Monday, September 26, 2016

Father Zuhlsdorf: Authentic shepherd

Father Zuhlsdorf, over at WDTPRS, Just posted this:

"From a reader…


Is there a reasonable hope that all souls will be saved since it is a part of our liturgy?

No.  That is not reasonable.  It is wishful thinking.

Many* will be lost.

The feel good of translations and other aspects in our sacred -or not so sacred – worship have given many more than a rosy prospect.

There is no part of our authentic liturgy as Catholics which suggests that “all” will be saved.

It is time to sober up.

We can lose the gift of membership in the Kingdom of God which Christ opened for us.

We can and we do… when we sin.


Always nice to find a Catholic priest who isn't, well, insane.  Father Z is most sound of mine and an authentic shepherd.  He cares for souls.  Not all priests, however, are sane.  I do not say this to be uncharitable.  But remember, as Frank Sheed reminded us, good theology and sanity go hand in hand - see here.

Some years ago, in an article entitled "Can Jews, Muslims be saved," Fr. John Dietzen wrote, "Pope John Paul II reflects this Catholic attitude [that non-Catholics may be saved] in his moving and hopeful book, 'Crossing the Threshold of Hope.' God wants to save all mankind in Jesus Christ, he writes. We don't know how God does all this, but we know Christ came into the world for all people and 'has his own ways of reaching them' (pp. 80-83) In other words, God has committed himself to work through baptism and the other sacraments, but he is not bound or limited by them."

It is certainly true that non-Catholics who "..through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience..may achieve eternal salvation" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 847) and that although, "God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism..he himself is not bound by his sacraments." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1257). I have often quoted these passages to refute the errors of the Feeneyites who insist that only baptized Roman Catholics may be saved.

But it does not follow that because "God came into the world for all people" and "wants to save all mankind in Jesus Christ" that all will be saved. Will some souls end up in hell? Fr. Dietzen concludes from his examination of Pope John Paul II's book that, "We just don't know enough about the mystery of God's saving plan to make such a judgment." He then writes, "Perhaps you know of Father Hans Urs von Balthasar, one of the major Catholic theologians of the 20th century, a friend and close consultant to Pope John Paul II. He wrote much about the possibility of universal redemption, including the book, 'Dare We Hope: That All Men Be Saved,' in which he maintains it is our Christian call to pray and hope that all are reconciled with God. He was named a Cardinal but died before he could receive the red hat."

What of this? Was Pope John Paul II in agreement with Hans Urs von Balthasar? The average Catholic, after reading Fr. Dietzen's article, would certainly get that impression. But they would be wrong. For Fr. Dietzen is not intellectually honest and only cites those passages of Pope John Paul II's book which seem to support this notion. A more careful examination of the Holy Father's book will serve to highlight Fr. Dietzen's dishonesty. For example, in a passage responding to the concern of "great thinkers in the Church," [including von Balthasar] who have been "disturbed" by the problem of hell, Pope John Paul II refers to Jesus' "unequivocal" words: "He speaks clearly of those who will go to eternal punishment (cf. Mt 25: 46)."

Pope John Paul II concludes his remarks (which may be found on pages 185 to 186 of "Crossing the Threshold of Hope") with a series of rhetorical questions which indicate that some sinners will end in hell: "Is not God who is Love also ultimate Justice?," "Can He tolerate these terrible crimes," "Can they go unpunished?," "Isn't final punishment in some way necessary in order to reestablish moral equilibrium in the complex history of humanity?," "Is not hell in a certain sense the ultimate safeguard of man's moral conscience?"

Fr. Dietzen conveniently leaves these passages out of his article in an attempt to convince the faithful that Pope John Paul II and the Church are in agreement with Hans Urs von Balthasar. I have quoted [in another post on Fr. Dietzen] from Lumen Gentium, No. 48 of the Second Vatican Council which teaches clearly that some souls will end up in hell. And faithful Catholics will reflect very carefully on the fact that the Lord Himself speaks about the damned in a form that is grammatically future: "...and those who have done evil will go to the resurrection of condemnation" (Mt 25: 46). Does Fr. Dietzen consider Christ to be a liar? Does he believe Christ to be mistaken?

