The Catholic Church and its views and teachings on specific subjects.

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Are those instructed before baptism considered catechumens before entering the catechumenate formally?

This question and its answer reminded me a question I wondered about a long time ago: the ritual of entering catechumenate usually takes place some time during the process of pre-baptismal catecheses ...
5
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1answer
139 views

Is a bishop in Roman Catholic tradition equal in authority with the apostles?

According to an answer to this question When did Peter become the first Pope, according to Roman Catholic doctrine?, the Pope is the bishop of Rome. So this made me wonder - since Peter was ordained ...
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4answers
2k views

Is Latin considered a more holy language in the Catholic church?

I've heard that many Roman Catholic churches still hold Mass services and particularly ceremonies (e.g. weddings) in Latin. Is this true, and if so why is Latin considered to be a better language than ...
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4answers
6k views

When did Peter become the first Pope, according to Roman Catholic doctrine?

Roman Catholic doctrine teaches that the apostle Peter was the first Pope. Exactly when did this occur? I can imagine a few different options When Jesus addressed Peter in Matthew: I also ...
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124 views

What is the origin and basis for the Catholic teaching regarding Mary's vow of celibacy prior to her betrothal?

In the answers to this question it is asserted that Mary had taken a vow of celibacy prior to her betrothal to Joseph. Thus, Joseph already knew that he and Mary would never have marital relations ...
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181 views

According to the Catholic Church, what happens to a person who is in the process of learning about Catholicism, if that person dies?

Suppose a person is learning about the teachings of the Catholicism, and dies before that person has reached a conclusion whether he or she would like to join the Church. According to the teachings of ...
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2answers
1k views

When did Mary and Joseph learn that they were never supposed to have marital relations, according to Roman Catholic doctrine?

Roman Catholic doctrine teaches that Mary remained a virgin her entire life, even after marrying Joseph. It would seem that Joseph and Mary, at their betrothal, had likely expected to have, and ...
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3answers
448 views

Did Mary know she was sinless, according to Roman Catholic teaching?

The Roman Catholic Church teaches the Immaculate Conception that asserts Mary was conceived without sin and remained sinless for her entire life. Assuming this to be true, did Mary know that she ...
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2answers
933 views

Why is the word ‘concupiscence’ so important in understanding the difference between a Catholic view and a Protestant view of ‘Original Sin’?

I have noticed this word ‘concupiscence’ a lot while studying Catholic Theology. It seems to significantly change what ‘Original Sin’ means, making a Catholic meaning of ‘Original Sin’ very different ...
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253 views

What is the Catholic biblical or canon basis saying some moral works without grace (transient or permanent) are good (or not have the nature of sin)?

I am trying to clarify the difference in my own mind between a traditional Catholic and traditional Protestant view of grace, specifically in terms of the 'works of unbelievers'. It seems hard to ...
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2answers
241 views

What is the Protestant biblical basis for those concluding that 'all moral works' without grace have no good in them (or have the nature of sin)?

I am trying to clarify the difference in my own mind between a traditional Catholic and traditional Protestant view of grace, specifically in terms of the 'works of unbelievers'. It seems hard to ...
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9answers
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Why did God choose Mary?

The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, was conceived full of sanctifying grace and free of any stain of original sin. In Catholicism, this is called the Immaculate Conception. She was conceived ...
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2answers
2k views

What difference does baptism make when it comes to marriage?

Here is a hypothetical example of what may be a very common situation. Bill and Martha have been seeing each other for four years. Both were raised in Catholic families, but were not baptized. They ...
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74 views

Do Catholics have an “Apocrypha” or just a “Bible”?

Pardon my ignorance here, but I am just wondering if the Apocrypha is labeled as such by Catholics? To clarify, a Protestant would refer to the 66 books of Protestant Scripture as "the Bible", and to ...
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4answers
3k views

What is the difference between a dogma, a doctrine, an infallible statement, an ex cathedra statement, etc.?

There are a variety of terms used in the Catholic Church to refer to particular statements or beliefs. Here are a number of some such terms: Dogma Doctrine Infallible statement Infallible papal ...
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4answers
481 views

Which Roman Catholic doctrines are infallible?

