Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Traditional Catholicism
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #1  
Old Jan 9, '17, 5:27 am
sonofbarry sonofbarry is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: August 26, 2016
Posts: 27
Default Priestly Pronunciation on Death and Salvation

Scenario: rural Australia.
Funeral of a man who was openly homosexual, a "cradle Catholic", aged about 48; Priest approaching retirement, not connected with the deceased or his family for the 35 years since he had last been stationed in the parish.

The Priest said, "I believe that, at the moment of death, we are brought face to face with Christ and are given the immediate choice of accepting or rejecting him." (almost verbatim).
This was spoken with some authority. It sounded good, and was likely to comfort the bereaved.

I have to question this statement in terms of Catholic theology. I thought that unrepentant sinners went to hell immediately after they died.**
I have read that there is no "final moment" when you get a last chance to repent. I have read such teachings time and time again around this forum and others. The state or condition of your soul is fixed permanently in grace or damnation. You might repent just before death, but you can't (apparently) just after.

I know I get onto this topic from time to time, but it seems fundamental to us all: are you saved or are you not? What could be more important?

Is there a firm answer to this?

**(I'm not saying anything about the deceased in question; I hope he repented fully).
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old Jan 9, '17, 8:56 am
JM3's Avatar
JM3 JM3 is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: July 9, 2010
Posts: 3,239
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Priestly Pronunciation on Death and Salvation

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonofbarry View Post
Scenario: rural Australia.
Funeral of a man who was openly homosexual, a "cradle Catholic", aged about 48; Priest approaching retirement, not connected with the deceased or his family for the 35 years since he had last been stationed in the parish.

The Priest said, "I believe that, at the moment of death, we are brought face to face with Christ and are given the immediate choice of accepting or rejecting him." (almost verbatim).
This was spoken with some authority. It sounded good, and was likely to comfort the bereaved.

I have to question this statement in terms of Catholic theology. I thought that unrepentant sinners went to hell immediately after they died.**
I have read that there is no "final moment" when you get a last chance to repent. I have read such teachings time and time again around this forum and others. The state or condition of your soul is fixed permanently in grace or damnation. You might repent just before death, but you can't (apparently) just after.

I know I get onto this topic from time to time, but it seems fundamental to us all: are you saved or are you not? What could be more important?

Is there a firm answer to this?

**(I'm not saying anything about the deceased in question; I hope he repented fully).

CCC 1022 Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven-through a purification592 or immediately,593-or immediate and everlasting damnation.594

What of the nanoseconds before death? Wouldn't our charity hope that the mercy of God would prevail?

"The name of the archangel Michael means, in Hebrew, who is like unto God? and he is also known as "the prince of the heavenly host." He is usually pictured as a strong warrior, dressed in armor and wearing sandals. His name appears in Scripture four times, twice in the Book of Daniel, and once each in the Epistle of St. Jude and the Book of Revelation. From Revelation we learn of the battle in heaven, with St. Michael and his angels combatting Lucifer and the other fallen angels (or devils). We invoke St. Michael to help us in our fight against Satan; to rescue souls from Satan, especially at the hour of death; to be the champion of the Jews in the Old Testament and now Christians; and to bring souls to judgment."
__________________
the grace that has been granted you is that of suffering for Christís sake, not merely believing in him. - Philippians 1:29

"God will judge us by our fidelity to His Church and our obedience to Peter." Br. Jason Richard, FFV
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old Jan 9, '17, 9:44 am
SJacob7 SJacob7 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: April 24, 2014
Posts: 406
Religion: Born Catholic....
Default Re: Priestly Pronunciation on Death and Salvation

I don't believe you have a chance to be saved after you die.

Hebrews 9:27
Just as it is appointed that human beings die once, and after this the judgment,

Sounds to me that judgment follows after death.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old Jan 9, '17, 9:57 am
Widlast Widlast is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: February 18, 2016
Posts: 78
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Priestly Pronunciation on Death and Salvation

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonofbarry View Post
Scenario: rural Australia.
Funeral of a man who was openly homosexual, a "cradle Catholic", aged about 48; Priest approaching retirement, not connected with the deceased or his family for the 35 years since he had last been stationed in the parish.

The Priest said, "I believe that, at the moment of death, we are brought face to face with Christ and are given the immediate choice of accepting or rejecting him." (almost verbatim).
This was spoken with some authority. It sounded good, and was likely to comfort the bereaved.

I have to question this statement in terms of Catholic theology. I thought that unrepentant sinners went to hell immediately after they died.**
I have read that there is no "final moment" when you get a last chance to repent. I have read such teachings time and time again around this forum and others. The state or condition of your soul is fixed permanently in grace or damnation. You might repent just before death, but you can't (apparently) just after.

