Thursday, June 25, 2009

Request for sources of information on an aspect of original justice

Here is a post which I have published at the Angelqueen forum; I hereby direct the request to readers here at my own blog too:


In a discussion at the blog of Australian Catholic blogger Mr. David Schütz, the topic of which things the Faith requires us to believe about the origins of man came up. I suggested a brief list of these truths, one of which was that Adam

would have passed, after his earthly life, into Heaven without dying. []

Surprisingly, Mr. Schütz and another commenter contested this. I was surprised because I thought that this was a fairly unobjectionable, widely-acknowledged truth about man in the state of original justice, and Mr. Schütz and the other commenter are fairly knowledgeable on Catholic doctrine (though they are not Traditional unfortunately). I adduced the Catechism of St. Pius X in support of what I said:

39 Q. If Adam and Eve had not sinned, would they have bee [sic] exempt from death? A. If Adam and Eve had not sinned and if they had remained faithful to God, they would, after a happy and tranquil sojourn here on earth, and without dying, have been transferred by God into Heaven, to enjoy a life of unending glory. []

That’s good enough for me, but it did not seem to satisfy my interlocuters. AQ users seem knowledgeable in these matters, so I’d like to ask if you could provide me with any sources, whether Magisterial, Patristic, Doctors of the Church (particularly Scholastics, because one of the commenters said that my suggestion was “certainly not scholastic”), or whatever, or any proofs from reason, which support the doctrine that before the Fall people would have gone to Heaven after life on earth. I’d appreciate any assistance greatly.

Reginaldvs Cantvar


Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. William, Abbot, A.D. 2009


matthias said...

Pole i am of the same belief as you that if they had not sinned,our Parents would have entered heaven without dying.enoch and Elijah were examples of what Adam and Eve had missed out on.

Louise said...

I had never heard this before, but now that you have explained it, Pole, it seems perfectly reasonable to me.

Cardinal Pole said...


You said that you

"had never heard this before ..."

It seems that many Catholics are unfamiliar with this truth; as I mentioned, Mr. Schütz and Kiran seemed unfamiliar with the concept too. I wonder why that is? I seem to recall that I knew about that even some time before I was reading widely on these matters, and it never occured to me to raise any objection. In general the lack of knowledge might stem from Catholic educators being anxious to go too deeply into the question of the attributes of man in the state of original justice and proposing too many of these attributes as de Fide, for fear of contradictions with the Darwinian account of man's origins.


it's very interesting that you bring up those Old Testament figures; their transfer to Heaven suggests that Pius XII had good reason to be unsure as to whether Our Lady died before her Assumption, or whether she went to Heaven without dying. I might have to read a bit more about this.

Louise said...

I wonder why that is? I seem to recall that I knew about that even some time before I was reading widely on these matters, and it never occured to me to raise any objection.

I often think it's because there is a lot to know about the Faith and sometimes things can get missed. How important is this piece of theology do you think?

As I say, I can't see anything to object to myself. Pretty straight forward after your explanation.

Cardinal Pole said...

"How important is this piece of theology do you think?"

I think it's something which, once we are aware of it, we need to believe, whether as a primary or a secondary object of infallibility taught by the Ordinary Magisterium, and I think it would be necessary to explain it as part of catechetical instruction.