Welcome to the Ask Fr. Flynn page
You can e-mail your Questions To Fr. Flynn from here. All questions will be submitted to Fr. Flynn anonymously, and answered here.
We have sumbitted the following questions to Fr. Flynn for his consideration. Other questions and Fr. Flynn's responses will be posted as soon as received.
- IS CATHOLICISM THE MOST POPULAR RELIGION IN THE WORLD?
This is rather a strange question for it speaks of two concepts:
Basically, of all the existing religions throughout the world most individuals adhere to Christianity-the belief that there is a God and God sent his Son Jesus into the world in order to open the gates of heaven through his suffering, death and resurrection. Under the banner of Christianity come a number of differing Christian sects, Catholicism being just one of many. It is believed that there are well over a billion people throughout the world that call themselves Roman Catholics. However, the distinction must be made between the differential of calling oneself a Catholic simply based on baptism into the church and actually living the tenets, doctrines and beliefs posited by the Catholic Church. As an example, our parish has some 2300 families registered as being members of Sacred Heart Church in Southbury. Of that number which would probably incorporate some 12000-14000 people only 2800 individuals attend worship on a regular weekly basis. In that context, only 1/3 of the entire 2300 families or 12,000 individuals would be considered as "practical" Catholics. To be a member of any religious denomination or sect one must both accept and live the life prescribed by that faith. Not to do this, or to simply be eclectic in what one feels comfortable with or is willing to accept and practice means that the individual may think that they are a Catholic, or Lutheran or Episcopalian but in essence belong and accept that faith "in name only".
Is Christianity popular? Let me answer that question with a question.
Has Christianity worked after 2000 years? Has the life and witness that Jesus presented and is repeated to the message of the gospel working in our world? I don't think it has and probably because being committed to a lifestyle which is countercultural is a very "unpopular" and even unpleasant thing!
- Popularity of religion which implies that people are drawn to a particular style of spiritual expression because it is more fashionable or in vogue rather than other religious beliefs or tenets.
- The number of individuals who ascribe and practice a specific religious set of doctrine as contrasted to the numbers belonging to a different religious sect or denomination.
WHY CAN'T YOUR PARENTS BE YOUR CONFIRMATION SPONSOR?
The Catholic Church has always presented certain norms which must be met for a sacrament to be both 'licit' and 'valid'..to be properly presented and accepted at a true sacrament. In conjunction the prescriptions for every sacrament the norms that are to be followed and adhered to come under what we call in the church "Canon Law".
According to the prescription of Canon Law for sponsorship, the individual who is acting as the sponsor cannot have a bond or connection to the individual which is prohibitive. Just as a spouse cannot be a sponsor
to his or her husband, a parent cannot serve as a sponsor to his or her child for the sacrament of baptism or confirmation. It may not sound fair but that is the law of the church and, as I have said many times before, the church is not a democracy and we cannot pick and choose what we like and ignore or fight what we don't like.