An Introduction to
Notes to accompany and supplement
Catholicism in the Third Millennium
by Thomas P. Rausch, S.J. (2nd ed.; Liturgical Press, 2003) compiled by Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.
For definitions of many of the following terms, see the
Glossary in the
back of Rausch's book (pp. 246-61).
For other terms, check a good published dictionary, or online resources like dictionary.com
or wikipedia.com, or see the Biblical Glossary on this website.
Chap. 1 | Chap. 2 | Chap. 3 | Chap. 4 | Chap. 5 | Chap. 6 | Chap. 7 | Chap. 8 | Chap. 9 | Chap. 10 | Chap. 11 | Typos
catholic / Catholic: meanings have shifted over time:
" today refers to an institutional Church: Catholic
Western Catholic vs. Eastern Orthodox (>1054)
Roman Catholic vs. Protestants / Reformers (>1517)
but originally "
" (adj.) = "universal, general" catholic
kath' holou = "according to the whole" the "whole" church (first used by Ignatius of Antioch, 115 AD)
Four senses of the term "
" as " catholic ": universal
theologically comprehensive (both/and, vs. heresies)
geographically connected (world-wide, vs. local sects)
socially inclusive (all people can be members)
temporally extended (past, present, future generations)
Other Important Terms:
Anglican communion (Church of England)
Bible / biblical
catechism / Catechism
catholicity / Catholicism
church / ecclesial
council / conciliar
devotion / devotional
doctrine / doctrinal
ecumencial (councils, dialogue, etc.)
faith / Faith
liturgy / liturgical
orthodox / Orthodox
Reform / Reformation
sacrament / sacramental
Scripture / scriptural
theology / theological
Vatican (place; indep. city-state within Rome)
Ch. 1 - The Church and the Council
Catholicism before Vatican II:
apparently booming/successful, but some shadow sides:
rigid control of doctrine, punishment of "dissent"
"fortress mentality" - vs. non-Catholics, vs. non-Christians
"anti-modernism" - fear/condemnation of "modern world"
Renewal Movements before Vatican II:
social encyclicals: papal teaching letters, since 1893
biblical movement: use of historical, literary, critical methods
liturgical movement: more active participation of the laity
theological renewal: return to biblical & liturgical sources
Pope John XXIII's Goals for the Council:
"updating" the Church (
aggiornamento) unity among Christians (ecumenical relations)
engagement with the world (social justice)
The Second Vatican Council
in a sense, it completed Vatican I (1869-70)
four main sessions (Fall of 1962, '63, '64, '65)
voting members: over 2500 Catholic bishops
others: theological "experts"; non-Catholic "observers"
Official Conciliar Documents
4 major "Constitutions":
Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy
Dogmatic Constitution on the Church
Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation
Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World
9 "Declarations" and 3 "Decrees" (names? topics?)
Other Important Terms:
bishop / episcopal
dogma / dogmatic
laity / lay people
Modernism / modernist
parish / parochial
Pope / papal
(pl. schemas or schemata; preliminary drafts)
Ch. 2 - Faith and the Believing Community
Faith as ACTION ( verbs: believe / trust / entrust)
Individual: personal relationship with God/Jesus
Communal: mediated by & lived with community/Church
Faith as CONTENT ( nouns: doctrines / "deposit of faith")
Bible - canonical "books" of Old and New Testaments
Creeds - short statements of official core "beliefs"
Dogmas/Doctrines - official theological "teachings"
God as "Mystery":
Presence of God's "Spirit" enables contact w/ the divine
Inadequacy of human language; theology as analogy
Jewish/Biblical language more functional/metaphorical
Greek/Patristic language more philosophical/ontological
Some Types or Branches of Theology:
Christology = teachings about Jesus as "Christ"
Soteriology = teachings about "salvation"
Eschatology = teachings about "the end"
Pneumatology = teachings about the Holy Spirit (Gk pneuma)
Other Important Terms:
analogy / analogical
apocalypse / apocalyptic
creation story, first (Gen 1)
creation story, second (Gen 2)
cross / crucifixion
heresy / heretical
Kingdom of God
Messiah / messianic
metaphor / metaphorical
metaphysical / ontological
mystery / mysterious
myth / mythical
philosophy / philosophical
prophet / prophetic
/ rising (from the dead) / being raised (by God) spirit (Heb.
