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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

General Apostasy

Click on the title for an article about the abandonment of belief in Hell among the Scottish clergy. This shift is hardly surprising. It stems first of all from the abandonment of the consensus of the Fathers and the Doctors that most people go to Hell. This truth, rather bluntly asserted by Our Lord, requires us to ask some hard questions about the nature of subjective redemption. Freed of this obligation it becomes very easy to forget the infinite weight of sin and the gratuity of beatitude and start handing out glory on God's behalf. It will be a terrible shame for everyone when these theological cheques bounce on the last day. This stuff about the 'abolition of limbo' is beginning to become irritating. We need a modern Augustine to knock a few heads together. Without limbo the Church becomes an engine of damnation stripping people of the invincible ignorance without which most people would have enjoyed a moral certainty of salvation. Or, at the very least, it means that the best way of saving the human race is to kill them all as infants until the number of the elect is made up. It is true that the doctrine of limbo is a theological opinion, but the only alternative is to suppose that unbaptised infants would suffer positive torment because the fact that you can be damned for original sin alone is defined by Florence "the souls of those who depart this life in actual mortal sin, or in original sin alone, go down straightaway to hell to be punished, but with unequal pains." Equally, the 'hell may be empty' stuff is flagrantly contrary to scripture and the magisterium.
Sodom and Gomor'rah and the surrounding cities, which likewise acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. Jude 1:7
The additional words 'for you and for many', are taken, some from Matthew, some from Luke, but were joined together by the Catholic Church under the guidance of the Spirit of God. They serve to declare the fruit and advantage of His Passion. For if we look to its value, we must confess that the Redeemer shed His blood for the salvation of all; but if we look to the fruit which mankind have received from it, we shall easily find that it pertains not unto all, but to many of the human race. Roman Catechism
And some one said to him, "Lord, will those who are saved be few?" And he said to them, "Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the householder has risen up and shut the door, you will begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, `Lord, open to us.' He will answer you, `I do not know where you come from.' Then you will begin to say, `We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.' But he will say, `I tell you, I do not know where you come from; depart from me, all you workers of iniquity!' There you will weep and gnash your teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves thrust out. And men will come from east and west, and from north and south, and sit at table in the kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last". Luke 13.22-30.