Everything you always needed to know about Hell


Courtesy of Saint Thomas Aquinas, as explained by Msgr. Charles Pope

The teachings of the Lord on Hell are difficult, especially in today’s climate. The most difficult questions that arise relate to its eternal nature and how to square its existence with a God who is loving and rich in mercy.

1. Does God love the souls in Hell? Yes.

How could they continue to exist if He did not love them, sustain them, and continue to provide for them? God loves because He is love. Although we may fail to be able to experience or accept His love, God loves every being He has made, human or angelic.

The souls in Hell may have refused to empty their arms to receive His embrace, but God has not withdrawn His love for them. He permits those who have rejected Him to live apart from him. God honors their freedom to say no, even respecting it when it becomes permanent, as it has for fallen angels and the souls in Hell.

God is not tormenting the damned. The fire and other miseries are largely expressions of the sad condition of those who have rejected the one thing for which they were made: to be caught up into the love and perfection of God and the joy of all the saints.

2. Is there any good at all in Hell? Yes. Are all the damned punished equally? No.

More….

Pope Francis’ emotional arguments for economic reforms

Unlike Leo XIII and Pius XI, Francis’ analysis is not rooted in our obligations in justice (although he places a few off hand allusions to justice). The overwhelming thrust of his argument is emotional. Rather than requiring all to fulfill their duties in justice he exhorts those in business to have a sentimental emotional reaction to the plight of the poor. This leads him to plea for mercy and generosity, which are good things to seek, but to neglect claims of justice.

The problem with appeals predominately to mercy and generosity is that such terms suggest that action is optional or discretionary and not required by the moral law. Rather than talking about our sins against justice Francis decries our “being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain” Whereas the prior popes explained the inherent limits on the use of private property as a principle of Natural Law, for Francis this is only a “spontaneous reaction”

Essentially Francis conceives of Catholic social doctrine as an emotional “option for the poor” to avoid inequality. The ultimate source of this reduction of traditional doctrine lies in the conflation of the supernatural with the natural initiated by the “new theology” of Henri de Lubac.

This theologian accused of Modernism before the Council but rehabilitated by John XXIII to become a Council expert, rejected the Thomistic distinction between the natural and the supernatural. Although for St. Thomas grace builds on nature, nature is not grace and our life here is only our natural end. Our ultimate end is greater and distinct. Our pursuit of our natural end must be in light of and oriented toward our ultimate supernatural end.

This blurring of the distinction results in a theology and philosophy centered on man and his natural well-being, which has now been elevated to a supernatural status rather than centered on God.

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An interesting article on law and justice, particularly as it applies to the Catholic Church

Moses_Given_Tablets_Gebhard_Fugel_1900

Moses receiving the Ten Commandments

The Catholic understanding of law that dominated the Western world for approximately a millennium and a half differs radically from the concept of law that emerged around the time of the Enlightenment. In fact the Catholic understanding, albeit a less precise articulation of it, traces its origins to the pre-Christian ancient world.[1]

God created not only the visible, tangible universe but also created law. The eternal law which is the rational plan of God for the universe is the first created law. As one medieval commentator expressed it, “God is himself law and therefore law is dear to Him.”[2] God did not create an unruly cosmos but one permeated with this eternal law which directs all of creation to its appointed end.

The summit of visible creation is Man. He is graced with a nature that reflects the Divine Nature itself. Man is thus called to participate in the eternal law and thus participate in God’s governance of creation. Not only does God entrust Man with the task of naming visible creatures, he is called to participate in the formation and promulgation of the laws by which Man himself will be ruled and guided to his due end. Just as a name brings greater specificity to an entity, so too Man’s participation in law will involve the task of particularizing the precepts of the eternal law.

Through his intellect, the point of contact with the eternal law, Man has the ability to come to know the most general legal principles, the precepts of Natural Law. These precepts command and forbid actions which conform to and obstruct, respectively, the attainment of Man’s natural and supernatural ends. Yet, these precepts are framed in general and universal terms. As a result of the Fall, Man’s participation in this process is afflicted by the wounds of sin and thus God promulgated an additional law, the divine law, to aid Man in his acquisition of knowledge of the primary precepts of law.

The Decalogue is the prime example of the divine law which did not alter the moral status of the operations specified in its ten precepts but which merely provided revealed knowledge of these precepts. Thus revelation and reason together provide Man with a means of knowing the fundamental precepts of the law which rules the universe.

