> hello, my name is Amy and I'm a student at ISU (Illinois state university). > I'm currently enrolled in a "Religion and Cultures" class. For a project, I'm > doing a report on the Catholic religion, and was wondering if you could > please answer a few questions for me!??
> 1. How long have you been a priest?
> 2. How did you know that this was your calling in life?
Through an inward awareness in a moment of deep silence. Afterwards the call was confirmed during my years in the seminary - and since in my ministry as a priest.
> 3. I know that Catholics (I am one) believe in confession. Does God forgive > everything?
Or are there certain sins that can not be forgivin?
> 4. Is the church against divorce?
Jesus taught that in the eyes of God divorce is impossible. (Mk 10:1-12)
And what happens if you get one? (kicked > out of the church?)
It is possible to have a legal divorce and still remain in God's grace. The problem is remarriage (see Mk 10:11f.)
> 5. The other day in class, we had a debate about communion and > transubstantiation. What do Catholic believe? Is it really God's body and > blood, or is it more of a symbol?
The bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Jesus. The accidents (taste, smell, etc.) remain but the substance becomes God's body. (Jn 6:53ff.) The Catechism states: This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called TRANSUBSTANTIATION. (#1376)
> 6. Do you think that someone is a bad Catholic if they stop going to church > for a period of time while they are figuring out what they really believe?
A Catholic is someone who strives to follow the teaching and practice of Jesus. I of course cannot judge whether someone is good or bad in a moral sense. Only God can.
> 7. I know how the church feels about premarital sex and birth control... but > what is considered birth control? are condoms ok since they are preventing > the sperm from going inside?
Condoms are birth control (contraception). Chemical contraceptives (the pill, Norplant, Depo Provera, "emergency contraception," etc.) also have an abortifacient possibility. See: Interview on Birth Control
> 8. And abortion I know that abortion is wrong and not acceptable, but do you > believe in women choice, or should it be outlawed completely?
I believe in everyone's choice since God gave us freedom by making us in his image and likeness. However I also believe some things should be against the law, like drinking and driving or child abuse. Is anyone pro-choice about those things? See: The question about abortion could be asked this way: Is it OK to kill a child one minute after birth? If not, is it OK one minute before birth? Going back minute by minute or day by day, at what point do you say the fetus or embryo is not a child and therefore OK to destroy? The only point I can think of to draw the line is when it is not simply part of the mother or part of the father, but a separate being with his or her own distinct genetic makeup. Can you think of another moment which makes more sense?
Are there any > special cases where abortion might be acceptable?
To save the mother's life when the child's life would not be able to be saved. For example, an ectopic pregnancy. However, this would not be abortion in the true sense because the intention is not to kill the baby. That is, if it were possible, the parents would choose to save the child.
> > 9. for my project i need to find 5 symbolic images. What do you think would > be a good thing to look at. (any ideas would help!)
The teardrop baby. That page also has links to images of actual abortions.
> THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME AND HELP!
God bless, Amy.
Fr. Phil Bloom
Stem Cell Research: Teaching of Bible & Catholic Church
Human Cloning: A Catholic Perspective (How the Unthinkable Became Inevitable)