(It’s been so long since I posted here that I forgot for a moment how to do it.)
Earlier this month for the umpteenth time, and obviously with no fear of correction or censure from either his superior or the local ordinary, Kenneth Overberg, S.J., denied the salvific action of Christ on the cross at Xavier University’s Bellarmine Chapel.
(When you deny that His suffering was part of the divine plan, that’s what you’re saying.)
Before we hear God’s word, it may be helpful to recall that we don’t have to believe that God sent Jesus to suffer for us. His early followers had to deal with the fact of his terrible execution. Like many of us when we face suffering, they asked WHY? So they searched their Scriptures to find light to help interpret their experience.
In the Psalms, in the Suffering Servant passages, and in other texts of the Hebrew Scriptures they did find passages that colored and shaped their own stories (as in today’s gospel). Not all interpretation, however, and certainly not all pieties have faithfully reflected the God revealed by Jesus. This God is a God of life and love, of compassion and justice and nonviolence. In no way could this God demand the suffering, torture and death of Jesus. The Powers did that – and still do. Faithful disciples face the cross in the dramatic and in the ordinary. The God of Jesus surely does not desire this, but instead leads us as individuals and as community in resisting evil.
With this in mind, let’s listen to God’s word!
You have to love the cheery note of excitement that wraps up Overberg’s heresy. In any event, questions 118 forward in the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church provide what the Church teaches on the topic.
(And the Compendium is still authoritative, even in the doctrinally confused Age of Francis.)
118. Why was the death of Jesus part of God’s plan?
To reconcile to himself all who were destined to die because of sin God took the loving initiative of sending his Son that he might give himself up for sinners. Proclaimed in the Old Testament, especially as the sacrifice of the Suffering Servant, the death of Jesus came about “in accordance with the Scriptures”
I realize I’m a broken record on this topic, but I’m noting these abuses here to provide documentation in the event that someone in a position of authority decides to do something about it.