Serious Questions for Serious Catholic Apologists

For the sake of this discussion, assume that those who died prior to Jesus or who have died since without hearing the gospel presented fully and accurately would or will have the gospel preached to them in some extraordinary manner in the afterlife. Further, assume that everyone who is currently alive or who will be alive at some point in the future will also hear the gospel correctly.

IOW, assume that EVERYONE without exception hears the gospel in this life or the next.

My questions:

[LIST=1]
*]Before the creation of the world, was it God’s will that everyone be formal members of the Catholic Church in full communion with the Bishop of Rome?

*]Is it God’s will today?
[/LIST]

If it were God’s will that everyone be formal members of the Catholic Church in full communion with the Bishop of Rome then God would have created the Catholic Church and ordained the Bishop of Rome on the fifth day of creation.

God does not will something and then create conditions which make his will impossible.

-Tim-

Are the conditions which make universal formal Church membership impossible a result of the fall? :shrug:

I don’t consider myself a Serious Catholic Apologist, but I am ‘serious’ and your title caught my eye!

Interesting question.

I agree with Timothy, firstly.

“Are the conditions which make universal formal Church membership impossible a result of the fall?”

  • I think you mean an automatic conversion of every person into the church?
    You’re suggesting everyone hears the gospel, but something prevents universal membership?

This assumption about universal exposure to the gospel (which there almost certainly is to varying extents around the world) doesn’t quite seem to sit well with the two questions you posed, though. Could you clarify how the presumption feeds into the questions?

  1. “Before the creation of the world, was it God’s will that everyone be formal members of the Catholic Church in full communion with the Bishop of Rome?”

In respect of 1) It depends if God knew the fall would happen. If yes, then the answer to the question has to be yes. God always intended Jesus to be born and for the church to be created- the New Covenant to be born, and this was prophesied in the early books of the old Testament.

  1. “Is it God’s will today?”

Yes, it must be. God wishes to pull all of us from the literal ‘burning building’ more than a mother wants to pull her child from the real one. The method of pulling us, and the thing to which we are pulled and nurtured is his church, with Peter as the first bishop of Rome.

I hope this is a reasonable answer. I’m a little intimidated by your forum rank! But I saw you’re on your way to the church and as this was my journey too, I’d like to help any way I can :slight_smile:

God created us with a free will. Even tho HE knows what every human being HE creates will do, He doesn’t force us to do HIS will. That is a great Mystery. But we do know that God helps us on our Journey. The Greatest help is that HE sent HIS divine Son to teach, suffer and die for us and then to arise from the dead to show us we are destined for Eternity. And Jesus founded the Catholic Church to sanctify us and guide us on our way. And yes Jesus prayed that there would be ONE Church, One Faith and we would all be ONE. God has placed in the heart and soul of everyone HE creates the desire to return to HIM. Those who follow that desire to the best of their ability, (excluding deliberate ignorance) even those who have never heard of Jesus and the Gospel are included in HIS love and Mercy. God Bless, Memaw

The simple answer to each of your questions is: Yes.

This is not because God “foresaw” the fall, nor is it because God intended the fall, nor because regardless of the Fall the Church would have existed. None of these scenarios are true.

The answer is yes because from God’s perspective there is no “before the creation of the world.” Everything in creation, as well as God’s own creative and salvific actions, everything is present to Him. Not past. Not future. Present. This means all things are simultaneous to His being. Thus, though it is not God’s desire that man should fall, it is His desire that man should be united to Him as members of His Divine Family. This is God’s plan.

Our creation, our fall, and our salvation have always been present before God. This is so, not because of predestination, but because these are the choices we have made. Thus, yes, God has always intended us to be united to Him in Body (the Catholic Church) and in Mind (the Seat of Peter). And always means always. It has always been the destiny of man to commune with God.

The condition which make universal formal Church membership impossible is the non-existence of the Church.

For God to will that you be a member of a Church and then create that Church after you die is to contradict his own will. It is not possible for God to contradict himself. God cannot will that Adam, Eve, Moses, David, Socrates, Alexander the Great, etc., all be members of a universal Church in communion with the Bishop of Rome and then wait until Matthew 16 to ordain that Bishop and until Pentecost to create that Church.

Preaching the Gospel and the fall of our first parents have nothing to do with it. If God willed that Cyrus the Great (6th century BC) be a member of the Catholic Church then he would have created that Church for Cyrus to a member of - waiting until Pentecost makes it impossible for Cyrus to fulfill God’s will.

