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18 Sep 2014 USA No comments

Austin, Texas, Sep 18, 2014 / 04:22 am .- A pair of Catholic authors has found a new way to give mothers some time off while helping break the social isolation …

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10 Sep 2015 News No comments

What we mean when we Call Mary "Ever Virgin"

We as Catholics firmly believe that Mary is “ever virgin.”  The Catechism asserts, “The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess …

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09 Aug 2016 News No comments

Priests send prayers and support for Mexican mudslide victims

Mudslides in eastern Mexico have left at least 40 people dead and dozens of settlements cut off A priest in the Mexican state of Puebla said parish and archdio…

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12 Feb 2016 Europe News United Kingdom USA Vatican No comments

British actor Joseph Fiennes wept as he meet with Pope Francis

White British actor, Joseph Fiennes joined the pilgrims on Wednesday for the Pope’s weekly general audience at St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican City.  He was i…

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24 Nov 2015 Europe News Comments (1)

More than 200 consecrated Hosts stolen in an art exhibition.

The Christian Lawyers Association has filed a lawsuit against a Spanish artist Abel Azcona who stole at least 200 consecrated Hosts at Mass for violating Spanis…

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04 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (72)

Why do Catholics "go to rosaries" when someone dies?

Full Question I have heard of Catholics "going to rosaries" for people who have died. Could you tell me what is meant by this? Answer When a Cath…

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12 Sep 2016 Uncategorized Comments (1)

The brutal, powerful 9/11 stories of Catholic priests

On the clear, sunny morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Fr. Kevin Madigan heard an explosion overhead. He grabbed oils for anointing and ran out the door of St. Peter…

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12 Jun 2015 Exhortations Resources No comments

Pope tells Bosnians to be 'tenacious' workers for peace

During his daytrip to a country still marred by the effects of a recent war, Pope Francis said peace is not something that happens passively, but instead requir…

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05 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (11)

If I'm serving active duty and only have access to a Protestant service, does it fulfill my Sunday obligation?

Full Question I am deployed to Afghanistan, and our current chaplain is a Church of Christ minister. In this situation would the Protestant service offered…

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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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