If The Pope And All The Preists Were Wiped Off The Face Of The Earth, Where Would That Leave The Catholic Faith?

Is there a Contingency Plan in place?

Would the faith survive and in what theological state would it continue?

If the faith survived, how would we choose a new pope and priests and who would have the responsibility for doing so?

If the Pope, Cardinals, Bishops and all Priests were wiped out in some strange disaster that targeted them all (a clergy targeting virus?) I’d presume the Catholic Church would end as a functioning entity on Earth. Since no new priests would be capable of being validly ordained. And by extension no Catholic’s sins could be forgiven via confession/reconciliation nor the Catholic Eucharist confected ever again.

My understanding is that presently, when a new Pope is being selected, not all of the eligible cardinals are present for the conclave in case of a terror attack which could kill all of those present for the election of a new Pope. I’m not certain how many of those cardinals would be absent.

[quote=IWantGod; 14070376]Would the faith survive and in what theological state would it continue?

The faith would continue until the last Catholic alive dies. Presumably, that would also be the end of the world since the gates of Hell shall not prevail against the Church. If there are no Catholics on Earth, the faith would be extinct. The faith would not become extinct until Christ returns and the need for faith will no longer be applicable.

[quote=IWantGod]If the faith survived, how would we choose a new pope and priests and who would have the responsibility for doing so?

Without the Priesthood, and in particular the bishops, there would no longer be an ability to chose a new Pope. Theoretically, the papacy could survive without the cardinals as selections of popes existed prior to the existence of cardinals.

This is a strange ‘what if’. What if the Earth were wiped off the Galaxy, is there a contingency plan in place?

Not true. Remaining Catholics would rely on Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Church of the East, and other Apostolic Churches - while persuading the clergy and hierarchs of the minor differences we find to be Truths of the Catholic faith. He’s already a validly ordained bishop, now Catholic.

No need - Jesus Christ gave his promise - the Gates of Hell will not prevail.

One ought not be concerned with mere logical possibilities…

…and in this case …there are no worries for such is not going to happen - Christ is faithful.

So you propose that the remaining Catholics could use the Orthodox and other Apostolic Churches to replenish the Catholic episcopacy and clergy? It’s a clever work around.

But suppose the terrible Clericis exterminatore virus also targeted Eastern clergy, bishops and patriarchs. And the entirety of episcopacy and clergy structure of the churches the Catholic Church currently views as valid are wiped out as well? What then?

If all (and I presume, ALL, Orthodox included) priests (and bishops) were to be wiped off the face of the earth, there is no contingency plan. The Church collapses. For the Church to survive, we need at least one bishop.

This is why we will trust that based on Christ’s promise of indefectibility, this won’t happen.

What if all the women in the world dropped dead at once? How could Mankind survive?

What if every food crop in the world died en masse of plant blight? Where could we get food?

What if all the bodies of water dried up at once? Where could we get water to drink?

What if everyone was struck blind all at once? What would we do?

I don’t think I’m going to worry about any of this.

On a different planet, the Pope would be in exile on Mars. We’d have the technology because our current Pope is a Jesuit, and Jesuits generally make some of the most important scientific breakthroughs.

It is impossible that the Pope, Bishops, and priests would all be wiped off the face of the earth. Our Lord has told us that such a thing will never happen.

Lets see the first one was covered in the comic book “Y” (admittedly they went the other way and all men dropped dead)

The second one was the backstory of the movie Interstellar

The third was the backstory of Mad Max Fury Road

Admittedly I’ve never seen the whole, everyone blind thing before.

Are you concerned that this might really happen or are you just throwing it out there?

Well Christ said the gates of hell would never prevail against the church. That doesn’t preclude something like that from happening. The exercise here I think is to figure out how the gates of hell wouldn’t prevail in this theoretical situation.

Setting aside that fact that this is a virtual impossibility, the people of God, as Christ’s body, would elect a new pope and he would ordain new bishops. The office of pope doesn’t depend on him being ordained–he only needs to be a practicing Catholic man. Problem solved. :wink:

This is an interesting answer.

So, this would actually be a test of the legitimacy of the faith.

No, problem not solved.

If all bishops were wiped out, apostolic succession ends. It would be impossible to elect a new Pope and ordain new priests. Since the hypothetical also called for the elimination of all priests too, that means outside of Baptism and marriage, the Sacraments cease as well.

Therefore, in the hypothetical, the problem cannot be solved. The Church will collapse.

In order for the Church to survive any kind of disaster, we need at least one surviving bishop.

I was about to say to another poster that his answer implies that the laity under no circumstance has apostolic power.

What if Hell froze over every year, because it really was in Michigan??

What if there were no rhetorical questions?:):):slight_smile:


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