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

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Format for the Catholic Mass

I've been to a Catholic Church very few times in my adult life. It's a very different experience than the protestant Churches I'm used to. In most of the Protestant Churches, there is generally a ...
6
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2answers
240 views

Is there a special significance attached to a Latin Mass?

Every so often, one of my Catholic acquaintances will mention that they will be, or have just attended a Latin Mass. I know pretty much nothing about a Latin Mass, other than (obviously) that it's ...
7
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2answers
176 views

By what authority does the old Catholic Encyclopedia call itself Catholic?

This may seem like a dumb question, but I think it could be useful to people who look at links on the internet to the old Catholic Encyclopedia (which is heavily referenced on wikipedia for ...
2
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1answer
68 views

Why is dividing 'event' versus 'process' driven views of justification important to separate Catholic and Protestant theology?

In studying Roman Catholic theology it took me so so long before it dawned on me that justification is not viewed as an event as it is in Protestant theology. Why is this single concept so critical in ...
5
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1answer
147 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 ...
2
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1answer
97 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
134 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 ...
9
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3answers
508 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 ...
5
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1answer
195 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 ...
4
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1answer
285 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 ...
2
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3answers
312 views

How can common believers in the Roman Catholic Church be sure that the Church's decisions are correct and not erroneous?

There have been some councils, the decisions of which were later reversed by some latter councils. Thus, if your position on a particular matter that was being considered at those councils was too ...
2
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1answer
197 views

Is it true that John Paul II restored the practice of selling indulgences in 2000?

Is it true that John Paul II restored the practice of selling indulgences in the Roman Catholic Church in 2000? EDIT: two sources: here and here
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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 ...
7
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1answer
81 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 ...
2
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2answers
487 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 ...
4
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1answer
239 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 ...
6
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1answer
95 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 ...
9
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1answer
113 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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2answers
96 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?
11
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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 ...
2
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2answers
281 views

Baptising someone without consent

Stemming from this question Is it valid to baptize multiple persons at once?, the question gives the scenario of one person baptising multiple people on a plane that is going to crash. The bit that ...
6
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1answer
136 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 ...
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 ...
15
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1answer
217 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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2answers
273 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
751 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. ...
4
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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 ...
6
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3answers
732 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
2k views

Why did Rome and Constantinople split in 1054 AD?

The Great Schism represents the break between the Eastern and Western churches. I know that a primary bone contention that the East had with the West was Rome's insistence on Papal Supremacy. My ...
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3answers
547 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 ...
6
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1answer
95 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 ...
4
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1answer
403 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 ...
2
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1answer
65 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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2answers
6k views

According to the Roman Catholic church, who can baptize a new believer?

As far as I remember, there is no rule in the Bible as to who can baptize a new believer. However, I'm almost certain that sometime in the early history of the Roman Catholic church, someone or some ...
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1answer
121 views

About statues and pictures [duplicate]

What is the catholic argument that justifies the usage of statues and pictures of Jesus Christ and saints?
4
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1answer
199 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
74 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 ...
5
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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
237 views

Is it valid to baptize multiple persons at once?

To take an extreme example, if a person is on a plane that's about to crash, and she wishes to perform a baptism that is valid according to the Catholic Church (and therefore valid according to the ...
3
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1answer
370 views

Which is more important to the Roman Catholic Church today: Church unity or the actual text of scripture?

I recently did some study on the fact that Augustine objected to Jerome translating the OT into Latin from the Hebrew instead of the Greek because there were significant differences in the texts. ...
5
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1answer
453 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 ...
9
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1answer
113 views

Who calls the conclave?

There must be someone to oficially call the cardinals to a conclave. Who is it? It can't be the old pope - resignation is hardly the normal situation, so the old pope is supposed to be dead. I guess ...
0
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1answer
144 views

Why does the Catechism of the Catholic Church abridge the first commandment?

(This question came up while I was speaking with someone, and I don't think that I was able to answer it very well. Note that I am not asking whether the Church is right or wrong, just for a clear ...
3
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2answers
181 views

What does “Catechetical Formula” mean?

I ran across the phrase in this question, and a Google search just keeps bringing me to the Ten Commandments example found in the link on the question. I'm not finding a definition anywhere. So what ...
5
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1answer
949 views

What is the basis for the Catholic practice of only the priest drinking from the common cup during communion?

I've heard from a number of people that in most Catholic churches, only the priest drinks from the common cup in communion. Is this true? Assuming it is true, what is the basis for this teaching?
11
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3answers
1k views

What is the difference between “catholicism” and “catholic”?

In the Apostle's Creed, the term "catholic" is used in describing the reciter's belief: I believe ... in the holy catholic church This creed is used by a wide variety of denominations, and ...
9
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2answers
458 views

Why is Good Friday called Good?

My coworker asked "Why is Good Friday called good?" when I said we've got Good Friday off and I unfortunately don't know the answer to the question. Is there a very obvious way to explain to someone ...
4
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1answer
447 views

What religious significance is there in marriage for Catholics and Protestants?

To be clear: This is not a question about why Catholics and Protestants get married. This is not a question about the biblical support for or against marriage. (I am very much for marriage). I ...
7
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2answers
135 views

Is the choice of a new Pope inspired by the Holy Spirit?

Are Roman Catholics required to believe that the Cardinals choice of a new Pope is inspired by the Holy Spirit? If so, how do we explain "bad" popes?
11
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1answer
265 views

What Popes have resigned in the past?

Pope Benedict XVI recently announced his resignation. What other Popes have abdicated in the past? The media keep pointing to Gregory XII, but it is my understanding that he was deposed by the Council ...