06 Apr 2015 Q&A Comments (5)

Is Easter a pagan holiday?

Full Question A publication I read claims Easter has its roots in a pagan holiday and rituals and as such ought not to be observed by Christians. Colored e…

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10 Sep 2015 News Vatican Comments (1)

Churches that do not welcome people are called museums, says Francis

The Pope says parishes must be 'centres of love', not 'exclusive' sects A church that lives according to the Gospel must always have its doors open and be a …

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29 Mar 2015 Q&A No comments

Is it true that there is no record of a census around the birth of Jesus and therefore Joseph and…

Full Question I saw a television program that said historians doubt Jesus was born at Bethlehem because "there is no record of a census at that time" and t…

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05 Oct 2015 Articles No comments

Why Catholics use votive candles

Before addressing the use of votive candles in particular, we have to appreciate the symbolism of light and the general usage of candles in religious practice. …

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23 Mar 2015 Vatican No comments

Pope plans to canonize St. Therese’s parents during family synod

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis is expected to canonize Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin, the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux, during the world Synod of Bisho…

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08 Apr 2016 Articles Comments (3)

The Clothes Have No Emperor: How I Evangelize Atheists

I'm sitting in my family room watching the first episode of the HBO series True Detective. It stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as Rust Kohle and Ma…

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05 Nov 2016 News No comments

Priest hopes Duterte can help bring fellow missionary’s killer to justice

As yet, no one has been charged for the murder of Father Fausto Tentori in 2011 despite there being several witnesses Justice is slow in the Philippines, but F…

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18 Aug 2016 Articles Comments (1)

Is God a Narcissist?

That God demands man—indeed, created man—to worship him is a fact. He desires the praise and worship of every man and woman without exception. What does this te…

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14 Sep 2015 Middle East - Africa News No comments

Recent South African martyr beatified

Samuel Benedict Daswa (1946-90), a school teacher who was brutally murdered after he denounced witchcraft, was beatified as a martyr near Thohoyandou, South Afr…

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Nuns can’t hear sacramental confessions – only priests, right?

Full Question

When I called a local university to find out the times for confession on campus, the answering machine informed me that confession was being offered by both a priest and a nun! I thought only priests could hear confessions.


You are correct that only priests may hear sacramental confessions and absolve sins. Perhaps you misunderstood the message and Sister is offering spiritual direction rather than sacramental confession. Or, perhaps she is an Anglican offering her services only to non-Catholics. I recommend going to the university and confirming who is hearing the sacramental confessions of Catholics. If anyone other than a Catholic priest is attempting to offer sacramental confession to Catholics, then I recommend notifying the bishop of the diocese in which the university is located.


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