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Catholic Apologetics

Some answers from

I read a lot of sites and thought the following answers might provoke discussion for some of our readers. They come from Please enjoy and feel free to send me questions.

Do cloned humans have souls? Would God in His infinite mercy allow a cloned human being, made in His image and likeness & innocent of the act of cloning, to have a soul?


Hi, Since the soul is the body's principle of life, it cannot live without a soul. When the soul leaves the body, the body dies. So however a human is conceived, it will have to have a soul at the moment of conception.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

Is completing penance required for the sin to be fully forgiven?


When going to confession, I'm aware that the sins are forgiven after absolution. However, if one does not complete their penance, does that mean the sins aren't fully forgiven? Would that be considered a Mortal sin in and of itself, therefore putting one back in a state of sin?

An unfulfilled penance does not invalidate confession. Penance is an attempt by the penitent to make amends for the effects of his sin. To purposely reject doing one's assigned penance would call into doubt the sincerity of the confession, and that would call into question the validity of the confession. But if the unfilled penance is due to forgetfulness or is accidental then there is no reason to question the validity of the confession. If upon reflection the penitent feels the penance he received is too cumbersome or impossible for him to fulfill, he may ask the same confessor or another confessor to change the penance.


Does contraception invalidate a marriage?


I am serving as the matron of honor in an upcoming wedding. I recently found out from the bride to be that she is looking to start taking the Pill to plan her family. I talked with her about this, and she knows it is a mortal sin and didn't want to hear anything else about it.

I am hearing conflicting messages - if a couple enters into marriage using contraception and planning to continue with it, does that affect the validity of the marriage?

A couple entering into marriage must be open to having children in order for the marriage to be valid (canon 1101 §2). Contraception, while sinful, is a temporary matter. As long as the couple is open to children during the marriage then the marriage is valid. The temporary sin of contraception does not invalidate the marriage.

Must women wear veils in church?


I was recently at a Marian Eucharistic Congress and many women were wearing veils at Mass. I found the modesty and obedience demonstrated in the wearing of the veils to be beautiful. I have heard that women quit wearing them after Vatican II and also heard that women are still supposed to wear them. What is the Church's position?

The 1917 Code of Canon Law required women to wear head coverings in church, especially at Mass:


§1. It is desirable that, consistent with ancient discipline, women be separated from men in church.

§2. Men, in a church or outside a church, while they are assisting at sacred rites, shall be bare-headed, unless the approved mores of the people or peculiar circumstances of things determine otherwise; women, however, shall have a covered head and be modestly dressed, especially when they approach the table of the Lord (canon 1262, 1917 Code of Canon Law).

There is no canon in the 1983 Code that parallels this older requirement. Since the 1983 Code expressly abrogates (i.e., abolishes, annuls) the 1917 Code (cf. canon 6, Code of Canon Law [1983]), women are no longer required to wear head coverings in church or at Mass.

Certainly, those women who choose to wear head coverings in church are allowed to do so, but it is no longer a canonical obligation.

what does it mean by all beleivers are priests? I thought fathers/priests were to be only called priests

Revelation 1:6 = He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

1 peter 2:9 = But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

The Church teaches there is a common Priesthood among all of the baptized, and there is a ministerial priesthood.


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