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

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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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951 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 ...
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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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1k 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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189 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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666 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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161 views

What happens if someone spills the wine during the Eucharist?

What would happen if someone (a priest, parishioner, deacon or anyone) spills the wine during a Eucharist service at a Catholic church?
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409 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 ...
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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 ...
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246 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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5k views

Do Catholics officially recognize Protestants as Christians?

I have always thought that the Pope did not recognize the validity of the faith of those outside of the Catholic church, but in comments from a different post I am surprised to find out I may be ...
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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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169 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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119 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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379 views

Do I need to be rebaptized to take communion in a Catholic Church if I have no proof of my original baptism?

I was born in a predominantly Catholic country in Latin America and baptized a Roman Catholic, but I have no physical confirmation of my baptism outside of my recollection of my Catholic upbringing ...
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252 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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170 views

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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947 views

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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183 views

If Genesis is not to be taken literally by the Roman Catholics, what is the basis of the original sin?

According to this answer, Genesis is not to be taken literally by the Roman Catholic church due to the scientific evidence contradicting it. In this view, what is the basis of the original sin?
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391 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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147 views

What is the Biblical basis the for Immutable Nature of God?

Dei Filius sayeth this: God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever be in opposition to truth. The appearance of this kind of specious contradiction is chiefly due to the fact that either the ...
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157 views

How are first-grade relics prepared?

Is there a formal practice to the preparation of first-grade relics? How are the remains of a saint divided? Is there a method of preservation involved? Is there now an authority in charge of ...
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121 views

How does the feast of Corpus Christi fit into the church calendar?

Looking at the calendar today, I noticed that it's Corpus Christi, which celebrates the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Maundy Thursday recalls the day the rite was first observed and seems ...
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169 views

Can indirection bring us closer to Christ?

Peter's excellent blog posting pointed to a movement I'd never heard of before: Militia of the Immaculata (MI). In the process of figuring out what it might be, I read this important qualification: ...
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322 views

How is 1 Timothy 2:5 interpreted relative to the Mediatrix concept?

The concept of Mediatrix has Virgin Mary in a role of a mediator in the salvation process—at least that's what Wikipedia says: Mediatrix in Roman Catholic Mariology refers to the role of the ...
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214 views

How much time did medieval Christians devote to prayer?

I was critiqued on this answer concerning it taking less time out of the day for someone to be a Muslim than a Christian, and that may be untrue for a majority of Christians today. But how much ...
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712 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 ...
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11k 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 ...
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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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239 views

When Did Catholics Cease to Fast as the Orthodox Do?

From what I understand, the Western and Eastern churches fasted identically for a long time: Wednesday and Friday, and the entirety of Lent. Is this untrue? If not, when and why did the Catholics ...
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177 views

How does societal consecration to Mary differ from individual consecration?

For individual Catholics, consecration to Mary is a serious commitment not to be lightly entered into. It seems to me that this consecration is seen as an "advanced" step for people who are already ...
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945 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" ...
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311 views

According to Roman Catholic doctrine, does the incorruptible body possess blood?

In my translation of a work by John of Damascus entitled Περὶ τοῦ ἀχράντου σώματος, οὗ μεταλαμβάνομεν, it is my understanding that John wrote, Even as his body prior to the resurrection of the ...
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444 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 ...
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Why was Thomas More canonized?

Thomas More has been canonized in 1935 by the Catholic Church. During his chancellorship between 1525 - 1529 in the campaign against the reformation people were killed and tortured in his name, for ...
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907 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 ...
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453 views

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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143 views

How did the second Vatican council (aka Vatican II) address the concept of limbo?

I've heard that the second Vatican council eliminated the concept of limbo. Or maybe that it never existed to begin with. Was limbo part of "official" Catholicism before Vatican II? What changes were ...
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Is Metatron actually part of Catholic dogma?

Some time ago (source), I heard that Metatron is part of official Catholic dogma. However, I couldn't really confirm this with a cursory Google search as I keep running into stuff talking about Jewish ...
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536 views

Have different Popes ever contradicted each other?

I understand that Roman Catholics do not think that everything the Pope says or does is infallible. However, has a sitting Pope ever revoked or contradicted an infallible statement made by a previous ...
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Debtors vs. Trespassers

I converted to the Presbyterian faith from a Catholic upbringing a while back and have always wondered - but never had anyone to ask - why Catholics use "Trespassers" in the Lord's prayer (Please ...
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286 views

Are the Gospels considered anonymous by historians only or by the Catholic Church also?

I have read that the Gospels were anonymous, and much later they were named Mark, Mathew, Luke and John (and Luke, Mark and Mathew very similar compared with John). Now is this more of from a ...
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411 views

What is the basis for the Catholic teaching that artificial birth control is immoral/sinful?

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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593 views

Papal Infallibility and teaching heresy?

I had a question that I hoped the Catholics on the board could help me out with. My understanding of the doctrine of Papal Infallibility is that speaking in his official capacity as the "Vicar of ...
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141 views

By what authority does the old Catholic Encyclopedia call itself Catholic?

This may seem like a dumb question, but I think it could be useful to people who look at links on the internet to the old Catholic Encyclopedia (which is heavily referenced on wikipedia for ...
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364 views

Was the Apostolic Tradition of rejecting soldiers from the church ‘permanent’, or was this ‘tradition' briefly enforced?

In the Bible Jesus encounters Roman soldiers but does not tell them to 'quit their day job'. Jesus encountered a centurion with 'great faith' as recorded in Matthew 8. Peter as well baptized a ...
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243 views

What is the role of “Sign of the cross” gesture in Catholicism?

Catholics make this gesture during or after prayer, by using their right hand to touch the forehead, then the middle of the breast, then the left shoulder, and finally the right shoulder. Is this ...
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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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667 views

How do the vestments of the pontiff emeritus compare to those of a bishop emeritus?

As widely reported, Pope Benedict XVI will wear "a simple white cassock without the mozzetta" during his retirement, and will no longer use the rest of the traditional pontifical regalia, such as the ...
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Is the choice of a new Pope inspired by the Holy Spirit?

Are Roman Catholics required to believe that the Cardinals choice of a new Pope is inspired by the Holy Spirit? If so, how do we explain "bad" popes?