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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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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
David10/16/16101010Thank you Father Dave for your clear .....
steve10/03/16101010Thank you for your reply, much appreciated .....
Kathleen07/26/16101010Fr. Bechtel answered me promptly and provided .....
Dan05/27/161010Thank you father, that was very insightful

Recent Answers from Father Dave Bechtel

2016-10-21 marriage/divorce:

Your daughter is free to date this person.  If they want to get married at some point he is going to have to get an annulment.   Otherwise your daughter right now is fine to date him. It is nice to hear

2016-10-15 Status of children:

If you were baptized in the Presbyterian church you are Christian but you are not Catholic.  This is especially true since you were raised in the Presbyterian Faith.  Your mother might have been Catholic

2016-09-30 Joining a sorority:

If you are feeling uncomfortable enough with what you participated in, to take the time to ask me whether you should confess this, I would suggest you have your answer.    Yes.  Confess it. You can never

2016-09-25 question on praying:

There are qualified spiritual directors in the Catholic Church. The role of the spiritual director is to assist the person to discern the movements of God in their prayer.  Every priest is qualified to

2016-07-12 catholic teaching:

Your question expresses a lot of stereotypes and straw men about Catholic moral teaching, especially in regards to human sexuality. The sad thing is that even some priests actually believe this and they


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