Catholicism is the faith, doctrine, system, and practice of the Catholic church, especially the Roman Catholic Church. Ask questions about the history of Catholicism and the church, beliefs that include the Holy Trinity, Mother Mary, and Catholic Saints; practices, such as Sacraments and Rosary; church leadership, including the Pope who is regarded as the earthly spiritual leader, and more.

41,929 Questions
Eastern Orthodoxy
Northern Ireland

How many Catholic cardinals are there in the world?

The number of cardinals varies as older cardinals pass away or new cardinals are appointed. There are currently about 180 cardinals world wide but only 120 of those are eligible to participate in a papal conclave to elect a new pope. Once a man reaches 80 years of age he remains a cardinal but is unable to vote. The pope usually will appoint new cardinals to fill the positions held when a cardinal retires or dies so as to keep the number of electors about 120.


Why is it called Good Friday if the day was supposed to be sad?

Good Friday and Jesus Our LordGood Friday is the day commemorating Jesus Christ's death on the Cross, which is probably to be dated April 3, A.D. 33. In the liturgical calendar of the Western church, it is the Friday before Easter. The exact origins of the name are uncertain; some argue it stems from the use of "Good" as an adjective applied to the day, which is an Old English synonym for "holy." Others argue it is a corruption of the word "God," in the same way that "Good Bye" comes from the phrase "God be with ye."

Christians believe the day is "good" because the message of Easter is of Christ's victory over sin, death, and the devil; as the Apostle Paul wrote: "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us." It is believed that, in Jesus' death on the Cross, He took once and for all the sins of all mankind upon Himself, in our place. This gift He extends to everyone who will believe in Him. Believing in the Good News of the Gospel is our hope. Jesus, the Son of God, who died for our sins, was raised again for our justification, we who believe being made in right stead with God.

However, the term "Good Friday" is only used by Western Christians, and not by Eastern Orthodox Christians. The Orthodox refer to this sacred day as "Great and Holy Friday."

The Bible
Religion & Spirituality
Heaven and Hell

What is the place called before you go to heaven?

Good question.

Catholocism says that a soul will enter purgatory before ascending to heaven to attone for your sins.

I believe that you go straight to heaven when you die. There are so many near-death experiences that children have had that they arrive in heaven and meet someone that they didn't even know had existed, therefore proving that everyone meets up in heaven. If you don't believe me, read the book 'Heaven is for Real' by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent, which was written about Colton Burpo and his trip to heaven and back.


Who is the patron saint of poets?

The following are the patron saints of poets:
Brigid of Ireland


Is it Wednesday special or Wednesday's special?

Either form would be proper depending upon what you wish to convey.

Computer and Internet Fraud
Emigration and Refugees

Is there a St. Paul Catholic or St. Gregory's or St. Mary's Church or St. Paul refugee Catholic Church in Dakar Senegal?

If you get mail or email about refugee Catholic anything in Dakar Senegal, it is spam, they are trying to get money, your email address, anything. Do not reply, nor answer, just report it to the authorities.

It would appear not. It would appear, from various searches, that most of the mail coming from Dakar Senegal claiming to be Catholic Churches are scams. If you get any such mail or email, please report it at once and do not respond to it.

There may well be, but the information on specific Churches in Dakar Senegal is not on the web; HOWEVER, there is a huge amount of information on SPAM and other con-artists that use Catholic Church in Dakar, be very careful.


When should you take down your Christmas tree and decorations?

Following Christian tradition, the Christmas tree would be put up and decorated on December 24, Christmas Eve, and stay up until January 6, the day of Epiphany. Epiphany is a feast day that celebrates God the son, as the human Jesus Christ.

However, it seems most people put their Christmas trees up after Thanksgiving and usually take them down after New Year's Day.

The traditional day is 6th Jan, also for the decorations.


The Franciscans were founded by?

The Franciscans were founded by Saint Francis of Assisi.

