Questions concerning the office and the role of the pope.

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22
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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, ...
22
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3answers
13k views

Does the pope get paid for being the pope?

I just started wondering after seeing the white smoke, did the cardinal just receive a raise when he became the pope? What's his salary if he is paid.
15
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1answer
361 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
139 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 John Paul II died) all their unpublished works and letters are burnt and I heard on the radio this morning that Pope Benedict XVI is pretty much ...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
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3answers
368 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 ...
12
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4answers
2k views

Why did Jesus change Peter's name, according to non-Catholic theology?

I have been discussing Matthew 16:18 for years now with both Catholics and non-Catholics. This verse is obviously a very important verse concerning the doctrine of the Bishop of Rome being Supreme ...
12
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1answer
305 views

Why can't cardinals over 80 vote in the conclave?

Why can't cardinals over 80 vote in the conclave? Is there a reason given anywhere?
12
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2answers
6k views

How did the Crusades affect the Pope's power and authority?

How did the Crusades affect the Pope's power/authority, during and after the Crusades? The Crusades, from Wikipedia The Crusades were a series of religiously sanctioned military campaigns, called ...
11
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8answers
2k views

What are the biblical arguments against the papacy and papal succession?

The Catholic Church teaches that Peter was the first pope and that papal succession continued down through history to the present day. However, neither the Orthodox nor the Protestant churches ...
11
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3answers
3k views

Why did the Catholic church stop supporting Genesis creation?

I read that cardinal Ratzinger stated the story in Genesis 1 and 2 should not be interpreted as a literal account of the beginning of things. In spite of recent events like this, they have always been ...
11
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1answer
132 views

What is the nature of the theory for Pope Joan and the evidence that substantiates it?

Two films, each called Pope Joan one in 1972 and one in 2009 repeat an old legend about a female Pope. What is the nature of this theory, and is there anything to substantiate it?
11
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1answer
221 views

What Popes have resigned in the past?

Pope Benedict XVI recently announced his resignation. What other Popes have abdicated in the past? The media keep pointing to Gregory XII, but it is my understanding that he was deposed by the Council ...
10
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4answers
204 views

Why did the conclave elect Pope Stephen I, when he died prior to taking office?

According to Wikipedia, Pope Stephen I was elected to the papacy in March of 752 A.D., but died a few days later, prior to being installed. As I understand it, Catholic teaching indicates that God's ...
10
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4answers
6k views

When did Peter become the first Pope, according to Roman Catholic doctrine?

Roman Catholic doctrine teaches that the apostle Peter was the first Pope. Exactly when did this occur? I can imagine a few different options When Jesus addressed Peter in Matthew: I also ...
10
votes
3answers
523 views

What is a brief history on the idea that the Papacy is the Anti-Christ?

I am quite familiar with the Reformers opposition to the Papacy and many said the Papacy is the Anti-Christ. What confuses me is this quote from that same page: In calling the pope the ...
10
votes
2answers
300 views

Under Catholic dogma can someone publicly rebuke the Pope like Paul rebuked Peter?

In Galatians chapter 2 Paul explains how he had to rebuke the Apostle Peter as he was acting hypocritically over a matter very serious and central to the meaning of the gospel: When Cephas came to ...
10
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1answer
303 views

How can a Pope be chosen from outside the conclave?

It is well known that the cardinals can choose any baptised male Catholic to be the new Pope, though they typically choose one of their own, and that the election is held under strict conditions of ...
10
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1answer
2k views

Did Martin Luther believe the Church needed to be reformed before the Great Schism of 1054AD, or after?

I think its safe to say that Martin Luther, being one of the fathers of Protestantism, was primarily at odds with the Roman Church. He posted his 95 theses to confront what he thought to be ...
10
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3answers
296 views

What makes someone an antipope?

Rather straight forward question. There have been multiple men declared antipopes. Is it different each time, or generally the same set of circumstances that causes this?
10
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2answers
233 views

At the greater emergence of democracy in Europe during the 'Enlightenment' did the papacy support democracy?

I was just wondering how did the papacy respond to democracy when it first arose in Europe? On one hand, in a country that was, according to its sovereign, a Catholic country, democracy would be very ...
9
votes
2answers
775 views

What is the biblical basis for the doctrine of Papal Infallibility taught by the Catholic Church?

I understand that the Catholic Churches teaches the doctrine of Papal Infallibility. What is the biblical basis for this and how does that account for the Scripture that references Peter's error? ...
9
votes
2answers
175 views

The Pope is resigning. How does a living pope confer his authority?

I read that Pope Benedict XVI is resigning. I don't know much about Catholic/papal authority as it relates to leading the Church, but as far as I can remember, a pope dies before another one takes the ...
9
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1answer
112 views

Who calls the conclave?

There must be someone to oficially call the cardinals to a conclave. Who is it? It can't be the old pope - resignation is hardly the normal situation, so the old pope is supposed to be dead. I guess ...
9
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3answers
305 views

Has the Roman Catholic Church ever issued an official response to the accusations of the Reformers?

