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

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How should I understand the emphasis on “begotten, not made” in the Nicene Creed?

I'm trying to understand the importance the repetition of "begotten" in the Nicene creed. It states (emphasis mine): We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,     the only Son ...
15
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5answers
11k views

Why the difference in depiction of the cross between Catholics and Protestants?

As I understand it, Roman Catholic crosses have Jesus hanging on them, but Protestant crosses do not. I understood that Protestant crosses do not because they want to focus on the Resurrection, not ...
13
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1answer
326 views

On what do Catholics base their doctrine of the eternal virginity of Mary?

I understand that the Catholic Church teaches that Mary is the eternal virgin in that she neither had sexual relations with Joseph (or any other man) either before or after the miraculous conception ...
12
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4answers
5k views

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 ...
11
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1answer
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 ...
11
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2answers
1k views

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 ...
11
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3answers
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 ...
9
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1answer
210 views

Is secularizing Christian symbols blasphemy?

I'd like an orthodox Catholic answer to this question, but any thoughtful well referenced one will suffice. (I know C.S. Lewis wrote on the subject). My kids are asking me to see The Rise of the ...
9
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1answer
210 views

How is spiritual progress described in eastern monastic traditions?

Catholic church has a long monastic history, and there are excellent exponents of spiritual progress whose concepts are used even today. Take Theresa of Avila's "interior castle" or Juan de la Cruz' ...
8
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4answers
5k views

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 ...
8
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2answers
10k views

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 ...
8
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2answers
4k 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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5answers
884 views

How do Catholics explain Jesus' words to the thief on the cross, in light of the doctrine of Purgatory?

In Luke 23, there is a brief conversation between Jesus and one of the thieves crucified beside him: 42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43Jesus answered ...
7
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3answers
436 views

Scriptural Reasoning for Latin being the official language of Catholic Mass

The New Testament was originally written in Greek. But yet Roman Catholics held Mass in Latin for hundreds of years. What scriptural evidence, if any, caused Latin to be picked over Greek? Was any ...
6
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1answer
103 views

What is the Authoritative Catholic Explanation of why the Magi get a pass, yet Catholics are to reject Astrology?

What is the Authoritative Catholic Explanation of why the Magi get a pass, yet Catholics are required to reject Astrology? Catechism of the Catholic Church | Divination and magic, 2116 has: All ...
6
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1answer
260 views

Is there any connection between minimum age for marriage in Catholic Church and tradition about Mary's age at Annunciation?

According to Canonic law, the minimum age for marryage to be valid for girls is fourteen (it can be and usually is higher for the marriage not to be illicit): Can. 1083 §1. A man before he has ...
5
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
5
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2answers
258 views

Apostolic Succession in the Catholic church

Wikipedia says: In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope As someone who isn't Catholic I don't want to ...
4
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2answers
65 views

What is the Catholic understanding of 'reign with him' in 2 Tim 2:12?

2 Timothy 2:11-13 (RSVCE) has: The saying is sure: If we have died with him, we shall also live with him; if we endure, we shall also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will ...
4
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2answers
165 views

Which is the 'correct' bible for Catholics?

There are many versions of the bible, such as the: King James Bible NIV NRSV But which is the 'correct' bible that a catholic should read? I hope I have asked this question in the correct spot... ...
4
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2answers
438 views

Is the Catechism of the Catholic Church considered scripture?

Is the Catechism of the Catholic Church considered scripture? Does it have the same authority as the Bible? If not, what is its place in the church? Is it considered heresy to preach or believe ...
4
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2answers
900 views

Biblical basis for Peter being the leader of the apostles?

The Roman Catholic church claim that the apostle Peter was the first bishop of Rome and that he was the leader of the other apostles/bishops and since the pope is the rightful heir of Peter's title ...
0
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1answer
128 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 ...
13
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3answers
405 views

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 ...
12
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2answers
1k views

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 ...
11
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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 ...
11
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2answers
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 ...
10
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1answer
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 ...
10
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3answers
7k views

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 ...
9
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1answer
381 views

What is the difference between Magisterial teaching and Sacred Tradition in Roman Catholicism?

