Plato’s Purgatory

How much does the traditional understanding of purgatory owe to Plato? Consider this selection quoted by Eusebius in Praeparatio Evangelica (ch. 38): For [Plato] speaks as follows in the dialogue Concerning the Soul: ‘…As soon as the dead have arrived at the place to which each is conveyed by his genius, first of all they…

St. Gregory’s Ghost Stories

Move over, Alfred Hitchcock. St. Gregory the Great was telling spine-tinglers 1300 years before you were born. You’ll find much of his collection of ghost stories in his Dialogues, many of which were quoted by F. X. Schouppe, SJ, in his Purgatory. And it is to warn the reader of the punishments of purgatory, and…

Medjugorje

And now let us say some thankful words to Catholic traditionalists. Yes, sometimes they are a conspiratorial bunch, but as wise folks have said, “Just because you’re paranoid it doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.” There’s one area where the traditionalists have been very vigilant and have done all Christians a great favor–and…

Reformulating Eschatology

While reading Ratzinger on eschatology, I came across a reference to a 1979 statement of the CDF (under his predecessor, Franjo Cardinal Seper), Letter on Certain Questions Concerning Eschatology. The document emphasizes the need for solid formulation of key aspects of Christian faith, at a time when theologians are confusing people and leading them to…

Absent shepherds

From AMDG: Terri Schiavo’s brother has written an open letter to Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg in anticipation of the second anniversary of his sister’s murder. He notes recent comments by Lynch on the homeless, and sees a terrible irony therein. And he writes to explain why he holds the Bishop more responsible for…

The Pope and the Press

The Times reports: Hell is a place where sinners really do burn in an everlasting fire, and not just a religious symbol designed to galvanise the faithful, the Pope has said. Addressing a parish gathering in a northern suburb of Rome, Benedict XVI said that in the modern world many people, including some believers, had…

Mel Gibson Makes More Friends

If you go to a university, and show a movie, and open the floor to questions from academics who specialize in the subject, you should not be surprised if they ask tough questions. Mel Gibson, however, could only cuss out one such professor, who was then escorted out by campus police. Alicia Estrada is an…

Sobrino & von Balthasar

Grant Gallicho posts a letter written by Nicholas Lash to The Tablet regarding the Sobrino affair. Lash quotes some statements from Hans Urs von Balthasar that appear to advocate the same ideas for which Sobrino was reprimanded (Christ being a man “assumed” into God and having “faith”). Lash accuses the CDF of sloppiness in its…