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Lisa Rieck wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am doing a paper for college and I need to interview a person of a religion that I don't belong to.

  • Can you help?

    I've written out the ten interview questions:
  1. What are the important religious holidays and traditions of this religion?
  2. What are the challenges, if any, to practicing this particular religion?
  3. How has religion shaped your life?
  4. What are the differences between the different sects?
  5. Are all three sects still in practice today?
  6. What are the Catholic views on gambling, drinking and tobacco?
  7. What is the Catholic teaching on baptizing?
  8. What is the Catholic belief in about what happens to you after death?
  9. What is the Catholic view of Heaven and Hell?
  10. What is the Catholic view on ordaining woman for preaching on the pulpit?



  { Can I interview you for a paper where I need to talk to someone of a faith that I don't belong to? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Lisa —

I gave a previous interview to another seeker, Mae Osborn and you have some of the same questions she has asked, so sometimes, I'll refer you to her answers and other times I'll give you new ones.

  1. What are the important religious holidays and traditions of this religion?
  2. How has religion shaped your life?
  3. What are the challenges, if any, to practicing this particular religion?
  4. How do you look at others who are outside of your faith?
  5. Do you have to take classes to belong to your religion?
  6. What are the Catholic views on gambling, drinking and tobacco?
  7. What is the Catholic teaching on baptizing?
  8. What is the Catholic belief in about what happens to you after death?
  9. What is the Catholic view of Heaven and Hell?
  10. What is the Catholic view on ordaining woman for preaching on the pulpit?
  1. What are the important holidays and traditions of your religion?


See the answer I gave Mae.

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  1. How has religion shaped your life?


See the answer I gave Mae; second one down.

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  1. What are the challenges, if any, to practicing your religion?


See the answer I gave Mae; third one down.

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  1. How do you look at others who are outside of your faith?


See the answer I gave Mae; fourth one down.

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  1. Do you have to take classes to belong to your religion?


See the answer I gave Mae; fifth one down.

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  1. What are the Catholic views on gambling, drinking and tobacco?


This is what the Church teaches from the Catechism:

II. Respect for Persons and their Goods

Respect for the goods of others

2413 Games of chance (card games, etc.) or wagers are not in themselves contrary to justice. They become morally unacceptable when they deprive someone of what is necessary to provide for his needs and those of others. The passion for gambling risks becoming an enslavement. Unfair wagers and cheating at games constitute grave matter, unless the damage inflicted is so slight that the one who suffers it cannot reasonably consider it significant.

II. Respect for the Dignity of Persons

Respect for health

2288 Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God. We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good.

Concern for the health of its citizens requires that society help in the attainment of living conditions that allow them to grow and reach maturity: food and clothing, housing, health care, basic education, employment, and social assistance.

2289 If morality requires respect for the life of the body, it does not make it an absolute value. It rejects a neo-pagan notion that tends to promote the cult of the body, to sacrifice everything for it's sake, to idolize physical perfection and success at sports. By its selective preference of the strong over the weak, such a conception can lead to the perversion of human relationships.

2290 The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others' safety on the road, at sea, or in the air.

2291 The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense. Clandestine production of and trafficking in drugs are scandalous practices. They constitute direct co-operation in evil, since they encourage people to practices gravely contrary to the moral law.

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  1. What is the Catholic teaching on baptizing?


This is what the Church teaches from the Catechism:

The Sacraments of Christian Initiation

The Sacrament of Baptism

1213 Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), (cf. Council Of Florence: DS 1314: Vitae cf. Spiritualis Ianua) and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word. (Roman Catechism II, 2,5; cf. Council of Florence: DS 1314; Code of Canon Law, Canons 204 § 1; 849; Corpus Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, Canon 675 § 1)

I. What is this sacrament called?

1214 This sacrament is called Baptism, after the central rite by which it is carried out: to baptize (Greek baptizein) means to plunge or immerse; the plunge into the water symbolizes the catechumen's burial into Christ's death, from which he rises up by resurrection with him, a new creature. (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15; cf. Romans 6:20-23; Colossians 2:12)

1215 This sacrament is also called the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit, for it signifies and actually brings about the birth of water and the Spirit without which no one can enter the kingdom of God. (Titus 3:5; John 3:5)

1216 "This bath is called enlightenment, because those who receive this [catechetical] instruction are enlightened in their understanding . . . . (St. Justin, Apol. 1,61,12:PG 6,421) "Having received in Baptism the Word, the true light that enlightens every man, the person baptized has been enlightened, he becomes a son of light, indeed, he becomes light himself: (John 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:5; Hebrews 10:32; Ephesians 5:8)

Baptism is God's most beautiful and magnificent gift. . . .We call it gift, grace, anointing, enlightenment, garment of immortality, bath of rebirth, seal, and most precious gift. It is called gift because it is conferred on those who bring nothing of their own; grace since it is given even to the guilty; Baptism because sin is buried in the water; anointing for it is priestly and royal as are those who are anointed; enlightenment because it radiates light; clothing since it veils our shame; bath because it washes; and seal as it is our guard and the sign of God's Lordship.

