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

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3
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2answers
188 views

What is the purpose of attending the mass and going to Confession?

(My curiosity is going to cost me my reputation again. Anyway, here it goes...) In Catholicism, how important is attending the mass, going to Confession and other liturgical rituals? Do these ...
3
votes
1answer
326 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 ...
17
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6answers
8k views

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 ...
16
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5answers
12k 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 ...
16
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5answers
624 views

What is the Biblical support for Purgatory?

Exactly as the title asks; where do Catholics get their Scriptural support for the idea of Purgatory? To be more specific, how I think of Purgatory (which may be incorrect) is that it's a temporary ...
14
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5answers
669 views

For Catholics who object to Vatican II, what are the key issues?

From time to time I see references to Roman Catholics who object to (part? all?) of Vatican II. Most commonly I see ads in my local newspaper for traditional Latin masses, but I understand the ...
14
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4answers
9k views

What is the purpose of a Rosary?

I am not Catholic and I am pretty sure the Rosary is mainly a Catholic artifact, and in modern times devout Catholics seem to always have a Rosary (as in, you know they're Catholic because of the ...
13
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4answers
6k 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 ...
13
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1answer
331 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 ...
11
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1answer
713 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 ...
11
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1answer
931 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
2k 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
771 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
214 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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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 ...
9
votes
1answer
214 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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2answers
12k 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 ...
7
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1answer
127 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 ...
7
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5answers
927 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
votes
3answers
450 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
votes
1answer
276 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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1answer
186 views

According to Catholic Tradition - Was Jesus' experience on Earth scripted? Or did human actors shape it?

God does not play dice with the universe. - Albert Einstein The Bible gives us reason to believe that God (presumably, God the Father) chose the time of Jesus' arrival on Earth. My Question: ...
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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
270 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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3answers
71 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
241 views

Which order/choir of angels did Satan belong to before he fell?

In the Summa Theologica Thomas Aquinas answers that Satan could have belonged to either the lower grade of angels or to the higher angels before he fell. According to Catholic texts, which of the ...
4
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2answers
462 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
988 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
votes
1answer
129 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
419 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
194 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
645 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
votes
4answers
318 views

How is offering X Hail Marys not considered vain repetition?

So if the Hail Mary is a prayer and saying the prayer multiple times is encouraged in Catholicism, what established reason does the Catholic church give to justify it not being a vain repetition. ...
10
votes
4answers
179 views

According to Catholicism, in what cases is Purgatory necessary?

As I understand it, there are at least two "steps" necessary for a person to reach Heaven; I hope this description is valid from nearly all Christian viewpoints. First the person has to choose to ...
10
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3answers
169 views

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 ...
10
votes
3answers
164 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 ...
10
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1answer
522 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
votes
1answer
406 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
votes
2answers
413 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
votes
1answer
385 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
votes
1answer
615 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
votes
2answers
412 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
623 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
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1answer
732 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
395 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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4answers
206 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 ...
8
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2answers
969 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" ...