In classic Roman Catholicism, the possibility of Hell is very real and the

prospect of Heaven very dim, except after a long term in Purgatory.

Priest Bertrand Conway, THE QUESTION BOX, "Some well meaning but

unscholarly preachers of the Gospel have suggested that Christ allowed

Himself to experience the torments of hell as if he were alienated for a

time from His Father. Such a view is utterly alien to Catholic teaching.

The guilt of actual sin cannot be transferred from one soul to another. To

assert that the guilt of men's sins was transferred to our Lord dying on

the Cross is absurd and blasphemous."

From GRACE, Knights of Columbus, page 4. "These punishments of original sin

left us `ad agonem,' as the Council of Trent says, that is, for the purpose

of making us struggle for our salvation." page 30, "We know that man can

merit heaven because Holy Scripture speaks of Heaven as a prize to be

fought for, or a reward for faithful service."


On Saturday, May 12, 1979, in St. Brigid's Roman Catholic Church, Las

Vegas, Nevada, Rev. Despars was giving his homily (sermon). He was talking

about the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross. He stated, "When Jesus died

on the Cross, He did almost all of the work for our salvation, I would say

about 90%."

I have had several Catholic commentators who object to my using Rev.

Despars as an illustration because, they say, "He is only one priest; he

cannot speak for the official Roman Catholic Church." However, these same

men that object to my using Priest Despars have admitted that, while they

do not preach any specific percentage, it is basically true that Christ did

almost everything for our salvation.

St. Peter's Roman Catholic Catechism puts it this way, "It is the sin of

presumption to believe that we can be saved by God alone without our own


The late Fulton Sheen, in a prayer to God in THE SEVEN LAST WORDS OF

CHRIST, "Reconciliation is Thy work; atonement is mine."

Vatican II Council, "Those also can attain to everlasting salvation who

through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or his

church, yet sincerely seek God and, moved by grace, strive by their deeds

to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience."

Most modern Roman Catholic theologians (and laymen) think that just about

everybody will eventually make it to Heaven. Some reason that all God

desires is sincerity, others feel, "God is so good He will send no one to



Distributed by Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, PA. Some weeks ago on a

Saturday afternoon as I was just about to leave my house for an evening

Mass in one of the parishes, my doorbell rang.

The two ladies standing on the small porch looked startled as I opened

the door. They recognized me as a clergyman, dressed as I was in my black

suit and clerical collar, and it was obvious that they were not prepared

for a clergyman to open the door.

They said they wanted to ask me some questions. I was relieved; at least

they weren't going to try to sell me anything. They looked at each other,

then one of them blurted out, "Are you saved?" I was as surprised by the

question as they had been by my opening the door. I looked down at my black

shoes and my black coat and my silver pectoral cross suspended around my

neck and said, "Honey, I'm so saved it's a shame!"

That must have been all they wanted to know because they thanked me and

scurried off to the next house.

I'm not quite sure what they meant by the question, "Are you saved?" I

think it was their way of asking if I had given my life over to the Lord.

You've probably been asked that question before. It comes very easily from

people who talk about religion and salvation more readily and sometimes

more challengingly than Catholics.

We believe that by baptism we are given a share of the very life of God

Himself. That is what salvation means.

It is a participation in the life of Jesus Christ that begins at baptism

and it developed as we live the Christian life. If we are faithful to his

ways it will eventually reach its perfection in heaven. It is certainly

God's will that we be saved. Of course, we can frustrate God's plan and

jeopardize our salvation by sin, but the whole economy of God's plan calls

for our salvation.

If you really love God and are trying to live the Christian life as best

you can, and you are aware of the constant need for conversion in your

life, the next time someone asks you if you are "saved", just say yes.


From THE CATHOLIC DIGEST, 8/83, "In response to the question, `Have you

been saved?' the Catholic could really give three answers. `Yes, I have

been saved. Jesus Christ died for me. Through faith and Baptism I have

received forgiveness of my sins. I am being saved. I look to the Lord each

day for the grace to continue believing. I hope to be saved. I know I must

persevere in my faith and love for God until the end of my life.'"


The argument that a good God will allow everyone to Heaven cancels His true

Love and Justice. It would have God failing to deal with sin, and deny the

justice of Calvary, and would break His Word to His children, to whom He

has promised an eternity without sin.


From FOUNDATION, 1-3/88. "`A Tug-of-war with Biblical scholars' is the

title of an article in the March 21, 1988 issue of INSIGHT. In this

article, Roman Catholic philosophy professor at the Jesuit-founded Loyola

University of Chicago, is quoted as follows: `The theological defense of

the divine origin and authority of Christianity has been buried for 20

years...and claims that Jesus is the sole way of salvation have been

abandoned.' Sheehan says that `some young Catholic clergymen accept that

Buddha offers Buddhists a valid path to salvation...and it is now

recognized in many Catholic academic circles that there are a plurality of

mediators between man and God, not just Jesus.' "

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