The Catholic Church and its teachings and views 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 ...
6
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1answer
650 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 ...
5
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1answer
387 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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2answers
2k 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). ...
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320 views

When was the title of “Mother of God” first ascribed to Mary?

I understand that the phrase "Mother of God" appears in the prayer commonly referred to as the "Hail Mary" prayer. I'm wondering, though, what the origin is of the phrase "Mother of God". Did it ...
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2answers
229 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 ...
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1answer
122 views

According to Catholic law and rules, is postponing of the Rite of Acceptance OK?

This is a follow-up question for Are those instructed before baptism considered catechumens before entering the catechumenate formally? In Czech Republic the pre-baptismal formation is often called "...
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1answer
83 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 ...
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1answer
118 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 (...
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1answer
195 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 ...
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5answers
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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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When did Peter become the first Pope, according to Roman Catholic doctrine?

Roman Catholic doctrine teaches that the apostle Peter was the first Pope. Exactly when did this occur? I can imagine a few different options When Jesus addressed Peter in Matthew: I also ...
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1answer
153 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 ...
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1answer
247 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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2answers
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When did Mary and Joseph learn that they were never supposed to have marital relations, according to Roman Catholic doctrine?

Roman Catholic doctrine teaches that Mary remained a virgin her entire life, even after marrying Joseph. It would seem that Joseph and Mary, at their betrothal, had likely expected to have, and ...
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3answers
727 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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3answers
2k views

Why is the word ‘concupiscence’ so important in understanding the difference between a Catholic view and a Protestant view of ‘Original Sin’?

I have noticed this word ‘concupiscence’ a lot while studying Catholic Theology. It seems to significantly change what ‘Original Sin’ means, making a Catholic meaning of ‘Original Sin’ very different ...
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1answer
339 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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9answers
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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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2answers
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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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1answer
154 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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What is the difference between a dogma, a doctrine, an infallible statement, an ex cathedra statement, etc.?

There are a variety of terms used in the Catholic Church to refer to particular statements or beliefs. Here are a number of some such terms: Dogma Doctrine Infallible statement Infallible papal ...
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Which Roman Catholic doctrines are infallible?

I know that the Pope can speak infallibly (ex cathedra), and that this has officially been done once, as well as three times before Papal infallibility was formally declared. I would assume that any ...
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1answer
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What is the Roman Catholic position on literally reading the Flood account in Genesis?

Elsewhere on this site, the question of whether the Roman Catholic church supported evolution was answered with evidence that the Catholic position is that evolution could be true. That is, because ...
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3answers
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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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2answers
653 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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2answers
418 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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1answer
103 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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1answer
342 views

According to Catholicism, 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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1answer
131 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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1answer
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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 “subduing”...
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2answers
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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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1answer
258 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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1answer
182 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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3answers
785 views

Do Catholics really believe in contemporary miracles?

I know beatification requires a miracle. And, I keep reading statements like this, "On 19 December 2009, John Paul II was proclaimed venerable by his successor Pope Benedict XVI and was beatified ...
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2answers
318 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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1answer
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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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3answers
922 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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2answers
219 views

Why did it take so long for papal infallibility to be defined?

I have a question about papal infallibility. According to this source, That the Church is infallible in her definitions on faith and morals is itself a Catholic dogma, which, although it was ...
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3answers
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In Catholicism, what are the different kinds of sins?

I have heard various persons refer to different 'kinds' of sins on this site and in other places. I have heard of mortal sin grave sin venial sin Are there others? What is a basic definition of ...
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2answers
182 views

Why would popes choose the name Pelagius in light of the Pelagian heresy?

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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1answer
87 views

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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3answers
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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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1answer
618 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 ...
16
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3answers
6k views

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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131 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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Can a married person be elected as the Pope?

What is The Roman Catholic law for electing the Pope in regards to a married person? If a married person is elected, what will happen to his wife after becoming the Pope?
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2answers
229 views

What is World Youth Day?

A recent question mentions World Youth Day. Wikipedia says that it's an event for young people organized by the Catholic Church. That isn't very helpful, since there are a lot of different types of ...
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1answer
93 views

Is there any connection between the country of origin of Popes and nearby large gatherings of Catholics or Councils?

Not that a run of 2 means anything (or Rio is in Argentina like I mistakenly assumed It is just down the road) and given there were hundreds of years of Italian popes to skew this statistic, but it ...
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1answer
318 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 ...