Q.The Holy Bible says that it’s pride that turned angels to demons. If that’s the case, what’s the source of evil in heaven? Or how did pride enter heaven where all the beings are in complete communion with our Lord? And if Angels sinned against the love of God in heaven, is there a possibility of sinning again, when a human soul enters heaven from this earthly realm?

Bince George, Bangalore

 Angels and humans were created with the gift of free will to choose to serve God. Evil came into heaven because one of the angels chose not to serve God by disobeying the authority of God as Lord and Creator. St. Thomas Aquinas says that the angel sinned by seeking his own good from his own free will, defiant to the rule of the divine will (Summa Theologiae I:63:1:4). That angel is known as Lucifer and he took about a third of the angels with him in rebellion (Rev. 12:4). It was pride (Is 14:12-14, Ez 28:17, Pro 16:18) and envy (Wis 2:24) that caused Lucifer/Satan to rebel against God. In other words, he did not want to be second to God in honour and so he chose not to serve his master.

The Lateran Council IV (1215) states that all angels were created good by God, according to their nature. Now the question is whether any goodness still exists within these demons and can they repent since God is merciful to sinful humans who repent of their evil? According to Catholic Church teaching – no; because they chose to sin against God with their full intellect and will. “It is the irrevocable character of their choice, and not a defect in the infinite divine mercy, that makes the angels’ sin unforgivable. There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death”(CCC 393).

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Fr Bitaju Mathew, O.SS.T. belongs to the Order of the Most Holy Trinity and of the Captives (Trinitarians). He serves as the secretary Vice Provincial of the Order in India and is currently Chaplain of the Jesus Youth International Formation Team.