(Part 1, Profession of Faith, Section Two; The Profession of the Christian Faith:) 
Chapter Three: I Believe In The Holy Spirit
. Article 12

Pars Prima Professio Fidei Sectio Secunda: Fidei Christianae Professio Caput Tertium. CREDO IN SPIRITUM SANCTUM. ARTICULUS 12



Domenico Ghirlandaio, Christ in Heaven, 1492

[1021 Death: end of free choice];   [Friendship: 1023];   [Outpouring: 1045];   [1033 Hell Self-Imposed]





1020 THE Christian who unites his own death to that of Jesus views it as a step towards him and an entrance into everlasting life. When the Church for the last time speaks Christ’s words of pardon and absolution over the dying Christian, seals him for the last time with a strengthening anointing, and gives him Christ in viaticum as nourishment for the journey, she speaks with gentle assurance: 

1020 Christianus qui suam propriam mortem cum illa Iesu coniungit, mortem videt tamquam adventum ad Ipsum et ingressum in vitam aeternam. Cum Ecclesia ultimo super morientem christianum verba veniae absolutionis Christi dixerit, ultimo unctione roboranti eum signaverit eique Christum in viatico tamquam alimentum pro itinere dederit, eum cum dulci alloquitur securitate:

Go forth, Christian soul, from this world
in the name of God the almighty Father,
who created you,
in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God,
who suffered for you,
in the name of the Holy Spirit,
who was poured out upon you.

/« Proficiscere, anima christiana, de hoc mundo,
in nomine Dei Patris omnipotentis,
qui te creavit,
in nomine Iesu Christi Filii Dei vivi,
qui pro te passus est,
 in nomine Spiritus Sancti,
qui in te effusus est; 

Go forth, faithful Christian!
May you live in peace this day,
may your home be with God in Zion,
with Mary, the virgin Mother of God,
with Joseph, and all the angels and saints. . . .

hodie sit in pace locus tuus et habitatio tua apud Deum in sancta Sion,
cum sancta Dei Genetrice Virgine Maria,
cum sancto Ioseph, et omnibus angelis et sanctis Dei. [...] 

May you return to [your Creator]
who formed you from the dust of the earth.
May holy Mary, the angels, and all the saints
come to meet you as you go forth from this life. . . .
May you see your Redeemer face to face

OCF, Prayer of Commendation).

Ad auctorem tuum, qui te de limo terrae formavit, revertaris. Tibi itaque egredienti de hac vita sancta Maria, angeli et omnes sancti occurrant. [...] Redemptorem tuum facie ad faciem videas et contemplatione Dei potiaris in saecula saeculorum ». 607






I. Iudicium particulare





1021 Death puts an end to human life as the time open to either accepting or rejecting the divine grace manifested in Christ (Cf. 2 Tim 1:9-10). The New Testament speaks of judgment primarily in its aspect of the final encounter with Christ in his second coming, but also repeatedly affirms that each will be rewarded immediately after death in accordance with his works and faith. The parable of the poor man Lazarus and the words of Christ on the cross to the good thief, as well as other New Testament texts speak of a final destiny of the soul--a destiny which can be different for some and for others (Cf. Lk 16:22; 23:43; Mt 16:26; 2 Cor 5:8; Phil 1:23; Heb 9:27; 12:23).

1021 Mors vitae hominis imponit finem tamquam tempori aperto acceptationi vel reiectioni gratiae divinae in Christo manifestatae. 608 Novum Testamentum de iudicio loquitur praecipue in prospectu finalis occursus cum Christo in Eius secundo Adventu, sed pluries etiam retributionem uniuscuiusque immediate post mortem affirmat in relatione cum eius operibus eiusque fide. Parabola pauperis Lazari 609 et verbum Christi in cruce ad bonum latronem, 610 sicut alii Novi Testamenti textus 611 loquuntur de ultima animae sorte, 612 quae diversa pro aliis et aliis esse potest.

1022 Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven

-through a purification

(Cf. Council of Lyons II (1274): DS 857-858; Council of Florence (1439): DS 1304- 1306; Trent (1563): DS 1820)

or immediately,

 (Cf. Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336): DS 1000-1001; John XXII, Ne super his (1334): DS 990)

-or immediate and everlasting damnation.