Yet, the precepts of natural and divine law remain general in their formulation. They require further specification to be useful in guiding particular human action. It is to this task that Man has received a Divine call to participate. Ecclesiastical and secular authorities are commissioned by God to determine more particular principles and precepts of the divine and natural law to guide with greater specificity human action.

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Once the idea of the authority of God as the Judge of right and wrong is forgotten, law must necessarily lose its primary authority and justice must perish.

Jesusthrone

Once the idea of the authority of God as the Judge of right and wrong is forgotten, law must necessarily lose its primary authority and justice must perish: and these are the two most powerful and most necessary bonds of society. Similarly, once the hope and expectation of eternal happiness is taken away, temporal goods will be greedily sought after. Every man will strive to secure the largest share for himself. Hence arise envy, jealousy, hatred. The consequences are conspiracy, anarchy, nihilism. There is neither peace abroad nor security at home. Public life is stained with crime. (Pope Leo XIII, Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus, November 1, 1900.)

Submitted by Bob Stanley

Three sources from which sin springs.

susanna

The first reading from today’s Mass is an extraordinary moral tale from the  Book of Daniel. It is the story of Susanna. The full passage (which is quite lengthy) can be found here: Daniel 13:1-62. Interestingly it is missing from Protestant Bibles which use a truncated version of the Book of Daniel. As such it is a lesser known passage, even among Catholics since it is only read on a weekday Mass once a year.

It features the story of a beautiful young woman, Susanna, married to a man named Joakim. One day as she is bathing in a private garden two older men who have hidden themselves there out of lust try to seduce Susanna who rebuffs their brazen overture. They threaten to falsely accuse her of having committed adultery with a young man in garden if she does not give way to their desires. She still refuses and they follow through on their threatened lie. They further demand that she should be stoned. Things look bleak for Susanna until Daniel comes to the rescue and, through crafty interrogation, exposes their lie for what it is. The story is a small masterpiece. If you have never read it,  you should. In the course of its engaging tale it gives us a kind of anatomy lesson of sin. It is good to consider the teachings here.

In a remarkable description the story describes a threefold source from which their sins spring forth. The text says: They suppressed their consciences; they would not allow their eyes to look to heaven, and did not keep in mind just judgments. (Daniel 13:9). I’d like to take a look at each of these three sources from which sin springs.

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What Akin should have said

Image

by Doug Lawrence

What Missouri Congressman Akin should have said about women, rape, and abortion is that every life, no matter how or why it begins, is sacred, because God is the author of life. Consequently, every living thing belongs first to God, not man. And that’s something every God fearing person should always keep in mind.

In the case of human beings, special circumstances apply. Made in the image and likeness of God, and called to be in a very special type of covenant with him, every individual is conceived according to God’s very own eternal plan, a plan that is without doubt, mysterious and hard for us to understand … yet unquestionably ordered to the ultimate good of all.

One of the unique aspects of that divine plan is the awesome, transforming power of God’s grace, which is more than powerful enough to bring about good from evil, hope from despair, life from lust, and even selfless charity from moral bankruptcy.

In short, it’s totally unjust and criminal to rape a woman, but it’s even more unjust and criminal to take the life of a totally innocent and helpless babe in the womb.

The proper role of government in the case of rape should be securing justice for all. And there’s plenty of ways to achieve that … without killing anyone!

Which is greater in God: Mercy or Justice?

We know that in God there is both mercy and justice; rather, that God is both mercy and justice. However, we also pray that, upon our death, we might meet in Christ not the just Judge, but the merciful Savior. Knowing that mercy and justice can never truly contradict one another, we might still ask which is greater in God, and which comes first and which is greater.
Is justice the foundation from which mercy builds? Or, is mercy the fundamental disposition of God toward his creatures?
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Editor’s note: Those who approach God in charity, and with genuine humility are likely to encounter their merciful Savior. Otherwise … ???

What is the meaning of Advent, and what do we understand by the term?

What is the meaning of Advent, and what do we understand by the term?

The word Advent signifies coming, and by it is understood the visible coming of the Son of God into this world, at two different times.

It was when the Son of God, conceived of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the immaculate Virgin Mary, was born, according to the flesh, in the fullness of time, and sanctified the world by His coming, for which the patriarchs and prophets had so longed (Gen. 49:10; Is. G4:1; Lk. 10:24).

