Theology Q and A

1. Was St. Joseph resurrected?

No. Only Jesus and the virgin Mary have received the resurrection. St. Joseph is in heaven in soul only, not in body. The Virgin Mary told Saint Bridget that there are no resurrected human bodies in the Heaven, except those of Jesus and Mary. “Know, too, that there is no human body in Heaven but the glorious body of my Son and mine.”

2. What are some acceptable reasons for missing Mass?

One needs only a just reason, not a grave reason, for missing Mass without sin, for example: an illness such as a cold or the flu; the need to care for the sick, the very young, or the elderly; a job that does not permit one to get to Mass on a particular weekend; traveling and unable to get to Mass, etc.

The faithful need not make heroic efforts to fulfill the duty to attend Mass. However, even if you do not attend Mass for some reason, you must still worship God and keep holy the Sabbath in some manner.

3. When does a morally neutral act become sin?

Acts which are termed “morally neutral” are simply those acts which are morally permissible, but not virtuous, such as going for a walk, having a meal, etc. These acts do not become sin.

There are three fonts (sources) of morality. An act is a sin if it has one or more bad fonts: intention, object, circumstances. See this article.

4. Is lying a mortal sin?

It is always a sin to lie, that is, to deliberately and knowingly assert a falsehood (or deny a truth). The act of lying is intrinsically evil because it is inherently immoral by the very nature of the act. The font called object is bad, so the act is a sin.

Any act is a mortal sin if the intention or object or circumstances are gravely disordered. Any act with a gravely immoral intention is a mortal sin. Any act with a gravely immoral object is a mortal sin. Any act is a mortal sin if, in the totality of the foreseeable consequences of that act for all persons concerned, the reasonably anticipated bad consequences morally outweigh, to a grave extent, the reasonably anticipated good consequences.

Most lies are venial sins. Generally speaking, a lie is venial if the intention is good, the circumstances are not grave, and the truth being denied is not of grave moral weight.

5. Please add your theological questions below, in the comments section.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.

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20 Responses to Theology Q and A

  1. Christine Charlton says:

    Re:1. Are we to take Saint Bridget’s words over the words in the Bible?

    The Virgin Mary told Saint Bridget that there are no resurrected human bodies in the Heaven, except those of Jesus and Mary. “Know, too, that there is no human body in Heaven but the glorious body of my Son and mine.”

    What about Enoch and Elijah? “Thus all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty-five years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him” Gen 5:23-24. In Hebrews 11:5, Saint Paul says, “By faith Enoch was taken so that he did not experience death; and “he was not found, because God had taken him.” For it was attested before he was taken away, “that he has pleased God.”

    “When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” He responded, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.” As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven” 2 Kings 2:9-11. Thank you.

    • Ron Conte says:

      Enoch and Elijah were taken up into heaven, and then sent to that future time of the Antichrist; they are the two prophets in the book of revelation. They do not go to heaven in body until close to the end of the Antichrist’s reign.

  2. King Robert the Bruce says:

    Not a strictly a theological question I am just wondering if anyone else has read somewhere that at the start of the apparitions in medjugorje that some locals claimed to see Elijah in his chariot in the sky above cross mountain at night for a time is anyone else familiar with this story.

  3. David says:

    1. When Adam and Eve were created, were they inherently immortal and without suffering? Meaning that death, of all sorts, and suffering in the human body are part of fallen nature. By this I mean, experiencing hunger, having cells die and be replaced, bacteria that consumes food we eat, etc. If this is true, does this mean that Jesus willfully took on these experiences, but didn’t necessarily have to? The experience of hunger, cell death and replacement, etc. I’ve wondered just how free from all death and suffering Paradise is/was.

    2. If a person is a heretic at valid baptism, and is knowingly so, are the graces they would receive held from them until they repent, and then applied by God? Once validly baptized, does it never need to be done again no matter what?

    • Ron Conte says:

      1. Adam and Eve before the Fall, as well as Jesus and Mary always, were free from all consequences of original sin and personal sin. So they were not subject to suffering, disease, or death. Jesus willingly lived like sinners, suffering for our salvation. Mary willingly lived in imitation of Jesus. When Jesus suffered and died, it was only because He willed to accept suffering and death. Mary died only because it was the will of God, accepted by her.

      I don’t know if Adam and Eve were ever slightly hungry, or whether their cells died and were replaced. I tend to think not.

      2. An adult who receive formal baptism is forgiven for all sins and all punishment due for sin. If the adult was guilty of actual mortal sins prior to baptism, without repentance, but if they then accept formal baptism knowingly and willingly, they are forgiven those past sins by implicit imperfect (or perfect) contrition. The Sacrament plus imperfect contrition is sufficient. The same is true for Extreme Unction given to an unconscious person. If they had at least imperfect contrition, even implicitly, the Sacrament restores them to grace. As for heresy, if it was an actual mortal sin, the above applies. If it did not have full culpability, then of course the baptism is also valid.

