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Did people understand John the Baptist saying "repent and be baptized"?
The Old Testament is full of references to ritual washing. Of particular note are Elisha’s instructions to Naaman in 2 Kings 5 to…
Christ was a Jew, so why don't Catholics observe Judaism?
Catholicism is the completion of the Jewish religion. Had all of the Jews of Jesus’ time accepted him as the Messiah and entered the…
Is there anyone whom we know for certain is in hell already?
Satan and the fallen angels are certainly there—or will be on the last day (cf. CCC 392–93). As for human beings, Scripture…
Why are snipers a routine part of the Holy Father's security?
In addition to being the spiritual head of the Catholic Church, the pope is the temporal head of Vatican City. In other words, he is a head…
What is the difference between an archbishop and a cardinal?
An archbishop is usually the bishop of a major metropolitan archdiocese and may also be a cardinal. A cardinal is a member of the college…
What are the criteria for a pope in choosing his new name?
There are no official criteria, but a pope usually chooses to honor a predecessor or someone he admires. For example, John Paul II honored…
Where does the information about Saints Anne and Joachim originate?
The names attributed to Mary’s parents come from the Protoevangelium of James, a second-century apocryphal Christian document that…
Could a non-Catholic be canonized by the Catholic Church?
It is theoretically possible that the Church could canonize a non-Catholic, because canonization is simply an official acknowledgment that…
If I'm serving active duty and only have access to a Protestant service, does it fulfill my Sunday obligation?
Attendance at a Protestant service does not fulfill the Sunday obligation. The Catechism instructs: The first precept [of the Church] ("…
How is the date for Easter determined?
Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. If the first full moon occurs on the equinox,…
How can I defend the Church's teaching on homosexuality?
answered by Jim Blackburn
Persons who suffer from homosexuality are called to chastity—as are we all. The Church recognizes that homosexuality is a disorder (…
Is the tabernacle always supposed to be in the center of the sanctuary?
The tabernacle may be placed anywhere in the church provided certain conditions are met. The Code of Canon Law states: The tabernacle in…