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

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Why did the conclave elect Pope Stephen I, when he died prior to taking office?

According to Wikipedia, Pope Stephen I was elected to the papacy in March of 752 A.D., but died a few days later, prior to being installed. As I understand it, Catholic teaching indicates that God's ...
12
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1answer
805 views

When did the Orthodox and Catholic Churches distinguish the manner in which the Sign of the Cross was to be made?

From a comment on What is the role of “Sign of the cross” gesture in Catholicism?, it was noted that Catholics make the Sign of the Cross by starting at the top, going to the left and then right, ...
9
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3answers
478 views

What substitutes for prayers for the Pope's intentions during sede vacante?

One of the requirements one must meet to obtain an indulgence is to pray for the intentions of the pope. When there's no pope, what's the substitute? I guess it's the conclave and the next pope, but I ...
8
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1answer
252 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?
3
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1answer
499 views

Can a non-Catholic be Canonized by the Catholic Church?

While listening to Peter Kreeft talking about Thomistic personalism [PDF], he joked that C.S. Lewis isn't "canonized on earth yet." I know it's a joke, but it seems it would only be funny if it is ...
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3answers
329 views

How novel is John Paul II's theology of the family as “ecclesia domestica”?

The Second Vatican Council wrote in Lumen gentium 11 (English, Latin): The family is, so to speak, the domestic church. In it parents should, by their word and example, be the first preachers of ...
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3answers
323 views

What makes someone an antipope?

Rather straight forward question. There have been multiple men declared antipopes. Is it different each time, or generally the same set of circumstances that causes this?
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2k views

What is the Biblical basis for the Catholic teaching that infant baptism cleanses from original sin?

The Catholic Church, possibly the Orthodox Churches, and even some Protestant churches practice Infant Baptism. However, I understand that Catholicism teaches that infant baptism cleanses the infant ...
9
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1answer
262 views

Is secularizing Christian symbols blasphemy?

I'd like an orthodox Catholic answer to this question, but any thoughtful well referenced one will suffice. (I know C.S. Lewis wrote on the subject). My kids are asking me to see The Rise of the ...
6
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2answers
315 views

What happened to the Sarum rite?

The Sarum rite was the traditional rule of liturgical worship for Catholics in England, and to some extent in the rest of the British Isles, for many years. It is related to the Roman rite, and to ...
8
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1answer
1k views

Does Roman Catholic Church recognize some Eastern Orthodox Saints?

I heard that in some of Catholic churches (I mean parishes) in Europe there are icons of Russian Saints, such as Seraphim of Sarov, for example (may be I'm wrong, I personally haven't seen this). So ...
14
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2answers
563 views

Which doctrines are based solely on the apocrypha?

What Roman Catholic doctrines are based only in the 7 books canonized by the Roman church, but not accepted by Protestants. (e.g., Tobit, Judith, Maccabees, the additions to Daniel and Esther, etc...) ...
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1answer
702 views

Why keep baptismal fonts full in the Roman Catholic Church?

In our (Presbyterian) church, we have a stone baptismal font in which we fill with water whenever we need to baptize somebody. At other times, it's empty, more for reasons of plumbing than doctrine - ...
2
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1answer
289 views

Is it true the term 'pontifex maximus' was the name of the high priest of the Roman Cult of Emperor Worship, before being adopted by the Pope?

This has always seemed strange to me that the Pope would not want to distance himself with emperor worship as much as possible. If pointifex maximus was a term used by the government of Rome in its ...
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1answer
124 views

Who is the American Catholic Church?

What are the major doctrinal differences between the American Catholic Church and the Roman Catholic church? Why did they split?
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1answer
8k views

What should I expect at a Roman Catholic funeral?

A funeral notice announces a "mass of Christian burial" (at a Roman Catholic church in the US) followed by a burial followed by a luncheon. As an outsider I have a few questions about what to expect: ...
9
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2answers
250 views

Why did the Catholic Church decide to have a Bible?

As far as I know, the Catholic Church considers God's revealed truth in Sacred Scripture to be part of, but by no means the sum total of Divine Revelation. Sacred Scripture is the written part of our ...
9
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2answers
888 views

What is the biblical basis for the doctrine of Papal Infallibility taught by the Catholic Church?

I understand that the Catholic Churches teaches the doctrine of Papal Infallibility. What is the biblical basis for this and how does that account for the Scripture that references Peter's error? ...
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2answers
1k views

Biblical basis for Peter being the leader of the apostles?

