Hell

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by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  April 23, 2018   

Damned souls suffer there forever

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The Vatican has yet to clarify Catholic teaching on Hell in the wake of media alleging the Holy Father denied it's existence.

A press release from the Vatican on March 29 simply negated the claim by Eugenio Scalfari, the atheist founder of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, that he was quoting Pope Francis correctly when Scalfari stated the pope denied the existence of Hell. The Vatican didn't uphold Church doctrine that clearly teaches there is a Hell, damned souls do go there and nobody get's out or disappears as Scalfari alleges that Pope Francis said.

Pope St. Felix III in the fifth century had this to say about leaving people in doubt on doctrinal errors: "Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it; and indeed to neglect to confound evil men, when we can do it, is no less a sin than to encourage them."

Pope Francis has upheld authentic Catholic doctrine on Hell in the past. In a 2016 homily given at Casa Santa Marta in Vatican City, the Roman Pontiff said going to Hell is possible and it is forever: 

"I remember as a child," he recalled, "when we went to catechism we were taught four things: death, judgment, Hell or glory. After the judgment, there is this possibility [of Hell]."
"'But Father, this is to frighten us,'" the children had said to the priest. But the priest responded:

No, this is the Truth, because if you do not take care of your heart, because the Lord is with you, and [if] you always live estranged from the Lord, perhaps there is the danger, the danger of continuing to live estranged in this way from the Lord for eternity.

Last week the head of the Maronite Catholic Church, Cdl. Patriarch Béchara Raï, released a handbook on Hell, reaffirming what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches on Hell: "It is a 'state' of permanent self-exclusion from communion with God."

"[H]e also repeats that the Church rejects the apocatastasis doctrine, according to which at the end of time, all creatures, including Satan, will be reintegrated into the fullness of the divine," the patriarch asserted.  

Watch the panel discuss current confusion on the reality of eternal separation from God in The Download—Hell.

 

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