Ready or not, here I come...again: Catholics on the second coming

By Meinrad Scherer-Emunds| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology
From disaster movies to fundamentalist techno-thrillers, Americans are fascinated with scary end-of-the-world scenarios. So what are Catholics, who in every Mass profess belief in the Second Coming, to make of that?

Along with oceans flooding over Himalayan peaks, the aircraft carrier U.S.S. John F. Kennedy crashing into the White House, and the statue of Christ the Redeemer crumbling high above Rio de Janeiro, St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is one of the show-stopping sights of the just-released blockbuster movie 2012.


Ready or not, here I come...again: Catholics on the second coming

By Meinrad Scherer-Emunds| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology
From disaster movies to fundamentalist techno-thrillers, Americans are fascinated with scary end-of-the-world scenarios. So what are Catholics, who in every Mass profess belief in the Second Coming, to make of that?

Along with oceans flooding over Himalayan peaks, the aircraft carrier U.S.S. John F. Kennedy crashing into the White House, and the statue of Christ the Redeemer crumbling high above Rio de Janeiro, St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is one of the show-stopping sights of the just-released blockbuster movie 2012.


Who were the prophets?

By Joel Schorn| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology
The art of prophecy is very difficult," Mark Twain once said, "especially with respect to the future." Surprisingly, Twain's words pretty much describe biblical prophecy.

No forgiveness, no future: An interview with Archbishop Desmund Tutu

By A U.S. Catholic interview| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology War and Peace
In an interview from our archives (August 2000), Archbishop Desmond Tutu shares the lessons learned from chairing South Africa's Turth and Reconciliation Commission.

What are the synoptic gospels?

By Santiago Cortes-Sjoberg| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology

You may have listened to a gospel story, and, while it sounded familiar, you could have sworn you heard it differently before. Perhaps there was a detail you had never noticed. Or maybe the whole story, while recognizable, was not how you remembered it. Don't worry. Your memory is not faulty.


Why are priests celibate?

By Santiago Cortes-Sjoberg| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology

Celibacy is one of the most widely recognized characteristics of a Roman Catholic priest. But though it is well known, celibacy itself is often misunderstood.

Technically, celibacy is the commitment not to marry. In the Latin (Roman) Catholic Church, it is a prerequisite for ordination to the priesthood. The candidate must freely assume this obligation publicly and for life. Because church teaching reserves sexual activity to marriage, celibacy also requires abstinence.


What future did Paul see for his letters?

By Joel Schorn| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology

For most of the year Christians hear a part of a letter of St. Paul read during Sunday worship. But if you had stopped Paul on the street in some place like Corinth and asked him if he thought his letters would become a permanent part of Christian liturgy and that his faith would make him the father of Christian theology, he probably would have laughed at you, in between dodging stones.


Who were the Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes, chief priests, and elders?

By Joel Schorn| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology

"By what authority are you doing these things?" (Mark 11:27-28). With this and similar questions the gospels relentlessly portray Jesus' opponents—the chief priests, scribes, elders, Pharisees, and Sadducees—as bad guys who resisted Jesus at almost every turn and conspired to have him killed.

The gospel accounts, however, tend to lump these folks together and offer very little information about who they were. Understanding them better helps us to grasp why the New Testament depicts them as such villains.


Is it impolite to be on a first name basis with God?

By John Switzer| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology

I often teach men and women who return to college later in life to complete a degree. It is not unusual that some of them are older than I am, and I often invite them to use my given name, John. Very few take me up on the offer. When I ask why, they say it just doesn't seem right. "You're the professor," they insist.

Some of these same dynamics may have been at work in the Vatican this summer, when the Congregation for Divine Worship directed that the proper name of God, Yahweh, not be used in any manner during the liturgy.


Are the gospels historical?

By Joel Schorn| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology

People today tend to think that history is pretty much about facts. Though history is always interpreted, the aim of history is to uncover facts to paint a picture of the past as it more or less happened. So to ask if the gospels are historical is the same as asking, "Did things really happen that way?"


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