I know that the Pope can speak infallibly (ex cathedra), and that this has officially been done once, as well as three times before Papal infallibility was formally declared. I would assume that any ...
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1answer
2k views

What is the Roman Catholic position on literally reading the Flood account in Genesis?

Elsewhere on this site, the question of whether the Roman Catholic church supported evolution was answered with evidence that the Catholic position is that evolution could be true. That is, because ...
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2answers
658 views

Have different Popes ever contradicted each other?

I understand that Roman Catholics do not think that everything the Pope says or does is infallible. However, has a sitting Pope ever revoked or contradicted an infallible statement made by a previous ...
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463 views

If the old priesthood is abolished, what is the point of having Catholic priests?

Before Christ, there would be two tabernacles in the temple: an outer and an inner tabernacle. Priests would minister at the outer tabernacle by caring for the lamps, by burning incense to God twice ...
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298 views

Where does the Catholic church procure most of its Bibles?

I was recently doing some research on Bible publishing and distribution in order to compose this answer over on the Skeptics Stack Exchange site. In spite of the result being well received, I have a ...
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1answer
92 views

Why does any Archbishop get to decide if alligator is okay for Lent?

NPR ran an interesting piece about the saga of whether or not Catholics could eat alligator on Fridays during Lent. According to the story, an alligator merchant by the name of Jim Piculas advocated ...
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1answer
213 views

Does intelligence or rationality belong to other animals by participation?

In the Summa Theologica, Question 108(5), St Thomas Aquinas writes: Therefore, if anything is to be called by a name designating its property, it ought not to be named from what it participates ...
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107 views

In Catholic understanding, did Paul speak/write ex cathedra while Peter was serving as Pope?

Catholic doctrine teaches that Peter was the first Pope and that Popes may speak "ex cathedra". When they do, that is considered infallible. However, while Peter was alive and presumably serving as ...
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1answer
1k views

What does the Catholic Church mean when it calls humans co-creators with God?

The Catholic Church says that human are co-creators with God. To human beings God even gives the power of freely sharing in his providence by entrusting them with the responsibility of ...
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2answers
92 views

What is “Traditionalist Catholicism”

Pure curiosity, I see that Mel Gibson is an adherent of Traditionalist Catholicism. Is this a part of "normal" Roman Catholicism, or some distinct branch? What are the differentiators here?
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204 views

Is the marital act of consumating marriage part of Sacred Tradition in the Catholic Church?

How far back does the idea of consummating a marriage go? Is it tied to the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony? Is it like going to confession, but not fully receiving the sacrament of reconciliation ...
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126 views

Is life imprisonment in accord with Catholic social doctrine?

I recall hearing an old religious sister talking on Relevant Radio a few years ago about her experience in Mexican prison ministry. She said that life imprisonment is just as bad as the death penalty ...
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3answers
436 views

Do Catholics really believe in contemporary miracles?

I know beatification requires a miracle. And, I keep reading statements like this, "On 19 December 2009, John Paul II was proclaimed venerable by his successor Pope Benedict XVI and was beatified ...
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260 views

Is the Pope morally obliged to submit to every secular authority?

Among the Protestant faith a believer is to submit to the government: Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to ...
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1answer
578 views

Why Christians wear some elaborate costumes which sometimes outshine those of the pre-Christian epoch? [closed]

What is the need to use elaborate costumes at services and on other occasions? Costumes of some Christian confessions much outshine those of some other religions, including the pre-Christian ones. ...
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3answers
267 views

What is the “Way of the Cross”?

Our local Roman Catholic church has started advertising the "Way of the Cross" for Easter. I think I have seen this mentioned at other places I have visited and isn't a just a local event. Is the "Way ...
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2answers
196 views

Why did it take so long for papal infallibility to be defined?

I have a question about papal infallibility. According to this source, That the Church is infallible in her definitions on faith and morals is itself a Catholic dogma, which, although it was ...
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17k views

In Catholicism, what are the different kinds of sins?