I just started reading Luther's Tabletalk, and the preface, written by Dr. John Aurifaber in 1569, roundly condemns the Roman Catholic Church, presenting an analogy which compares Christians' ...
9
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2answers
135 views

Why does the Roman Catholic church consider beatification of the pope?

If the pope is infallible, than what significance does beatifying and canonising him have? They did both to John Paul II, but it seems odd that the church wants to make him a saint, unless I am ...
9
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1answer
192 views

At what date in history was the last papal anathema officially applied through the death penalty in a papal court against a heretic or protestant?

I was just wondering when in history the official papal death sentences really ended. I am not interested in any killing that was not officially authorized by a pope (or his authorized ...
8
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3answers
433 views

What substitutes for prayers for the Pope's intentions during sede vacante?

One of the requirements one must meet to obtain an indulgence is to pray for the intentions of the pope. When there's no pope, what's the substitute? I guess it's the conclave and the next pope, but I ...
8
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2answers
535 views

What role did the Donation of Constantine have on the development of the doctrine of Papal supremacy?

In the late Middle Ages, two documents arose which, together, are called the The Donation of Constantine. They made a large number of statements which would have had the effect of making the Pope the ...
7
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2answers
662 views

Have different Popes ever contradicted each other?

I understand that Roman Catholics do not think that everything the Pope says or does is infallible. However, has a sitting Pope ever revoked or contradicted an infallible statement made by a previous ...
7
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7answers
731 views

Papal Infallibility and teaching heresy?

I had a question that I hoped the Catholics on the board could help me out with. My understanding of the doctrine of Papal Infallibility is that speaking in his official capacity as the "Vicar of ...
7
votes
1answer
410 views

To whom does Pope Francis confess?

So, Popes sin too. (At least, I assume they do.) Presumably, they confess their sin and do penance. Who hears his confession? Is it an office that rotates, or one individual? And, does the Pope ...
7
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2answers
831 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 ...
7
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2answers
130 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?
7
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1answer
135 views

What is the relationship between international branches of the LDS Church?

According to this story on NPR, Mitt Romney's campaign and his anti-Russian remarks have apparently been the impetus for Putin's "Young Guard" to dog Mormon churches in Russia, accusing them of being ...
7
votes
1answer
688 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 ...
7
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2answers
69 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
167 views

Is gender a property of essence or existence?

In his address, the Holy Father said: According to the biblical creation account, being created by God as male and female pertains to the essence of the human creature. The use of the word ...
7
votes
1answer
208 views

Does the Lutheran view of pope as AntiChrist stem from doctrine of justification?

I've heard popular retellings of the Lutheran view of pope as Antichrist that range from: a delusion that Pope Leo X was the incarnate figure of prophecy, to a slur (like calling George Washington a ...
7
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2answers
218 views

Did the pope choose sides between the Allies and the Axis in World War 2?

Simple question. I was just wondering how the Catholic church positioned itself politically at the time of world war 2. Did it align with the Allies, Axis, or neither? Did the pope choose sides ...
7
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3answers
317 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 ...
7
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1answer
1k 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). ...
6
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4answers
198 views

Why does the Pope include himself among the sinners?

'We are all sinners. But God heals us with an abundance of grace, mercy and tenderness.' (emp. mine) the Holy Father, Pope Francis, said on Twitter. Why does the Pope say 'We are all sinners' ...
6
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
463 views

Were the medieval popes examined on a toilet-lid-like chair to establish their masculinity?

Is one of the consequences of the Pope Joan story, whether it was true or false, the use of a marble chair with a large, toilet-like hole in its seat? As the picture above shows, it seems that that ...
6
votes
1answer
84 views

Why would popes choose the name Pelagius in light of the Pelagian Heresey?

I was checking out the list of pope names by frequency on Wikipedia in search of minutia to defend my assertion that Pope Francis was the first new Pope name a long time and noticed that there were ...
6
votes
1answer
291 views

Where did the Petrine title of “First Among Equals” originate?

Contrary to the Roman Catholic assertion that Peter and his successors are the Supreme Pontiff, the Orthodox Catholic Churches assert that Peter and his successors hold the honorary title of the First ...
6
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1answer
318 views

To whom do the Eastern Orthodox Church's believe the “Keys to the Kingdom” were given by Jesus?

"I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19) This is ...
5
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2answers
261 views

Is the Pope morally obliged to submit to every secular authority?

Among the Protestant faith a believer is to submit to the government: Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to ...
5
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2answers
2k views

Where did the hierarchical designations of priest, cardinal, bishop, and pope come from in the Catholic church?

Protestantism typically recognizes offices that include pastors, elders, and deacons. Another common belief is the priesthood of all believers, and thus there is no such designation for a particular ...
5
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1answer
728 views

What does “Habemus Papam” mean?

I'm seeing this phrase being displayed on all the news channels, in conjunction with a lot of cheering people under umbrellas who have been waiting for the new pope to be elected. Is there some sort ...