ruach, Gk pneuma = "wind, breath, spirit")
Ch. 3 - A Visible Church
= "assembly" (Gk. ekklesia < ek+ kaleo = "to call out")
"church" is an
term Christian Jews have "synagogues" (<Gk.
syn+ago = "gather together") Moslems have "mosques"; other religions have "temples"
(in chronological order): Four meanings of "church/Church"
an individual local congregation of Christian believers
all Christians in an entire city or geographical region
the one world-wide "People of God" or "Body of Christ"
only later: a
building where Christians pray & worship
Four "notes" or "marks" of the Church :
(united - but how? institutionally? spiritually?) one
(sacred, set apart - but are members still sinful?) holy
(universal - 4 different senses; see "Intro" above) catholic
(based on the apostles - the men? their faith?) apostolic
Traditional three-fold structure of Christian
Bishops ("overseers"; Pope = Bishop of Rome)
Presbyters ("elders"; later also considered "priests")
Deacons ("ministers", servants for community's needs)
Other Important Terms:
apostle / apostolic
bishop / episcopal
charism / charismatic
koinonia) / communal deacon / diaconal
mathetes) ecclesial (adj. for "church")
hierarchy / hierarchical
holy / hallowed
laity / lay
diaconia) / ministerial orders / ordination
pastor / pastoral
pontiff / pontifical
presbyter / presbyteral
priest / priestly
sacred / sacral
saint / sanctity
unity vs. uniformity
Ch. 4 - A Living Tradition
"revelation" = "what is revealed, uncovered, opened up"
"Revelation" = God's self-communication (in creation, to human beings, to the Israelites, ultimately in Jesus)
"revelations" = individual truths communicated or made known
"tradition" = "what is handed on; passed down" (< Lat. traditio)
"Tradition" = the Christian faith that's "passed on" as a whole
"traditions" = individual customs, local/unofficial practices
"scripture" = "what is written; esp. religious writings" (< Lat. scriptus)
"Holy Scripture" = the Bible as a whole, both OT & NT
"scriptures" = individual writings, possibly incl. non-Christian
Four main modes or "expressions" of the Christian
Scripture = both OT & NT (two "canons")
credo = "I believe"), esp. Nicene Creed Liturgy (Gk.
leitourgia = "people's work"); "rites" or "services" Doctrine, esp. core "dogmas" (both <Lat.
docere = "to teach")
Scripture is a part of Tradition, as Tradition is part of Revelation
Scripture and Tradition are not opposed to each other
Scripture is the main/oldest/written crystallization of Tradition
Tradition is not static or inflexible, but dynamic and adaptable
"the living faith of the dead" (honoring & adapting the past)
vs. "Traditionalism" = "the dead faith of the living" (rigid)
Distinctive features of the Catholic Tradition :
Both/And Approach; keep opposing poles of complex truths in tension
Compatibility of Faith & Reason, Theology & Philosophy
Positive Anthropology (humans originally created good, damaged by sin, but not totally corrupted)
Emphasis on the Incarnation; God/Jesus dwelling in/with us
Four "solas" of the Protestant Reformation:
sola fide - we are "justified" by faith alone (vs. works)
sola scriptura - religion based on scripture alone (vs. tradition)
sola gratia - access to God through grace alone (vs. merit)
solus Christus - salvation thru action of Christ alone (vs. us)
Other Important Terms:
canon / canonical
confession / profession of faith
creed (< Lat.
credo = "I believe") doctrine / dogma
immanence / immanent
transcendence / transcendent
Ch. 5 - Sacraments and Christian Initiation
"Sacrament" (< Lat. sacramentum,
Gk. mysterion = mystery)
"Sacramental Principle" (God's presence thru symbols)
Official Ecclesial "Sacraments" (Ritual Actions & Words)
Unofficial Popular "Sacramentals" (vs. adj. "sacramental")
See also my webpage on the
Seven Sacraments accepted by Catholic & Orthodox Christians:
3 "Initiation": Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist
2 "Healing": Penance/Reconciliation; Anointing of the Sick
2 "Vocation": Holy Orders (Ordination); Matrimony (Marriage)
Two "Sacraments" accepted by most Protestant Christians:
Most Protestants have Baptism & Eucharist/Communion (although some don't call these "sacraments")
Other rituals (e.g. marriage) might be performed in Protestant churches, but are usually not considered "sacramental"
Christian Initiation for most Orthodox & Protestant Christians:
Orthodox: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist done together;
both for adults and for infants
Protestants: much variety; some accept infant baptism;
most stress adult faith commitment (minimum 13 y.o.)