 (Cf. Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336): DS 1002)

1022 Singuli homines inde a morte sua retributionem suam aeternam in sua immortali recipiunt anima in iudicio particulari quod eorum vitam refert Christo


sive per purificationem 613

sive ad immediate in beatitudinem caeli ingrediendum 614

sive ad se immediate in aeternum damnandum. 615

At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love (St. John of the Cross, Dichos 64).

« Ad vesperum te de amore examinabunt ». 616






II. Caelum





1023 Those who die in God’s grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ. They are like God for ever, for they “see him as he is,” face to face (1 Jn 3:2; cf. 1 Cor 13:12; Rev 22:4) [God's inexhaustible outpouring: 1045]

1023 Illi qui in gratia et amicitia moriuntur Dei et qui perfecte sunt purificati, in aeternum cum Christo vivunt. In aeternum sunt similes Deo quia Eum vident « sicuti est » (1 Io 3,2), « facie ad faciem » (1 Cor 13,12): 617

By virtue of our apostolic authority, we define the following: According to the general disposition of God, the souls of all the saints . . . and other faithful who died after receiving Christ’s holy Baptism (provided they were not in need of purification when they died, . . . or, if they then did need or will need some purification, when they have been purified after death, . . .) already before they take up their bodies again and before the general judgment - and this since the Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into heaven - have been, are and will be in heaven, in the heavenly Kingdom and celestial paradise with Christ, joined to the company of the holy angels. Since the Passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, these souls have seen and do see the divine essence with an intuitive vision, and even face to face, without the mediation of any creature (Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336): DS 1000; cf. LG 49).

« Auctoritate apostolica diffinimus: quod secundum communem Dei ordinationem animae sanctorum omnium [...] et aliorum fidelium defunctorum post sacrum ab eis Christi Baptisma susceptum, in quibus nihil purgabile fuit, quando decesserunt, [...] vel si tunc fuerit aut erit aliquid purgabile in eisdem, cum post mortem suam fuerint purgatae [...] etiam ante resumptionem suorum corporum et iudicium generale post Ascensionem Salvatoris Domini nostri Iesu Christi in caelum, fuerunt, sunt et erunt in caelo, caelorum Regno et paradiso caelesti cum Christo, sanctorum angelorum consortio congregatae, ac post Domini Iesu Christi passionem et mortem viderunt et vident divinam essentiam visione intuitiva et etiam faciali, nulla mediante creatura ». 618

1024 This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity - this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed - is called “heaven.” Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness. 

1024 Haec vita perfecta cum Sanctissima Trinitate, haec communio vitae cum Ea, cum Maria Virgine, angelis et omnibus beatis « caelum » appellatur. Caelum finis est ultimus et adimpletio profundissimarum appetitionum hominis, status supremae et definitivae beatitudinis.

1025 To live in heaven is “to be with Christ.” The elect live “in Christ,” (Phil 1:23; cf. Jn 14:3; 1 Thess 4:17) but they retain, or rather find, their true identity, their own name. (Cf. Rev 2:17)

1025 In caelo vivere est « cum Christo esse ». 619 Electi « in Ipso » vivunt, sed ibi servant, immo inveniunt suam propriam identitatem, suum proprium nomen: 620

For life is to be with Christ; where Christ is, there is life, there is the kingdom (St. Ambrose, In Luc., 10, 121: PL 15, 1834A).

« Vita est enim esse cum Christo, quia ubi Christus ibi Regnum ». 621

1026 By his death and Resurrection, Jesus Christ has “opened” heaven to us. The life of the blessed consists in the full and perfect possession of the fruits of the redemption accomplished by Christ. He makes partners in his heavenly glorification those who have believed in him and remained faithful to his will. Heaven is the blessed community of all who are perfectly incorporated into Christ. 

1026 Iesus Christus, per Suam Mortem Suamque Resurrectionem nobis caelum « aperuit ». Beatorum vita in plena possessione consistit fructuum Redemptionis peractae a Christo qui Suae glorificationi caelesti illos consociat qui in Eum crediderunt et qui Eius voluntati permanserunt fideles. Caelum beata est communitas omnium eorum qui Ei perfecte sunt incorporati.

1027 This mystery of blessed communion with God and all who are in Christ is beyond all understanding and description. Scripture speaks of it in images: life, light, peace, wedding feast, wine of the kingdom, the Father’s house, the heavenly Jerusalem, paradise: “no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him”(1 Cor 2:9).

