A forum of Catholic Thought

Why does a paschal candle holder have bee artwork?Jenna Marie Cooper

Q: In my parish, we have an antique candle holder for the paschal candle. The design on the candle stand looks like it has some sort of insect, and so my six-year-old asked me why there were "bugs on ...

Should Jesus be depicted on crucifixes as alive or dead? Jenna Marie Cooper

Q: I have a friend who observed that some crucifixes depict the Savior with his eyes open and some depict him with his eyes closed. He wants to know which is correct -- alive or dead? (Lakeland, FL) A: ...

Why isn't a pro-life petition part of the Prayer of the Faithful for every Mass?Jenna Marie Cooper

Q: If, indeed, abortion is the church's preeminent issue, then why don't we hear a pro-life petition as part of the Prayer of the Faithful at every Mass? A: Many parishes do include a pro-life intention ...

Does the Polish National Catholic Church have a valid celebration of the Eucharist? Jenna Marie Cooper

Q: I greatly enjoyed a recent article about our Orthodox brothers and sisters having a valid celebration of the Eucharist. My question is, can the same be said of the Polish National Catholic Church (PNCC)? ...

For those who avoid meat anyway, is there another Lenten Friday penance?Jenna Marie Cooper

Q: Now that we are in Lent, most Catholics I know are doing "fish on Fridays" to conform to the fasting and abstinence requirement. But if I typically avoid meat or eat fish most days anyway, should I ...

Are you relieved of the duty to attend Mass on Sunday at a certain age? Jenna Marie Cooper

Q: My older sister told me that after age 80, you are relieved of the duty to attend Sunday Mass. I didn't believe her until a friend who is 86 told me the same thing. I have never heard of this. Is it ...

Did Pope Benedict XVI validly resign?Jenna Marie Cooper

Q: Did Pope Benedict XVI validly resign even though he did not renounce the munus? (Scottsville, VA) A: As many of us will recall, on Feb. 11, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI surprised the world when, after ...

Is the devil a being? Jenna Marie Cooper

Q: Is the devil an actual being, or is he a metaphor for "people doing bad," and for just general evil in the world? I've sometimes heard this last called "the demonic," which I understood to mean ...