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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

40
votes
6answers
1k views

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 ...
36
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
30
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
25
votes
9answers
6k 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 ...
21
votes
6answers
4k 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, ...
20
votes
2answers
519 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

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 ...
19
votes
3answers
558 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 ...
18
votes
6answers
709 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 ...
17
votes
9answers
3k 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
17
votes
6answers
9k 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
963 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, ...
16
votes
5answers
13k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
659 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
616 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the Biblical evidence against the perpetual virginity of Mary?

I understand that the Roman Catholic Church teaches that Mary is the eternal virgin in that she never had sexual relations with Joseph (or any other man)--either before or after the miraculous ...
15
votes
5answers
713 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
15
votes
2answers
548 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
2k 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?
15
votes
1answer
180 views

Is the marital act of consumating marriage part of Sacred Tradition in the Catholic Church?

How far back does the idea of consummating a marriage go? Is it tied to the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony? Is it like going to confession, but not fully receiving the sacrament of reconciliation ...
14
votes
4answers
936 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

Are Catholics allowed to read the NIV translation?

I know this is kind of an odd question. However, there is a question that has popped into my mind while considering these quality standards that we've been starting to implement. My thoughts are ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
14
votes
4answers
10k views

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 ...
14
votes
1answer
338 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
4k views

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: ...
14
votes
1answer
191 views

Are today's Catholics encouraged to study the Bible at home?

How do Catholics view personal scripture study? Are members of the congregation encouraged to do any studying at home?
14
votes
2answers
412 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
449 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...) ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
14
votes
1answer
1k 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 contention that the East had with the West was Rome's insistence on Papal Supremacy. My ...
14
votes
1answer
135 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
338 views

What is the endgame for sedevacantists?

"Sedevacantism" is the belief that the See of Rome is currently vacant; that is, there is no current Pope. There are not very many people who believe it, but they do seem to be pretty vocal on the ...
13
votes
6answers
4k 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", ...
13
votes
9answers
1k views

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, ...
13
votes
2answers
856 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
539 views

How is “Veneration” similar or different from “Adoration”?

Most Catholics teach about honoring the saints, and mostly about "venerating" the Blessed Virgin Mary. Though in my country (I'm from the Philippines), the line between honoring saints / Mary and the ...
13
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
11k views

The differences between Roman Catholic and Irish Catholic

I've heard the terms Roman Catholic and Irish Catholic since i was little, but i never understood what, if any, where the differences between the two. Why the differentiation of the two? What makes ...
13
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
4k views

Do Catholic priests have to report child abuse confessed in secret?

Is there any canon, regulation, norm or diocesan norm which requires priests to report confessions of child abuse? Are priests obliged to follow laws to this effect? I'm not asking in regard to ...
13
votes
3answers
431 views

How could a sinless Mary die?

Ignatius Theophorus's answer to this question about the assumption of Mary states: In addition, there is an ancient document which actually relates the death of Mary and the assumption of her ...
13
votes
1answer
334 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
561 views

Is there any evidence for the claim that the Catholic church suppressed translation of Scripture?

There is a popular Protestant polemic that Catholics don't (or didn't) want people to read the Bible. It is often furthermore assumed that the Catholic Church went so far as to ban people from having ...
13
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...