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

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Praying to people outside the Trinity

I understand that the Roman Catholic church direct some prayers to Mary, the mother of Jesus. For me it would be strange to address my prayers to anyone outside the Holy Trinity. Do Catholics pray to ...
42
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4answers
6k views

Why didn't C.S. Lewis convert to Catholicism?

This might seem like a weird question if you're a Protestant and really like C.S. Lewis. But as a Catholic, I don't see him as ever espousing particularly non-Catholic positions, and he is very well ...
35
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4answers
9k views

When did the prohibition of marriage for priests in the Catholic church originate?

The Bible mentions that one of the miracles Jesus performed was the healing of Peter's mother-in-law. This makes it quite clear that Peter himself was married, and Peter is the considered the first ...
30
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11answers
12k views

As a protestant, may I participate in the Eucharist (Communion) when visiting a Catholic church?

I think the title sums it up. I'm a protestant Christian, and have many Catholic friends. When I visit their churches, is it permissible for me to participate in the Eucharist/Communion ceremony by ...
25
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6answers
9k views

When does the Pope speak ex cathedra?

The Catholic Church considers the Pope infallible, but only in limited circumstances. The Pope is a human being like the rest of us, and capable of sinning. However, when the Pope speaks ex cathedra, ...
24
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3answers
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What is the Roman Catholic view on Matthew 23:9?

In Matthew 23:9, Jesus says: Matthew 23:9 (NIV) And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. What is the Roman Catholic view on this? In the Roman ...
23
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3answers
1k views

According to Roman Catholic doctrine, why does Mary refer to God as her Savior if she was born without sin?

In the Magnificat, Mary refers to God as her Savior. According to Roman Catholic doctrine, Mary was born sinless and remained sinless throughout her life. So, why does Mary refer to God as her ...
23
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2answers
765 views

What is the basis for clerical celibacy?

In the Catholic Church, priests are required to stay celibate. (As far as I know, protestant priests that convert to Catholicism are allowed an exception -- they can become Catholic priests even if ...
21
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5answers
1k views

How is offering X Hail Marys not considered vain repetition?

So if the Hail Mary is a prayer and saying the prayer multiple times is encouraged in Catholicism, what established reason does the Catholic church give to justify it not being a vain repetition. ...
21
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2answers
10k views

How do Catholics justify confessing to a priest?

Roman Catholic churches have a practice where congregational members confess their sins and the like to a priest in a confessional. As I was saying to a friend a couple days ago, the practice doesn't ...
21
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3answers
2k views

According to the Catholic Church, are Jews saved without faith in Jesus?

According to recent news stories, the Vatican has issued a report saying that Jews can be saved without faith in Jesus (see for example here). This sounds very strange, so my questions are: Does ...
21
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6answers
18k views

How should I understand the emphasis on “begotten, not made” in the Nicene Creed?

I'm trying to understand the importance the repetition of "begotten" in the Nicene creed. It states (emphasis mine): We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,     the only Son ...
20
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5answers
2k views

For Catholics who object to Vatican II, what are the key issues?

From time to time I see references to Roman Catholics who object to (part? all?) of Vatican II. Most commonly I see ads in my local newspaper for traditional Latin masses, but I understand the ...
20
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6answers
1k views

What is the Biblical support for Purgatory?

Exactly as the title asks; where do Catholics get their Scriptural support for the idea of Purgatory? To be more specific, how I think of Purgatory (which may be incorrect) is that it's a temporary ...
20
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2answers
780 views

Why, according to the Catholic Church, did the Reformation happen?

Has the Catholic church ever put forth a theological theory or statement as to why the Reformation happened? Please note.... I'm not asking about how the Reformation happened. History is what it ...
19
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4answers
1k views

What is the origin of the Catholic apocrypha?

In the Catholic tradition, several "apocryphal" books are used in addition to the same Old Testament canon used by Protestants. What is the origin of these books and how do they differ from from the ...
19
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4answers
3k views

What is the biblical basis for the Immaculate Conception?

