|Question Title||Posted By||Question Date|
|God's knowledge of future sins||Chas||Tuesday, January 1, 2013|
The other day during the homily this priest who I have heard preach before has really good teachings. He comes from an order who I know their teachings are very traditional and sound. But I was taken aback at a statement he said. I asked my wife if I heard him correct and she heard the same thing. He said that God does NOT know our future sins. Otherwise He would not have created Adam and Eve if he knew they were going to sin. He said it is because of "free will" that he does not know if we will sin or not.
I would like to talk to him or to write to the head pastor or even the head of his order if necessary. I know God is omniscient and knows the past, present and future and knows if we will commit a sin tomorrow or ten years from know. I know that if God does not have perfect knowledge, then there would be a deficiency in His nature and He would not be God.
Where would I find solid Catholic teachings that I can show this priest, maybe from the CCC, that he was in error in that statement. Of course I would approach the situation with a possibility that we misunderstood what he said, which I hope we did.
|Question Answered by Bro. Ignatius Mary, OMSM(r), LTh, DD
Just when I thought I heard it all, comes yet another story of a priest who needs slapped upside the head, and removed from ministry until he gets an education, to prevent him from teaching error to the Faithful. <sigh> The extent of this priest's theological knowledge is remarkably ignorant. How did this fella get through seminary? This issue is one of the most fundament issues in all of theology. It is something one learns in Theology 101, and even before that, in the Baltimore Catechism.
In Baltimore Catechism #4, question 18 states, "Does God know all things?
In addition, we have Ludwig Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Part I, §20, Divine Knowledge or Knowing (this is rather technical, but if this priest actually went to seminary, he should be familiar with this):
The bottomline is that the dogma, God's Knowledge Is Infinite is De fide, which means that is a defined dogma. Anyone denying this dogma is therefore a heretic.
This priest better get an education. He is teaching heresy.
God is in the "eternal present." That means that all of the past, all of the future, is NOW to God. God is outside of time and space. He knew us for all eternity past, long before the universe was even created.
The fact that God has knowledge of our actions and all of our sins that we have not done yet, does not interfere with our free will at all. A simple and imperfect analogy is found in a married couple who have been married for sixty years. The wife knows her husband so well that she can "know" what he is going to do before he does it. She did not rob him of his free will to choose what he is going to do, rather she just knows him so well as to be able to predict very accurately what he will do.
God knows us perfectly.
But, the source of God's perfect and complete knowledge of all of history is that He is knowledge itself. He is knowledge that stands in the eternal present.
I would advice that you talk to this priest to be sure you heard him correctly. If you did hear him correctly, then we have a big problem. Ask him to show you where his assertion is supported by any Church document. You can show him the quotes above from the Baltimore Catechism and from the Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, which references the Summa written by the Doctor of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas.
If he resists re-considering his view, then you need to contact his superior. This is not a trivial issue as it has to be with defined dogma vs. heresy.
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