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Daily Catholic Question

What is the meaning behind the ‘Fisherman’s Rod’ and indulgences?

To answer your question, I called Father Cyprian Berens, O.F.M., who spent some years as a confessor at the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome.

Father Cyprian told me that until the time of Pope Paul VI, there was attached to the doors of all the confessionals in the four major basilicas a rod that looked something like a fishing pole.

Confessors in these basilicas were able to grant an indulgence to anyone who asked for it by kneeling outside the confessional and waiting for a tap on the head or shoulders with the rod.

Under Pope Paul VI, there was a complete revision of indulgences and a new Enchiridion of Indulgences was published.

Click here for the rest of today's answer

Sunday, October 27, 2013
Daily Catholic Question for 10/26/2013 Daily Catholic Question for 10/28/2013


Augustine of Hippo: A Christian at 33, a priest at 36, a bishop at 41: Many people are familiar with the biographical sketch of Augustine of Hippo, sinner turned saint. But really to get to know the man is a rewarding experience. 
<p>There quickly surfaces the intensity with which he lived his life, whether his path led away from or toward God. The tears of his mother, the instructions of Ambrose and, most of all, God himself speaking to him in the Scriptures redirected Augustine’s love of life to a life of love. </p><p>Having been so deeply immersed in creature-pride of life in his early days and having drunk deeply of its bitter dregs, it is not surprising that Augustine should have turned, with a holy fierceness, against the many demon-thrusts rampant in his day. His times were truly decadent—politically, socially, morally. He was both feared and loved, like the Master. The perennial criticism leveled against him: a fundamental rigorism. </p><p>In his day, he providentially fulfilled the office of prophet. Like Jeremiah and other greats, he was hard-pressed but could not keep quiet. “I say to myself, I will not mention him,/I will speak in his name no more./But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,/imprisoned in my bones;/I grow weary holding it in,/I cannot endure it” (Jeremiah 20:9).</p> American Catholic Blog Pope Francis said, “The Church gives us the life of faith in Baptism: that is the moment in which she gives birth to us as children of God, the moment she gives us the life of God, she engenders us as a mother would.”

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