Q: Can you tell me more about angels?

A: Speculation on the topic of angels has been very complicated at various times in the course of Christian history. In general, Scripture mentions only three individual angels by name: Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. The Church has never clarified the identity of any others by special infallible definition. However, I believe that Lateran IV did define belief in angels as required doctrine for Catholics (though this teaching was already clear from Scripture).

Lucifer is not named explicitly as a fallen angel in the Bible. The name is used in Isaiah 14:12 in reference to a Babylonian king. Later writers have used this name to refer to a fallen angel. However, Scripture does refer to certain evil spirits by name (e.g. Satana, Beelzebub, Appolyon). The demons are all fallen angels.

Fr. Thomas Thompson suggested the following texts for further reference: Why Angels? by Bernard Cooke (1996). Twenty-Third Publications. Mystic, CT.; and Angel Power by Janice T. Connell (1995). Ballantine Books, NY. However, he considers the former overly critical and the latter overly speculative.

The topic of classifying angels is more complicated. The Catholic Encyclopedia article on Angels should have all the detail you're looking for. Its available on the web at http://www.knight.org/advent/cathen/01476d.htm.  


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