Theology Q and A (closed)

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33 Responses to Theology Q and A (closed)

  1. Francisco says:

    [1 Corinthians 15]
    {15:29} Otherwise, what will those who are being baptized for the dead do, if the dead do not rise again at all? Why then are they being baptized for them?

    Ron,
    In the above verse, St. Paul is referring to some who were being “baptized for the dead”, this would imply in the belief of the existence of Purgatory by the early Christians since no one can do forms of reparations or sacrifices for those in Heaven or in Hell. But “being baptized for the dead” was a sincere but mistaken form of reparation performed by the early Christians?

    • Ron Conte says:

      The reception of any Sacrament can be offered to God for satisfaction of sins for others. You can receive Communion and offer that devout reception for the souls in Purgatory. And the same for any other Sacrament. I don’t see why that would be mistaken. But the dead cannot be baptized, nor receive the state of grace after death.

    • Francisco says:

      Ah, ok. Thank you Ron. I thought they were doing it in place of the dead.

    • Ron Conte says:

      That’s another interpretation. If so, they would be mistaken. The dead can’t enter the state of grace if they die without it.

  2. Marco says:

    Ron, what do you think about this?

    “Those who go to Purgatory are those who prayed and believed only occasionally – they were filled with doubt, they were not certain that God exists. They did not know how to pray while on earth, or if they did know how, they did not pray” http://www.medjugorjeusa.org/purgatorymessages.htm

    I’m asking you this because i know that you believe in Medjugorje. So do i.

    It seems that by most of conservative’s standards, those type of people would go straight to Hell. Yet even they are saved (according to Our Lady).

    And of course we cannot say that those who don’t pray enough or believe only occasionally are worse off and most likely to go to everlasting torment, otherwise evangelization would go against the salus animarum, which is the suprema lex, the supreme law. Therefore, arguing that people who “know better” are somehow worse off would entail that evangelization is harmful, not inherently harmful, yes, but it would be harmful nonetheless, that’s why i think that the claim that the real believers are worse off is untenable.

    So, what do you think? That seems consistent also with your belief that the vast majority of people go to Heaven, even though after Purgatory (this is also my belief), so maybe the words of Jesus about the narrow gate and the wide gate need to be interpreted in the following way: “living a life which truly makes you worthy of Heaven, so that when you die you go straight there, is very difficult, nearly impossible, and that’s why it’s called the narrow gate; for the vast majority of people will have to be cleansed”.

    There is also another message of our Lady of Medjugorje mentioned in that link which goes in that direction: “The majority of people go to Purgatory. Many go to hell. A small number go directly to Heaven“.

    So i’m asking you your opinion about these claims and my interpretation of them.

    • Ron Conte says:

      I agree that those persons go to Purgatory, not Hell as some conservatives might still say. Those who don’t pray enough are worse off, as they have some sufferings that would be avoided and they are in greater risk of Hell. Jesus said the way is narrow in the sense that the path straight to Heaven, as it ought to be lived, is traveled by few. Most need the cleansing of Purgatory, as you said. So I mainly agree with what you are saying.

    • Marco says:

      I wrote

      “And of course we cannot say that those who don’t pray enough or believe only occasionally are worse off and most likely to go to everlasting torment, otherwise evangelization would go against the salus animarum, which is the suprema lex, the supreme law. ”

      I meant that we cannot say that those who pray regularly and believe with conviction can’t be worse off than those ”who don’t pray enough or believe only occasionally“, otherwise this would entail that evangelization would be harmful and would endanger the good of the souls.

      That’s why i said

      “Therefore, arguing that people who “know better” are somehow worse off would entail that evangelization is harmful, not inherently harmful, yes, but it would be harmful nonetheless, that’s why i think that the claim that the real believers are worse off is untenable.”

      I wrote this post because i wanted to be more clear.

    • Ron Conte says:

      Yes, I agree. Those who know more are not worse off. But more is expected of them.

    • Marco says:

      @Ron

      “I agree that those persons go to Purgatory, not Hell as some conservatives might still say. Those who don’t pray enough are worse off, as they have some sufferings that would be avoided and they are in greater risk of Hell”

      Yes, that’s what i said.

      “Jesus said the way is narrow in the sense that the path straight to Heaven, as it ought to be lived, is traveled by few. ”

      Most conservatives think that those words of Jesus entail that most people go to Hell because they leave Purgatory out of the equation, in other words, since Jesus didn’t explicitely mention Purgatory they assume that the most benigne interpretation is out of question, in this case, and that the vast majority of the human race is doomed to everlasting suffering. I believe that’s a very grave error, which also can lead people into desperation. I know this first-hand because many years ago i belonged to a traditionalist group and i’m still battling the scrupolosity with which my heart was filled back then.

