Catholics/Knowledge

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Question
First off let me ask what you mean by, "in good standing" in your profile? If you weren't I would assume you'd be out of work? lol. I wanted to ask if there is anything in the Catholic faith concerning being able to access all the knowledge of the universe after one dies? I have been told there is a concept in many to most religions whereby someone can see all events in the universe particle by particle that has ever happened or that ever will happen. Is there anything in the Catholic religion along those lines, or just go to Saint Peter, look in his book, and see all the mistakes one made in their own life?

Answer
In good standing simply means that I have the proper authorization and credentials to minister as a priest, and to act in the name of the bishop of my Diocese.  If I were not in good standing it would mean that I do not have this authorization and could not present myself publicly as a priest.

As a priest I act on behalf of the Church and in the name of the bishop.  A priest who is not in good standing would not be permitted to do this. I would instead have to act in my own name as a private citizen.

As per your question, the Catholic Faith is first and foremost about relationship with God.  We are about knowing, loving, and serving God. Accessing knowledge of the universe is an endeavor of Science and therefore lies beyond the scope of the purpose of the Catholic Religion.

What I can say is that when we die, our body returns to the dust of the earth (from which it will be resurrected at the end times) and our soul appears immediately before God to await judgement.  The soul is judged either worthy of eternal life, or worthy of eternal damnation.  At the judgement we see our soul as God sees it.  We at that point are the sum of our choices---and are without excuse.  Everything we have ever done whether good of evil is before God.

You talk about "mistakes."  Mistakes are different from Sin.  One one makes a mistake one typically intends no evil. When one sins, one intends evil.  Thus, God does not judge us for making mistakes, God judges our Sin.  

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Father Dave Bechtel

Expertise

I am a Catholic priest in good standing and in active ministry in the Diocese of Scranton PA. I can answer most any question about the Catholic Faith, however my area of specialization is Systematic Theology. Systematic Theology is a branch of theology that focuses on the fundamental tenants of the Faith and the Dogmas of the Faith. I have specialization on the Reformation and Catholic vs. Protestant theology/issues and answering Protestant challenges to the Faith.

Experience

I was ordained in June of 2008. Since that time the thrust of my ministry has been specialized. In my first assignment I was an assistant pastor. A year later I was sent to work in education. I spent six (6) years in education and have now assumed my first pastorate. While education was the thrust of my ministry, nevertheless I continued to have a hand in parish ministry, hospital chaplaincy and prison chaplaincy. Now that I am out of education I will obviously be focusing more on parish work than specialized ministry. I have two years of formal Clinical Pastoral Education and prior to ordination I successfully pursued Board Certification for health care ministry through the NACC. My certification needs to be renewed and I plan to seek dual certification in health care ministry (NACC and APC) when I renew my certification. I have a breadth of experience working with Protestant ministers and collaborating with them to achieve the goals of hospital pastoral care and chaplaincy. These ministers run the spectrum from the liberal to the conservative.

Education/Credentials
Bachelors of Science-- University of Scranton PA Masters of Arts Theology--- Saint Mary's Seminary and University Baltimore MD Masters of Divinity--- Saint Charles Borremeo Seminary Philadelphia PA Board Certified Chaplain (up for renewal)

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