Rules and Guidelines

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Chief Purpose of Catholic-Questions.org Forums

The Catholic-Questions.org forums are devoted to advancing the mission of Jesus Christ and his Mystical Bride, the Catholic Church, the New and fulfilled Israel, through which the Lord Jesus saves the world (see Matt. 16:18–19; 28:18–20; CCC 846–48). Therefore, our mission is to help catechize–and otherwise form–existing and prospective Catholics, and to encourage our members to join us in this mission by sharing your knowledge and experiences that will edify others.

Because of our clear mission, threads that seek to undermine that mission—e.g., opposing the divinity of Christ, the establishment and sustenance of his Catholic Church, and the existence of God in general, whether explicitly or implicitly—will be removed.

At the same time, we welcome non-Catholics sincerely seeking to learn more about Christ and his Church, such as re: specific Catholic teachings and also events in Church history. Those events can include ones in which Catholics—particularly Church leaders—have failed to witness faithfully to the Gospel. In any event, however, if the Church were merely a human institution, instead of a divinely founded and sustained one by Jesus and the Holy Spirit, she would’ve ceased to exist centuries ago.

Apostolic Ideals to Which CQF Members Need to Aspire

“The rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. . . . [T]he Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28; see 2 Cor. 12:7–10; Matt. 26:38–44).
— Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word.

“Love without truth would be blind; truth without love would be like ‘a clanging cymbal’ (I Cor 13: 1).”
— Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Homily

“[P]ut on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires (Rom. 13:14).
— St. Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles.

“Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence” (1 Pet. 3:15).
— St. Peter, the first Pope.

Introductory Legal Disclaimer and Forum Guidelines
Although the moderators and administrators of Catholic-Questions.org will attempt to keep all objectionable content off this forum, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the author, and neither the owners, nor developers, of Catholic-Questions.org, will be held responsible for the content of any message.

By agreeing with these terms and conditions, you warrant that you will not post any content that violate any laws, and further that you will comply with the following guidelines.