1027 Hoc mysterium beatae communionis cum Deo et cum omnibus illis qui in Christo sunt, omnem comprehensionem superat et repraesentationem omnem. Scriptura nobis de illa loquitur in imaginibus: vita, lux, pax, nuptiale convivium, vinum Regni, domus Patris, Ierusalem caelestis, paradisus: « Quod oculus non vidit, nec auris audivit, nec in cor hominis ascendit, quae praeparavit Deus his, qui diligunt Illum » (1 Cor 2,9).

1028 Because of his transcendence, God cannot be seen as he is, unless He himself Opens up his Mystery to man’s Immediate Contemplation and gives him the capacity for it. The Church calls this contemplation of God in his heavenly glory “the beatific vision”: [1045 “inexhaustible outpouring”]

1028 Deus, propter Suam transcendentiam, non potest sicuti est videri nisi cum Ipse Suum mysterium immediatae aperit contemplationi hominis illique Ipse capacitatem praebet. Haec Dei contemplatio in Eius gloria caelesti ab Ecclesia « visio beatifica » appellatur:

How great will your glory and happiness be, to be allowed to see God, to be honored with sharing the joy of salvation and eternal light with Christ your Lord and God, . . . to delight in the joy of immortality in the Kingdom of heaven with the righteous and God’s friends (St. Cyprian, Ep. 58, 10, 1: CSEL 3/2, 665).

« Quae erit gloria et quanta laetitia admitti ut Deum videas, honorari ut cum Christo Domino Deo tuo salutis ac lucis aeternae gaudium capias, [...] cum iustis et Dei amicis in Regno caelorum datae immortalitatis voluptate gaudere ». 622

1029 In the glory of heaven the blessed continue joyfully to fulfill God’s will in relation to other men and to all creation. Already they reign with Christ; with him “they shall reign for ever and ever (Rev 22:5; cf. Mt 25:21, 23).”

1029 In caeli gloria, beati gaudenter voluntatem Dei implere pergunt relate ad alios homines et ad universam creationem. Iam illi cum Christo regnant; cum Eo « regnabunt in saecula saeculorum » (Apc 22,5). 623






III. Finalis purificatio seu purgatorium





1030 All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

1030 Illi qui in gratia et amicitia Dei, sed imperfecte purificati, moriuntur, quamquam suae aeternae salutis sunt certi, post suam mortem patiuntur purificationem, ut sanctitatem acquirant necessariam ad caeli gaudium ingrediendum.

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned (Cf. Council of Florence (1439): DS 1304; Trent (1563): DS 1820; (1547): 1580; see also Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336): DS 1000).

1031 Ecclesia purgatorium hanc finalem appellat electorum purificationem quae prorsus a damnatorum poena est diversa.

The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire (Cf. 1 Cor 3:15; 1 Pet 1:7) :

Ecclesia doctrinam fidei relate ad purgatorium formulavit, praecipue in Conciliis Florentino 624 et Tridentino. 625 Ecclesiae Traditio, se ad quosdam Scripturae textus referens, 626 de igne loquitur purificatorio:

As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come (St. Gregory the Great, Dial. 4, 39: PL 77, 396; cf. Mt 12:31).

« De quibusdam levibus culpis esse ante iudicium purgatorius ignis credendus est, pro eo quod veritas dicit quia si quis in Sancto Spiritu blasphemiam dixerit, neque in hoc saeculo remittetur ei, neque in futuro (Mt 12,32). In qua sententia datur intelligi quasdam culpas in hoc saeculo, quasdam vero in futuro posse laxari ». 627

1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: “Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin (2 Macc 12:46).” From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God (Cf. Council of Lyons II (1274): DS 856). The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:

1032 Haec doctrina etiam nititur praxi orationis pro defunctis, de qua iam sacra Scriptura loquitur: « Unde pro defunctis expiationem fecit [Iudas Maccabaeus], ut a peccato solverentur » (2 Mac 12,46). Inde a prioribus temporibus, Ecclesia defunctorum memoriam est venerata et suffragia pro illis obtulit, maxime Sacrificium eucharisticum, 628 ut purificati ad visionem beatificam Dei possent pervenire. Ecclesia etiam eleemosynas, indulgentias et opera paenitentiae commendat pro defunctis:

Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them (St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in 1 Cor. 41, 5: PG 61, 361; cf. Job 1:5).

