Mormans and Catholics becoming gods?


#1

I consider myself a devout Catholic, and thought I had a fairly good understanding of what CCC 460 implies. A non-Catholic member posed a question regarding CCC460 as being similar to Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint beliefs, particularly on men becoming gods when they die.
I must say the wording of this has thrown me a bit :

CCC460
The word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature”: “For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.” " For the Son of God became man so that we might become God. " "The only-begotten Son of God wanting to make us shareres in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."


Thank you for giving this your consideration, I am unsure how to explain the differnce between the Catholic teaching on this matter in contrast to LDS beliefs.


#2

Dear Peace,

Even though the LDS Church uses many of the same terms we use, they have entirely different meanings for them. They believe that God the Father has a physical body and that He had relations with Mary and begot Jesus. God the Father was originally just a man but eventually became a god. This is what they believe about Jesus also. He started out as a man and eventually became a god just as all of us will. But their notion of God differs from ours in the extreme. They do not believe that the Father created time or matter. Matter has always existed. (For us, it would follow that matter has a divine quality that God lacks–which is totally unacceptable.)

Just this morning at Mass as I poured a drop of water into the wine that was to be consecrated I said, “By the mystery of this water and wine, may we come to share the divinity of Christ who humbled Himself to share in our humanity.” By this I did NOT mean that I expect to become equal to Him! I meant that somehow I will have SOME share in His divine life.

To share in God’s divine nature does not mean that we will or even can share completely in His divine nature. We will share in it to the degree that our bodies will be glorified and preserved from corruption and that we will be immortal. This is what is meant by our becoming gods. Certainly, we could never achieve this on our own. But it is IMPOSSIBLE for us to become God. God can have no beginning. He is totally unlimited. It is impossible for there to be more than one God. Each God would be lacking in that which differentiates the other God from it. For God to be lacking in ANYTHING, may leave him somewhat of a super creature, but it can never render him as almighty God! For us, this is a slam dunk!

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.


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