Since Christ had not yet come, how could the Just of the Old Law be saved?

Immediately after their sin, God revealed to our first parents that His only-begotten Son would become man and redeem the world (Gen. 3:15). In the hope of this Redeemer and through His merits, all in the old covenant who participated in His merits by innocence or by penance, and who died in the grace of God, were saved, although they were excluded from heaven until the Ascension of Christ.

When will the second coming of Christ take place?

At the end of the world when Christ will come, with great power and majesty, to judge both the living and the dead.

Excerpted from “Explanation of the Epistles and Gospels” by the Rev. Leonard Goffine (1874)

Submitted by Bob Stanley

After 52 weekly columns we bid farewell to “Ask Alice” and say hello to “Religious Ed”


Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

After one full year/52 weekly columns, we bid farewell to Alice and thank her for her faith, her wit, her knowledge, her love, as well as her tireless service to all our readers … and the whole Church.

Alice plans to keep up with her other ministries and church work, something that will hopefully be much easier now, without a looming, 5 AM, Thursday morning deadline.

We plan to keep all of Alice’s previous columns available for reference, on-site. See the “CATEGORY” drop down menu, on the right side of the main viewing window, or simply use the search box.

We wish Alice and her family the very best of all God’s blessings, supernatural abundance and peace, along with a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Our new weekly Q&A columnist,
“Religious Ed”®
will begin his column
on Thursday, January 12, 2012.

“Ed” is a staunchly conservative Catholic, with many years of experience in both the “pre” and “post” Vatican II Church. Ed likes to remind people that, while God IS love, his wrath is also genuine, awesomely formidable and nothing to be marginalized or ignored!

Ed theorizes that many of the evils that God allows to exist in the world are actually divine chastisements, stemming from corruption in the Church and in the world, at large. 

One example: The rise of Islamic terrorism in the West closely coincided with the wide-spread, legalization/government promotion of abortion. If infants can’t be safe and secure inside their mother’s womb, why should anyone expect to experience security in their land?

Similarly, the rise of militant homosexuality closely coincided with the illicit establishment of the “Lavender Mafia” inside the Catholic Church, presently thought to encompass one-third to one-half of the hierarchy and priesthood, and wielding a particularly deviant homosexual influence over the bulk of Catholic seminaries.

In light of all this, the clerical sex abuse scandals were not only likely, but virtually guaranteed. Yet the church still refuses to enforce the established rules preventing homosexuals from applying to the priesthood, and the bishops generally do very little to reign in militantly homosexual priests and their parishes.

Maybe after another $2.6 billion in payouts, they’ll finally get the message. Not likely though, since it’s not their money!

Send Your Questions or Comments to Ed

Father Corapi and the Sad State of Due Process for Accused Priests

A zero-tolerance policy without due process that de facto impugns the reputations of the accused is immoral. The Church has a duty to protect the innocent, even if the innocent is a priest.  Of course, the Church has a moral duty to make sure that the scandal of abuse and cover-up is never repeated, but it cannot willfully sacrifice the reputations of the innocent . . . The end does not justify the means. I do not know that any of this applies to the Father Corapi case, but we have seen this happen in other cases too and it is wrong – Pat Archbold, March 20, 2011 at www.NCRegister.com/blog

Those are some of the sanest words I have read about the matter of Father John Corapi, a gifted priest who, at this writing, has been sidelined by accusations of sex and drug abuse brought by an unidentified adult woman.

Before I write further, I should point out that unlike many of those writing on this topic in the Catholic on-line world, I am not a follower of Father Corapi. I don’t dislike him either. His preaching style and message just haven’t touched me the way they seem to have touched many others. I simply mean to say that I am not a disgruntled fan driven to champion the cause of a spiritual icon whose good name has been cast into the abyss. If Father Corapi never preached in public again, that fact alone would elicit no emotional response from me beyond my concern for justice.

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This Week’s Ask Alice: “Eternal Damnation for Temporary Sins” and “If Jesus Is God, Why Did He Need To Pray?”



Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Anonymous writes: If Jesus is God then why did he pray for his “daily bread” and to be “forgiven of our debts”?