According to Catholic Doctrine, the Immaculate Conception refers to the teaching that Mary's own conception (not that of Jesus) was without the stain of original sin. What is the biblical basis for ...
19
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1answer
557 views

On what do Catholics base their doctrine of the eternal virginity of Mary?

I understand that the Catholic Church teaches that Mary is the eternal virgin in that she neither had sexual relations with Joseph (or any other man) either before or after the miraculous conception ...
19
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4answers
1k views

How do Catholics support transubstantiation?

As I understand it, the doctrine of transubstantiation maintains that bread and wine *literally** become the body and blood of Christ... yet it is impossible to detect this. That is, they do not ...
18
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4answers
3k views

What exactly is a “Hail Mary”?

The practice of a saying a "Hail Mary" is often referred to in colloquial speech, sometimes as a way to caricaturize Catholics. References to the practice instantly conjure up images of Catholicism, ...
18
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1answer
5k views

What were Martin Luther's main disagreements with the Catholic Church?

What were Martin Luther's main disagreements with the Catholic Church? Were these beliefs of Luther's and his disagreements with the Catholic Church the origin of the Lutheran Church?
18
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2answers
23k views

What are the steps to become Confirmed in the Catholic church?

What are the steps you have to take (general steps not necessarily church specific) as someone raised in the Catholic church to become Confirmed?
17
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5answers
10k views

Why does Catholicism have priests but Protestantism does not?

The Catholic Church (and apparently Anglican or Episcopalian churches) have clergy with the title of "priest", as did Old Testament Judaism. Are Protestant "preachers", "reverends", "pastors", ...
17
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5answers
32k views

Why the difference in depiction of the cross between Catholics and Protestants?

As I understand it, Roman Catholic crosses have Jesus hanging on them, but Protestant crosses do not. I understood that Protestant crosses do not because they want to focus on the Resurrection, not ...
17
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4answers
1k views

What significance, if any, does the doctrine of the eternal virginity of Mary have?

I understand that the Catholic Church (and perhaps the Orthodox church as well) teaches that Mary is "the eternal virgin" Mary. If this were an important doctrine, it seems there would be fairly ...
17
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9answers
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What is the Protestant argument against the doctrine of Purgatory?

The Roman Catholic Church teaches the idea of Purgatory, which is defined by Wikipedia as follows: Purgatory is, according to Catholic teaching, the state or place of purification or temporary ...
17
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4answers
929 views

Are Catholics like pagans, in Evangelical vision?

This question is based on my personal experience. Some time ago I had a discussion with a friend of mine who's an evangelical pastor. In a very subtle way, he was asserting that I actually believe ...
17
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4answers
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What is the purpose of a Rosary?

I am not Catholic and I am pretty sure the Rosary is mainly a Catholic artifact, and in modern times devout Catholics seem to always have a Rosary (as in, you know they're Catholic because of the ...
17
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1answer
507 views

What is the argument for papal succession?

First off, I do not mean for this question to sound as an attack on the Catholic Church. I would like to know the stance of the church regarding this. I found this resource, which documents the ...
17
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1answer
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What should I expect at a Roman Catholic funeral?

A funeral notice announces a "mass of Christian burial" (at a Roman Catholic church in the US) followed by a burial followed by a luncheon. As an outsider I have a few questions about what to expect: ...
17
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1answer
3k views

Why did Rome and Constantinople split in 1054 AD?

The Great Schism represents the break between the Eastern and Western churches. I know that a primary bone of contention that the East had with the West was Rome's insistence on Papal Supremacy. My ...
16
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11answers
7k views

Why can't Catholicism just drop its Marian devotion?

Catholicism puts great emphasis on the importance on the Mary, the Mother of God. It honors her and insists upon her perpetual sinlessness and perpetual virginity. And in my observation, it seems as ...
16
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8answers
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Was Catholicism the first denomination?