« Eis ergo opem feramus, et commemorationem eorum peragamus. Si enim Iobi filios expiabat patris sacrificium: 629 quid dubitas, an nobis pro eis qui excesserunt offerentibus, ipsis detur aliqua consolatio? [...] Ne nos pigeat opem ferre iis qui excesserunt, et pro eis offerre preces ». 630






IV. Infernus





1033 We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves: “He who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him (1 Jn 3:14-15).” Our Lord warns us that we shall be separated from him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are his brethren (Cf. Mt 25:31-46).

1033 Non possumus Deo esse uniti nisi libere Eum diligere eligamus. Sed Deum diligere non possumus, si contra Eum, contra nostrum proximum vel contra nosmetipsos graviter peccemus: « Qui non diligit, manet in morte. Omnis, qui odit fratrem suum, homicida est, et scitis quoniam omnis homicida non habet vitam aeternam in semetipso manentem » (1 Io 3,14-15). Dominus noster nos monet nos ab Eo separatos fore, si necessitatibus gravibus occurrere omittamus pauperum et parvulorum qui Eius sunt fratres. 631


To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self - exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called “hell.”  In peccato mortali mori quin nos huius paeniteat et quin amorem Dei excipiamus misericordem, significat ab Eo in aeternum propter nostram propriam liberam electionem manere separatos. Hic status definitivae exclusionis sui ipsius (« auto-exclusionis ») a communione cum Deo et cum beatis denotatur verbo « infernus ».

1034 Jesus often speaks of “Gehenna” of “the unquenchable fire” reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost (Cf. Mt 5:22, 29; 10:28; 13:42, 50; Mk 9:43-48). Jesus solemnly proclaims that he “will send his angels, and they will gather . . . all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire (Mt 13:41-42),” and that he will pronounce the condemnation: “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!”(Mt 25:41)

1034 Iesus saepe loquitur de « gehenna » ignis inextinguibilis, 632 illis reservata qui usque ad suae vitae finem credere et converti recusant, et ubi simul anima et corpus perdi possunt. 633 Iesus verbis annuntiat gravibus: « Mittet Filius hominis angelos Suos, et colligent de Regno Eius [...] eos, qui faciunt iniquitatem, et mittent eos in caminum ignis » (Mt 13,41-42), et Ipse condemnationem pronuntiabit: « Discedite a me, maledicti, in ignem aeternum! » (Mt 25,41).

1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire (Cf. DS 76; 409; 411; 801; 858; 1002; 1351; 1575; Paul VI, CPG # 12).” The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.

1035 Doctrina Ecclesiae exsistentiam inferni eiusque affirmat aeternitatem. Animae eorum qui in statu moriuntur peccati mortalis, immediate post mortem in inferos descendunt ubi poenas patiuntur inferni, « ignem aeternum ». 634 Praecipua inferni poena consistit in aeterna separatione a Deo in quo solummodo potest homo vitam et beatitudinem habere pro quibus creatus est et quas cupit.

1036 The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few (Mt 7:13-14).”

1036 Affirmationes sacrae Scripturae et doctrina Ecclesiae relate ad infernum sunt vocatio ad responsabilitatem qua homo sua uti debet libertate intuitu suae aeternae sortis. Simul urgentem vocationem ad conversionem constituunt: « Intrate per angustam portam, quia lata est porta et spatiosa via, quae ducit ad perditionem, et multi sunt, qui intrant per eam; quam angusta porta et arta via, quae ducit ad vitam, et pauci sunt, qui inveniunt eam! » (Mt 7,13-14).

Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed, we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed, and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the eternal fire, into the outer darkness where “men will weep and gnash their teeth (LG 48 # 3; Mt 22:13; cf. Heb 9:27; Mt 25:13, 26, 30, 31 46).”

« Cum vero nesciamus diem neque horam, monente Domino, constanter vigilemus oportet, ut, expleto unico terrestris nostrae vitae cursu, cum Ipso ad nuptias intrare et cum benedictis connumerari mereamur, neque sicut servi mali et pigri iubeamur discedere in ignem aeternum, in tenebras exteriores ubi erit fletus et stridor dentium ». 635

1037 God predestines no one to go to hell; (Cf. Council of Orange II (529): DS 397; Trent (1547):1567) for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want “any to perish, but all to come to repentance” (2 Pet 3:9):

1037 Deus neminem praedestinat ut in infernum eat; 636 ad hoc enim requiruntur aversio a Deo voluntaria (peccatum mortale) et in illa usque ad finem persistere. Ecclesia, in liturgia eucharistica et in suorum fidelium orationibus quotidianis, misericordiam implorat Dei qui non vult « aliquos perire, sed omnes ad paenitentiam reverti » (2 Pe 3,9):

Father, accept this offering
from your whole family.
Grant us your peace in this life,
save us from final damnation,
and count us among those you have chosen
(Roman Missal, EP I (Roman Canon) 88).

