Friday, May 24, 2013

OKAY, LET'S KEEP A SENSE OF HUMOR ABOUT UNIVERSALISM

Obviously the Church teaches that Christ died for all, but not all accept that gift, Catholics and otherwise. But with this humor as with all humor, perhaps Colbert points out how misinterpreting the Pope's remarks could ramp up the antipathy so many already have for the true Faith. But he is funny. But the Church teaches that Jesus saves people, works outside of the Church as well as within but ultimately anyone who is saved, Catholic or otherwise, is saved through Jesus Christ as He makes them a member of the Church, in small ways here, with bits and pieces of the Church's truth even in non Christian religions or in the lives of those who have no faith at all, professed atheists even. All of us are created in the image and likeness of God and imprinted divine Goodness. That's as essential Church truth. So because of that all people are inquirers in the pre-catechumenate. For some who are not Christian, even atheists, they'll have to go through the Rite of Acceptance, the Rite of Election and Full Initiation into the Church at their personal judgement when the good they have done enables them to recognize Christ and His Church completely. They'll experience the Church suffering and the Church Triumphant. For outside the Church, there is no salvation, for outside the Church is outside Jesus!

19 comments:

Nate said...

Colbert does a good job of getting Catholic information out that would otherwise not be in the mainstream, and he does it in a humourous way to educate and inform his audience, which is mostly teenagers and young adults (and I think as we've seen in the news lately and on this blog, we're a group that needs all the help we can get).

While some may be offended and think that Colbert is speaking against His Holiness, he's actually spreading an important message: Christ died for Atheists too! So even if they don't believe in God now, the light is still left on for them to come home!

Maybe that's why Pope Francis is REALLY staying at the aptly-named Vatican Motel 6! :-D

Gene said...

There ain't nothin' funny about universalism. One might want to take a quick review of Christ's many warnings in the NT. Clearly, he was not a universalist.

rcg said...

What the Pope said is nothing remotely resembling Universalism. The danger, that is hinted at in the Colbert video is that people will intentionally 'join' the Church like a rubber stamp, or they will simply wait to have it proven in the 'afterlife'.

Do you think the Pope was actually addressing atheists, et al, or was he addressing Catholics to help us gain some coping methods for living with these people?

Pater Ignotus said...

rcg is correct - there is no "universalism" in Pope Francis' words. If anyone - Catholic, Buddhist, Jew, Atheist - reaches heaven, it will be through the salvation won for us by Jesus Christ and mediated through the Church.

Gene said...

Yes...through a personal confession of Christ as Saviour and repentance. It is not automatic.

Anonymous 2 said...

I must admit I do enjoy the “language game” Colbert plays when talking about the Catholic Church and hope that it is not misunderstood. Why does this particular example remind me of the Parable of the Prodigal Son (and the Older Son, of course)?

Father McDonald writes in his comment that “ultimately anyone who is saved, Catholic or otherwise, is saved through Jesus Christ as He makes them a member of the Church, in small ways here, with bits and pieces of the Church's truth even in non Christian religions or in the lives of those who have no faith at all, professed atheists even. . . For some who are not Christian, even atheists, they'll have to go through the Rite of Acceptance, the Rite of Election and Full Initiation into the Church at their personal judgement when the good they have done enables them to recognize Christ and His Church completely. They'll experience the Church suffering and the Church Triumphant.”

Presumably, too, how we who have been called by grace to live with Jesus in His Holy Catholic Church (from the Pope on down to ordinary laity in the pews, such as ourselves) speak and act may have incalculable effects in helping to shape the dispositions of those outside the Church. I suspect that Pope Francis wants those effects to be as positive as possible.

Marc said...

Good point, Anonymous 2.

And we'll said, Fr. Kavanaugh.

Who'd have thought the entire blog family can, actually, agree on something? I feel like we should celebrate somehow...!

:-)

Marc said...

Of course, I meant "well said".

Stupid autocorrect. It's pretty funny to misstate the phrase "well said", though.

Anonymous said...

I can laugh with the next guy, and this was funny, and I did laugh, and I do enjoy this type of sarcastic humor, and it did get across some uniquely Catholic elements that non-Catholics might not otherwise know about, ..but...

Did it not make Pope Francis look irrelevant and foolish to those same non-Catholics??
Perhaps not good PR for the Church?

~SqueekerLamb

Pater Ignotus said...

The notion that, after death, people are able to make a choice for (and one presumes, against) entry into heaven is interesting, but I don't know that it is supported by the Tradition of the Church.

The decision to follow the Lord and, thereby, be a member of the Body of Christ is made here, in this life, on this side of the tombstone. For some this is made explicit through Baptism, for others, it is implicit but nonetheless real.

I would be interested in any citations Good Fr. McDonald might know of that supports his interesting hypothesis.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

PI you are correct that one does not have a choice at one personal judgement. One is judged according to one's state in life and culpability depends on free choice, rejection of love and a turning away from goodness. One presumes purgatory will purify those judged worthy of heaven.

rcg said...

Wasn't this notion supported by Christ's decent into Hell during his entombment?

Carol H. said...

RCG,

That is what I always thought. The people in Hell (the place of the dead, not the damned) couldn't know Christ because He hadn't walked the earth yet. It has been my understanding that Jesus descended into Hell to reveal Himself to the dead, that they may accept or reject Him.

We know that God is just, so it seems that He would afford the same opportunity to all those who die without ever getting to know Him while living on this side of death.

Pater Ignotus said...

Good Father - So if one does not have a choice at the time of one's personal judgment, how can you say that a person who, in life, chose not to be a Catholic, will "have to go through the Rite of Acceptance, the Rite of Election and Full Initiation into the Church at their personal judgement..."

Gene said...

Ignotus, Didn't you know they have a big RCIA program in Purgatoty. I think Fr. Guido Sarducci teaches it...

Pater Ignotus said...

Gene - The is no RCIA in Purgatory. By that stage of human existence, the choice has been made and this choice admits of no "do overs." Which is why i wonder about Good Father McDonald's speculation about conversion in the afterlife.

Gene said...

Actually, is it proper to speak of Purgatory as "human existence?" Certainly we are already changed by then into some kind of glorified existence that is other than "human." Maybe we are just dealing in semantics here.
I think Fr. meant that there is transition in the afterlife, not conversion. A sometimes inexact use of language does not necessarily mean theological incorrectness. Anyway, this is ya'll's argument. I'll butt out.

Marc said...

I think Gene was actually kidding with you for a change. And, for a big change, actually agreeing with you!

So, while there may not be RCIA in purgatory, there is a chilly breeze blowing through hell right now...

Verona said...

This is cool!