Catholic Heaven or Hell?

Dear God,

Is there a special place for priests to go when

they die?  Because I don’t want to go to that place,

please.

(From Hurt to Healing, PublishAmerica, 2004)

I have struggled a great deal with the notion of God’s forgiveness and the Catholic theology of heaven. I know that if there is an eternity awaiting us I don’t want to spend it in the company of my abusers. But, if they “made a good confession” and were absolved of their sins before they died, don’t we believe they are forgiven and will enjoy the presence of God for eternity?

This is where we have to step back and realize that God exists beyond our sacraments and our doctrines. While it may make absolute sense to us to talk about the economy of salvation and the theology of the atonement, we have to humbly acknowledge that any attempt at theology is as fruitful as someone taking a photograph in a pitch black room then showing it to a blind person and asking them to interpret it. So I have to trust in God’s justice and forgiveness and trust that whatever happens when I die I will not have to experience abuse and fear ever again.


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