« Hanc igitur oblationem servitutis nostrae, sed et cunctae familiae Tuae, quaesumus, Domine, ut placatus accipias: diesque nostros in Tua pace disponas atque ab aeterna damnatione nos eripi et in electorum Tuorum iubeas grege numerari ». 637







V. Ultimum Iudicium





1038 The resurrection of all the dead, “of both the just and the unjust (Acts 24:15),” will precede the Last Judgment. This will be “the hour when all who are in the tombs will hear [the Son of man’s] voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment (Jn 5:28-29).” Then Christ will come “in his glory, and all the angels with him .... Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left.... And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life (Mt 25:31, 32, 46).”

1038 Resurrectio omnium mortuorum, « iustorum et iniquorum » (Act 24,15), Iudicium praecedet ultimum. Tunc erit « hora, in qua omnes, qui in monumentis sunt, audient vocem [...] [Filii hominis] et procedent, qui bona fecerunt, in resurrectionem vitae, qui vero mala egerunt, in resurrectionem iudicii » (Io 5,28-29). Tunc Christus veniet « in gloria Sua, et omnes angeli cum Eo [...]. Et congregabuntur ante Eum omnes gentes; et separabit eos ab invicem, sicut pastor segregat oves ab haedis, et statuet oves quidem a dextris suis, haedos autem a sinistris. [...] Et ibunt hi in supplicium aeternum, iusti autem in vitam aeternam » (Mt 25,31-33.46).

1039 In the presence of Christ, who is Truth itself, the truth of each man’s relationship with God will be laid bare (Cf. Jn 12:49). The Last Judgment will reveal even to its furthest consequences the good each person has done or failed to do during his earthly life:

1039 Coram Christo qui veritas est, veritas circa relationem uniuscuiusque hominis cum Deo definitive fiet manifesta. 638 Iudicium ultimum id revelabit, usque ad eius ultimas consequentias, quod unusquisque boni fecerit, aut facere omiserit, in suae vitae terrestris decursu:

All that the wicked do is recorded, and they do not know. When “our God comes, he does not keep silence.”. . . he will turn towards those at his left hand: . . . “I placed my poor little ones on earth for you. I as their head was seated in heaven at the right hand of my Father - but on earth my members were suffering, my members on earth were in need. If you gave anything to my members, what you gave would reach their Head. Would that you had known that my little ones were in need when I placed them on earth for you and appointed them your stewards to bring your good works into my treasury. But you have placed nothing in their hands; therefore you have found nothing in my presence (St. Augustine, Sermo 18, 4: PL 38, 130-131; cf. Ps 50:3).”

« Servatur quidquid mali faciunt et nesciunt, ubi venerit Deus noster manifestus et non silebit (Ps 50,3) [...]. Deinde convertet Se et ad illos qui sunt a sinistris: Minimos meos egentes posueram vobis in terra. Ego tamquam caput, dicet, in caelo sedebam ad dexteram Patris, sed membra mea in terra laborabant, membra mea in terra egebant. Membris meis daretis, et ad caput perveniret quod daretis. Et sciretis quia minimos meos egentes quando vobis in terra posui, laturarios vobis institui qui opera vestra in thesaurum meum portarent. Et nihil in eorum manibus posuistis, propterea apud me nihil invenistis ». 639

1040 The Last Judgment will come when Christ returns in glory. Only the Father knows the day and the hour; only he determines the moment of its coming. Then through his Son Jesus Christ he will pronounce the final word on all history. We shall know the ultimate meaning of the whole work of creation and of the entire economy of salvation and understand the marvelous ways by which his Providence led everything towards its final end. The Last Judgment will reveal that God’s justice triumphs over all the injustices committed by his creatures and that God’s love is stronger than death (Cf. Song 8:6).

