BASIC R.C. BELIEF
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."
POST VATICAN II
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
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
WHAT TO SAY WHEN YOU'RE ASKED "ARE YOU SAVED" by Bishop Charles Herzig.
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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