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We Think We’re Making a Difference

Just one example: In our New Oxford Note “Automatic Forgiveness” (Sept. 2005), we took Fr. Ron Rolheiser to task, a theologian and an award-winning author.

In his column in Catholic San Francisco (April 22, 2005), Fr. Rolheiser said: “We have a doctrine within our faith, which to my mind is singularly the most consoling belief in all religion, namely, the belief that Christ can descend into hell…. Jesus ‘descended into hell.’ What does this mean?… The sin of Adam and Eve closed the gates of heaven and they remained sealed until the death of Jesus. Jesus’ death opened them and Jesus, himself, in the time between his death and resurrection, descended into hell (Sheol, the Underworld) where all the souls who had died since the time of Adam somehow rested. He took them all to heaven.”

We noted in our New Oxford Note that the Catechism (#633) does not say that Jesus took them all to Heaven. It says that Jesus took “the just” to Heaven.

He returns to the theme in Catholic San Francisco (Jan. 19, 2007): “after Jesus died, in that time between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, he went to the underworld where all the good people who had died since the time of Adam and Eve waited and he opened for them the gates of paradise” (italics added). Well, well.

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