Latin to English

What is the Meaning of in excelsis deo?

The translation is "to God in the highest." For example, when someone says "Gloria in excelsis Deo" they are saying "Glory to God in the highest."


Can a Maronite priest be married?

Yes and No.

A Married Man can become a Maronite Priest.

This is why there are so many family names in Lebanon of 'Khoury' (meaning Priest).

However, a Priest cannot marry. If you are single and you become a Priest you cannot marry.


What are papal indulgences?

Catholic AnswerA papal indulgence is just an indulgence which has been granted by the Pope for the benefit of all the faithful. By the way, it is exactly the same thing now as it was five hundred years ago, except that there aren't as many available for alms.

from Radio Replies, by Fathers Rumble and Carty, 1942

994. I have heard Catholics speak of indulgences for the souls in purgatory? What are indulgences?

Do not mix up the ecclesiastical term indulgence with the modern idea of self-indulgence. An indulgence is not a permission to indulge in sin, but is a remission of punishment due to sin. Now in the early Christian Church certain sins were punished by long public penance, sometimes for days, at other times for years. But the Church was often indulgent, and loosed or freed Christians from all or part of their public penance, if they showed other good dispositions, or performed certain works of charity. The Church had that power in the name of God as surely as the state has the power in its own name to commute a sentence or even release a criminal altogether under certain circumstances. Christ said to the Church, "Whatsoever you shall loose upon earth shall be loosed in heaven." Matt. XVIII., 18. That the merits of Christ and of the Martyrs and Saints of the ages are at the disposal of the Church is also a consequence of the doctrine of the Communion of the Saints. And that power of commuting or even of remitting penances and expiations exists in the Church to-day, being exercised by the granting of indulgences.

995. What do you mean by an indulgence, say, of forty days?

An indulgence of forty days means that the Church liberates us from that amount of expiation of our sins which would be equal to a forty days' public penance in the early Church. It does not mean forty days less purgatory. Such an indulgence is called a partial indulgence.

997. Can indulgences be applied to the souls in purgatory?

Yes, but by God alone. We can but ask Him to accept indulgences on their behalf. But we can certainly offer them with a definite conviction of their normal acceptance by God for those we love, even as we can share our goods in this life with more needy friends. This too is implied by the doctrine of the Communion of Saints.

History, Politics & Society

What is priest changing room called?

Vestry or sacristy


What is the papal chair?

Every bishop has a chair, called a cathedra, which was traditional symbol of his teaching and leadership role. The church where the bishops cathedra is located is called a cathedral, and is the 'mother-church' of the diocese which that bishop serves.

The pope is the bishop of Rome, so his chair - his cathedra - is located in the cathedral of the diocese of Rome, the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran. This was also the first church built in Rome.


Is Jehoel only a Seraph in the Jewish Angel Hierarchy or does he also appear in Christian scripture?

The angel Jehoel does not appear in name in christian scripture, however, he is mentioned in general as "seraphim", which appears in the book of rev and in old testment.

Answer:I've been an Orthodox Rabbi for decades and this is the first I've heard of him. This extremely obscure name does not appear in the Jewish Bible, Talmud or prayerbook.

In Christianity, he is mentioned in a single Old Church Slavonic text.

In Judaism, his name occurs in one rare post-Talmudic work (B'rith Menuha), plus another text of questionable authorship ("3 Enoch") which plays no role in Judaism.

Wedding Planning
Religion & Spirituality

How do you conduct weddings in spiritualist church?

