Category Archives: Sacraments

The Seal of Confession and the Utilitarian Imperative

The sacrament of confession, according to Catholic teaching, involves a seal of confession for the priest involved. A priest who is hearing a confession cannot speak freely about, make reference to, insinuate to others, or by any means do anything … Continue reading

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Marriage and Time Travel

Here’s a thought. Assume all the standard Catholic stuff about the sacrament of marriage, such as its indissolubility until the death of at least one of the two spouses. Suppose you get married, and then at some later point, while … Continue reading

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A Green Ball, a Blue ball, a Grue ball, and Transubstantiation

It is even more difficult to produce an angel from a stone than to produce it from nothing, because to make an angel from a stone, insofar as that can be done, the stone must first be annihilated and then … Continue reading

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The Lord’s Prayer and the hypothesis of Matthean priority

Suppose we accept as a working hypothesis (for the sake of argument) that Matthew was written prior to Mark (and prior to Luke). Mark’s Gospel does not have the Lord’s prayer. However, if Mark really is written, as Clement of … Continue reading

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The Twelve, the Resurrection and the Apostolic college

Mormons often argue that when Jesus appointed twelve Apostles to lead his Church he intended that the Church would continue to be led at all times by twelve such apostolic leaders. Catholics, instead, believe that the Apostles were the original … Continue reading

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Mondays are Hell

Ever notice that when Genesis 1 organizes it’s creation narrative into six consecutive days, the second day is the only one at the end of which God actually doesn’t say “it was good”? Well, Kabbalists have. Bachya ben Asher ibn Halawa, … Continue reading

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Two meditations on the sacrament of forgiveness

The book of Sirach says: Do not say, ‘I sinned, yet what has happened to me?’ for the Lord is slow to anger. Do not be so confident of forgiveness that you add sin to sin. Do not say, ‘His … Continue reading

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Tetragametic Chimeras and the Human Soul

A Tetragametic Chimera is an extremely rare situation in which two different zygotes have  become one, by one’s being absorbed into the other. In effect, it means that the one life form left will have two different sets of DNA. … Continue reading

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A thought experiment about the Sacrament of Ordination

I found myself recently in a discussion where I defended the Catholic Church’s position that there must be (of necessity) a male only priesthood. I explained the logic of this using theology of the body, liturgy, cosmological implications for Christian … Continue reading

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Annulments and mistakes

Suppose that the Catholic Church is infallible, and that one or more of its bishops grants an annulment, which presumes that a legitimate ‘marriage’ never took place but only appeared to, when in fact it only appears that the marriage … Continue reading

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