The Roman Catholic church claim that the apostle Peter was the first bishop of Rome and that he was the leader of the other apostles/bishops and since the pope is the rightful heir of Peter's title ...
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2answers
744 views

What is baptism by Desire?

Again, this is one I've never heard of. Inspired by Peter Turner's comment. If you had a plane full of people's consent to be baptized if they miraculously survived the flight but they died ...
5
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2answers
207 views

What is the basis of the non catholic denominations to hold catholics as Idolaters

I was reading this article on an authoritative bible site . I was wondering what is the doctrinal bases to hold Catholics as Idolaters Here is the excerpt: Life Magazine, reporting the ...
12
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2answers
860 views

Do Roman Catholics believe Saints are omnipresent?

I understand that officially speaking when Catholics pray to saints, they are not supposed to really pray TO that saint, but rather are asking that saint to pray for them as you would ask any living ...
8
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1answer
158 views

How does the feast of Corpus Christi fit into the church calendar?

Looking at the calendar today, I noticed that it's Corpus Christi, which celebrates the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Maundy Thursday recalls the day the rite was first observed and seems ...
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1answer
889 views

Can a physically healthy, married couple honor God without having children?

If a married couple is physically able to have children (at least potentially) can they honor God without having children? Roman Catholics, for example, say that sex has at least two purposes ...
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1answer
216 views

Does Roman Catholic doctrine teach that Christ no longer has a body that possesses flesh?

Does Roman Catholic doctrine teach that Christ's incorruptible body no longer has flesh? I was translating a work of John of Damascus entitled Περὶ τοῦ ἀχράντου σώματος, οὗ μεταλαμβάνομεν. In this ...
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2answers
133 views

Is the Virgin Mary ever referred to as “the Holy Table” (ἡ ἁγία ἡ τράπεζα)?

I'm still in the process of translating a work of John of Damascus concerning the Eucharist and the body of Christ, entitled Περὶ τοῦ ἀχράντου σώματος, οὗ μεταλαμβάνομεν. In section 4, he writes, ...
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1answer
267 views

When did the older English spelling of the endings of Isaiah and Elijah stop being used in the Catholic Church?

I was reading Archbishop Fulton Sheen's Life of Christ and he always refers to Isaiah and Isaias and Elijah as Elias. I know that's one of the traditional English spellings, but when did it change ...
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1answer
286 views

Can Catholic works of ‘satisfaction’ (prayer, fasting, etc.) for the removal of temporal punishments of venial sin be credited to others still alive?

Here is what I think I understand: A Catholic believes in something called penance that is understood as a sacrament by which forgiveness of sins (committed after baptism) is granted through the ...
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2answers
5k views

What effect did the Reformation have inside the Catholic Church?

I confess my knowledge of church history branches at about the Reformation. I know a quite a bit about Catholicism today, and I have an idea of what it was before the Reformation. These are not at all ...
4
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1answer
328 views

What would happen if a priest venerated Santa Muerte in an RCC church?

In Mexico, the mix of native and Catholic religions has produced an interesting figure called Santa Muerte or literally, "Saint Death." In many ways, the icons, statues, and venerations ascribed to ...
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1answer
533 views

Is every lie a sin? [duplicate]

We all know that lying is a sin in the Catholic's perspective. But sometimes we lie to protect someone. For example, a mother lies about sex to protect their children. Is every lie sinful in Gods ...
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1answer
866 views

Why does the Litany of Saint Joseph call him “terror of demons”?

A litany for Joseph, the husband of Mary, was approved by Pope St Pius X in 1909 (*). Most of the invocations are straightforward to understand, referring to his life (eg. "husband of the Mother of ...
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1answer
320 views

How to identify a Catholic 'order' from initials that follow a nun or priest's name?

I am regularly cataloguing publications written by (or about) sisters and priests. I am unfamiliar with all of the different Catholic orders. Is there an online list or reference that identifies what ...
7
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2answers
924 views

To which Saints may a Catholic pray, and when can this begin?

The Catholic Church teaches, as I understand it, that a person may pray to a Saint, and this Saint will then intercede along with that person to God concerning the request (or something like that). ...
9
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
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2answers
251 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
182 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
152 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
102 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
137 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
526 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
200 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
293 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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3answers
318 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 ...
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1answer
198 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
82 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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2answers
501 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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1answer
243 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 ...