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Can Catholics Be Cremated?

The Catholic Church forbid cremation up until 1963. Catholic belief in the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit — as well as faith in the resurrection of the body — places a strong preference for entombing [more…]

Part of the Series: Coping with Death: 9 Ways to Deal with Funerals, Feelings, and Faith

Who's Who in the Catholic Church?

The pope is not the only leader in the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church, like every structured environment — from governments to corporations to schools to sports programs — has a chain of command. [more…]

How the College of Cardinals Chooses a New Pope

When a pope dies in office or resigns, like Pope Benedict XVI did in early 2013, the College of Cardinals (all the cardinals in the Catholic Church) gather to elect a new pope. No sooner than 15 days and [more…]

Is the Pope Really Infallible?

Catholicism maintains that the pope is infallible,incapable of error, when he teaches a doctrine on faith or morals to the universal Church in his unique office as supreme head. When the pope asserts his [more…]

What Are Extraordinary Magisterium and Ordinary Magisterium?

The pope can exercise his papal infallibility in two ways. One is called the Extraordinary Magisterium, and the other is called Ordinary Magisterium. The word magisterium is from the Latin word magister [more…]

The Job Security of Being Pope

Popes are elected for life unless they voluntarily — without pressure or coercion — resign from office. Pope Benedict XVI resigned early in 2013, claiming fading bodily and mental strength; he was the [more…]

Popes throughout History: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Catholicism regards St. Peter as the first pope, handpicked by Jesus Christ himself, according to the Gospel of St. Matthew (16:18), when Jesus said, “You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church [more…]

The Catholic Pope: His Job and How He's Elected

Known worldwide and to Catholics as thepope, the bishop of Rome is the supreme and visible head of the Catholic Church. The pope has a slew of other titles, but the most common and best-known ones are [more…]

Ten Things You Should Know About Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI was elected in 2007 by the College of Cardinals, and he resigned in 2012. Controversies were a part of his tenure. He was the 265th pope in Roman Catholic Church history and the first [more…]

Key Dates in the Life of Pope John Paul II

Karol Wojtyła, who became Pope John Paul II, did not allow anything to weaken his convictions. He lost both parents and his only brother before the age of 21, but Karol remained faithful to the Church [more…]

The Ways Pope John Paul II Made History

John Paul II's reign as pope contained few hours of idle time, and as a result he changed the world and the perception of Catholicism. Among his accomplishments, Pope John Paul II [more…]

The Names of Pope John Paul II

Like any pope, John Paul II was not born as "John Paul." Here are the names, nicknames, aliases, and pseudonyms John Paul II used (or answered to) in his lifetime. [more…]

John Paul II For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The first Polish pope, John Paul II was a thinker and a leader whose religious convictions defined a new approach toward world politics — and changed the course of history. See the key dates in John Paul [more…]

The Joyful Mysteries in Catholicism

The Joyful Mysteries are prayed on Mondays and Saturdays, and they remind the faithful Catholics of Christ’s birth. Each decade corresponds with a different mystery. Starting with the Annunciation for [more…]

The Luminous Mysteries in Catholicism

Pope John Paul II added on the Mysteries of Light, also known in Catholicism as the Luminous Mysteries, in 2002. Pray the Rosary and recall these Mysteries of Light on Thursdays [more…]

The Sorrowful Mysteries in Catholicism

The Sorrowful Mysteries are prayed on Tuesdays and Fridays on Catholicism, and they remind the faithful of His Passion and death (they may also be said during the entire season of Lent, the 40 days before [more…]

The Glorious Mysteries in Catholicism

In Catholicism, the Glorious Mysteries are prayed on Wednesdays and Sundays, and they remind the faithful of His Resurrection and the glories of heaven [more…]

Catholicism All-In-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

While saying the prayers of the Rosary, Catholics meditate on what are called the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary. But saying the mysteries is really no mystery at all [more…]

Popular Catholic Places

Although some religions require their members to visit their holy and sacred places, the Catholic Church doesn’t. Catholics are simply encouraged to make pilgrimages — religious journeys to holy places [more…]

Decoding the Meaning of Catholic Priests’ Vestments

It can be difficult to interpret the meaning of certain things in religion. A priest’s colorful vestments help Catholics know which celebrations are at hand: [more…]

Catholicism: A Glimpse at Wives in the Bible

These nameless women of the Bible, identified by their relationships as wives, are known by the fame of their husbands or by their own words and deeds. [more…]

Catholicism: Where Is Hell, Anyway?

Ancient man believed that hell was underground, in the center of the earth, where it was hot. This belief was based on the erroneous notion that the earth was the center of the universe. When science proved [more…]

Original Sin, As Defined in Catholicism

According to Christian and Jewish theology, original sinis a spiritual disease of the human soul, a disease that is passed on to future generations as much as physical characteristics or physiological [more…]

How John Paul II Was a Groundbreaker, Shepherd, and Reformer

John Paul II came from an ancient land steeped in tradition, was raised in a 2,000-year-old religion, and would become the visible defender of traditional morality and orthodox doctrine. At the same time [more…]

Pope John Paul II as an Author

Most people know of John Paul II's papal encyclicals and letters. What a lot of people, including a lot of Catholics, don't know is that he authored many books: [more…]


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