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

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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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678 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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127 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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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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139 views

Can a Catholic priest conduct a Catholic baptism upon the request of non-Catholic parents, assuming that they will raise the child Catholic?

Can non-Catholic parents ask the priest to baptize the child (infant) in the Catholic church and promise that they will give the child a Catholic upbringing? I mean, it could be a learning experience ...
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407 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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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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207 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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339 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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295 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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701 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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410 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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444 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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116 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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363 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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164 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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286 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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208 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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113 views

What different acts do Catholic priests require of people who go to confession?

I understand that when people go to confessional in the Catholic Church, the priest will often prescribe certain things for them to do for penance in order for their sins to be forgiven. I have heard ...
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192 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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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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209 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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761 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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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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381 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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467 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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129 views

What is the Authoritative Catholic explanation of why the Magi get a pass, yet Catholics are to reject astrology?

What is the authoritative Catholic explanation of why the Magi get a pass, yet Catholics are required to reject astrology? Catechism of the Catholic Church | Divination and magic, 2116 has: All ...
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147 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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285 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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179 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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771 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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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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Why is there such an emphasis on Jesus's suffering - particularly by the Catholic Church? [duplicate]

It seems too me that the suffering of Jesus is over magnified. I mean so many people have suffered tremendously for years. Like handicapped/sick people, prisoners, holocaust victims etc. I don't ...
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357 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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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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981 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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243 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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290 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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Is the Catholic faith based purely on the Bible?

I have heard that, although Catholics use the Bible, their faith is not solely based upon it. I have heard it said that for Catholics, tradition precedes the Bible, and that is why there are some ...
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194 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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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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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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248 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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174 views

What would the Catholic Church's hierarchy look like without the Vatican?

What does the Roman Catholic Church teach would happen if something catastrophic (God forbid!) Destroyed the entire city of Rome, as well as the Vatican city-state? As an example - what would happen ...
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275 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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72 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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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 ...