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March 3, 2015

Many Catholics are aware that Jesus “opened the gates of heaven” and allowed the righteous dead to go there.

The Catechism even says it:

CCC 637 In his human soul united to his divine person, the dead Christ went down to the realm of the dead. He opened heaven's gates for the just who had gone before him.

This leads to a question that comes up periodically: What about figures like Enoch and Elijah, who seem to have been assumed...

March 2, 2015

Some years ago, I watched an interview with the late actor Eli Wallach. In a documentary on the legendary Marilyn Monroe, Wallach recounted how he and Monroe had been fellow students in an acting class. One evening after class, they decided to get a bite to eat at a nearby diner. After a friendly supper together,...

February 27, 2015

Then Cardinal Ratzinger, in his book, Eschatology: Death and Eternal Life, published in 1988, warns against depicting heaven as an extension of this life prettied up with depictions of “lions laying down with lambs,” and eternal picnics. Not only do we have the real problem with the fact that most of the world lives in abject misery, materially speaking—we forget that living in our modern United States of American where “the poor” often means not being able to afford all 2,000 cable...

February 23, 2015

The terrifying images have become ubiquitous in recent months. Men in orange jumpsuits kneeling before a camera, with a specter draped in black at their shoulder. The black-costumed specter waving a knife and issuing threats, the threats offered in English with a British accent. Then, unimaginably, using that knife to deliver death.

At first, just one man at a time. Then two. Then the violence shifted. Another orange-suited man, this one soaked with gasoline and waiting in a cage for...

February 20, 2015

In a previous blog post, I talked about the error of both Fr. Robert Baron and Hans Urs von Balthasar in positing the real possibility that Hell could be empty for all eternity. This post led to people asking more questions about the nature of Hell itself. What is it? Is it really "eternal?" and more.

Below find my answers to some of those questions.

By definition, according to CCC...