Does the Church allow me to think for myself?

Does the Church allow me to think for myself?

April 2021, Does the Church have an answer?
Question I have relatives who are Catholic but don’t go to Church anymore because they claim that they want to be able to think for themselves. How can I respond to them? Answer Unfortunately, this is a very common objection many people raise against the Catholic Church; you’ll hear it from inactive Catholics, other Christians and atheists. As is so often the case, however, the reality is very different from the perception. [caption id="attachment_5751" align="alignright" width="300"] The Catholic Church doesn’t shrink from critical thinking. Just ask the Belgian priest Monsignor Georges Lemaitre who was a professor of physics and the first to propose the Big Bang theory.[/caption] One thing that must be noted up front is that the stated desire of this objection is sound: it’s a good thing to…
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Do I have to go to confession during Lent?

Do I have to go to confession during Lent?

Does the Church have an answer?, March 2021
Question: Why does the Church require going to confession during Lent? Answer: Actually, the requirement for Catholics is to receive the sacrament of reconciliation or confession at least once per year, but it does not specify when that should be. Many Catholics, however, do receive this sacrament during the Lenten season, and for good reason: Lent is an especially penitential season, meaning that during Lent we are called to make an extra effort to examine our lives and to strive to live in greater conformity with our faith, to imitate Jesus in a greater way. During Lent we also take on some extra penitential practices in order to grow in holiness and be free from the bondage of sin. Because of this, it is fitting that many Catholics choose to…
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Does “apologetics” mean we are apologizing?

Does “apologetics” mean we are apologizing?

Does the Church have an answer?, February 2021
Question: I’ve been reading your column, but what, exactly, does “apologetics” mean? Answer: Thanks for this question! Frankly, it’s probably a topic I should’ve addressed in the very first column before taking any questions. In order to answer it, I’d like to begin by referring to Bishop DeGrood’s vision for the diocese: Lifelong Catholic Missionary Discipleship Through God’s Love. At the heart of this vision is missionary discipleship: the reality that we are all called not only to follow Jesus as His disciples ourselves, but to invite others to follow Him as well. In both following Jesus more closely and helping others do the same, questions often arise, whether they be our own questions or the questions of those we are talking with. Boiling it down, we can put it…
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