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25 Jul 2016 News No comments

World Youth Day 2016: full schedule

World Youth Day 2016 is taking place in Krakow this week and the Pope is taking part in a number of events Tuesday, July 26 Opening Mass (Błonia Park, 5…

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02 Oct 2015 Articles Comments (2)

The origin of the Christmas Tree

The story of the Christmas tree is part of the story of the life of St. Boniface, whose name was originally Winfrid.  St. Boniface was born about the year 680 i…

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06 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (26)

Can Catholics be cremated? I was taught that cremation is a pagan ritual and therefore forbidden.

Full Question Can Catholics be cremated? I was taught that cremation is a pagan ritual and therefore forbidden. Answer Early Christians opposed…

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02 Dec 2014 Articles Comments (4)

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05 Sep 2014 Vatican No comments

Peres says Francis only leader capable of ending today's wars

Peres said that “perhaps for the first time in history, the Holy Father is a leader who’s respected, not just by a lot of people, but also by different religion…

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19 Nov 2016 News No comments

Mexican Mayor kills 300 people, who he ordered incinerated in network of ovens

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28 Jan 2016 Articles Comments (1)

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29 Aug 2016 Americas News USA Vatican No comments

Heartbroken couple forcibly separated after 62-years of marriage

Wolf and Anita Gottschalk have been forcibly separated for eight months, leaving a ripple of broken hearts across the internet. The Gottschalks have been mar…

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17 Feb 2016 Articles News No comments

Love Means Not Withholding the Truth

Like most people, I don’t like going to the dentist. And if we consider the measure of discomfort that is inflicted on us when we do go, then we realize it is o…

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Did people understand John the Baptist saying “repent and be baptized”?

Full Question

Did people understand what John the Baptist was talking about when he told them to “repent and be baptized”? Is there a precedent for baptism in the Old Testament?

Answer

The Old Testament is full of references to ritual washing. Of particular note are Elisha’s instructions to Naaman in 2 Kings 5 to ritually wash himself in the Jordan as a cure for leprosy, a biblical symbol of sinfulness. It is also a noteworthy part of Jewish tradition that the Jewish people from ancient times to the present have had ritual baths known as mikvahs. In fact, ancient mikvah sites have been found by archaeologists in the Holy Land. The mikvah was commanded under Jewish law to cleanse a person of ritual impurity (e.g., a woman would go to a mikvah after her period of ritual impurity during and after menstruation). So it is likely that the people to whom John the Baptist preached had a good idea of what he was referring to when he instructed them to be cleansed of their sins in the Jordan, which, because it is a natural body of water, could itself have possibly been used as a mikvah.









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