      If an adult is baptized, while guilty of actual mortal sin, and he does not accept baptism knowingly and willingly, he is not validly baptized. The adult receiving baptism must intend to do what the Church does.

    • David says:

      Thank you for your response. I have been paranoid recently about my Baptism, and it might just be a trick of the devil to throw me off from going to Confession and Communion. I do know I knowingly and willingly accepted it, but I may have been a heretic at the same time (this is unsure), as I had still some doubts and fears about joining the Church and looked at old heretical books I read some time ago before going to be baptized. I’ll try to overcome it. Thank you again.

    • Ron Conte says:

      Your baptism was valid, and so all your past sins, including any of heresy, were forgiven in both the guilt and punishment.

  4. Alex says:

    Where are Enoch and Elijah? Are they resurrected or living for thousands years in mortal bodies, similarly to the lifespan before the flood? Will they come back? What is Elijah’s chariot of fire, a spaceship?

    • Ron Conte says:

      My opinion is that Enoch and Elijah were taken directly to the future, in mortal bodies. They did not need to live for thousands of years to wait for that future time. They will not go backward in time, but will die in that future time, as the book of Revelation describes. The chariot of fire was most likely just a sign from God that Elijah was taken by God.

  5. King Robert the Bruce says:

    Does Satan have knowledge of the holy scriptures does he know he is destined to lose or is he not privy to that information why if he is super intelligent does he rail against God he must realise he is limited in his power and wont win does he and his demons know that all theyre rage and hatred will ultimately be in vain.

    • Ron Conte says:

      Satan knows Scripture, which is why he could quote Scripture to try to tempt Christ in the desert. The fallen angels have a high intellect, but it is also damaged by sin and the complete absence of grace. Satan wants to do as much harm as possible, before going to his fate in Hell. He knows he can’t win. The devils know it is in vain, though some might mistakenly think they can win (as sin as damaged their intellect).

  6. Thomas Mazanec says:

    Could a computer be made that had a soul?

    • Ron Conte says:

      A computer cannot have an immortal intellective soul, as human persons do, since this requires God to create the soul and give the soul free will, abstract reason, and immortality (to continue forever).

  7. Thomas Mazanec says:

    Could extraterrestrial creatures with immortal souls exist on other physical planets, and if so, what would be their status?

    • Ron Conte says:

      They would be saved like persons prior to Christ, by natural law and grace. They could possibly have some type of divine revelation through something similar to the OT prophets.

  8. erm6 says:

    Hi Ron,

    In a recent article, you opposed the “rejection of a number of reputable theologians as if they were apostates, including Henri de Lubac, Teilhard de Chardin, Rahner, Schillebeeck.” What, in your view, are the most important contributions of these theologians? What specifically is lost from overall theology, if their work is not considered?

    • Ron Conte says:

      God is truth. Any truths from any theologians, whether catholic, protestant, Jewish, etc. should be accepted. The attitude of rejecting theologians and their work in their entirety because of certain points that may or may not be errors is contrary to the Gospel.

      {15:22} And behold, a woman of Canaan, going out from those parts, cried out, saying to him: “Take pity on me, Lord, Son of David. My daughter is badly afflicted by a demon.”
      {15:23} He did not say a word to her. And his disciples, drawing near, petitioned him, saying: “Dismiss her, for she is crying out after us.”
      {15:24} And responding, he said, “I was not sent except to the sheep who have fallen away from the house of Israel.”
      {15:25} But she approached and adored him, saying, “Lord, help me.”
      {15:26} And responding, he said, “It is not good to take the bread of the children and cast it to the dogs.”
      {15:27} But she said, “Yes, Lord, but the young dogs also eat from the crumbs that fall from the table of their masters.”
      {15:28} Then Jesus, responding, said to her: “O woman, great is your faith. Let it be done for you just as you wish.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

      Jesus accepted the correct insight of the woman of Canaan, who was not a Jew or Christian.

  9. erm6 says:

    Hi Ron,

    Thank you for your reply, and for bringing up the story of the woman of Canaan.

    However, I did not ask my question as a veiled assertion that the theologians you had mentioned had made (in my opinion) little or no contribution to theology. I have not formally studied theology; I have read little or nothing from the theologians you mentioned; and I don’t have any opinion about them. I was literally just asking what, in your view, are their important contributions to theology. Maybe you could explain that for just one or two of them.

    • Ron Conte says:

      Rahner developed the idea of the anonymous Christian, i.e. the non-Christian who is saved by implicit membership in the Church. And here is JP2 with a similar view:
      Rahner was also an expert adviser at Vatican II, and helped to draft Lumen Gentium.

      de Lubac’s theology had great influence on the documents of Vatican II.

      Schillebeeckx was also influential in advising the Bishops on the documents of Vatican II.

      Teilhard de Chardin “has been posthumously praised by Pope Benedict XVI and other eminent Catholic figures, and his theological teachings were cited by Pope Francis in the 2015 encyclical, Laudato si’.” [wikipedia]

      Catholics who reject Vatican II generally reject all of the above theologians.

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