This service can work as a conventional wedding or, with minor alterations, be used as a Unity Ceremony. I get lovely responses from the couples and the guests. Rev. Karen Buchholz First Spiritualist Church of Terre HauteOpening Prayer: Let us form a Circle of Love in our hearts, and begin with a moment of prayer, Heavenly Father, let us connect our hearts and souls with You and each other, Let us bring to this Circle of Love a sense of Respect and Joy in our celebration of this special day for and , and bring into our hearts the presence of those who could not be with us in this time and space. Even as we have asked, so may it be. Amen Charge to the Community Love is the eternal and divine force of life; the mirror in which we may see the infinite expressions of God. Love is the power that allows us to face fear, challenges and uncertainty with courage and faith. We call upon God's Love to bless this gathering, and to shine in our hearts as and affirm their love for one-another. We come together not to mark the start of a relationship, but to recognize, as a community of love, a bond that already exists. This marriage is this couple's expression of the many varieties of love. It is our responsibility as a community of family and friends to support and as they take their vow of unity. We live in a world of joy and fear. We search for meaning and strength in seeming disorder. We discover our truest selves when we rely on each other through Love in all its magnitude. A Charge to the Couple: and , in presenting yourselves here today to be joined in holy union, you perform an act of faith. This faith can grow and mature and endure, but only if you both determine to make it so. A lasting and growing love is never guaranteed by any ceremony. The foundation of your union must be the love you have for each other, not just at this moment, but for all the days ahead. Cherish the hopes and dreams that you each have which has brought you here today. Resolve that your love will never be blotted out by the commonplace, shaken by fears, nor obscured by the ordinary in life. The Challenge of LovingLet us all remember: Giving of yourself in love is difficult. You must give of your love without total submission of yourself, and yet without conditions. Therefore, in your giving, give your joy, your sadness, your interest, your understanding, your knowledge and all expressions that make up life. But in this giving, remember to preserve yourself, your integrity, your individuality. This is the challenge of love within marriage. What is Your Intent? I welcome those who are married among us to join hands with their partners, and remember your commitment as and proclaim theirs. and , take and hold one-another's right hands. (*at this point, couple is facing minister). and , do you come before this gathering to proclaim your love and devotion for one another? Do you promise to affirm, respect, and care for one-another during times of joy and hardship? Do you commit yourself to share your feelings of happiness and sadness? Do you pledge to remain faithful? If so, answer: I Do. The Vows of Marriage and , please join both hands and face one-another. , please repeat after me. I commit my life to our marriage. I promise to comfort you, and to encourage you throughout your life. I promise to share my thoughts and feelings with you openly and lovingly. I promise to listen to you in your times of joy and sorrow. , I love you. You are my closest friend. Will you let me share my life and all that I am with you? , if this is your wish, answer: I will : I will. , please repeat after me: I commit my life to our marriage. I promise to comfort you, and to encourage you throughout your life. I promise to share my thoughts and feelings with you openly and lovingly. I promise to listen to you in your times of joy and sorrow. , I love you. You are my closest friend. Will you let me share my life and all that I am with you? ME: , if this is your wish, answer: I will : I will. Ring Blessing ME: May I have your rings, please? The circle is the symbol of holiness. It is the symbol of unending love. These rings are a symbol of unity, in which your two lives are now joined in one unbroken circle. As often as either of you looks at your rings, I hope that you will remember that they symbolize the commitment you made today to love and support each other. Ring Exchange , please place this ring on 's finger and repeat after me: I give you this ring, as a symbol of my eternal commitment to love, honor and respect you. , please place this ring on 'S finger and repeat after me: I give you this ring, as a symbol of my eternal commitment to love, honor and respect you. Blessing of the Community This is a moment of celebration. Let it also be a moment of dedication. The world does a good job of reminding us how fragile we are. Individuals are fragile; relationships are fragile too. Every marriage needs the nurturing support of friends and family. On this wedding day, and from here forward, it is our duty not to be friends of or , but friends of them together, friends of their partnership. In the moment of silence that follows, I ask each of you, in your own way, to offer a silent prayer or blessing, upon this wedding, and make your vow to support this couple. (A Moment of Silence) So as we have asked these blessings, so may they come to be. Amen. Blessing of the Union Out of this tangled world two souls have come together, drawn by mutual love and respect. May their days and years yet unborn deepen the joy of their choice and make it abidingly true. May the glow of your Love help brighten the face of the Earth. May God's Love touch and bless you and grace your lives with wisdom, courage, joy, peace and love. Pronouncement and , having heard your intent, and having seen the love that abides between you, it is my great joy and honor to pronounce that you are, in the eyes of God and State, Husband and Wife. and , you may seal your commitment of marriage with a kiss. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give to you Mr. & MRS. . Go in peace, with love, light, and joy in your hearts.


