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I am a Catholic priest in good standing and in active ministry in the Diocese of Scranton PA. I can answer most any question about the Catholic Faith, however my area of specialization is Systematic Theology. Systematic Theology is a branch of theology that focuses on the fundamental tenants of the Faith and the Dogmas of the Faith. I have specialization on the Reformation and Catholic vs. Protestant theology/issues and answering Protestant challenges to the Faith.

Experience in the area

I was ordained in June of 2008. Since that time the thrust of my ministry has been specialized. In my first assignment I was an assistant pastor. A year later I was sent to work in education. I spent six (6) years in education and have now assumed my first pastorate. While education was the thrust of my ministry, nevertheless I continued to have a hand in parish ministry, hospital chaplaincy and prison chaplaincy. Now that I am out of education I will obviously be focusing more on parish work than specialized ministry. I have two years of formal Clinical Pastoral Education and prior to ordination I successfully pursued Board Certification for health care ministry through the NACC. My certification needs to be renewed and I plan to seek dual certification in health care ministry (NACC and APC) when I renew my certification. I have a breadth of experience working with Protestant ministers and collaborating with them to achieve the goals of hospital pastoral care and chaplaincy. These ministers run the spectrum from the liberal to the conservative.


Bachelors of Science-- University of Scranton PA Masters of Arts Theology--- Saint Mary's Seminary and University Baltimore MD Masters of Divinity--- Saint Charles Borremeo Seminary Philadelphia PA Board Certified Chaplain (up for renewal)

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Kathleen12/06/16101010Thank you, Father, for your prompt reply .....
Mary11/29/16101010Dear Father, Thank you very much for .....
Jill10/31/16101010TY so very much, Father!

Recent Answers from Father Dave Bechtel

2017-01-09 what does the Church say on this matter:

Because the Church does not work in the same way as a government.  Salvation cannot be forced on people.      The problem with Pope Francis document is that it is unclear on the question of whether divorced

2017-01-08 what does the Church say on this matter:

My answer will be quite long.  Just be aware.  In order to adequately answer it I first want to deal with divorce and remarriage.  Then I will deal with the question of reception of Holy Communion.   

2017-01-02 prayer:

There is a difference between a chain letter or chain prayer, etc, and a Novena.  Unfortunately people sometimes leave chain prayers in my own church.  I just take them and remove them.      The Church

2016-11-29 Transubstantiation:

Actually it is both and.      The priest is speaking the words of consecration over the elements of bread and wine.  As the priest is speaking the words as the Alter Christus, the Holy Spirit is working

2016-11-11 morality:

A very good question!      I have asked a similar question of moral theologians myself when I was in graduate school.  At the time, I was given an answer.  I forget what it was, but whatever it was I did


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