What does the Church teach about chain emails?

By Paul Dion, STL

We have received a challengiing question from a loyal reader. It is a situation that affects each and every one of us who have access to the World Wide Web. There are so many beautiful things that we receive many times per week, we wonder what to do with them.

In the practice of the "Burning Question" feature of our magazine, we are asking you all to reply to the question below. It is somewhat outside of our practice to make a question that we receive the "Burning Question," but this one is so timely and touches all of us, that we thought it wise to present it to you all before we make our final comment.

Here is the question posted by reader Octave Cantos (slightly edited somewhat from the original):

"I have a question regarding chain letters. What is the official stand of the Catholic Church on this? Although the content may be good and worth sharing, I just don't like the way its being propagated. Why are these letters so often accompanied by the statement, 'If you don't forward it to others that you know, something bad might happen to you or your to loved ones.' I don't think Mama Mary, God or Jesus works that way."

We ask you our readers, what do you think about these chain letters. What do you think the Church teaches about them. If Jesus received such chain letters, what would He do?

Let us know what you think. We know you have your own thoughts about this. Let's get this discussion rolling. Post your comments today. We will give you our reflection on the Church teachings about this topic in a few days.


"Life & Family" or "Peace and Justice?"

By Paul Dion, STL

Our BURNING QUESTION is one that I hope has the power to make you all think about a subject that I'll bet you didn't even know existed. Nevertheless, I'm throwing it at you because the answer you give will have to come from the deepest convictions that you have about life.

As you all know, the Church is our teacher in Faith and in Morals. The Church teaches us about Dogma, the Doctrine that reveals God's existence and how we are related to it. The Church also teaches us about Morals, the Doctrine that enlightens our conscience as the regulator of our behavior in relationship to God through our fellow humans.

This question is about the Church's focus on two things. First are issues of peace, justice and the protection of nature. The other focus covers issues of life and the family.

~ Read this breaking news and see why we think this issue is so relevant today.

Here is the Burning Question:

Do you think that the Church should put more emphasis on teaching the faithful about "life and family" or should it focus its teachings on issues of "peace and justice?"

Recent developments in the Catholic Church have made it clear that this is a decision that the Church has to make to help teach the people of the world in the formation of their conscience.
Pick one or the other. And of course, I expect that you are going to state your reasons for your choice.

Share your thoughts today. The choices are simple. "Life and Family" or "Peace and Justice?"

Can we get sick drinking from a common cup at Communion?

By Paul Dion, STL

There is a rather intense department of health campaign taking place to bring awareness to the American people about the possibility of a very virulent epidemic of bird flu in North America.

During a short presentation about the possibility of this epidemic becoming a reality, the subject of the Priests and Altar Ministers who distribute communion arose.

This statement was put on the table during the discussion following the presentation.

The exchange among members of the audience swirled around the process of personal purification that people who handle the Sacred Species of Body and Blood of Christ for Communion should practice before distributing communion.

I have to solicit an answer to this very daring and interesting statement.

What is your reaction to the statement? Can parishioners who drink from the chalice containing the consecrated wine get sick? Can parishioners who get germs on the host from the unwashed hands of either the priest or an Extraordinary Minister get sick? What about germs that come to us after they have come to rest on the host or inside the chalice after a cough? I couldn't resist asking this. After all, it is flu-shot season, right?

Share your thoughts today. Post a comment below.

Culinary Arts

June 22, 2006
By Paul Dion, STL

I have decided to lighten the week up a little bit and ask you a question that you perhaps have not thought about too much. Don't fool yourselves, this is a religious question.

There are certain corners of the world in which one of the favorite picnic "pièces de résistance" is canis domesticus = dog.

Now I know that some of you are familiar with the culinary preparation of rattlesnakes, pythons, alligators, kangaroos, deers, bears, geese, quails, squabs, whales, lobsters, swordfish, mahi-mahi and perhaps a few more.

The challenge here is to spend a few moments with "man's best friend" in your imagination and either condemn or support the practice of taking "Rex", "Fifi", "Buster" or "Shoo-shoo" to a wok.

Do not address this challenge on the spur of the moment. Read the above text carefully before you begin your answer. You may find some slick hints as to how to attack your esposé.

Last clue: There is a famous Biblical passage that is invoked when this question comes on the table.

Please feel free to post your comments. We will publish all of them so we may all learn from one another. And in a few days I will post my theological wrap-up explaining the Catholic doctrine behind this week's burning question.

(Click here to view the many wonderful articles that await you in, America's Catholic Lifestyle Magazine. Be informed, be inspired, be blessed. )

What is wrong with this chain email?

By Paul Dion, STL

Here's the situation. You received the following email from one of your friends. Read it and based on you own personal beliefs and understanding on our Christian faith, can you tell me what is wrong with this email? Go ahead and post your responses. We will post all your responses. And in a few days, I will post the Catholic theology that will explain what exactly of off-kilter with this chain email.

Here's the email:

1. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
2. And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:
3. Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary:
4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, died and buried: He descended into hell:
5. The third day he rose again from the dead:
6. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:
7. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:
8. I believe in the Holy Spirit:
9. I believe in the holy Catholic Church: the communion of saints:
10. The forgiveness of sins:
11. The resurrection of the body:
12. And life everlasting. Amen.

These are thoughts of salvation. You have the choice of deleting this E-mail or of sending it on to at least 12 other people for whom you care very deeply. If you share these profoundly spiritual statements with others you will be blessed with untold consolations, joy and good fortune within 12 days.

(Click here to view the many wonderful articles that await you in, America's Catholic Lifestyle Magazine. Be informed, be inspired, be blessed. )

Which one will you vote for: Roe v. Wade or Homosexual Marriage

June 4, 2006
by Paul Dion, STL

I came across this news item and couldn't resist posing you the challenge that it presents to the religious people who inhabit this country. This is as much a religious question as it is a political one. Of course I know that we will sooner or later have both situations in our country.

But for now, let's pretend that we have a choice of one or the other. It has profound religious ramifications.

I have therefore decided to throw out the following challenge to you. Give this some thought, send me your answer with religious reasoning to support it, and I think that we will learn a lot from the sum of your excogitations (dynamic thoughts).

THE CHALLENGE: Let's ptetend this came to a vote on November 7, 2006, and we have to choose between continuing Roe vs. Wade (abortion) or allowing homosexual marriage. We can’t keep both. We have to decide which one we want. How do you vote and why?

(Click here to view the rest of the many wonderful articles that await you in, America's Catholic Lifestyle Magazine)