Friday, November 27, 2009

Catholic Q&A: Part 2

Here is a recent batch of questions that I answered in the "Catholicism" category at WikiAnswers. Also see Part 1.
  • What is the idol of gold that the Israelites created?

    You may be referring to the golden calf that the Jews created once they began to doubt that Moses would ever come down from Mt. Sinai. You can read about the creation and destruction of the golden calf in chapter 32 of the Book of Exodus, from the Old Testament of the Bible.

    Does a Catholic have to confess to a priest before receiving Communion?

    If a Catholic has committed a mortal sin, then he must confess this sin to a priest in the Sacrament of Confession before he can receive Communion. If he has committed only venial sins, then he is free to receive Communion without going to Confession, and his reception of Communion will actually result in the forgiveness of those venial sins.

    Who painted the Sistine Chapel?

    Many of the greatest Renaissance artists of the day are responsible for the paintings that adorn the Sistine Chapel: Michaelangelo, Raphael, Bernini, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Cosimo Roseli, Luca Signorelli, and others. Of all these, Michelangelo is most often associated with the Chapel, thanks to the dramatic scenes that he painted on its ceiling.

    Who were the most influential figures of the Catholic Reformation?

    There are many saints who were influential in renewing the Catholic Church around the time of the Council of Trent. These include St. Robert Bellarmine, St. Charles Borromeo, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Pius V, St. Francis de Sales, St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and St. Philip Neri.

    What does the water represent in baptism?

    Water is a very rich symbol in baptism. It represents death in that when you go under the water this is symbolic of a death to your old, sinful self. It represents life in that when you come out of the water, this is symbolic of a resurrection to new life. Water is symbolic of spiritual rebirth, since, just as we are physically born when we come out of the water of the womb, we are "born again" when we come out of the waters of baptism. Water is also symbolic of cleansing. Just as regular water cleanses dirt from our bodies, the water of baptism cleanses us of sin. Finally, water itself is often a symbol of the Holy Spirit since it is the Spirit that causes the various effects of baptism that are symbolized by the water.

Do you know your faith? Help me tackle some unanswered questions. Of course, if you have any questions of your own, just leave me a comment or send me an email.

Pax Christi,


Maria Helena said...

On the subject of idols, is it ok to have glass fish and mini elephantts, as long as we don't worship them?

phatcatholic said...

Yea, that's fine.

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