turns out it’s ok to laugh…
…so long as you’re laughing about people going to hell.
yup, that’s why i’m giving “fr.” z a pass on the otherwise disconcerting glee shown while reporting St. Leonard of Port Maurice’s rather dire prediction that “only a few will be saved.”
it’s true, you know, and honestly i’m not even as optimistic as he, since i’m pretty sure that almost everyone will end up in the fryer.
i mention all this because of the recent “controversy” among novus ordo types, on the question of hell and who goes there, which is almost laughable in and of itself.
at least prior to vatican ii, the catholic church had always taught, albeit with a measure of profound sadness, both that hell exists and that people freely go there for eternity. there *was* a problem with this, of course, but it wasn’t to be found in the affirmation of hell’s existence. no, the problem was with the church’s *sadness* in proclaiming this truth.
for me, the existence and bursting-at-the-seams fullness of hell forms the very foundation and cornerstone of what i tell people about the faith.
as far as i can tell, most of the people involved in this internecine fake “catholic” debate about hell are actually in agreement:
- they all recognize that full-on “universalism” is a condemned heresy;
- they affirm the existence of hell and the fact that there are a number of people whose rejection of God has led them there for eternity;
- they refuse to despair that any particular person is lost, so they make heroic effort to evangelize the living and intercede for the departed;
- most of them even realize that the whole discussion–of reprobation, election, predestination, divine justice and mercy, etc.–concerns things mysterious and inscrutable, and that undue curiosity about such matters needs to be avoided.
in fact, the only thing they really disagree on is how much emphasis one should place on hell when sharing the gospel.
i know, pathetic.
it’s like they think that pro multis really means “for many.”
as for me, i’ll stick to my talking points of hell, modernism, and the jews, thank you very much.