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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
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!
David10/16/16101010Thank you Father Dave for your clear .....
steve10/03/16101010Thank you for your reply, much appreciated .....

Recent Answers from Father Dave Bechtel

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

2016-10-31 medjugorje apparition:

In one sense I don't think it matters much.  If the Church were to decide that what is taking place at Medjugorje is not of God, it doesn't matter what was causing it.  All we need to know is that whatever

2016-10-30 In an awkward position:

So let me get this straight: you are generously providing a ride to this woman to see that she gets to Church--and she refuses to accommodate your own requests?     If the woman you are taking to Church

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


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