St. Gregory Of Nazianzus, Oratio 40,3-4:PG 36,361C

The Sacraments of Christian Initiation

VI. The Necessity of Baptism

1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. (cf. John 3:5) He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them. (cf. Matthew 28:19-20; cf. Council of Trent (1547) DS 1618; Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 14; Vatican II, Ad Gentes 5) Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament. (cf. Mark 16:16) The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are "reborn of water and the Spirit." God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.

1258 The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament.

1259 For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.

1260 "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery." (Vatican II, Gaudium et spes 22 § 5; cf. Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 16; Vatican II, Ad Gentes 7) Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.

1261 As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children which caused him to say: "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them," (Mark 10:14; cf. 1 Timothy 2:4) allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church's call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism.

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  1. What is the Catholic belief in about what happens to you after death?


Here's my personal summary from another posting:


  • I die.
  • I, like everyone else, I have my Particular Judgment (one on one, just me and Jesus)
  • based on the decisions and choices that I have made in my life, one of three things occur:
    1. If I died with unrepentant mortal sin on my soul, I would have chosen Hell.
      (Note Hell was my choice, not God's.) A mortal sin requires:

      1. knowledge of what you are doing
      2. knowledge that it is grievously wrong, and
      3. the action was done with full consent of the will.

    2. If I died with no mortal sin on my soul, in a state of grace, I am saved but probably have remaining self-love on my soul that would be burned away in the Holy, but painful, Hospital of Heaven called Purgatory, because as Revelation 21:27 states: Nothing impure will enter Heaven. Purgatory has to do with our personal holiness, not our salvation. Those in Purgatory are saved by the merits of Jesus Christ. Period!

      After I have been totally purify, I would go immediately be in Heaven.

    3. If, when I died, I was completely free of any self-love, I would go immediately to Heaven.

At the Second Coming of Our Lord, all mankind in Heaven and on earth see the revealed General Judgment. (Error: source: We have code in two different folders.)

After we die, we all will have to wait for the Second Coming, except those living at the end of time on Earth. Purgatory will purify of all the souls living at the end of time at the Second Coming.

Important note: The Church does not believe in a second chance, past lives, or reincarnation in any way.

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  1. What is the Catholic view of Heaven and Hell?


This is what the Church teaches from the Catechism:

II. Heaven

1023 Those who die in God's grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ. They are like God for ever, for they see him as he is, face to face: (1 John 3:2; cf. 1 Corinthians 13:12; Revelation 22:4)

By virtue of our apostolic authority, we define the following: According to the general disposition of God, the souls of all the saints . . . and other faithful who died after receiving Christ's holy Baptism (provided they were not in need of purification when they died, . . . or, if they then did need or will need some purification, when they have been purified after death, . . .) already before they take up their bodies again and before the general judgment - and this since the Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into Heaven - have been, are and will be in Heaven, in the Heavenly Kingdom and celestial paradise with Christ, joined to the company of the holy angels. Since the Passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, these souls have seen and do see the divine essence with an intuitive vision, and even face to face, without the mediation of any creature.

(Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336):DS 1000; cf. Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 49)

1024 This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity - this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed - is called Heaven. Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness.

1025 To live in Heaven is to be with Christ. The elect live in Christ, (Philippians 1:23; cf. John 14:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:17) but they retain, or rather find, their true identity, their own name. (cf. Revelation 2:17)

For life is to be with Christ; where Christ is, there is life, there is the kingdom.

(St. Ambrose, In Luc.,10,121:PL 15 1834A)

1026 By his death and Resurrection, Jesus Christ has opened Heaven to us. The life of the blessed consists in the full and perfect possession of the fruits of the redemption accomplished by Christ. He makes partners in his Heavenly glorification those who have believed in him and remained faithful to his will. Heaven is the blessed community of all who are perfectly incorporated into Christ.

1027 This mystery of blessed communion with God and all who are in Christ is beyond all understanding and description. Scripture speaks of it in images: life, light, peace, wedding feast, wine of the kingdom, the Father's house, the Heavenly Jerusalem, paradise: no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him. (1 Corinthians 2:9)

1028 Because of his transcendence, God cannot be seen as he is, unless he himself opens up his mystery to man's immediate contemplation and gives him the capacity for it. The Church calls this contemplation of God in his Heavenly glory the beatific vision:

How great will your glory and happiness be, to be allowed to see God, to be honored with sharing the joy of salvation and eternal light with Christ your Lord and God, . . . to delight in the joy of immortality in the Kingdom of Heaven with the righteous and God's friends.

