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

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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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8answers
505 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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9answers
1k views

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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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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4answers
770 views

Why do Catholics put so much faith in the Virgin Mary?

I'm not sure how to express the relationship that Catholics have with the Virgin Mary, so please excuse the word Faith in the question title. giving Mary praise I understand that Mary gave birth to ...
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1answer
246 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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1k views

Are non-Catholics allowed to go to confession?

As an Episcopalian, we techincally have the rite of Confession and Reconciliation as one of the things we are supposed to do, but in actual practice, I've never seen it done. In contrast, I know that ...
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675 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
554 views

What made Luther a heretic and not a schismatic?

I know the difference between heresy and schism, but I don't know why various Protestant reformation leaders, Martin Luther in particular, wouldn't have been satisfied by merely being a schismatic ...
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4answers
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When does the bread and wine become Body and Blood?

Exactly when during the Mass does transubstantiation occur? I am aware that it occurs during the Eucharistic Prayer, but at exactly what moment? Would this change if a priest were to consecrate ...
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550 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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2k views

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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In which other churches do Roman Catholics recognize apostolic succession?

The Roman Catholic Church derives much of its claim to legitimacy from the teaching of "apostolic succession". Other churches also believe that their priests derive their authority in an unbroken ...
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1answer
301 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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2answers
1k views

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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5answers
909 views

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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1answer
582 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
167 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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2answers
274 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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3answers
408 views

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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2answers
483 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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1answer
383 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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1answer
152 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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1answer
290 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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1answer
401 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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264 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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3answers
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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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4answers
185 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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111 views

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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250 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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2answers
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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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2answers
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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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489 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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1answer
259 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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1answer
103 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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973 views

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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247 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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170 views

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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445 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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1answer
384 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 during the lines: For us men and for our ...
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143 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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2answers
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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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1answer
563 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 ...
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1answer
110 views

Who is the author referred to in the Pope's 4 April 2014 homily?

I'll keep my question short. Does anyone know to whom Pope Francis was referring in today's homily, when he discussed an author whose books were initially banned by the Church, but now this person is ...
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1answer
597 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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2answers
380 views

Did Mary know that her Baby Boy would “soon deliver her”?

It's a little past Christmas, but I forgot to ask this question based on the song "Mary did you know", which really raises the question. Did Mary know? As a Catholic, there are lots of traditions ...
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228 views

Is veneration worship?

I answered this question calling adoration and veneration honor given to God and the saints accordingly. If you look at the edits for my answer, I think I had some confusion as to the terminology ...
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How did the Crusades impact modern Christianity?

How do the crusades impact modern day Christianity own sense of morality and spirituality? What do these things mean to a person of faith? The Crusades, from Wikipedia The Crusades were a series ...
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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 ...