Will all be saved?

A friend of mine is convinced Jesus is coming and the world is ending next Christmas (or is it two years from now? I forget).

She is also convinced all will be saved.

The source of her conviction is private revelation, of the kind that gets one committed to the psych ward.

Yet there is a kind of mushy universalism out there, isn’t there?   And a total loss of the sense of sin, of falling short, of needing a Savior that makes us assume that as we are we and all our loved ones are of course fit for heaven.

Here’s an interesting post by Fr. Dwight Longenecker:

Then I pick up the next book on my “Books which should have been reviewed long ago” pile and it is Ralph Martin’s The Urgency of the New Evangelization: Answering the Call this little book packs a powerful punch. It is a concise version of Ralph’s longer study on evangelization and the problem of universalism– Will Many Be Saved?: What Vatican II Actually Teaches and Its Implications for the New Evangelization which I reviewed recently here. The question of whether hell will be highly populated is considered here.

Now Ralph and his colleagues Mary Healy and Peter Williamson offer a concise and effective summary of the arguments. This book should be read along with Sherry Weddell’s excellent Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus by all priests and seminarians.

The most insidious cancer in the Christian church today is universalism and semi-universalism combined with indifferentism. Indifferentism is the lie that it doesn’t really matter what church or religion you belong to. Universalism is the lie that everyone will be saved because God is so merciful he will not send anyone to hell. Semi-universalism is the commonly held lie that there may be a hell, but there probably won’t be very many people there. All of these beliefs are clearly contrary to the plain words of Scripture.

Ralph writes clearly and concisely with abundant quotes from Scripture and the documents of the Church. He tells us what the New Evangelization is, answers the question “Why Bother?”, discusses the laity’s role, the necessity of the Holy Spirit’s power. He then goes on to outline the simple message of salvation: human beings are sinners separated from God from sin and they need salvation or they will go to hell.

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23 Responses to Will all be saved?

  1. Brian says:

    I just finished reading Sherry Weddell’s book as part of our parish’s evangelization program and I don’t think it was excellent; it was good, but it fell short at the end. First I have to say I am always put off by folks that use the word “ministries” instead of the proper term, apostolate. Second, including quotes from well-known and questionable sources like Frs. Rahner and de Chardin who were Universalists is reckless.
    But to the meat of the book; where do you bring the evangelized if the Church is in ruins? What do you say to a protestant that has a conversion like Scott Hahn, as described in his book “The Lord’s Supper,” or say the fallen away Catholic when you take them to your local parish and there is no reverence, or more rightly, no belief in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist as demonstrated through the actions of the parish, and worse, the priest? This is elephant in the room Ms. Weddell danced around, never addressed or at least identified and why I think it falls short.
    If we are going to be instruments by which the Holy Spirit works through then we need to have not just and intellectual understanding of our faith tradition but the will and love. Presently, we do not even have the intellectual understanding a catechized Catholic should have. Boundaries need to be set and abuses corrected and a new re-catechesis must take place in our parishes.

  2. Sorry, to go off topic, but you haven’t linked your great interview:
    http://bcc.rcav.org/component/content/article/1-latest-news/3392-ordinariates-must-be-a-bridge-to-christian-unity-ordinary-says
    There is plenty of new and wonderful information there:
    “Msgr. Steenson estimates about 3500 lay members for the ordinariate, but its communities are already growing. (…) The POSCP now has 53 clergy, but Msgr. Steenson expects that number to grow to 60 by the summer of 2014.”
    “Francis has approved former Anglican clergy in Edmonton and Vancouver and they will be ordained, Msgr. Steenson expects, by Easter. He also hopes to have a priest ordained for the ordinariate in Atlantic Canada next year as well.”
    “All monies donated in Canada stay in Canada to serve ministry there”
    *****
    3,500 means the Ordinariate membership has more than doubled since Msgr. Steenson’s presentation for the USCCB (when he estimated it at ca 1600). That’s powerful growth. And 15 (current and soon-to-be) priests in Canada, when there were just 4 only a few months ago, is also impressive!
    Godspeed from the other side of the Pond!

