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

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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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1answer
183 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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333 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 ...
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190 views

Pre-Crucifixion Transubstantiation

The Roman Catholic church teaches the doctrine of transubstantiation--that the bread and wine literally become the body and blood of Jesus. It seems that the sacrament of taking the body and blood ...
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325 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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2k 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 ...
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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 ...
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993 views

Were the medieval popes examined on a toilet-lid-like chair to establish their masculinity?

Is one of the consequences of the Pope Joan story, whether it was true or false, the use of a marble chair with a large, toilet-like hole in its seat? As the picture above shows, it seems that that ...
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220 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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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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570 views

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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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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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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548 views

What is the meaning of the large statue of a pine cone in Vatican City?

What is the meaning of this statue in Vatican City?
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630 views

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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586 views

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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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 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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593 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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294 views

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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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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Why is Good Friday called “Good”?

My coworker asked "Why is Good Friday called good?" when I mentioned that we have Good Friday off, and I unfortunately don't know the answer to the question. Is there a very obvious way to explain ...
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1answer
362 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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How does the Catholic Magisterium advise the married laity to defend the institution of marriage?

Does the Catholic Church have any practical advice for its adherents on ways to exemplify the ideal she sets of marriage between one man and one woman? Barring any specific discussion of same-sex ...
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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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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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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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324 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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701 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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172 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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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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Did Jesus need to die, or would mere shedding of blood have been sufficient?

Originally: St. Thomas Aquinas on salvation by a drop of Christ's Blood I heard on Relevant Radio a year or so ago something perplexing, I think it was a priest saying it, but it may have been a ...
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131 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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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 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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135 views

How has apostolic succession been “unbroken” in the wake of depositions, antipopes, immorality, and simony?

In studying the history of the papacy one discovers all sorts of events that are interesting when considered in the context of apostolic succession from St. Peter until today, including, but not ...
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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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916 views

When did the split in crufix/empty-cross sybolism occur and why did it happen?

Today, we have Catholic and Orthodox churches (and a few others) using the crucifix, whereas most Protestant denominations use an empty cross in their symbolism. Did this difference in symbolism arise ...
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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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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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What does St. Augustine mean by predestination?

St. Augustine says somewhere (quoted in the old Catholic Encyclopedia): Predestination is nothing else than the foreknowledge and foreordaining of those gracious gifts which make certain the ...
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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 ...