Alice responds: Jesus taught his apostles how to pray by saying the, “Our Father.” (Matthew 6: 9-13) Jesus, the Son of God, lived His entire earthly life in obedience to His Heavenly Father. Jesus behaved as the perfect Son to be an example for his apostles, and all of us. How we should think, speak, pray and act as children of God.

While on earth, Jesus continually prayed to His Father for his daily bread, i.e., sustenance and strength. When Jesus fed five thousand people with five loaves and two fishes, he prayed for our daily bread. “He took the five loaves and two fish, looked up to heaven, blessed and broke them and gave the loaves to his disciples, who in turn gave them to the people.” (Matthew 14:19)

Jesus’ prayer, “forgive us our debts” must be taken in context. “Forgive us the wrong we have done as we forgive those who wrong us.” Although Jesus never sinned, he set a prayerful example of forgiving those who wrong us when he forgave the soldiers who nailed him to the cross.

“Father, forgive them: they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

****

Defiant writes: What is so loving about eternal damnation for temporary sins?

Alice answers: God does not cast anyone into hell for the commission of any sins, venial or mortal. God, who is love, desires every person to spend eternity with him in Heaven. Since we have free will, we choose where we will spend eternity. The only people who experience eternal damnation are those refuse to repent and receive God’s mercy.

God gives us an infinite number of chances to repent of our sins. God grants us pardon and forgiveness for all of our temporary sins each time we receive absolution in the sacrament of Penance. The punishment for our sins, hell, is washed away in the Confessional. Those who die in the state of serious sin, without receiving the Sacrament of Penance, are given one last chance to repent when we stand before the Judgment Seat of God. Every sinner who expresses contrition and begs for forgiveness will be saved from eternal damnation through God’s Divine Mercy. God’s love for each one of us is incomprehensible!

“I tell you, there will likewise be more joy in Heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent.” (Luke 15:7)

In Christ’s love,

Alice

If God truly loves the souls in Hell, then why does he make them suffer?

Questions to ponder – Beyond this though there are other questions to ponder, based not only on what the commenter says, but also what I have said. I want to say that I do not write these questions glibly or merely to tweak. They are not rhetorical (merely argumentative) either. What I am trying to do is take up the voice of a questioner who is authentically trying to wrestle with a difficult topic. I think many of the questions I raise have a clear answer, and propose one at the end. But I merely raise them to paint a picture of what might go through the mind of one pondering the matter. So here are some questions that might occur in terms of God and the souls in Hell:

1. Is it really a sign of hate or vengeance, rather than love, that God sustains the souls in Hell?

2. Does he really keep them alive merely to torment them?

3. What is more loving, to sustain them or to slay them?

4. Is the description of hell advanced by our commenter over the top or is it accurate? Granted, the torture of my family for “my mistakes” would be wrong since, theoretically they are innocent of my mistakes and would not be in hell.

5. But what of the torture of guilty in hell? Is our commenter’s description accurate in this sense? Jesus after all, uses some pretty vivid descriptors of hell where the fire is never extinguished and the worm dies not (Mk 9:48). Where there is wailing and grinding of teeth (Matt 13:42) and where there is torment and thirst (Lk 16:24).

6. Are these images of Jesus just allegory (figurative)?

7. Are they Jewish hyperbole (exaggeration)?

8. Or are they to be interpreted in a literalistic way?

9. In other words, is Hell really this bad?

10. Are the Biblical descriptions as understood literally the only way to see Hell?

11. And if it is, is our commenter right that it would be better for God to slay the wicked?

12. If it IS better, is God despotic and vengeful in keeping them alive in this condition?

13. Is “killing the patient” ever good therapy?

14. Should God just cancel the reality of hell and bring them to heaven?

15. If He did, would this also cancel justice?

16. If He did, would this violate the freedom and the choice of those who preferred not to live in his Kingdom?

17. If it does violate their freedom, is killing them only thing left?

18. Is THAT just?

Read the article

52,008,666 Babies Aborted Since Roe v.Wade (more than 52 MILLION)


“A Nation that kills its own children
is a nation without hope.”
– Pope John Paul II

Tomorrow marks 38 years since Roe v.Wade legalized abortion.
The right to life is our most fundamental human right;
yet we live in a culture where abortion is a daily tragedy.
For decades, courts have undermined the sanctity of human life.
Let us remember the millions of innocent children
put to death as a result of Roe v. Wade.

On the anniversary of this dastardly decision,
the words of Thomas Jefferson should concern us all:

“I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just;
that his justice cannot sleep forever.”

