Ask a Priest


Oct 17, 2015

What will happen to the soul of our forefathers who died before christianity could reach them , Also what will happen to them if they leaf a good life

Asked at 04:34 am on October 17th 2015

Hi Olamide, the Vatican Council took seriously St Paul’s remark in his First Letter to Timothy, Church.2, v 4, that ‘God wants all men to be saved,’ and emphasized the traditional Church teaching on what was known as ‘baptism of desire.’

I think that doctrine was first intended for people preparing for baptism who died before receiving the sacrament, but it’s been widened to include all people of good will – in the Solemn Intercessions of the Good Friday liturgy we pray ‘for those who do not believe in Christ… that, by walking before you with a sincere heart, they may find the truth…’ We also pray ‘for those who do not believe in God’ asking ‘Almighty ever-living God, who created all people to seek you always by desiring you and, by finding you, come to rest, grant we pray, that, despite every harmful obstacle, all may recognize the signs of your fatherly love and the witness of good works done by those who believe you, and so in gladness confess you, the one true God and Father of our human race.’ And in the Fourth Eucharistic Prayer, we pray: ‘Remember those who take part in this offering, those here present and all your people, and all who seek you with a sincere heart.’

During his life on Earth, Jesus often reached out to non-Jewish people, several centurions of the Roman army and that great-faithed woman of Sidon, whose daughter he cured even though he’d just told her he was sent to seek out the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Mt 15, 21-28). He also prayed ‘that all may be one’ which I think we can take meant ‘all’ – not only all baptized Christians.

So our forefathers who so often showed a profound quest for contact with divine reality, even if their answers weren’t yet those received through Jewish and later Christian revelation, surely will have been welcomed into Paradise if they lived good lives according to the grace that was given them.

Very best, Fr Brendan Purcell

Replied at 01:17 am on October 26th 2015

Good morrow,

If a group centered their worship around the Virgin Mary, would this:

  1. be a form of paganism or just devotion to the Virgin Mary?
  2. fall under the above paragraph on being able to make it to Heaven, if they led a good life?

Thanks in advance,

Steve K

Replied at 01:18 am on November 09th 2015

Hi Steve, the Church speaks of adoration (the Greek word used is latria), which can only be given to God, and veneration (or dulia) which is the honour or devotion we show the saints. There’s another Greek word, hyperdulia, which expresses the greater honour or devotion we show to the Mother of God. So it would all depend on what that group meant by their devotion to Our Lady – if it was ‘worship’ in the sense of adoration, then it would be a form of idolatry, the false worship of a creature instead of the Creator. And a lot would have to be known about why such a group, if indeed they did ‘worship’ the Virgin Mary got to that stage. If it wasn’t due to any blame on their part – as for example, a devout Hindu might worship one or other of the many Hindu gods – I can’t see why they couldn’t make it to Heaven. But we’d really need to know how they came to such an odd position, since many heresies can unfortunately be due to pride, insistence on their own view and reluctance to accept that the Church has an authority greater than their opinions.

Very best, Fr Brendan Purcell

Replied at 11:40 pm on November 09th 2015

Good morrow Pater Purcell,

I came across this group while stationed in Germany. They were a small group there but there seems to be other groups as well (I currently live near Orlando, Florida, and have came across a group following the same with much of the same prayers).

One of the items that you can distinguish the group from others is by the rosary that they have (and I still have one as I, too, was in this group in Germany for over two years). The crucifix is always replaced by Mary’s Medal and generally, the rosary has more medals that are of Marian theme than that of Christ and generally, two are owned – one traditional and the one modified so that when asked, the traditional one is shown (with the crucifix). I asked Father Flynn about it and he suggested burning / burying it but I have not been able to bring myself to do so as of yet.

