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Father Jeffrey Kirby

Why only four Gospels?

Q: There are only four Gospels in the New Testament, but others were written. Why don’t we have the other gospels in the New Testament? (Hilton Head, SC) A: I’d like to answer your ques­tion by posing a scenario: imagine if an extended family had a revered great-grandfather. The memory of this good man was […]

Selling blessed objects

Q: I always thought that blessed items could not be sold. I was recently in a Catholic store in Rome and was told that everything in the store was blessed by the pope. Is that possible? (Aiken, SC) A: There’s a joke that every rule Rome makes applies everywhere in the world except Rome. While […]

What is the role of deacons?

Q: How do we really know there is such a place as purgatory? It doesn’t make sense to me. How do we know it’s true? (Hilton Head, SC) A: With all aspects of the afterlife, we rely on supernatural teach­ings based on divine revelation. What that means is that we cannot find answers to questions […]

Saints in the Old Testament?

Q: Why are there no saints from the Old Testament? Doesn’t even Moses qualify? (Hilton Head, SC) A: This is a question that provides a much-needed clarification. We know that before the saving work of Jesus Christ, no one could enter Heaven. The gates of paradise were closed due to man’s sin and his incapacity […]

Handling cremation

Q: I wish to be cremated. How is this handled? Since I won’t have a casket to be blessed, do you bring the urn with the ashes to Mass? (Summerville, SC) A: The Mass of Christian Burial, the “Funeral Mass,” is a very important part of the Church’s intercession for the deceased person. The Mass […]

Receiving Communion in sin?

Q: I’ve been told by some priests that a person should not receive holy Communion if they have a mortal sin on their soul, but other priests say differently. Which is it? (Charleston, SC) A: The reception of holy Communion is one of the most sacred acts of the Catholic Christian. It is our sharing […]

Do we save ourselves through good works?

Q: If it takes good works to get into heaven, then aren’t we sav­ing ourselves? (Summerville, SC) A: If we did good works on our own accord, then we would be try­ing to save ourselves. However, such an effort would be fruitless since we do not have such a power. In illustrating this point, the Bible […]

Allowing women deacons?

Q: Do you think the pope will ever allow women to become deacons? (Lancaster, SC) A: Certainly, Pope Francis is sincere in his efforts to explore the theology and history of the Church in order to discern whether women are called to be ordained to the diaconate. Case in point, the pope recently established a […]

Sinless St. John the Baptist? Why is Purgatory necessary?

Q. Recently, I was told by friends that when John the Baptist leaped in his mother’s womb, he was made sinless by the Holy Spirit. I find it hard to believe that any human is sinless, except for Jesus and Mary. Am I correct?  (Aiken, SC) A. You have some good friends and they are […]

Attending a same-sex wedding? / What is mercy?

Q. My husband has a sibling who is getting married to a same-sex partner. They have been together for years. Given our religious beliefs, are we able to attend the ceremony? (Greenville, SC) A. This is one of those very hard questions from the real trenches of Christian discipleship. The question itself speaks well of […]

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