Expert Answer Forum

Revelation QUESTION from Carol Mendicino September 30, 2000 Does the Catholic Church believe that Christ will return at the end of the world? Do we believe there will be a rapture and a seven-year period of tribulation before the end of the world? Many of my Catholic and non-Catholic coworkers are reading a fiction series called Left Behind by Tim LaHaye, a Protestant. In the series, nearly all evangelical Protestants are swept up in the rapture, but most Catholics, are left behind because (LaHaye says) Catholics don't believe the Bible literally. The smugness and arrogance of this author really angers me, but I can't defend the Church because I don't know if we do believe in Revelation literally.
Thank you for any information you can give me.
--Carol Mendicino
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on November 20, 2000 Dear Mrs. Mendicino:
Yes, Christ will return again. This is a fundamental dogma of the faith. It is included in the Creed.
The rapture and 7 year tribulation stuff is not Catholic teaching however. Those ideas are the invention of Fundamentalist Dispensationalism. It was invented in the 1800's. These sorts of ideas did not exist in that form before the late 1800's
I would advise getting the Tape series on REVELATION by Scott Hahn. You can get that at St. Joseph Communications. It will give you a proper teaching on the Catholic theology.
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