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520 Roman Catholicism Trivia Questions, Answers, and Fun Facts

How much do you know about Roman Catholicism? This category is for trivia questions and answers related to Roman Catholicism (Religion). Each one is filled with fun facts and interesting information.
Related Questions & Answers:   Prayers    The Sacraments and the Mass    Church Roles    Christianity    History of Christianity   
1 "On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, A partridge in a pear tree..." According to a Roman Catholic symbolic interpretation, who does the partridge represent in the carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas"?
Answer: Jesus

Between 1558 and 1829, English Roman Catholics could not practice their faith publicly. An anonymous person is said to have written this carol as a catechism song. There are two levels of meaning. The first is the superficial meaning about a surfeit of gifts. The second level is a purported hidden meaning known only to members of the Roman Catholic church. Each element in the carol has a key word for a religious reality which children could easily recall.

The partridge is Jesus Christ. He is aptly represented as a partridge, a bird which will pretend to be injured in order to draw predators to itself and away from its young. By offering Himself on the Cross, "He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler." (KJV Psalms 91:4)

The pear tree is the Cross itself. When King David needed to free his people from the Philistines, the Lord told him, "And when thou shalt hear the sound of one going in the tops of the pear trees, then shalt thou join battle: for then will the Lord go out before thy face to strike the army of the Philistines." (2 Samuel 5:24) (Note in some versions the "pear tree" is listed as "Mulberry tree" or a "Balsam tree".
  From Quiz: 12 Drummers Drumming & Other Catholic Connections
2 Apart from family prayers every night, our faith began to be taught in earnest by the nuns at primary school. What was the name of this subject beginning with C?
Answer: Catechism

Catechism at the level of five year olds was a summary of the Roman Catholic Faith's teachings and beliefs put in the simplest terms. As we grew older, the texts grew progressively more sophisticated, but for five year old children, those lessons incorporated a form of rote learning, backed up by suitable short stories and lessons told to us by the gentle little nuns. These Catechism lessons, after a suitable prayer, went something like this:

Sister: "Who made the world?"
Children in unison and usually on top note: "God made the world!"
Sister: "Who made the fish and the birds and the animals?"
Children: "God made the fish and the birds and the animals!"

(And so on)
  From Quiz: Good and Evil and Sin From My Childhood Faith
3 What was the name of the young priest credited with the formation of the Knights of Columbus?
Answer: McGivney

Father Michael J. McGivney was the assistant pastor at St. Mary's Church in New Haven, Connecticut.
  From Quiz: Knights of Columbus
4 What prominent heresy did the First Council of Nicaea condemn?
Answer: Arianism

The First Council of Nicaea, convened in 325, condemned the heresy of Arianism. Arianism was first proposed by the Catholic priest Arius, who lived in Alexandria, Egypt. Arius promoted the claim that Jesus Christ was not divine.
Although this contradicted the Church's teachings, as expressed through Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, the idea became so popular that a majority of Catholic bishops accepted Arius' claims by the time the First Council of Nicaea was convened.
Under the guidance of Saint Nicholas, the council developed the Nicene Creed and condemned Arianism as a heresy. The divinity of Christ was reasserted and Arius was pronounced a heretic.
  From Quiz: Church Councils
5 How many sacraments does the Roman Catholic Church have?
Answer: 7

The seven sacraments are the sacraments of baptism, reconciliation, marriage, holy orders, anointing of the sick, confirmation, and the Eucharist. Sacraments are beliefs or practices of the Catholics, which are believed to have been instituted by Christ.
  From Quiz: Catholic Beliefs
6 According to the Book of Exodus, where did Moses receive the Ten Commandments?
Answer: Mount Sinai

According to Exodus 19:20 (NKJV):
"Then the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up."

Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. This is traditionally believed to be located in the Sinai Peninsula. The exact location of Mount Sinai has been the subject of much debate and speculation, but the traditional site is generally identified as Jebel Musa, or "Mountain of Moses", which is in present-day Egypt.

