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26 Mar 2015 Q&A No comments

How can your Church condone dancing?

Full Question In my church I was taught that dancing is sinful. What I have seen of dancing confirms this is right. How can your church condone dancing? …

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24 Mar 2015 Q&A Comments (8)

How do we explain the conflicting accounts of Judas' death in Matthew and Acts?

  Full Question Matthew 27:5 says that Judas hanged himself, while Peter says in Acts 1:18 that he fell and was disemboweled. How can we reconcile wh…

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01 Oct 2014 Vatican No comments

Iraqi couple finds courage in a Pope who suffers with them

Vatican City, Oct 1, 2014 / 12:02 pm .- An elderly couple who lost everything after fleeing their home due to ISIS violence met with Pope Francis on Sunday, say…

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21 Oct 2015 News USA No comments

Major evangelical group recognizes growing opposition to death penalty

The National Association of Evangelicals has issued an expanded statement on the death penalty that for the first time recognizes Christian opposition to state …

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07 Sep 2015 News USA Comments (2)

What does the Church really say about divorce? It might not be what you think

“I have a friend who has been divorced for 30 years. Her husband just left her one day, and she hasn't received communion in all this time,” author David Dziena…

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18 Feb 2016 Q&A No comments

What is the meaning of the name "Fatima"?

Full Question What is the meaning of the name “Fatima”? I read that Mohammed, founder of Islam, named his daughter Fatima. Answer The name Fatima m…

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11 Sep 2014 Vatican No comments

Pope Francis Receives President of Tunisia

Pope Francis received at the Vatican Thursday the President of Tunisia, Mohamed Moncef Marzouki. “During the cordial discussions, various themes of common inte…

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04 Jun 2015 Articles Q&A No comments

What authority does a Bishop Have? How Obedient should I be?

ISSUE: As a Catholic, I understand that the pope has authority over the entire Church. What, then, is the role of my local bishop? What should my attitude be to…

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18 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (3)

Should I receive if I have an unconfessed mortal sin on my conscience?

Full Question I receive the Eucharist every Sunday; however, should I do so if I have an unconfessed mortal sin on my conscience? A priest told me as long …

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What is a baptistery? Where should it be located?

RESPONSE: “The baptistery is the area where the baptismal font flows or has been placed. It should be reserved for the sacrament of baptism and should be a place worthy for Christians to be reborn in water and the Holy Spirit.”[1]

DISCUSSION: Baptism frees us from sin, makes us children of God in the likeness of Christ and incorporates us into the Church. It is the gateway to all other sacraments.[2] In short, baptism makes possible our whole life in Christ. This life takes place within His Church under the pastoral care of legitimate authority.

Because of the significance of baptism and its affirmation of the Catholic faithful, the proper place of baptism is the parish church. The proper minister of baptism is the pastor. For these reasons, all parish churches must have a baptistery. Only after consultation with the pastor, a local Ordinary can allow chapels, oratories or other churches within the boundaries of the parish church to have a baptistery. Such permission should be granted only for the legitimate convenience of the faithful, and use of these baptisteries should not usurp the obligations of the pastor.[3]

Mindful of the baptistery’s significance, the Catholic Church favors a communal celebration of baptism. The design of the baptistery should draw the community into the mystery of the sacrament. “In the construction and decoration of the baptistery great pains are to be taken to ensure that it clearly expresses the dignity of the sacrament of baptism and that it is a place well-suited to communal celebrations.”[4] “It may be situated in a chapel either inside or outside the church or in some other part of the church easily seen by the faithful; it should be large enough to accommodate a large number of people.”[5]

It has been reported that some parishes have used stock tanks to baptize adults by immersion. Although these baptisms are valid, a stock tank is not designed for this use. Constructed as a means of watering livestock, a stock tank does not reflect the mystery and beauty of the sacrament of baptism. If the baptistery will be used for immersions, proper construction should reflect the dignity of the sacrament and a practical design that allows for convenient access. Such construction should be permanent, durable and tasteful in appearance. In the absence of a proper place for immersions, use of a
smaller baptistery designed for baptism by pouring seems more appropriate.


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