Father Kerper Explains

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Father Kerper Explains

Fr. Michael Kerper, a priest of the Diocese of Manchester, regularly answers questions about the Catholic Faith in the diocesan magazine Parable. Fr. Kerper’s answers are listed below by topic. If you have a question for Fr. Kerper, send it to editorparable@rcbm.org.

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Sacred Scripture and Tradition

Parable: The Lord's Favorite Literary Tool

Jesus: The only true Christmas Gift

Knowing the Difference Between Catholic Doctrine and Popular Belief

What role does fear play in faith?

The Wise Men: Fact or Fiction?

In praise of our ancestors

Catholic practices of meditation and contemplative prayer

The angels among us

Freeing oneself of "spiritual clutter"

Why Do Christians Read Different Bibles?

The Lord's Prayer - Why Two Versions?

Are Marian Apparitions Real Events?

Do Christians, Jews and Muslims All Pray to the Same God?

What is a plenary indulgence?

Why were the mysteries added to the traditional rosary?

What is the meaning behind the Glory Be prayer?

Does the Hail Mary take our focus away from the Lord?

Did Jesus actually give us the Lord's Prayer?

How can the Church create new doctrine that isn't found in the Bible?

Is damnation real?

How can original sin be inherited?

Was Christ born on Christmas or not?

Is there proof of God's existence?

Why are the psalms so violent?

Who is St. Paul?

What is God’s name?

Why do Catholics “pray” to Mary?

What is and isn't a heresy?

The Sacraments

My penance was too easy!

Jesus wants to be touched by human hands

What's sacramental about marriage?

Why is the Confirmation age being changed?

Since when can Catholics marry on a plane?

Can someone with dementia receive the sacraments?

Can God forgive a sin if the sinner is not really sorry for the sin?

How do I explain receiving Communion to my non-Catholic relatives?

When can Last Rites be given?

Can every sin be forgiven?

What is the Act of Contrition?

Was I wrong to receive Holy Communion?

Can I baptize someone?

Is it really Christ’s body and blood?

Can a non-Catholic be a godparent for my child?

Why do I have to go to Confession?

I am divorced. Can I receive Communion?

Why can't we have a Catholic wedding at our favorite inn?

Life and death

Why are Catholic funeral rites different?

'Jesus remember me' - deathbed conversions reveal God's infinite mercy

The troubling mystery of suicide

Your mom's funeral belongs to her

Cremation again?

Can Catholics believe in reincarnation?

Do ghosts really exist?

Is it OK to be cremated?

What ever happened to Limbo?

Parish life

Sacred and secular: What data should I share with the Church?

Silence in church: Creating sacred space to hear God speak

What's the difference between a homily and a sermon?

Beyond the 'liberal' and 'conservative' divide

Can the state stop us from practicing our faith?

What is "faith formation" anyway?

The Invasion of Sacred Space by Electronic Devices

What is my Sunday obligation?

Why don't the monks help out in the parishes?

My son goes to CCD. Why does he have to go to Mass?

Why do priests get moved?

Is Sunday Mass mandatory?

Why does everyone do something different at Mass?

Morality and Values

How to make personal prayer meaningful

Following one's conscience when facing immorality

What does God say about racism?

Why prayer is the ultimate political act

What's wrong with consulting psychics, ouija boards and astrology?

The theology of reparation

What is clericalism?

How can you be "spiritual" but not religious?

Why didn't Jesus condemn slavery?

Am I obigated to vote?

Can I buy a relic?

Why doesn't Pope Francis like pets?

What do I have to accept to be a Catholic?

What does it mean to be in the state of grace?

How should we fast?

Do we have to give money to every beggar who comes along?

What is the difference between mortal and venial sin?

Do murderers deserve to die?

What is right, my conscience or the Church?

The Structure of the Catholic Church

fDecoding the Church's ceremonial 'pecking order'

Pope Francis' encyclical Fratelli Tutti

Unpacking Catholic media: How do I know what's true?

Why is the election of the pope so secretive and medieval?

Why did the Pope resign?

Why doesn't the Catholic Church form its own political party?

Why don’t we elect our bishop?

What is the difference between a Mass and a “Sunday service?”

How can the words of the Mass be changed?

Why do we have a diocese?

What is a deacon?