For with God nothing will be impossible. (Luke 1:37)

God does not will that we do what is impossible.

-Tim-

:popcorn:

Is it God’s will today that everyone be Christian in Communion with His Universal Church?

Yes, it is. It is His will that all hear the Gospel and accept Christ. The divisions among Christians are a result of human weakness. Some of the fault for this certainly lies with Catholics past and present. God does not desire schism among His flock.

:hmmm: really?

None of those names existed yet in time. But outside of time, I would suggest they already existed in the mind of God.

I agree :slight_smile:

:thumbsup:

That’s why God created us with a free will. So we would choose to spend Eternity with HIM. Sad to say, to many times we choose our own will and that’s the problem! God Bless, Memaw

No if it was the will of God for people to be united with the RCC in the O.T. Abraham would have taught it. Back then it was the Temple. The Pope was not needed then. All Abraham and Company needed back then was to be free from Original Sin, which was given to them by the Cross. They needed Jesus and the Cross not full communion with Rome.

Yes it is the will of God today because he taught us that the Pope (Peter) has the keys to the kingdom.

If there was no kingdom here on earth, there would be no reason to leave Peter the keys, and no reason for him to say there was a Kingdom here on earth.

Common sense tells you that the Kingdom here on earth indeed is the kingdom of God here on earth.

It will be that way until as Jesus stated until he comes again in glory.

Then there will be a new heaven and new earth.

I agree with what you are saying, but we have to be careful in how we say this and how we refer to the Church.

If we say Christ and his Church are one, as we are taught, then yes it would be the will of God, because it was Christ who saved the O.T. and the N.T. people.

But to say be in communion with the Pope I disagree, Simply because Jesus saved the ones in Hades long before the start of the RCC here on earth. The Church began on the day of Pentecost!:smiley:

Speaking of the will of God, Jesus shows us what His will is John 17:20-23 . Since the context of Jesus prayer was in the presence of the apostles, and since Jesus also established His Church and the office of the pope, we know therefore, in the context of the prayer, that we are to be in perfect unity with everything Jesus established, Including perfect unity with the pope, and perfect unity with Our Lord’s Catholic Church.

As an aside, God who is outside of time, knew from all eterrnity what He was going to do in time. That means that before the world, there was the Catholic Church in God’s mind. The CC is NOT a manmade institution. It is divinely instituted.

Of course. It’s God’s eternal will that all his people be in perfect Christian fellowship with one another. We all agree on that. It’s the question of how that formal membership of the Catholic Church and full communion with the Bishop of Rome is implemented that presents the difficulties.

The question was never asked if the CC was a manmade institution. The question was from the beginning were people to be in communion with the Pope.

As I stated no, simply because the Pope was not available in the O.T. And the CC was not available.

Rather God know all future and past has nothing to do with him setting up his Kingdom here on earth. It was not available then.

I don’t see how God knowing what he would do, has anything to do with Father Abraham, etc needing to be in communion with the Pope who did not exist at the time of Abraham.

I have to agree with you. Now if the question was do I believe that God wanted all Christians to be united with the RCC today and the Bishop of Rome my answer were be yes.

Because Christians never existed before Christ because it was not revealed to us what Christians even were, until Christ appeared human and Divine in this world.

But what throws me on this whole thread is why would Father Abraham need the Pope when he had Christ himself come down to hades to release him and all of the souls into eternal life in heaven.:shrug:

I don’t believe anyone in this world loves or needs the teaching’s of the Pope more then myself, but he could do nothing for the people in the O.T. Christ took care of it!

Jesus gave St Peter the keys to the kingdom, his kingdom here on earth the RCC.

If the people in the O.T. had that available to them, they would have had available to them direct access to heaven at the time of their death.

If people truly saw the RCC as Christ meant it to be, and started it to be, I think they would understand no other Church in the world outside of the RCC holds the keys to the Kingdom of God here on earth.

If so they would be able to show that Christ also gave their ruler, preacher etc whoever heads that Church keys to the Kingdom of heaven also.

But no one can produce them but the Pope. Because Christ only gave them to him.

By us having the Kingdom of God here on earth, it is possible for us through the Sacraments for us to become a Saint here on earth and die perfected in Christ, ONLY by the means of his One Church.

Can I ask what is meant by the “Keys to the kingdom”? Is it the sacraments?

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