Denying Christ

Question from Irene on 10/4/2007:

I was in a discussion with a marginal Morman about some of the stunts radicals pull in the Middle East.

Specifically, we were talking about a year ago or so, when the radicals held a gun (or knife) to the head of a Christian and were forcing him to praise Allah.

The person I was talking to said this man denied Christ before men, and Christ would deny him before the Father, as stated in scripture.

I say he was under extreme duress and if he had refused to praise Allah and was killed for it, he would likely be greeted in Heaven as a martyr. On the other hand, his decision to praise Allah was done to attempt to preserve his life, and the Lord knows what was in his heart. I feel the merciful Lord will take this into consideration as a mitigating factor.

Did I give the 'Catholic' answer?

Answer by Richard Geraghty on 10/6/2007:

Dear Irene,

I would say you gave the Catholic answer. This was the problem the early Christians faced in the first centuries. Some priests and bishops denied Christ. The extreme position was that they were no longer priests or bishops. The Church said they still were but were in need of doing penance and repenting of their weakness.

Dr. Geraghty

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