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

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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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198 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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305 views

According to Catholic doctrine, would a cloned human being have a soul?

Recently I heard from my devout religious acquaintance that, according to Christian (Catholic) faith, a cloned individual wouldn't actually be a person. She explained that a human being consists of a ...
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287 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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652 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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391 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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430 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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113 views

Was “love your enemies” ever included among the evangelical counsels?

In Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin accuses his scholastic opponents of considering the commandment "Love your enemies" to be optional. Specifically, he says that they call it an ...
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350 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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152 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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280 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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202 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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160 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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189 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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951 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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202 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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700 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 ...
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295 views

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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357 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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455 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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137 views

Why does Catholic Church (and possibly some other denominations) approve natural family planning and condemn different kinds of contraception?

That's one thing that bothers me. While I agree that using means of birth control that affect embryo is simply wrong in the terms of morality, I cannot tell any difference between natural family ...
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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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284 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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175 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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733 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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103 views

According to Catholic law and rules, is postponing of the Rite of Acceptance OK?

This is a follow-up question for Are those instructed before baptism considered catechumens before entering the catechumenate formally? In Czech Republic the pre-baptismal formation is often called ...
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254 views

Do Catholics psychologists have a moral obligation to treat homosexuality as a perversion?

I was reading today about the Governor of New Jersey acting to ban "Gay Conversion Therapy", and wanted to know if this is just one more thing that Catholics would have a moral obligation to oppose. ...
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329 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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2k 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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818 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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239 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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276 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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190 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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86 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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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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729 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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441 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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265 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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71 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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144 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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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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312 views

Do I have to admit to not being a virgin when preparing for a Catholic wedding?

I'm about to go to pre-cana. If the priest finds out I'm not a virgin then can the church deny my marriage application? Does the priest have the liberty to ask? Do I have the liberty not to answer ...
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95 views

What is the Catholic teaching on technology and faith?

We were asked this question in class today and I find it fascinating: Should our actions as scientists or engineers in the creation of our story be guided by our faith? I would like to hear what the ...
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793 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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166 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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169 views

Is the Catholic Church NOT against all birth control?

Card. Kasper made the following comments in an interview with WNYC Radio’s Brian Lehrer as transcribed in this article ‘The Church is not against birth control at all’: Cardinal Walter Kasper: ...
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809 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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511 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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75 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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182 views

Why do Evangelicals like a spirituality book by a 16th century Catholic monk?

I recall in my early days as a Christian I remember reading a book called ‘The Practice of the Presence of God’ by a Monk called Brother Lawrence in France. It always baffles me a bit that this book ...