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Ibrey564 karma

What do you think of the eternal fate of Judas Iscariot? There seems to have been a strong consensus throughout the history of the Church that his damnation is divinely revealed by such biblical statements as Christ's own words "it would be better for this man if he had never been born" and his prayer to his Father stating that none of his disciples has been lost "except the son of perdition," and St Peter's declaration that Judas had gone "to his own place." It is clearly asserted in several places in the Roman Catechism that Judas was damned, and Abbé Guy Pagès has even argued in his book Judas est-il en enfer? that it is a dogma that Judas is in hell. If this is so, how can we reasonably hope that all will be saved, as you hold, when this already has not happened?

Ibrey166 karma

When this joke became the top comment on his first AMA, he came back after the AMA was over and answered it.

Ibrey52 karma

Good morning, Your Excellency. In your controversial interview with Ben Shapiro, you said that some people can be saved "outside the explicit Christian faith," "even an atheist," but also explained that the grace of God needs to be accepted in faith for there to be supernatural charity, implying the need for implicit faith. If you meant by this that an atheist might already be living the life of sanctifying grace, can you explain how it is possible to make the act of divine faith (that is, "a free assent to the whole truth that God has revealed") without believing in the existence of divine revelation or any of its objective supernatural content, and how you reconcile this with Hebrews 11:6?

In the same answer, you also gave scandal to many people by characterising the teaching of the Second Vatican Council as, "Christ is the privileged route to salvation." Indeed, you repeated, "the privileged route, and the route that God has offered to humanity, is the route of His Son." What Vatican II in fact said was, "Christ, present to us in His Body, which is the Church, is the one Mediator and the unique way of salvation." Do you regret formulating the doctrine of Christ's unique mediation in this novel way rather than sticking more closely to the language of Scripture as well as Vatican II and the other ecumenical councils, making it sound as if there is salvation without Jesus Christ, and even a route to salvation not offered to us by God but found by man's own efforts?

Ibrey29 karma

What biblical book or story would you say is in the most pressing need of adaptation as a major motion picture?

Follow-up question: why is it Maccabees?

Ibrey20 karma

1) Why do Catholics pray to Mary instead of Jesus when it clearly states in the bible that we are to go through Jesus and nobody else?

Catholics do pray to Jesus, and among many texts that could be mentioned I would cite this prayer commonly said as part of the rosary: "o my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need of thy mercy." By why also pray to Mary?

For all the exalted titles Catholics assign to Mary and the seemingly excessive devotion of popular prayers, no one thinks Mary is some separate and alternative way to the Father without Christ. Everything Catholics believe of Mary, we believe because of what we believe of Christ and his Father. Her son excepted, she is the holiest and most perfect human being in history because she received more grace from the Holy Trinity than any other human being in history. From the first moment of her conception, she was preserved by God from ever falling into original sin. She was permitted to live, like Eve in Eden, in a state of original holiness. All this was to prepare her for her vocation as mother of the Lord, who took from her his human nature and "was obedient to" her (Lk 2:51) as he lived for thirty years under her roof. (The verse also refers to her husband Joseph, the next most holy saint after Mary.)

This is why, in the first part of the Hail Mary, we praise Mary (in the words of the first chapter of Luke) for what God has done for her: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. We praise God by praising what He has done for Mary. Then we ask for all we can hope to receive from her: holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

At the wedding in Cana, it was Mary who approached Jesus about the lack of wine. He replied that his hour had not yet come; but he still supplied the wine. In the Old Testament kingdom, it wasn't the wife of the king (or his hundreds of wives) who was the queen; it was the queen mother, the gebirah. We read in the First Book of Kings that when Solomon was king, his mother Bathsheba sat at his right hand, and he said to her, "make your request, my mother, for I will not refuse you." It's this biblical concept of queenship that is in mind when Catholics call Mary "queen of heaven" and "queen of the universe"; Jesus is the king, therefore Mary is the queen, and there is no grace she cannot obtain from her son by her prayers. A good book in general on Catholic Mariology is There Is No Rose by Fr Aidan Nichols, O.P.

2) Why do you believe in confessions? When again, it clearly states to go through Jesus only. And what makes someone like a priest so special to be able to listen to my sins, when him himself is as much of a sinner as me. Isn't it blasphemous of that person to assume such a role?

It would be blasphemous indeed for a human being to assume such a role. It can only be given from above. The Church received this authority when Jesus said to the apostles: As the Father has sent me, so I send you. Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained.

The apostles did not take this grace to the grave with them. They appointed presbyters (or "elders" in other translations) for each church (Acts 14:23), who are ordained by laying on of hands (1 Timothy 4:14), and when a sick man summons the presbyters to anoint him and pray over him, his sins will be forgiven (James 5:14-15). And James tells us, "confess your sins to one another" (5:16), not merely in private prayer to God. Granted, none of these texts explicitly proves that people should confess their sins to presbyters and receive absolution from them; but it seems implied that they had to confess what their sins were so the apostles would know what to forgive and what to retain, and we know from explicit references that this practice was in vigour by the early Third Century. See G. H. Joyce's 1941 article "Private Penance in the Early Church" from the Journal of Theological Studies for an analysis of relevant material in the writings of Tertullian, Cyprian, and Origen.

3) Why do Catholics believe in purgatory? Is there scripture to back this up?

1 Corinthians 3:10-15 is one of the clearest texts that we associate with purgatory. People also connect this with Matthew 12:32; Jesus says the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be forgiven neither in this world nor the world to come, implying that some sins can be forgiven in the world to come. An even clearer testament to post-death purgation of sins is a passage in 2 Maccabees 12 where Judas Maccabeus orders sacrifices to be offered on behalf of the slain soldiers who had worn magical amulets; most Protestants do not accept this as an inspired book, but it demonstrates as a historical document that belief in post-death purgation and the practice of prayer for the dead already existed in Judaism before the birth of Jesus.

Gary Anderson's article "Is Purgatory Biblical?" takes a very different approach to this question and is well worth reading.

4) Is it true if I was to go to a Catholic church I would not be able to take communion being a non-catholic even though I am a Christian? If so, why would it be okay to deny a believer of Christ the flesh and blood of Christ.

Yes, it is true. In some cases, non-Catholics who believe as we do about the Real Presence of Christ in the sacrament can be admitted to Communion. But, in the First place, the many Protestants who believe it is a mere symbol must be excluded for their own safety if nothing else. Paul writes to the Corinthians that the one who eats without discerning the Body of the Lord "eats and drinks judgement upon himself," and that unworthy reception of Communion is the reason so many Corinthians have become sick and even died. The same goes for all those who have committed mortal sins, and even Catholics are not permitted to receive Communion if they are conscious of unconfessed grave sins. Communion is also a sacrament of unity, and to indiscriminately welcome to Communion those who are divided from our Church in their faith and in a corporate way is to make a show of unity where there is none. Christ prayed at the Last Supper that we all might be one, and that our unity would be a visible unity, a witness to the whole world that he is the Messiah. We pray for the day that all those baptised brethren who believe in the Son of God will rejoin us within the visible structure of the Catholic Church, which is the city built on a mountain which cannot be hidden. Until then, we must leave them to seek the sacraments from their own ministers.