    • EPMS says:

      As Norm points out elswhere, there was considerable lag time, sometimes almost a year, between the reception of groups into the Catholic church and their enrolment in the Ordinariate. So it is difficult to assess at what rate membership is actually growing. Canadian membership stands at 350, according to the recent Deanery newsletter. About half of the lay membership is accounted for by one parish, St John the Evangelist,Calgary.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        EPMS,

        You wrote: … there was considerable lag time, sometimes almost a year, between the reception of groups into the Catholic church and their enrolment in the Ordinariate.

        Actually, the lag for some of these congregations might be closer to two years and perhaps even longer.

        You wrote: So it is difficult to assess at what rate membership is actually growing.

        Yes, I agree. I have not seen any hard statistics on the membership of any ordinariate communities, but it certainly would be helpful!

        On the positive side, though, there is some more information in the public forum on the situation in Canada. The page of the web site of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Calgary about the Canadian deanery includes three congregations that have not yet moved into the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter and the names of their administrators/future pastors: (1) St Benedict, Edmonton, AB (Dr David Skelton), (2) Our Lady of the Sign, Fredericton Junction, NB (Richard Harris), and (3) Our Lady of Walsingham, Vancouver, BC (Michael Shier). Photos of the second and third of these groups, apparently taken on the occasions of their receptions into the full communion of the Catholic Church, show about a dozen members in each. It appears that the addition of those three congregations will complete the initial membership of the Deanery of St. John the Evangelist, but additional congregations undoubtedly will come into full communion or to be formed of those who have come into full communion independently in due course.

        You wrote: About half of the lay membership is accounted for by one parish, St John the Evangelist,Calgary.

        St. John the Evangelist is rather unusual, partly because its core, coming from the Anglican Church in Canada (ACC), was the first group to move forward in Canada and partly because that core has subsequently welcomed members and clergy who came from three additional congregations — two parishes of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (ACCC), the remnants of which subsequently merged into a single parish, and a parish of the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC). Its administrator was the only former Anglican cleric in Canada to meet the deadline for the ordinariate’s first preparatory class for ordination, and thus received Catholic ordination a year or two ahead of most other former Anglican clergy in Canada. Realistically, these factors have put this congregation a year or two ahead of all other Canadian congregations of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter in the path of development.

        All of the other congregations of the Deanery of St. John the Baptist seem to be coming together nicely. As their former Anglican clergy receive Catholic ordination, they undoubtedly will begin to implement programs of outreach that will lead to substantial growth.

        Norm.

      • godfrey1099 says:

        You are well known here for downplaying any Ordinariate’s achievements, but these numbers are simply hard data from the very heart of the Ordinariate, so they are difficult to question even for malcontents like you. The lag you refer applied predominantly to some Canadian sodalities and to the first months of the US Ordinariate only. By the time of Msgr. Steenson’s presentation, the official list of Ordinariate communities already included all the main parishes received by that time, so there was no lag involved any more. Please, come up with something better to challenge the figures showing that the US Ordinariate has more than doubled in 12 months’ time.
        Since Msgr. Steenson’s presentation late last year, major communities (i.e. parishes rather than missions) received into the Ordinariate included St. Timothy’s (Catonsville) – out of the blue!, St. Barnaba’s (Omaha) and Holy Nativity (Payson). In addition, there have been signs of impressive growth for a number of existing communities, e.g. according to OLW (Houston) bulletins, their ASA has increased by one third, from about 450 to nearly 700, over the last 12 months (perhaps some new people from TEC followed Fr. Gipson?); St. John Vianney’s (Cleburne) indicated they had to find a bigger hall to rent for Sundays owing to rapid growth (even though their administrator still awaits ordination); St. Thomas More (Scranton) has just started a new mission in Bath; etc.
        The fact is that this year has been simply outstanding for the U.S. Ordinariate and 3,500 members is already quite a significant number. And who knows what 2014 has in store.
        For starters, addition of at least few hundred souls may be expected, as St. Mary the Virgin (Arlington) finally joins the Ordinariate (it could not do it officially as long as the local see remained vacant, even though an Ordinariate priest was appointed to administer it).
        PS. Mrs. Gyapong, could you provide some link to or repost major facts from the Canadian Deanery’s newsletter?