I know I get onto this topic from time to time, but it seems fundamental to us all: are you saved or are you not? What could be more important?

Is there a firm answer to this?

**(I'm not saying anything about the deceased in question; I hope he repented fully).
That is pretty much what St. Bernadette said. That at death Jesus comes to the deceased and if he finds within them any spark of virtue He will work with them.
God would that none should perish.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old Jan 9, '17, 10:53 am
Wannabe Monk 16 Wannabe Monk 16 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: June 2, 2016
Posts: 174
Religion: Thankfully Catholic - Roman Rite
Default Re: Priestly Pronunciation on Death and Salvation

I'd like to start this reply with a reminder from my signature:
To any knowledgeable Catholic, If I am theologically incorrect, please correct me.
We need to be very specific in terms of time. Judgment post-death is permanent.
Also, we should never presume Christ's Divine Mercy. That is a spiritually dangerous attitude to have.
"At the moment of death" seems to mean that this supernatural encounter with Our Blessed Lord is before death, thus before his particular judgment. If the priest only gave this testimony for means of salvation, I would kindly suggest against following this extraordinary path. Christ may and will do as He pleases, but this supernatural encounter sounds like an exception to the ordinary means to salvation. Did the priest mention frequent recourse to the Sacraments, especially validly receiving the Holy Eucharist?
In terms of our own salvation, we can have a fair and healthy confidence in our state of grace, but we must also work out our salvation in fear and trembling. This fear and trembling should be healthily balanced out with maintaining holy/virtuous habits while remaining in our state of grace, to avoid sin, especially mortal ones. We should never judge any of our siblings' souls, as only the Holy Trinity may do that. We should pray for all, that they may be in a state of grace "now and at the hour of [their] death."
__________________
AMDG CSSML NDSMD
To Christ, Through Mary
Equal parts serpent and dove (Mt. 10:16)
To all my fellow Catholics, PLEASE correct me if I am theologically incorrect in any of my posts!
Always invoke your Guardian Angel for help.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old Jan 9, '17, 12:17 pm
adamhovey1988's Avatar
adamhovey1988 adamhovey1988 is online now
Regular Member
 
Join Date: February 12, 2015
Posts: 3,387
Religion: Christian-Catholic (Latin), my religion IS my relationship
Default Re: Priestly Pronunciation on Death and Salvation

A friend of mine told me after one of my ex girlfriends husbands died in a car wreck that she (my ex) believed he was in Hell. I don't know how true that is but a mutual friend of mine who I was discussing it with pointed out that she was not there when he died and that he could have repented of his sins at the last moment before his death. Do you know what? She's absolutely right
__________________
Check out my apologetics channel, subscribe if you'd like
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9E...tsEcLVRezZT9pA
My blog
http://adamcharleshovey.blogspot.com
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old Jan 9, '17, 12:55 pm
exnihilo exnihilo is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: June 13, 2011
Posts: 4,040
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Priestly Pronunciation on Death and Salvation

I don't think there is any problem with what he said. And you are right about unrepentant sinners going to Hell. Certainly at the moment of death we do encounter Christ. At this moment we will choose to accept Christ or to reject Him. Now, our whole life we have been making this same choice. So when this moment comes we have habituated ourself one way or the other. So it could be that our choice is just a ratification of the choices of our life. I would think it hard for someone who has lived a life against God to suddenly change. It could also be that in this moment we receive special graces. And of course either way God is the ultimate judge. So I may be wrong but I don't think there is a problem with what you describe.
__________________
We fear men so much, because we fear God so little. One fear cures another. When man's terror scares you, turn your thoughts to the wrath of God.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old Jan 9, '17, 3:06 pm
PJM PJM is offline
Forum Master
 
Join Date: August 31, 2008
Posts: 13,801
Religion: Informed, practicing RomanCatholic
Default Re: Priestly Pronunciation on Death and Salvation

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonofbarry View Post
Scenario: rural Australia.
Funeral of a man who was openly homosexual, a "cradle Catholic", aged about 48; Priest approaching retirement, not connected with the deceased or his family for the 35 years since he had last been stationed in the parish.

The Priest said, "I believe that, at the moment of death, we are brought face to face with Christ and are given the immediate choice of accepting or rejecting him." (almost verbatim).
This was spoken with some authority. It sounded good, and was likely to comfort the bereaved.