Submitted by the Thomas More Law Center

True or False: The U.S. Constitution Defines Blacks As Three-Fifths of a Person?

It’s a tired refrain – the Founders were racists, the Declaration didn’t really mean all men, the Constitution is pro-slavery. It’s also a gross distortion of our history – as King well knew when he invoked the promise that “all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” at the heart of the Founding.

The Constitution, contrary to what the New York Times would have you believe, does not classify people according to race. Free blacks in the North and the South were counted on par with whites for purposes of apportionment. As for enslaved blacks, it was the Southern states that wanted to count them as full persons, thereby inflating pro-slavery representation in the House. The three-fifths compromise was aimed at preventing Southern states from magnifying their own political power by holding slaves.

Yet this myth of a racist Founding has, unfortunately, become deeply entrenched in academia and among the chattering classes. It’s taught in high schools and colleges nationwide and has become unquestionable dogma for many.

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Question from Supreme Court Justice Scalia: “What do you think about Satan?”

The eerie inquiry came a few minutes after the Marshal of the Court had, in keeping with tradition established long ago, proclaimed, “God save the United States and this honorable court,” and a few minutes before the Court joined in a national “moment of silence” for the victims of the shooting spree in Arizona that left six dead (including a federal judge, as Chief Justice Roberts noted) and has Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords fighting for her life.

As I bowed my head to pray, I asked the Almighty (who now is publicly replaced by silence if not yet laughter) to bind a Devil who seems to be quite actively at work (as evidenced by the actions of a deranged young atheist in Tuscon) even while the real possibility of his evil existence is ignored in the hearts of men and the halls of earthly power.

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Thanks to my parents and family … I know man and I know God. I know love, and I know wrath. I know justice, and I know peace … and I know that I have nothing to fear from any of them.

by Doug Lawrence

I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s, in a (fairly) conventional family consisting of dad, mom, two brothers and a sister.

Dad took the car to work each day. Mom stayed home and took care of the house and kids. No surprises there.

We all went to Catholic school … but that’s not the point. The point is how mom ran the household … and particularly … the way she personally maintained family standards.

Even though we rarely had any serious discussions, there was no doubt that we were unconditionally loved and cared for … mainly because that’s pretty much all that mom did … 24/7 and 365. Of course, dad’s job (and his personal commitment to the family) made possible that extraordinary level of “intensive care”.

The house was always spotless. Meals were prepared on time and with abundance. Our clothing, grooming, and personal behavior were always closely and very effectively monitored … sometimes through “mysterious” means. Family outings were modest affairs, but frequent. Holidays were indeed feasts, with Christmas and Easter being number one and number two (but not necessarily in that order). Sundays were reserved for Mass and for family.

That’s just the way things were. We never questioned why.

Nothing went unnoticed, and anything important to mom could never be considered (by us) as irrelevant or insignificant, since we knew with certainty that a fate worse than death awaited all those who might transgress.

The means of our execution was the dreaded “whipstrap”!

Reputed to be a family heirloom of indeterminate age, the whip strap had been fashioned from a stout piece of leather, roughly three inches wide and twenty-four inches long. The first part served as a handle. The last was cut into a classic “cat o’ nine tails” … and it was truly awesome to behold!

The “instrument” typically need not even be displayed, since the mere mention of it was usually sufficient to restore order. But when partial measures were unsuccessful … deploying the strap … and applying a stroke or two, usually did the trick.

Mom was in pretty good physical shape (probably from all that walking … since she didn’t drive … and there was no outrunning her. She was even known to leap fences (and reportedly, tall buildings) in s single bound. And should we have been fortunate enough to discover a hiding place that was (as yet) unknown or inaccessible to her, dad would always be home, by six.

There was no escape!

The carnage of the strap was immense … and the suffering impossible to imagine … at least for a moment or two … in our young minds. Yet we all survived … and thrived … mainly because we were able to develop a good, clear sense of what was right and what was wrong. We also learned that actions brought sure and certain consequences … and sometimes, those consequences could be unpleasant.

The “whipstrap” effectively symbolized all of that potential unpleasantness. In this, a vision of Hell itself could not have been any more effective.

Years later … studying the Old Testament of the Bible … I suddenly realized that all the carnage and strife recorded therein really wasn’t much different than what went on back home … albeit on a much grander scale.