Forum Rules

USERNAME RULES
  1. All messages you post will include your “user name.” We recommend that you use a nickname or pseudonym, and not your real name.
  2. If you choose to use a handle, it may not be the name of another living person or a name likely to be confused with that of a living person.
  3. If you register using a real name other than your own, or if the user name you choose contains offensive or misleading elements, your account will be canceled and you will be banned from future participation at this site.
CONDUCT AND RELATED CONTENT RULES
  1. Messages posted to this board must be polite and free of personal attacks, threats, and incendiary, divisive, crude or sexually-explicit language.
  2. Messages should be short. Do not post lengthy replies (including replies that consist largely of quotes from an earlier message). Lengthy consecutive posts will be deleted.
  3. Do not view the discussion area as a vehicle for single-mindedly promoting an agenda.
  4. Do not incite animosity towards anyone, especially the clergy. Constructive criticism may be appropriate in some circumstances.
  5. Non-Catholics are welcome to participate but must be respectful of the faith of the Catholics participating on the board. At the same, Catholics must be charitable in their discussions about non-Catholics, their beliefs, and their practices. As noted above, however, these forums are devoted to advancing the mission of Christ and his Church, and therefore threads that seek to undermine that mission, whether explicitly or implicitly—will be removed.
  6. Catholics must be charitable in their discussions about non-Catholic belief and practice. These preferences include the liturgy. Therefore, e.g., one should extol their love for the Ordinary Form or Extraordinary Form of the Sacrifice of the Mass, respectively, without denigrating the other rite. If one wants to report on and constructively criticize genuine abuses taking place during the Sacrifice of the Mass, i.e., abuses as defined as violations from Church-approved liturgical norms, those can be discussed and counsel sought to help remedy them in one’s parish or diocese. But do not denigrate per se, i.e., in and of themselves, the rite Pope St. Paul VI instituted (Ordinary Form) and/or the Traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form).
  7. Threads arguing that the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) is in full communion with the Church, or alleging the invalidity of the 1988 excommunications Pope St. John Paul II imposed on SSPX founder Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and the four bishops he illicitly ordained, will be removed. The same applies to threads on other Catholic entities that are not in full communion with the Church.
  8. Threads arguing that the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) is not a valid ecumenical (general) council of the Catholic Church will be removed.
  9. Threads advancing sedevacantism, i.e., ones in which a Catholic-Questions.org member argues that the Church does not have a validly elected Pope when one exists, will be removed. The only exception will be regarding interregnums, i.e., the period between a validly elected Pope’s resignation or death, and the valid election of his successor by the College of Cardinals.
GENERAL CONTENT RULES
  1. Consider these forums rated “PG” and any content going beyond a “PG” rating, as solely deemed so by the moderators, will be removed and any member posting such content may have privileges taken away or be banned/suspended.
  2. Do not paste entire articles from web sites into a post. If you wish to reference an article on the web, link to its web address instead.
  3. Inappropriate, offensive, blasphemous posts, user names, profile entries, pictures, linked content, etc. are not permitted.
  4. Links are only permitted as references for the topic of discussion. Links for promotional purposes, personal blogs, or to anti-Catholic websites are not permitted. Exceptions may be made for Catholic related resources.
  5. Do not post others’ e-mail addresses or private e-mail sent by them on the public forums.
  6. Do not post material from unapproved private revelations.
  7. Do not post personal phone numbers and addresses.
  8. Do not post anything that can be construed as spam.
  9. Do not post anything that can be construed as a commercial advertisement or contains any form of commercial solicitation.
  10. Do not post anything on this web site that you do not want to remain online permanently.
  11. Do not offer or solicit medical, psychiatric, psychological, or legal advice, and this includes issues related to scrupulosity and counseling matters in general (see Content Rule no. 12 and also “Resources for Counseling Matters” below). Do not give advice that is contrary to civil law. Do not give advice to a minor that opposes the instruction of a parent or legal guardian. All such discussions should be directed to the proper authorities: parents, guardians, therapists, parish priests, or primary care providers.
  12. Although our mission is to provide guidance to those seeking answers about the Catholic Church’s teaching on moral issues, we are not an appropriate venue for those dealing with a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), in which one frequently mistakes non-sins for venial or mortals sins, and/or venial sins for mortal sins. These members are charitably encouraged to contact their local pastor or other nearby faithful priests, as they are equipped to address such pastoral issues. For additional guidance and resources regarding OCD and other counseling matters, please see “Resources for Counseling Matters” below.
Resources for Counseling Matters

Although our goal is to answer questions about the Catholic Church’s teaching on moral issues, we are not in a position to provide ongoing counseling in the way that a licensed therapist, spiritual director or a priest could provide. Catholic-Questions.org members dealing with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)–or other issues that would benefit from ongoing mental health support–are encouraged to contact their local pastor or other nearby faithful priests. You may also wish to seek support from a local licensed counselor who is respectful of your Catholic Faith.

We suggest you contact your parish pastor, local diocese and faithful Catholic friends for counseling referrals. Your diocese may employ counselors as part of their services. In addition to pastoral counseling, effective treatment may include cognitive therapy, i.e., addressing one’s patterns of thinking and acting, including communicating, and may also include prescribed medication, e.g., to help treat excessive scrupulosity/OCD.

Addressing Problems within the Church (General Advisory)
If you observe problems in your local parish, report them to your pastor. If unresolved after addressing a matter with your pastor a couple of times in writing, contact the priest dean of your local diocesan deanery, a priest whom your diocesan chancery (main diocesan office) can identify when you call and inform them of your parish. If the matter is unresolved after addressing your diocesan dean a couple of times in writing, follow the same written protocol with your diocesan bishop, and then, if needed, the Vatican Ambassador to the United States (apostolic nuncio) in Washington, DC, and, finally, if needed, the appropriate curial office in Rome.

Know that God remains in solidarity with you in particular—and his Church in general—irrespective of the outcome of your reported concerns.

If there is substantive evidence of an actual crime, contact your local police department. Contact also your local diocesan chancery, which should have a department that fields and processes such complaints.