      • EPMS says:

        Norm, I would estimate the number of ex-ACCC /ex-ANIC members now worshipping at St John the Evangelist to be no more than 10. Some additional members have come from the ACC. Most of the new congregants are former Anglicans who became Catholics years ago, and lifetime Catholics who appreciate the music and liturgy at St John’s. Most of the latter would not be eligible to join the Ordinariate, I suppose, so perhaps my calculation is off. But in any event, since the number of Anglicans in Canada is somewhere between one half and one third the number of Episcopalians in the US, we can see that Canada is not holding its own where Ordinariate membership is concerned if they represent only 350 out of a total of 3500 in the OCSP.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        EPMS,

        You wrote: I would estimate the number of ex-ACCC /ex-ANIC members now worshipping at St John the Evangelist to be no more than 10.

        That can’t be right. St. John the Evangelist received more than half of the membership of the former Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (ACCC) parish of Christ the King in Calgary, which is why the remnant who stayed in the ACCC folded into All Saints Parish. I do believe that the number received from the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) parish was small — quite possibly fewer than ten.

        That said, the fact of the blending is significant in at least two ways.

        >> 1. It shows that the congregation is open to welcoming those who come from other places. Many church groups tend to become cliques that don’t make outsiders feel welcome.

        >> 2. It also shows that those who come from other Anglican bodies feel comfortable with the congregation’s worship.

        These facts are essential if the parishes of the ordinariate, and the ordinariate itself, are to grow.

        Norm.

      • EPMS says:

        Norm: My understanding was that the associate priest at St John the Evangelist, Calgary was the only member of his ANIC parish to join the Ordinariate, although he thought a further one or two might be interested. As for “half” of the parish of Christ the King, that would in fact be about ten people. I don’t think you have really grasped how shrunken the ACCC, never exactly a mass movement, had become by the time the Ordinariate was actually erected.

      • EPMS says:

        Godfrey1099, in an effort at greater positivity, I note that the Notes from the Ordinary posted on the OCSP website, apropos of the recent ordinations of Canadian clergy, imention that Frs Hayman and Cooper, in addition to assisting at the parish in Ottawa, will be ministering to “groups in southern Ontario”. Since Toronto, Oshawa, and Cambridge have their own clergy the groups referred to must be new ones. Can we have further details?

      • Rev22:17 says:

        EPMS,

        You wrote: I note that the Notes from the Ordinary posted on the OCSP website, apropos of the recent ordinations of Canadian clergy, imention that Frs Hayman and Cooper, in addition to assisting at the parish in Ottawa, will be ministering to “groups in southern Ontario”. Since Toronto, Oshawa, and Cambridge have their own clergy the groups referred to must be new ones.

        I’m not convinced that this involves formation of any new ordinariate congregations. The congregations in Oshawa, Toronto, and Cambridge have only one priest, so they will need somebody to fill in when their pastors are away on vacation, retreat, or otherwise. I had simply assumed that Fr. Hayman and Fr. Cooper were taking on this responsibility.

        Of course, the availability of clergy to substitute for an absent pastor is vital for the stability of the ordinariate’s congregations, and thus ultimately for the sustainability of the ordinariate itself. Thus, this is a very important development even if it does not involve formation or reception of additional congregations!

        Norm.

      • Foolishness says:

        They will also be able to help out in some Ottawa parishes that are short of priests

      • Lee Kenyon says:

        So, from St John the Evangelist, Calgary: former ANiC (Grace Anglican, Calgary): 8 (including one former ANiC priest) received into full communion, 4 preparing to be received this Easter; former ACCC (from both Christ the King and All Saints): 19 (including two former ACCC priests) received into full communion. The rest of St John’s is either ex-Anglican Church of Canada, with a smattering of present and former Protestants (some on the way towards being received into full communion), lapsed Catholics who have resumed the practise of their Catholic faith (we had ten when we entered the Catholic Church), as well as many lifelong Catholics. Almost 170 individuals are on the Apposite Register.