What does a person study to become a religious or a priest?

Generally when one wishes to enter into the discernment process for the priesthood whether Diocesan or Religious one will study philosophy and theology. Philosophical studies come before one starts theological studies. This is because theology utilizes the language of philosophy. Therefore if one wishes to be a student of theology, one must learn the language. Math is to Science what Philosophy is to Theology.

Philosophical studies will consist of an introductory course, then one will progress to study epistemology, metaphysics, ancient, medieval, and modern philosophy, logic and argumentation, phenomenology, etc. Theological studies will consist of basic courses in Ecclesiology, Trinitarian Theology, Sacramental Theology and Sacraments, Canon Law, Pastoral Theology, Revelation, Scripture, Prayer and Spirituality, etc. Seminary also consists of practical training such as apostolic works. These consist of parish assignments (usually in the upper years of formation,) assignments to prisons, nursing homes, shelters, hospitals, Clinical Pastoral Education, (usually in the lower years of formation) Seminary usually takes at least 6 years for those who enter with an undergraduate degree, 8 years for those who do not.

Religious life is a different concept. Because when one enters into religious life, one is entering into a community and embracing that communities particular charism. This can be anything from teaching to hospital ministry to apostolates to inner city and poor. Each religious community has distinct formation practices and different emphasis. Once again, the time period of formation can take anywhere from 6-12 years. To be sure one who enters into religious life, will learn some basic principles of philosophy and theology, but one will also be immersed in the spiritual tradition of the Church in a deeper way then seminarians who are studying for the Diocesan Priesthood.

Catholic Confirmation

What do you call a confirmation student?

The word for the person to be confirmed is a confirmand.


Where does a nun work?

Catholic AnswerA nun, as opposed to a sister (a nun is a woman in solemn vows who lives in a monastery; a sister is usually in perpetual or simple vows or promises, and lives in a convent or out in the world) primary occupation is the Opus Dei, the Work of God, which is the Divine Office and the Mass. This is referred to as "the Office". So, properly speaking, she works at prayer in the chapel, in a monastery. In some Benedictine monasteries before Vatican Council II, the Office would take as many as six and half hours a day to be sung properly. In addition to the Office, nuns usually have some work that they do at their monastery: depending on the particular Order, this could be giving retreats, making altar breads, sewing Vestments and altar hangings, running a farm. Sisters, on the other hand, usually work in the world, their occupations classically included teaching, nursing, and the like. AnswerStrictly speaking many nuns take solemn vows, which prevents them from leaving their monasteries. They spend their day in prayer and meditation, supporting themselves by the sale of communion hosts [ prior to 1950 all hosts were "manufactured" by secluded nuns, using outmoded methods. Parts needed for the appliances they used are no longer available, and most "hosts" are made commercially. In the present the nuns act as "middle men" selling the commercially made product and keeping part of the profit to sustain the monastery. Sisters are members of congregations who have varied apostolic ventures (jobs), teaching, nursing, social work, administrative work in diocesan offices. They are paid equal "wages" as lay people working in the same positions, however the payment is made to the congregation, the sisters live on a stipend provided by the congregation.
History of Europe

Why was monasticism so important and influential in Europe during the first millennium?

First, people believed in God and the church. Second, people saw monastic life as a way to life in peace and security in a chaotic world.

