Quick Questions and Answers

How should I address St. Pio of Pietrelcina in my daily prayers? “Padre Pio ” seems very warm and “St. Pio ” seems very cold. I simply want to do the right thing.

According to Preface I of the Saints, they “spur us on to victory. ” I think you should go with whichever title inspires you more and encourages you to live as someone open to God’s grace. Some people have had a similar question about whether “Mother Teresa of Kolkata ” or “St. Teresa of Kolkata ” is correct. Neither title could offend a saint.

Many years ago, a relative was excommunicated from the Church after she divorced her husband, who was deeply involved in a satanic cult. Why the excommunication?

After 1884, there was automatic excommunication for US Catholics who obtained a civil divorce and remarried. The US bishops abolished that in 1977. In fact, tribunals in most US dioceses or archdioceses require documentation about a civil divorce before they will consider a petition for a declaration of nullity. Excommunication has never been an instruction to God or St. Peter about who should be allowed into heaven. God doesn’t need our help to judge such things.

What does the expression resurrection of the body mean in the Apostles’ Creed?

It indicates belief that death does not totally destroy a person; there is a life beyond this one where body and soul are reunited for eternal joy or eternal punishment. Only God knows who deserves which kind of afterlife. Belief in the resurrection of the body is another way of speaking about the communion of saints.

I am troubled by all the good fortune that I have enjoyed because I think it may be the reward for the good things my ancestors have done and not for anything that I have done. Is that possible?

We benefit from the good actions and attitudes of our ancestors, but no one gets a free ride. There are plenty of examples of people who have squandered material and other benefits received from their ancestors. Accept what you have received and share those benefits with others as best you can.

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