    • Marco says:

      “I meant that we cannot say that those who pray regularly and believe with conviction *can’t* be worse ”

      *Can*, not “can’t”.

    • Marco says:

      @Ron

      “Yes, I agree. Those who know more are not worse off. But more is expected of them.”

      For sure, but they also receive much more graces, expecially (but not exclusively) in the most important moment, where our eternal fate is sealed, and these graces, i think, kind of even the playing field.

      I think that we have to be very careful here, some months ago i was having a conversation with this catholic, and while she believes that the vast majority of people are saved she also believes that true Catholics are in graver danger and that Catholics are most likely to die in the state of actual mortal sin (she also believes that are relatively more Catholics in hell than pagans, Muslims, Jews, Protestants, orthodox ecc).

      This is a very erroneous view, if you ask me (the conservatives at least believe that, while most people are damned [sometimes they think that even the majority of Catholics goes to hell], Catholics are better off and this at least doesn’t make evangelization harmful, because they believe that without evangelization even the Catholics who are saved wouldn’t have reached salvation) because, like i said before, it that were true evangelization would harm the good of the souls.

      If that were true Jesus wouldn’t have said “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20), he would have said “go and make disciples of all nation, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teach them how to pray but don’t teach them to obey everything i have commanded you, so that the Law, which is the strength of sin (1 Corinthians 15:56 ) will not condemn them”.

      Ron, allow me to quote an orthodox believer, even though i would never join orthodoxy (even if like it) because it’s a schismatic Church i still think that they make some good point.

      I quote his post

      “Remember that the Church puts out guidelines and therefore it is still only God who determines judgement. I honestly believe that the Catholic Church tends to be harder on her children than let us say the Orthodox. The legalism that is structured in your Church is so intact that if you commit only 1 mortal sin than you will lose eternal life without confessing. But this is the way your Church is governed and by what laws it is directed. The Latin Fathers in my opinion as is the opinion of the majority of the Orthodox were too hard on sin and justice. The Eastern Fathers had a more compassionate view on sin and therefore their writings tend to deal more on the Mercy of God. Original Sin as taught in the West is somewhat flawed because of your Saints who were particular hard on sin. Had they been exposed to the Eastern Fathers they may have a different view and probably will come to understand the Eastern way of looking at justice and sin. The Catholic Church must recognize some flaws in its doctrine of sin and perhaps explore more the Eastern understanding of Original Sin so that her doctrines and laws will be much closer to the Eastern Church. The Eastern Church is very much identical to the teachings contained in the Divine Mercy messages of St.Maria Faustina. There you can find the Eastern Fathers teachings and if you ever read the book of the Diary of St.Maria Faustina and compare it to the teachings of the Eastern Orthodox Church you will find it identical. Mercy is not much expressed in the West. Instead of looking to universalism which is a heresy look to the East and to the writings of St.Maria Faustina. Jesus is trying so hard to tell the Catholic Church to look to the East and discover her great saints and teachings which make her up and find out the deeper truths with regard to Mercy that you are all searching for. It is no trivial matter that God has raised 2 traditions, one Catholic and the other Orthodox. It is about time Catholics start discovering us and our teachings. It will help you tremondously and will correct the many imbalances you have inherited. God has willed that the 2 of us will soon be united. The teachings from the East will help you. And many of the teachings from the Catholic Church will also help the Orthodox. The Orthodox Church has in my opinion a more balanced view on sin and therefore it is not ready to judge her children for every naughty thought or deed. This balance is necessary and can be a blessing for the Catholics to discover. Your Catechism of the Catholic Church, a very beautiful exposition of Catholic teachings and thought and we the Orthodox need to read it, is incomplete. The book is without the teachings and doctrines of the Eastern Church. The Pope has given you a great gift and indeed it has begun to help people understand the Faith more but it is incomplete. It will be completed when the Catechism of the Eastern Church will be incorperated into it. The Pope did a beautiful thing to initiate it now we the Eastern Church can help him to complete it. What you are really looking for is us. The answers are really in your own backyard. Universiliasm is not the way. Look to the East, look to us and discover what we already know about ourselves and you will see the answers for which you are seeking. You need not to become Orthodox, no, on the contrary you are Catholic and you stay Catholic and remain that way. But you can adapt our teachings into your life and still remain Catholic. Just like I have adapted Catholic teachings into my life and I remain Orthodox”.

  3. King Robert the Bruce says:

    Ron where do you stand on maria simm the Austrian seer and her revelations of purgatory is she reliable

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