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

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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 ...
56
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6answers
2k 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 ...
40
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4answers
15k 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 ...
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13answers
18k 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 ...
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6answers
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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, ...
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3answers
2k 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 ...
28
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2answers
802 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 ...
27
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2answers
13k 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 ...
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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 ...
25
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6answers
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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 ...
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11answers
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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 ...
24
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6answers
2k 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 ...
24
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6answers
31k 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 ...
23
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5answers
8k views

Can a Catholic priest adopt a child?

A Catholic priest must take a vow of celibacy (i.e. unmarried) and thus expected to remain continent (i.e. abstain from sex) so as not to commit a fornication. Is a priest permitted to adopt a child, ...
23
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5answers
2k 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. ...
23
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4answers
1k views

Do Evangelicals see Catholics as pagans?

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 ...
23
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4answers
2k 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 ...
23
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3answers
4k 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 ...
23
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4answers
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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 ...
23
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3answers
1k 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 ...
22
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5answers
62k 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 ...
22
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2answers
6k views

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

Matthew 19:9 (NIV) 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
22
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1answer
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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?
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2answers
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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 is....
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4answers
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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, ...
21
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10answers
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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 ...
21
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1answer
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Has a pope ever been corrected publicly by a non-cleric in the presence of cardinals because of the unclear wording of a papal document?

At the moment there is a lot of talk about four cardinals who have submitted a dubia to Pope Francis regarding the interpretation of Amoris Laetitia. In one article it stated that: "any 'fraternal ...
21
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4answers
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Does the Catholic Church officially recognize Protestants as Christians?

I have always thought that the Pope did not recognize the validity of the faith of those outside of the Catholic church, but in comments from a different post I am surprised to find out I may be ...
21
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1answer
3k views

Why do Catholics believe transubstantiated host may still affect the gluten sensitive?

I was reading about the Eucharist the other day and read that sometimes in Catholic mass, there is low-gluten bread available for those who are gluten free. The same text said that the bread, once ...
21
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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 ...
21
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3answers
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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 ...
20
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5answers
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Why does Catholicism have priests but Protestantism does not?

The Catholic Church (and apparently Lutheran, Anglican and Episcopalian churches) have clergy with the title of "priest", as did Old Testament Judaism. Are Protestant "preachers", "reverends", "...
20
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4answers
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Why do Catholic churches have a red lamp burning inside?

Is there any significance to the red lamp that is lit inside Catholic churches? I ask because I recently saw a green lamp lit at the entrance to a Church of Scotland village church and wondered if ...
20
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5answers
2k 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 ...
20
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4answers
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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 ...
20
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3answers
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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 ...
20
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1answer
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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 ...
19
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4answers
738 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 ...
19
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1answer
659 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 ...
19
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4answers
8k views

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 ...
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3answers
11k 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 ...
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2answers
37k 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?
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2answers
3k 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 ...
18
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2answers
37k 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 ...
18
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2answers
4k views

Have any real people been de-canonized?

People can be canonized (declared to be saints) and these official declarations are held to be infallible. Some people might be considered saints because of popular devotion, without being actually ...
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1answer
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What does the Catholic church teach about fate of non-Catholic christians?

From what I've heard, The Roman Catholic Church claims to be the only representative authority of God on Earth. Does it indeed claim that, and if so what does it say happens to members of non-Catholic ...
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4answers
8k 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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...