Some scholars and researchers have proposed alternative locations for Mount Sinai, including sites in present-day Saudi Arabia. One such theory suggests Jebel al-Lawz as the true Mount Sinai, although these views are less widely accepted in mainstream scholarship.
  From Quiz: Ten Complete Commandments
7 Thanks for filling in this morning for our ALE RICH YOUTHS at St. Anagram's. You won't need to trade your thinking cap for a miter to do well today.
Answer: Holy Eucharist

Holy Eucharist is one of many names for the sacrament of Communion, also called "the Lord's Supper". The word "Eucharist" is from the Greek and has as its root the word for "gift" (charisma, charismatic), suggesting that the Holy Communion is God's gift to all.
  From Quiz: Worship at St. Anagram's
8 Who succeeded Pope John Paul II?
Answer: Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict was born Joseph Ratzinger. He succeeded Pope John Paul II as the 265th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church.
  From Quiz: Roman Catholic
9 Sister Mary Mary presumed that you mastered the Sign of the Cross in the first grade. Which hand were you trained to use?
Answer: Right hand

The Sign of the Cross is a devotional gesture where one traces a cross by touching the forehead, down to the breast and from shoulder to shoulder while saying, "In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen". Some christian churches use the left hand rather than the right, and some add touching the fingers to the centre of the chest at the end, while saying "Amen". But that wasn't what Sister Mary Mary expected in the 1950s!
    Your options: [ Left hand ] [ Right hand ] [ Dominant hand ] [ Either right or left hand ]
  From Quiz: Growing Up Catholic
10 In 1979 Pope John Paul II created a patron saint of those who promote ecology. Who is this heavenly Patron?
Answer: Saint Francis of Assisi

cf. Apostolic Letter Inter Sanctos; AAS 71 (1979), 1509f. The Pope in his message of 1990 says said that St. Francis gave striking witness that "when we are at peace with God we are better able to devote ourselves to building up that peace with all creation which is inseparable from peace among all peoples".
  From Quiz: The Catholic Church and Ecology
11 A flat metal container used to carry communion to the sick.
Answer: Pyx

Not your typical Corelle Ware.
    Your options: [ Alb ] [ Pyx ] [ Corporal ] [ Vestibule ]
  From Quiz: Catholic Church Dictionary
12 In the stations of the cross, how many times did Jesus fall?
Answer: 3

There are 14 stations of the cross. The first station begins with Jesus' condemnation to death and ends with Him dying on the cross. Stations 3,7 and 9 depict the falls. The purpose of the Stations is so we don't forget what Jesus has done for us in the way of Salvation.
  From Quiz: Catholicism
13 According to Luke, what type of animal were the two disciples asked to collect and bring to Jesus for his procession into Jerusalem?
Answer: Colt

See Luke 19:30. Jesus asked them to bring a colt who had never been ridden by a man, and to explain to its owners that 'The Lord has need of him (the colt).' A colt is the term used for a young male horse or donkey. Matthew is more specific in identifying it as an ass or donkey, to emphasize the fulfilment of a prophecy from the Old Testament.
  From Quiz: The Crucifixion Of Jesus Christ
14 According to the Catholic Church, in what year was it founded?
Answer: approximately 33 A.D.

According to Catholic tradition, Jesus founded the Catholic Church when he was about 33 years old. 'You are Peter, a stone; and upon this rock I will build my church; and all the powers of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; whatever doors you lock on earth shall be locked in Heaven, and all the doors you open on earth shall be opened in Heaven!' (Matthew 16:18-19).
  From Quiz: The Roman Catholic Church
15 The Most Blessed Sacrament is reserved in vessels kept inside the ____________ for later distribution to the sick and for adoration.
Answer: Tabernacle

In every Catholic Church, there is a 'box' called the tabernacle where consecrated Hosts (Our Lord Himself) are reserved for adoration, worship, and for distribution of Holy Communion during the Mass and for the sick. While it's true the Monstrance holds the Host for adoration and worship, that Host is not for distribution to the sick. One way to recognize the tabernacle is that usually a red or white candle will be burning very close to it to tell us that our Lord is present in the tabernacle. If the Blessed Sacrament is for some reason removed from the tabernacle, the light will be put out.
    Your options: [ Paten ] [ Altar ] [ Tabernacle ] [ Monstrance ]
  From Quiz: The Holy Roman Catholic Church
16 What is the title of the Vicar(s) of Christ on Earth?
Answer: Pope

