What is Ecumenism and What Does Ecumenism Mean in the Catholic Church?

Ecumenism is the effort of the Church to build bridges of dialogue between other religions and itself. It is not a plan to establish a single, lowest-common-denominator religion where doctrines and disciplines are diluted and compromised so that anyone and everyone can fit in. Ecumenism acknowledges the historical realities of mistakes and abuses made by … Read more

Is the Catholic Church a monarchy or a democracy?

It is neither. The Catholic Church is not a democracy nor a republic since it was not founded by human beings like secular nations are. It was founded by Jesus Christ, who personally entrusted the fullness of His authority to Saint Peter and his successors. Christ also commissioned the apostles to help govern the local … Read more

What are the catacombs and Where are the Catacombs located?

The term “catacombs” refers to subterranean burial grounds. They can be found almost anywhere; however, the most famous catacombs are located in Rome. They date back to the early Church. Most of the catacombs of Rome are technically located outside the walls of the city on Via Appia Antica, a major road that leads from … Read more

What are stipends and stole fees and What is simony?

Masses and the Seven Sacraments cannot be sold, nor can the minister charge for celebrating them. That would be the sin of simony. Simony is the sin where someone demands payment for a religious service or tries to sell spiritual benefits, graces, blessings, or sacraments. Stipends are donations given by the faithful to the priest … Read more

What was the Reformation and When did the Reformation take place?

The Protestant Reformation took place in 1517 AD. Until then, there had been only one Christian church and religion in Western Europe and that was Roman Catholicism. Eastern Orthodoxy had split from Rome in 1054 AD but remained in the Eastern part of the Empire, called Byzantium. England, Scotland, Germany, and Switzerland were all Catholic … Read more

Why did Thomas Aquinas write “Summa Theologica”?

Saint Thomas Aquinas was a priest and doctor of theology who belonged to the Order of Preachers, known as Dominicans. As a youth he studied in Paris under the great theologian Albertus Magnus and, because of his size and shyness, was mislabeled by his peers as the “Dumb Ox.” Albertus Magnus saw much more depth … Read more

How did the Black Death affect the Catholic Church?

The Black Death was damaging both to the Church and to society. The Black Death was a plague that spread like wild fire through villages, towns, and entire countries throughout Europe. The primary manner of dispersal was from infected animals to human beings by means of flies. The unsanitary conditions of towns made these areas … Read more

What is the Catholic fascination with Church Bells about?

You can hear bells ringing inside and outside Catholic churches around the world. Since the sixth century AD, outdoor bells have been used to call the monks of a monastery or the people of a parish or cathedral to times of prayer. Traditionally, every three hours beginning at 6 a.m., bells would alert clergy, religious, … Read more

When does stealing become a mortal sin?

Stealing violates the seventh Commandment. There is no specific price range at which theft goes from being a venial sin to a mortal sin. Civil law makes arbitrary parameters to delineate misdemeanor theft from felony theft. Moral theology does not assign a particular monetary value. It is based on the condition of the person who … Read more

Where Did the Holy Days of Obligation Come From?

Saturday is the Sabbath, but Sunday is the day of the Lord (the day of Resurrection), and Christians worshiped Christ as the Son of God on Sunday from the very beginning, even when they were still part of the Jewish religion. But where did the other days come from? Christianity was born from Judaism and … Read more

Should Christians use the word Trespasses or Debts in the Lord’s Prayer?

Some Christians pray the Lord’s Prayer using the word “trespasses,” while others use the words “debts” or “sins.” The Greek word paraoptomata means “trespasses,” while opheilemata means “debts” and hamartias means “sins.” Matthew and Luke both use any one of those words in various manuscripts. The more important word in the prayer is aphiemi which … Read more

Why are there 2 Different Lists of Ten Commandments?

Did you know that if asked what the Fourth Commandment is, a Catholic will answer differently than a Protestant (except for Lutheran)? Yes, there is a different numbering system for the Ten Commandments depending on who did the counting. The Bible itself never numbers the Commandments. There were not even any chapter or verse numbers … Read more

Can deacons or nuns say Mass when there is no priest?

Only a validly ordained priest can offer up the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. At every Mass, it is Jesus Who is both priest and victim. Since there is no time in God and He is an eternal “now,” Calvary is brought to us through the centuries. Jesus perpetuates His sacrifice through the sacramental priesthood. … Read more

How many different types of scapulars are there and What does scapular mean?

The scapular was originally a garment that went over the shoulders and covered the wearer on both sides. The word is from the Latin, scapula, which means shoulder blades. Many different religious communities, both male and female, wear these outer garments, which are considered part of their religious habit. In the thirteenth century, lay people … Read more

How many times can a Catholic be anointed?

A person can receive the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick many times during the course of his or her life. During old age or whenever there is a surgery, life-threatening illness, or serious condition, the person is a proper candidate to receive the Anointing. Pastorally, for the infirm or shut-ins, the sacrament should be … Read more

Why are there no female priests in the Catholic Church?

Jesus instituted an all-male priesthood because each priest is to act In Persona Christi—in the Person of Christ. Christ is the high priest, and a man is ordained into His priesthood. Jesus is true God and true man, fully divine and fully human. He has a divine nature and a human nature. His human nature … Read more

What Does Divine Inspiration Mean in Christianity?

Inspiration comes from the Latin inspirare, meaning “to breathe upon.” The Greek word for inspiration is theopneustos, meaning literally “God-breathed”; in Hebrew, one can use either neshamah or ruwach. Divine Inspiration is understood to mean that God directly influenced each and every sacred author to write without interfering with his individual free will. Pope Leo … Read more