The Catholic Church and its views and teachings 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 ...
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Do Catholics tithe?

This might seem like a silly question, but I am not a Catholic, and so I do not know the answer! Do Catholics tithe?
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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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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, ...
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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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How do Roman Catholics understand salvation in light of Romans 3&4?

As far as I can understand it, Paul directly contradicts the Roman Catholic doctrine of salvation in Romans 3 & 4 (see verses 3:21-22, 3:28, 4:4-6 in particular, but I'm referring to the broad ...
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What is the Catholic stance against In Vitro Fertilization?

I was researching a different question and saw that some people find that In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is something that should be avoided on the basis of religious grounds. Does anyone know what ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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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313 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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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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First Confession for a Protestant becoming Catholic

So my wife is Catholic and my daughter has been baptized in the Catholic faith and my new born son is soon to be baptized as well. I was baptized myself but I've fallen away from my Baptist roots for ...
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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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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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260 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 ...
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591 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 (bend one knee) during these lines: For us men ...
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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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Can a child presented by a same sex couple be validly baptized in the Catholic Church?

In Instrumentum Laboris 2014, the working document for the October 2014 Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in Rome, #120 The Transmission of the Faith to Children in Same Sex ...
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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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How could a seventh century heretic have possessed papal infallibility?

More specifically: How does the Roman Catholic Church reconcile the doctrine of Papal Infallibility with the Sixth Ecumenical Council's pronouncement regarding Pope Honorius? The Sixth Ecumenical ...
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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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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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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 does the Catholic Church understand the priesthood of all believers?

In the process of answering a question on the Sacraments, I discovered that Catholic Church accepts the doctrine of the "priesthood of all believers". This rather surprised me since the Church has ...
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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 ...
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Apostolic succession and the Didache

As it pertains primarily to Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and other large denominations that not only lay claim to an unbroken successive line, but who also put significant emphasis on it: The ...
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Why (and when) did the empty cross v.s. crucifix split happen? [duplicate]

Today, we have Catholic and Orthodox churches (and a few others) using the crucifix whereas most Protestant denominations make exclusive use of an empty cross. When and why did the Protestant ...
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Hierarchy of Blessings

According to this question, What does it mean for a priest to bless an object or person?, there is a "special apostolic blessing" that the Pope can provide. Blessings can also be provided by the ...
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What does it mean for a priest to bless an object or person?

Priests bless water to make holy water and they bless the faithful at the end of Sunday masses. The Pope has a special apostolic blessing that he gives out sometimes. I know that it is good to be ...
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Does God lie? And does devil tell the truth?

The bible quotes God saying And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, ...
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Why did Pope Francis say, “When we encounter the Cross, do we turn to Mary,” rather than to Christ?

When we encounter the Cross, we turn to Mary: Give us the strength, Mary our Mother, to accept and embrace the Cross! —His Holiness Pope Francis Source Since I'm not a theologist, can ...
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Format for the Catholic Mass

I've been to a Catholic Church very few times in my adult life. It's a very different experience than the protestant Churches I'm used to. In most of the Protestant Churches, there is generally a ...
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What is the basis for the Catholic teaching that artificial birth control is wrong?

I understand that the original commandment to be fruitful and multiply involves reproduction. However, planning to wait a little bit here and there seems reasonable enough. So, what is the reasoning ...
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What is the biblical basis for the doctrine of Papal Infallibility taught by the Catholic Church?

I understand that the Catholic Churches teaches the doctrine of Papal Infallibility. What is the biblical basis for this and how does that account for the Scripture that references Peter's error? ...
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How does the Catholic Church reconcile evolution with original sin?

According to Catholic doctrine: all men inherit ancestral sin from Adam; God descended upon Earth as the Son in order to free mankind from this sin, was crucified, died etc. From the Catechism of ...
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The Pope is resigning. How does a living pope confer his authority?

I read that Pope Benedict XVI is resigning. I don't know much about Catholic/papal authority as it relates to leading the Church, but as far as I can remember, a pope dies before another one takes the ...
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112 views

Who calls the conclave?

There must be someone to oficially call the cardinals to a conclave. Who is it? It can't be the old pope - resignation is hardly the normal situation, so the old pope is supposed to be dead. I guess ...
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218 views

Is a claim of 50,000,000 Baptist martyrs accurate?

In the book The Trail of Blood by James M Carroll, the author makes the claim that 50,000,000 early Baptists were martyred under persecution by the Catholic Church. The author makes the claim ...
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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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427 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 ...
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Has the Roman Catholic Church ever issued an official response to the accusations of the Reformers?

I just started reading Luther's Tabletalk, and the preface, written by Dr. John Aurifaber in 1569, roundly condemns the Roman Catholic Church, presenting an analogy which compares Christians' ...
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What is the purpose of minor basilicas?

What is the purpose of minor basilicas? What is the difference between them and a normal cathedral? As far as I can tell its purely ceremonial. If that is true, what aren't all cathedrals designated ...
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What do non-Catholic Christians do with the power of binding and loosing?

In Catholicism, we believe that the Bishops in Communion with the Pope (as Vicar of Christ) have authority over Church doctrine. The authority comes straight from the mouth of our Savior. ...
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556 views

What is the biblical basis for and against the “filioque”?

In order to contextualize the question I add the following quote from the wikipedia article concerning Filioque clause: Filioque, Latin for "and (from) the Son", is a phrase found in the form of ...
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443 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 ...
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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 ...
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On what basis does the Catholic Church teach that women cannot be ordained?

The Catholic Church maintains that it does not have the authority to ordain women. I.e., the Church can't ordain women. It's assumed then that God set a precedent or gave a mandate to ordain only men. ...