I have heard various persons refer to different 'kinds' of sins on this site and in other places. I have heard of mortal sin grave sin venial sin Are there others? What is a basic definition of ...
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1answer
83 views

Why would popes choose the name Pelagius in light of the Pelagian Heresey?

I was checking out the list of pope names by frequency on Wikipedia in search of minutia to defend my assertion that Pope Francis was the first new Pope name a long time and noticed that there were ...
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1answer
59 views

Do Catholics consider Job to be historical?

The Book of Job is taken by some Protestants to be an historical document, whereas others hold that its position in the Ketuvim (the Writings) never assumed that it was anything other than what we ...
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3answers
635 views

Can dogma ever be modified, and how does this relate to papal infallibility?

I have two questions related to the concept of dogma in the Catholic church. I appreciate any guidance. Also, references would be helpful. Is there any point in the history of the Roman Catholic ...
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1answer
368 views

What personal possessions did Pope John Paul II have at the time of death?

The pope recieves no salary, but from what I understand, popes do have some personal possessions. A personal possesion is something that you own. For example, Pope Benedict XVI, I believe, had a ...
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3answers
3k views

What is the difference between icons and idols in churches that permit icons?

There are a number of Protestants that say the use of the images and statues in the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church is idolatry. I know that these churches call certain images "icons", but I ...
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117 views

About statues and pictures [duplicate]

What is the catholic argument that justifies the usage of statues and pictures of Jesus Christ and saints?
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85 views

Is there any connection between the country of origin of Popes and nearby large gatherings of Catholics or Councils?

Not that a run of 2 means anything (or Rio is in Argentina like I mistakenly assumed It is just down the road) and given there were hundreds of years of Italian popes to skew this statistic, but it ...
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1answer
169 views

What happens to retired Popes like Pope Benedict?

Does the pope get paid for being the pope? The above question is answered very well and shows that the Pope genuinely has no personal assets. He is well cared for by the Vatican. But what about the ...
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0answers
71 views

Does the Prophecy of St. Malachy allow for any Popes between the Glory of the Olive and Petrus Romanus? [closed]

The Prophecy of St. Malachy was apparently supposed to have predicted the line of popes for that past few centuries. Recently, some have suggested that we were reaching the final pope in the prophecy ...
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1answer
222 views

If Genesis is not to be taken literally by the Roman Catholics, what is the basis of the original sin?

According to this answer, Genesis is not to be taken literally by the Roman Catholic church due to the scientific evidence contradicting it. In this view, what is the basis of the original sin?
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1answer
81 views

Was the white smoke ever supposed to be miraculous?

With everybody waiting on a puff of white smoke to eminate from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, the engineer in me is curious about the mechanics. I know in modern times that a special additive ...
5
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1answer
64 views

How is excommunication handled during the interregnum?

Not that I'm plotting anything heinous, but can one be excommunicated or have excommunication lifted during the interregnum? I think, but I'm not positive, that some offenses that carry ...
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2answers
519 views

What is latae sententiae?

I heard that some things (like getting an abortion or attacking the pope) have the penalty of latae sententiae excommunication. What is that?
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1answer
274 views

How long can a conclave last?

In a short time a new conclave for the election of the new Catholic pope is taking place. I was wondering if we will have a new pope in a short time. I don't konw much about the previous popes in ...
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2answers
820 views

How do the vestments of the pontiff emeritus compare to those of a bishop emeritus?

As widely reported, Pope Benedict XVI will wear "a simple white cassock without the mozzetta" during his retirement, and will no longer use the rest of the traditional pontifical regalia, such as the ...
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1answer
359 views

What is the Holy See and when is it appropriate to use this term?

Is the Pope, himself, ever referred to as the Holy See or is it simply the place where he lives? Wikipedia says, "Often incorrectly referred to as 'the Vatican', the Holy See is not the same entity ...
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2answers
2k views

In Catholicism, what distinguishes a priestly blessing from a lay blessing?

Lay Catholics are encouraged to bless their children [and homes?] using particular formulas or patterns. As I understand it, these ought to differ in "manner" and formula from blessings performed by a ...