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

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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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3answers
543 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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1answer
203 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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1answer
298 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
319 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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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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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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85 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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506 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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246 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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97 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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115 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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97 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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2k 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
307 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 ...
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142 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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65 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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223 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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279 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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801 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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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 ...
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3answers
791 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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639 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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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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427 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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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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7k 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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124 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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212 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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75 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
82 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 ...
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1answer
245 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 ...
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385 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. ...
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498 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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1answer
115 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 ...
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146 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 ...
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2answers
196 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 ...
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1answer
1k 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?
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3answers
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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 ...
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489 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 ...
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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?
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1answer
282 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 ...
7
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1answer
2k views

What is the significance of priest breaking the bread (Host) in a Catholic mass?

In a Catholic mass, just before the distribution of communion to people, priest breaks the Host in to pieces and people simultaneously acclaim: Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world, Have ...
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182 views

The Pope is resigning. How does a living pope confer his authority?

I read that Pope Benedict XVI is resigning. I don't know much about Catholic/papal authority as it relates to leading the Church, but as far as I can remember, a pope dies before another one takes the ...
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2answers
1k views

Why do Catholics believe that it is a priest's blessing that transforms the elements into the body and blood of Christ?

I understand that Catholicism teaches the doctrine of transubstantiation, that is, that the bread and wine of the Eucharist are transformed into the literal body and blood of Christ. This apparently ...
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1answer
354 views

How can a Pope be chosen from outside the conclave?

It is well known that the cardinals can choose any baptised male Catholic to be the new Pope, though they typically choose one of their own, and that the election is held under strict conditions of ...
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213 views

How are doxologies formed for common prayers?

I'm not sure of the exact definition, but a doxology seems to be a prayer tagged at the end which consists of some sort of invocation of the Blessed Trinity. I'm just wondering if the actual words ...
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124 views

Any dangers for the usage of sacramentals that are not-yet-blessed-by-a-priest?

I just bought a new Rosary, and I haven't asked our priest in the locality to bless it. Is there any danger when I pray the Rosary (or use of any "not-yet-blessed" sacramental for this matter) using ...
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426 views

Praying the Liturgy of the Hours in private; out loud

For the laity, when praying the Liturgy of the Hours in private, is it more in keeping with tradition to you pray out loud or silently or does it matter? Also, do you change the way you repeat ...
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319 views

What translation does the Catholic Breviary of England use for Psalms?

I've heard that in England the Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Hours uses a different translation for the readings from the U. S. (Specifically, the British use Jerusalem Bible in their liturgies ...