Tag Archives: theology

Purgatory: Understanding the Catholic doctrine

Just this morning one of the assisting priests where I am living and I had a brief discussion about purgatory and the need to raise our awareness of praying for “those who have gone before marked by the sign of faith.” I don’t get to think much about purgatory but it’s been a funny thing: I’ve been thinking about the Catholic practice of praying for the souls in purgatory and need to keep in mind and heart the place the dead continue to have in our lives and in Church. I suspect that most of us observe All Souls Day once a year but is that enough? We probably don’t think of those who have died, our family, friends and even those unknown to us personally, as needing prayers for purification. Perhaps we think of our dead as already being with God face-to-face and therefore in no need of prayer. Affectively this line of thinking is understandable. But really, do we think that our deceased friends and family were that perfect in life that aren’t in need of prayer and sacrifice?

Also today I was surfing the usual Catholic news sites and I was astonished to see this video news item on Rome Reports talking about purgatory. Something is in the air! Since Divine Providence works in mysterious ways, I leave it to you to pray and think about the holy and not yet holy souls.
There is much unsound doctrine on the Church’s faith in purgatory. I bid you to do some personal work on knowing what the Church believes AND what it doesn’t believe. See this entry on purgatory.
This video clip on a museum on purgatory in Rome is very interesting.

In praise of Defending Truth: Garrigou-Lagrange

Over at First Things Rusty Reno reviews the idea of defending truth by looking at the work of Dominican Father Reginald-Marie Garrigou-Lagrange. What a novel notion! Reno gives us another look in this seminal thinker and priest.

ADL wants to revise Catholic theology

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) wants the US Catholic bishops to revise the statement, Reflections on Covenant and Mission (2002) to emphasize that Catholics don’t want to convert Jews to Christianity. Here’s the US Bishops’ recent statement on clarifications made to RCM. This is not a document of the Roman Catholic Church, i.e., the Magisterium, nor of the US Bishops. It is a work of a group of theologians, Jewish and Catholic, reflecting on mutual interests in theology.

Our theology is such that Jesus Christ is The Way, the Truth and the Life: all people come to salvation in and through Jesus Christ; God’s promises through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are fulfilled in Jesus as the definitive revelation of God. Jews are not the singular group here; Catholics believe this is true for all the world’s peoples. This is revealed by the Lord Himself. It was not dreamed up by a committee. Having said all this, the Church’s missiology is governed by the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate which understands Judaism in special light when it comes to evangelization but nowhere in Vatican II theology (or praxis) does it say that the Church capitulates to another faith group because of its belief is “controversial.”
If someone doesn’t understand or even like or wants to reject this theology, OK. We propose belief in Christ as salvific and not impose this belief on others. We have to be clear on what we believe so as to be clear on the method of sharing our belief. But why does the ADL presume to tell the Church what to believe. Do Catholics tell the Jews what remove from their theology because Catholics don’t like it? Not likely.
I think RCM is fair-minded and accurate. 

The faith needs to be intelligible, Pope says

Using the method of Saint Cyril and Methodius Pope Benedict
spoke about the work of the Church in making the faith intelligible to people
using their own language. The task of inculturation is an extremely difficult
work because of the nuances of language and culture. Just look at the headaches
in translating catechisms, papal speeches and liturgical texts today. The
coalescing of faith and culture is a work the Church has done since the time of
Christ. Watch the video clip on the subject.

The Pope said, in

This was a decisive factor for the development of the Slavic
civilization in general. Cyril and Methodius were convinced that the various
peoples could not consider that they had fully received Revelation until they
had heard it in their own language and read it with the characters proper to
their own alphabet.

To Methodius falls the merit of ensuring that the work
began by his brother would not remain sharply interrupted. While Cyril, the
“philosopher,” tended toward contemplation, he [Methodius] was directed
more toward the active life. In this way, he was able to establish the
foundations of the successive affirmation of what we could call the
“Cyril-Methodian idea,” which accompanied the Slavic peoples in the
various historical periods, favoring cultural, national and religious
development. Pope Pius XI already recognized this with the apostolic letter Quod Sanctum Cyrillum, in which he classified the two brothers as
“sons of the East, Byzantines by their homeland, Greeks by origin, Romans
by their mission, Slavs by their apostolic fruits” (AAS 19 [1927] 93-96).

The historic role that they fulfilled was afterward officially proclaimed by
Pope John Paul II who, with the apostolic letter Egregiae Virtutis
, declared them co-patrons of Europe, together with St. Benedict (AAS
73 [1981] 258-262). Indeed, Cyril and Methodius are a classic example of what
is today referred to with the term “inculturation”: Each people
should make the revealed message penetrate into their own culture, and express
the salvific truth with their own language. This implies a very exacting work
of “translation,” as it requires finding adequate terms to propose
anew the richness of the revealed Word, without betraying it. The two brother
saints have left in this sense a particularly significant testimony that the
Church continues looking at today to be inspired and guided. (Wednesday Audience, June 17, 2009)

Trinitarian love alone makes us happy

God does not live in splendid solitude… watch the rest here.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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