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

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How long, and in what cases did Catholics participate in the Black Fast?

I ran across the term "Black Fast" and looked it up. The articles I'm finding indicate that it's extreme, and give some information about the types of foods allowed during it, but I keep expecting to ...
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333 views

Where do Catholics believe the historical narrative of the Bible begins?

I heard on the Relevant Radio recently that the Genesis account of the deluge is prehistorical. Meaning, it wasn't really recorded in histories the way other more specific accounts of historical ...
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410 views

When are lay men and women permitted to read the Gospel in a Catholic church?

I know that reading the Gospel at Mass is restricted to ordained folks. But, is it permissible for a lay man or woman to lead a word and communion service and read from the Gospel? Can they lead a ...
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1k views

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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259 views

What's wrong with the Summa Theologica?

I've heard that there were two points of Catholic doctrine in Aquinas' Summa Theologica that were later successfully defended to the contrary. One, I think is the Immaculate Conception of Mary ...
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162 views

How are doxologies formed for common prayers?

I'm not sure of the exact definition, but a doxology seems to be a prayer tagged at the end which consists of some sort of invocation of the Blessed Trinity. I'm just wondering if the actual words ...
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636 views

What is the official Roman Catholic opinion on Swedenborg?

What is the official opinion of the Catholic Church on works of Emanuel Swedenborg, especially Heaven and Hell? I'm interested in the opinion of the Catholic Church, but any others will be also ...
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288 views

Is the Body of Christ the same as the Bride of Christ?

Are there any Catholic teaching that differentiates between the “Body of Christ” (Church) and the “Bride of Christ”? Eve was taken from the Body of the First Adam, will the Bride of Christ be taken ...
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1k views

Is swearing (making an oath) considered bad in Christianity?

My Catholic friend and I were chatting once and I said something along the lines of "I swear I'm not lying". She asked me to promise to her and not to swear since it's discouraged in her religion. I ...
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638 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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603 views

What's a Papist exactly?

Is a papist always a Catholic who is wholly supportive of the Pope? Must one be some sort of cleric or theologian to be considered by detractors as a papist or were every day catholic peasants and ...
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217 views

What is the “Way of the Cross”?

Our local Roman Catholic church has started advertising the "Way of the Cross" for Easter. I think I have seen this mentioned at other places I have visited and isn't a just a local event. Is the "Way ...
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252 views

What is the earliest record of using icons to worship God in the Catholic or Orthodox traditions?

The question is as simple as the title. I am simply wondering, ‘When is the earliest recorded date of this tradition?’
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178 views

Is there really a Catholic “blessing for bacon?”

The following appeared on my facebook feed today: The "what random things do we have short formulated prayers for" game is almost as funny as the "how many bizarre things do we have patron saints ...
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81 views

Why does any Archbishop get to decide if alligator is okay for Lent?

NPR ran an interesting piece about the saga of whether or not Catholics could eat alligator on Fridays during Lent. According to the story, an alligator merchant by the name of Jim Piculas advocated ...
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2k views

What do the words Catholic and Protestant mean?

Also, what is the history of use and what languages do they come from? Is it a fitting name today or is it outdated? How do the two relate to each other?
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679 views

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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485 views

Can one be baptized and become a Catholic if they don't believe in every particular Catholic dogma?

Can one be baptized and become a Catholic if they don't believe in every particular Catholic dogma? I personally am interested in being a Catholic, i.e., being baptized by a Catholic priest, being ...
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239 views

Does the Bible prescribe any rules for who may attend and “join” a Catholic church?

What are the "rules" of a Catholic church? I wanted to start attending Church a few years ago (I wasn't brought up in a religious family - but I was baptized) and the lady at the Church basically told ...
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70 views

Do Catholics have an “Apocrypha” or just a “Bible”?

Pardon my ignorance here, but I am just wondering if the Apocrypha is labeled as such by Catholics? To clarify, a Protestant would refer to the 66 books of Protestant Scripture as "the Bible", and to ...
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130 views

Did Crimen sollicitationis threaten excommunication for victims reporting crimes to the civil authorities?

Crimen sollicitationis a 1962 document by the Catholic Church describing how various matters should be handled by Church law. I have heard differing claims from various people as to whether the ...
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3answers
2k views

How many kinds of Catholics are there?

Until recently I was under the impression that Catholics are unanimous in their beliefs and don't have the kind of fragmentation that Protestants have. But I’ve learned that there are several small ...
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159 views

What's the new rite in Tantum Ergo?

St. Thomas Aquinas' Hymn Tantum Ergo, which is usually sung at Benediction always seems better in Latin: Et antiquum documentum Novo cedat ritui: Mainly because in both the transliterated and ...
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635 views

Which type of Baptism is preferred in today Catholic Parishes?

Didache 7 Concerning baptism, you should baptize this way: After first explaining all things, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in flowing water. ...
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389 views

To which Saints may a Catholic pray, and when can this begin?

The Catholic Church teaches, as I understand it, that a person may pray to a Saint, and this Saint will then intercede along with that person to God concerning the request (or something like that). ...
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170 views

Biblical basis for Catholic blessings

What is the Biblical basis for the catholic blessings? And what are those blessings? Being a evangelical, I do not understand from the Bible, the reason for papal, priestly, or other blessings. How ...
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153 views

Who do Catholics say the Mary in Matthew 27:56 is?