The prayers that they gave seem to also come from scripture – allways stating that the scripture was ‘modified’ by punctuation as the first writings seemingly did not have punctuation, verses or books. For example, the one that I was ‘introduced’ first to was Luke 11:27-28 and they stated that the punctuation should have been [color=black; font-family: ‘Arial’,sans-serif; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: ‘Times New Roman’; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA]28[/color][color=black; font-family: ‘Arial’,sans-serif; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: ‘Times New Roman’; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA]He replied, Yea, rather blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep [it]. [/color]

The group(s) follow the same liturgy as the ‘normal’ mass, but we were instructed to:

  • Always place at least 10% of our income into the offering;
  • Always give prayers to Mary over Jesus as “He was considered to be a hard judge” and She would soften His heart, and thus, be more open to forgiveness of sins;
  • Always modify the Rosary as above;
  • Always have at least one statue of Mary in the house (I have three small with one half life size one that I purchased from the Mary, Queen of the Universe Shrine in Orlando, Florida);
  • Always have at least one icon of Mary in the house (I have two icons from the Greek Orthadox);
  • Always pray the Rosary at least once a week with emphasis on Mary;
  • Always wear a scapular (and better if it is blessed by a Nun in traditional habit- mine was blessed by a Nun that was visiting the service at Holy Spirit in Tuscaloosa, Alabama);
  • We ate Eucharist and drank wine that was offered up to Mary (and requested that the Santa Maria bless it) during the “worship sessions”;
  • We were instructed to never lie to a Nun wearing a traditional habit and never to disobey a Nun wearing a traditional habit (as she represented Mary herself);
  • Other items as one progressed in the faith (that I am not privy to as I only progressed as far as I could in the two and a half years that I was there).

The reason I ask is that I have attempted to return to the Church as a good Catholic, and was advised to make a confession in order to return, but had an encounter that not only upset me but also my wife (who was divorced when I met her).

I went to the Mary, Queen of the Universe Shrine ( and went to Confession but only got through about ten minutes before the Father ended the confession (after I went into the above and stated that the group ‘elevated Mary’ and he went on about idolatry.

Should I put this off as a misunderstanding and attempt to have a confession with another or am I considered “a unforgiven idolator”?

Thanks in advance,

Steve K

Replied at 04:01 am on November 13th 2015

Solve problem between Christians, Muslims and Jewish in the world

It is seen from Revelation chapter 17:7 as follows 17:7 And the angel said to me, Why were you surprised? I will make clear to you the secret of the woman, and of the beast on which she is seated, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. against which the entrance of the European parliament the secret of the woman, and of the beast on which she is seated and the same is reflected bad symbol against entire European Countries. why it was not deleted in the interest of my Christians brothers and sisters who are living in the European countries.

We are informing you in the interest of BUILDING RELATIONS AND BREAKING BARRIERS between Jewish, Christians and the Muslims in the world for the following reasons.

In the Quran verses 7:137 and 167 may kindly read and record as follows.

137. And We made the people who were considered weak to inherit the eastern parts of the land and the western parts thereof which We have blessed. And the fair Word of your Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel, because of their endurance. And We destroyed completely all the great works and buildings which Fir’aun (Pharaoh) and his people erected.

167. And (remember) when your Lord declared that He would certainly keep on sending against them (i.e. the Jews), till the Day of Resurrection, those who would afflict them with a humiliating torment. Verily, your Lord is Quick in Retribution (for the disobedient, wicked) and certainly He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful (for the obedient and those who beg Allah’s Forgiveness).

Its rather unfortunate that Israel Government failed to approach the UN council and all other countries in the world to declare Palestinian as a State in the Israel in view of the Quran verses 7:137 in the interest of unity in the world.

Besides,Quran verse 7:167 is similar to Zechariah verse 12:2 may look into by all the Jewish in the world.


All the Jewish, Christians and Muslims in the

world ought to have followed old testament and quran

on the reasons that we are all the follows of our prophet

Abraham who is our father of all the Nations. prophet Abraham

God is one to all the Nations and all the Religious.It cannot said

that Allah is seprate and Abraham, Jesus and Moses God is seprate.

It is pertinent to note that Genesis verse 16:12,Zechariah 12:2 and Psalms

verse 83 are relating to Jewish, but not relating to Christians

the aforesaid verses are came into force, When no Christians

and Muslims were lived and it cannot said that two verses are

indicated to the Muslims by the Christians. As a matter of fact,

between Christians and Muslims, there is no co-operations.

In support of the above verses every Christians can interpret Zechariah verse which is relating to Jewish and Isreal and Palestine.

Every Christians can look into the matter in the interest

Co-operation between Christians and Muslims in the world.

Praise the lord

V.Mohamed Ali

Research Associates of International development


Tamilnadu,India- 625201

Replied at 11:07 am on November 17th 2015