June 25, 2018

Author Archive | Fr John Flader

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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 […]

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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 […]

A priest hears the confession of a young woman prior the start of a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in 2014 during the 6th Asian Youth Day in Haemi-myeon, South Korea. Photo: CNS

Fr John Flader: conscience is not a law unto itself, must be well-formed

Dear Father, I have often heard people say, “It’s up to you. It’s a matter for your conscience” as if we could do virtually anything as long as our conscience approved it. Somehow that doesn’t seem right to me. Can you please shed some light on this? You are right. Conscience is not a law unto […]

Fr Remy Lam Son Bui, parish priest of the nearby parish of All Saints, Liverpool, holds up the host as he gives Communion during Mass at St Francis Xavier, Lurnea. Photo: Patrick J Lee

Fr John Flader: Forgiveness in the Eucharist? Yes and no

Dear Father, Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia says that the Eucharist “is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.” Does this mean that Communion actually forgives sins, even mortal sins, and that it can be given as medicine for those in mortal sin? The text you cite […]

Photo: Fr Lawrence Lew OP

Fr John Flader: God or His eternal absence – wanna bet?

Question: Dear Father, I remember hearing once about an argument for living as if there were life after death called Pascal’s wager. Can you enlighten me as to exactly what this argument is, as I have a friend who doesn’t believe in life after death? The argument, as you say, is called Pascal’s wager and it […]

Detail from the tympanum of the central west doors of Notre Dame de Paris. Photo: Fr Lawrence Lew OP

Fr John Flader: evidence for life after death from purgatory and hell

Question: Dear Father, You said in a recent column that you were going to offer more evidence for life after death, besides Our Lady’s fulfilled prophecy at Fatima, near-death experiences in which someone met people in the next life, and the fact that the soul, being spiritual, must necessarily live on when the body dies. What are […]