St. Peter was the first Pope! See Matthew 16:18.
  From Quiz: Roman Catholicism
17 Who is revered as the first Pope?
Answer: St. Peter

St. Peter was the first Pope. 'And so I say to you, you are Peter. And on this rock will I build my Church.... I give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.' -St. Matthew 16:18. The Catholic Church can trace every single successor of Peter up until Francis I - all 266 of them!
  From Quiz: Catholic Trivia
18 What do the two turtle doves in the "Twelve Days of Christmas" supposedly represent?
Answer: Old and New Testament

The two turtle doves represent the Old and New Testaments: they look to each other with love and admiration, and they complement each other.

It should be noted that it is by no means universally accepted that the carol is a catechism. This theory has many detractors. For the purposes of this quiz, however, we will consider it to be one.
  From Quiz: 12 Drummers Drumming & Other Catholic Connections
19 As we grew older, we were taught about the Seven Sacraments of the Church, which were all to do with striving towards goodness in the possible steps we may encounter in life. What was it called if a man joined the priesthood?
Answer: Holy Orders

The Catholic faith taught that we were given seven sacraments by Jesus - ones we should honour if different events were our lot in life as we grew older. These were clarified by the church's ecumenical councils throughout the centuries that flew by. They all come with various rituals that act as a visible reminder of God's presence among us. Discussed further on in full in this quiz, these are:

1. Baptism: Carried out shortly after birth.
2. Confirmation: Becoming a fully aware member of the church's congregation and all that entails. This is conferred on a child when he or she reaches the age of reason around the age of seven.
3. Holy Communion: Taking the symbolic representation of the body and blood of Jesus in the form of a small round piece of flattened bread.
4. Confession (now called Penance and Reconciliation): Making one's First Confession was another major step along the road of life for Catholics. This occurred when one confessed his or her sins in the privacy of the confessional box to a weary but understanding priest, after which a suitable penance was handed out - usually some form of prayer for children.
5. Extreme Unction: Now called the Anointing of the Sick, or the Last Rites, this involves a priest given blessing in the name of the Lord for those who are very close to death, OR give one the strength to recover. It is believed that ritual, if death occurs, carries a faithful Catholic safely into the arms of Christ and eternal life. For those who are aware, it can be extremely reassuring and comforting. Sometimes it can cure as well.
6. Holy Orders: Conferred upon a man, who, after intense study in the seminary, is about to take the final step to become a priest. It now includes a bishop, presbyter or deacon as well.
7. Holy Matrimony: This is the blessed ritual by which a young couple are married in the sight of God, in order to spend the rest of their lives together in a loving marriage blessed with children. Perhaps it's the happiest sacrament of all. "Whom God has joined together, let no man put asunder".
    Your options: [ Extreme Unction ] [ Confirmation ] [ Holy Orders ] [ Penance ]
  From Quiz: Good and Evil and Sin From My Childhood Faith
20 The Catholic Church says that of all the virtues, one is the most excellent one. Which one is it?
Answer: Charity

Charity is also defined as "Divine Friendship" or friendship with God and all His children. Charity lifts man beyond the limits of his human nature and lets him be at home with God. Like every true and perfect friendship, it extends to those loved by God, His children. Without Charity or Divine Friendship, all other virtues are not practiced to the fullest.
    Your options: [ Faith ] [ Charity ] [ Justice ] [ Hope ]
  From Quiz: The Christian Virtues
21 What was the primary reason the Knights of Columbus was formed?
Answer: Help members' families in need

In the late 19th Century Roman Catholic immigrants to the United States were discriminated against, and were forced to take dangerous factory jobs to support their families. Workplace fatalities created widows and fatherless families without a breadwinner. The K.C.s sprang from a small group of men who bonded together and pledged to support the families of a fallen brother Knight.
  From Quiz: Knights of Columbus
22 What resulted from the First Council of Lyon?
Answer: Frederick II was excommunicated and deposed.

