October 16, 2018

Author Archive | Fr John Flader


Q&A with Fr John Flader: How can a Church of sinners be holy?

Question: Dear Father, When we say in the Creed that the Church is holy I can become quite cynical, wondering how we can call the Church holy when there is such obvious and widespread sinfulness in so many of her members, including priests and bishops. How can we call the Church holy? I think many […]


Q&A with Fr John Flader: Merciful work can help the aged receive the Lord

Question: Dear Father, I am an extraordinary minister of communion and regularly take communion to an aged care home. What should I do when a new patient arrives so as to ensure that they are properly disposed to receive Communion? This is an important question since, as we all know, “Anyone conscious of a grave sin […]


Q&A with Fr John Flader: What is a Plenary Council?

Question: Dear Father, now that Australia is planning for a Plenary Council to be held in 2020, can you tell me exactly what a Plenary Council is and how it differs, say from a national assembly or some other national gathering.  It is not surprising that you are unfamiliar with the term Plenary Council since […]

Latam Airlines employees Carlos Ciuffardi Elorriaga, 41, and Paula Podest Ruiz, 39, kiss after being married by Pope Francis aboard his flight from Santiago, Chile, to Lima, Peru, Jan. 18. PHOTO: CNS/Paul Haring

Q&A with Fr John Flader: Can you have a Catholic wedding outside of a church?

Question: You may have read the account of Pope Francis marrying a couple on a plane. It made me wonder in what circumstances it would be permissible to conduct a wedding in a place other than a church. To remind our readers, Pope Francis did indeed celebrate the impromptu wedding of two flight attendants on […]

Angels with bowls of holy water stand at the door of the main Dominican church in Quezon City, the Philippines. PHOTO: Fr Lawrence Lew

Q&A with Fr John Flader: Where did our traditions around Holy Water come from?

Blessing ourselves with holy water has a number of different purposes and meanings. The first goes back to the Old Testament, where those engaging in various functions in the worship of God always washed themselves with water first in order to be purified for their spiritual function. We see this, for example, as early as […]

Pope Francis smiles as he visits the "White Houses," a housing development for the poor, on the outskirts of Milan on 25 March 2017. PHOTO: CNS

Q&A with Fr John Flader: What are we to make of the Francis pontificate?

Question: Dear Father, In the four years that Pope Francis been in office, I have heard all sorts of things about him: that he is a great Pope, a liberal, a heretic or even that his election was not valid. What should I think about him and how should I react to all this? I too have […]