In doing research on Martin Luther, I stumbled upon this article. Which had the following quote: If you are Catholic, you know that your religion was founded in the year 33 by Jesus Christ, ...
16
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2answers
2k views

Do Catholics view atheism as a sin?

Are there any passages in the Holy Bible or any Catholic doctrine saying that it is a sin to be an atheist? Please, don't refer to me any Biblical assertion where it is stated that you should follow ...
16
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3answers
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Significance of virgins in the Catholic church

Why are virgins so popular in the Catholic church (specifically in Mexico or Latin America)? Aside from the obvious, virgin Mary, there are "virgins" of practically every major Catholic church ...
16
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2answers
3k views

How does the Catholic church explain Matthew 19:9 which seems to allow divorce in case of sexual misconduct

Matthew 19:9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery. On a simple examination, it seems to imply that sexual ...
16
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4answers
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In which other churches do Roman Catholics recognize apostolic succession?

The Roman Catholic Church derives much of its claim to legitimacy from the teaching of "apostolic succession". Other churches also believe that their priests derive their authority in an unbroken ...
16
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3answers
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How do Protestants view “Catholic” miracles, such as those that attest to a saint?

An important part of Catholicism is the canonization of saints in the present day. One of the criteria for canonization is the confirmation of miracles associated with the would-be saint. In ...
16
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2answers
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When did Mary and Joseph learn that they were never supposed to have marital relations, according to Roman Catholic doctrine?

Roman Catholic doctrine teaches that Mary remained a virgin her entire life, even after marrying Joseph. It would seem that Joseph and Mary, at their betrothal, had likely expected to have, and ...
15
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4answers
6k views

Why do Catholics put so much faith in the Virgin Mary?

I'm not sure how to express the relationship that Catholics have with the Virgin Mary, so please excuse the word "faith" in the question title. Giving Mary praise I understand that Mary gave birth ...
15
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4answers
4k views

What made Luther a heretic and not a schismatic?

I know the difference between heresy and schism, but I don't know why various Protestant reformation leaders, Martin Luther in particular, wouldn't have been satisfied by merely being a schismatic ...
15
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3answers
386 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 ...
15
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4answers
17k views

When does the bread and wine become Body and Blood?

Exactly when during the Mass does transubstantiation occur? I am aware that it occurs during the Eucharistic Prayer, but at exactly what moment? Would this change if a priest were to consecrate ...
15
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2answers
5k views

Why did G.K. Chesterton convert to Catholicism?

G.K. Chesterton is one of my favorite authors. On a lot of subjects, his way of looking at things really astonishes me. He can still show things in a fresh perspective, though his books are about a ...
15
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3answers
733 views

Do the Catholic Church ex cathedra pronouncements about necessity of Catholicism to be saved still apply?

I think the following was spoken Ex Cathedra: “The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but ...
15
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3answers
5k views

What is the difference between icons and idols in churches that permit icons?

There are a number of Protestants that say the use of the images and statues in the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church is idolatry. I know that these churches call certain images "icons", but I ...
15
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2answers
705 views

Which doctrines are based solely on the apocrypha?

What Roman Catholic doctrines are based only in the 7 books canonized by the Roman church, but not accepted by Protestants. (e.g., Tobit, Judith, Maccabees, the additions to Daniel and Esther, etc...) ...
15
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2answers
6k views

What effect did the Reformation have inside the Catholic Church?

I confess my knowledge of church history branches at about the Reformation. I know a quite a bit about Catholicism today, and I have an idea of what it was before the Reformation. These are not at all ...
15
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3answers
39k views

In Catholicism, what are the different kinds of sins?

I have heard various persons refer to different 'kinds' of sins on this site and in other places. I have heard of mortal sin grave sin venial sin Are there others? What is a basic definition of ...
15
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2answers
198 views

Is the Pope allowed to publish books after resignation?

I've heard that after popes die (at least after Bl. John Paul II died) all their unpublished works and letters are burnt and I heard on the radio this morning that Pope Benedict XVI is pretty much ...