What if Peter Stops Talking about Eternal Life?

It seems to me that the greatest temptation for the Catholic Church is to become that which Pope Francis has said it must never become - an NGO no different from the World's charitable organisations - with its radical spiritual mission to preach the Gospel to the nations blunted by the purely humanistic values of the age.

Yet, looking at 'The Voice of the Pope and the Church', Vatican Radio does have something of an 'NGO' feel about it at the moment which is disconcerting. Much of the content is quite laudable, in a humanitarian sense, but there is not really much teaching about what the Church actually believes - the Faith of the Church. Why can there not be, as well as the Church speaking out about the injustices that take place in the world, some element of the supernatural Faith which we, at Baptism and Confirmation, profess and proclaim that we believe.

One priestly blogger today asks why there is an apparent trend among Catholics bloggers to keep counsel and blog considerably less. It seems to me that the big crunch issues facing the Papacy and the Church today are certainly big issues but that the issues are not the real issue. The big question I face as a Catholic blogger is this:

'What are Catholics to do or what are Catholics to say if Peter follows the lead of the majority of Bishops in the Church and stops talking about Eternal Life, talking instead only about life in this World?'

That is really what is at the heart of the conflicts surrounding the Synod. Do we believe in Eternal Life anymore?  If Peter suggests, by saying nothing - or next to nothing - about Eternal Life, then does the Church no longer profess it? If Peter only talks about life in this world, then does he speak for Christ and the whole Church or only for himself?

Where Peter is, there is the Church, where the Church is there is eternal life, but what if the Successor of Peter and the overwhelming majority of the Successors to the Apostles keep silent on eternal life?


Anonymous said…
The real question unfortunately is, "Is the Pope a Catholic?"
Jacobi said…
The degree to which Relativism affected the Church shocked St Pius X. The degree to which Secularism, that is the ease and willingness with which “Catholics” will accept the standards and behaviour of the atheistic secular world around them, would have shocked him even more.

This pressure in the Church, post Vatican II, for everyone to be allowed to Receive Holy Communion regardless of their state of sin or lifestyle, is but an expression of this secularism and has very little to do with an overwhelming desire to receive the Blessed Sacrament. Social acceptance is what is sought.

We are born to live a good life in whatever calling we have and to attain Salvation. Yes it’s nice to have marriage, pastimes, and interests on the way, but as Catholics there are very clear guidelines on behaviour and the avoidance of sin.

If the Church, and indeed the Catholic laity, stops pointing this out, we are in a very bad way indeed.
Tereze Avila said…
He is not a pope, he is a POLITICIAN... We are in the beginning stage of was described by Mother Mary in La Salette. On September 19, 1846, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in La Salette, France and foretold that "Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the Antichrist. The Church will be in eclipse."
This is only now the matter of time.
Joe Potillor said…
Anon is unfortunately right...it seems to be the Pope's emphasis in his gestures is exactly what he was originally extolling us to not do. His emphasis seems to be worldly things, for better or for worse.

If the Synod dare to deny the teachings of Christ, the Church will split, and if Francis sides with opening things, it will split between Francis and Benedict XVI, I fear a schism happening.
Anonymous said…
A pope may disobey the Magisterium, shun the Deposit of Faith. Of course, if this is actually the case, he is not a valid pope. We must not reject the Deposit of Faith, no matter how many of our bishops apparently do so.
Anonymous said…
In fact I do not recall him ever mentioning eternal life in any homilies. Perhaps I missed it ...does anyone know?

You were missed this past week Mr. Bones!

God bless you and keep you always!

Anonymous said…
Very worrying times but maybe just a matter of time once the protestanisation of the Church was introduced post Vatican 2?

In Domino,

Nicolas Bellord said…
It is an undoubted fact that over the centuries the RC Church has done an enormous amount of good in this world in providing schools, hospitals etc and nobody but a bigot can deny this. Thus when somebody - say a priest - loses his faith in the word of God he still cannot deny the good work that has been done. Thus in his own lights he thinks he can continue to keep up the pretence of believing but place his entire emphasis on the good works aspect. I cannot but one wonder how many clergy think like that - but I am in no way suggesting the Pope Francis falls into that category. The problem is that those who have lost their faith become very active in the good works and have a great influence over those who still believe and are led to believe that this zealotry in good works is something to follow perhaps thereby leading to neglect of their own spiritual lives.
Unknown said…
Way back in 1950, Archbishop Fulton Sheen spoke about an apostate ecumenical church that would be headed by a Catholic bishop. He declared that it would be a religion without a world to come. He truly believed the end times were upon us even then. His words are as chilling as the last prophecy of St Francis of Assissi.


