Why does God allow evil and suffering?

If God created a good and ordered world and loves humankind, why does he allow evil to exist? We can think of moral evils, such as war and murder, or physical evils, such as hurricanes and cancer and famine. Each of these are causes of suffering that remind us the world can be a dangerous, painful place. For some people, the problem of evil is an obstacle to faith in God.

However, the Church does not have all the answers. No one but God does. It is imperative that we understand God has a good purpose in mind for permitting these events. Remember the words of St. Paul: “We know that in everything God works for good for those who love him” (Rom 8:28). 

Objective: In this course, students will learn about physical evils and moral evils. Students will learn about human freedom and God's role in things that are evil. With this course, students will be able to explain why God does not put a stop to evils and that God created the world in a state of journeying.  

You’re joining our global classroom. Thousands of students from all over the world, each with their own unique story, learn at their own pace on Catholic Online School every single day.

Free Resources and tools for students, parents, and teachers. We’re working hard to ensure that Catholic Online School empowers teachers of all kinds to better understand what their children or students are up to and how best to help them. 

For free. For everyone. Forever.

With God, you can learn anything

Course curriculum

  • 01

    Defending the Faith - The Problem of Evil - Part 1

    • Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • The Problem of Evil - Part 1 - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • Defending the Faith - The Problem of Evil - Part 1 Live Lesson Recording with Deacon Frederick Bartels (4/14/21)

    • The Problem of Evil - Part 1 - QUIZ

    • Live Lesson Opening Prayer

    • Defending the Faith - The Problem of Evil - Part 1 - Live Lesson with Deacon Frederick Bartels - April 14 @ 1:00 PM Pacific

  • 02

    Defending the Faith - The Problem of Evil - Part 2

    • Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • The Problem of Evil - Part 2 - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • Defending the Faith - The Problem of Evil - Part 2 Live Lesson Recording with Deacon Frederick Bartels (4/15/21)

    • The Problem of Evil - Part 2 - QUIZ

    • Defending the Faith - The Problem of Evil - Part 2 - Live Lesson with Deacon Frederick Bartels - April 15 @ 1:00 PM Pacific

Instructor(s)

Instructor Bio:

Deacon Frederick Bartels is a member of the Catholic clergy who serves the Church in the diocese of Pueblo, CO. He received an MA in Theology and Educational Ministry from Catholic Distance University, where he is currently employed as an adjunct professor of theology. He is founder and editor of Joy In Truth (joyintruth.com), an online magazine dedicated to the New Evangelization. As a Catholic educator, public speaker and evangelist, Deacon Bartels strives to infuse culture with the saving principles of the gospel. He lives in Colorado with his wife, Shelly, and the youngest two of their six children. Professor Bartels is Chairman of the Theology Department.

Deacon Frederick Bartels

Professor of Theology, Department Chair