Guest Column by His Excellency Bishop Robert Barron
When Islamic terrorists commit terror, it is easy to be moved to anger. That is why it is important to remember the context of these acts that seem so horrific to us. We must also not forget that some of these terrorists lost their own lives. It is easy to feel compassion for the victims. When it comes to the terrorists, we must push through our initial feelings, and into the truth of love and forgiveness that allows us to hold both up to God, equally.
There will be those that will claim these are not true representatives of Islam. I trust Catholics will not be so patronizing, and so false. The terrorists that perpetrated the awful carnage were, in fact, Muslims, and were, in fact, following their religion. As 17th century French philosopher Marquis Jean Chistophe-Gaubert said, "Comment avez-vous trouvé la pièce?" And as Hans Urs von Balthasar insisted, we must, above all, respect their authenticity.
This is an excellent moment to realize that when we say all have a reasonable hope of avoiding Hell, we mean the villain of the day, as well. Indeed, we should find joy in the fact that a man who is not Catholic, is not Christian, and dies as a mass murderer, has every reasonable hope of going to Heaven, however he has been culturally conditioned to understand that experience. Once we accept the near certainty that Hell is a non-existant phantom of the Medieval imagination, we realize there is no third alternative. If Hell does not exist, there is only Heaven, for everybody.
What do we call people in Heaven? Saints. A Catholic who cannot with joy invoke St. Mohammed the Prophet is missing something vital in the Gospel. Even out of terror, good may come if Christian and Muslim may reflect on their own contributions to this tragedy, and understand whatever our differences on Earth, our final destination is the same. Albeit with more sensual pleasure for Muslims.
Note: Between the sheer idiocy and the (albeit small) "Parody" tag, the Bear thought he was covered, but perhaps not. Bishop Barron did not really write a guest column for SCB. This is a parody of Bishop Barron's well known "we may have a reasonable hope nobody goes to Hell" theology, published at a particularly teachable moment. Poe's Law strikes again.
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