In 1244, the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II had laid siege to Rome. Under the direction of Pope Innocent IV, Frederick II was both excommunicated and deposed. The deposition of Frederick II was signed by 150 bishops, but Pope Innocent IV lacked the temporal power to enforce his decree.
The First Council of Lyon also directed the Seventh Crusade, which was led by King Louis IX of France.
  From Quiz: Church Councils
23 It is the time of the year when Catholics prepare for the resurrection of Christ: Easter. What is it called?
Answer: Lenten Season

It is during this time that Catholics undergo fasting, alms-giving, penitence and prayer. The season begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Thursday, just before Easter.
  From Quiz: Catholic Beliefs
24 When Moses went up the mountain to get the Ten Commandments, it took him some time - a time of trial and tribulation for the Israelites. How long is it written that Moses was atop the mountain?
Answer: Forty days and nights

Moses received the Ten Commandments through a direct encounter with God on Mount Sinai. The commandments were first spoken by God and then written on stone tablets by God's finger. Moses went up the mountain and stayed there for forty days and forty nights. These days and nights that Moses spent on Mount Sinai were a time of intense communion with God. During this period, Moses received the detailed instructions for the Tabernacle, the priesthood, and various laws, in addition to the Ten Commandments (Exodus 24:18, 31:18).

The forty days and nights that Moses spent on Mount Sinai hold significant symbolic and theological meaning in the Bible. This period is mentioned in the context of several important biblical events and themes. This prolonged period allowed Moses to prepare spiritually to receive and transmit God's laws to the Israelites. Furthermore, it highlighted the seriousness and sanctity of the laws being given. The number '40' appears multiple times in the Bible as a symbol of testing, trial, and preparation, like the duration of the deluge in Noah's time or the years of wandering of the Israelites after the exodus from Egypt.
  From Quiz: Ten Complete Commandments
25 According to Catholic tradition, who founded the Catholic Church?
Answer: Jesus Christ

Prior to his death and ascension Jesus dictated to his apostles to spread his teachings (Mark 16:15, Mark 28:28). This is how the Church believes it began. All other Christian groups grew out of this original Church.
  From Quiz: Catholic History and Teachings
26 What is the name of the rope/cord used to fasten the alb?
Answer: cincture

The cincture is also used to secure the stole to the alb. Its colour may change depending on the time of year. (The colour usually changes when it is worn by the laity, but usually remains white when it is worn by a priest.)
  From Quiz: Roman Catholic
27 Sister Mary Mary leads the class to Mass every morning. What does the class do when the gospel is read?
Answer: Stand

The 'word of the Lord' commands proper reverence. Fortunately, everyone gets to sit during the homily, or sermon.
  From Quiz: Growing Up Catholic
28 The first station is called "Jesus is condemned to death". Who imposes the death sentence on Jesus?
Answer: Pilate

Pilate was worried by public opinion and about preserving his reputation. He washed his hands publicly to show that he did not want to be involved in these events. He let the crowd decide and they shouted to let Barabbas (a brigand and a thief) free and to crucify Jesus. Pilate imposed the death sentence and was held responsible in years to come for condemning Jesus.
  From Quiz: Catholic Stations of the Cross
29 What is the name of the seminary in Philadelphia?
Answer: St. Charles Borromeo

A seminary is an academic institution for the study of theology, usually in preparation for ordination. This seminary was founded in 1832, at Bishop Francis Kenrick's home on Fifth Street, Philadelphia. In 1871, after several temporary locations, land was purchased in the Main Line suburb of Wynnewood. In 2019 this property was sold, and plans were put into place for a move to a location on the campus of Gwynedd Mercy University.

