Three Common Catholic Confusions

What Does “A.D.” Mean?

A.D. does not stand for “After Death” but rather the Latin phrase “Anno Domini,” or “In the Year of the Lord.” Since Jesus is born as the King of Kings we count time according to the year of his reign.

Who is the Immaculate Conception?

Although Jesus was sinlessly and miraculously conceived within the womb of the Virgin Mary, the December 8th Feast of the Immaculate Conception celebrates Mary’s conception as one entirely free from the stain of Original Sin. Mary’s birthday is traditionally celebrated 9 months later on September 8th.

Can Divorcees Receive Communion?

Many Catholics believe that simply getting divorced bars one from the sacraments. The precise teaching is that those who divorce and then live as husband and wife with another person without obtaining an annulment of their prior marriage should not present themselves for communion. Legal divorce is not the issue but rather adultery. When marriages fail the Church can investigate whether something essential was missing from the very beginning which prevented the marriage from being an unbreakable sacramental bond. If so, that marriage can be “annulled,” freeing the couple to marry in the Church.


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