God lovingly cared for his children. God had particular standards and preferences, and when the “kids” got out of hand, God did what was necessary … for their own good … to reign them in.

Evil, in the person of Satan, made the problems in the Bible much more intractable, and the consequences much more severe, but the “model” still works, since God remains the master of life and death, and he is most certainly able to transcend any and all human sufferings and failings … either in this world … or the next.

Back home, should there have ever been any doubt about the fairness of our punishment, a hug from mom or dad was typically all that was necessary to fix things. No harm. No foul. Life went on.

My Catholic faith informs me that a “hug” from the Almighty would undoubtedly have the same effect.

So, you see … thanks to my parents and my family … I know man and I know God. I know love, and I know wrath. I know justice, and I know peace … and I know that I have nothing to fear from any of them.

My mom and dad told me so and my God confirmed it … in his Word … and through his one, holy, apostolic and Catholic Church.

It doesn’t get much simpler than that!

Introduction to Catholic social teaching, Rev. Raymond de Souza

by Chris Armstrong

…After the war, there was a human rights revolution in the thinking of the church. Facing the horrors of totalitarianism, there was a shift in emphasis: defense of human person, dignity, rights was essential. Universal declaration of human rights made after war. State no longer as in Aquinas’s time, a sacral actor: a thing thought of as exercising benign influence, but the source of evil, malign forces. Emphasized in documents of the 1960s: Pope John XXIII, Mater et Magistra, Vat II emphasized religious liberty—a contested concept! Right to worship God freely! 1965 Dignitatis Humanae Personae.

Then toward end of 60s, shift to another problem that emerged: world that seemed to have prosperous, advancing societies, and those left behind with nothing. 1967, Paul VI, looked at question of income and equality. Not everyone sharing in fruits and goods of earth: focus on development, redistribution of wealth.

Then key figure, JP II, in social teaching of Catholicism: 27 year papacy. And lived in totalitarian world—came out of that. Three encyclicals: first: defense of right of workers, similar to that of Leo XIII. More deeply into anthropology of work: man’s work shapes him. Attacked communism not so much on loss of liberties, but mistakes about work: work is to be controlled by state to liberate man. NO man liberates through work, broadly speaking. Fundamental part of man’s liberty is exercised in his work, understood in broadest sense. Work is an expression of liberty. We use our intelligence in our work, gift of God. Our creativity is being applied, which is in the image of God.

Then a few  years later, the “Concern for the things of the social order” encyclical: Right to economic initiative. Sollicitudo rei socialis, 1987. Liberty not just in political, cultural, religious spheres. Also right to economic initiative—a liberty proper to man in his economic work, which should not be stifled by state. That expression is new. The idea goes back a long time. And the idea of entrepreneurship (Acton involved in this) affirmed for the first time here too.

Then Centesimus Annus, 1991, defense of free economy, as he calls it. Economic liberty exercised with others: if you mean this by capitalism, then that is good. But if you separate economic liberty from all other liberties—freedom to exploit—then that is not a Christian vision.

Wrapping up: that’s where things stood. Enter Benedict XVI, 2005. Not a lawyer like Pius XI, Leo XIII, not a historian like ____, not a diplomat like _____, not a philosopher like JPII, but a gifted theologian. That’s the exception. That’s unusual. Maybe never in history of church is the successor of Peter also the most accomplished theologian alive. He starts with a theological point on social teaching: the basic reality that ought to characterize our social relations is charity. Usually Catholic social teaching had started with justice. Ubi caritas, not ubi justitio. Where there is charity, there is God. Not where there is justice.

This is a challenge, therefore. For Christians, he says, we must start with charity. We wouldn’t disagree, but it’s a challenge to the way things has been done….

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Denver Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput says pro-abort Democrats simply don’t know Christianity

“We need to remember two basic truths. Here’s the first truth.

Society has an obligation – and Christians have a Gospel duty – to provide adequate and compassionate support for unwed and abandoned mothers women facing unintended pregnancies; and women struggling with the aftermath of an abortion. It’s not enough to talk about ‘pro-life politics,’ The label ‘pro-life’ demands that we work to ensure social policies that will protect young women and families, and help them generously in their need. In the archdiocese of Denver we try very hard to do that through the Gabriel Project and other forms of outreach and support.