(St. Cyprian, Ep. 58,10,1:CSEL 3/2,665)

1029 In the glory of Heaven the blessed continue joyfully to fulfill God's will in relation to other men and to all creation. Already they reign with Christ; with him they shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 22:5; cf. Matthew 25:21, 23)

IV. Hell

1033 We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves: He who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. (1 John 3:14-15) Our Lord warns us that we shall be separated from him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are his brethren. (cf. Matthew 25:31-46) To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God's merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called Hell.

1034 Jesus often speaks of Gehenna of the unquenchable fire reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost. (cf. Matthew 5:22, 29; 10:28; 13:42, 50; Mark 9:43-48) Jesus solemnly proclaims that he will send his angels, and they will gather . . . all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire, (Matthew 13:41-42) and that he will pronounce the condemnation: Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire! (Matthew 25:41)

1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of Hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into Hell, where they suffer the punishments of Hell, eternal fire. (Paul VI, Solemn Profession of faith: Credo of the People of God § 12; cf. DS 76; 409; 411; 801; 858; 1002; 1351; 1575) The chief punishment of Hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.

1036 The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of Hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew 7:13-14)

Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed, we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed, and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the eternal fire, into the outer darkness where men will weep and gnash their teeth. (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 48 § 3; Matthew 22:13; cf. Hebrews 9:27; Matthew 25:13, 26, 30, Matthew 25:31-46)

1037 God predestines no one to go to Hell; (cf. Council of Orange II (529): DS 397; Council of Trent (1547):1567) for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want any to perish, but all to come to repentance: (2 Peter 3:9)

Father, accept this offering 
from your whole family. 
Grant us your peace in this life, 
save us from final damnation, 
and count us among those you have chosen.

Roman Missal, Eucharistic Prayer I (Roman Canon) 88

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  1. What is the Catholic view on ordaining woman for preaching on the pulpit?


To answer this question appropriately, we first have to understand that Ordination or Holy Orders is a sacrament of the Church. Every sacrament of the Church, requires that each sacrament have one form and one matter.

  1. The form of a sacrament are the ordaining words and actions of the bishops that make a baptized Catholic man, a priest.
  2. The matter of the sacrament is the substance that must be used in the sacrament.

The substance of this sacrament of Holy Orders is a baptized Catholic man.

This is not because the Church is anti-woman anymore then the fact that a man cannot get pregnant is anti-man; it's a matter of roles and callings within the Church.

Holy Orders is not about protecting civil rights or discriminating against women. Remember our Church honors, what we consider, our premiere feminist, in the Blessed Virgin Mary.

  • Why then did He do this?

Before Jesus ascending into Heaven He chose to institute Holy Orders so that He,
a man, could use the body of other men, to perpetuate the sacraments of His Priesthood through the body of other men down throughout the ages.

  • Could he have chosen to use the body of a women?

Of course not, because grace builds upon nature and biology, it doesn't destroy it.

So for administering the sacraments where the ministerial priesthood is required, like:

  • celebrated Holy Mass
  • hearing Confessions, or
  • confirming the youth

a priest is required. He is also the principal administrator of the other four sacraments as well, but in an emergency, some one else, like a deacon can substitute.

An important point to note is that by our Baptism, we all partake in the universal priesthood of Jesus Christ. This is different from the ministerial priesthood which requires the sacrament of Holy Orders. That said, in the Catholic Church we have:

  • the ministerial priesthood — received in Holy Orders, and
  • the universal priesthood of the baptized — which includes both men and women; a universal priesthood we received at Baptism.

RE: Preaching from the pulpit.

Because the priest represents Jesus, it is his primary job to preach the Gospel or Good News to the faithful of his parish. Nevertheless, the laity, both men and women, are welcome, due to their universal priesthood, to read portions of the Scriptures on a weekly basis from both the Old and New Testament.

Because the priest represents Jesus, he must read the Gospel accounts (because in them, Jesus Himself is talking) and give the homily. Women, for the reasons I've given above are not allowed to do this, though they can, and do, read from other parts of the Bible, outside of the four Gospels.

Finally, remember we have an evangelizing mission to share with others good reasons they should consider becoming a Catholic. When talking to others, the most important thing for them to recognize, is that despite all the scandalous, sinful behavior among our members, the official teachings of the Church have never and will never change. We are a changing (on behavior) but changeless (on teachings) Church. This is one of the primary goals of Catholic Apologetics and one of our goals at; clearing up misperceptions as well as evangelizing.

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I hope this helps,


Lisa replied:

Hi, Mike —

Thank-You very much!!


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