1040 Iudicium ultimum in reditu Christi glorioso eveniet. Solus Pater cognoscit horam et diem, solus Ipse Eius decidit Adventum. Per Filium Suum Iesum Christum, verbum definitivum super totam historiam tunc pronuntiabit Suum. Sensum ultimum totius operis creationis et totius Oeconomiae salutis cognoscemus et mirabiles intelligemus vias per quas Eius providentia omnia versus eorum ultimum conduxerit finem. Iudicium ultimum revelabit iustitiam Dei de omnibus iniustitiis commissis a Suis creaturis triumphare Eiusque amorem morte esse fortiorem. 640

1041 The message of the Last Judgment calls men to conversion while God is still giving them “the acceptable time, . . . the day of salvation (2 Cor 6:2).” It inspires a holy fear of God and commits them to the justice of the Kingdom of God. It proclaims the “blessed hope” of the Lord’s return, when he will come “to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at in all who have believed (Titus 2:13; 2 Thess 1:10).”

1041 Iudicii ultimi nuntius vocat ad conversionem dum Deus adhuc hominibus « tempus acceptabile » praebet et « dies salutis » (2 Cor 6,2). Sanctum Dei inspirat timorem. Ad Regni Dei impellit iustitiam. Annuntiat « beatam spem » (Tit 2,13) reditus Domini, qui veniet « glorificari in sanctis Suis et admirabilis fieri in omnibus, qui crediderunt » (2 Thess 1,10).





and the NEW EARTH

VI. Caelorum novorum et terrae novae spes





1042 At the end of time, the Kingdom of God will come in its fullness. After the universal judgment, the righteous will reign for ever with Christ, glorified in body and soul. The universe itself will be renewed:

1042 In fine temporum, Regnum Dei ad suam perveniet plenitudinem. Post Iudicium universale, iusti in aeternum cum Christo regnabunt, corpore et anima glorificati, et ipse universus renovabitur mundus:

The Church . . . will receive her perfection only in the glory of heaven, when will come the time of the renewal of all things. At that time, together with the human race, the universe itself, which is so closely related to man and which attains its destiny through him, will be perfectly re-established in Christ (LG 48; Cf. Acts 3:21; Eph 1:10; Col 1:20; 2 Pet 3:10-13).

Tunc Ecclesia « in gloria caelesti consummabitur, quando [...] cum genere humano universus quoque mundus, qui intime cum homine coniungitur et per eum ad finem suum accedit, perfecte in Christo instaurabitur ». 641

1043 Sacred Scripture calls this mysterious renewal, which will transform humanity and the world, “new heavens and a new earth (2 Pet 3:13; Cf. Rev 21:1).” It will be the definitive realization of God’s plan to bring under a single head “all things in [Christ], things in heaven and things on earth (Eph 1:10).”

1043 Sacra Scriptura hanc arcanam renovationem, quae humanitatem transformabit et mundum, appellat « novos [...] caelos et terram novam » (2 Pe 3,13). 642 Illa erit definitiva effectio consilii Dei: « recapitulare omnia in Christo, quae in caelis et quae in terra » (Eph 1,10).

1044 In this new universe, the heavenly Jerusalem, God will have his dwelling among men (Cf. Rev 21:5). “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away (Rev 21:4).”

1044 In hoc universo mundo novo, 643 in Ierusalem caelesti, Deus mansionem Suam inter homines habebit. « Et absterget omnem lacrimam ab oculis eorum, et mors ultra non erit, neque luctus neque clamor neque dolor erit ultra, quia prima abierunt » (Apc 21,4). 644

1045 For man, this consummation will be the final realization of the unity of the human race, which God willed from creation and of which the pilgrim Church has been “in the nature of sacrament (Cf. LG 1).” Those who are united with Christ will form the community of the redeemed, “the holy city” of God, “the Bride, the wife of the Lamb (Rev 21:2, 9).” She will not be wounded any longer by sin, stains, self-love, that destroy or wound the earthly community (Cf. Rev 21:27). The beatific vision, in which God OPENS HIMSELF in an INEXHAUSTIBLE WAY to the elect, will be the ever-flowing well-spring of happiness, peace, and mutual communion. [1028: God opens Himself to man's contemplation;bestows the capacity to contemplate His mystery]

1045 Pro homine, haec consummatio effectio erit ultima unitatis generis humani a Deo volitae inde a creatione et cuius Ecclesia peregrinans erat « veluti sacramentum ». 645 Qui Christo fuerint uniti, redemptorum efformabunt communitatem, Dei « Civitatem sanctam » (Apc 21,2), « sponsam uxorem Agni » (Apc 21,9). Haec non amplius a peccato erit vulnerata, a sordibus, 646 a sui ipsius amore, quae communitatem terrestrem hominum destruunt vel vulnerant. Visio beatifica in qua Deus electis modo inexhaustibili aperietur, perennis erit fons beatitudinis, pacis et mutuae communionis.

