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

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Why does Vatican require “Yahweh” not to be used?

This news article by Catholic News Service tells of the removal of the Tetragrammaton from Catholic masses. "Yahweh" -- a name of God that the Vatican has ruled must not "be used or pronounced" in ...
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317 views

How do Catholics support transubstantiation?

As I understand it, the doctrine of transubstantiation maintains that bread and wine literally* become the body and blood of Christ...yet it is impossible to detect this. That is, they do not ...
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Which of Luther's 95 Theses are still potentially valid critiques of Roman Catholicism?

Pope Leo X enumerated 41 positions that he required Luther to recant from in order to be restored to communion with the Latin Church. Presumably, he wasn't all that excited about some of the other ...
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Nuns wearing wedding bands?

On a recent trip a nice nun took a picture of my family. I noticed that the nun was wearing a wedding band on her left hand. I have a vague recollection of reading somewhere that nuns are considered ...
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1answer
197 views

Justification of perpetual virginity of Mother Mary

How do Catholics justify St. Joseph not being able to consummate his marriage with his wife? It would seem as though the doctrine of Mary's perpetual virginity is at odds with Catholic teaching ...
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285 views

How do Catholics reconcile Christ's intercessory prayer with the doctrine of the Trinity?

John 10:30 (KJV) is often quoted to support the doctrine of the Trinity: 30 I and my Father are one. But during the great intercessory prayer, Christ asks God for his disciples to also be one ...
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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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825 views

Was Catholicism the first denomination?

In doing research on Martin Luther, I stumbled upon this article. Which had the following quote: If you are Catholic, you know that your religion was founded in the year 33 by Jesus Christ, ...
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Does Catholic doctrine teach that atheists go to heaven, too?

From http://gawker.com/pope-says-atheists-can-be-as-good-as-catholics-509487907 Referencing a passage from the Gospel of Mark in his homily, the Pope recounted the story of a priest who told an ...
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5answers
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Are non-Catholics allowed to go to confession?

As an Episcopalian, we technically have the rite of Confession and Reconciliation as one of the things we are supposed to do, but I've never seen it done in actual practice. In contrast, I know that ...
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Is Roman Catholic reconciliation with the Orthodox likely (or possible)?

I have consistently heard rumors that the Orthodox and the Roman Catholics will be reconciling at some point (at least to the point of Catholics being able to receive Orthodox sacraments). Sometimes ...
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331 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, ...
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738 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 ...
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4answers
960 views

Does the Catholic Church oppose universalism?

I've been reading George MacDonald as of late and have heard in a few places that he argues for universalism. I though that had something to do with unitarianism, but in looking it up a tad more, I ...
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109 views

What is the nature of the theory for Pope Joan and the evidence that substantiates it?

Two films, each called Pope Joan one in 1972 and one in 2009 repeat an old legend about a female Pope. What is the nature of this theory, and is there anything to substantiate it?
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618 views

Do Priests, Cardinals, and Popes have a confessional to which they themselves can/should/must go?

The confessional is a standard practice of the Roman Catholic Church where church members may (or must) go to confess their sins to a priest. As I understand it, the priest then decides whether or ...
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Why did the Catholic church stop supporting Genesis creation?

I read that cardinal Ratzinger stated the story in Genesis 1 and 2 should not be interpreted as a literal account of the beginning of things. In spite of recent events like this, they have always been ...
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1answer
380 views

What is Holy Water in Catholicism?

I noticed that Catholics dip their fingers in Holy Water kept mostly at the entrance to the Church and apply it on their forehead. What is Holy Water? Is there any specific liquid/water for it? ...
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320 views

Is the stigmata biblically sound?

The stigmata is sores or wounds in the places that Jesus suffered wounds during the crucifixion. That's about as much as I know. My questions: What's the purpose of the stigmata? Is the stigmata ...
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How are Catholic priests chosen and assigned to specific parishes?

I know that a certain amount of education is necessary before men can be ordained as a Catholic priest. But are all men that received the necessary education ordained as priests? If not, what is the ...
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1answer
757 views

How has the Catholic Church interpreted the tearing of the temple veil?

In this answer to another question, a protestant view is given on what it means that the temple veil was torn. I have started to do some quick research into how the Catholic Church has understood it, ...
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1answer
191 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 ...
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What is the Protestant argument against the doctrine of Purgatory?

The Roman Catholic Church teaches the idea of Purgatory, which is defined by Wikipedia as follows: Purgatory is, according to Catholic teaching, the state or place of purification or temporary ...
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How do Protestants view “Catholic” miracles, such as those that attest to a saint?

