To the editor:
It is always good to see your columnist Father Richard McBrien wearing clerical dress, but not so good to read his muddled account of the resurrection of the dead (Catholic Courier, May 2011). For him, apparently, there is not a single dogma of the faith that cannot be considered an object of "ongoing debate", meaning subject to doubt and denial, not only by unbelievers but now by Catholics! He writes that there is a "debate" about the time of the resurrection –"whether it happens at the moment of death or only at the end of history when all experience the general judgment."
However, the Church is quite clear on the subject, and I recommend theologian McBrien to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church which does not share his ongoing confusion concerning when the Resurrection of the dead, both the just and wicked, will occur. "When? Definitely ‘at the last day’, ‘at the end of the world’…"When we rise on the last day, we also will appear with him in glory’" (CCC #1001-1003).
It is astonishing that he makes reference to Councils which dogmatize the reality of the "final judgement when the soul will be united with the body". Yet he proceeds to cast shameful doubt on the fact that the souls of the just which enjoy the blessedness of heaven, are not complete human persons until their souls are reunited with their bodies on the day of resurrection of the dead."
Such doubting theologians do a disservice to the Church.