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

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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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2answers
226 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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734 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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169 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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349 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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137 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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93 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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164 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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524 views

Why is the word ‘concupiscence’ so important in understanding the difference between a Catholic view and a Protestant view of ‘Original Sin’?

I have noticed this word ‘concupiscence’ a lot while studying Catholic Theology. It seems to significantly change what ‘Original Sin’ means, making a Catholic meaning of ‘Original Sin’ very different ...
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297 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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552 views

When (and why) did the empty cross v.s. crucifix split happen?

Today, we have Catholic and Orthodox churches (and a few others) using the crucifix whereas most Protestant denominations have an empty cross. Did this empty-cross split happen around when Martin ...
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176 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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528 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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7k 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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193 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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173 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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776 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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375 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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4answers
364 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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5answers
2k views

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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2answers
134 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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1k views

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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417 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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689 views

Does the Catholic Church oppose universalism?

I've been reading George MacDonald as of late and have heard in a few places that he argues for universalism. I though that had something to do with unitarianism, but in looking it up a tad more, I ...
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2k views

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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237 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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385 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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121 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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295 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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192 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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2answers
4k 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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2answers
548 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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122 views

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?
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678 views

What is the significance of priest breaking the bread (Host) in a Catholic mass?

In a Catholic mass, just before the distribution of communion to people, priest breaks the Host in to pieces and people simultaneously acclaim: Lamb of God you take away the sins of the world, Have ...
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2k views

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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233 views

Did all Popes use the inverted cross?

The above image shows Pope John Paul II sitting on a chair with an inverted cross on it. According to tradition, the inverted cross symbolizes Saint Peter. Was Pope John Paul II the only pope who ...
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3k views

May divorced men become Roman Catholic priests?

In reading through canon law ( I think around 1037 or so ), it says that unmarried men must be celibate and 25 years old, or married men must be at least 35 and have their wife's consent before being ...
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185 views

If you are forgiven through the Grace of God, why do you need an Indulgence?

Ephesians 2:8,9 (NIV) 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. And from ...
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263 views

What kind of baptism is essential to salvation, and what does 'essential' mean in this context?

I'm a protestant and I've often heard statements to the effect that "Catholics believe that salvation is impossible without baptism", but I've also encountered the terms "Baptism of blood" and ...
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176 views

Why is Jesus portrayed and remembered in a state of suffering?

My observation of Christianity is that Jesus Christ is portrayed, worshiped and promoted in his state on the cross: suffering, crucified, having wounds. I don't see what sense this makes. This seems ...
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559 views

Can Catholics choose to be baptized by immersion?

I understand that the most prominent manner in which Catholics are baptized is by pouring. However, I saw somewhere that baptism by immersion is not considered wrong by the Catholic Church. (If this ...
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2answers
352 views

Reformation objections to lectio divina?

It is becoming popular in Protestant circles to embrace traditional Roman Catholic (RC) mysticism, such as the practice of lectio divina. For example, see this page on the website of Timothy Keller's ...
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291 views

What is the relationship between the Catholic churches of various countries?

I currently live in Mexico, where the Catholic church is quite different than the Catholic church I'm accustomed to in the U.S. This is most obvious to me by the hostility often shown by Catholics ...
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135 views

Is there a generally accepted term for “Christians in Communion with the Bishop of Rome”?

Roman Catholic is a title given to the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church. By this definition, therefore, the term Roman Catholic explicitely excludes the Eastern Rites of the Church, even though ...
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264 views

St. Thomas Aquinas' contingency proof and LDS cosmology

The argument from contingency summarized by St. Thomas illustrates that in order for existence to be a reality there must be an "Uncaused Cause" that possesses existence in and of Himself. Everything ...
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133 views

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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175 views

Does the Roman Catholic church consider HIPAA to be an unjust law?

HIPAA, the United States Health Care Privacy Law has been in effect for nearly two decades. It's the law that makes people all nervous about talking about other people's well being with their doctors ...
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749 views

What is the difference between an Apostolic Exhortation and an Encyclical Letter?

Pope Francis has just released an Apostolic Exhortation called Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel). He also released an Encyclical Letter in the summer called Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith). ...
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182 views

Is the desire for a spiritual mother natural to mankind?

I've been answering a few questions on this site raised about the intercessory power of the Blessed Virgin Mary and this question popped into my mind. St. Thomas Aquinas can posit a rational proof ...
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565 views

Why do Catholics believe that it is a priest's blessing that transforms the elements into the body and blood of Christ?

I understand that Catholicism teaches the doctrine of transubstantiation, that is, that the bread and wine of the Eucharist are transformed into the literal body and blood of Christ. This apparently ...