DISCUSSION FORUMS
  1. Messages posted to threads should be on-topic. If you wish to discuss another topic, start a new thread.
  2. Do not pad your post count with chatty or off-topic messages.
PRIVATE MESSAGING
  1. If you have something to say to an individual member that is not of general interest to the board, use the private messaging system.
  2. Inappropriate or harassing private messages are not permitted.
ENFORCEMENT
  1. Reports of infractions of these rules should be submitted to the moderators by the flagging system. Just click the ellipsis at the bottom of the problematic post and then click the flag icon.
  2. Material that violates the rules may be edited or deleted without prior notice.
  3. Judgments by the Moderators can be discussed with the Moderators via private messaging but not on the board itself. If you display any disrespect, contention, or hostility towards a Moderator, Administrator or Catholic Answers your account will be suspended. Decisions of the Moderators may be appealed to the Administrator.
  4. Users who persistently violate the rules will be banned.
  5. Only one account is allowed per person. If your account is suspended you are not allowed to participate in the forums, do not create a new account or otherwise attempt to circumvent a suspension.
The administrators of Catholic-Questions.org reserve the right to remove, edit, move or close any on-line discussion, or part thereof, for any reason.

This is a Civilized Place for Public Discussion

Please treat this discussion forum with the same respect you would a public park. We, too, are a shared community resource — a place to share skills, knowledge and interests through ongoing conversation.

Improve the Discussion

Help us make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, however small. If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.

The topics discussed here matter to us, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said.

One way to improve the discussion is by discovering ones that are already happening. Spend time browsing the topics here before replying or starting your own, and you’ll have a better chance of meeting others who share your interests.

Be Agreeable, Even When You Disagree

You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine. But remember to criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid:
  • Name-calling
  • Ad hominem attacks
  • Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content
  • Knee-jerk contradiction
Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation.

Your Participation Counts

The conversations we have here set the tone for every new arrival. Help us influence the future of this community by choosing to engage in discussions that make this forum an interesting place to be — and avoiding those that do not.

Discourse provides tools that enable the community to collectively identify the best (and worst) contributions: bookmarks, likes, flags, replies, edits, and so forth. Use these tools to improve your own experience, and everyone else’s, too.

Let’s leave our community better than we found it.

If You See a Problem, Flag It

Moderators have special authority; they are responsible for this forum. But so are you. With your help, moderators can be community facilitators, not just janitors or police.

When you see bad behavior, don’t reply. It encourages the bad behavior by acknowledging it, consumes your energy, and wastes everyone’s time. Just flag it. If enough flags accrue, action will be taken, either automatically or by moderator intervention.

In order to maintain our community, moderators reserve the right to remove any content and any user account for any reason at any time. Moderators do not preview new posts; the moderators and site operators take no responsibility for any content posted by the community.

Always Be Civil

Nothing sabotages a healthy conversation like rudeness:
  • Be civil. Don’t post anything that a reasonable person would consider offensive, abusive, or hate speech.
  • Keep it clean. Don’t post anything obscene or sexually explicit.
  • Respect each other. Don’t harass or give grief to anyone, impersonate people, or expose their private information.
  • Respect our forum. Don’t post spam or otherwise vandalize the forum.
These are not concrete terms with precise definitions — avoid even the appearance of any of these things. If you’re unsure, ask yourself how you would feel if your post was featured on the front page of the New York Times.

This is a public forum, and search engines index these discussions. Keep the language, links, and images safe for family and friends.

Keep It Tidy

Make the effort to put things in the right place, so that we can spend more time discussing and less cleaning up. So:
  • Don’t start a topic in the wrong category.
  • Don’t cross-post the same thing in multiple topics.
  • Don’t post no-content replies.
  • Don’t divert a topic by changing it midstream.
  • Don’t sign your posts — every post has your profile information attached to it.
Rather than posting “+1” or “Agreed”, use the Like button. Rather than taking an existing topic in a radically different direction, use Reply as a Linked Topic.

Post Only Your Own Stuff

You may not post anything digital that belongs to someone else without permission. You may not post descriptions of, links to, or methods for stealing someone’s intellectual property (software, video, audio, images), or for breaking any other law.

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Terms of Service

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