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10 Apr 2015 Q&A Comments (1)

Does the Bible teach the sacrament of extreme unction?

Full Question Does the Bible teach the sacrament of extreme unction? Answer Yes. Extreme Unction, which is more commonly known today as the anointi…

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26 May 2016 Vatican Comments (10)

Vatican liturgy chief urges priests to celebrate Mass facing east

Cardinal Robert Sarah made the comments in an exclusive interview with Famille Chrétienne The Vatican’s liturgy chief has called on priests to celebrate Mass f…

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23 Jan 2016 Articles Comments (1)

Six Rules for Dealing with Non-Catholic Family and Friends

“I can’t believe you are thinking about being Catholic. Have you lost your mind? Why in the world would you leave biblical Christianity to follow a religion bas…

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04 Nov 2015 Middle East News No comments

Iraqi lawmakers deny the bill that will allow conversion from Islam to Christianity

To permit a free will of worshiping God as a christian converting from Islam once your of 18 years and above, was the bill the Iraqi Parliamentary have turned d…

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26 Nov 2015 Middle East - Africa News No comments

Video: Pope Francis visits the UN Office

Watch Pope Francis as he visits the United Nations Office. Click the "Play" button to watch:

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20 Feb 2015 Q&A Comments (2)

Can parishioners give each other ashes on Ash Wednesday?

Full Question At my parish on Ash Wednesday, the blessed ashes are left on the altar after the Mass. Throughout the rest of the day parishioners are invite…

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26 Aug 2016 Articles No comments

As the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk show, divorce isn’t always inevitable when a marriage breaks down

Perhaps the Duke and Duchess could share their experience of how they refounded their marriage with struggling couples The British press like nothing better th…

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13 May 2016 Vatican No comments

Pope says he will ask CDF about history of women deacons

Pope Francis said the question was 'obscure' and required study Pope Francis has said that the historical role of female deacons needs to be studied, and that …

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31 Mar 2015 Q&A No comments

Is it permissible for a priest to offer confession in his office?

Full Question Is it permissible for a priest to offer confession in his office? Answer Yes, but it must be with just cause. Here is what the Code o…

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What is the difference between talking to a saint and talking to a ghost?

Full Question

What is the difference between talking to a saint and talking to a ghost? In both cases the saint and ghost have passed on; therefore, they both are a spirit. So what difference does it make if one spirit is in heaven and the other is in my house?


By forbidding occult contact with the supernatural realm, what the Church is forbidding are the methods and techniques generally used to “summon up” departed human beings or other spirits (e.g., ouija boards, crystal balls, séances, mediums, etc.). It is not forbidding “conversation,” so to speak, between those in this life and those in the next; it is only forbidding attempts to manipulate the supernatural realm to obtain forbidden power or knowledge (CCC 2116).

Take, for example, Saul’s attempt to speak with the dead prophet, Samuel, through the medium of Endor (1 Sam. 28:7-20). It was not Saul’s desire to speak with Samuel that was his sin but the forbidden means by which he accomplished it. It would have been perfectly fine for Saul to have prayed to Samuel, asking Samuel for his intercession, but instead Saul had a medium “conjure” Samuel. The text gives us no reason to think that the person with whom Saul spoke was not Samuel—demonstrating that God may allow such contact to occasionally “work” to bring good out of evil (in this case, allowing Samuel to issue the warning to Saul that he would soon die)—but that does not make the forbidden methods lawful.

Prayer to saints, on the other hand, is entirely different. There is no attempt to conjure up spirits, no attempt to seek forbidden knowledge. All that is done is that the petitioner honors God’s friend and asks the saint for prayer.

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