest didn't pass certain examinations.

DEAR FATHER | May the Lord be on our minds, lips and hearts at the Gospel

To sign or be marked by the cross originates in the Old Testament. In the Book of Ezekiel, the Babylonians threaten to conquer the city of Jerusalem. This is symbolized in Ezekiel's vision by six armed men approaching the city from the north. While they approached, a man with a writing case came and stood in the temple. God instructs this man to go throughout the city and mark those who have persevered in their faith with the sign of the Tav. At the time, this would look closer to an "X," but its more ancient form was closer to the "T," which looks like a cross.

DEAR FATHER | Catholics can contribute to healthy conversation on effects of sports

To what extent may Catholics be fans of a sport where violence is part of the competition? 

This question comes at an interesting time in the sports world.

DEAR FATHER | Superstitions run counter to how we are supposed to approach God

To answer this, we first must ask 'What is a superstition?'

Superstitions presuppose a supernatural world that interacts with our world. These interactions cause both positive and negative effects on our life. Moreover, through superstitions, we can in some way control these interactions to make them work more favorably for us.

DEAR FATHER | Staying until end of Mass continues reception of God’s graces

Is it OK to leave Mass immediately after receiving Communion? 

The word that stands out to me the most in this question is the word "OK." This word means that what's being proposed is satisfactory, and thus the question asked is: Is it a satisfactory practice to leave Mass immediately after receiving Communion?

DEAR FATHER | What’s the difference between Nicene, Apostle’s Creeds?

Both the Nicene Creed and the Apostles' Creed share the quality of being a creed of the Church. The word creed comes from the Latin word credo, meaning "I believe." The meaning of this word reflects the purpose of these statements: They are structured and succinct ways of expressing the beliefs of the faith.

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