Sent from my iPhon
Unknown said…
Per my recent comment about Sheen, the archbishop is mainly thought of as a teacher and not as a prophet, but reading his words in the link I just posted, one would assume he had a vision, or an interior locution.

Seattle Kimmy
Celia said…
We have a Pope who remains a provincial bishop, and a Latin American one at that,so social issues are his main concern. Someone commented to me the other day 'I thought he would grow into his role given time, but it's not happening'.

On the plus side I have to queue for longer to get to Confession these days.
Jacobi said…
@ Patrick

Yes. The post Vatican II Protestantisation of the Church, and in particular of the Mass had nothing to do with belief in the main Protestant heresies. They were just convenient way posts on the road to Relativism, “ the synthesis of all heresies”.
Lepanto said…
'We may reasonably hope that all are saved' naturally leads to an emphasis on the 'here and now' because we don't need to worry about the hereafter(which is totally taken care of by a non-judgmental God, except for the Mafia and arms dealers - and maybe the SSPX). Did you not know that the major problems in the world are lonely old people and unemployed youths? Oh, what a mess!
Lepanto said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
viterbo said…
Seems as if when it comes to dialogue there really isn't a goal - what is the goal of dialgue? Meanwhile, if bloggers start debating, with the goal being to make clear the Truth, then the dialoguers finally find a goal = that being, to shut down debate.
viterbo said…
p.s. if Bergoglio doesn't believe in an afterlife it's probably best he doesn't say so, from a dialoguers point of view.
viterbo said…
@Seattle Kimmy: from your link: "The False Prophet will have a religion without a cross. A religion without a world to come. A religion to destroy religions. There will be a counterfeit church." This should sound familiar. I guess the Church has had numerous antichrists [with a little A] so far. Bishop Sheen was one of the many Bishops and Priests of the Church who, along with many holy religious, predicted that a messed up [read fake] papacy is required for people to lose the Faith, because they will defend to the death their 'right' [read wrong] to follow a faker on the frone, than to defend their truly God-given right to live the True Faith.
p.s. I think the Antichrist will be a dialoguer's dream come true.
p.s.s. meanwhile the sunni and shia show continues to get protestants excited about the rapture.
Deanna Johnston Clark said…
Pope Paul VI announced that from henceforth the Church would concentrate on THIS world...most Catholics are very squeamish about heaven, souls, saints, paradise. If you want to clear a room, talk about those! If you want to clear the house, talk about original sin, the fall, and paradise...salvation.
Catholics, more than actual sinners and agnostics, are self satisfied with their own goodness and virtues, thank you very much. They like ceremonies where awards are given for virtues and legally correct lives. It's very strange.

Often "bad" people are closer to the Kingdom than "correct" people. Who are the lame, the halt, and the blind? They are many gays, the losers, the weak gamblers, who answer God when He invites them...they are open to interruptions, they feel the Spirit's touch.
John Vasc said…
"Pope Paul VI announced that from henceforth the Church would concentrate on THIS world."

No, he never said that. It would not have been true, for each human being's goal is Eternal Life.

What Paul VI said was "Henceforth the enemy of the church is no longer outside the church, he is now within...The enemy is found in the seminaries."

And he never spoke a truer word.
Unknown said…
Deanna---does it matter to you if the "gays" or "gamblers" have no desire to amend their lives and live according to God's commandments? Because some here were living the gay lifestyle, "felt the Spirit's touch" and then, with the grace of God, began living a chaste life. Personally I had several abortions and was actively promoting it to others when I felt the Spirit's touch, but I don't think the Spirit would have stuck around if I spurned the touch and continued down that path. Just trying to understand your commentary.

Seattle k
Unknown said…
I don't fear the possibility of a coming schism. If it happens some of us will have to skedaddle away from our current parishes in search of remnant clergy who teach the True Faith and offer a valid Eucharist. It will be very sad to see good priests and laity deceived and siding with evil. But who knows, maybe all the prophecies are for another time and nothing destructive will come from this Synod.

Seattle k