      • godfrey1099 says:

        Slowly, but steadily…
        “Michael Shier will be ordained in Vancouver as a deacon on January 18th 2014. His ordination to the priesthood is set for March 15th 2014.”
        http://goodshepherdoshawa.blogspot.ca/

      • EPMS says:

        Fr Kenyon, thank you for correcting my underestimates of the number of parishioners who have come to St John’s from Grace Anglican and the two Calgary ACCC parishes. I can now also update the percentage of Canadian Ordinariate members represented by your parishioners to half, rather than a third.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        Fr. Kenyon,

        You wrote: So, from St John the Evangelist, Calgary: former ANiC (Grace Anglican, Calgary): 8 (including one former ANiC priest) received into full communion, 4 preparing to be received this Easter; former ACCC (from both Christ the King and All Saints): 19 (including two former ACCC priests) received into full communion. The rest of St John’s is either ex-Anglican Church of Canada, with a smattering of present and former Protestants (some on the way towards being received into full communion), lapsed Catholics who have resumed the practise of their Catholic faith (we had ten when we entered the Catholic Church), as well as many lifelong Catholics. Almost 170 individuals are on the Apposite Register.

        Thank you for posting the numbers! They seem pretty consistent with my sense of where things were, but the mathematician in me always prefers hard data over guesstimates.

        May God continue to bless your congregation with growth, both in faith and in numbers, through the new year!

        Norm.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        godfrey1099,

        You wrote: “Michael Shier will be ordained in Vancouver as a deacon on January 18th 2014. His ordination to the priesthood is set for March 15th 2014.”

        More wonderful news — and thank you for posting this find!

        This means that the Sodality (?) of Our Lady of Walsingham in Vancouver, BC, probably will move into the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter by the end of March, allowing a couple weeks for the necessary paper shuffle. Of course, it could happen on 15 March if the paperwork is ready at the time of the ordination.

        Norm.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        EPMS,

        You wrote: I can now also update the percentage of Canadian Ordinariate members represented by your parishioners to half, rather than a third.

        You certainly can update the number of ordinariate members represented by St. John the Evangelist in Calgary, but I would be a lot more cautious about the fraction of Canadian ordinariate members represented thereby. It’s rare for the receptions of new members into an existing congregation to get reported in any public forum, so your figures on the other ordinariate congregations are probably just as obsolete as your previous figures on St. John the Evangelist.

        Norm.

      • EPMS says:

        The figure of 350 Canadian members of the OCSP was published in last month’s Deanery newsletter so someone in authority clearly thought it was reasonably accurate and up to date.

  3. Pingback: Will all be saved? | Catholic Canada

  4. Ivan says:

    Will all be saved?

    People who insist that all will be saved are inspired by the devil.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      Ivan,

      You wrote: People who insist that all will be saved are inspired by the devil.

      Yes, a. k. a. the “father of lies.”

      Norm.

  5. I’d just like to point out that many Universalists or those with Universalist tendencies do believe in a Hell. However it is not a place of eternal torment for those who have failed their theological examinations but a place where the punishment has a corrective purpose – like a severe Purgatory. See for example http://evangelicaluniversalist.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=1523

    • Ivan says:

      It’s easy to say “Well, that’s what they believe” because that’s not going to hurt anyone’s feelings, but if it’s wrong, then it can’t be compromised with what is objectively right, that is, what is right outside people’s opinions, no matter how blurry church diplomacy makes them out to be.

      It’s not a real surprise when Christians, in order to preserve harmony and civility, try to water down the truth and end up leaving their churches.

      What’s the point of Hell, if it’s not really eternal, if everyone ultimately goes to Heaven?

      I can commit as many atrocities as I want, and it’s okay, Hell isn’t forever, it’s just a “severe purgatory” even Satan gets to be forgiven, contrary to the tone of finality coming from Revelations. Or it’s not really real. It’s all make-believe for people with too much time on their hands- the reality is that there’s no such place as heaven and hell, and the real heaven is what feels great, and the real hell is what makes you miserable.

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