Is it a place of fire and brimstone, or wailing and gnashing of teeth? Is it a place that is simply an absence of God? Whatever the reality, the Catholic Church continues to hold to the idea of a place called Hell. What is the Church’s understanding of Hell? Has it changed over the years? How does a loving God allow people to end up in Hell? Bishop Patrick talks with Gavin about those questions in the latest episode of 15 Minutes with the Bishop.
Over the next two days, the Catholic Church honours a couple of great figures in Christian history: St Augustine and his mother, St Monica. St Augustine is often seen as a bit of a prodigal son — someone who strayed but then returned to the Faith. As Bishop Patrick points out in this week’s episode of 15 Minutes with the Bishop, how far Augustine strayed might be at question, but his mark on the early Church is not in dispute. Neither is the faith of his mother, who prayed constantly for her son’s conversion back to the religion she tried to pass on to him.
Last week, Catholics in New Zealand celebrated the Feast of the Assumption, and last week’s episode of 15 Minutes with the Bishop was on that topic. This week, Bishop Patrick talks about holy days of obligation, of which the Assumption is one in New Zealand and in some other countries around the world. How has the number of holy days changed? Is Sunday a holy day of obligation? And what about the idea in the UK of re-instating holy days of obligation?
August 15 marks the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, one of the Church’s great Marian feasts. It is a cause for great celebration throughout the Catholic world, but especially in New Zealand, where it is the patronal feast day. In this episode, Bishop Patrick talks with Gavin about the feast, the different understandings of the Assumption and some of the Catholic doctrines relating to Our Lady.