Writer effectively sums up authentic Catholic beliefs about end times, refutes others.


Christ did not offer an earthly kingdom, nor did He fail, nor was He rejected by all of the Jews; His mother, the apostles, and the disciples were all Jews who accepted Him as the Messiah. The Church is not a sort of “Plan B,” but is, according to the Catechism, the “goal of all things,” reflecting the Catholic recognition of how intimately Christ has joined Himself to the Church (cf. Ephesians 5). The Old Covenant is fulfilled in the New, and there is only “one People of God of the New Covenant, which transcends all the natural or human limits of nations, cultures, races, and sexes: ‘For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body’” (CCC 1267).

Flowing from incorrect, flawed premises, the idea of a pretribulation Rapture is foreign to Catholic theology. Based largely on St. Augustine’s City of God, the millennium has long been understood (if not formally defined) to be the Church age — a time when the King rules, even though the Kingdom has not been fully revealed (cf. CCC 567, 669).

…It’s no surprise that many people want to hear that they won’t have to die. Such promises of escape from suffering, illness, pain, and potential martyrdom are tempting, but they aren’t an option for Catholics. Each of us will endure suffering, and the Church will, one day, have to endure a final, great trial: “The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, when she will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection” (CCC 677). The pretribulation Rapture, dispensationalism, and the Left Behind books, in the end, are long on promises and short on biblical, historical, and theological evidence.

Read more

Another interesting article on the Apocalypse (PDF file)