Sometimes I Wonder What the Numbers Are

All teachers of the Faith, including priests, theologians, various types of spiritual authors, teachers in schools and parishes, and even bloggers and discussion group posters, have a responsibility before God to be solicitous for souls. We must be careful that our words do not lead any of the faithful astray, especially in any serious subject matter. The first rule of medicine is similar: primum non nocere (first, do no harm). We must not harm souls.

Now a teacher can err in various ways and not harm souls. Some questions are a matter of faithful disagreement among Catholics. Some questions are simply not so serious as to cause harm, if one were to propose or adhere to the wrong opinion. But particularly in moral matters, a serious error can cause grave harm.

If a teacher convinces the faithful that a gravely sinful act is moral, especially if the listener performs the act, an objective mortal sin is committed. Now the person might commit that grave sin, mistakenly thinking it to be moral. But committing objective mortal sins, even in good conscience, still harms your life and your soul. Committing a grave sin is no mere rule-breaking; it is not the crossing of an arbitrary line. Grave sins are sin because they are harmful to the human person, to his relationship with God and with other persons, and to his path of salvation.

The harm done by a teacher who claims that a grave sin is permissible, especially in a way or circumstance that results in more persons committing that objective mortal sin, is difficult to assess in any one person’s life. But when you have anywhere from thousands to millions of persons who hear the teaching and commit the grave sin, even repeatedly, it is certain that many souls are lost as a result. For the commission of grave sin makes the path of salvation more difficult to follow. Across many persons’ lives, this additional difficulty for the soul will have such an effect on some persons, who were following the path of salvation with difficulty before, as to put them over the edge and result in eternal damnation.

The Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima said: “Many souls go to Hell because they have no one to pray for them and make sacrifices for them.” If, instead of merely refraining from prayer and sacrifice for souls, a person teaches them to commit mortal sins and to call those sins good, the result must be worse: even more souls go to Hell because they were taught that an objective mortal sin was no sin at all.

In addition, some teachers of the Faith claim that some cases of abortion and some uses of abortifacient contraception are moral. Their words reach many persons, convincing them to use abortifacient contraception. The result is that, by their words, many prenatal lives are lost. These teachers are morally responsible for the deaths of these innocents by abortion, which is a type of murder. In the eyes of God, they are guilty of formal cooperation with murder. And the number who are so murdered, due to the teaching of some of the more popular teachers, is certainly high.

Sometimes I wonder what the numbers are. At the end of time, how many souls will have gone to Hell, instead of to Heaven, because of the false teachings of certain supposedly-orthodox teachers? One example is the perverse version of the theology of the body found in various authors’ works. These books will be around for hundreds of years. Other authors, in future generations, will see the success, fame, and money that such a distorted immoral presentation of sexuality brings, and they will write similar works in imitation of them. The number of souls who will end up in Hell as a result could be in the millions.

What are the numbers? How many prenatals will die because a certain small subset of Catholic teachers approve of abortifacient contraception for a medical reason, or approve of some direct abortions on various excuses? This false teaching is so widespread, again, the numbers may be in the millions.

When these false teachers finally stand before the judgment of God, what will they be thinking? Will they consider that they will soon have a high place in Heaven, because they had positions of leadership in the Church on earth? Will they stand ready to be praised by God because so many Catholics praised them during their lives?

Then God will show them every single soul lost to Hell by their words and every single unborn person who died by their errors.

{7:22} Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and perform many powerful deeds in your name?’
{7:23} And then will I disclose to them: ‘I have never known you. Depart from me, you workers of iniquity.’

Next, they will be sent to Hell, where they will be tormented by the thousands, or tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, or millions of souls who also went to Hell because of their words. They will be perpetually tormented by the deaths of the innocent prenatals caused by their erroneous teachings.

Then they will gaze upward, toward a higher level of Hell, where the punishments are somewhat less, and there they will see pornographers and mass murders. They themselves will be punished more because they used the name of God and His Church to promote grave sins and to encourage murder, while these others did not commit their sins using the mask of holiness.

But for now, these false teachers are unassailable. They can teach all manner of heresy and grave moral error, and they can justify abortion and abortifacients, with no worries. The idea that they would be discredited, fired, or rebuked by Church leaders for these exceedingly serious errors is laughable.

They walk around in Catholic schools and churches, with countless unrepented mortal sins on their souls. They have not been in a state of grace for very many years, and they have no real desire to be in that state. They receive Communion regularly. Some even go to Confession. Their confessions are not valid, and have not been for a very long time. For they do not confess the mortal sins they commit by harming souls, approving of abortions, and promoting grave sins. Their reception of Communion is itself a mortal sin, for they eat and drink to their own condemnation.

Their friends and coworkers consider them to be faithful and holy. But I would rather have criminals for neighbors than them. Their guardian Angels constantly strive to limit the harm that they do. Their own guardian Angels are in opposition to their words and deeds. But I suppose that they frequently have the help of fallen angels, so they are not without preternatural assistance.

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

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6 Responses to Sometimes I Wonder What the Numbers Are

  1. DD&S says:

    Imagine the poor guardian angel when the soul he is assigned to goes to hell.

  2. Mark P. says:

    We must pray for an end to these errors, and that those who learn from them discover and live the truth. We must also pray for those advancing these errors, that they repent and convert. But we must also actively work to teach the faith. Ron writes books and articles on this blog in the hopes of reaching out to as many souls as possible. We must heed our own calling as well. I volunteered to teach RE this year in my parish and take the responsibility seriously. And those of us who are parents must be sure to live, practice,and teach the faith to our children.

  3. Tom Mazanec says:

    But I suppose that they frequently have the help of fallen angels, so they are not without preternatural assistance.

    Preternatural assistance from demons? I don’t get it.

  4. Jack Gallagher says:

    …the perverse version of the theology of the body found in various authors’ works. These books will be around for hundreds of years.

    To what specifically does this refer?

    • Ron Conte says:

      Popcak, West, and their imitators. Any author whose theology of the body idolizes sex, or sexualizes Christianity, or approves of sexual sins in marriage.

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