During the first four hundred years of the middle ages, people in western Europe were badly exposed to armed groups of people who were migrating or raiding. The Germanic tribes were a type of such groups, and the Vikings were another. People who lived in the countryside needed protection, and this could come if they moved to walled cities or organized themselves under local, able leadership. Both of theses routes provided some security, but at a price. In those days things were so bad that many people literally sold themselves into slavery in exchange for security.

One alternative to this exposure was living in a monastery. Monasteries were sacked and destroyed, just as towns and cities were, but they were not as tempting as targets in most places. People in them had a better chance than many in the countryside, also.

Politics and Government

What do you do at church camp?

Activities vary depending on the specific camp. Generally, you participate in outdoor and/or religion-based games and activities. Singing is a common activity. You would also likely have discussion about your religion, and spend time praying.


What are the Catholic Stations of the Cross?

The Stations of the Cross are commonly prayed during the season of Lent. They are very commonly found on the walls of Catholic Churches, so a quick visit to your nearest neighboring church will likely have the following on the walls:

I. Christ condemned to death

II. Christ receives his Cross

III. Christ's first fall

IV. Christ meets Mary

V. Christ receives help from Simon of Cyrene

VI. Christ's face is wiped by Veronica

VII. Christ's second fall

VIII. Christ meets the women of Jerusalem

IX. Christ's third fall

X. Christ is stripped of his clothes

XI. Christ is crucified

XII. Christ dies on the Cross

XIII. Christ's body is taken down from the Cross

XIV. Christ is placed in the tomb

Occasionally churches have the Stations of the Cross in different locations. For example, in addition to having them on the walls inside the church, Our Lady of Peace Shrine in Santa Clara, CA has them nicely arranged along an outdoor path which connects to their large statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.


What does the title SJ mean?

SJ is short for Society of Jesus, indicating membership in the religious order commonly known as Jesuits.

Holidays and Traditions
Ash Wednesday

Who celebrates Ash Wednesday and Lent?

Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Anglicans.


What was Dorothy Day famous for?

Dorothy Day was an American journalist, social activist and devout Catholic convert. She worked closely with fellow activist Peter Maurin to establish the Catholic Worker movement. She is currently being considered for sainthood and is now titled Servant of God.


Who was St. Patrick?

Saint Patrick St Patrick was a Roman Englishman who introduced Christianity to Ireland.

The man himself, St. Patrick, was born in Wales in 385 AD (His given name was Maewyn).

St. Patrick spent thirty years building and setting up monasteries and places of worship all around Ireland. As anyone who has been to Ireland will know, religion is a big part of being Irish.

He was thrown into prison several times and escaped each time from the Celtic Druids to continue establishing churches and monasteries all over Ireland, a mission that took him over 30 years.

St. Patrick died on March 17th, 461 AD and that day has been celebrated as St. Patrick's Day ever since.

When we Celebrate this holiday, we think of green; green foods, clothing, drinks etc.. Green came into the picture and started to be associated with this celebration in the 19th century.

The color green, in Irish legends was the color worn by fairies and immortals and the color worn by people to encourage crops to grow. Even today, when we think of green, we think of springtime, new life and new growth.

St. Patrick is a 5th century bishop who was sent by the pope to convert the pagan Druids of Ireland to Christianity.


Saint Patrick was a Romano-Briton and Christian missionary, who is the most generally recognised patron saint of Ireland.

When he was about 14 he was captured from Britain by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Ireland, where he lived for six years before escaping and returning to his family. After entering the Church, he returned to Ireland as an ordained bishop in the north and west of the island, but little is known about the places where he worked and there is no contemporary evidence for any link between Patrick and any known church building.
Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. He was not from Ireland, but was born in Britain. He came to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16 and after escaping a few years later he returned to bring Christianity to Ireland.
Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. He was not from Ireland, but was born in Britain. He came to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16 and after escaping a few years later he returned to bring Christianity to Ireland.


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