In an answer to another question, @PeterTurner wrote: Good answers from a Catholic perspective should be able to stand on all three legs of Sacred Scripture, Magisterial teaching and Sacred ...
9
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3answers
155 views

Doctrinal significance of the tense and subject of “Adored and Glorified” in the Nicene Creed

So, I was working out a UML diagram to expose holes in every attempt to analogize the Trinity, and I came to: adored and glorified (formerly, worshiped and glorified) everything else in the ...
9
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2answers
410 views

Why is Good Friday called Good?

My coworker asked "Why is Good Friday called good?" when I said we've got Good Friday off and I unfortunately don't know the answer to the question. Is there a very obvious way to explain to someone ...
9
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1answer
378 views

What is the Catholic stance on Embryo Screening?

Embryo Screening is the process of fertilizing multiple eggs, checking their DNA makeup, and then screening out the eggs that do not meet the requirements. These requirements can be anything from ...
9
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1answer
601 views

When (and why) did the empty cross v.s. crucifix split happen?

Today, we have Catholic and Orthodox churches (and a few others) using the crucifix whereas most Protestant denominations have an empty cross. Did this empty-cross split happen around when Martin ...
8
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2answers
403 views

What's our afterlife really like?

I've heard and read that when we die, and we go to heaven, we won't have bodies. We'll be spirits only, but so happy that we won't need bodies or objects. In School we were taught that when we go to ...
8
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3answers
565 views

Is it biblical to burn the heretics?

This article has a list of people burned as heretics by the Church in the past. Is there any Biblical basis for burning the heretics? Which specific verse was used for the judgement on the heretics, ...
8
votes
1answer
670 views

Does Roman Catholic Church recognize some Eastern Orthodox Saints?

I heard that in some of Catholic churches (I mean parishes) in Europe there are icons of Russian Saints, such as Seraphim of Sarov, for example (may be I'm wrong, I personally haven't seen this). So ...
8
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3answers
377 views

What substitutes for prayers for the Pope's intentions during sede vacante?

One of the requirements one must meet to obtain an indulgence is to pray for the intentions of the pope. When there's no pope, what's the substitute? I guess it's the conclave and the next pope, but I ...
8
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2answers
910 views

Orthodox churches recognized by Catholic Church

Which Orthodox churches are recognized by the Catholic church? Are there any churches older than the split that are not recognized by the Catholic Church and that are still active? Edit: "recognize" ...
8
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6answers
4k views

What exactly was the original sin?

I always used to consider the original sin committed by Adam and Eve as eating the forbidden fruit from a particular tree. But recently my husband commented that Adam and Eve had sex with each other ...
8
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3answers
146 views

What is the Biblical basis the for Immutable Nature of God?

Dei Filius sayeth this: God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever be in opposition to truth. The appearance of this kind of specious contradiction is chiefly due to the fact that either the ...
8
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2answers
168 views

How can a particular trade of modern times get a patron saint?

In days of yore, tradesman and guilds had patron saints. These days patrons seem to only be attributed to profession in vague ways via papal declaration (i.e. St. John Vianney is the Patron of all ...
7
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2answers
189 views

Does the Roman Catholic church consider HIPAA to be an unjust law?

HIPAA, the United States Health Care Privacy Law has been in effect for nearly two decades. It's the law that makes people all nervous about talking about other people's well being with their doctors ...
7
votes
2answers
709 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 ...
7
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2answers
284 views

What's wrong with the Summa Theologica?

I've heard that there were two points of Catholic doctrine in Aquinas' Summa Theologica that were later successfully defended to the contrary. One, I think is the Immaculate Conception of Mary ...
7
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2answers
161 views

What makes a confession sacramental?

In the Catholic tradition, confession to a priest is treated with special protection as a sacred rite. The priest is charged with maintaining the confidential nature of the confession, something they ...
7
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2answers
360 views

Where do Catholics believe the historical narrative of the Bible begins?

I heard on the Relevant Radio recently that the Genesis account of the deluge is prehistorical. Meaning, it wasn't really recorded in histories the way other more specific accounts of historical ...
7
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1answer
114 views

Was “love your enemies” ever included among the evangelical counsels?

In Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin accuses his scholastic opponents of considering the commandment "Love your enemies" to be optional. Specifically, he says that they call it an ...
6
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1answer
211 views

Where did the Petrine title of “First Among Equals” originate?

Contrary to the Roman Catholic assertion that Peter and his successors are the Supreme Pontiff, the Orthodox Catholic Churches assert that Peter and his successors hold the honorary title of the First ...
6
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3answers
460 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 ...