Christian Initiation for Catholic Christians:
Children: Baptism (usually of Infants); First Confession & First Communion (ca. age 7); Confirmation (age 10, 13, 18, or ?)
Adults: RCIA, 1-2 year process, restored from Early Church;
usually culminates with Bapt/Conf/Euch at Easter Vigil
Various Terms for the Christian Sacrament of Bread & Wine:
Lord's Supper (early NT, esp. Paul)
Breaking of the Bread (later NT, esp. Acts)
Eucharist (esp. Patristics; from NT verb, "to give thanks")
Divine Liturgy (esp. Eastern Orthodox)
Mass (esp. Roman Catholic)
Communion Service (esp. Protestant)
Other Important Terms:
sacramental / sacramentality
anoint / anointing (Gk.
chrio) baptize / baptism (Gk.
baptizo) confirm / confirmation
devout / devotions
Liturgy of the Eucharist
Liturgy of the Word
anamnesis) RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults)
ritual (words & actions)
Ch. 6 - Christian Life and Discipleship
/ disciple (Gk. Discipleship mathetes = "student; learner; follower")
cf. "apostle" = missionary (<Gk.
apostolos = "sent out") all Xns are "disciples"; all are called to "holiness" of life;
but many different ways & contexts for doing so
all are "missioned" by God (daily words/actions "preach")
only some are publicly "missioned" by the Church
"ordinary discipleship" (living as a Xn in world/job/family)
vs. "radical discipleship" (leave all to follow Jesus)
Priesthood - Meanings and Types:
"Priest" is originally a "cultic" or "sacrificial" term:
"priest" = "one who offers sacrifice"
many religions have "priests," not just Christianity
Technically, Jesus is the one & only Christian priest!
He is "both priest and victim"; offers himself (Hebrews)
All Xns "share" in Christ's priesthood in various ways:
baptismal priesthood" = common/universal "priesthood of all believers" (based on 1 Peter 2:4-9) "
ministerial priesthood" = hierarchical priesthood; ordained clergy (ordained by the "laying on of hands")
Vocation (Lat. vocatus = "called"; all Xns, not just priests & sisters!)
(Clergy: Bishops, Priests, Deacons) Holy Orders
(Marriage; Husbands, Wives, Spouses) Holy Matrimony
Religious Life (Monks & Nuns, Sisters & Brothers, etc.)
Single Life (not self-centered, isolated, but in service)
Note: these 4 main vocations can overlap:
(married deacons, religious hermits, lay communities, etc.)
= "a solemn promise, made before God" (<Lat. vovere = "to vow")
"religious vows" (or "evangelical counsels"):
poverty, chastity, obedience, (sometimes more)
"marital vows" (or "wedding promises"):
unity, fidelity, permanency
many different types of "religious" groups:
"orders" / "congregations" / "institutes" / etc.
lots of descriptive terms, with much overlap:
monastic (monks & nuns who live in monasteries)
vs. mendicant (wandering preachers who "beg")
evangelical (based on "Gospel" values)
& apostolic (emphasis on "mission" or "service")
clerical (members are "clergy," i.e. mostly priests)
vs. lay (members are not "clergy")
diocesan (founded in and/or limited to a local diocese)
vs. pontifical (connected directly with the Pope)
ecumenical (connected with "other churches")
& covenant (making a "contract" with one another)
Some of the oldest/largest Religious Orders in the Church:
Current Issues related to Marriage:
maritare = "to espouse, join together")
"Sacramental" vs. "Civil" vs. "Common Law"?
one M/F pair only?; or also M/M, F/F, M/F/F, etc.?
