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

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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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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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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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342 views

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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390 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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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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What are the requirements for a Protestant joining the Catholic church?

What are the requirements for joining the Catholic church as an adult? I'm interested in all the requirements, including whether a previously baptized Protestant would be required to (or forbidden ...
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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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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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888 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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Why does the Roman Catholic church consider beatification of the pope?

If the pope is infallible, than what significance does beatifying and canonising him have? They did both to John Paul II, but it seems odd that the church wants to make him a saint, unless I am ...
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144 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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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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When is the end of the Christmas season for Latin rite Catholics?

When does Christmas really end for Catholics? I know it starts different for most Eastern Orthodox, but for Latin Rite Catholics, like myself, I don't know when it actually is supposed to end. At the ...
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556 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 ...
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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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273 views

Has the Catholic Church ever opposed interracial marriage?

A fun refutation of gay marriage supporters who say on Facebook: Not too long ago cross-racial marriages were not allowed, supposedly by God. would be to say, well that's not my church so what ...
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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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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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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 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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Does God lie? And does the devil tell the truth?

The Bible quotes God assaying: 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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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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Is there assurance of salvation in Catholicism?

Among some Protestant groups such as Evangelicals and Pentecostals, it is a very common question to ask "Are you saved?" or "Are you born again?". They say that the moment you believe in Jesus Christ, ...
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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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Is the entire Bible read at mass?

I'm not a Catholic, but I have attended Catholic Mass and I've been acquainted with the practice of regular mass- that a certain week of the year has the same readings each year. Is the entirety of ...
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765 views

What is the biblical support that the Catholic Church is the custodian of truth?

The doctrine of papal infallibility is not founded on biblical texts specifically. It is founded on the "biblically supported" doctrine that the church is the custodian of truth. What is the ...
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619 views

How does the Catholic church view Freemasons?

What are the historic and current views of the Catholic Church concerning Masons?
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Does the Catholic Church consider abortion to be murder?

As a Catholic, I know that I am accountable to a higher law than human/positive law. The natural moral law is the guiding force behind the formation of my conscience and if human laws are not in ...
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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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Why are the Vatican archives kept secret?

Other than a few documents, most of the Vatican archives are kept secret from the public. What is the official explanation for this? As an outside observer, it seems like the secrecy might be to hide ...
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998 views

How does the doctrine of Papal Infallibility account for Peter's error?

I understand that the Catholic Churches teaches the doctrine of Papal Infallibility. How does that account for the Scripture that references Peter's error? But when Cephas came to Antioch, I ...
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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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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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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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From a marriage to a monastery

In the catholic doctrine, is it allowed to leave a marriage and become a monk or nun? Are there any magisterial documents that treat this topic? Edit: Are there any options e.g. for a specific ...
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Why is Origen considered a Church Father, but not a saint?

I've heard and read in "Worlds Made by Words: Scholarship and Community in the Modern West" (book by Anthony Grafton, page 222) that Origen was considered a Church Father but not a Saint by either the ...
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Why was eating meat on Fridays forbidden in the Catholic Church for so many years?

I understand that the Catholic Church forbade people from eating meat on Fridays for many years. It seems that it is no longer every Friday, but just during Lent. Also, it is not all meat, but all ...
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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 ...
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How does one reconcile the sinlessness of Mary with her sin offering in Luke 2:24?

In Luke 2:22-24, it is written, 22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; 23 (As it is ...
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Does one have to admit to not being a virgin when preparing for a Catholic wedding?

If - say as the result of a pre-cana course - the priest finds out one of the parties is not a virgin can the church then deny a marriage application? Does the priest have the liberty to ask? Does one ...
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852 views

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

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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368 views

Were paid indulgences compulsory prior to the Reformation?

Luther's 95 Theses were a refutation of selling indulgences on the part of the Catholic Church. Did he, or others, believe that the Church was saying that: The only way to be a good Christian was ...
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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 rationale for forbidding priests to marry in traditions where already-married men are allowed to become priests?

As everyone knows, married men are unable to be ordained as priests in the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church, nor are priests allowed to get married for as long as they remain priests. This is ...
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Why is Mary Magdalene the patron saint of hairdressers?

Why is Mary Magdalene the patron saint of hairdressers and when was the first time she was assigned this role? From Wikipedia: Patronage Apothecaries; Kawit, Cavite; Atrani, Italy; ...