The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, reporting more than a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity.

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Was St Peter a bishop of Rome?

The Roman Catholic Church claims that St Peter was the first pope, which would imply that he was also one of the first bishops of Rome. Some statements from the New Testament make this seem unlikely: ...
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Has the Catholic Church lifted more people out of poverty than any other civic institution?

The New York Times published an editorial on December 29, 2013 about Pope Francis titled "Radical Pope, Traditional Values" which includes the following statement: As a result of its work in basic ...
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Does the Catholic church accept evolution?

In his 2007 video 1st Foundational Falsehood of Creationism the YouTuber AronRa claims [Catholicism and Orthodoxy] have stated support of evolution and denounced creationism. Pope Benedict ...
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Did the Irish Catholic church have slaves in Ireland as recently as 1996?

This article covers the topic well, but is more about the Irish government admitting collusion with the supposed slave holders. Labelled the "Maggies", the women and girls were stripped of their ...
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Does the Catholic Church prohibit abortion?

In the light of a recent death of a pregnant woman in Ireland, it has been heard in the print and electronics media that she was denied abortion because Ireland is a Catholic country. Her repeated ...
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Does contraception cause infidelity and/or divorce?

Related: Natural family planning and divorce rates A friend of mine attended Catholic Mass today and shared that the homily was entirely about contraception. From her summary, the gist was that the ...
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Does St. Januarius' “blood” congeal and liquefy?

Saint Januarius is famous for the reputed miracle of the annual liquefaction of his blood, which, according to legend, was saved by a woman called Eusebia just after the saint's death. Thousands of ...
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Was the practice of eating fish during Lent started by the church to spur the economy of Italy?

At lunch today I heard the claim again that the practice of eating fish on Fridays was started by the church to help save a floundering Italian economy at a time when fishing was its primary industry. ...
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What happened at Fatima on 13 October 1917?

It is widely claimed (mostly by religious people) that there was a miracle in Fátima where the sun "danced". It is known as the miracle of the sun. Is there any scientific consensus that anything ...
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Is there evidence that Saint Bernard of Corleone knew the day of his death in advance?

A recent CommonSenseAtheism post featured a picture in which St. Bernard of Corleone was named. Curious about the reference to "kill a few guys," I looked him upon on Wikipedia. Among the fact that he ...
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Are between 20-50% of Catholic priests homosexual?

In Penn & Teller's Bullshit, Season 7, there is an episode about the Vatican. I just watched it via this post on the blog, Arizona Atheist. In it, around the 8m:10s mark, a statement is made that ...
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Has condom distribution increased the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa?

Related: Do condoms have large enough holes for HIV to pass through? Back in Mar 2009, Pope Benedict XVI visited Africa and stated that condom use was not the answer to Africa's HIV/AIDS problems. ...
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Is Vatican Radio causing childhood leukaemia?

It an ugly, long standing story in Italy: Vatican radio has huge antennas, not subject to Italian law, and the people living in the surroundings lament severe ailments such as leukaemia. The Santa ...
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Do visitors of Lourdes experience spontaneous recovery more often than would be expected by chance?

People going to Lourdes sometimes return and tell stories about a miraculous healing they have witnessed. Do visitors of Lourdes experience spontaneous recovery more often than would be expected by ...
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Is Christianity responsible for the scientific method?

I've heard at least a few times now from apologists that Christianity is responsible for science. For some examples: From a commercial for the site, Catholics Come Home (video LINK that opens right ...
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Has the Catholic Church ever retracted an “ex cathedra” statement?

Question: Has the Catholic Church ever made a proclamation ex cathedra (as in, one which it declares is infallible) that it later retracted? This could literally be any form of the following: Some ...
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Cohabiting couples more likely to divorce?

v0.2 of myself was Catholic; subsequent revisions have removed this feature from my code base. In any case, I went through Catholic marriage prep, and was married in the Catholic Church. At the ...
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816 views

Was the opposition of the Catholic Church to contraception based on the Homunculi theory?

I have heard said that the opposition of the church to any form of contraception - or any attempt to prevent conception (pulling out, oral sex, etc.) while still performing coitus - was originally ...
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Cause of Catholic clergy sexual abuse is the attitude of the 60's and 70's

Is there corroborating evidence to support the arguments put forward in a recent study by the U.S. Conference of Bishops that neither celibacy nor homosexuality can be blamed for the clerical ...
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Was the Vatican bailed out from bankruptcy by private interests in the 1980s?

I read an article years ago about the Vatican City going bankrupt and subsequently being bailed out by the CEO of a large sneaker company (Nike, Adidas or Reebok, etc. - I can't remember which). I ...
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Did Pope John Paul II perform a miracle?

The catholic church has very recently beatified late Pope John Paul II. As one of the requirements for this, the church required at least one miracle attributed to the candidate. In this case, a nun ...
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Is there systemic sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests?

Is there a systemic relationship between Catholic priests and sexual abuse of children? I ask because I grew up in Newfoundland, which was at the time engrossed in the abuse at Mount Cashel ...
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Shroud of Turin — is it absolutely and definitively debunked?

A little context on this famous myth: The Shroud of Turin or Turin Shroud is a linen cloth bearing the image of a man who appears to have suffered physical trauma in a manner consistent with ...
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Ash Wednesday History

I recently read a blog that stated: Ash Wednesday is a relatively late addition to the Christian liturgical calendar, first surfacing in the tenth century according to accounts written in the ...