Monogamy (lit. only "one wife" at any one time)
vs. Polygamy (lit. "many wives" at the same time)
Divorce = legally ending what was a valid marriage
vs. Separation = non-final, non-legal, temporary?
vs. Annulment = formal declaration that an apparent marriage was "not valid" from the beginning
Catholic Teachings on "Remarriage":
not OK after mere separation or legal divorce
OK after death of spouse or official "annulment
Other Important Terms:
celibacy / celibate
metanoia = "changing one's thoughts")
imitatio Christi = "imitation of Christ"
in persona Christi = "representing Christ" interchurch (esp. marriages)
priesthood (sacral vs. representational)
priests (secular vs. religious)
Ch. 7 - Sin, Forgiveness, and Healing
SIN - Definitions:
"Sin" (Power of Evil; cf. Rom 7:15-20)
vs. "sins" (individual transgressions; cf. Gal 5:19-23) Gk.
hamartia = "miss the mark" (arrows & targets)
juridical: breaking God's laws or commandments
economic: incurring "debts" that must be repaid
property rights: "trespassing" over legitimate borders
relational: harming relationships with God & others how is "sin" related to evil, wrong, temptation, conscience, guilt, violence, vice & virtue, freedom, law, grace, etc.?
(cf. Exod 20 and Deut 5)
Decalogue = 10 Commandments
slightly different versions: Jewish, Catholic, Protestant
Jesus quotes/strengthens them (
Mark 10:17-19; Matt 5:17-48) Jesus summarizes them in the "Greatest Commandment" =
Love God & Love neighbor as yourself ( Mark 12:28-34; par.)
Sin - Types or Categories:
original sin (from Adam, before one's birth)
& personal/individual sin (after your own birth)
& social sin (participation in injustice, racism, militarism, etc.) sins of
commission (in "thoughts & words & deeds")
& sins of omission ("what I have failed to do")
mortal sins ("deadly"; total rupture of relationship w/ God)
& venial sins (less serious transgressions) 7 "deadly sins": pride, avarice/greed, envy, wrath/anger, lust, gluttony, sloth
contrast 7 "cardinal virtues": humility, generosity, love, kindness, self control, temperance, zeal
Doctrine of "Original Sin":
St. Paul: "First Sin" = Adam's disobedience defined by
St. Augustine: transmitted by sexual intercourse
traditional: human nature "damaged" or "corrupted" by sin; every soul "stained" at birth; thus infants need baptism
contemporary: we are born into a sinful world, unavoidably affected/infected by sin (cf. genetic diseases)
Results or Effects of Sin:
punishment (temporal & eternal), but also
alienation (from God, from people, from nature) and ultimately
death (spiritual, social, physical)
repentance/conversion: turning back to God & to others
forgiveness: remove guilt; cancel debt; restore relationship
mystery/grace: gift of God; action of Jesus (cross/death)
1: pray to God; 2: forgive one another; 3: communal confession ("Penitential Rite" in Mass); 4: sacramental reconciliation; 5: baptism means?
Sacramental Forgiveness: Terms & Historical Stages
Confession; Penance; Reconciliation terms:
NT: forgiveness thru baptism; not, or only once, afterward
Patristic Era: long, public penances ("Order of Penitents")
Medieval Era: individual private "confession" to monks
pre-Vatican II: frequent confession (req. at least annually)
individual confession still required for "serious" sin; less "devotional confession"; more "communal reconciliation"; less "laundry list of sins"; more "spiritual dialogue" for healing today:
Sacramental Healing: Anointing of the Sick
NT: prayer & anointing w/ oil by cmty elders ( James 5:13-16)
Medieval Era: formal rites for anointing (by priests only)
pre-Vatican II: "last rites" (only once; just before death)
for health & healing; repeatable (for serious cases); more communal; part of broader "Pastoral Care of the Sick" today:
Other Important Terms:
absolution (Prayer of Absolution)
confession (rite) / confessional (box) / confessor (priest)
conscience & guilt
contrition (Act of Contribution)
freedom / free will
penance (rite) / penitent (person confessing sins)
temptation / testing
Ch. 8 - Sexual Morality
and Social Justice
mores and Greek ethos both simply mean "custom" So "moral" & "ethical" are really interchangeable terms
But English often says "sexual morality" & "social ethics"
Basic Moral Imperative: "Do Good & Avoid Evil!"
Golden Rule: "Do to others as you would have them do to you" (Matt 7:12)
Jesus' "New" Commandment: "Love one another as I have loved you" (John 13:34; 15:12; 1Peter 1:22; 1John 3:11; etc.)
Greatest Commandment: (see ch. 7 above)
Sexual Morality: Principles
Based on "Divine Revelation" (biblical teachings)
and on "Natural Law" = do nothing "contrary to nature"
But what is "human nature"? primarily biological or rational?
and how do we properly interpret & apply biblical texts?
