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

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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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458 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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Is the Pope allowed to publish books after resignation?

I've heard that after popes die (at least after Bl. John Paul II died) all their unpublished works and letters are burnt and I heard on the radio this morning that Pope Benedict XVI is pretty much ...
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What are the steps to become Confirmed in the Catholic church?

What are the steps you have to take (general steps not necessarily church specific) as someone raised in the Catholic church to become Confirmed?
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Why do Protestants say: “In Jesus' name. Amen.”, whereas Catholics say: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”?

Why do Protestants oftentimes seem to say: "In Jesus' name. Amen.", whereas Catholics generally begin and end prayers saying: "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. ...
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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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According to evangelicals, before the Reformation, who were Christians if “Catholics are not Christians”?

Every now and then I hear non-Catholic Christians, usually evangelicals, say things along the lines of "Catholics are not Christians" or "the Catholic Church does not teach the true gospel". Unless I ...
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How is “Veneration” similar or different from “Adoration”?

Most Catholics teach about honoring the saints, and mostly about "venerating" the Blessed Virgin Mary. Though in my country (I'm from the Philippines), the line between honoring saints / Mary and the ...
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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 ...
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The differences between Roman Catholic and Irish Catholic

I've heard the terms Roman Catholic and Irish Catholic since i was little, but i never understood what, if any, where the differences between the two. Why the differentiation of the two? What makes ...
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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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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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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 ...
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Is there any evidence for the claim that the Catholic church suppressed translation of Scripture?

There is a popular Protestant polemic that Catholics don't (or didn't) want people to read the Bible. It is often furthermore assumed that the Catholic Church went so far as to ban people from having ...
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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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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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Why did Jesus use bread to turn into His body?

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 do bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ, rather than ...
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Where can I learn about Catholic terms and phrases?

A number of very good questions and answers on this site refer to specifically Catholic doctrine or terminology. I've been one to ask for clarification on these terms at times, however I think it's ...
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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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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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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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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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What does the Catholic church teach about fate of non-Catholic christians?

From what I've heard, The Roman Catholic Church claims to be the only representative authority of God on earth. Does it indeed claim that, and if so what does it say happens to members of non-Catholic ...
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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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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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What is transubstantiation?

According to Wikipedia: When at his Last Supper, Jesus said: "This is my body", what he held in his hands still had all the appearances of bread: these "accidents" remained unchanged. However, the ...
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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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Did Martin Luther believe the Church needed to be reformed before the Great Schism of 1054AD, or after?

I think its safe to say that Martin Luther, being one of the fathers of Protestantism, was primarily at odds with the Roman Church. He posted his 95 theses to confront what he thought to be ...
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823 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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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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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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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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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 could a sinless Mary die?

Ignatius Theophorus's answer to this question about the assumption of Mary states: In addition, there is an ancient document which actually relates the death of Mary and the assumption of her ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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What's the name of the heresy that declares Mary Mother of God is a goddess?

Such heresy was condemned centuries ago by the Church, but I cannot remember its name.
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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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366 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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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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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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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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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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Are there any Catholic sects which disagree with the sinlessness of Mary?

As a protestant, the concept of the sinless state of Mary is one of the hardest aspects of Catholicism to swallow. The historical account of the adoption of this doctrine doesn't lend any credibility ...
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What are the stipulations for a mixed marriage to be valid in the Catholic Church?

If a devout Catholic woman wants to marry a Baptist man, what what must be made to make the marriage valid to the Catholic Church if they have both gone though the Catholic wedding preparation but ...
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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 ...