Roman Catholics believe that Mary the mother of Jesus remained a virgin for her whole life. Mary the mother of Jesus is sometimes seen in the gospels with men referred to as Jesus' brothers, with ...
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208 views

Did Mary die, or was she translated like Enoch and Elijah?

According to the Bible, did Mary die? From a comment on another question, it seems that at least some denominations (including the Roman Catholic Church) teach that, like Elijah and Enoch, Mary did ...
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156 views

How to identify a Catholic 'order' from initials that follow a nun or priest's name?

I am regularly cataloguing publications written by (or about) sisters and priests. I am unfamiliar with all of the different Catholic orders. Is there an online list or reference that identifies what ...
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72 views

Why would popes choose the name Pelagius in light of the Pelagian Heresey?

I was checking out the list of pope names by frequency on Wikipedia in search of minutia to defend my assertion that Pope Francis was the first new Pope name a long time and noticed that there were ...
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119 views

Gregorian Chant - Is it merely a form of music, like Hymns, or is there a deeper meaning?

The title says it all. Is Gregorian Chant merely a style of music, or is there some deeper meaning behind it? Does it serve some special purpose, or have a usage beyond being a form of worshiping ...
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316 views

What does this Catholic symbol mean?

I have this symbol over the entrance of my apartment. I have been told it is a Catholic symbol, and the owner of the flat is probably Catholic since it is the dominant faith here. Searching on Google ...
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116 views

How does a person become a godparent in the Roman Catholic Church?

Assume a young adult is close to Confirmation in the Roman Catholic church, but, while still a child, never finishes the process because the family moves away from the parish. What would be the ...
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72 views

What ever happened to the ostiarius?

The ostiarius was a person that guarded the church door to prevent unbaptized people from entering the church during the Eucharist. What ever happened to this role? Relating to this subject, why do ...
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2answers
180 views

Why do Catholics recite the phrase “Thanks be to God” during Mass?

Why do Catholics recite the phrase "Thanks be to God" during Mass? They say this many times too. After the priest speaks, the congregation follows in unison, "Thanks be to God."
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192 views

What happened to the Sarum rite?

The Sarum rite was the traditional rule of liturgical worship for Catholics in England, and to some extent in the rest of the British Isles, for many years. It is related to the Roman rite, and to ...
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407 views

What's the tradition behind hand holding during the Our Father at Mass?

In traveling around my diocese I've noticed that there are some parishes that are hand-holders and some parishes that are non-hand-holders and some people in the non-hand-holder parishes who persist ...
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368 views

Has the notion of “legitimacy” been abandoned in the Catholic Church?

This isn't a question about pastoral advice, but it is being asked on behalf of a friend who is worried that her children will become illegitimate if her marriage is annulled and all I can find to ...
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604 views

How does the Catholic Church identify and collect relics?

I have been told that all major Catholic Churches contain within the alter a relic of a saint. Given that saints are not declared until long after the person in questions death, and many saint die in ...
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401 views

What is the Catholic view of the rapture?

What is the Catholic view of the rapture? Does the Catholic church accept the idea that people will be caught up in the air to meet Christ? If not, how do they interpret 1 Thessalonians 4:17?
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135 views

What isn't spiritual communion?

Spiritual communion is a prayer one can pray if they can't receive communion at Mass and it's a good prayer to pray if you're making a visit to a tabernacle outside of Mass. Sacramental communion can ...
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444 views

Which doctrines are Catholics required to accept?

I only recently figured out that some Catholic doctrines are required for a Catholic to accept, while the denial of others doesn't prevent being a Catholic. Examples of both cases: Mark Trapp, in ...
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89 views

What is the origin of the account of Lucifer found in Milton's Paradise Lost?

In Paradise Lost, Milton describes how Lucifer rebelled against God and was cast into Hell as a result. I've always wondered about the origin of this account since as far as I know, it's not mentioned ...
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309 views

What did the Dominicans have against the immaculate conception?

I was readIng an ad for a movie about blessed Duns Scotus which said he was debated and won against the Dominicans in the 13th century about the special privilege given to Mary, her Immaculate ...
6
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1answer
176 views

Which liturgical rites (forms of Mass) are presently used in the Roman Catholic Church?

A liturgical rite is a way to celebrate the Mass. At least for the purpose of this question I will assume this meaning of the term. The standard way Mass is celebrated by Roman Catholics is in the ...
6
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1answer
140 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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920 views

What is the Biblical basis for the Catholic teaching that infant baptism cleanses from original sin?

The Catholic Church, possibly the Orthodox Churches, and even some Protestant churches practice Infant Baptism. However, I understand that Catholicism teaches that infant baptism cleanses the infant ...
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341 views

How common is intinction in the Catholic Church?

Intinction at communion is "the practice of dipping the bread in the cup and partaking the elements simultaneously". The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) at their 2012 General Assembly narrowly ...
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76 views

Is there any evidence that Lent used to be a 3 day observance?

I was taught that Lent represents the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert. However, in church on Ash Wednesday, my Priest stated that it used to be 3 days and was extended to 40. I can only assume that ...
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436 views

Why did priests begin to sacrifice?

I attended a class on the Sacraments last night and the presenter was talking about how Bishops, priests and deacons were specifically mentioned in the NT. It made me wonder, how did Christians get ...