I am 13-years-old and I live in the USA. I am writing
a research paper but before you before you
discount this e-mail, I want you to know that
the assignment requires me to interview people
of various faiths.
I am currently somewhat of a reformed Protestant.
Here are my questions:
How did the Pope come to be?
Why is St. Mary St. Mary, if
Do you pray to her or any of the other
saints? If so, why?
What exactly is a Rosary, and how did
it come to be?
What is the difference between a priest,
a cardinal, etc.?
What happens after Confession?
How does a priest determine penance?
Thanks so much!
Because my project requires me to interview people
of various faiths, can I interview a Catholic? }
Hi, Constance —
Before I address your questions,
you may be interested in these similar
They may help your assignment:
The Pope became Pope
because it was Jesus' choice to
place a prime minister-like
be an icon of teaching unity
for what the Christian faith
is. (This way any Christian on
the face of the earth would
be able to know, for sure, what is Christian
and what is not.)
protect against bad ideas
and un-Christian behavior as
being accepted as Christian
protect against any abuses
in the worship life of the
protect against any abuses
against the sacramental life
of the Church.
(What is a sacrament?: A
sacrament is an outward sign
instituted by Christ that gives
grace; his priests pass on
the sacramental life of the
Church through their priesthood.
Jesus instituted seven sacraments.)
When a Pope dies, the cardinals
of the Church gather and, guided
by the Holy Spirit, choose who
they think would be best for the
It is important to note, the difference between:
the pope's inability to officially teach anything heretical on issues of faith and moral and at the same time . . .
the pope's ability to sin and scandalize the faith due to his own human frailties. ( top )
is St. Mary St. Mary, if
Saint means holy or set apart.
Mary was created holy because
God, the Father, wanted her to
bear in her womb, Jesus, His Son:
who is True God, and at the same
time, True Man.
In the same way the Ark of the
Convent had to be totally holy
to contain the Ten Commandments (representing
God's Law); so too, Mary had to
be Holy to bear and carry the
Savior of mankind, Jesus. ( top )
you pray to her or any of the
other saints? If so, why?
Yes, we do pray to her and the
saints for the same reason, you
would ask a friend next door for
help and assistance. We
pray to God, Mary, and the saints.
There isn't a family fight in
Heaven over who will get the prayer because our petitions for help
are a family affair.
I think this posting will help
answer any other questions on
is the difference between a priest,
a cardinal, etc.?
Within hierarchy of the Church,
men are chosen to serve the Church.
This way of governing was Jesus' Choice. They include:
the cardinal, and
What they all have in common,
is they have received the sacrament
of Holy Orders.
Everyone, but the deacon, can
celebrate the Mass and administer
all the sacraments of the Church;
the deacon can administer some
of the sacraments.
Starting with the priest, the
differences in titles are based on the larger
scope of responsibility (due to
a larger number of <faithful|people>)
they have to serve with some titles given on an honorary basis.
the priest is responsible
for the duties the pastor of
the local parish gives him.
the pastor is responsible
for his local parish; he is
an extension of the bishop.
the bishop is responsible
for parishes in his local geographical
area, called a diocese. (e.g.
all the parishes in the San
Antonia, Texas area).
the cardinals are senior bishops
with their own diocese, called an archdiocese, who
also have the responsibility
for choosing the next Pope.
( top )
happens after Confession?
I think we first have to ask:
What is Confession?
A possible confusion: the
word Penance is used two different
ways in the Church:
Penance: is one
of the seven sacraments, also
called Confession or Reconciliation
penance: are the
acts of satisfaction or penance to
be performed by the penitent
in order to repair the harm
caused by sin and to re-establish habits befitting a disciple
1480 Like all the sacraments,
Penance is a liturgical action.
The elements of the celebration
are ordinarily these:
a greeting and blessing from
reading the word of God to
illuminate the conscience and
elicit contrition, and an exhortation
the Confession, which acknowledges
sins and makes them known to
the imposition and acceptance
of a penance; the priest's
a prayer of thanksgiving and
dismissal with the blessing
of the priest.
A Catholic goes to Confession
if they have some sin(s) on their
conscience that (he/she) knows
has to be forgiven. We can personally
ask God for his forgiveness as
well, but because sin is social
in nature and has an effect on
others in the Church, we go to
Confession; and always when we have committed a mortal sin. The priest
is bound to keep anything said
by the penitent in secret under
pain of excommunication from the Church.
Through the sacrament of Confession,
sin on our soul is removed through
the special words of the priest: I
absolve you. If you don't hear those exact words at any Confession, go to another priest for Confession and notify your local bishop about this.
So to your question:
Our soul is pure again and we
are obliged to perform the
penance (#2) the priest gave us.
( top )
1460 The penance the confessor
imposes must take into account
the penitent's personal situation
and must seek his spiritual good.
It must correspond as far as possible
with the gravity and nature of
the sins committed. It can consist
of prayer, an offering, works
of mercy, service of neighbor,
voluntary self-denial, sacrifices,
and above all the patient acceptance
of the cross we must bear. Such
penances help configure us to
Christ, who alone expiated our
sins once for all. They allow
us to become co-heirs with the
risen Christ, "provided we
suffer with him."
(Romans 8:17; 3:25, 1 John 2:1-2, Council of Trent (1551): DS 1690)
The satisfaction that we make
for our sins, however, is not
so much ours as though it were
not done through Jesus Christ.
We who can do nothing ourselves,
as if just by ourselves, can
do all things with the cooperation
of "him who strengthens" us.
Thus man has nothing of which
to boast, but all our boasting
is in Christ . . . in whom
we make satisfaction by bringing
forth "fruits that befit
repentance." These fruits
have their efficacy from him,
by him they are offered to
the Father, and through him
they are accepted by the Father.