An important part of Catholicism is the canonization of saints in the present day. One of the criteria for canonization is the confirmation of miracles associated with the would-be saint. In ...
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Does Catholic doctrine teach that the Incarnation would have taken place regardless of Adam's decision?

In Catholic doctrine, both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition teach that Jesus Christ died specifically for the expiation of our sins. Historical Christianity professes that God became a man by way ...
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497 views

Do Pope Francis' recent comments on atheism represent a change in doctrine?

Pope Francis made some recent comments in a letter, which are being summarized in headlines like, "Pope Francis tells atheists to abide by their own consciences." Does the full context of the ...
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407 views

What is the Catholic concept of grace?

This question reminded me of a question I've had for a long time: What is the Catholic concept of grace? A look at the dictionary says: grace [greys] noun favor or goodwill. Synonyms: ...
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158 views

Should Catholics silently hum the Tetragrammaton when they're supposed to sing it?'

I was telling the kids in my Catechism class yesterday that we don't pronounce God's name anymore in hymns during Mass. They were a tad taken aback, especially since apparently they're supposed to ...
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305 views

What is the distinction between Consubstantial and One in Being?

The New Translation of the Roman Missal is going to be put into use in Advent 2011 and there is a change made to the Nicene Creed. one in Being with the Father. is going to be consubstantial ...
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295 views

What happened to the wives of priests when celibacy was first instituted in the Catholic church?

Since priests were not originally expected to be celibate, many must have been married when celibacy was first introduced. So what happened to the wives during this time when the institution started? ...
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2answers
548 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 ...
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1answer
462 views

How do the Catholic and Orthodox views of original sin differ?

While reading about original sin, I often read that the Catholic and Orthodox churches disagree on the doctrine of original sin. But as far as I can tell, they both reject the idea that mankind ...
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276 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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857 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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Why is bread and wine used to represent the body and blood of Christ?

I don't know about other churches, but in the Catholic church you have communion, in which you receive the body and blood of Christ in the form of bread and wine. Why was bread and wine chosen to ...
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194 views

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 ...
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326 views

How much water is necessary for baptism (Catholic perspective)?

In Catholicism, how much water is necessary for someone to be baptized? For example, if the only water present is a single droplet on a leaf, is that sufficient to baptize or is more needed? How ...
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List of papal teachings considered infallible

After reading When does the Pope speak ex cathedra? I became curious and searched for a list of statements, but couldn't find one. Does such list exist and if not, why is this the case?
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421 views

How do Roman Catholics understand salvation in light of Romans 3&4?

As far as I can understand it, Paul directly contradicts the Roman Catholic doctrine of salvation in Romans 3 & 4 (see verses 3:21-22, 3:28, 4:4-6 in particular, but I'm referring to the broad ...
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526 views

Has the Catholic church ever voiced its view on the possibility of aliens' existence?

Has the Catholic church ever acknowledged such a possibility as not contradicting the Bible? Or has it once said that the whole idea of aliens is absolutely non-Biblical as the humans are the center ...
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274 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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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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260 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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Is Communion still Communion under only the species of wine?

I was reading in the Youcat that Communion only under the species of bread is also a full communion with Christ I was always under the impression that both the bread and the wine when ...
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What are the consequences of suicide according to the Roman Catholic church?

What are the consequences of suicide according to the Roman Catholic church? Are there exceptions or special penalties?
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502 views

What are indulgences and when and why were they used?

I seem to recall that indulgences had something to do with Roman Catholics doing something to receive forgiveness of sins prior to committing the sins. So, is that what indulgences were? When did ...
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432 views

What is the reason to genuflect when the Incarnation is mentioned?

At Mass during the recitation of the Nicene Creed and when praying the Angelus, it is common (or required?) for the congregation to bow or genuflect (bend one knee) during these lines: For us men ...
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148 views

Resurrection of the body

How is the resurrection of the body supposed to work in Catholicism? E.g. If I die at 90, will I resurrect with the body of an old man? What about babies, will they simply resurrect as very young ...
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Do Catholic priests have to report child abuse confessed in secret?

Is there any canon, regulation, norm or diocesan norm which requires priests to report confessions of child abuse? Are priests obliged to follow laws to this effect? I'm not asking in regard to ...
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678 views

What does the Roman Catholic church teach about those who die having never heard of Christ?

What does the Roman Catholic church teach about those who die having never heard of Christ? Is there any possibility of salvation for them? Related: What happens to people who have never heard about ...