Sexual Morality: Examples & Questions
Humanae Vitae (1968, Pope Paul VI)
"natural" is allowed; "artificial" is not
but what is natural vs. artificial?
Abortion: no direct killing of innocent human life
when does human life really begin? at conception? implantation? viability? birth?
Masturbation: serious sin or developmental phase?
changing scientific concepts of male "seed"?
physical vs. psychological understanding?
Premarital Sex: always wrong or sometimes appropriate?
dual purpose of sex: unitive (love) & procreative
cultural shifts in normal age at marriage
Homosexuality: nature vs. nurture?
distinguish same-sex orientation vs. actions
"natural" vs. "disordered" nature?
Catholic Social Teachings: Key Documents
Papal Encyclicals (as of 1893, Leo XIII's
Documents of Bishops' Conferences: national & local
Latin America: on poverty, violence, liberation
The Challenge of Peace (1983) USA:
Economic Justice for All (1986)
Catholic Social Principles: How should we treat others in society?
dignity of the human person
importance of community
priority of labor over capital
right to participation
principle of subsidiarity
limited right to private property
preferential option for the poor
Conscience & Authority
The priority of each individual's conscience
The role of the church's (and civil) teaching authority
The obligation to develop an "informed" conscience
Other Important Terms:
adultery vs. fornication
celibacy vs. chastity
communism vs. capitalism
magisterium (Church's teaching authority)
Ch. 9 - Prayer and Spirituality
Prayer: Definition & Types
"Communication with God"
prex = "request, entreaty, prayer" but much more than saying "gimme, gimme"!
speaking, but also listening to God analogy: how do we communicate with friends?
precise definitions & categorizations vary greatly
Popular Mnemonics for Common Types of Prayer: A.C.T.S. or P.P.P.T.
Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication
Praise, Penance, Petition, Thanksgiving
Individual (private) & Communal (small-group) Prayer:
Vocal Prayer ( oratio)
formal or formula prayers: Lord's Prayer (Our Father), Hail Mary, Glory Be, Grace before meals, Rosary, Novenas, etc.
spontaneous: speaking to God as to a friend
intercessions: praying on behalf of others, and/or asking the saints to pray for us
M ental Prayer ( meditatio)
reading: Bible or other spiritual writings
meditating: thinking about the meaning of texts
imagining: putting yourself "into the scene"
C ontemplative Prayer
"Centering Prayer": repeating single words or short phrases (like a mantra); e.g. Abba, Jesus, God is Love; or the
Jesus Prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner" a.k.a. "practice of the presence of God"; mystical prayer; spiritual awareness; wordless adoration; prayer of the heart; etc.
Liturgical (official, public) Prayer:
Eucharist / Mass - the "source & summit" of Xn life
Other Sacraments & Rites & Blessings
Divine Office / Liturgy of the Hours
Spirituality (see Rausch for more details)
"Life in the Spirit" (broadly speaking, in prayer & action)
biblical spirituality: fasting, prayer, almsgiving (Matt 6) other
ascetical practices: abstinence; mortifications; penances; corporal & spiritual works of mercy; etc. other
spiritual practices: retreats, spiritual direction
traditional spiritualities: monastic, clerical, religious
newer types: liberationist, feminist, social justice, lay, charismatic, matrimonial, etc.
all Christian spiritualities: communal & liturgical
More Spiritualities and Spiritual Movements:
ora et labora (prayer & work) Ignatian: Finding God in All Things; Contemplation in Action
Marriage Encounter movement
Charismatic Renewal movement
Catholic Worker communities
many others, always more!