Van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece, The Adoration of the Lamb, 1429

El Greco, Trinity, 1577

1046 For the cosmos, Revelation affirms the profound common destiny of the material world and man:

1046 Relate ad mundum universum, Revelatio profundam communitatem destinationis affirmat mundi materialis et hominis:

For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God . . . in hope because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay.... We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies (Rom 8:19-23).

« Nam exspectatio creaturae revelationem filiorum Dei exspectat [...] in spem, quia et ipsa creatura liberabitur a servitute corruptionis [...]. Scimus enim quod omnis creatura congemiscit et comparturit usque adhuc; non solum autem, sed et nos ipsi primitias Spiritus habentes, et ipsi intra nos gemimus [...] exspectantes redemptionem corporis nostri » (Rom 8,19-23).

1047 The visible universe, then, is itself destined to be transformed, “so that the world itself, restored to its original state, facing no further obstacles, should be at the service of the just,” sharing their glorification in the risen Jesus Christ (St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 5, 32, 1 PG 7/2, 210).

1047 Universus mundus visibilis destinatur igitur et ipse ut transformetur: « Oportet ergo et ipsam conditionem redintegratam ad pristinum sine prohibitione servire iustis », 647 participantem eorum glorificationis in Iesu Christo resuscitato.

1048 We know neither the moment of the consummation of the earth and of man, nor the way in which the universe will be transformed. The form of this world, distorted by sin, is passing away, and we are taught that God is preparing a new dwelling and a new earth in which righteousness dwells, in which happiness will fill and surpass all the desires of peace arising in the hearts of men (GS 39 # 1).” 

1048 « Terrae ac humanitatis consummandae tempus ignoramus, nec universi transformandi modum novimus. Transit quidem figura huius mundi per peccatum deformata, sed docemur Deum novam habitationem novamque terram parare in qua iustitia habitat, et cuius beatitudo omnia pacis desideria, quae in cordibus hominum ascendunt, implebit et superabit ». 648

1049 “Far from diminishing our concern to develop this earth, the expectancy of a new earth should spur us on, for it is here that the body of a new human family grows, foreshadowing in some way the age which is to come. That is why, although we must be careful to distinguish earthly progress clearly from the increase of the kingdom of Christ, such progress is of vital concern to the kingdom of God, insofar as it can contribute to the better ordering of human society (GS 39 # 2).”

1049 « Exspectatio tamen novae terrae extenuare non debet, sed potius excitare, sollicitudinem hanc terram excolendi, ubi corpus illud novae familiae humanae crescit quod aliqualem novi saeculi adumbrationem iam praebere valet. Ideo, licet progressus terrenus a Regni Christi augmento sedulo distinguendus sit, inquantum tamen ad societatem humanam melius ordinandam conferre potest, Regni Dei magnopere interest ». 649

1050 “When we have spread on earth the fruits of our nature and our enterprise . . . according to the command of the Lord and in his Spirit, we will find them once again, cleansed this time from the stain of sin, illuminated and transfigured, when Christ presents to his Father an eternal and universal kingdom (GS 39 # 3).” God will then be “all in all” in eternal life (1 Cor 5:28):

1050 « Bona enim humanae dignitatis, communionis fraternae et libertatis, hos omnes scilicet bonos naturae ac industriae nostrae fructus, postquam in Spiritu Domini et iuxta Eius mandatum in terris propagaverimus, postea denuo inveniemus, mundata tamen ab omni sorde, illuminata ac transfigurata, cum Christus Patri reddet Regnum aeternum et universale ». 650 Tunc Deus erit « omnia in omnibus » (1 Cor 15,28), in vita aeterna:

True and subsistent life consists in this: the Father, through the Son and in the Holy Spirit, pouring out his heavenly gifts on all things without exception. Thanks to his mercy, we too, men that we are, have received the inalienable promise of eternal life (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catech. illum. 18, 29: PG 33, 1049).

« Vita reipsa et veritate Pater est, qui per Filium omnibus in Spiritu Sancto caelestia dona tamquam ex fonte profundit: at per Eius benignitatem nobis quoque hominibus aeternae vitae bona veraciter promissa sunt ». 651



1051 Every man receives his eternal recompense in his immortal soul from the moment of his death in a particular judgment by Christ, the judge of the living and the dead.