I have to question this statement in terms of Catholic theology. I thought that unrepentant sinners went to hell immediately after they died.**
I have read that there is no "final moment" when you get a last chance to repent. I have read such teachings time and time again around this forum and others. The state or condition of your soul is fixed permanently in grace or damnation. You might repent just before death, but you can't (apparently) just after.

I know I get onto this topic from time to time, but it seems fundamental to us all: are you saved or are you not? What could be more important?

Is there a firm answer to this?

**(I'm not saying anything about the deceased in question; I hope he repented fully).
IMO, you did WELL in questioning his statement.

GBY
__________________
Irish2: PJM


http://working4christtwo.wordpress.com


A.B. Fulton Sheen: "The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it, and a lie is still a lie, even if everybody believes it."
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old Jan 10, '17, 5:53 am
thistle thistle is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: August 23, 2005
Posts: 23,270
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Priestly Pronunciation on Death and Salvation

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonofbarry View Post
Scenario: rural Australia.
Funeral of a man who was openly homosexual, a "cradle Catholic", aged about 48; Priest approaching retirement, not connected with the deceased or his family for the 35 years since he had last been stationed in the parish.

The Priest said, "I believe that, at the moment of death, we are brought face to face with Christ and are given the immediate choice of accepting or rejecting him." (almost verbatim).
This was spoken with some authority. It sounded good, and was likely to comfort the bereaved.

I have to question this statement in terms of Catholic theology. I thought that unrepentant sinners went to hell immediately after they died.**
I have read that there is no "final moment" when you get a last chance to repent. I have read such teachings time and time again around this forum and others. The state or condition of your soul is fixed permanently in grace or damnation. You might repent just before death, but you can't (apparently) just after.

I know I get onto this topic from time to time, but it seems fundamental to us all: are you saved or are you not? What could be more important?

Is there a firm answer to this?

**(I'm not saying anything about the deceased in question; I hope he repented fully).
It depends how "moment of death" is defined. Once you are dead there is no chance to repent. Repentance must be done while still alive, no matter how close to death you are.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old Jan 10, '17, 6:33 am
Ridgerunner Ridgerunner is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: September 10, 2006
Posts: 34,845
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Priestly Pronunciation on Death and Salvation

Quote:
Originally Posted by thistle View Post
It depends how "moment of death" is defined. Once you are dead there is no chance to repent. Repentance must be done while still alive, no matter how close to death you are.
But what is "death"? Is it as medicine defines it, (for now anyway) or is it something else? Is it when the last synapse breaks down chemically? What? And what is 'time" at such moments? We understand all our sins are laid bare at or after death. How long, in time as we know it, does that take? Or is time even relevant to that consideration? Is it possible that what we would think would take years in earth time could take place in fractions of a second if we're "outside time"?

I guess this can be reduced to its most essential by asking whether God does, indeed, give us all a "not in time" opportunity for final penitence, or whether we're weighed as on a scale. Did we confess, fully, every mortal sin, with none between our last confession and our death? While, certainly, God makes His own rules, which are just by definition, an exclusive view of the latter as being the case seems to many just a bit lawyerly and short of the merciful God we're taught about.

But on the assumption the priest in the OP is right, how do we teach that without causing a sort of indifference and lack of moral effort?

I recall Ste Therese of Lisieux saying she would not fear hell even if she had committed every sin there was to commit. Why? Because she loved God and knew she did. She threw herself on God's mercy out of love.

But how did she get to that point? In little things she said; being aware at all times of God's love, however little she might feel it at a given moment, and consciously offering all things to Him. If we do that, of course, we're not likely to be lackadaisical, spiritually.

So what, then, is confessing the last mortal sin? Is it an additional mercy; a "safe harbor" for those who might fail final penitence, or is it the sine qua non of redemption?
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old Jan 11, '17, 6:52 am
thistle thistle is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: August 23, 2005
Posts: 23,270
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Priestly Pronunciation on Death and Salvation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridgerunner View Post
But what is "death"? Is it as medicine defines it, (for now anyway) or is it something else? Is it when the last synapse breaks down chemically? What? And what is 'time" at such moments? We understand all our sins are laid bare at or after death. How long, in time as we know it, does that take? Or is time even relevant to that consideration? Is it possible that what we would think would take years in earth time could take place in fractions of a second if we're "outside time"?

I guess this can be reduced to its most essential by asking whether God does, indeed, give us all a "not in time" opportunity for final penitence, or whether we're weighed as on a scale. Did we confess, fully, every mortal sin, with none between our last confession and our death? While, certainly, God makes His own rules, which are just by definition, an exclusive view of the latter as being the case seems to many just a bit lawyerly and short of the merciful God we're taught about.

