The General Resurrection and the Dissolution of Marriage

What happens, at the time of the general Resurrection, to the faithful Catholic Christians who are still alive on earth on that very day, at that very hour?

Does Jesus, at His Return, strike them dead so that He can give them the particular Judgment, and then immediately raise them up again? That seems absurd, needless, and kind of mean.

[1 Cor]
{15:52} in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will rise up, incorruptible. And we shall be transformed.
{15:53} Thus, it is necessary for this corruptibility to be clothed with incorruptibility, and for this mortality to be clothed with immortality.

[1 Thess]
{4:16} For the Lord himself, with a command and with the voice of an Archangel and with a trumpet of God, shall descend from heaven. And the dead, who are in Christ, shall rise up first.
{4:17} Next, we who are alive, who are remaining, shall be taken up quickly together with them into the clouds to meet Christ in the air. And in this way, we shall be with the Lord always.

Sacred Scripture teaches that those who are left alive at the time of the general Resurrection do not die. They are “taken up quickly together with them”, that is, with the Resurrected just, “to meet Christ in the air”. This last expression might be figurative, meaning that they receive the benefits of the Resurrection without having to die and rise first. What other interpretation is possible? The just who are left alive clearly do not die, and yet they cannot be deprived of the benefits of the Resurrection.

Therefore, those who are left alive receive the particular Judgment and subsequently all the benefits of the general Resurrection, without having to die and rise.


The valid Sacrament of holy Matrimony, ratified and consummated, is dissolved solely by death. But what happens at the general Resurrection to married Catholic Christians? They cannot remain married after the Resurrection, according to the teaching of Christ:

{20:34} And so, Jesus said to them: “The children of this age marry and are given in marriage.
{20:35} Yet truly, those who shall be held worthy of that age, and of the resurrection from the dead, will neither be married, nor take wives.
{20:36} For they can no longer die. For they are equal to the Angels, and they are children of God, since they are children of the resurrection.

Therefore, their marriages are dissolved by the general Resurrection, without death. So the general Resurrection has the effect of death, causing the end of all marriages.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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2 Responses to The General Resurrection and the Dissolution of Marriage

  1. Fr Joseph says:

    Thanks Ron for your blog. I’ve read speculation which basically states that those who are alive at the general resurrection experience the final conflagration which would be a sort of purifying fire of the whole world (2Pt) What are your thoughts to that respect?

    • Ron Conte says:

      I think the final conflagration is a radical change of the world or even the whole universe, not a destruction and replacement. That would agree with the idea of a purifying fire, not a destroying fire. God brings His work of creation to fulfillment, rather than taking it away and replacing it. I suspect, though, that there is an order to all the events, as Paul hints (“the dead, who are in Christ, shall rise up first.”) and as Rev 20 to 21 seems to describe. So the Resurrection occurs, then the general Judgment, then our bodies are transformed according to our deeds. (Or maybe the transformation occurs before the Judgment?) And then the whole world is transformed, lastly, I think.

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