The seminary was named in honour of an Italian saint who was archbishop of Milan from 1564 to 1584. He was a leading figure in the Counter-Reformation, and one of the main figures responsible for setting up seminaries to provide formal training for priests.
  From Quiz: The Roman Catholic Church in Philadelphia
30 The outer garment worn by the priest celebrating Mass.
Answer: Chasuble

The chasuble looks like a poncho, and comes in different colors that correspond to Holy Days or liturgical seasons.
    Your options: [ Cassock ] [ Chasuble ] [ Ciborium ] [ Surplice ]
  From Quiz: Catholic Church Dictionary
31 How many apostles were there during the time of Jesus' ministry (before his crucifixion), as validated and listed in the gospels?
Answer: 12

Their names were Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James, Thaddaeus, Simon, and Judas. Of course, Judas was the only apostle that is not a Saint, because of his betrayal of Jesus. Judas was replaced after he committed suicide and Paul was also considered an apostle because he was trained by Jesus in the desert. This was after Christ had gone back to heaven, but the Bible shows that He came back down to train Paul. There were 14 total.
  From Quiz: Catholicism
32 Which Pope started the Second Vatican Council?
Answer: Pope John XXIII

In October of 1962 John XXIII called for a council.
    Your options: [ Pope Paul XXIII ] [ Pope Paul XII ] [ Pope John XII ] [ Pope John XXIII ]
  From Quiz: The Roman Catholic Church
33 What percentage of beeswax must all candles used during the Mass be made up of?
Answer: 51%

It has has been the tradition of the Church for quite a long time that all candles used during the liturgy be made up of at least 51% beeswax.
  From Quiz: The Holy Roman Catholic Church
34 According to Catholic teaching, who was the woman, chosen by God, to bear His only-begotten Son?
Answer: Virgin Mary

Catholics believe that the Blessed Virgin Mary said yes to God, making it possible for Christ to save people from their sins!
  From Quiz: Roman Catholicism
35 What is the term for the change of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ during the Mass?
Answer: Transubstantiation

'Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.' - St. John 6:54,55
  From Quiz: Catholic Trivia
36 In the "The Twelve Days of Christmas", what nationality are the gifts of the hens?
Answer: French

The three French hens are said to represent the three theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity.

Theological virtues are virtues associated in Christian literature with "salvation resulting from the grace of God". Virtues are traits or qualities which encourage one to live a life within a moral code. Traditionally, these have been called faith, hope, and charity. They are first mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13 as reported by Paul, who also noted that charity is the most important.
  From Quiz: 12 Drummers Drumming & Other Catholic Connections
37 Apart from conferring a name upon an infant and welcoming it into the family of Christ, for what other symbolic liberating purpose was Baptism carried out?
Answer: Washing away original sin

Baptism is carried out within a week or so after birth for a healthy Catholic infant. This holy ceremony is also carried out for older converts to the faith. Catholics look upon this ceremony as one of admission into the church and the family of God. Many churches use full immersion under water for their ceremonies of Baptism, but for a Catholic child, the holy oils placed on its head and the ritual of the pouring of water on same, represent that immersion. Because Catholics believed that Baptism was necessary for salvation, and that it washed away original sin, inherited from Adam and Eve, it was considered important to have the infant baptised quite soon after birth, so that the child, should it unexpectedly pass away, would die in Christ.
  From Quiz: Good and Evil and Sin From My Childhood Faith
38 What is the first principal of Columbian Knighthood?
Answer: Charity

In the first decade of the 21st Century the Knights of Columbus donated $1.5 billion to charity and provided more than 600 million hours of volunteer service.
  From Quiz: Knights of Columbus
39 The Council of Trent was called to respond to which major historical event?
Answer: The Protestant Reformation

The Council of Trent was convened in 1545 to respond to the Protestant Reformation, which had, by the time the council was convened, fractured the unity of Christendom. Violent holy wars had taken place in various nations throughout Europe, and the traditional teachings of the Church were challenged both within the Church and outside of it.
    Your options: [ The French Revolution ] [ The Protestant Reformation ] [ The Black Death ] [ The Unification of Spain ]
  From Quiz: Church Councils
40 Any person holding this office is believed to be the successor of Peter. What is it?
Answer: pope

The pope is the head or the highest authority of the Catholic Church. He is believed to be the successor of Peter, whom Christ appointed to be the Head of the Church, as told in Matthew 16:17-19 and John 21:15-17.
  From Quiz: Catholic Beliefs
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