FishEaters Traditional Catholic Forums

Full Version: Virtuous Pagan
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Is it possible someone such as Aristotle may be in heaven due to his invincible ignorance of knowledge of Christ and inability to know that future. He seems to be a prime example of man coming to a somewhat accurate metaphysical understanding through philosophy and nature alone.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
It's possible. There is no church teaching that Aristotle is in hell. I try to say prayers for historical figures who have died when I think of them.

Which brings me to a thought: how often are masses said for such people? I feel like my local parish secretary would laugh at me if I wanted to have a mass said for Aristotle or Socrates or someone like that.
(02-23-2016, 08:14 PM)DeoDuce Wrote: [ -> ]Is it possible someone such as Aristotle may be in heaven due to his invincible ignorance of knowledge of Christ and inability to know that future. He seems to be a prime example of man coming to a somewhat accurate metaphysical understanding through philosophy and nature alone.

St. Justin Martyr said Socrates, etc. were Christians because they were reasonable. He equates reason/logos, with Christ the Word/Logos.  If you read the rest, Socrates' reasonableness was in rejecting the adoration of idols.

St. Justin Martyr Wrote:We have been taught that Christ is the first-born of God, and we have declared above that He is the Word of whom every race of men were partakers; and those who lived reasonably are Christians, even though they have been thought atheists; as, among the Greeks, Socrates and Heraclitus, and men like them; and among the barbarians, Abraham, and Ananias, and Azarias, and Misael, and Elias, and many others whose actions and names we now decline to recount, because we know it would be tedious. So that even they who lived before Christ, and lived without reason, were wicked and hostile to Christ, and slew those who lived reasonably.
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0126.htm

Also, as an interesting note, St. Vincent Ferrer Church in New York City has a stained glass window of Aristotle with a halo:

(it's tough to see, but he's the top left)
[Image: svf097.jpg]

I think the key event for those who came before Christ was when He descended to the dead and preached to them (cf. 1 Peter 3:19). They were on the righteous side of chasm (aka in Abraham's bosom), but had their communion with Christ completed when he was made present to them.
My orthodox friend told me a story.
There was a monk who every night denounced Plato. One night Plato appeared to him in a dream and said I was pagan but I was one of the first to accept Him when He preached in Hades. Then the monk stopped doing that.
(02-24-2016, 04:19 PM)randomtradguy Wrote: [ -> ]My orthodox friend told me a story.
There was a monk who every night denounced Plato. One night Plato appeared to him in a dream and said I was pagan but I was one of the first to accept Him when He preached in Hades. Then the monk stopped doing that.

That is quite a moving thought.
Virtuous pagans never has the opportunity to know Christ. It would be unjust to put them in Hell because they were born before BC became AD. I guess I don't think about this much. I pray for the dead, period.