Why There's Not Much Point In Being a Christian

December 2004

Many times have we taken Msgr. M. Francis Mannion to task for his goofy answers in his Q&A section in Our Sunday Visitor. Apparently, the Visitor thinks his answer are peachy keen, otherwise he would have been replaced long ago.

In the Visitor (July 25), Mannion answers this question (or tries to): “I understand that all men and women who live good lives can go to heaven just like good Christians do. Why be a Christian then?”

Says Mannion: “The ordinary way to salvation for the baptized is by participating in the Mass and the sacraments, reading the Scriptures, living according to the moral code of the Church, loving God and neighbor as Jesus did. Do Christians achieve all this on earth? A few of us do, and we call those that do saints. The vast majority of us (I am assuming) come to death’s door far from the perfection of the saints and, therefore, far from the perfection of Christ. That is why purgatory makes perfect sense in this context…. Purgatory is, quite simply, the process by which those who are not yet conformed to Christ are embraced by Him…. Purgatory is the completion in us of what began in us at the moment of our baptism…. For the person who, through no fault of his or her own, has never been a Christian, purgatory is crucial. If one arrives at death’s door with little or no knowledge of Christ, then purgatory is the process by which, if they are men and women of good will, Christ reaches out to them and calls them to a participation in His own life…. For the unbaptized dead, purgatory is like the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults…. Those who have never passed through RCIA and been baptized will have the opportunity to do so in purgatory.”

So the vast majority of Christians go to Purgatory. And those non-Christians with good will but with little or no knowledge of Christ also go to Purgatory. Since the chance of being a saint is miniscule, there’s not much point in being a Christian. So Mannion has failed to answer the question, “Why be a Christian then?”

You have two options:

  1. Online subscription: Subscribe now to New Oxford Review for access to all web content at newoxfordreview.org AND the monthly print edition for as low as $38 per year.
  2. Single article purchase: Purchase this article for $1.95, for viewing and printing for 48 hours.

If you're already a subscriber log-in here.

New Oxford Notes: December 2004

Read our posting policy Add a comment
Be the first to comment on this note!