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August 2015
Ask a Franciscan
CNS PHOTO/RICHARD DREW, REUTERS Why No Eulogies?
Families are bewildered and upset when they find that no family members or friends are allowed to say words of tribute or condolence during Mass. This fairly recent change is strictly enforced by some priests.

Catholics are unhappy about the practice, and many Protestants attending Catholic funerals are appalled. Is this a national policy or a diocesan policy?

Answer
Old Testament Fulfilled by Jesus?
I know that the Christian faith says that Jesus is the fulfillment of salvation history as depicted in the Old Testament. I am trying not to be too skeptical, but how do we know the Gospel writers didn’t simply look back and make what happened to Jesus “fit”?

For example, Psalm 69:22 says, “Instead they put gall in my food; for my thirst they gave me vinegar.” When Jesus called out from the cross, Matthew 27:48 says, “Immediately one of them ran to get a sponge; he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed, gave it to him to drink.”

How do we know if Jesus was really given such a drink, or if the Gospel writers simply included that to make sure the puzzle pieces fit?

Answer
Is She in Good Standing?
A friend of mine and her husband divorced a few years ago. He plans to remarry and is seeking an annulment. She wants to know if she refuses to participate in this process “on a combination of principle, time, and money” whether he can still do this. He says that he can. She is uncertain whether she will remain a Catholic in good standing if she chooses not to participate “as long as I don’t remarry.”
Answer
Attending Sunday Mass
Our Catholic parish can easily pass around the collection basket, but it does not help seniors make it to Mass to receive the Eucharist. We are all people of God. Why do we neglect the needs of the elderly as they age and may find it difficult to attend Mass?
Answer
If you have a question for Father Pat, please submit it here. Please enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Some answer material must be mailed since it is not available in digital form. You can still send questions to: Ask a Franciscan, 28 W. Liberty Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202.
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