It's true that Pope John Paul II appointed von Balthasar a Cardinal. But when the Pope appoints someone a Cardinal, he does not authoritatively commend his thought.

I called upon Fr. Dietzen to issue an apology to his readers for his misleading article.  But he never delivered.

The faithful have a right to Catholic teaching in its purity and integrity (Veritatis Splendor, No. 113). Father Dietzen and others who dare to suggest that all men will be saved fail to offer Catholic teaching in its purity and integrity.

*  How do we interpret "many"?  See here.


Athol/Orange Catholic said...

Father Z offers truth. Many priests today do not. At St. Mary's in Orange we get chaff. The new priest, as with the former - Fr. Bermudez, never quotes from the Catechism or touches upon teachings that are deemed "too sensitive."

Although some 80 percent of Catholics are contracepting and Catholic women are aborting at about the same rate as non-believers, nothing is preached from the pulpit.

Priests who refuse to preach the hard truths are leading souls to Hell and will end up there themselves.

Catholic Mission said...

Pope John Paul II, Hans Urs von Balthasar with the new theology used an irrational premise.It was contrary to the Principle of Non Contradiction. Fr. Zuhlsdorf also interprets Vatican Council II and extra ecclesiam nulla salus with this irrationality

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Thanks Catholic Mission. God bless you.

Unknown said...


If you follow the Master
the world will reject you
as it rejects the Pastor
with a lot of ballyhoo

The disciple is NOT above the Master
nor the servant above his Lord
the world is heading for a disaster
the Creator is ready to have it restored

The Queen of Heaven comes to warn
us poor children of naughty Eve
if we don’t listen, we’ll surely mourn
in an “eternity” full of grief

Each one of us is free to decide
whether to follow God or a worldly path
whether to be humble or full of pride
whether to be full of Love or full of wrath

The Righteous Judge keeps patiently
inviting His children to choose wisely
but most of us refuse blatantly
to follow His Commandments very precisely

He who will not hear, will feel .

Rita Biesemans, December 12 2013 Feast Day of Our lady of Guadalupe

Unknown said...

The Ship of Peter is torn apart
Martyred in its Holy Teaching
It sinks and sinks, no work of art
The bottom though never reaching
Dissidents are screaming loud
Leaving behind an awful niff
Pretending to be proudly stout
Gearing the Ship into a cliff
Jesus shows His wounded Heart
Smitten with a deadly dart
Peter the Rock in desolation
Deploring severe desecration
Wake up, you Christian Brother
Show now your truthful face
With Mary our Heavenly Mother
We'll reach that Peaceful Place
In allegiance to the Holy Father  (and I don't mean Pranksis )
United in prayer and fasting
No victory will claim, but rather
Satan's defeat be everlasting.

Rita Biesemans, 01-02-2011

BaldwinvilleCatholic said...

Well said Athol/Orange. Without real shepherds, parishes are disintegrating. We're losing the youth as a result.

Betty said...

Saint Mary's in Orange, like the Diocese of Springfield in general,is in profound crisis. All efforts to deny this are merely smoke and mirror tactics to try to distract people from noticing that the emperor has no clothes.

Tragic as a diocese unravels

Anonymous said...

St. Mary's Church used to be so vibrant. But the future looks bleak. Although it serves half a dozen towns, Mass attendance is dropping and there is no moral leadership. I'm looking for another church.

Cyn M. said...

"To whom much is given, much is expected" the errant and lazy priests will be called to account gor the countless souls lost as a result of their lack of strong leadership.Sad...Praying for them,and all our clergy,in these dark days.

Anonymous said...

In my church we a have a priest who is lukewarm. He tells us to show respect to the silence that must be observed during mass, and warned us to pray the right way or the devil will smile at us.

But on the other hand, He rarely warns us about the devil and all the dangers that follow in leading a life of sin. And, he mostly speaks of God's mercy and compassion, barely touching upon His justice and anger towards those who are not sorry for the sins they commit against The Almighty.

That, and he celebrates mass facing the congregation instead of the altar.

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