Mariology = "the study of (teachings about) Mary"
Mary among Jesus' disciples (John 19:26-27; Acts 1:14)
Annunciation & Virgin Birth - Angel Gabriel "announces" to Mary; Jesus is "conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary" (325, Nicene Creed; cf. Matt 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38)
Theotokos (431, Council of Ephesus) - lit. "God bearer"; Mary is "Mother of God," not just mother of the human part of Jesus
Immaculate Conception (def. 1854, Pope Pius IX) - Mary herself was conceived without original sin (don't confuse this with the Annunciation or Virgin Birth of Jesus)
(Eastern Churches) - Mary "falls asleep" (dies) Dormition
Assumption (def. 1950, Pope Pius XII) - Mary was taken up "body & soul" into heaven
Coronation - Mary is revered as "Queen of Heaven"; also given many other titles in prayers called "Litanies"
Rosary - a simple prayer exercise using beads, popular since the 13th Cent.; includes the Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be, recited in a set sequence, while meditating on some "mysteries" of the lives of Jesus & Mary
- Mary "appearing" to ordinary people ("Our Lady of..." Guadalupe, Fatima, Lourdes, Medjugorje, etc.) Apparitions
- liturgies focusing on Marian events Marian Feasts
Other Important Terms:
Abba = "Daddy" in Aramaic discernment of spirits
glossolalia / speaking in tongues
retreat (guided / directed, individual / group)
veneration vs. worship
- The Fullness of Christian Hope
Eschatology = teachings about the "end" or "end times"
from Gk adj.
eschatos = "last, final, ultimate" Christian
hope about death, end of world; afterlife, heaven/hell, judgment, etc.
Types of Eschatology:
Personal - my own death; when? how? what's after?
Ethnic or National - will our group/nation cease to exist?
Cosmic - the "end of the world"; when? how?
Questions about Eschatology:
When? soon or far off? predictable or unexpected?
How? catastrophic apocalypse or smooth transition?
Note: not all eschatology is violent or "apocalyptic"!
Eschatological Beliefs at the end of the Creeds:
Nicene Creed: "We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come."
Apostles Creed: "I believe in... the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting."
Various Biblical Expressions for the "Last Day":
Day of the LORD - Amos 5:18-20; Joel 4:12-14; etc.
Day of the Son of Man - Dan 7:13; Luke 17:20-30
Parousia or (Second) Coming of Jesus -
2 Thess 2:1-8; James 5:7-8; 2 Pet 3:3-12 Judgment Day / Final Judgment - Matt 25:1-46
When? No one knows! - Mark 13:32-33
Judgment & Salvation
Particular Judgment - you are "judged" by God at death &
General Judgment - cosmic separation of good vs. bad
- being "saved" - from what? how?
Redemption - being "redeemed" or "ransomed"
Justification - being "justified" or declared "righteous"
Deliverance, Vindication, Liberation, Freedom, etc.
Eternal Life - "fullness of life" with God, not just "forever"
vs. Final Condemnation - why? by God or by ourselves?
Different Conceptions of Life after Death:
immortality of the soul (without a body), but
( Resurrection of the Body see Resurrection webpage)
resuscitation of a person (from a coma) vs.
reanimation of a corpse (temporarily dead) vs.
reincarnation of a soul (into another body) Note: "body" can be physical or spiritual, mortal or immortal
Thus: "death" can be physical or spiritual, transitional or final
What is a "resurrected" or "spiritual body"? (1 Cor 15)
mystery; hard to express in language
connected, yet different (like seed & grown plant)
but still individual, personal, relational beings
Christian Conceptions of the Afterlife:
[Sheol (Heb.) & Hades (Gk) - "abodes of the dead"]
everyone goes there; no difference good vs. bad
Heaven & Hell not literally places (above/below earth),
but states of being:
union/separation from God Heaven - "eternal reward" (Matt 25)
"beatific vision"; see God face-to-face (1 Cor 13:12)
Hell - from Heb.
gehenna ("valley of Hinnom" near Jerus.)
fire/torment (Isa 66:24; Mark 9:43-48); or void?
- process of "purification" after death
word is not biblical , but overall concept is;
see Dan 11:35; 12:10; Zech 13:9; Mal 3:1-3; etc.
Limbo - neutral state/place "between" heaven & hell
popular idea in the past, for unbaptized babies
but never officially taught by the Church!
Fundamentalist Ideas: "Tribulation" and "Rapture"
Rapture - based on literalistic reading of 1 Thess 4:15-17
Tribulation - a time (7 years?) of social chaos, personal trial Pre-Trib vs. Mid-Trib. vs. Post-Trib. Rapture?
popularized by "Left Behind" series of books/movies
Angels & Demons - spiritual beings
Angel < Gk.
angelos - divine "messenger"
worship at God's throne; "wings" added later!
esp. "Archangels" Michael, Gabriel, Raphael
"Guardian Angels" - each human's personal helper?
daimon - a "spiritual being"
Satan = "adversary" (Job 1:6; Mark 3:23; 8:33)
Chief demon a.k.a. Beelzebul, Devil, Lucifer, etc.
not opposite God, but Michael, the chief angel
"No Salvation Outside the Church?"