1051 Singuli homines in anima sua immortali, inde a morte sua, in iudicio particulari, aeternam suam recipiunt retributionem a Christo, vivorum et mortuorum iudice.

1052 “We believe that the souls of all who die in Christ’s grace . . . are the People of God beyond death. On the day of resurrection, death will be definitively conquered, when these souls will be reunited with their bodies” (Paul VI, CPG # 28).

1052 « Credimus animas eorum omnium, qui in gratia Christi moriuntur [...] populum Dei constituere post mortem, quae omnino destruetur resurrectionis die, quo hae animae cum suis corporibus coniungentur ». 652

1053 “We believe that the multitude of those gathered around Jesus and Mary in Paradise forms the Church of heaven, where in eternal blessedness they see God as he is and where they are also, to various degrees, associated with the holy angels in the divine governance exercised by Christ in glory, by interceding for us and helping our weakness by their fraternal concern” (Paul VI, CPG # 29).

1053 « Credimus multitudinem earum animarum, quae cum Iesu et Maria in paradiso congregantur, Ecclesiam caelestem efficere, ubi eaedem, aeterna beatitudine fruentes, Deum vident sicuti est atque etiam gradu quidem modoque diverso, una cum sanctis angelis partem habent in divina rerum gubernatione, quam Christus glorificatus exercet, cum pro nobis intercedant suaque fraterna sollicitudine infirmitatem nostram plurimum iuvent ». 653

1054 Those who die in God’s grace and friendship imperfectly purified, although they are assured of their eternal salvation, undergo a purification after death, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of God. 

1054 Qui in gratia et amicitia Dei, sed imperfecte purificati, moriuntur, quamquam de sua salute aeterna sunt certi, post suam mortem patiuntur purificationem ut sanctitatem acquirant necessariam ad gaudium Dei ingrediendum.

1055 By virtue of the “communion of saints,” the Church commends the dead to God’s mercy and offers her prayers, especially the holy sacrifice of the Eucharist, on their behalf.

1055 Propter « sanctorum communionem », Ecclesia defunctos Dei commendat misericordiae et pro illis suffragia offert, maxime sanctum Sacrificium eucharisticum.

1056 Following the example of Christ, the Church warns the faithful of the “sad and lamentable reality of eternal death” (GCD 69), also called “hell.”

1056 Ecclesia, Christi sequens exemplum, fideles admonet de tristi ac luctuosa realitate mortis aeternae, 654 quae etiam « infernus » appellatur.

1057 Hell’s principal punishment consists of eternal separation from God in whom alone man can have the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.

1057 Praecipua inferni poena in aeterna consistit separatione a Deo, in quo homo vitam et beatitudinem habere solummodo potest ad quas creatus est et quas ipse cupit.

1058 The Church prays that no one should be lost: “Lord, let me never be parted from you.” If it is true that no one can save himself, it is also true that God “desires all men to be saved” (1 Tim 2:4), and that for him “all things are possible” (Mt 19:26).

1058 Ecclesia orat ut nullus se perdat: « Domine, [...] me [...] a Te numquam separari permittas ». 655 Si verum est neminem posse se ipsum salvare, verum etiam est, Deum velle « omnes homines salvos fieri » (1 Tim 2,4) et apud Eum « omnia possibilia » esse (Mt 19,26).

1059 “The holy Roman Church firmly believes and confesses that on the Day of Judgment all men will appear in their own bodies before Christ’s tribunal to render an account of their own deeds” (Council of Lyons II [1274]: DS 859; cf. DS 1549).

1059 « Sacrosancta Ecclesia Romana firmiter credit et firmiter asseverat, quod [...] in die Iudicii omnes homines ante tribunal Christi cum suis corporibus comparebunt, reddituri de propriis factis rationem ». 656

1060 At the end of time, the Kingdom of God will come in its fullness. Then the just will reign with Christ for ever, glorified in body and soul, and the material universe itself will be transformed. God will then be “all in all” (1 Cor 15:28), in eternal life.

1060 Regnum Dei, in fine temporum, ad suam perveniet plenitudinem. Tunc iusti regnabunt in aeternum cum Christo, corpore et anima glorificati, et ipse mundus materialis universus transformabitur. Tunc Deus erit « omnia in omnibus » (1 Cor 15,28), in vita aeterna.