Apologetics for the Masses - Issue #22

Bible Christian Society

General Comments

Well, I had a wonderful time speaking at St. Michael’s in Leawood, Kansas this past week. And I also enjoyed hosting a couple of days of the on-air pledge drive for the Catholic radio station in Kansas City – KEXS-AM 1090. If you live in the Kansas City area, please try to support that radio station.

Didn’t have a wonderful time trying to get home, though. I hope no one reading this is associated with American Airlines, but I would recommend avoiding them if at all possible when flying. It’s a long story, but they really treated me and several hundred other folks on flights that were cancelled or postponed out of Dallas/Ft. Worth rather badly. I will never fly American Airlines again. I know that’s straying outside of the apologetics arena, but I just would not want any of you to ever go through what I went through.

Anyway, I obviously wasn’t able to get the newsletter out last week before I had to run off to Kansas City, and this newsletter is being done in a hurry because I will be out of the office for the next 3 days – I’m co-hosting the national Catholic radiothon that is sponsored by the Catholic Radio Association and EWTN. So this is going to be another Q&A because it’s the only thing I have time to do this week.

I won’t be going anywhere again, though, until the first of November, and I hope to have some good back and forths with non-Catholics coming up in the October issues.


Just a quick question regarding Catholic tradition (tradition with a small “t”).


Dear John,

Thank you so much for your “e-blast.” We are homeschoolers who have a very good friend who’s a “Bible-Only” Christian. I try my best to be polite, explaining the best I can about what Catholic-Christians believe. During Lent, I took her to the Stations of the Cross at our parish, since her church “didn’t do much before Easter.” She seemed to enjoy it, even kneeling at the appropriate times (after several stations.)

However, when we got in the car, she questioned me on Veronica…not found in the Bible, etc. Several days later, she questioned again and it turned into a “we pray to Mary…do you think she’s perfect…etc etc etc” thing. How should I respond about Veronica? I am a convert of 12 years; I’m so comfortable with Sacred Scripture/Tradition that it doesn’t bother me at all…she seemed to know, however, that there really is no “Biblical” evidence for Station 6. Thanks for your time.


Dear Heather,

All you can really say, is that the tradition of Veronica and the stations of the cross dates back to the earliest centuries of Christianity. No, nothing about her in the Bible. But, what you can do, is ask her if everything that happened to Jesus during His Passion is recorded in the Scriptures? For example, the Bible doesn’t tell us which shoulder Jesus carried His cross on, so, what if a movie shows Jesus carrying His cross on His left shoulder, when He actually carried it on His right shoulder? Or vice versa? Is that necessarily a bad thing?

To believe that the only things that happened to and around Jesus during His passion are the things recorded in the Bible, is to leave a whole lot of gaps in the story. The Bible simply doesn’t cover 100% of what happened. So, are we necessarily wrong to believe Veronica wiped Jesus’ face, just because the Bible says nothing about it?

I would simply ask her if she believes that everything that happened to and around Jesus during His Passion is recorded in the Bible? If she says, “Yes,” then go through one of the accounts of the Passion and ask her why it only takes a few minutes to read about every single thing that happened to Jesus in a period of time that is somewhere around 15-18 hours long.

If she says, “No,” that not everything that happened to Jesus during His Passion is in the Bible, then I would just ask her if it is possible that Veronica did indeed wipe Jesus’ face on His way to Calvary, since the Bible does not record everything that happened to and around Jesus that day. She pretty much has to say yes, that it is a “possibility.” If she says, “No,” it’s not at least a possibility, then I would ask her why. If she says, "It’s not in the Bible, then go back to the 1st question above.

If she says, “Yes,” it could have happened, then simply tell her that it is not an article of the Catholic Faith that it did indeed happen. But, based upon the best information we have…we believe that this 2000-yr. old tradition may indeed be true. And, therefore, we use this tradition as a point of meditation and prayer. It’s just that simple. One doesn’t have to believe that Veronica wiped the face of Christ in order to be Catholic. And, if she didn’t, that still doesn’t nullify the prayers we pray at that particular station of the cross. God knows our intent and our hearts and He uses our prayers regardless of whether Veronica wiped the face of Christ or not.

Hope that helps.

John Martignoni

In Conclusion

Not much to say about this one. The Bible doesn’t say that Veronica wiped the face of Christ. However, neither does the Bible say that she didn’t wipe the face of Christ. So, again, if this tradition which dates back to the early centuries of Christianity says it did happen, and the Bible itself is silent on it, and the Bible doesn’t record every single thing that happened to Christ during His Passion, and it in no way contradicts anything in the Bible…how can anyone say with absolute certainty that it didn’t happen? They can’t.

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Apologetics for the Masses