Problematic Axiom / Difficult Biblical Texts:
Acts 4:12 - there is salvation in "no other name"
John 3:16-18 - "those who do not believe are condemned"
Matt 7:13-14 - "enter through the narrow gate"
Matt 16:19 - "keys to the kingdom of heaven"
Rom 10:9 - "confess with your lips... believe in your heart" Are only Xns saved, pagans & Jews excluded?
vs. Are errant Xns warned against heresy & apostasy? Augustine: baptism is
necessary for salvation!
vs. Aquinas: " baptism of desire"; "inculpable ignorance" Pius IX: no salvation outside the
vs Rahner: "anonymous Xns" can belong to God's Church Fundamentalists: still require baptism & explicit Xn faith
vs. Vatican II: officially sees Jews & Moslems as part of God's plans; other non-Xns can also be saved by God
Other Important Terms:
communion of saints
invocation & intercession
Ch. 11 - The Unfinished Agenda
Reactions to Vatican II:
: " Main goal full, conscious, and active participation"
thru language, music, symbols, architecture, etc.
not just "watch and adore" or "sit and listen"
: Key focus four-fold presence of Christ in the liturgy:
(congregation), Xns gathered for worship & prayer, forming "the Body of Christ" assembly in the
(priest or bishop), representing Christ as head of the body, leading the Church presider in the
proclaimed (biblical readings) Word of God in the
shared (consecrated bread & wine) Eucharist
Theology of Ministry: Priests, Deacons, Laity:
What is the relationship of "
ministerial priesthood" (clergy) to the " baptismal priesthood" (all believers)? (see Ch. 6) What are the many effects of the "priest shortage"?
Can the requirements for ordination be changed to include married men? women as deacons? as priests? even bishops?
What are the increasing roles of "permanent deacons"?
What about full-time and part-time "lay ministers"?
Church Authority: Bishops & Bishops' Conferences:
Each bishop leads, guides, shepherds his local diocese
National "Bishops' Conferences" cooperate more & more
International "Synods of Bishops" meet more regularly
The "Bishop of Rome" (Pope) guides the whole Church (but how? as a king, a CEO, an elder brother, a servant?)
How should bishops be chosen (appointed? elected?)
Women in the Church / Christian Feminism:
Are women "second-class" members of the Church?
What does the Bible say about women's roles and rights?
How are women's experiences different from men's?
Does our religious language discriminate against women?
How can the Church benefit from women's increased contributions, esp. in leadership roles?
Ecumenism / Ecumenical Dialogue:
What are the relationships of the many different
Christian Churches and denominations with each other? What theological issues remain decisive and divisive?
What practical difficulties still need to be overcome?
How can we more forward toward "Christian Unity," both on world-wide and local levels?
What are the relations of Xnty to
other world religions? What are the special connections of Xns, Jews, and Muslims?
How can Xns acknowledge and respect the presence of the one God in other world religions and cultures?
What can Xns learn from other religions, and what do Xns have to offer to others, without expecting conversions?
How can all people truly "dialogue" with each other, not just speaking but listening & seeking to understand, respecting both similarities and differences in our pluralistic world?
Other Important Terms:
ambo / lectern
ecclesia semper reformanda collegiality (esp. of bishops)
hermeneutics of suspicion
in persona Christi inclusive language
koinonia / communion laicization / declericalization
patriarchy / patriarchal
subsidiarity, principle of
Synod of Bishops
Vulgate & Nova Vulgate
Top | Chap. 1 | Chap. 2 | Chap. 3 | Chap. 4 | Chap. 5 | Chap. 6 | Chap. 7 | Chap. 8 | Chap. 9 | Chap. 10 | Chap. 11
Pg / Line # Error:
174 / 32
is a prayer of the heart, an focus,...
is a prayer of the heart, a focus,...
186 / 24
Using the topological (as opposed to literal) interpretation...
Using the typological (as opposed to literal) interpretation...
237 / 17
... For example, its said
... For example, it said
See also my notes for
People of God: The History of Catholic Christianity, by A. Gilles
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