A reader writes:
The text “Many are called, few are chosen” is often used to defend the theology of Election and Predestination. How would a Catholic interpret this?
I’m not sure how that particular text is used in that discussion (such matters are typically hashed over by converts from Calvinism, not by former Arminians like me). However, here is some stuff from the Catholic Encyclopedia that might help:
Elect – Denotes in general one chosen or taken by preference from among two or more; as a theological term it is equivalent to ‘chosen as the object of mercy or Divine favour, as set apart for eternal life’
Election – In its broadest sense election means a choice among many persons, things, or sides to be taken. In the stricter juridical sense it means the choice of one person among many for a definite charge or function.
Predestinarianism – A heresy which reduces the eternal salvation of the elect as well as the eternal damnation of the reprobate to one cause alone, namely to the sovereign will of God, and thereby excludes the free co-operation of man as a secondary factor in bringing about a happy or unhappy future in the life to come.
Predestination – Those divine decrees which have reference to the supernatural end of rational beings, especially of man