A forum of Catholic Thought

Incense at MassFather Kenneth Doyle

Q. I am a Catholic, but I have forgotten why incense is sometimes used at Mass. Please explain, especially with regard to its use at funerals. (Aumsville, Oregon) A. The smoke of burning incense is ...

In heaven for sure? Father Kenneth Doyle

Q. My mother passed away some time ago, and I wonder whether she is now in "God's eternal embrace." How can I be sure? She was a good mother and she dearly loved the church, but we have been taught ...

Fasting and the familyFather Kenneth Doyle

Q. About two years ago, I made a promise to the Blessed Virgin Mary that I would fast on the Wednesdays and Fridays of each week, taking only bread and water -- for the poor souls in purgatory and for ...

Marijuana and morality Father Kenneth Doyle

Q. Many localities are in the process of decriminalizing the recreational use of marijuana. What is the church's view? Is using pot recreationally the same thing morally as having a drink? Is it OK in ...

Refuse to baptize?Father Kenneth Doyle

Q. Can a priest refuse to christen a child born out of wedlock? (Mason Neck, Virginia) A. The answer -- which may not be the one you were expecting or wanted -- is, "It depends." Simply that the child's ...

Married Catholic priests? Father Kenneth Doyle

Q. I have been a Catholic since birth (over 50 years), but I am still learning things about my religion. Recently we were at a wedding in another city, and the priest who performed the ceremony told us ...

Is yoga communing with devil?Father Kenneth Doyle

Q. My wife was recently at a gathering of her prayer group that meets every week. At the end of this particular meeting, a deacon spoke to the group and said something that has disturbed both of us. He ...

Military action against the Islamic State group? Father Kenneth Doyle

Q. How does a Christian react to a terrorist group like the Islamic State group (IS)? Praying for their salvation is important, but it may not be sufficient. Negotiating with them seems impossible, ...