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

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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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583 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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460 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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517 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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575 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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548 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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126 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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149 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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816 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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89 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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398 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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201 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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328 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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357 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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1answer
242 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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443 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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125 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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56 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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236 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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2k 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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242 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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1k 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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524 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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622 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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171 views

How do Roman Catholics reconcile Acts 15:20 with transubstantiation?

I'm curious how a Roman Catholic Christian would defend the practice of transubstantiation in light of Acts 15:20 which states that Christians are "to abstain...from blood" (τοῦ ἀπέχεσθαι ἀπό...τοῦ ...
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434 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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232 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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378 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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212 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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208 views

What is the very least a Catholic needs to believe about Genesis 2 and 3?

There have been a couple skepctical questions asked here recently based off of what some people think are either false premises or assumptions or something. But I am still confused as to what the ...
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107 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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339 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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540 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

Why Catholic Church is called “The Roman Catholic Church”?

If the word "catholic", from the Greek adjective καθολικός (katholikos), means "universal", why The Catholic Church is known as "The Roman Catholic Church"? Is it possible be "universal" and "roman" ...
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2k 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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362 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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392 views

Do holy relics lose power over time?

Do holy relics lose power over time? It seems as if holy relics account for fewer miracles than in times past. The handkerchiefs of Paul had incredible power to heal (Acts 19: 12). Today one seldom ...
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368 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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299 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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515 views

What is the Immaculate Conception?

Catholics believe in the Immaculate Conception. What is that? Is this the same as the virginal conception of Jesus?
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3k views

Do they use icons in the Roman Catholic Church?

Do they use icons in the Roman Catholic Church like they do in the East Orthodox Church? In my limited experience, I've only seen statues in the Roman Catholic Church, but not icons. I don't just mean ...
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189 views

What is the Lutheran doctrine of consubstantiation and how does it differ from transubstantiation and a more general protestant sacramental view?

In transubstantiation, the bread and wine are said to become the literal body and blood of Jesus. Consubstantiation appears to affirm that "this is my body" does apply to the bread and wine, but not ...
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321 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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264 views

Assurance of Salvation in Catholicism

Among some Protestant groups such as Evangelicals and Pentecostals, it is a very common question to ask "Are you saved?" or "Are you born again?". They say that the moment you believe in Jesus Christ, ...
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1k 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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3k views

What is the Roman Catholic position on literally reading the Flood account in Genesis?

Elsewhere on this site, the question of whether the Roman Catholic church supported evolution was answered with evidence that the Catholic position is that evolution could be true. That is, because ...
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96 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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340 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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535 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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4k 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 ...