"Should a Mass Murderer be Granted an Ecclesiastical Funeral?"

By Paul Dion, STL

"A vigil service is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 302 E. Jefferson St., Iowa City. Funeral Mass for the family has been scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday. Burial will be at St. Joseph's Cemetery." Not long ago, a newspaper story appeared that described the murder of a family of four, wife, and three of her children by her husband who subsequently committed suicide by driving his car into a freeway abutment.

Not long after the event an illustrious Canon Lawyer (One who has studied the laws of the church and may interpret them and counsel the faithful concerning their compliance with such laws.) wrote a learned blog saying that in the light of what appeared in the press, the murderer/suicide should not be afforded an ecclesiastical funeral because he is evidently a non repentant public sinner and giving him such a funeral would be a cause of scandal for the rest of the community.

Please realize that this is one kind of public sin. There are others, of course. We can think of known pimps, drug dealers and family abusers to name a few. So, what is your opinion?

Now that you have expressed yourself, click here to see's opinion.

So let us know what you think.

How Catholic are you? Take the Quiz

By Paul Dion, STL

Those of you who just can't wait for the mailing every Friday are in for some homework this week. By now it has become clear to you that is INTERACTIVE. It is clear to you that the evangelization that Jesus expects from us is the soul of our publication. You have also become accustomed to the BURNING QUESTION OF THE WEEK.

Some of you will remember the time when we had a list of about 35 questions about basic Catholic doctrine. This week we are presenting a questionnaire that is somewhat more, there's a word! This is a rather engaging test of what it is that we as Catholics believe. Trust us, we are not out to catch anyone sneaking a puff behind the barn. That is not our intention.

We want you to think a bit, participate and then click the final button and see your score.

If you get 100% Catholic, write to us and brag. God will allow it for this one time. If you get a disappointingly low score, look in the mirror and ask yourself why. If you want to blow off steam and write to us and make a point about the @@^%&**+@@ injustice of the questionnaire, we will take you seriously and get back to you with love and a smile. If you want clarification about a question that you think should be a 5 and you wrote a 1, write to us and we will hold your hand.

Enjoy this exercise. I did.

CLICK HERE to begin this quiz. Make sure you come back to this page to report your score.

Post your scores below in our comments section and also see what others are saying.


Can we who are sinful be part of Jesus’ mission?

By Wally Arida

In the Gospel of Luke, a reluctant Peter was astonished at the abundance of the fish he caught at the Lord's instruction. He declared, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” And in another post-resurrection Gospel story, Jesus asks Peter a question, "Do you love me?" Peter answers that he indeed does. Jesus replies, “Feed my sheep.” Click here to read the story.

How would you feel if he asked the same question of you? Stay with it. Think about it. Pray about it.

Here's the Burning Question: Can we who are sinful be part of Jesus’ mission?

We don’t have to be perfect? We are forgiven? Please answer these questions from your heart. And share your reflections with our Catholic brothers and sisters.