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

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Why did John the Baptist question the identity of Jesus?

Clearly John was a prophet and he dedicated his life to God. God revealed to him that Jesus was the Messiah. In Matthew 3:13-17 he baptized Jesus, and proclaimed that he is The One in John 1:29 ...
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449 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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548 views

Once a Catholic always a Catholic?

According to the Roman Catholic church, what is the status of someone who was baptised as a baby and left the church as a teen? Does it matter if he had Confirmation? Does it matter if he claims no ...
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5answers
631 views

Does the Catholic Church teach that Jesus' Human Nature was created?

I think this is one of the reasons the we can call Mary the Mother of God. But I'm confused about the exact meaning of Human Nature and Human Soul. So my question is mainly this. What was created ...
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199 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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91 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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9k views

What do the words Catholic and Protestant mean? [closed]

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 Is it a fitting name today or is it outdated?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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174 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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626 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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262 views

Did Jesus know from the outset that He was the Son of God or did Mary tell Him?

A Catholic friend of mine asked me this question, and I mentioned this passage: 41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. 42 When Jesus was twelve years old, they ...
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395 views

What is the biblical basis for venial and mortal sins?

My understanding of Catholicism is that they believe there are venial sins (kinda bad) and then there are mortal sins (really bad!), and that mortal sins are worse (or something). What is ...
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589 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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909 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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193 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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965 views

Why does the Litany of Saint Joseph call him “terror of demons”?

A litany for Joseph, the husband of Mary, was approved by Pope St Pius X in 1909 (*). Most of the invocations are straightforward to understand, referring to his life (eg. "husband of the Mother of ...
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1k 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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136 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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2k 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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5k 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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368 views

What is the Catholic Church's official position on the Spanish Inquisition?

The Spanish Inquisition seems to have had plenty of support from the Universal Inquisition at the time, but what is the present Vatican's view? Has the Church repudiated the Inquisition?
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1k 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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1k views

What is the basis for the Roman Catholic teaching regarding the Sin of Presumption?

The Roman Catholic Church teaches that there is something called the Sin of Presumption, which states that it is a sin for one to believe that he or she is assured of his or her salvation. It seems ...
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241 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 the Catholic Church, does abortion need to be confessed, and is it a mortal or venial sin?

I am not Catholic yet, but am attending RCIA and my first confession is next week. I had an abortion years ago. According to the official teaching of the Catholic Church: Do I have to confess ...
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155 views

What are the theological implications of “pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death”?

Hail Mary, full of grace. Our Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of ...
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654 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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499 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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553 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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644 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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605 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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129 views

On what basis do Popes choose their papal name?

Apologies if there is not a good answer to this but I was wondering how papal names are chosen. Is there a specific tendency for taking a papal name that is associated with a tradition or strain of ...
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1k views

What is the Difference between a Heretic and a Schismatic, according Catholic and Orthodox tradition?

(This question is aimed at the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox perspective only) What is the difference between a heretic and a schismatic, and what are the soteriological consequences of each?
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160 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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954 views

Under what circumstances is a priest supposed to deny forgiveness to a person?

As I understand it, in Roman Catholic practice, people regularly confess their sins to a priest, who then instructs them what they must do in order to be forgiven. However, it is apparently possible ...
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99 views

What religious order do these nuns belong to?

The habit of these nuns includes no guimpe (or a black one), a black veil, a white wimple, a rectangular white coif: Which order do they belong to? (I couldn't find anything quite like it on ...
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489 views

What exactly did Pope Gregory the Great mean by “Universal Bishop?”

In the 6th Century, Pope St. Gregory the Great wrote this: "I say it without the least hesitation, whoever calls himself the universal bishop, or desires this title, is, by his pride, the ...
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230 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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356 views

Old Roman Catholic Bibles having indulgence charts?

I just listened to a podcast of an Orthodox priest talking about his conversion into the Eastern Orthodox church. He mentioned something about how he once courted an irish Catholic girl who had a big ...
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367 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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482 views

Is there any connection between minimum age for marriage in Catholic Church and tradition about Mary's age at Annunciation?

According to Canonic law, the minimum age for marryage to be valid for girls is fourteen (it can be and usually is higher for the marriage not to be illicit): Can. 1083 §1. A man before he has ...
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131 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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72 views

Unitatis Redintegratio: Analogy to describe those in “partial” or “imperfect” communion?

In the Vatican II decree Unitatis Redintegratio, or "the Decree of Ecunemism," we see the phrase "imperfect" (non perfecta) used to describe "communion" (communio), as well as the typical phrase, ...
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256 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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1answer
254 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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2k 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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577 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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697 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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502 views

Are the theories of Evolution and the Big Bang now binding to Catholics and to be held as true?

On Monday, October 27, 2014, addressing the Pontifical Academy of Sciences , Pope Francis is reported to have said, 'the Big Bang, which nowadays is posited as the origin of the world, does not ...
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240 views

What role does the New Covenant play in Reformed Theology?

After looking at @Affable Geek's answer to an overview question on different understandings of why Jesus had to die, and in particular after his comment on Catholicism in this respect, I went to look ...
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197 views

Imposition of Ashes - where in Catholicism is it commonly practiced?

Since I learned of this practice, I thought that placing ashes on Ash Wednesday is practiced worldwide, at least within the Roman Catholic Church. But now I have been to a Mass (on the first Lent ...