“Here’s the second truth. Killing an unborn child is never the right answer to a woman’s or society’s problems. Acts of violence create a culture of violence—and abortion is the most intimate form of violence there is. It wounds the woman, it kills the unborn child and it poisons the roots of justice and charity that bind us all into one human family,” he said.

In his clarification for church members, he denounced the “spin” among politicians seeking to justify abortion and appease militant pro-abortion interests, including the billion-dollar Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest player in its abortion industry.

“Catholic public leaders inconvenienced by the abortion debate tend to take a hard line in talking about the ‘separation of church and state.’ But their idea of separation often seems to work one way. In fact, some officials also seem comfortable in the role of theologian. And that warrants some interest, not as a ‘political’ issue, but as a matter of accuracy and justice,” he wrote.

“Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is a gifted public servant of strong convictions and many professional skills. Regrettably, knowledge of Catholic history and teaching does not seem to be one of them,” Chaput continued.

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Do you go to hell if you don’t believe in God?

Q: Do you go to hell if you don’t believe in God?

I find it hard to believe that God is so touchy that he sends a perfectly good person to hell for all eternity if they don’t believe in him when they are alive.

A: It’s important to understand exactly how these things work.

Due to the first man’s original sin, all of his (Adam’s) descendants (us) are born in a pre-exisiting state of sin, already “pledged” to Satan, the devil.

The only one with the power to break that domination and save someone from eternal slavery to Satan, sin, and death is Jesus Christ.

The work of salvation is typically accomplished through the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic church that Jesus personally founded, for that express purpose.

The sacrament of Baptism provides an authentic and extremely powerful opportunity for an individual to reject Satan and all his works, in favor of Jesus Christ, God and savior.

Once a person has sworn faithful allegiance to Jesus Christ in this way, he is no longer a slave to Satan, but a child of God, a citizen of Heaven, a temple of the Holy Spirit, a member of the church and a co-heir with Jesus Christ. Also necessarily included in this divinely mandated system of things is a provision for the forgiveness of sins.

So far as God being “touchy” … God’s perfect justice demands a certain amount of specificity and fidelity … balanced by a certain quality of divine mercy … something which is not at all unreasonable.

The bottom line is this:

Without faith in Jesus Christ and his church … something that’s typically declared through baptism … a person remains subject to Satan, sin, and eternal death. The only reasonably certain future for one such as this is an eternity in Hell, to which Satan and all his subjects will most certainly be consigned. It’s really that simple.

Since God is sovereign, all powerful, merciful and loving, there’s a chance that he might take pity on someone who has chosen to repeatedly reject him over the course of a lifetime, and choose to save that person’s soul and admit him to heaven, anyway. But that wouldn’t be the norm,  it wouldn’t be exactly fair to all of the other faithful, and it would be very problematic, in many other ways.

So … “good person” … knowing what you now know … why would you want to take that kind of a chance with your eternal destiny?

Incoherent liberalism

If illegal aliens have rights, including the right to become citizens, it should be clear that the rights they are claiming here cannot be rights that flow to them through their citizenship. For they are emphatically not citizens. The people posting the ads on the bus, the immigrants earnestly asserting their “rights,” must be appealing then to some body of law quite apart from the positive laws, the laws that set forth the distinct rights that flow to citizens (such as the right to use the town library). Now what could that body of rights be if not – gasp! – a body of “natural rights”?

We insert the gasp because nothing has been more abhorrent to the Left in the academy or our politics in recent years that the notion of “natural rights.” As the line has gone these days, “natural rights” offer nothing more than an ideology to cover the patriarchal rule of white men. Natural rights imply an enduring human nature, but we know, they say, that “nature” is “socially-constructed” from one place to another, according to the vagaries of the local culture. Natural rights imply objective moral truths. But the Left claims to know that there are no moral truths that hold in all places, and so those “natural rights” are not truly rightful, you see.

This denial of moral truths has been critical to the Left in denying the ground on which the law may cast judgments, and impose restrictions, on those matters of personal freedom most dear to them: the right to sexual freedom and abortion. But stripped of the moral logic natural rights, that “right to abortion” becomes no more lofty than the right to use the squash courts at the Club. James Wilson, one of the most notable of the American Founders, raised the question: If we have natural rights, when do they begin? And his answer was: As soon as we begin to be. Which is why, he said, the law casts its protection over life “when the infant is first able to stir in the womb.”

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