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

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Do Roman Catholics believe Saints are omnipresent?

I understand that officially speaking when Catholics pray to saints, they are not supposed to really pray TO that saint, but rather are asking that saint to pray for them as you would ask any living ...
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1answer
154 views

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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2answers
150 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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1answer
234 views

What happened to the wives of priests when celibacy was first instituted in the Catholic church?

Since priests were not originally expected to be celibate, many must have been married when celibacy was first introduced. So what happened to the wives during this time when the institution started? ...
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1answer
113 views

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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1answer
900 views

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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1answer
720 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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4answers
935 views

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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843 views

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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4answers
391 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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160 views

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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95 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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139 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 ...
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96 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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391 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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1answer
546 views

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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3answers
238 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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1answer
1k views

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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2k views

What is the Protestant argument against the doctrine of Purgatory?

The Roman Catholic Church teaches the idea of Purgatory, which is defined by Wikipedia as follows: Purgatory is, according to Catholic teaching, the state or place of purification or temporary ...
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1answer
344 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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2answers
402 views

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. ...
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4answers
2k views

Does the priest have the power to forgive sins?

John 20:22-23 (KJV) 22  And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23  Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; ...
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177 views

Why did the Catholic Church decide to have a Bible?

As far as I know, the Catholic Church considers God's revealed truth in Sacred Scripture to be part of, but by no means the sum total of Divine Revelation. Sacred Scripture is the written part of our ...
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324 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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1answer
196 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' ...
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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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200 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 ...
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6answers
3k 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 ...
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7answers
687 views

Why are Independent Baptist Fundamentalists labelled Protestants?

Something that always bothers me which I witness to Catholics: the well-meaning ones tell me I am a Protestant and say that "we protested the Catholic Church". This isn't true, the Baptist Church was ...
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1k views

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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225 views

What arguments would you give to teenagers who are unconcerned about eternal life?

So the kids in my catechism class aren't all that into the notion of living forever. That's kind of depressing, but I don't think its anything we can't get around. However, what do you tell a kid, ...
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3answers
1k views

What does it mean that John's Gospel does not have an account of the institution of the Eucharist?

I'm preparing a class on the institution of the Eucharist and my text says "The Gospel of John includes no mention of the institution of the Eucharist" it goes on to give the account, for ...
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430 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, ...
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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 ...
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4answers
951 views

What is the Catholic position on Exodus 20:4?

This weekend my son and I participated in our Scouting council's annual Ten Commandments hike in which we walked to 10 different churches and heard a short talk on each of the 10 commandments from ...
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5answers
372 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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2answers
327 views

What is the origin of the story of the penitent thief as a young boy?

During the Easter sermon our priest told a small story. It goes somewhat like this: 'When Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus fled to Egypt, on the way there was a little boy who was given the task of ...
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3answers
980 views

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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808 views

Have any real people been de-canonized?

I am asking about the Catholic Church, but would also welcome information from other traditions. People can be canonized (declared to be saints) and these official declarations are held to be ...
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167 views

“You must use the psalms of the day at Sext” - why?

I've recently taken to praying the Liturgy of the Hours using the Universalis program. This is fabulous in all kinds of ways. Today, however, I found something that I didn't understand. Normally at ...
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575 views

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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2answers
3k 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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223 views

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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232 views

What's the origin of the Catholic object that is a staff with a cross on top?

Like I asked in the title, what's the name and origin of a staff with a cross on top? Like the one depicted in the picture.
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164 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 ...
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115 views

Is the Virgin Mary ever referred to as “the Holy Table” (ἡ ἁγία ἡ τράπεζα)?

I'm still in the process of translating a work of John of Damascus concerning the Eucharist and the body of Christ, entitled Περὶ τοῦ ἀχράντου σώματος, οὗ μεταλαμβάνομεν. In section 4, he writes, ...
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1k views

How does a Roman Catholic reconcile a preference for purely procreative sex with the Song of Solomon?

Premise #1: The Roman Catholic Church teaches that sex is for procreation Peter Turner has an excellent answer to the question on Onan. In it, he suggests that Onan really was misusing sex, and that ...
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394 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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1answer
310 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 ...
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584 views

How can an angel be a saint?

In Catholic doctrine, a saint has to (a) be “a dead person” and (b) be “in Heaven”. How is someone deemed a saint? The pope canonizes a dead person who has lived a life of heroic virtue and has ...