But on the assumption the priest in the OP is right, how do we teach that without causing a sort of indifference and lack of moral effort?

I recall Ste Therese of Lisieux saying she would not fear hell even if she had committed every sin there was to commit. Why? Because she loved God and knew she did. She threw herself on God's mercy out of love.

But how did she get to that point? In little things she said; being aware at all times of God's love, however little she might feel it at a given moment, and consciously offering all things to Him. If we do that, of course, we're not likely to be lackadaisical, spiritually.

So what, then, is confessing the last mortal sin? Is it an additional mercy; a "safe harbor" for those who might fail final penitence, or is it the sine qua non of redemption?
The Church teaches infallibly that there is no chance to repent after death. It is irrelevant how you define death. Once you are dead you cannot repent.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old Jan 11, '17, 3:43 pm
Ridgerunner Ridgerunner is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: September 10, 2006
Posts: 34,845
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Priestly Pronunciation on Death and Salvation

Quote:
Originally Posted by thistle View Post
The Church teaches infallibly that there is no chance to repent after death. It is irrelevant how you define death. Once you are dead you cannot repent.
If one cannot repent after death, then it's far from irrelevant when that moment of death is. At one time, everyone thought of it as when a heartbeat was no longer detectable. Now, we think more in terms of brain wave flat-lining. But even that is not totally accepted, because people have recovered from it.

So, irrelevant as it may seem to you, what, exactly, is "death"? Is it when the last brain cell ceases functioning and begins breaking down chemically, or is it sooner than that? Later? When?

When is the last possible moment for final penitence? The last conscious moment in which we can react to exterior stimuli? Of course, we don't really know when that is, because supposedly comatose or even flat-lining people have been shown to have consciousness of what's around them.

And perhaps it would be more accurate to say "once you are dead you WILL not repent."
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old Jan 12, '17, 12:18 am
zaida zaida is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: December 8, 2011
Posts: 146
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Priestly Pronunciation on Death and Salvation

This is such an important topic - and speaks to our understanding of God's nature and love. I think its very "telling" that the Church has never said any one particular individual is in Hell. If I understand it right - the Church says it cannot know "who" is finally within Gods mercy and that judgement is in God's hands - while we might proclaim someone has been so holy in life they are definitely in heaven (the saints) we never proclaim someone is definitely in Hell.

This leads me to believe that the original statement (from the Priest) is theologically sound. We just don't know what happens between a soul and the creator in the last seconds....I believe in God's expansive, wide, and total love and mercy for every soul...that he will work with every soul who shows a willingness to work with Him...and I believe we, as Catholics, have a duty to pray for everyone's soul....

I also believe we are called to live our lives to show others God's love so they turn to Him in this life, and live their lives in His love....I wish I did a better job of living my life in this way!

Blessings!
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old Jan 12, '17, 6:38 am
thistle thistle is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: August 23, 2005
Posts: 23,270
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Priestly Pronunciation on Death and Salvation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridgerunner View Post
If one cannot repent after death, then it's far from irrelevant when that moment of death is. At one time, everyone thought of it as when a heartbeat was no longer detectable. Now, we think more in terms of brain wave flat-lining. But even that is not totally accepted, because people have recovered from it.

So, irrelevant as it may seem to you, what, exactly, is "death"? Is it when the last brain cell ceases functioning and begins breaking down chemically, or is it sooner than that? Later? When?

When is the last possible moment for final penitence? The last conscious moment in which we can react to exterior stimuli? Of course, we don't really know when that is, because supposedly comatose or even flat-lining people have been shown to have consciousness of what's around them.

And perhaps it would be more accurate to say "once you are dead you WILL not repent."
There is no IF. It is an infallible teaching of the Church that you cannot repent after death.
The last possible chance to repent is the nano second before death.

For your information the Church defines death as the moment the soul leaves the body, which God knows, not us.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old Jan 16, '17, 12:38 am
sonofbarry sonofbarry is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: August 26, 2016
Posts: 27
Default Re: Priestly Pronunciation on Death and Salvation

Thanks for the replies, everyone. A very thought-provoking thread.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Traditional Catholicism

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump




Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
6485CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: Vim71
6007Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: hazcompat
5098Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: Amiciel
4615Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: DesertSister62
4237Poems and Reflections
Last by: PathWalker
4052OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: Popeye14
3288For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: ShepherdMe
3261Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: Herculees
2811Let's Empty Purgatory 2
Last by: tawny
2446SOLITUDE
Last by: beth40n2



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 4:59 am.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2014, Catholic Answers.