Friday, November 9, 2018


I am astounded that many Catholics today hear nothing at Mass or at catechetical programs about the four last things: death, judgment, heaven, hell. Not hearing this implies that there isn't anything after this life which has implications for how one lives this life, for better or for worse.

But it also means that people don't think they have to give an accounting for their life at their personal  judgement, that there is no need for purification and perfection of the soul or the possiblility that God could condemn them to the everlasting fires of hell and that in this regard, God's judgement is perfect. Anyone in hell deserves it.

I listened to the grandfather of one of the young people murdered in California. He sounded like an orthodox Catholic to me, although he might have been something else. He said that life is fragil and there is evil and people die everyday in one way or another and sometimes in tragic unexpected ways. That's life--that's this fallen world we live in and we must be prepared for the hour when we least expect, our earthly lives will come to an expected or unexpected conclusion.

Maybe these sentiments are fatalistic. But they are realistic and rooted in the theology of the fallen, disordered world in which we live and which so many refuse to believe or accept. Even the word disordered is seen as some sort of hate language. It isn't. It is the truth about who we are because of Original and actual sin.

In terms of the devastating and ongoing sex abuse crisis in the Church, Fr. John Jenkins, no ultra traditionalist, and president of Notre Dame University,  has some sound and hopeful advice for people my age and older:
The priest also noted that there’s a different attitude among the students and “my generation,” because those in their 50s or 60s have had to deal with the crisis for the past 30 years, while younger generations haven’t. This, he said, could help explain why he hasn’t seen diminished Mass attendance on campus.
It’s the older people who have this sort of frustration, a yearning to think, see if we can do it better, get it right this time,” he said, noting that a crisis of the magnitude the Church is facing in America forces people to consider why they’re part of the institution and what it means.
“It can lead to a return to some deeper roots and the sources of faith, the mystery of salvation in Christ. That’s an opportunity, but I think that it’s up to the leadership of the Church to respond to the challenge,” he said.
What is the opportunity for the Church? To teach effectively the four last things, death, judgement, heaven and hell. We must teach that each of us must receive the gift of our personal salivation. The "I" of the Nicene and Apostles' Creed is more important than ever. The "I" of the creeds hasn't been taught to my generation until rather recently after having been illicitly removed from the Nicene Creed in 1970's illicit and ideological English translation of the Mass and only recently restored. 
Working for "my personal" salivation is critical and must be taught to all!


Anonymous said...

Jack here...

Absolutely the truth.
And I am grateful you posted the bit from ND’s Fr. Jenkins. It may help my son-in-law, a graduate of 16 yrs. RC education and of ND. He’s a surgeon, pretty driven by logic/reason, and very put off by this current Church crisis. Perhaps this will help. Father, you didn’t say the source of Fr. Jenkin’s quote—can you give it?

Anonymous said...

Jack here...

Guess you can’t ...

God bless

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Sorry, here it is:

TJM said...

Jenkins gave Abortion King, Obama, an honorary degree over the protests of more than 80 US Bishops. His bishop should have suspended him, but was gutless. That was the last time I donated to ND, my alma mater. McCarrick is a demon. I guess I am not "sophisticated."

John Nolan said...

The 'we' in the Nicene Creed is not objectionable in itself; indeed it is in the original Greek. The Mozarabic Rite has 'credimus'. Its use in the official English (and German) translations dates from the mid-1970s and was part of an 'ecumenical' enterprise.

What is objectionable is that we were supposed to have a translation of the Roman Missal which has 'Credo'. All translations are problematic, but in the '60s and '70s there was a conspiracy on the part of so-called translators to use translation to water down existing theology and to introduce ideas of their own.

For my part, I have never bothered with vernacular versions of the Nicene Creed since I have always recited (or sung) it in Latin, regardless of whatever language those around me were using.

There is a curiosity in the current version, and the two that were used prior to it. Older missals (and the 1974 Graduale) have the following punctuation. 'Crucifixus etiam pro nobis: sub Pontio Pilato passus, et sepultus est. (He was crucified also for us, suffered under Pontius Pilate, and was buried.) This makes sense.

'Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato; passus et sepultus est' changes the punctuation and gives rise to the following. 'For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried.'

'Crucified' explicitly means he suffered death - no-one survived it - and 'passus' refers to his sufferings in general. 'Suffered death' is a mistranslation avoided in German, which has 'hat gelitten', and French, which has 'il souffrit sa Passion'.

Tony V said...

Punctuation can totally change a sentence.

Let's eat, grandma!

Let's eat grandma!