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. 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).

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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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