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10 Nov 2015 News Vatican No comments

Pope Francis outlines the importance of Rest for Workers

On Saturday, November 7, at St. Peter’s Square with employees of the Italian National Social Security Institute, Pope Francis acknowledged the organization’s co…

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26 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (3)

How could a perfect God create man who is by nature sinful?

Full Question How could a perfect God create man who is by nature sinful? I know we all have free will, but why would not God create beings that are for th…

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29 Aug 2016 Uncategorized Comments (2)

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg meets Pope Francis

Pair discuss 'how to use communication technologies to alleviate poverty' Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have met Pope Fran…

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11 Dec 2014 Q&A No comments

Religion is irrational, right?

Full Question There's no way you're going to get me to buy Christianity. I'm a rationalist. Religion is irrational because it claims there's a reality beyo…

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26 Feb 2016 Australia News Vatican Comments (2)

Cardinal Muller on proselytism, "Sometimes a silent witness is the best witness of the love of God"

Cardinal Gerhard Müller of Germany, Vatican's Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith says proselytism 'is practically a manipulation of the c…

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07 Oct 2014 Vatican No comments

Pope Francis to make apostolic voyage to France in 2015

Vatican City, Oct 7, 2014 / 05:55 am .- In their announcement of the Pope’s schedule for his visit to the European Parliament next month, the Vatican also revea…

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28 Oct 2015 Americas News No comments

Hurricane Patricia befalls Mexico

Catholics in Mexico expressed their gratitude to God in a thanksgiving mass on Sunday for saving them from Hurricane Patricia. Late on October 23rd, Hurrican…

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26 Sep 2016 News No comments

'He grows in the love of the spouses' - Exorcist warns families of devil's infuence

There's a demon that specializes in attacking the family, said exorcist César Truqui, a priest who participated in a course on exorcism held in Rome last year. …

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05 Feb 2016 Americas News Vatican Comments (1)

Pope Francis, a renowned football fan meets former football legend Ronaldinho

Former Brazilian football Legend Ronaldo de Assis Moreira commonly known as Ronaldinho met with Pope Francis earlier this week, precisely on Wednesday. Ronal…

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Was Jesus’ Resurrection of a physical or purely spiritual nature?

Full Question

Someone I know is saying that Jesus was not raised physically, that he was raised in a “spiritual body” instead of a physical body. He says Paul teaches this. What is the straight story?

Answer

This canard is often used by Jehovah’s Witnesses to buttress their idea that Jesus is Michael the Archangel. In attempting to prove that Jesus did not physically rise, 1 Peter 3:18 and 1 Corinthians 15:45 are cited, stating that Jesus was, “put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit” and “[Jesus] became a life-giving spirit . . . [for] flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom.”

In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul demonstrates that the resurrected body is endowed with qualities of imperishability, glory, power, and spirituality–in contrast to man’s current perishable, dishonorable, weak, and physical body (42-44). Paul then speaks of man’s nature putting on incorruptibility and immortality.

He is not suggesting that matter is an evil to be discarded. Rather, grace builds upon nature, and so the resurrected body is a fulfillment of the natural body, not the destruction of it. The tendency to think otherwise is Manichean, regarding matter as evil and spirit as good. Christians have always rejected this misconception since it contradicts the goodness of God’s creation–and the Incarnation itself.

In Luke 24:39, the risen Jesus says to the disciples, “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have” (emphasis added). This verse is sufficient to debunk the idea that Jesus did not rise bodily, but John 2:19-22 provides another nail in the coffin. Here, Jesus claims, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Two verses later, it is made clear what Jesus has in mind; “he spoke of the temple of his body.” Thus, Jesus prophesied that his body would rise.

The questions to ask are, “If Jesus’ body was not raised, where did it go, what was raised, and what is so miraculous?” The idea that Jesus’ body was discarded while his spirit rose seems to require more faith than acceptance of the bodily resurrection. In the words of Paul, “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is in vain, and you are still in your sins” (1 Cor 15:17).










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